College of Fine Arts News Archive

January 2020

  • SFA music faculty to present Pi Kappa Lambda scholarship concert

    SFA music faculty to present Pi Kappa Lambda scholarship concert

    January 30, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Faculty members of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will be the featured performers during the second Pi Kappa Lambda Music Faculty Showcase presented this academic year to raise funds for music scholarships. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6 in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The concert showcases the talents of the diverse School of Music performing faculty, according to Dr. Jamie Weaver, associate professor of music history at SFA and president of Pi Kappa Lambda honors society. Proceeds from the concert fund scholarships for deserving SFA music majors selected by the honors society.

    “Sponsored by the university music honors society, the concert features a wide variety of instruments, voices and musical styles in brief, audience-friendly performances,” Weaver said. “Faculty members look forward to this concert because we have the chance to perform for each other as well as for our students and friends.”

    Faculty performers will be Christopher Ayer, clarinet; Deborah Dalton, James Held, Nita Hudson, Scott LaGraff, voice, with guest artist Kimberly LaGraff; Larry Greer, guitar; Christina Guenther, flute; Jennifer Dalmas, violin; Melissa Nabb, viola; Evgeni Raychev, cello; Deb Scott, trombone; J.D. Salas, bass; Brad Meyer, percussion; and Mary Cooper, Thomas Nixon, Hyun Ji Oh and Ron Petti, piano. The performance also features former music faculty member Shirley Watterston, piano.

    The recital is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music and is a feature of the 2019-20 Friends of Music Concert Series. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Wright Music Building at 2210 Alumni Drive.

    Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students. For tickets or more information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

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  • SFA art student Burgess wins ‘Forged in Fire’ reality series competition

    SFA art student Burgess wins ‘Forged in Fire’ reality series competition

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    Nacogdoches bladesmith and SFA art student Kevin Burgess earned $10,000 in the History’s Channel’s “Forged in Fire” reality series.

    January 30, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Fans of the History Channel’s “Forged in Fire” learned Wednesday night what contestant Kevin Burgess has known for months: he won!

    The Stephen F. Austin State University art student from Nacogdoches County competed last year in the “Forged in Fire” reality series, and the episode detailing his participation in the $10,000 competition was initially supposed to air on Nov. 20. But scheduling changes resulted in the episode being postponed until Jan. 29, and Burgess had to keep the results a secret all this time.

    “It was an awesome experience working with three other very talented smiths, and I loved every second of it,” Burgess said. “The challenges were hard, to say the least, but I stand on the shoulders of giants that have figured out most of this stuff for me.”

    Produced by Outpost Entertainment, “Forged in Fire” is a competition in which four bladesmiths compete in timed elimination rounds to forge bladed weapons for a chance to win a $10,000 prize and be named a “Forged in Fire” champion. In its seventh season, the competition, which is judged by experts in weapon history and use, tests some of the best in the industry as they attempt to recreate historic weapons.

    Burgess first became interested in bladesmithing about four years ago after watching “Man at Arms: Reforged” YouTube videos where skilled bladesmiths recreate weapons from TV shows and video games. He is currently a member in and an apprentice with the American Bladesmith Society, hoping to eventually pursue journeyman distinction.

    He started his college career at SFA studying computer science but soon changed his major to art where he could follow his passion. Burgess is an art metals student studying with Lauren Selden, professor of metalworking and jewelry in the School of Art. Following graduation, he plans to earn a master’s degree with the hope of teaching bladesmithing at the college level.

    Burgess offered the following advice for those who may be looking to learn something new, especially in the area of bladesmithing.

    “Seek out those who are willing to teach, not the ones wanting to keep things a secret,” he suggested. “Because when people share what they have learned, it shows just how much they actually know.”

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  • SFA music alumni part of Grammy Award-winning ensembles

    SFA music alumni part of Grammy Award-winning ensembles

    January 29, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Three Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music alumni are part of Grammy Award-winning ensembles following the 62nd annual Grammy Awards presented Sunday night in Los Angeles, California.

    Kelli Mikeska Lawless, ’02, and Kammi Mikeska Estelle, ’02, are members of the Houston Chamber Choir whose voices are heard on the Grammy Award-winning Best Choral Performance by the elite Houston Chamber Choir for “Duruflé: Complete Choral Works” with Robert Simpson, conductor (Ken Cowan, organist, Houston Chamber Choir). It is a performance of music by 20th century French composer Maurice Duruflé.

    Describing the recording as “a labor of love,” Artistic Director Simpson said, “We are deeply honored, and I want to congratulate my fellow nominees. They have inspired me and our entire field.

    “I am honored to accept this award on behalf of musicians of the Houston Chamber Choir. I also accept the award on behalf of the city of Houston, one of the real artistic capitals of our country.” He also thanked “those who joined us on the journey.”

    Led by Simpson, the Houston Chamber Choir is composed of 25 professional singers, most of whom have studied at the top music schools and conservatories in the United States including Julliard, New England Conservatory, University of Houston and the University of Texas. The musicians are selected through rigorous auditions, according to information at https://houstonchamberchoir.org. SFA music alumnus Joshua Chavira, ’16 and ’18, is a newer member of the choir.

    Tynan Davis, ’02, mezzo soprano, sang the role of Rita the Rat in “Tobias Picker: Fantastic Mr. Fox,” which garnered Best Opera Recording with Gil Rose, conductor; John Brancy, Andrew Craig Brown, Gabriel Preisser, Krista River & Edwin Vega; Gil Rose, producer (Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Boston Children’s Chorus).

    In another SFA-Grammy Awards connection, award winner Lizzo often gives credit to her Elsik High School band director, SFA graduate Manuel Gonzales, ’92, for inspiring her deep love of music. The singer, rapper and actress, whose name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, was born in Detroit but later moved to Houston where she attended the Alief ISD school and began playing flute in Gonzales’ Elsik High School Band.

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  • SFA School of Theatre to present student-directed one-act play

    SFA School of Theatre to present student-directed one-act play

    January 29, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present scenes from the student-directed one-act play “The Disruptive, Discursive Delusions of Donald” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Richard Rogers, a senior theatre major from Kerrville, directs playwright Michael Roderick’s story of Donald, who is awakened in the middle of the night by two peculiar strangers who have the power to change his life, all depending on the color of his socks.

    The cast features Houston freshman Blayn Larson as Donald; Copperas Cove junior Bailey Van Hecke as Bernice; Porter senior Delaney Brittingham as Shirley; Edinburg junior Makayla Moreno as Dayna; and Wylie junior Drake St. Pierre as Bo.

    The production crew includes Valeria De la Cruz, Dallas junior, as stage manager; Mathew Kilgore, Houston senior, scenic designer; Kaitlyn Hall, Rockwall senior, costume designer; Kaylee Satterfield, Hutto junior, lighting designer; Tommy Ross Vest, Sherman sophomore, sound designer; and Jenna Alley, Kingwood sophomore, properties master.

    A May candidate for graduation, Rogers has been involved in theatre productions for a number of years but only recently began directing. Upon graduation, he hopes to join a traveling troupe.

    Faculty production advisor for the play is Rick Jones.

    The play is recommended for mature audience. Admission is $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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  • SFA theatre students to present Hamill’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’

    SFA theatre students to present Hamill’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’

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    The SFA School of Theatre will present Kate Hamill’s play “Pride and Prejudice” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Feb. 18 through 22, in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building. The play is a new adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved 1813 novel.

    January 29, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    A long-overdue movement is underway to bring greater gender equity to the American theatre scene. The School of Theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University will do its part in furthering that crusade by presenting Kate Hamill’s “Pride and Prejudice” as part of this year’s Mainstage Series.

    Based on the novel by Jane Austen, Hamill’s “Pride and Prejudice” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Feb. 18 through 22, in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building. The play is an “irreverent, fresh and frolicking” new adaptation to the wit and charm of Austen’s beloved 1813 novel, according to Scott Shattuck, professor of theatre at SFA and the play’s director.

    “Here’s a new play by a woman, Kate Hamill, who’s one of the 10 hottest playwrights in the country right now. It has great roles for women, based on one of the most beloved stories in all of literature, which was also written by a woman, Jane Austen,” Shattuck said. “Hamill’s dramatization was written to be performed in a fast, fun, fizzy style that’s perfect for a student cast and for audiences of all ages.”

    The plot is the familiar romantic story set in England near the beginning of the 19th century. Elizabeth Bennet, the second of several daughters of a small landowner, thinks that Mr. Darcy, a wealthy but mysteriously gloomy young man, is the last person in the world she’d want to marry.

    “They’re both proud, and both have their prejudices, but it’s not much of a spoiler to say that love wins the day,” Shattuck said.

    He goes on to explain that one of the most entertaining characters in the book and the play is the Bennet girls’ “perennially stressed-out” mother, who is obsessed with getting all of her daughters married off to men of means because the rules of primogeniture in those days prevented females from inheriting land.

    “Elizabeth’s sisters get caught up in their own romantic adventures,” Shattuck said, “but none of them finds the clear path to successful matrimony that would spare Mrs. Bennet a spate of anxiety attacks.”

    Hamill wrote the play for a small cast with most of the actors playing more than one role, including men playing women and vice versa.

    “We’re going to get on board with that style,” Shattuck said, “which should make for some frantic changes of costumes and wigs. We hope that will become part of the hilarity of the show. Our idea is to try to create the impression that we’re making it up as we go along, which can actually require more planning and rehearsal than a polished-looking show would.”

    The student actors will be taking on iconic roles that many in the audience will remember from having read the book, perhaps more than once, or at least from seeing one of the many film and television versions, Shattuck said.

    “They’ve got to create their own original characterizations while staying in the spirit of the source material,” he said. “And most of them will have to transform from one character to another at the drop of a hat.”

    Other than the youngest children, everyone should enjoy “Pride and Prejudice,” regardless of gender, age or background, according to Shattuck.

    “It’s an irreverent take on a classic tale,” he said. “Hamill loves the story without taking it too seriously, so I think most people will find something funny and charming in this one.

    “From my perspective, the play is a celebration of smart, strong, independent young women,” he added, “and it’s a celebration of the fact that women never have to play second fiddle to have a full and satisfying life, including having a family, if that’s the path they choose. I hope everyone will leave in a bright and cheerful mood.”

    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.

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  • Guest artist Martins to perform euphonium concert at SFA

    Guest artist Martins to perform euphonium concert at SFA

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    Mauro Martins

    January 28, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Guest artist Mauro Martins will present the recital “Flow” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, in Cole Concert Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    Martins, an Adams, MO² mouthpieces and Denis Wick artist from Portugal, chose the title “because it is one of the most important things about music, life, nature and the world.” The program consists of transcriptions, arrangements and original music for euphonium all written between 1907 and 2016. “This program comes complete with beautiful melodies, technical virtuosity and a lot of groove,” he said.

    Among the works to be performed are “Fantasia di concerto” by Eduardo Boccalari, which is a standard of the euphonium repertoire that Martins describes as “arguably one of the best works for euphonium from the turn of the century.”

    “This large work features wonderful lyrical melodies that highlight the sound of the euphonium as well as many virtuoso sections that demonstrate pristine technical skill and prowess,” he explained.

    Also on the program is “Pièce en forme de habanera” by Maurice Ravel, originally composed for voice with beautiful melodies that Mauro claims “will take you to another world.” Martins states the piece is “a work to listen to with an open heart.”

    Martins describes “Lambonium 235” by V. Pagès, also on the program, as one of the most virtuosic works ever written for euphonium, with a mix of jazz, virtuosity and traditional French melodies.

    Martins will perform “Softly, As I Leave You” by Alfred De Vita in a duet with Dr. Danny Chapa, low brass faculty at SFA. SFA collaborative pianist Hyun Ji Oh will accompany on the concert.

    Martins said he hopes the audience enjoys the concert as much as he enjoys performing on stage.

    “Music is about feelings,” he said. “Try to not think about technique or register; just enjoy the music and let it drive you.”

    Martins is a first-prize winner in numerous international competitions, such as the Filarmonia D'Ouro competition and the Concours International de Saxhorn, Euphonium and Tuba de Tours.

    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.

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  • Guest artist Weinberg to perform percussion, electronics concert at SFA

    Guest artist Weinberg to perform percussion, electronics concert at SFA

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    Norman Weinberg

    January 28, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Guest artist Norman Weinberg will present a recital of contemporary music written for percussion and electronics at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    The performance will include works for percussion with fixed media, percussion with live electronics, and works written exclusively for electronic percussion.

    Weinberg will be joined by members of the SFA Percussion Studio in a performance of “Dreams” by David Molk. The work features three live performers with a fixed media track.

    “With one player on vibraphone and two ‘stand-up drumset’ performers, the music combines traditional with contemporary musical elements that result in a piece that’s fun and animated for the performers and audience alike,” Weinberg said.

    Two of Weinberg’s original works will be featured in the recital. Both were written purely for electronic percussion using instruments called DrumKATs. “Beijing” was composed after hearing a street musician begging under a bridge during a trip to China, while “Hadrian’s Wall” is an experimental composition exploring musical density and rhythmic ambiguity, according to the artist.

    Another work on the program, “Apocalyptic Passacaglia on a Theme by John Cage,” was created by composer and conductor Martin Georgiev. This work combines a solo snare drum performance – using various striking positions and special effects – along with a video created by Georgiev that plays the role of a duo partner with rhythmic flashes of “conflict and upheaval in our modern world,” according to the composer.

    Other works to be performed are by Brett William Dietz and Andrea Mazzariello.

    Currently a professor emeritus at the University of Arizona, Weinberg served as the director of percussion studies for 20 years. He also served as the director of percussions studies at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi from 1979 to 1997. Weinberg has been involved in electronic percussion since 1985 and has nearly 300 published articles on percussion performance and education.

    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.

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  • ‘Satan and Adam’ featured in SFA’s Friday Night Film Series

    ‘Satan and Adam’ featured in SFA’s Friday Night Film Series

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    SFA will screen the documentary “Satan and Adam” at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches. Admission is free.

    January 28, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and the Friends of the Visual Arts will present a free, one-night screening of the documentary “Satan and Adam” at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    “Satan and Adam” chronicles the unlikely pairing of legendary one-man band Sterling "Mr. Satan" Magee and harmonica master Adam Gussow. Shot over 20 years, the film showcases one of the greatest blues duos. According to information at http://satanandadamfilm.com, Magee experienced the music industry’s exploitation of black musicians firsthand. So he walked away to play on the Harlem streets for “his people.” Reborn as Mr. Satan, he spread his gospel and became a New York City legend. When Gussow, a white Jewish musician, asked to play with him, their lives took a powerful turn. Gussow cast aside an ivory tower life, and Magee’s embrace of his apprentice forged a sound that thrust him back in the spotlight due to a chance encounter with rock icons U2. But life on the road took its toll, and Magee vanished. The separation would test both men’s courage, and their journey to find each other again is a tale of tragedy, survival and miraculous rebirth.

    The film features U2’s The Edge, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Harry Shearer and Peter Noel. It is directed by V. Scott Balcerek and produced by Ryan Suffern and Frank Marshall of Kennedy/Marshall and RYOT Films.

    This screening is part of the School of Art’s monthly Friday Film Series and is sponsored in part by William Arscott, Nacogdoches Film Festival, Karon Gillespie, Mike Mollot, David Kulhavy, John and Kristen Heath, Galleria Z, Jill Carrington, Jean Stephens, Jim and Mary Neal, Richard Orton and the Nacogdoches Junior Forum.

    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • Guest soprano Castaldi to perform at SFA

    Guest soprano Castaldi to perform at SFA

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    Soprano Cristina Castaldi will present a guest recital, accompanied by her husband, Gene Philley, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, in Cole Concert Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    January 23, 2020—Robbiei Goodrich

    Soprano Cristina Castaldi will perform works by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Claude Debussy and Richard Strauss in a guest recital at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, in Cole Concert Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    Castaldi is an assistant professor of voice at Wichita State University. Her husband, Gene Philley, who is a former member of the music faculty at Angelina College in Lufkin, is her collaborative pianist. Her SFA program includes Vier Lieder des Abschieds, Op. 14 by Korngold; Proses lyriques, L. 84 by Debussy; and Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder, Op. 31.

    “This is a tour de force recital program,” she said. “The Strauss, in particular, is usually performed with orchestra. The recital is centered around three composers, four songs per cycle. There is a common thread throughout the recital of the journey of life and the realities of death.”

    She described the program as “unique,” in that the Korngold and Debussy works are “special and not regularly performed.”

    “Those who know the Strauss (songs) will enjoy hearing them again,” she said.

    Castaldi’s recent vocal performances include soprano soloist in “Carmina Burana” in Prague, Czech Republic; soprano soloist in Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and East Texas Symphony Orchestra; as well as the soprano soloist for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra in Joseph Haydn’s “The Creation.”

    Among her operatic roles are Alice Ford in “Falstaff” and Le Prince Charmant in “Cendrillon” (both award-winning productions), as well as Mimí in a concert performance of “La Bohème” with the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra. Another role of note is the title role of Giovanna d’Arco with Sarasota Opera. The Longboat Observer wrote: “Cristina Castaldi, as Giovanna, has a lovely bearing on stage … got our attention … in the final scene … she became radiant as an actress and singer.”

    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.

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  • SFA music faculty to present ‘The Songs of Daron Hagen’

    SFA music faculty to present ‘The Songs of Daron Hagen’

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    Works by composer Daron Hagen, pictured, will be featured in a recital at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. The concert will be presented by Dr. Ron Petti, director of collaborative piano for the School of Music, and members of the music voice faculty.

    January 23, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Members of the music faculty at Stephen F. Austin State University will highlight works by American composer Daron Hagen in a voice and piano recital at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Dr. Ron Petti, professor and director of collaborative piano for the School of Music, annually performs a concert with members of the voice faculty that features different composers’ music for voice and piano.

    “This year’s composer is Daron Hagen, who has written more than 400 art songs, several operas and other works,” Petti said, adding that the NATS Journal of Singing calls him “the finest American composer of vocal music in his generation.”

    “His songs are often very lush harmonically with Italianate vocal lines,” Petti said. “His compositional style is very appealing to a wide variety of listeners.”

    Hagen began his education at the Curtis Institute of Music and was one of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ned Rorem’s first students. Hagen continued his studies at Juilliard under classical composer David Diamond and later studied with the acclaimed Leonard Bernstein. Hagen’s works have been premiered by the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra and others. He recently completed a book, “Duet with the Past: A Composer’s Memoir.”

    Petti will collaborate with faculty vocalists Debbie Berry, soprano; Ric Berry, tenor; James Held, baritone; Nita Hudson, mezzo soprano; Scott LaGraff, baritone; and Chris Turner, baritone. Jamie Weaver, associate professor of music history, will present a pre-performance talk about the composer and his music.

    Hagen will be in attendance for the Feb. 4 concert and will also present vocal/collaborative piano and composition masterclasses with SFA music students. He will also do a dramatic reading from his memoirs at 6:30 p.m. prior to the concert.

    “The Songs of Daron Hagen” recital is a feature of the School of Music’s Friends of Music Concert Series. 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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  • Second volume of SFA’s “Picturing Books” exhibition opens at Cole Art Center

    Second volume of SFA’s “Picturing Books” exhibition opens at Cole Art Center

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    A reception for Volume II of “Picturing Books: Illustrations in Print from the 15th to the 20th Centuries” is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, in The Cole Art Center.

    January 20, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    The second volume of the exhibition “Picturing Books: Illustrations in Print from the 15th to the 20th Centuries” opens Jan. 21 at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches. A reception for Volume II is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, in The Cole Art Center.

    Curated by Dr. John Handley, director of SFA’s art galleries, and Dr. David A. Lewis, professor of art history, the exhibition, presented in two volumes, offers a series of “chapters” that explore the evolution of the printed illustration, beginning with the Incunabulum (meaning the first 50 years of the printed book), including the Nuremberg Chronicle of 1493 and continuing up to the 20th century. Volume I was exhibited Oct. 31 through Jan. 5; Volume II will show through March 29.

    This extensive and unique exhibition highlights a major art form that is often overlooked, according to Handley.

    “Book illustration historically has consisted of original prints in such media as woodcut, wood engraving, etching, copperplate engravings, and later, lithography and process printing using photo mechanical techniques,” Handley said. “As such, this show links the graphic arts with fine arts, since books are not only illustrated but connect those images to text.”

    Because the exhibition contains books and other printed items that are hundreds of years old, the materials will be displayed under protective glass. Viewers will be able to “see” additional pages in the books by scanning codes on mobile devices, including phones.

    Art exhibitions and receptions are sponsored by the Friends of the Visual Arts, Nacogdoches Junior Forum, William Arscott and The Flower Shop. Admission is free.

    For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • SFA’s Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band to perform works depicting celebration, praise

    SFA’s Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band to perform works depicting celebration, praise

    January 20, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    The Wind Symphony and the Symphonic Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a program of music with themes of celebration and praise when the student ensembles perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    Directed by Dr. Tamey Anglley, associate director of bands at SFA, the Wind Symphony will perform “Give Us This Day,” which is a short symphony for wind ensemble by American composer David Maslanka.

    “Though the title is from the Lord’s Prayer, it features the choral melody ‘Vater Unser im Himmelreich’ (Our Feather in Heaven) No. 110 from J.S. Bach,” Anglley said.

    The Symphonic Band, directed by Christopher Kaatz, assistant director of bands, will perform works by different generations of American composers, including the march “Americans We” by Henry Fillmore; Chorale and Alleluia by Howard Hanson; and “Masque” by Francis McBeth.

    “‘Americans We’ and ‘Masque’ are both about celebrations, while Chorale and Alleluia and ‘Give Us This Day’ (which the Wind Symphony will perform) both have connections to religious praise,” Kaatz explains.

    “Each composer on the concert represents a different generation of American composers,” he adds, “Fillmore being the earliest and Maslanka the most recent. The concept of the concert is that it is sort of a journey of American composition from the early 1900s to the early 2000s, with each piece written more recently than the one that precedes it.”

    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’s Children’s Performing Arts Series presents ‘We the People’

    SFA’s Children’s Performing Arts Series presents ‘We the People’

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    Two performances of “We the People” on Friday, Jan. 31, in Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus will bring American civics lessons to life. The musical revue is a feature of the Children’s Performing Arts Series, presented by the SFA College of Fine Arts.

    January 20, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    The Children’s Performing Arts Series at Stephen F. Austin State University will present two performances of TheaterworksUSA’s “We the People” on Friday, Jan. 31, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    With the U.S. presidential campaign in full swing, it's the perfect time to make learning about democracy fun and accessible, inspiring students to get involved and make a difference. Through rock, R&B and hip-hop, this musical revue covers the three branches of government, the First Amendment and more.

    “This show brings American civics lessons to life with a musical revue that makes social studies exciting,” said Diane Peterson, SFA Fine Arts Box Office manager and director of the children’s series.

    “We The People” features a book by Joe Iconis and songs by Brad Alexander and Kevin Del Aguila; Eli Bolin and Sam Forman; Joe Iconis; Tommy Newman; Ryan Scott Oliver; Adam Overett; Erik Weiner, Mark Weiner and Jordan Allen-Dutton. Based on a concept by Alex Timbers, the show was originally directed by Gordon Greenberg and choreographed by Michele Lynch. Orchestrations are by Greg Pliska; set design is by Adam Koch; and costume design is by Lora LaVon. The show targets children in third through eighth grade.

    Performances are at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in Turner Auditorium, located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive. 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 “We the People” may be accessed at cpas.sfasu.edu.

    Other upcoming CPAS performances this season include 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.

    You may also be interested in the following related article:

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  • Tickets still available for The Isaacs concert at SFA

    Tickets still available for The Isaacs concert at SFA

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    January 16, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Tickets are still available for the Encore Event concert featuring the multi-Dove Award-winning and two-time Grammy-nominated family of singers, The Isaacs, performing at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus. A special event presented by the College of Fine Arts and its University Series, the concert is sponsored in part by BancorpSouth. Encore Event tickets are: adult $45/36/27; senior $36/29/21; youth $18/14/11; SFA student $3. All seating is reserved. Pricing is based on seating (section A/B/C). Discounts are also available for SFA faculty and staff members. For more information, visit http://finearts.sfasu.edu, stop by the Box Office in Room 211 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

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  • SFA graduate art students present ‘Pondering the Moment’

    SFA graduate art students present ‘Pondering the Moment’

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    This piece by SFA graduate art student Aldo Ornelas Lopez is among the works featured in the exhibition “Pondering the Moment,” showing Jan. 23 through March 3 in Griffith Fine Arts Gallery on the SFA campus.
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    This painting by SFA graduate art student Travis Walthall is among the works featured in the exhibition “Pondering the Moment,” showing Jan. 23 through March 3 in Griffith Fine Arts Gallery on the SFA campus.
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    This sculpture by SFA graduate art student Kailan Counahan is among the works featured in the exhibition “Pondering the Moment,” showing Jan. 23 through March 3 in Griffith Fine Arts Gallery on the SFA campus.
    January 15, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Three graduate students in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art will exhibit their work in a show titled “Pondering the Moment” to be displayed Jan. 23 through March 3 in Griffith Fine Arts Gallery on the SFA campus.

    Sculptor Kailan Counahan, ceramicist Aldo Ornelas Lopez and painter Travis Walthall will each exhibit a selection of recent works. An opening reception for the exhibition will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, in the gallery, located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

    Counahan, a native of Rusk, earned an associate’s degree in art from Tyler Junior College and a B.F.A. from the University of Texas at Tyler before entering the master’s program at SFA. Counahan uses a variety of traditional and nontraditional materials, including yarn, steel, bones, bronze, wood, plastic and sand. The materials and colors used in each piece are tied to the specific memory that it is based on.

    Ornelas Lopez is from Chihuahua, Mexico, where he earned his B.F.A. from Chihuahua State University with an emphasis in sculpture and ceramics. The wall installation work that he will include in the exhibition is composed of 300 individual clay pieces. The work is intended to explore the boundaries of sculpture and drawing and is a visual representation of a path in the landscape.

    Walthall is from Beaumont and graduated from Lamar University with his B.F.A., emphasis in drawing, before coming to SFA to pursue painting. The work that he is including in this exhibit features recent oil paintings that explore the spectrum of human emotions using human-animal hybrid subjects. Walthall uses humor to communicate serious ideas about how both humans and animals are influenced by their environments.

    SFA art exhibitions and receptions are free. For additional information about the exhibition, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • Guest artists Shipes, Yang to present concert at SFA

    Guest artists Shipes, Yang to present concert at SFA

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    Dr. Matthew Shipes

    January 13, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Guest artists Dr. Matthew Shipes, tuba and euphonium, and Dr. Rajung Yang, piano, will present a recital at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the Music Recital Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University. Shipes and Yang will also present a master class to members of the SFA tuba-euphonium and piano studios.

    Works to be performed include Concertino for tuba, Op. 77 by Jan Koetsier; Sonata for tuba and piano, Op. 34 by Trygve Madsen; Concertino for flute, Op. 107 by Cécile Chaminade; and “Pearls” by Roland Szentpáli.

    A former member of the U.S. Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., Shipes is the assistant professor of low brass at San Angelo State University. Yang teaches at Baylor University and has won several awards such as the Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev Competition in Italy and William Byrd International Competition.

    On tuba, Shipes will perform Madsen’s Sonata for Tuba and Piano, Op. 34.

    “Set in three movements, the work features the vocal song-like quality of the tuba that surprises many first-time listeners,” said Dr. J.D. Salas, associate professor of tuba and euphonium studies at SFA. “On euphonium, he will perform Szentpali’s ‘Pearls’ – a musical tour de force in three movements which challenges both the soloist and collaborative pianist. Both of these works would be anchor pieces on any recital, but to have them performed on different instruments on the same recital will be a treat for any low brass enthusiast.”

    In 2018, Shipes was awarded a grant to create the first-ever ASU Low Brass Festival, bringing 30 students from the region to learn from guest artists and perform in a featured ensemble concert. As a member of The United States Air Force Band, Shipes had many opportunities to perform for former President Obama and foreign leaders and for hundreds of ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. He is an associate editor for the International Tuba Euphonium Association’s quarterly journal, both writing articles for the journal and managing the Expert’s Excerpts recurring column.
     
    Praised worldwide as one of the most versatile pianists of her generation, Yang has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, New York University, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and major venues in Italy and France.

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

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  • School of Music to present ‘What Is Truth: A Brass and Media Concert’

    School of Music to present ‘What Is Truth: A Brass and Media Concert’

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    Dr. Ronnie Ingle

    January 10, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    The School of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “What Is Truth: A Brass and Media Concert” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, in the Music Recital Hall on the SFA campus.

    Performed by Dr. Ronnie Ingle, trumpet professor at the University of North Dakota, and Dr. Mike Hall, trombone professor at Old Dominion University, the concert is a thematic collaborative presentation with brass and multimedia asking through music “What is truth?” in today’s “post-truth culture,” according to the artists.

    Lyrics are by Johnny Cash and works are by J.S. Bach, Jacob TV, David Sampson, Ben Hase, Peter Meechan, Thomas Kelly, Matthew Murchison, Steven Bryant, Mark Phillips and Kit Turnbull. The presentation can be accessed at https://www.ronnieingle.com/truth-project.

    Ingle is an international trumpet soloist who has performed in Sweden, Australia, Canada, Brazil, China, Armenia and the U.S. He continues to appear as a resident guest artist and on distinguished artist series at numerous universities and institutions. Ingle has served as an adjudicator for the National Trumpet Competition and has judged numerous state, organizational and orchestra-sponsored competitions. He serves on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Research in Music Performance. His trumpet ensemble has performed in the live round of the National Trumpet Competition in four of the last six years and has performed at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Sydney, Australia; Anaheim, California; and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    Hall serves as literature reviews editor for the International Trombone Association Journal and teaches jazz and orchestral trombone at the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Kansas and Eastern Michigan University. Hall has performed as a featured soloist and in several chamber groups and orchestras throughout North and South America, Europe and China in a diverse range of genres and styles. He also has an extensive background in commercial music, backing entertainers, playing in large and small group jazz settings, and performing in theater and studio recording ensembles. His study of Baroque performance practice as applied to trombone has led to six solo recordings. “Music for a New Millennium,” new sonatas for trombone and piano, was released in 2015.

    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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  • Percussionist Perez to perform at SFA

    Percussionist Perez to perform at SFA

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    Dr. Francisco Perez

    January 8, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Dr. Francisco Perez will present a guest percussion recital at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, in Cole Concert Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    Perez is a percussionist, composer and educator from Pflugerville. He currently serves as assistant professor of music (percussion) at Lamar University in Beaumont where he oversees all aspects of the percussion studio. His performance at SFA will feature the electro-acoustic repertoire of percussion, including works he has composed or commissioned.

    The program features Russell Wharton’s “Deus Ex Metronome," which the composer patterned after rapper Kendrick Lamar’s music.

    “I found myself particularly drawn to the rhythmic structure of his verses, and in particular his use of odd groupings,” Wharton wrote. “A particularly interesting way to listen to Kendrick is to do so while following along with the lyrics – quite often, he moves between lines or rhymes in a way that is often in contrast with the beat. This piece also owes a lot to the Armenian jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan, whose music has been a continuous source of inspiration for me.”

    Perez’s own composition “Tesseract” is also on the program. It was written for solo vibraphone and pre-recorded mallet keyboards. “‘Tesseract’ is the result of my exploration between the multiple aural ‘dimensions’ unique to these instruments and the rhythmic capabilities they so naturally manifest,” he said. "Rather than leading the listener through a programmatic narrative, the soloist acts as a sort of constant between the evolving layers and textures throughout, much like the tesseract serves as a point of reference to the fourth dimension.”

    Anna Ignatowicz-Glinska’s “Toccata” was written as a farewell to the composer’s father. Of the piece, she said: “When I was writing this work, I had to 'go through my dad's life,' coming back to the times before my birth. A part of myself also changed into ashes at this moment. If there is any trace of this process in the score, it may only be the utlra-subjective narration, which individual performers may, however, understand in different ways. ‘Toccata’ is not a programmatic work and my personal comments do not relate to the details of interpretation.”

    As an active performer, Perez has accepted international engagements in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Spain and China and toured extensively throughout the U.S. including performances at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He has performed with various professional ensembles such as the Lexington Philharmonic and the Symphony of Southeast Texas, and he is a founding member of the Percussion Quartet. Dedicated to the expansion of chamber percussion music, he has performed throughout Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Tennessee.

    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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  • Pianist Rust to present versatile program at SFA

    Pianist Rust to present versatile program at SFA

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    Dr. Roberta Rust

    January 8, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Dr. Roberta Rust, professor and head of the piano department at the Lynn University Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida, will present a guest recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, in Cole Concert Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    The program includes “a wide and interesting variety of piano music,” said Dr. Andrew Parr, professor of piano in the SFA School of Music, ranging from a familiar W.A. Mozart sonata and Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” to Brazilian tangos, to recently composed works by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Phillip Evans, Michael Anderson and Almeida Prado.

    “There is something here for everyone,” Parr said.

    In May 2019, Rust’s new CD, “Direct Contact,” was released on Navona Records and has garnered enthusiastic reviews. The American Record Guide praised the recording as follows: “Rust is a virtuoso of the highest order and the best possible advocate for this music. She has masterly control of tone ... her technical control in difficult passage work is clean, the direction of each phrase clear and always musical. This is a memorable program.”

    Rust has concertized to critical acclaim around the globe, with performances at such venues as Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, New York's Merkin Concert Hall, Rio de Janeiro's Sala Cecilia Meireles, Washington's Corcoran Gallery, Havana’s Basilica and Seoul's KNUA Hall. The 2019-20 season includes solo recitals in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Oregon, Washington, Iowa, Arizona, Florida, Singapore and the Philippines. Her concerto appearances have included engagements with the Houston Symphony, Philippine Philharmonic, New Philharmonic, Redlands Symphony, Boca Raton Symphonia, Knox-Galesburg Symphony, New World Symphony, and orchestras in Latin America. For more information, visit http://www.robertarust.com.
     
    Her performance at SFA is a feature of the Friends of Music Concert Series. 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 percussionist Meyer to present faculty recital

    SFA percussionist Meyer to present faculty recital

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    Dr. Brad Meyer

    January 6, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Dr. Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies at Stephen F. Austin State University, will present a faculty recital at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Meyer will perform works by Andrew Hannon, Baljinder Singh Sekhon II, Thom Hasenpflug, Matthew Burtner, Casey Cangelosi and Jim Casella.

    Hannon’s “Boundaries” for drumset and fixed video segments nine videos and disperses them throughout the composition based on magic squares. The formal structure is like a collage of diverse ideas. “Each of the videos concentrates on nature and has its own musical texture,” the composer states.

    Sekhon’s “Distances” for solo marimba was commissioned by a consortium of percussionists, led by Michael Burritt. “The title refers to the intervallic distances between the pitch material that makes up the content of the composition,” Sekhon writes.

    “Looking Down to See the Sky” by Hasenpflug references an area off the coast of Cozumel near the Columbia Reef known as El Cielo (the Heavens). The composer writes: “Here you will find a shallow sandy bottom with a bit of sea grass and hundreds if not thousands of giant starfish. The local dive operators who bring you to this location therefore say that you are ‘looking down to see the sky.’”

    The program also features Burtner’s “Broken Drum,” which references a brake drum the composer found on the side of the road and made into a musical instrument.

    The final piece on the program, “Prime Ordinals” represents composer Casella’s first venture “into the world of writing for a soloist with digital audio accompaniment.” It was written specifically for the djembe, a drum of African origin, which is capable of producing a wide range of timbres.

    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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