College of Fine Arts News Archive

October 2020

  • SFA Symphony Orchestra concert canceled

    SFA Symphony Orchestra concert canceled

    October 14, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University Symphony Orchestra’s virtual performance scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 20, has been canceled.

    Program selections for this concert will be moved to future performances.

    For additional information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

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  • SFA presents “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” through Saturday

    SFA presents “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” through Saturday

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    October 9, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University theatre students Crayten Clendion, senior from Cypress, and Ryleigh Compton, junior from Terrell, are among the cast members in the School of Theatre’s presentation of Bert V. Royal’s “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” playing at 7:30 nightly through Saturday, Oct. 10, in Kennedy Auditorium on the SFA campus. The show is also livestreamed. The play is recommended for mature audiences. General ticket prices are: adult, $15; senior (62+), $10; non-SFA student, $10; SFA faculty/staff, $7.50; youth, $7.50; SFA student, $5; virtual access, $15. Live virtual access is available for all performances. Purchase tickets/access at http://www.boxoffice.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407. For questions about the play, contact the School of Theatre at (936) 468-4003.

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  • SFA School of Art to host ‘Oil and Water,’ faculty exhibitions

    SFA School of Art to host ‘Oil and Water,’ faculty exhibitions

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    Works by SFA art professor Amanda Breitbach are featured in “Oil and Water,” a photography exhibition showing in Cole Art Center Oct. 22 through Dec. 31. An SFA art faculty exhibition will show at the same time.

    October 7, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art will present exhibitions that showcase the works of its faculty members in shows planned for Oct. 22 through Dec. 31 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

    “Oil and Water” features photographs taken along the Texas Gulf Coast by Amanda Breitbach, assistant professor of art at SFA.

    “These photographs represent the dual nature of the Texas Gulf Coast as an important ecosystem that provides vital habitat for wildlife and a site of oil and gas development that is equally vital to the global petrochemical industry,” Breitbach said.

    Breitbach grew up on a family farm and ranch in eastern Montana. She studied photography and French at Montana State University before serving as an agroforestry volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in Guinea, West Africa. She has worked as a newspaper photographer, writer and editor as well as a freelance photographer. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2016.

    The Breitbach show will be in the upstairs Reavley Gallery while an exhibition in the downstairs Ledbetter Gallery will feature works by other SFA art faculty members.

    Art exhibitions are sponsored in part by William Arscott, the Friends of the Visual Arts and the Nacogdoches Junior Forum.

    The Cole Art Center is SFA’s historic downtown art gallery located at 329 E. Main St. For more information, call the School of Art at (936) 468-4804. Admission is free.

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  • SFA Chamber Singers to perform Whitacre’s ‘Five Hebrew Love Songs’

    SFA Chamber Singers to perform Whitacre’s ‘Five Hebrew Love Songs’

    October 6, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    The Chamber Singers at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a virtual concert entitled “Sojourn: An Evening of Sonnets, Spirituals and Love” when the ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13.

    “The choral works presented on this concert represent a diverse repertoire of both festive, soulful and intimate sounds that will free the mind from the world for an evening,” according to Dr. Michael Murphy, director of choral activities in the SFA School of Music.

    Works by American, British and Italian composers will be featured. The program includes music and/or arrangements by Williametta Spencer, Vittoria Aleotti, Undine S. Moore, L.L. Fleming, Stephen Paulus and more. A highlight of the concert will be a performance of Eric Whitacre’s “Five Hebrew Love Songs” with violin and piano.

    The concert will also showcase Dr. Jennifer Dalmas, professor of violin at SFA; graduate student conductor and pianist Greg Simmons of Tyler; and graduate conductor David Zielke of Albany, Oregon.

    Obtain free access to the online, live-streamed concert by visiting music.sfasu.edu on the night of the performance. For more information about the School of Music, contact (936) 468-4602.

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  • SFA Symphony Orchestra to perform works by Tchaikovsky, Milhaud

    SFA Symphony Orchestra to perform works by Tchaikovsky, Milhaud

    October 6, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University Symphony Orchestra’s virtual performance on Tuesday, Oct. 20, will feature music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Darius Milhaud.

    Beginning at 7:30 p.m. and accessible through live streaming free of charge at music.sfasu.edu, the concert’s main feature is Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings,” according to Dr. Gregory Grabowski, the orchestra’s conductor.

    “The Tchaikovsky (piece) is one of the biggest standards of string repertoire,” Grabowski said.

    The concert also includes French composer Milhaud’s “La Creation du Monde.”

    “The Milhaud was composed in the 1920s and was very much influenced by early jazz,” Grabowski said. “Apparently, when he heard his first American jazz band perform in London, Milhaud was so captivated he went to New York City to visit Harlem, go to jazz clubs and mingle with jazz musicians.

    “Interestingly – and honestly accidentally – both pieces fit at home in the ballet,” Grabowski added. “The Milhaud was originally composed as a ballet, and George Balanchine (ballet choreographer) brought the Tchaikovsky into the ballet repertoire.”

    The concert will be live-streamed only with a rebroadcast at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, on the SFA Symphony Orchestra YouTube page. For additional information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

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  • SFA art faculty Edmondson to present lecture

    SFA art faculty Edmondson to present lecture

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    Greg Edmonson will present a virtual art lecture, “A Nasty Bruise and a Jagged Scar: Five Years as an Artist-in-Residence,” at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, accessible through Zoom registration at cn.edu/zoomgreg.

    October 5, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Artist Greg Edmondson, a new adjunct faculty member in the School of Art at Stephen F. Austin State University, will present a virtual lecture at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, that will be accessible through Zoom registration at cn.edu/zoomgreg.

    Edmondson will present “A Nasty Bruise and a Jagged Scar: Five Years as an Artist-in-Residence” in which he will discuss his experiences with four residency programs. During that time, he had two books of paintings published. Edmondson was a visiting artist at SFA in 2018, and two paintings started as demonstrations during that time for Wesley Berg’s expressive drawing seminar were included in the published collections.

    His lecture will feature a discussion about the books, works that came after those publications, and information about his current project, “Dark Matter,” which includes a collaboration with physicist and poet Agnes Vojta.

    Edmondson earned a B.F.A. from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and an M.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Fulbright Scholarship, fellowships to Germany and residency fellowships to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Black Mountain College, the Santa Fe Art Institute and Kuenstlerwerkstatt Lothringerstrasse, among others. His first book of paintings, “Rivers and Beasts,” was published by Spartan Press in 2017. His second book, “After the Flood,” was published by Stubborn Mule Press in 2019. Edmondson has exhibited widely throughout the U.S. and Europe. Recent solo exhibitions include “Sisyphus Calls It Quits” in the The Smalter Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, and “Living Like Animals – Paintings from a truly wild place” at Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri. His collaboration with Vojta will be exhibited at The Smalter Gallery in 2021.

    Edmondson is presenting the lecture for the Appalachian Cultural Center at Carson-Newman University, a private liberal arts university in Jefferson City, Tennessee.

    He may be reached at http://www.gregedmondson.net or voegel60@gmail.com. For more information, contact the School of Art at (936) 468-4804.

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  • SFA A Cappella Choir to perform new music written in response to pandemic

    SFA A Cappella Choir to perform new music written in response to pandemic

    October 5, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    The A Cappella Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a virtual concert entitled “Autumn Splendor and Solemn Ritual” when the ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18.

    The choir will perform works by composers from Slovenia, Germany, Italy and Norway, along with new music written in response to the COVID pandemic, according to Dr. Michael Murphy, director of choral activities in the SFA School of Music.

    “The choral works represented on this concert are inspired from festive and solemn rituals composed from the 18th century to just a couple of weeks ago,” Murphy said.

    The choir will dedicate “In Remembrance” by American composer Jeffery Ames “to all those who have lost their lives to COVID-19,” Murphy said. Dr. Charles Gavin, professor of horn at SFA, will join the choir for the tribute.

    American composer Dan Forrest asked the choir to premiere his newest composition, “fermata,” that speaks of those who had to suspend performing because of the pandemic. The word ‘fermata” is Italian in origin and means a pause of unspecified length on a note or rest.

    Other works on the program include music and/or arrangements by Damijan Močnik, J.S. Bach, Johannes Brahms, Ildebrando Pizzetti and more.

    The concert will also feature graduate student conductors Greg Simmons of Tyler and David Zielke of Albany, Oregon. Dr. Ron Petti, professor and director of collaborative piano, will accompany.

    Obtain free access to the online, live-streamed concert by visiting music.sfasu.edu on the night of the performance. For more information about the School of Music, contact (936) 468-4602.

    You may also be interested in the following related article:

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  • SFA theatre: Preparing for live performance in COVID era offers lessons in reality

    SFA theatre: Preparing for live performance in COVID era offers lessons in reality

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    Cushing theatre student Drake Willis and fellow “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” castmates at Stephen F. Austin State University rehearse a scene from the School of Theatre’s Mainstage show that runs Oct. 6 through 10 in Kennedy Auditorium on the SFA campus. The show will also be live streamed.

    October 5, 2020—Robbie Goodrich

    Theatre students at Stephen F. Austin State University have prepared for their presentation of “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” in ways they have never experienced, even for the most seasoned actors and crew members.

    With the world still in the throes of the COVID pandemic, all students – from freshmen to seniors – are taking extra precautions to keep each other safe while still trying to connect with their acting partners on stage, according to Crayten Clendion, senior from Cypress who has acted in numerous Mainstage plays at SFA.

    “It’s different from previous years – from stage management to the cast,” she said.

    Safety for actors and crew used to mean creating the stage scenic environment in a safe manner and keeping physical safety in mind while choreographing and blocking for a show. Today, the connotation of safety takes on a more earnest meaning, said Cleo House Jr., director of the School of Theatre and of the play.

    “Like everyone, I’m processing what we’re living through on multiple levels,” House said. “Naturally, safety is a concern, but also of concern is our students’ development as artists. I think moving on with doing shows live has provided a sense of normalcy and stability. Rehearsing a show is partly about building community and ensemble. We’re in a time where many communities, for good reason, are fractured or don’t exist. Participating in this process is as much as much about preserving mental health of those who need to be around others as it is about serving our students pedagogically.”

    Bert V. Royal’s “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” is a play about a teenage boy, CB, who begins to question the existence of an afterlife after his dog dies. The School of Theatre will present the show at 7:30 nightly Oct. 6 through 10 in Kennedy Auditorium on campus. It will also be live streamed.

    Freshman Astrid Maldonado of Katy is new to collegiate performing, and her indoctrination to the Mainstage Series comes with wearing a mask.

    “That’s what has challenged me the most – getting used to acting with a mask on and remembering to be aware of things I've never had to worry about before,” she said. “Covid-19, plus being in my first Mainstage at SFA, has been such a new experience, and I'm learning new things and trying to adjust to this environment. Everyone I have met and worked with has been a huge help in getting me accustomed.”

    Despite the mask requirement, Maldonado still feels connected to her castmates.

    “I’m grateful to be a part of my first Mainstage with such hardworking and talented people I can learn from,” she said. “Something that's surprised me is how fast the rehearsal process seemed to fly by. It feels like so much has happened in such a short amount of time.”

    For Houston junior Nychollete Easter, assistant director of the play, a difference in directing today and directing pre-COVID is “a lot less face-to-face contact and staging.”

    “We have to make sure that the actors are safe, but also that the show still looks good and not awkward,” she said. “There’s a lot of reworking scenes to adjust to a safety precaution that needs to be considered. Overall, there is just a bit more to consider this year.”

    Regardless of the rehearsal circumstances, Easter hopes the audience, both in person and virtually, “gets the real-life aspects of the show.”

    “The events that take place in the show are problems that are happening every day to teenagers all over the world,” Easter said. “These things are real problems that a lot of older adults don't see happen or choose to ignore. This show is very good at showing how grief affects a person no matter how popular or good looking they are. This show is meant to make people uncomfortable, because usually when people get uncomfortable, they want to change the thing that made them uncomfortable. I want the audience to want to bring about change so that issues like the ones discussed in the show are addressed.”

    Clendion believes that the new lessons she is learning about preparing for a stage role in the midst of a pandemic will bode her well as she seeks employment post-graduation.

    “The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is like a pre-professional program that teaches you how to be successful in the professional world of theatre,” she said. “My professors have supported and guided me so that I understand what life is like after graduation. They have shown me the tools that I will need in order to be successful.”

    House said “Dog Sees God” is for mature audiences and would likely be rated R in movie terms, mostly due to language and subject matter.

    Because of social distancing requirements, seating in Kennedy Auditorium will be limited for each performance. Patrons are required to wear face coverings. Actors on stage will not wear masks during live performances. However, performance areas are more than six feet away from patron seating.

    General ticket prices are: adult, $15; senior (62+), $10; non-SFA student, $10; SFA faculty/staff, $7.50; youth, $7.50; SFA student, $5; virtual access, $15. Live virtual access is available for all performances. Purchase tickets/access at boxoffice.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407. For questions about the play, contact the School of Theatre at (936) 468-4003.

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