College of Fine Arts News Archive

October 2019

  • Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir to perform songs about Earth, wind, fire

    Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir to perform songs about Earth, wind, fire

    October 16, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Men’s Choir and Women’s Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the program “Elemental: Songs about Earth, Wind and Fire” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The program theme lends itself to a wealth of outstanding texts and music based on the subjects of Earth, wind and fire, according to Dr. Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities in the School of Music and the choirs’ director. SFA collaborative pianists Hyun Ji Oh and Dr. Thomas Nixon will accompany.

    “This theme has allowed for tremendous diversity in our programming,” Fish said. “The choirs will perform music ranging from earlier masters such as Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Schubert and Clara Schumann to current star composers Jake Runestad and Eleanor Daley.”

    Dr. Jennifer Dalmas, professor of violin and viola, and Dr. Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies, will perform on Runestad’s “Sing Wearing the Sky.”

    Among the other program highlights is the Women’s Choir performing “Suite” de Lorca by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, longtime professor of composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland.

    “Rautavaara was known as an eclectic composer who fused archaic and modern styles skillfully,” Fish explained. “He displays this ability in his 1973 composition, ‘Suite’ de Lorca, which is a staple in both the mixed and treble choir repertory. Rautavaara takes four dark texts by the Spanish poet Lorca, and merges modern techniques such as semi-tone clusters, mediant triad harmonies and aleatoric effects with ancient techniques such as modality and fauxbourdon. ‘Suite’ de Lorca is neo-classical in nature and fully displays Rautavaara's gift for pluralism.”

    The Women’s Choir will also perform Schumann’s “Er ist gekommen,” arranged by Brandon Williams. Originally composed as a solo lied, Williams arranged the piece for a women’s chorus. The lied was written in June of 1841, while Schumann was pregnant with her and husband Robert's first child, Marie. “Er ist gekommen” is part of a three-song set (op. 12) from texts by 19th-century poet Friedrich Rückert.

    “The piece is driven by a virtuosic accompaniment that will put our outstanding collaborative pianist, Hyun Ji Oh, on full display,” Fish said.

    The Men’s Choir will perform “Tu qui consortem” by Brian Bondari, associate professor of music theory and composition at Trinity University and Fish’s friend.

    “Brian and I collaborated on this composition during our time together at the University of Kansas,” Fish said. “It is a poignant piece based on a war poem by Sextus Propertius. The story is from the standpoint of Gallus, a mortally wounded soldier. Gallus implores the other soldiers to tell his sister that he fought valiantly but perished at the hand of an unknown enemy. He begs his comrades to ‘save themselves,’ so that their families may ‘rejoice’ in their return home from the atrocities of war.”

    Two new graduate students in the School of Music, David Zielke of Albany, Oregon, and Greg Simmons of Lufkin, will conduct two selections with the Men’s Choir. Zielke will also conduct the Women’s Choir on Paul Read’s “Birdsong.”

    The program will also feature a portion of the music chosen for the Women’s Choir’s performance at the 2020 Southwest American Choral Directors Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, this coming March.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • SFA School of Theatre to present Shakespeare’s ‘Titus Andronicus’

    SFA School of Theatre to present Shakespeare’s ‘Titus Andronicus’

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    Freshman theatre student Triston Dodson of Hawkins portrays the lead character in William Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” to be presented by the SFA School of Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 12 through 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    October 16, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    When the School of Theatre faculty at Stephen F. Austin State University chose William Shakespeare’s male character-dominated play “Titus Andronicus” for this year’s Mainstage Series, it was in response to the all-female show, “The Wolves,” that had filled the first Mainstage run for the fall semester.

    Although “Titus Andronicus” has been described as one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest plays, Cleo House Jr., director of the School of Theatre and this play’s director, sees it as one of The Bard’s “most fun plays,” he said, adding that he believes it “encapsulates all the things we love about the theatre.”

    “Great imagination, high camp, lots of drama, extreme simulated violence and lots of twists and turns,” House listed as the play’s theatrical qualities. “It’s the kind of play that harkens back to playing cops and robbers in your back yard.”

    “Titus Andronicus” chronicles Rome’s honored general as he returns home from war and begins a cycle of revenge filled with bloody deaths as punishment for a series of committed wrongs. The show runs Nov. 12 through 16 in W.M. Turner Auditorium.

    The play’s action on stage includes intricate fight choreography, film-like special effects, beheadings and missing limbs. But according to House, if you’re 13 or older, “this show is for you.”

    “We have worked hard to make this play relatable and understandable,” he said. “Our version of ‘Titus’ is an adaptation that is set in a post-apocalyptic future. If you’re familiar with the movie ‘Mad Max,’ that gives you an idea of the tone of our play.”

    Keeping the audience engaged in this play is challenging because of its complicated language, the fast pace of the storytelling and the multiple scene changes, according to House.

    “Pace is a challenge because there is so much information that we are trying to convey to the audience, but we also need to keep the pace of the production moving along to keep the audience engaged,” House explained. “When working on a show like this, you want to let the words do the work, but we also must create points of reference that the audience can grasp so that they remain engaged as the story is unfolding.

    “Then, just on a practical level, there are so many shifts in location,” he added. “How do we get from one place to the next as smoothly and simply as possible? How do we do it in such a way that pace, engagement and storytelling are not adversely affected?”

    At issue for the students actors, as with most of Shakespeare’s plays, is the language.

    “Shakespeare’s language is foreign to most young actors, and he made up words,” House said. “Learning those words and how to communicate those ideas to a modern audience can be difficult.”

    The play is also filled with stage combat. Actors are spending countless rehearsal hours learning complex fight choreography that is being taught to them by Dr. Slade Billew, assistant professor of acting in the School of Theatre who specializes in fight choreography.

    As the result of all the elaborate details that will be included in this presentation of “Titus Andronicus,” House believes the audience experience will be greatly enhanced. After seeing this play, theatre patrons will have “a greater appreciation for the work that goes into creating theatre,” he believes.

    “Hopefully, they’ll be a fan of Shakespeare and an even bigger fan of the School of Theatre,” he said.

    “Titus Andronicus” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 12 through 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. A matinee for high school students is at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14.

    Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and non-SFA students and $7.50 for youth. Tickets for SFA students are $5. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.theatre.sfasu.edu. The play is recommended for mature audiences.

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  • Spectrum Ensemble to present ‘A New Light’ percussion concert

    Spectrum Ensemble to present ‘A New Light’ percussion concert

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    Spectrum Ensemble of Denton will present the percussion program “A New Light” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, in the Wright Music Building’s Band Hall, Room 121, on the SFA campus.

    October 14, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Spectrum Ensemble will bring a program of original percussion duo works to Nacogdoches when founders Jaime Esposito and Stephen Hall perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, in the Wright Music Building’s Band Hall, Room 121, on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    Spectrum Ensemble is a new music group based in Denton advocating for LGBTQ+ representation in Classical music by performing concerts of new music written by top young queer composers and performed by queer/ally musicians. Additionally, proceeds from concerts are donated to LGBTQA+ advocacy non-profits/charities.

    Touring throughout the South this fall, Spectrum Ensemble will present “A New Light,” which features works written by queer composers Kevin Rosacias, Luke Ellard, Derek Twyonick, and LJ White, alongside classics by Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber.

    “In our concerts, we present the often-ignored lineage of influential queer musicians in Classical music throughout history until the present day,” Esposito said.

    New contemporary music works by top queer composers are juxtaposed in the performance with works of famous composers throughout history, like Bernstein, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Aaron Copland.

    “In this way, we present wonderfully engaging musical programs while exemplifying LGBTQ+ visibility,” Esposito said.

    To learn more about the ensemble and the players:

    Website: Spectrumensemble.org

    Instagram: @spectrumensemble

    Facebook: @Queerspectrumensemble

    Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDb0xvK7jk9AUbJtaaIyOYw/videos

    Concert tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • Clarinetist Kowalsky to collaborate with SFA music faculty on concert

    Clarinetist Kowalsky to collaborate with SFA music faculty on concert

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    Frank Kowalsky

    October 14, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Clarinetist Frank Kowalsky, professor emeritus at Florida State University, will perform a guest recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, in Cole Concert Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    Kowalsky will collaborate with several SFA music faculty members, all of whom are graduates of Florida State University, according to Dr. Christopher Ayer, professor of clarinet in the SFA School of Music.

    Dr. Jennifer Dalmas, violin and viola; Dr. Evegeni Rachev, cello; and Dr. Ron Petti, piano, were all doctoral students at FSU while Kowalsky was professor of clarinet there. Rachev’s cello teacher at FSU was Lubomir Georgiev, who wrote Dialogues I for cello and piano. Rachev will perform it with Kowalsky that evening.

    “So, it’s a special treat for all of them to collaborate together on this concert,” Ayer said.

    Among the other selections on the program are “Peregi Verbunk” by Leo Weiner; Suite for Clarinet, Violin and Piano and “Scaramouche” by Darius Milhaud; and Sonata by Carlos Guastavino.

    Kowalsky has performed as principal clarinetist with several orchestras throughout the United States. His introduction of Scott McAllister’s “X—Concerto for Clarinet” to the clarinet community in 1998 led to the commissioning of McAllister’s concerto, “Black Dog,” which he premiered at Florida State University in 2003. A member of the faculty at the Interlochen Arts Academy for 10 years, Kowalsky joined the faculty at Florida State University in 1984 and retired in 2013. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music and the Catholic University of America.

    Concert tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • SFA College of Fine Arts Dean’s Circle hosts successful fundraiser

    SFA College of Fine Arts Dean’s Circle hosts successful fundraiser

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    The SFA College of Fine Arts Dean’s Circle recently recognized state Rep. Travis Clardy, left, for his support of and contributions to Nacogdoches, SFA, the College of Fine Arts and the Dean’s Circle at the organization’s annual fall Winners’ Circle fundraiser. Presenting the honor to Clardy was College of Fine Arts Dean Dr. A.C. “Buddy” Himes.

    October 8, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Members of the Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts Dean’s Circle recently recognized its 2019 award recipients at the annual artists’ spotlight and fundraiser and Winners’ Circle reception held in Mast Hall in downtown Nacogdoches.

    A highlight of the evening included special recognition of state Rep. Travis Clardy for his support of and contributions to Nacogdoches, SFA, the College of Fine Arts and the Dean’s Circle.

    “I’m certain that there was not anyone at our event whose life in the East Texas region has not been positively affected by the legislation he has helped pass,” said Dr. A.C. “Buddy” Himes, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “We were pleased and honored that so many people came to our event to show their appreciation for Rep. Clardy’s many contributions to our community, and to support the College of Fine Arts.”

    The event also recognized the 2019 Dean’s Awards recipients, including Sarah Bone, art major from Richmond; Travis Wattigney, music major from Fort Worth; Matthew Mitchell, music education major from Huffman; and Aubrey Moore, theatre major from Frisco.

    Also recognized was School of Art Professor Piero Fenci as the Dean’s Circle Endowed Professor for 2019-2022. The Dean’s Circle created the award in 2016 to recognize and honor those who “embody the qualities of the ideal professor that characterize all College of Fine Arts faculty members,” Himes said. The award is intended to provide the resources for all manner of professional endeavors in which the recipient may choose to become involved. This marks the second endowed professorship completed by the Dean’s Circle. The first honoree was Dr. Charles R. Gavin, professor of horn and chamber music in the SFA School of Music.

    “We greatly appreciate our membership and event sponsors,” Himes said. “Their financial support makes possible these awards, which allow recipients to further their creative pursuits and aspire to a higher level of excellence.”

    Sponsors included Cal-Tex Lumber Company, Inc., Travis Clardy, Nacogdoches Medical Center, Naioma Shannon, Southside Bank, Suzanne Warlick, The Right Step Child Enrichment Center, CBH Insurance Agency, An O’Haver Financial Company, Chris and Yvette Sidnell, Dr. Gary Barkocy, Mast Hall, Naca Valley Vineyard and Nacogdoches Film Festival.

    The Dean’s Circle is a group of community and university leaders whose mission is to assist the College of Fine Arts in perpetuating its tradition of excellence by enhancing academic and artistic performance programs, creating endowed professorships for faculty, and recognizing outstanding students in each school with the annual Dean’s Awards.

    For more information about the Dean’s Circle or to become a member, contact Himes at (936) 468-2801 or at himesac@sfasu.edu.

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  • SFA’s A Cappella Choir to present ‘When the Poet Sings’

    SFA’s A Cappella Choir to present ‘When the Poet Sings’

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    The SFA A Cappella Choir will present “When the Poet Sings” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

    October 8, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The A Cappella Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “When the Poet Sings” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

    Conducted by Dr. Michael Murphy, director of choral activities for the School of Music, the A Cappella Choir will perform works by Petr Eben, Norman Dello Joio, Giuseppe Verdi, Ivo Antognini, Elaine Hagenberg, Brandon Waddles, Felix Mendelssohn and more.

    The concert will also feature the world premiere of Andrew Smith’s “Inspiration.” SFA Director of Collaborative Piano Dr. Ron Petti will accompany. The Colony graduate student Jacob Rivas will be featured as graduate conductor.

    Sacred Heart Catholic Church is located at 2508 Appleby Sand Road.

    Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. For more information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407.

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  • Reception planned for Denali-inspired art exhibition at SFA

    Reception planned for Denali-inspired art exhibition at SFA

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    Denali Colloquy, created by artist Susan Campbell and inspired by the music of SFA composition student Corinna Hogan, is one of the works on display at the exhibition "Denali: Artists Respond to Music Inspired by Wilderness" in the Griffith Fine Arts Gallery on the SFA campus. A reception for the exhibit is slated for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in the Griffith Gallery.

    October 8, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    A reception for the exhibition “Denali: Artists Respond to Music Inspired by Wilderness” is slated for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in Griffith Fine Arts Gallery on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    SFA’s School of Art hosts the exhibition through Nov. 21. Two languages – music and visual art – combine to create works of art made in response to chamber music composed in Denali National Park. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Elements Artist Group and composers from the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival’s Composing in the Wilderness Program, directed by SFA composing Professor Dr. Stephen Lias. SFA senior composition student Corinna Hogan of Gatesville is among the collaborating composers.

    In 2017, Lias led nine experienced composers into the backcountry of Denali National Park where they composed original chamber music inspired by their wilderness experiences and shared recordings of their compositions, musical scores, ideas and inspiration with the Elements artists. The artists worked in a variety of media including fiber art, ceramic tiles, painting, poetry, and artist books to create 18 works of visual art, each one a personal response to a musical composition.

    In experiencing the exhibition, a smart phone enables access to the music that inspired each artistic response. QR codes, posted throughout the exhibition, provide links to the music so that the music and art it inspired can be experienced at the same time. Binders of the musical scores and program notes are also on display as part of the exhibition.

    Support of a Community Arts Development Grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts helped fund the project along with sponsorship by The National Park Service, Alaska Geographic, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and Composing in the Wilderness. For more information about the project, visit https://www.composinginthewilderness.com/elements.

    This exhibition and reception, which also includes a multimedia presentation, is sponsored in part by William Arscott, The Flower Shop and the Friends of the Visual Arts. Admission is free. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musician Brebach to perform at SFA, present workshop

    Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musician Brebach to perform at SFA, present workshop

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    Emily Brebach

    October 3, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Emily Brebach, English horn with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, will perform a guest oboe and English horn recital at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    The recital is part of the School of Music’s Friends of Music Concert Series and will showcase works by Eugène Bozza, Charles Koechlin, Maurice Ravel and Alyssa Morris, among others.

    Three of the program pieces are French. Bozza’s “Divertissement” translates to “fun” or “entertainment,” while Koechlin’s “Au Loin” translates to “far away” or “far off.” Ravel’s “Pavane pour une infante defunte” translates to “Pavane for a Dead Princess.” These three French works are considered old favorites of the English horn repertoire.

    “Chrysalis for English Horn and Piano” was written by living composer Alyssa Morris. Each movement of this piece represents a different stage of metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly. The music is fun for the performer and audience alike, according to Brebach.

    Joining the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as English horn and oboe in the fall of 2012, Brebach has performed with orchestras throughout the United States, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony and the Houston Symphony. She is an artist affiliate instructor of oboe at Emory University and a faculty member of the Atlanta Symphony's Talent Development Program, and she maintains an active private studio. Brebach also presents master classes and reed-making seminars at music schools across the country. She spends her summers in residence at the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, North Carolina, as English horn and oboe as well as artist faculty, and also as English horn at the Grand Teton Music Festival.

    Saturday’s recital tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

    Brebach’s recital is part of a larger guest artist residency, which includes master classes. On Sunday, Oct. 13, she will join SFA’s Dr. Abby Y. Held, faculty oboe in the School of Music, in presenting Oboe Etude Workshop Day from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall. In addition to working with SFA student oboe musicians, the presenters invite high school oboe students for a free workshop designed to help them master their All-State oboe etudes.

    “This is a free event open to high school oboists who are preparing All-State audition etudes, or working on etudes in their own personal studies,” said Held, who will also present the clinic “Dealing With Nerves” during the workshop. Participants may register for Oboe Etude Workshop Day by contacting Held at helday@sfasu.edu. Held promises “surprises and prizes” at the workshop.

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  • SFA School of Theatre presents ‘The Wolves’ through Saturday

    SFA School of Theatre presents ‘The Wolves’ through Saturday

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    October 3, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present Sarah DeLappe’s play “The Wolves” at 7:30 nightly through Saturday, Oct. 5, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. A finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, “The Wolves” is a coming-of-age play that follows the daily routines and conversations of nine girls on a soccer team who deal with big problems and tiny battles on the field and in life. In a scene from ‘The Wolves’ are, from left, Bridgeport freshman Elora Rogers; Irving senior Kathleen McNamara, Lufkin sophomore Britney Day (background); and Richmond senior Harsa Rutherford. Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and non-SFA students and $7.50 for youth. Tickets for SFA students are $5. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit

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  • SFA Symphony Orchestra to perform works by Tchaikovsky, Bernstein

    SFA Symphony Orchestra to perform works by Tchaikovsky, Bernstein

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    Alina Nebzhidovskaia

    October 3, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The SFA Symphony Orchestra (Orchestra of the Pines) at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform under the baton of its new conductor, Dr. Gregory Grabowski, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14, in Cole Concert Hall on the university campus.

    Among the selections on the program are Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy” and Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances” from “West Side Story.” The concert also features a performance by Alina Nebzhidovskaia, one of the three winners of the School of Music’s recent concerto competition, on Alexander Glazunov’s Violin Concerto.

    Grabowski joined the School of Music this semester as director of orchestral activities. He comes to SFA from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, where he conducted the Susquehanna University Orchestra and musical theatre performances. He began his career in the public schools of Frisco ISD. Grabowski has led the Richardson Symphony, Flower Mound Symphony, Lewisville Lake Symphony, Bakersfield Symphony, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and the Fairbanks Festival Orchestra. He holds degrees from the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band program takes listeners on international musical tour

    Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band program takes listeners on international musical tour

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    James Syler

    October 3, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform the music of James Syler when the student ensembles perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    The program, “Wanderlust,” features music based on locations and cultures throughout the world, taking the audience on an international musical tour.

    Syler is composer in residence with the SFA School of Music this fall and has been working with the bands and composition students.

    Under the direction of Chris Kaatz, assistant director of bands at SFA, the Symphonic Band opens the concert “in Philadelphia” with John Philip Sousa’s popular march “The Liberty Bell.” The band also performs Syler’s lush and reverent “Cantique,” which references a common genre of French religious music in both title and character. Next, Alex Shapiro’s “Tight Squeeze” packs three continents’ music into a piece lasting just as many minutes.

    “Combining Viennese dodecaphony, Latin bebop and Detroit techno, this electroacoustic work is an exhilarating journey unto itself,” according to Kaatz.

    The Symphonic Band closes the first half across the pond with Malcolm Arnold’s first set of “English Dances.” Originally written for orchestra, this four-movement work is built on original melodies crafted in the spirit of English folk songs and dance.

    “Visiting musical landscapes both pastoral and melancholic, ‘English Dances’ ends the first half with an exhilarating, celebratory romp,” Kaatz said.

    Directed by Dr. Tamey Anglley, associate director of bands at SFA, the Wind Symphony will open the second half of the concert with Francisco Alonso’s “La Calesera,” which is a famous Spanish pasodoble taken from the composer’s musical comedy “Zarzuela.”

    The Wind Symphony will also perform Syler’s “Suite Louisiane,” which is a five-movement work written in 2018 and commissioned by the Louisiana Chapter of the College Band Directors National Association.

    “Each movement focuses on songs that have unique histories and rich musical characteristics based in different areas of Louisiana,” Anglley said. “It is a wonderfully educational and entertaining journey through American folk songs.”

    The final piece on the concert is Norman Dello Joio’s Scenes from “The Louvre.” Dello Joio composed the soundtrack for the television documentary “A Golden Prison: The Louvre” in 1964. He he won an Emmy for the soundtrack and arranged the highlights into a five-movement suite for band.

    “Dello Joio chose to use the music from Renaissance-era composers to match the historical depth of the film,” Anglley said. This piece includes original material from Dello Joio as well as material from Renaissance composers such as Tielman Susato, Jean-Baptiste Lully and Vincenzo Albrici.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ to open SFA’s children’s series

    ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ to open SFA’s children’s series

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    Two performances of “The Velveteen Rabbit” on Friday, Oct. 18, will open the 2019-20 Children’s Performing Arts Series at SFA.

    October 3, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Children’s Performing Arts Series at Stephen F. Austin State University will open its 2019-20 season on Friday, Oct. 18, with two performances of Virginia Repertory Theatre’s “The Velveteen Rabbit.”

    Adapted by Thomas W. Hammond from the original book by Margery Williams Bianco with music and lyrics by Ron Barnett, “The Velveteen Rabbit” is Virginia Rep’s fanciful musical production of the classic story that centers around a boy and his love for his favorite toy, a rabbit covered with velveteen, according to Diane Peterson, SFA Fine Arts Box Office manager and director of the children’s series. The boy loves the rabbit more than anything and takes it everywhere. After the boy recovers from scarlet fever, the family must dispose of the contaminated toy.

    “As the rabbit awaits his fate, a magical fairy blooms from a flower and turns the beloved plaything into a real, live rabbit, showing us the power and magic of unconditional love,” Peterson said.

    “The Velveteen Rabbit” targets children in Pre-K through fifth grade. Performances are at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in W.M. Turner Auditorium, located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus. Tickets are $7.50 for individuals and $6 per person for groups of 20 or more.

    Presented by the SFA College of Fine Arts, the Children’s Performing Arts Series annually features five shows designed to entertain, educate and engage young audiences of all ages, according to Peterson. Study guides provide suggestions for pre- and post-performance activities and discussions for teachers to use in the classroom. A comprehensive study guide for “The Velveteen Rabbit” may be accessed at cpas.sfasu.edu.

    Other upcoming CPAS performances include “A Christmas Carol” on Thursday, Dec. 12; “We the People” on Friday, Jan. 31; Super Scientific Circus on Friday, Feb. 28; and “Cinderella” on Tuesday, April 28.

    To order tickets, call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. Visit the CPAS website at cpas.sfasu.edu for additional information.

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  • School of Theatre to present student-directed ‘These Shining Lives’ scenes

    School of Theatre to present student-directed ‘These Shining Lives’ scenes

    October 2, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present scenes from the student-directed play “These Shining Lives” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Jessica Griffin, a theatre major from Brownsboro, directs scenes from Melanie Marnich’s one-act play. The play chronicles the strength and determination of four women, considered expendable in their day, who worked in a factory in the 1920s. Catherine and her friends are dying, but their story is one of survival in its most transcendent sense, as they refuse to allow the company that stole their health to steal their spirits or endanger the lives of those who follow them.

    The cast includes Scurry freshman Courtney Pratt as Catherine; Frisco freshman Anthony Johnson as Tom; Plano freshman Marissa Mondragon as Charlotte; Bastrop sophomore Erinn St. Clair as Pearl; Houston sophomore Alexis Hargy as Frances; Buffalo junior Zach White as Mr. Reed; Wylie junior Drake St. Pierre as the company doctor/Dr. Dalitsch; Plano junior Sarah Clark as reporters; and Lufkin freshman Jeremiah Hewitt as Grossman.

    The production crew includes Tommy Vest, Sherman sophomore, as stage manager; Jenna Alley, Kingwood sophomore, scenic designer; Jordyn Averitte, Baytown senior, costume designer; Hannah Pittman, Bulverde junior, lighting designer; and Gaby Trevino, Duncanville sophomore, sound designer.

    Griffin is a senior teacher certification student in the School of Theatre.

    Faculty production advisor for the play is Dr. Inga Meier.

    Tickets are $4. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit theatre.sfasu.edu. The Downstage Theatre is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

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  • Cole Art Center teams with public library to screen ‘Seven Samurai’ in Big Read event

    Cole Art Center teams with public library to screen ‘Seven Samurai’ in Big Read event

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    A free, one-night screening of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 masterpiece “Seven Samurai” is at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at Cole Art Center.

    October 1, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House will partner with the Nacogdoches Public Library and its NEA Big Read Nacogdoches project to present a screening of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 masterpiece, “Seven Samurai.”

    A free, one-night screening of the Oscar-nominated film is at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at Cole Art Center. Refreshments will be provided.

    The story takes place in 1586 during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. According to the film description at imdb.com, a veteran samurai, who has fallen on hard times, answers a village's request for protection from bandits. He gathers six other samurai to help him. They teach the townspeople how to defend themselves, and they supply the samurai with three small meals a day. The film culminates in a giant battle when 40 bandits attack the village.

    The NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. This program seeks to broaden understanding of the world and its communities, and of oneself, through the joy of sharing a good book. This screening of “Seven Samurai” is just one of many events the Nacogdoches Public Library has planned during October as part of the Big Read initiative.

    “I want to thank Cole Art Center for once again being involved with our city-wide program this year,” said Crystal Hicks, assistant director of the library. “We're so glad to have such a wonderfully engaged and supportive community.”

    Following the screening, there will be time for discussion of the film and the NEA Big Read novel, “Into the Beautiful North,” by Luis Alberto Urrea. The novel is set in Mexico and follows the adventures of Nayeli and her friends as they travel north across the border into the U.S. The trip is inspired by the film, “The Magnificent Seven,” which is based on “Seven Samurai.”

    The Big Read activities will take place in October and will culminate with the annual Dia de los Muertos Fiesta on Nov. 2. The Nacogdoches Public Library is one of 78 nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host community reading programs between September 2019 and June 2020. For more information about the Big Read initiative, contact Hicks at (936) 559-2970.

    The Cole Art Center is Stephen F. Austin State University’s historic downtown art gallery, located at 329 E. Main St. For more information about the screening, call (936) 468-1131.

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