Micky Elliott College of Fine Arts News Archive

October 2021

  • Houston Symphony Orchestra’s Kesselman, Mo to perform at SFA

    Houston Symphony Orchestra’s Kesselman, Mo to perform at SFA

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    Robin Kesselman

    October 28, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Robin Kesselman, principal bass with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and colleague Boson Mo, violin, Houston Symphony Orchestra, will collaborate to present a recital at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, in the Music Recital Hall, Room 160, in Wright Music Building on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    Admission is free. For information about the SFA School of Music, call (936) 468-4602.

    article ID 2067

  • Cello Club to perform works by Elgar, Williams, Richter

    Cello Club to perform works by Elgar, Williams, Richter

    October 28, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Cello Club will present “Abiding Melodies – Harry Potter Listening to Elgar” when the collaborative group of cellists from throughout East Texas performs at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, in Cole Concert Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    An endeavor begun in 2014 by Dr. Evgeni Raychev, cello instructor in the SFA School of Music, Cello Club has brought together up to 40 cellists at a time to collaborate on various themed concerts.

    “After a long interval of pandemic reflection, Cello Club will meet again on the beautiful campus of Stephen F. Austin State University for yet another memorable performance,” Raychev said. “Cellists from near and far will collaborate together to create meaningful music with the abiding melodies of Sir Edward Elgar’s cello concerto.”

    In addition to Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor, the English-themed program will feature musical highlights from Vaughn Williams’ Concerto Grosso, John Williams’ “Harry Potter” music, Max Richter’s “On the Nature of Daylight” and Thomas Tallis’ “Lamentation of Jeremiah.”

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

    article ID 2068

  • SFA art installation students to exhibit at Fire House Nac

    SFA art installation students to exhibit at Fire House Nac

    October 28, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Installation students in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art will exhibit their installation artworks starting Nov. 5 at Fire House Nac in downtown Nacogdoches. “SFA Exhibition: Installation Art” will show through Nov. 20.

    An opening reception is planned for 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, at Fire House Nac, located at 708 Swift St. The exhibition opening will feature the performance “Cocktails on the Veranda” by Catherine Pears with her character Virginia Lee Sutherlin at 6:30 p.m.

    The exhibition features work by undergraduate students Jenna Alley of Kingwood; Samantha Altamirano of Nacogdoches; Amber Barrett of Conroe; Cameron Blankinship of Rusk; Megan Bynum of Brownwood; Armando Chavez-Garcia of Corpus Christi; Nicolas Gagne of Nacogdoches; Sarah Gharst of Cypress; Koi Johnson of Waco; Andrea Leaman of Crockett; Cherry Reyes of Leander; and Abbey Stogner of White Oak; and graduate students Catherine Pears of Alexandria. Louisiana; and Homero Gutiérrez of Cuidad de Chihuahua, Mexico. The students are in the Advanced Sculpture: Installation class in the School of Art.

    “I am thrilled at the opportunity to forge a relationship between the student artists at SFA and artists living and working within the community,” Assistant Professor of Sculpture Eden Collins said. “Fire House Nac opened their doors as an art studio and artist collective in September, and we are honored to share their space with them.”

    Fire House Nac is comprised of artists Brigette Kozash, Britt Mitchell, Holden and Dillon Graham, and their work spans stained glass, painting, ceramics, rug making and more.

    Admission to the exhibition and reception is free. Exhibition hours at Fire House Nac are 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment. For more information, contact Collins at eden.collins@sfasu.edu or Fire House Nac on their Facebook page.

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  • SFA Trombone Choir to perform works by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Gershwin

    SFA Trombone Choir to perform works by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Gershwin

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    The SFA Trombone Choir will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    October 26, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Trombone Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a variety of works by noted composers when the student ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    According to Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone in the School of Music, the trombone choir program will feature the full choir divided into three parts performing “Canzona XIII” by Giovanni Gabrieli and arranged by Steven Frank. It will also perform “Breach of the Peace” by Simon Wills. “It’s a composition that is fun to listen to that has clapping, stomping and lively Scottish melodies," Scott said.

    Adjunct Professor Luke Vacca will conduct a 12-piece trombone group that will perform Flor Peeters’ Suite, Op. 82, as well as a beautiful arrangement of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, arranged by Bruce Tychinski.

    The SFA Trombone Octet, conducted by Scott, will perform new compositions that were featured at the International Trombone Festival Composers Workshop in July 2021. Scott is the director of the workshop. The students will perform “Hellfire” by Randy Stagich and “La Cathédrale” by Madeline A. Lee. The octet is comprised of SFA’s top players, including five seniors, two juniors and one sophomore student.

    Several quartets will perform. The Junior Quartet will play “A Portrait” by George Gershwin and arranged by Dennis Armitage. The Lady Bones Quartet will perform Quartet No. 1 by Saskia Apon. The Freshman Quartet will also perform.

    The group will perform at the Big 12 Trombone Conference at Texas Tech University in January.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

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  • SFA, Panola College theatre programs collaborate to present ‘Ajax in Iraq’

    SFA, Panola College theatre programs collaborate to present ‘Ajax in Iraq’

    October 26, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre, in collaboration with Panola College Theatre, will present Ellen McLaughlin’ play “Ajax in Iraq” Nov. 9 through 13 at the Community House in Center.

    Past and present collide in McLaughlin's mash-up of Sophocles' classic tragedy “Ajax” with the modern-day war in Iraq. The play follows the parallel narratives of Ajax, an ancient Greek military hero, and A.J., a modern female American soldier, both undone by the betrayal of a commanding officer. Athena, goddess of war, coolly presides over the whole. Inspired by material collected from interviews with Iraq war veterans and their families, “Ajax in Iraq” explores the timeless struggle soldiers face in trying to make sense of war.

    “Ajax in Iraq” will be presented at 7:30 nightly Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 9 through 13, in Community House, 425 San Augustine St. in Center. The play was particularly suited for SFA School of Theatre Director Cleo House Jr.’s idea to develop a show in collaboration with a nearby junior college, according to Dr. Slade Billew, assistant professor of theatre at SFA.

    “We have had a good relationship with Panola over the years, so we thought they would be the perfect partner to test this idea,” he said. Billew and Karen King, professor of theatre at Panola, selected McLaughlin’s play.

    “We were looking for something that spoke to ongoing issues and concerns in our country and our region particularly,” Billew said. “The experience of soldiers and veterans is an important ongoing conversation, and this play does an excellent job of exploring the timelessness of those questions by connecting the contemporary war in Iraq with the oldest known war in the western tradition, the Trojan War.”

    The play also worked well to divide between two locations two casts of students that are only able to all be in the same place occasionally. The play follows two stories simultaneously – the first being Ajax, a soldier in the Trojan war who is driven to destructive behavior by the influence of the goddess Athena.

    “This part is loosely based on Sophocles’ ancient play ‘Ajax,’ but it has been updated in its language by the playwright,” Billew said. “The other part of the play is centered on the experience of contemporary soldiers in the Iraq war. It focuses specifically on the experience of a female soldier, A.J., whose journey mirrors that of Ajax. The contemporary parts of the play were created by McLaughlin from interviews with soldiers and veterans of the Iraq war, as well as their families.”

    Billew said he believes it is important that the experiences of soldiers, veterans and their families “are seen and shared with the larger community.”

    “Often, these groups suffer in silence,” he said, “and the play offers an artistic way for audiences who don’t know these stories to come to a better understanding of the experiences of our military community in a way that is respectful, but also honest about the difficulties of that experience for soldiers themselves and everyone in their lives.”

    Of particular challenge in this collaboration is creating a production with two teams that don’t get to be “in the same space regularly,” Billew said.

    “In some ways, the tools we have developed through the pandemic for communicating and creating over distances have been helpful here,” he said. “Also, we are performing the show in Center – not at SFA or Panola. The people and leadership of Center have been really supportive and great in working with us. We have about five days to turn a community house into a theatre and figure out how the show works in that space.”

    The play’s subject matter and plot also present challenges in directing, Billew said.

    “Different students have different levels of relationship to the experience of the military, so some of them are really thinking about these issues deeply for the first time,” he explained. “Also, because we are collaborating, the students have to be even more adaptable than normal. When we do have the chance to all be together, they have to really focus and learn quickly to work with people they have just met.”

    Billew said he hopes military men and women and their families who come to the play “feel seen and believe that we have done our best to reflect some parts of their experience.”

    “I hope other audience members get an insight into a part of our country that is often opaque to the average citizen,” he added.

    Containing adult language, adult content and a scene of sexual violence, “Ajax in Iraq” is for mature audiences.

    General ticket prices are: adult, $15; senior (62+) $10; SFA faculty/staff, $7.50; youth, $7.50; student, $5. Purchase tickets at boxoffice.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407. For questions about the play, contact the School of Theatre at (936) 468-4003. A pre-recorded performance of the show will also be available for purchase a full 72-hour period between Nov. 11 and 13. Cost is $29.95 Access to that may be purchased through get.broadwayondemand.com.

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  • SFA to present student-directed play ‘Overtones’

    SFA to present student-directed play ‘Overtones’

    October 25, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the student-directed play “Overtones” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, in Regents Suite A in the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the SFA campus.

    Directed by Emily Edwards, Cedar Hill senior, “Overtones” is written by Alice Gerstenberg and is a play about how human nature appears on the surface to the world and how it appears as it becomes dramatized psychologically.

    “The word ‘overtone’ is a musical term used when describing the different frequencies of a note,” Edwards explains. “One note rings at one frequency, but for many different reasons, depending on your instrument, one note will have multiple frequencies, usually very close together. The frequencies that are not specific to that note but are still being played by the instrument are called overtones.

    “Within this play, however, the note being played is not music, but people,” she said. “And their overtones are not neighboring frequencies of a note, but are less properly named, more emotional characters. This play follows two women and their ‘overtones’ who all have goals and are in competition to see who can accomplish their goal first.”

    The cast includes Caitlin McIntire, Baytown senior, as Harriet; Sarah Cook, Brownsboro freshman, as Hetty; Dani Wilson, Denton junior, as Margaret; and Beth Powell, Baytown junior, as Maggie.

    The crew includes Houston senior Cynthia Tovar as stage manager; Pasadena senior Juli Flores, fight choreographer; and Plano sophomore Victoria Wilshire, costume designer.

    Edwards is a theatre education major at SFA and has directed three plays at the university. “Overtones” is her fourth directing project. Faculty production advisor for “Overtones” is Inga Meier.

    Tickets are $4. To purchase tickets, visit the SFA Fine Arts Box Office online at boxoffice.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407. Box office and online sales end at 4 p.m. on Oct. 29. Available tickets may be purchased at the door. For more information about the play, call the School of Theatre at (936) 468-4003 or visit theatre.sfasu.edu.

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  • SFA School of Art experiencing increased enrollment

    SFA School of Art experiencing increased enrollment

    October 22, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    At a time when universities across the nation are concerned about declining enrollment in the face of a worldwide pandemic, the School of Art at Stephen F. Austin State University is experiencing its highest enrollment in the school’s history.

    With a fall semester enrollment of 318 graduate and undergraduate students combined, the School of Art’s faculty members are encouraged by the climbing numbers. The Office of Institutional Research at SFA reports that previous enrollment in the School of Art spanning the past five years reflects 299 student for the 2020 academic year; 308 in 2019; 300 in 2018; 284 in 2017; and 272 in 2016. Prior to 2016, the highest enrollment had been 309 students in 2012.

    “We are excited for the future of the School of Art,” said Chris Talbot, director. “I’ve told the faculty members that it is the quality of instruction and the quality of our programs that have made this possible. They have a lot to be proud of.”

    Hands-on instruction and art students’ ability to work on interesting projects immediately upon arriving on campus is a plus, Talbot explained.

    “There is strong interest in our programs,” he said. “Filmmaking, graphic design, digital media, art education, painting and photography all have increased student interest. Students are interested in learning both the technical and conceptual aspects of art making, but in particular, they want to learn by doing.”

    Faculty members across campus were asked this past summer to reach out to students they were expecting on campus in the fall but who had been slow to enroll in a timely manner, and the School of Art faculty and staff did its share of making those contacts. “The art office staff members followed up with each new student individually to give them orientation and advising for their chosen area of study,” Talbot said. “We also reached out to previous students who were not yet registered for the fall in order to help them get back. Sometimes it was just something simple that was keeping them from re-registering.”

    Strong relationships between SFA art faculty members and area high school art programs are key in recruiting students.

    “We take recruiting seriously and realize that there would be no growth in our program if we just leave it up to someone else to do it,” Talbot said. “We have longstanding relationships with high school programs that know us and trust us to provide what their students are looking for.”

    Jason Neumann, visual arts department chair at Cypress Ranch High School, Cypress Fairbanks ISD, said he tells his students about SFA and the exceptional art education the university is known for among art educators.

    “I strongly recommend all my students who would like to earn a higher degree in art to consider SFA,” Neumann said. “I genuinely believe the faculty members care about each student and help them grow their creative endeavors. I have been sending students to college for art for 25 years, and I can honestly say SFA produces artists that strive to do remarkable things with their degree.

    “SFA is a place where any student interested in nurturing their passion for a creative life can fulfill their needs and dreams under the tutelage of extremely capable and kind-hearted art faculty members,” he added. “The art faculty members at SFA are some of the most talented in their field, and they are constantly growing the program and keeping it current with the movement of the artworld.”

    Neumann said he has personally recruited several graduates of SFA to teach art at his school and within Cypress Fairbanks ISD.

    The number of graduate students in the School of Art also is increasing, and because graduate courses are funded at a higher state level, that equates to higher unit funding coming to SFA. Graduate assistantships and new tuition assistance incentives are additional tools for art faculty members in their recruiting efforts.

    “Our graduate numbers are up,” Talbot said. “A great opportunity for students has been the Lumberjack Education Assistance Program where tuition costs are greatly reduced while working for the university. This has been a fabulous program that helps students reduce debt and provides us with talented help from graduate students who contribute to our program.”

    The talent of the art faculty members is in itself a valuable recruiting tool, Talbot said.

    “Our faculty members are recognized in their fields,” he said. “We attract students to our programs when our faculty members exhibit their work and students see what they might be capable of if they studied here with us. We offer a very hands-on approach to art instruction. Many students have told me they decided to come here because of the things that they would get to do early in their studies, even at the foundation level, with us that other programs defer for upper-level studies.”

    “The SFA art faculty members have built an amazing space for students to learn and to grow as young men and woman and as artists,” Neumann said. “I will continue to highly recommend the SFA art program to my students.”

    For information about the SFA School of Art, call (936) 468-4804 or visit art.sfasu.edu.

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  • SFA’s Salas to present ‘Reflections’ recital

    SFA’s Salas to present ‘Reflections’ recital

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    J.D. Salas

    October 21, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Dr. J.D. Salas, associate professor of tuba and euphonium at Stephen F. Austin State University, will present the program “Reflections” in a recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    “I chose the title ‘Reflections’ because almost every piece on the program is depicting a scene or character,” Salas said. The recital is presented in collaboration with Dr. James Pitts, piano.

    “Reflections” is part of the SFA School of Music’s annual Octubafest. Throughout the country, tuba-euphonium studios at many universities perform concerts to celebrate the tuba and euphonium as a solo and chamber music instrument. This is the 16th year for Octubafest at SFA.

    Among the program works is “Un Dia En La Vida” composed by Jose Flores as part of a consortium commission during the COVID-19 pandemic. Flores composed the work for tuba and pre-recorded track to describe what daily life was like for his family during quarantine, Salas explained. The recorded track includes voices and sounds provided by Flores’ family, including whistling of uncles and the family pets walking around.

    “Salve Venere, Salve Marte” by John Stevens is an unaccompanied work for tuba describing a conversation between Mars, the God of War, and Venus, the Goddess of Love. “The challenge for the soloist,” according to Salas, “is to quickly adjust when changing characters from one to the other.”

    Michael Daugherty’s “Reflections on The Mississippi” was written in memory of the composer’s father and recalls their many trips together on the Mississippi River. The four-movement work illustrates different aspects of life along the Mississippi: “Mist” for the morning fog; “Fury” for the rolling rapids; “Prayer” for the calmest parts of the river; and “Steamboat” for the industrial history of the mighty Mississippi.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

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  • Registration continues for Music Prep’s popular Kindermusik classes

    Registration continues for Music Prep’s popular Kindermusik classes

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    Registration continues for SFA Music Prep’s Kindermusik program for young children. Visit https://www.sfamusicprep.com/kindermusik/ for information, or call (936) 468-1291.

    October 21, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The popular Kindermusik program is underway in the Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music, but interested parents can still enroll their children in the fun and active classes.

    Kindermusik is an early childhood music and movement program based on the belief that every child is musical, every parent is the child’s most important teacher, and the home is the most important place for learning, according to Alba Madrid, director of SFA’s Music Prep.

    “Research has shown us that music nurtures a child’s cognitive, emotional, social, language and physical development,” she said.

    Class activities are regulated in age-appropriate groups: Foundations, newborn to 18 months; Level 1, 1 to 2 years; Level 2, 18 months to 3 years; Level 3, 3 to 5 years; and Level 4, 4 to 6 years.

    Foundation classes offer a sensory-rich, caring and gentle environment where infants can explore and react to new sounds, sensations and objects. Level 1 classes offer young toddlers a stimulating environment to explore their new movement and language skills with a sense of security, comfort and confidence. Level 2 classes encourage older toddlers to initiate their own ideas and explore their creativity by offering fun outlets to promote cognitive development through singing, dancing and playing instruments. Level 3 classes engage preschoolers’ natural love of music and activate their imaginations by boosting language skills, confidence, independence, social-emotional skills and self-control. Level 4 classes offer children exciting first experiences with musical symbols and more complex instruments, laying the groundwork for formal music instruction.

    Tuition is $70 per month with a $25 one-time registration. Families with two or more children enrolled in Kindermusik during the same semester receive a 15% discount off each additional child’s enrollment. Visit sfamusicprep.com/kindermusik/ for registration information, or contact Madrid at madrida@sfasu.edu or musicprep@sfasu.edu, or call (936) 468-1291. Parents can also find program information on Facebook and Instagram. The Music Prep House is located at 3028 Raguet St. Office hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • SFA School of Art, Cole Art Center to participate in Día de Los Muertos Fiesta

    SFA School of Art, Cole Art Center to participate in Día de Los Muertos Fiesta

    October 19, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House will host several events as part of the Día de Los Muertos Fiesta from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a two-day holiday that honors family members and loved ones who have died. The tradition originated in Mexico and is celebrated throughout Latin America. The Día de Los Muertos Fiesta has been an annual event in Nacogdoches for almost a decade.

    Arely Morales, visiting assistant professor in painting and drawing in the SFA School of Art, will lead a workshop for invited student groups at the Cole Art Center on the day of the event. Morales will teach students to make papel picado flags and cempasúchil flowers as decorations for an ofrenda, or altar, for the festival. Members of the community are invited to view the ofrenda at the Cole and to contribute by adding decorations to honor their own loved ones.

    Morales, who grew up in Jalisco, Mexico, said that the holiday is one of her favorites. “I have dear memories of walking through town and seeing everyone preparing for the Día de Los Muertos,” she said. “Our schools didn't even have classes; instead, we built altars together and participated in the town festivities. Other than the beauty of its colorful altars, I deeply love this holiday because it brings together our families and communities to celebrate, honor and remember our loved ones who have passed away.”

    SFA students in 3-D Design, led by Professor Lauren Selden, will also contribute to the celebration by creating an inflatable sculpture, which will be on view outside the Cole.

    Juan Carlos Ureña and Jeana Paul-Ureña, who are professors in the department of languages, cultures and communication at SFA, as well as accomplished musicians and songwriters, will provide outdoor music. The Ureñas write, compose and perform songs fused with Caribbean and South American rhythms, folk, jazz and pop.

    An exhibit of works on paper titled “The Impermanence of Objects – Works on Paper 2014-2021” by artist Greg Edmondson will also be on view at the Cole during the festival. Edmondson’s work will remain on display through January.

    The Cole Art Center, SFA’s historic art gallery, is located at 329 E. Main St. For additional information, contact the School of Art at (936) 468-4804 or the art center at (936) 468-5500.

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  • Exhibition features photographic collection by SFA senior Dupré

    Exhibition features photographic collection by SFA senior Dupré

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    The exhibition “Fruits of Light” by senior art student Alex Dupré can be viewed through Oct. 21 in the back gallery of the Art Building off of Wilson Drive on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    October 18, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University senior Alex Dupré will present a collection titled “Fruits of Light” as her Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibition to be on view Oct. 18 through 21 in the back gallery of the SFA Art Building off Wilson Drive on campus.

    An exhibition reception is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, in the back gallery. Admission is free.

    The collection illuminates a world only existing through the capture of time, according to Dupré.

    “The cosmic and other worldly light painted in photo form cannot be seen with the naked eye and can only be captured in a long exposure image,” she said. “The wispy lines, painted with light, manipulate something real and merge the layers between the natural and the unnatural.

    “This contrast between the familiar elements of nature and the unfamiliar setting created by colorful light is mesmerizing and intriguing,” she added.

    For information about the School of Art, call (936) 468-4804.

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  • SFA Symphony Orchestra to perform Prokofiev’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’

    SFA Symphony Orchestra to perform Prokofiev’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’

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    Sergei Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” is among the works to be presented by the SFA Symphony Orchestra when the student ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. Conductor is Dr. Gregory Grabowski.

    October 18, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Symphony Orchestra at Stephen F. Austin State University will present Sergei Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” when the student ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    “The Prokofiev is a huge work and exciting for the orchestra and the audience,” said Dr. Gregory Grabowski, director of orchestral activities at SFA and the Symphony Orchestra’s conductor. “Prokofiev’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is a hugely popular piece, especially the opening Montagues and Capulets movement, which was even performed by bands like Emerson, Lake and Palmer.”

    Prokofiev composed the score for Romeo and Juliet in 1935 for the Leningrad Theatre of Opera and Ballet, but the music became known through concert performances of suites the composer arranged before the first staging of the ballet in Russia.

    The Symphony Orchestra will also perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3, which will feature new SFA music faculty member Dr. Andrea Denis on French horn.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602. The concert will be rebroadcast on the SFA Symphony Orchestra You Tube channel on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

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  • SFA School of Theatre’s ‘Bootycandy’ continues through Saturday

    SFA School of Theatre’s ‘Bootycandy’ continues through Saturday

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    October 15, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Theatre patrons have through Saturday, Oct. 16, to take in a performance of Robert O’Hara’s hilarious play “Bootycandy” at 7:30 nightly in Kennedy Auditorium on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University. Presented by the SFA School of Theatre, “Bootycandy” is a funny and provocative portrayal of growing up gay and Black. Pictured in this scene from the show are, from left, Donald Whaley Jr, Texarkana sophomore; Jaz Lewis, Longview freshman; Andr’e Hankerson, Beaumont junior; and Kiya Green, Waxahachie freshman. “Bootycandy” contains mature themes and language that may be triggering for some viewers. General ticket prices are: $15, adult; $10, senior (62+); $7.50, SFA faculty/staff; $7.50, youth; $5, student. Purchase tickets at boxoffice.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407. For questions about the play, contact the School of Theatre at (936) 468-4003.

    article ID 2055

  • SFA music faculty to present Coleidoscope concert

    SFA music faculty to present Coleidoscope concert

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    The SFA School of Music will present its fall Coleidoscope concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    October 15, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The School of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “A Mid-Century Chamber Music Faculty Recital” as its fall Coleidoscope concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The Coleidoscope concert is part of a faculty chamber music series dedicated to performing music with various, often less standard, combinations of instruments and that explores a variety of genres and repertoire, according to Dr. Jennifer Dalmas, professor of violin at SFA.

    “This October, we are happy to present an exciting and eclectic group of pieces, all written between the post WWII years of 1947 and 1950,” Dalmas said. “‘Coleidoscope”’is a play on words, referencing the different colors of the musical kaleidoscope and as a tribute to our dear patrons, the late Ed and Gwen Cole.”

    “Concerto a Tre” by Ingolf Dahl was composed in 1947 (shortly after Dahl emigrated to the U.S.) and is a concertante trio for clarinet, violin and cello. “Written in one continuous movement with three sections, this work alternates between playful and lyrical characters, and ends with a fast, exciting coda,” Dalmas explained.

    The Quartet for Bassoon and String Trio by American bassoonist and composer Bernard Garfield, written in 1950, is “a charming work” that has three contrasting movements, she said.

    The final piece on the program, Quartet for Oboe, Violin, Cello and Piano, was written by Bohuslav Martinu, a Czech composer that also emigrated to the U.S. after WWII. “Also composed in 1947, this two-movement work is an attractive piece that utilizes neoclassical style and is considered one of his finest chamber works,” Dalmas said.

    In addition to Dalmas, other faculty performers include Christopher Ayer, clarinet; Margaret Fay, bassoon; Graham Mackenzie, oboe; Melissa Nabb, viola; Evgeni Raychev, cello; and Minhae Lee, piano.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

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  • NSU Percussion Ensemble to perform at SFA

    NSU Percussion Ensemble to perform at SFA

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    The NSU Percussion Ensemble will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. 

    October 15, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Percussion Ensemble from Northwestern State University will present a preview performance of their 2021 Percussive Arts Society International Convention New Literature Showcase Concert when the ensemble performs at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    This year’s Percussive Arts Society International Convention New Literature Showcase Concert will take place on Nov. 12 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

    Four pieces were commissioned by the ensemble to be premiered this year, including “Trinetik” by Andrea Venet; “Arcus Nubes” by Joe Moore; “Fuerza Negra” by Francisco Perez; and “Tang Meng” by Tao Li.

    The Oct. 24 concert will be in Cole Concert Hall in Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

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  • SFA School of Theatre to present student-directed ‘The Actor’s Nightmare’

    SFA School of Theatre to present student-directed ‘The Actor’s Nightmare’

    October 14, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the student-directed comic play “The Actor’s Nightmare” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, in Regents Suite A in the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the SFA campus.

    Directed by Caitlyn Kirchman, Nacogdoches senior, “The Actor’s Nightmare” is written by Christopher Durang and is about a man who is mistaken for an understudy in a play, and when forced to perform, he doesn’t know any of his lines.

    “Have you ever had a dream where you were forced onto a stage to perform a show you didn’t know the lines to?” Kirchman asked. “Durang’s ‘The Actor’s Nightmare’ brings that dream to life through George Spelvin, who is forced to perform multiple plays in front of a live audience after the previous actor broke both of his legs. However, it may be more than just a nightmare.”

    The cast includes Dallas sophomore Sami Hurley as George; Houston senior Gabrielle Rincon as Meg; Bournemouth, England, senior Beth Cowan as Sarah; Keller freshman Zoie Dorn as Ellen; and Katy freshman Kaleb Calton as Henry.

    Crew includes Ashley Johnson, Richardson junior, as stage manager, and Lynna Levin, Richmond senior, as costume designer.

    Kirchman is a senior majoring in theatre education. She describes herself as “passionate” about directing and excited to share what she and her team have created. She has been involved with theatre since second grade when she attended theatre Professor CC Conn’s Junior Jacks theatre program at SFA. She continued to pursue theatre in middle school and high school.

    “After my first experience directing in high school, I knew it was something I wanted to continue doing,” she said. “I had a full-circle moment this past summer when I got to direct the show ‘Aesop’s Clinic’ at Junior Jacks, the place where my passions began.”

    Faculty production advisor for “The Actor’s Nightmare” is Slade Billew. The play is recommended for mature audiences.

    Tickets are $4. To purchase tickets, visit the SFA Fine Arts Box Office online at boxoffice.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407. Box office and online sales end at 4 p.m. on Oct. 22. Available tickets may be purchased at the door. For more information about the play, call the School of Theatre at (936) 468-4003 or visit theatre.sfasu.edu.

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  • Edmondson’s works on paper to show at Cole Art Center

    Edmondson’s works on paper to show at Cole Art Center

    October 14, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Works on paper by artist and educator Greg Edmondson will be exhibited starting Oct. 25 at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches. “The Impermanence of Objects – Works on Paper 2014-2021” will show through late January.

    An opening reception is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, at The Cole Art Center. An artist talk and walk-through will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15.

    This exhibition spans over seven years and includes a wide range of Edmondson’s works from four artist residencies and three published books. The works reveal a significant shift in the artist’s practice, begun in a period of upheaval, and still evolving today.

    Edmondson writes in this artist statement: “The works presented in this exhibition span a seven-plus year period in which my imagery began to stray from its initial concepts and became sidetracked or hijacked by discoveries made along the way. I embraced a deliberate decision to become less constrained by a work’s initial intent and attempted to construct images in less premeditated ways – to straddle a line between intention and response. I’ve come to view these works as a kind of “bashful modernism” – formal and abstract, but without certainty or ostentation. In much the way we ourselves are, these works have all been shaped by the unexpected.”

    The exhibition presents works on paper ranging in scale from 8.5 inches by 11 inches to nearly 8 feet by 6 feet.

    Edmondson earned a B.F.A. from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville and an M.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including Fulbright and DAAD fellowships to Germany, and residency fellowships to Artpark, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Santa Fe Art Institute and Kuenstlerwerkstatt Munich. His upcoming exhibitions “Dark Matter” with physicist and poet Agnes Vojta at the Smalter Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri, and solo exhibition “Before Language” at the Blanden Art Museum in Fort Dodge, Iowa, are scheduled for Spring 2022. He may be reached at gregedmondson.net or voegel60@gmail.com.

    Admission to the exhibition and reception, which is sponsored in part by William Arscott, the Friends of the Visual Arts and The Flower Shop, is free. Cole Art Center hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, call (936) 468-5500.

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  • Exhibition features drawings by SFA graduate student Creel

    Exhibition features drawings by SFA graduate student Creel

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    Works by SFA graduate student Lindsey Creel will be showcased in her M.F.A. exhibition titled “Clean Fields: The Antidote to Overstimulation” showing Nov. 1 through 18 at Cole Art Center.

    October 13, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University graduate student Lindsey Creel will present “Clean Fields: The Antidote to Overstimulation” as her Master of Fine Arts exhibition to be on view Nov. 1 through 18 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Comprising 15 large-scale drawings on paper and linen, “Clean Fields” is part homage and part documentation of the emotionally restorative properties found in Creel’s horticultural practices. Constantly moving from the garden to the art studio, Creel transforms would-be garden waste into contemporary drawings. In reducing the vibrancy and color of a garden, she guides the viewer toward a more open interpretation of the content on view.

    Creel’s presented works include traditional materials, such as charcoal, with the addition of more obscure materials, like plant emulsions. Composition and scale are at the forefront of the exhibition and aim to move the viewer into a simulated meditative state, according to Creel.

    “The work reflects the allure of the garden – of being drawn to something you do not need to fully understand to enjoy,” she said.

    Creel is a designer and artist currently living in Garrison and attending SFA with a focus in studio arts (drawing). She graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2009 with a B.F.A. in fashion. Creel said she considers art and design two branches on the same tree and does not discriminate when it comes to art media. She has a background in patternmaking and drafting in the apparel industry and was featured on Season 14 of Lifetime TV’s “Project Runway.”

    An artist talk will be at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, in Room 106 of the Lower Art Building on the SFA campus. An opening reception for “Clean Fields” is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, in Reavley Gallery at Cole Art Center, 329 E. Main St. Gallery hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free. Contact Cole Art Center at (936) 468-5500.

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  • SFA jazz bands reschedule ‘Swingin’ at the Brewery’ fundraiser

    SFA jazz bands reschedule ‘Swingin’ at the Brewery’ fundraiser

    October 13, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The student jazz bands at Stephen F. Austin State University will present their fall fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, at Fredonia Brewery in downtown Nacogdoches. The event was originally planned for Oct. 1 but was rained out. Donations for the School of Music’s jazz program will be accepted at the event.

    “Swingin’ at the Brewery” will feature the Swingin’ Axes, directed by Dr. Deb Scott, and the Swingin’ Aces, directed by Dr. J.D. Salas. New this fall is a third student jazz ensemble, Swingin’ Jacks, directed by Dr. Jacob Walburn, which will also perform.

    Food options will be available from Chambers Smokehouse food truck and the brewery’s Rebellion Pizza.

    Fredonia Brewery is located at 138 N. Mound St. For additional information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602 or the brewery at (936) 305-5125.

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  • SFA’s Singin’ Axes, Kantorei choirs present ‘To Vienna and Beyond …’

    SFA’s Singin’ Axes, Kantorei choirs present ‘To Vienna and Beyond …’

    October 12, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Singin’ Axes and Kantorei choirs at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “To Vienna and Beyond …” when the choral ensembles perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Under the direction of Dr. Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities at SFA, the choirs will perform works by composers from Austria and Germany written from the early 17th to the late 19th centuries. A number of SFA music faculty members will collaborate with Fish and the choirs.

    Among the works to be performed is Georg Philipp Telemann’s Laudate Jehovam, omnes gentes, which will be sung by the combined Kantorei and Singin’ Axes choirs. SFA music faculty members Dr. Margaret Fay, bassoon, and Professor Graham Mackenzie, oboe, will play the continuo and obligato parts, respectively.

    “Dr. Fay will also join Kantorei for Erhöre mich from Kleine Geistliches Konzerte I on continuo,” Fish said. “Dr. Andrea Denis and my wife, Alice Codieck, will join Kantorei to provide a horn duet for two movements of Johannes Brahms’ op. 17 Vier Gesänge für Frauenchor. In addition to Dr. Denis and Ms. Codieck joining us, we will also have singing with us the varsity treble choir from Lufkin High School, directed by Nicole Stewart and Tracy Cole, as the Brahms is part of the 2022 All-State Choir repertoire.”

    The Singin’ Axes will also perform two tenor-bass duets from Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzer, op. 52. “The Singin’ Axes will have the distinction of performing with our two outstanding collaborative pianists, Dr. Maria Lyapkova and Dr. Thomas Nixon,” Fish added.

    The combined choirs will sing two classical period Latin motets: Insanae et vanae curae by Joseph Haydn and Ave verum corpus by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

    “We are excited to have our new graduate choral conducting student, Caroline Van Landingham of Cypress, conducting both the Singin’ Axes and Kantorei,” Fish said. “With Kantorei, Caroline will conduct Robert Schumann’s beautiful setting of Herbstlied, and J.S. Bach’s Der Herr segne euch from BWV 196, Der Herr denket an uns.

    “As always, the Singin’ Axes are thrilled to work with Dr. Nixon again, and Kantorei welcomes Dr. Lyapkova,” he added.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

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  • SFA’s Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band to perform works by Joel Love

    SFA’s Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band to perform works by Joel Love

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    Composer Joel Love

    October 11, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the SFA campus.

    The student ensembles’ performances are part of Brass Day at SFA. Brass Day is devoted to high school students of all ages who play a brass instrument, including trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium and tuba, and who are interested in learning more about how to perform the prescribed audition etudes for all-region and all-state bands. The concert will open with a performance by the Faculty Brass Quintet.

    Additionally, the concert will also feature works by composer Joel Love, who will collaborate with School of Music students in mid-October as part of the SFA bands’ annual composer residency. The Symphonic Band, directed by Assistant Director of Bands Dr. Chris Kaatz, will begin its performance with William Latham’s “Brighton Beach.” Kaatz describes this British-style march as a staple in the repertoire, “likely due to its ominous D minor opening and bold F major finale.” Dana Wilson’s “Sang!” follows and showcases the composer’s eclectic, yet rousing use of jazz harmony and popular music riffs in his writing. This groove-saturated soundscape is succeeded by the sneaky and somewhat sinister “Baron Piquant on Pointe.” Beginning quietly and featuring numerous soloists before employing the full ensemble, this piece was written by University of Texas at Austin Professor of Composition Donald Gratham. Symphonic Band concludes its performance with a work by Gratham’s student, Love. “‘A Cardinal’s Hymn’ embodies Love’s trademark lush, technical lyricism,” according to Kaatz. The work, whose title is a reference to Love’s undergraduate mascot, is an homage to Dr. Wayne Dyess, who was an influential mentor to Love during his studies at Lamar University.

    The Wind Symphony, directed by Associate Director of Bands Dr. Dan Haddad, will open the second half with John Mackey’s bombastic tour de force, “Until the Scars.” The colorful orchestration of famed Italian composer Ottorini Respighi is featured next in his sole work for winds, “Huntingtower Ballad.” Love’s “Aurora Borealis” serves as the cornerstone for the Wind Symphony’s program. It is the composer’s first work for wind ensemble and was selected as a finalist in the 3rd International Frank Ticheli Composition Contest. Love’s grand evocation of the northern lights is complimented by Percy Grainger’s raucously energetic “The Gum-Suckers March,” which closes the concert.

    Admission to the concert is free. The Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Percussion Ensemble, Trombone Choir and the SFA Faculty Brass Quintet will collectively present the Kaleidoscope Concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, in the Grand Ballroom. For additional information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

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  • Brass Day at SFA slated for Oct. 17

    Brass Day at SFA slated for Oct. 17

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    A performance by the Pineywoods Brass Quintet, featuring music faculty at Stephen F. Austin State University, will be among the events at Brass Day at SFA on Oct. 17. The quintet includes, from left, Dr. Andrea Denis, horn; Dr. Gary Wurtz, trumpet; Dr. Deb Scott, trombone; Dr. Jake Walburn, trumpet; and Dr. J.D. Salas, tuba/euphonium.

    October 11, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The School of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University will host its annual Brass Day on Sunday, Oct. 17, on the university campus.

    Brass Day is devoted to high school students of all ages who play a brass instrument, including trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium and tuba, and who are interested in learning more about how to perform the prescribed audition etudes for all-region and all-state bands, according to Dr. Deb Scott, trombone professor at SFA and one of the faculty organizers of Brass Day.

    Information about the School of Music and its audition requirements for prospective music majors will also be presented. Music faculty will also discuss practice tips and audition preparation and strategy.

    Brass Day features a 4 p.m. performance by the Pineywoods Brass Quintet and the SFA Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.

    For more information and to register, visit http://www.music.sfasu.edu/brassday, or contact Dr. J.D. Salas, tuba and euphonium associate professor, at salasjd@sfasu.edu or (936) 468-4107. Participation in Brass Day clinics and informational sessions is free of charge. The day’s events begin at 1 p.m. and end at the conclusion of the concert. Activities take place in the Wright Music Building and the student center.

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  • SFA’s A Cappella Choir to perform ‘Always Keep This Close’

    SFA’s A Cappella Choir to perform ‘Always Keep This Close’

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    SFA’s A Cappella Choir will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. The choir has also been invited to perform at the 2022 Texas Music Educators Association conference in February.

    October 7, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The A Cappella Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “Always Keep This Close” when the choral group performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The concert title speaks of connections made and friendships forged when working and singing together in a choir, according to Dr. Michael Murphy, director of choral activities at SFA and the choir’s conductor.

    In the lyrics: “No notes are as connected as the souls that sing them, no soul is happier than when surrounded by their friends.” The text is written by Colleen Carhuff and the composer is Zachary J. Moore, SFA graduate student in composition from Wisconsin and member of the 2021-22 A Cappella Choir.

    A composer, arranger and educator, Moore graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire with a bachelor’s degree in music education and taught at Waukesha West High School before coming to SFA. Highly sought after for commissioned music, Moore’s compositions have received performances at multiple state conventions of music education and choral conductors’ associations nationwide and in prestigious concert halls, such as Carnegie Hall in 2019.

    The choir will also perform music by Francis Poulenc, Josef Rheinberger, Nadia Boulanger, Brandon Waddles, Johannes Brahms, James MacMillan and others.

    The A Cappella Choir has accepted a prestigious invitation to sing for the 2022 Texas Music Educators Association conference in February.

    “The TMEA conference is the largest music conference in the world and is held in San Antonio each year,” Murphy said.

    Concert tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

    article ID 2046

  • SFA theatre alumnus Hollins discusses ‘Bootycandy’ play with student cast

    SFA theatre alumnus Hollins discusses ‘Bootycandy’ play with student cast

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    Veteran actor and SFA theatre alumnus Xzavien Hollins discusses via Zoom his stage career, specifically being cast in the role of a Black queer male in The Catastrophic Theatre’s presentation of Robert O’Hara’s play “Bootycandy,” with members of the SFA cast of the upcoming production of “Bootycandy.”

    October 7, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    “Different lifestyles exist, and their stories should be told … even in East Texas.”

    That was the response from Houston-based actor Xzavien Hollins when asked the question: Why do you think it’s important to present plays like “Bootycandy?”

    The School of Theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University will present Robert O’Hara’s play “Bootycandy” at 7:30 nightly Oct. 12 through 16 in Kennedy Auditorium on the SFA campus. The hilariously funny and provocative story presents a satiric portrait of American life told through the lens of Sutter, a gay Black man on an outrageous odyssey through his childhood home, his church, dive bars, motel rooms and even nursing homes. Based on O’Hara’s own experiences, “Bootycandy” weaves together scenes, sermons, sketches and daring meta-theatrics to create a colorful portrayal of growing up gay and Black.

    It’s a story of which Hollins easily relates; it’s a character he’s portrayed; it’s a play that deeply moved him and motivated him to start writing his own work and begin reading and researching works not widely produced.

    At the beginning of 2019, The Catastrophic Theatre in Houston produced “Bootycandy,” and Hollins, a 2010 SFA theatre alumnus, was cast as Sutter, the protagonist of the comedic coming-of-age play that “explores issues most would consider taboo,” he said. Because of Hollins’ extensive on-stage experience, and specifically for his portrayal of Sutter, School of Theatre Director Cleo House Jr. invited Hollins to share his valuable insight into the play with the SFA cast of “Bootycandy” during a recent Zoom session.

    “When I first read the play, I cried, and I and cherished the idea that I would portray someone that was so close to my life,” Hollins said. “O’Hara beautifully writes a contemporary story lived by so many of us but never actually seen on stage. It made me think of how many stories we are missing out on as a community, and how many of our audiences are suffering at the hands of an unwilling administration?

    “I can honestly say audiences love this play because it’s the perfect ‘dramady’ – part drama, part comedy,” he said. “It’s about everyone’s insecurities and how quickly we can forget about those insecurities to achieve a goal. My experience performing in this play caused me to begin writing my own work and reading and researching works not widely produced. We need more stories about our community. I urge theatre students to start writing, even if it’s horrible. Trust me, the world needs the content.”

    Hollins has more than 25 years of theatre experience with 11 of those spent on Houston-area stages. Among his credits are “Bootycandy,” “Speeding Motorcycle,” “Toast,” “Snow White,” “Middletown” and “Fleaven,” as well as seven Tamarie Cooper (actor, playwright, director, choreographer) productions, with The Catastrophic Theatre; “Well” with Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre; “Swann” with Stingaree performance art theatre; “The Government Inspector,” “The Tempest,” “White Snake” and “The Triumph of Love” with Classical Theatre Company; “Julius Caesar,” “Aida” and “Fidelio” with Houston Grand Opera; “Radio Gold,” “A Christmas Carol,” “The Government Inspector” and “7 Keys to Slaughter Peak” with Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; “Slammed” with Milwaukee Repertory Education Department; “Hay Fever” and “The Play’s The Thing” with Ten Chimney’s Foundation; “Among The Thugs” and “Essential Self Defense” with Horse Head Theatre Company; “The Redemption Series” with The Landing Theatre; “Our House” with Black Lab Theatre; “God and Death” with Back Porch Players; and “A Soulstice Event” with Houston Arts Alliance. He is also a Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) Tommy Tune mentor to high school musical theatre students in the Houston area.

    Hollins recalls his time at SFA as “jammed packed with happiness and strong life lessons that I will never forget,” he said.

    “I had a very diverse group of friends,” he said. “When I think back, I’m actually surprised by the amount of diversity I encountered. Unfortunately, the programming wasn’t as inclusive as I would have liked it to be.”

    Most plays presented on the SFA Mainstage Series followed the idea that a minority’s “place” in theatre is to be lumped in with servants, maids and butlers, and that a minority’s culture didn’t exist or wasn’t to be explored in depth on the Mainstage, he said. “It was as if black box theatre, which was spear-headed by students, was the only place to explore our cultural differences and nuances, which is why producing a coming-of-age play about a queer black male on the SFA Mainstage is so important. I want to thank the School of Theatre for taking steps toward a more inclusive environment.”

    Since his time as a theatre student, Hollins said he has learned that people are capable of being successful in professions one might never have thought possible – an observation he shared with the current SFA “Bootycandy” cast.

    “After graduating, you’ll discover the roommate who had all the leading roles might be a lawyer in 10 years, or the techie in the shadows developed himself into a leader at a major shipping company,” Hollins said. “One of my best friends graduated pre-law before completing a nursing degree for good measure. So when I get asked how SFA School of Theatre prepared me for a career in acting/theatre, I say: I learned to expect the unexpected, because you will always be looking for that next job. And that’s okay, because a majority of people are doing the same. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.”

    “Bootycandy” contains mature themes and language that may be triggering for some viewers.

    General ticket prices are: $15, adult; $10, senior (62+); $7.50, SFA faculty/staff; $7.50, youth; $5, student. Purchase tickets 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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  • Ordaz new exhibition coordinator for Cole Art Center

    Ordaz new exhibition coordinator for Cole Art Center

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    Erik Ordaz

    October 7, 2021—Lily Phou

    The School of Art at Stephen F. Austin State University has announced that Erik Ordaz, Master of Fine Arts graduate and previous adjunct professor at SFA, is the new exhibition coordinator for The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches and a visiting lecturer in the School of Art.

    Ordaz will serve as a liaison between the School of Art and the East Texas community in planning and scheduling local, national and international exhibitions that will show in Cole Art Center as well as community events that will take place in SFA’s historic downtown art center. The position was made possible through community-raised financial support with SFA covering the portion related to teaching courses.

    “When word got out in the community last fall that the gallery staff would be part of the reduction-in-force, cost-saving measures at the university, the response from the community was overwhelming support for the gallery and for preserving the ability to enjoy and promote the visual arts in Nacogdoches,” said Chris Talbot, director of the School of Art. “I am so glad we have so many people here in the community that love the visual arts and are willing to give of their time and means to make sure that it is something that will continue to enrich our community. So many generous donors came forward to save the day; it really makes me proud of our community and thankful for our wonderful Friends of the Visual Arts organization that coordinated the fundraising efforts.”

    In addition to teaching ceramics, Ordaz teaches professional practices to studio art students. In this course, students learn how to become professional exhibiting artists. They learn how to properly hang, ship and handle artwork, and they learn how to promote themselves and deal with professional galleries.

    “Having Erik teach the course allows us to use the Cole Art Center as a learning laboratory for our students to observe professional artwork up close,” Talbot said. “Students are involved in hanging the work and preparing the exhibitions. We want the gallery program to be an integral part of preparing students to be successful artists, and Erik is helping us accomplish that goal.”

    Prior to coming to SFA to pursue a master’s degree in ceramics, Ordaz, who is originally from Mexico, was associated with the second-best ranked Mexican public university, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City, where he traveled to pottery communities throughout Mexico to help artisans incorporate design concepts that translated into better and safer production practices. In doing that, Ordaz visited the town of Casa Grandes in Chihuahua where he met SFA ceramics Professor Piero Fenci who suggested Ordaz apply to SFA to continue his ceramics studies.

    “Coming to SFA was a bit of a coincidence, but as it turned out, a great and amazing coincidence,” Ordaz said.

    Coming to Nacogdoches from Mexico four years ago to complete his master’s degree, Ordaz said he looked forward to living in a different culture.

    “My goal was to make the best of my time in grad school,” he said. “Little did I know then that I would find such a heartwarming community and a beautiful town and school in which to develop my work. Nacogdoches now feels like home, and to me that’s a testament to the tight community we have here. Having that feeling of being in a place that has your back makes me happy, and that’s one of the things I enjoy most about being here.”

    Ordaz considers himself to be “a multifaceted artist,” and he plans to put that attribute to work while fulfilling his role as exhibition coordinator.

    “I have nurtured my own connections while living in this country, plus the ones I have back home in Mexico, and I plan to put those to good use,” he said. “The Cole Art Center and the Nacogdoches community can be great recruiting tools for the School of Art, and we need to take advantage of that. I hope to bring more national and international recognition to the town and to SFA.”

    His new job as exhibition coordinator takes Ordaz out of his “comfort zone,” but it also brings new and exciting challenges, he said.

    “Having the ability to be a link between SFA, the School of Art, our faculty and students and the community is a privilege,” Ordaz said. “Planning for events and shows to bring to Nacogdoches is incredibly exciting. The possibility to showcase artists from my home country and even Latin America, alongside great local and national artists, as has been a tradition at Cole Art Center, can be enriching for all of us.

    “Being in the position where I can send the message that everyone is welcome at the Cole, just as I have been, fills my heart with hope that art can be an epicenter and a spark that brings our community closer together,” he added.

    The community will have an opportunity to meet Ordaz during the Friends of the Visual Arts Annual 12 X 12 Art Scholarship Fundraiser from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Cole Art Center, 329 E. Main St. For more information, call (936) 468-5500.

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  • Tonight’s ‘Swingin’ at the Brewery’ canceled

    Tonight’s ‘Swingin’ at the Brewery’ canceled

    October 1, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Due to inclement weather, tonight’s “Swingin’ at the Brewery” with the jazz bands of Stephen F. Austin State University has been canceled. Because of the rain, the electronic equipment cannot be loaded in safely.

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