Micky Elliott College of Fine Arts News Archive

October 2022

  • SFA’s Stone Fort Wind Quintet to present fall concert

    SFA’s Stone Fort Wind Quintet to present fall concert

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    SFA’s Stone Fort Wind Quintet will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. The faculty ensemble features, from left, Dr. Cody Hunter, bassoon; Dr. Pablo Moreno, oboe; Dr. Andrea Denis, horn; Dr. Christina Guenther, flute; and Dr. Christopher Ayer, clarinet.

    October 31, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stone Fort Wind Quintet at Stephen F. Austin State University will present works by David Sartor, Daniel Dorff, Astor Piazzolla and other composers when the faculty ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    “The Stone Fort Wind Quintet is pleased to introduce our new double reed faculty members: Dr. Pablo Moreno, oboe, and Dr. Cody Hunter, bassoon,” said Dr. Christina Guenther, professor flute at SFA and quintet member. Other members include Dr. Christopher Ayer, clarinet; and Dr. Andrea Denis, horn.

    The program opens with Sartor’s “Aspirations,” written for and dedicated to Vanderbilt University’s Blair Woodwind Quintet. The work was a national finalist for the American Prize in Chamber Music Composition. The third movement, “Vivo,” which is “an energetic movement with recognizable themes that travel between the instruments,” according to Guenther, will be performed.

    Dorff’s five-movement wind quintet “Cape May Breezes” depicts different scenes in Cape May: “Breezing Into Town,” “Victorian Garden Party,” “Dusk at Sunset Beach” and “Night Breezes on the Boardwalk.” “Listeners can easily picture the images portrayed through the musical text painting,” Guenther said.

    Also on the program are three movements of Jenni Brandon’s “Five Frogs” depicting various events in the life of frogs, including “Leaping,” “Swimming” and “Catching Bugs.” The quintet will perform Kenji Bunch’s “Shout Chorus,” which was premiered by the Imani Winds in 2006 in Vail, Colorado. “It is a piece with an incredibly driving force, complex rhythms and shifting moods, demanding superb technique and absolute focus from the performers,” writes Guenther.

    Written while Piazzolla was living in Rome, “Libertango” is one of his most well-known pieces, which he referred to as “sort of a song of liberty.”

    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 Percussion Ensemble to perform works by Higdon, Trevino, Akiho

    SFA Percussion Ensemble to perform works by Higdon, Trevino, Akiho

    October 27, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    The Percussion Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform works by Jennifer Higdon, Ivan Trevino and Andy Akiho among other percussion composers when the student ensemble presents its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Directed by Dr. Brad Meyer and Dr. Jamie Vilseck, the Percussion Ensemble will open the concert with Andrew Patzig’s “Mrityu” (or “Mrtyu”), a Sanskrit word meaning death. In describing the inspiration for the work, the composer references the planet’s “grim future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruptions mayhem.” “‘Mrityu’ is an attempt to put this future into perspective,” Patzig writes.

    Evan Chapman describes his work “Honeybee, 1830” as his “ode to the coast of Maine, which has become my ‘happy place’ over the years. This piece is what happens when a single musical idea is distributed via ‘pollination’ throughout an entire ensemble, morphing in form throughout its travels, like a honeybee delivering pollen and nectar.”

    In Akiho’s Pillar II and III of his “Seven Pillars,” the composer states that the inspirations for the work “are deeply personal,” written more for performers than instruments. Citing influences of Duke Ellington, Cat Anderson and Juan Tizola, Akiho states, “This piece does not have a concrete narrative, although I have a personal storyline that fits my life journey, and I encourage the listener to experience the music in their own adventure.” The quartet performing Pillars II and III will compete at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention’s “Concert Chamber Ensemble Competition” in November. The quartet members are percussion students Anna Desfor, graduate student from Mundelein, Illinois; Marshall Oman, senior from Taylor; Aaron Milam, senior from Longview; and Micah York, junior from Texarkana.

    Higdon describes her work “Splendid Wood” as “a joyous celebration of the sound of wood,” which is “the material that gives the marimba its unique sound.” Other works on the program include Trevino’s “Space Junk,” which he calls a children’s story set to music; and Michael Aukofer’s “Identity Crisis,” a work he says is “intended to challenge the performers, as well as entertain and amuse the listener.”

    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 presentation of ‘Lord of the Flies’ requires extensive preparation for large show

    SFA’s presentation of ‘Lord of the Flies’ requires extensive preparation for large show

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    Rehearsing a scene from the SFA School of Theatre and Dance’s upcoming presentation of “Lord of the Flies” are theatre students, from left, Xavier Munoz, playing Sam, Dallas freshman; CaitLyne Martin, stage manager, Brownsboro senior; Carter Colvin, playing Perceval, Lindale senior; and Anthony Krosecz, playing Jack, Sugar Land freshman. The play runs Nov. 3 through 6 in Kennedy Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    October 27, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    A lot of lines. A number of actors. A huge set. A multitude of props, lights and sounds. The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre and Dance’s presentation of William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” is setting the stage to be one big show and one exceptional learning experience for SFA student actors and the play’s management team.

    Adapted for the stage by Nigel Williams, “Lord of the Flies” will be presented Nov. 3 through 6 in Kennedy Auditorium. It’s the story of a group of young boys, trapped on a desert island, who discover the darkness of human nature. Its extensive script with a lot of moving parts takes this play to another level from the typical collegiate performance, according to Cleo House Jr., director of the School of Theatre and Dance and the play’s director.

    “It is always helpful to have as many eyes on things as possible when doing a play this big,” House said. “I’m fortunate to have some talented students on the management team that are assisting me with a variety of tasks. The most fun part of directing is seeing how the rehearsal space is a lab where students are actively learning new things and having old lessons reinforced.

    “In the case of student directors, they get the opportunity to articulate the lessons they’ve been taught to the actors,” he added. “It is also a place where they get to see that the director doesn’t always come to the table with the answers; part of the rehearsal process is that not only do the actors get to try and fail, but we do too.”

    Since being moved out of the larger Turner Auditorium because of construction in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, SFA’s theatre program has looked for plays that could be performed in smaller spaces, specifically within the confines of Kennedy Auditorium on campus. “Lord of the Flies” challenges those constraints, according to CaitLyne Martin, senior theatre major from Brownsboro and the play’s stage manager.

    “It's a bigger show than most of what we have done the past couple of years, especially since being displaced out of Turner Auditorium,” Martin said. “To start, just the name recognition of ‘Lord of the Flies’ can separate it from other shows we have done. I think one of the most striking differences in size is just how much larger the design is for this show. We have traps, monkey bars, projections, blood, elaborate props, etc. I think it might be the most elaborate scenic design I've seen since we did ‘Titus Andronicus’ my freshman year.

    “Additionally, we are traveling to KCACTF (competition) for the first time since SFA traveled with ‘Sweat’ in 2019, which adds another element of complexity,” she said. “Thinking about specifics for my job as the stage manager, this means more extensive collaboration between various groups/designers, which requires more meetings, emails and phone calls. Most of all, this show has required that as a management team, we are willing to roll with the changes, and keep pushing forward so that our show can stay on track.”

    Some changes have been made in the theatre program’s rehearsal process in recent years, and adapting to those changes quickly has been key for Martin. “Last year, I was in Dallas on my BFA internship, and the department made significant changes in our processes. Adapting quickly to those changes, and learning along the way, has at times proved challenging for me personally,” she said. “However, it has also reinforced the idea that theatre is a collaborative space, and asking for guidance in this setting is incredibly easy.”

    Addressing spatial restrictions involved with being displaced, Martin explained that the rooms in which students can rehearse are not big enough to fully tape out a correct to-scale version of the set. “Instead, we had to scale it down significantly,” she said. “This has made transferring the show onto the actual set more difficult, but it has also freed up the group to change as the show develops, and that’s an incredible skill to learn.”

    As assistant director, Frisco junior Emma Dumas has found that time management has been a big challenge with the demands of this play. “Balancing work, school and the show has been really difficult for me, but it has been worth it,” she said. “I have been able to schedule time to work on things throughout my day so that the late nights at rehearsal do not take such a toll on me. This is my first time working on a management team for a MainStage show, so I have been adjusting to the time commitment.” Dumas sees her role as helping to work the scenes, adjust blocking and, basically, do whatever House, as director, needs her to do to keep things moving forward.

    “The most rewarding part has been getting to learn from everybody,” Dumas said. “While I am learning a lot from Cleo House in being an assistant director, I am also learning so much from other people, too, including from the stage manager and the actors themselves. I am getting to soak in all of the experience and knowledge from all around me at rehearsals and throughout this process.”

    Assistant stage manager Snyder O, Celina freshman, ensures that the backstage crew runs smoothly, and exactly that, in his view, is what is happening with “Lord of the Flies.”

    “‘Lord of the Flies’ has run smoothly compared to other shows I have done in the past,” he said. “As a freshman, this has been a great experience to learn and grow as a stage management student. This is a big show because it requires many moving parts and technical aspects. The actors are almost always on stage. This involves a lot of physical movement and stage combat. But the show has a fantastic cast and production team. Learning from others and getting to know them has been so rewarding. I also have loved making new friends in the cast.”

    House considers this presentation of “Lord of the Flies” a PG-13 play, “but anyone from 12 years old and up can find joy in the ‘adventure’ the play offers,” he added.

    Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 3 through 5, and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6. General ticket prices are: adult, $15; senior (62+), $10; youth (high school and younger), $8; SFA faculty/staff, $8; non-SFA student, $8; and SFA student, $5. For ticketing information or to purchase tickets, call the Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS, or visit boxoffice.sfasu.edu.

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  • SFA to present ‘The New Little Red Riding Hood’

    SFA to present ‘The New Little Red Riding Hood’

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    The Children’s Performing Arts Series will present three performances of “The New Little Red Riding Hood” on Thursday, Nov. 10, in Kennedy Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    October 25, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    The Children’s Performing Arts Series at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “The New Little Red Riding Hood” in three performances on Thursday, Nov. 10, in Kennedy Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    Presented by Storybook Theatre, this adaptation of the timeless children’s story takes on a new environmental twist. Big Bad Wolf has retired as the forest's caretaker. His daughter, Wanda Wolf, is finding out she has big shoes to fill, especially when her BFF, Little Red, the great-great-great-granddaughter of the first Little Red Riding Hood, is trashing out the forest. Using Storybook Theatre's signature “edutainment” format, the forest comes to life as the audience interacts with Granny Red, Wanda and the forest animals to help Little Red understand what she's doing is wrong.

    “The New Little Red Riding Hood” targets children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Performances are at 9 and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Kennedy Auditorium on the SFA campus. Tickets are $7.50 for individuals and $6 per person for groups of 20 or more.

    The Children’s Performing Arts Series features shows designed to entertain, educate and engage young audiences of all ages, according to Diane Peterson, Fine Arts Box Office manager and director of the children’s series.

    Other upcoming CPAS performances, presented by the Micky Elliott College of Fine Arts, include “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical” Wednesday, March 1; and “Reading and Rhyming with Mother Goose” Wednesday, April 26.

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

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  • SFA to present fall Danceworks concerts

    SFA to present fall Danceworks concerts

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    The fall Danceworks concerts at SFA will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 10 and 11, and at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, in the Lucille Norton HPE Complex, Room 201.

    October 24, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    The School of Theatre and Dance at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the fall student-choreographed and student-produced Danceworks concerts Nov. 10 through 12 in the Lucille Norton HPE Complex on the SFA campus.

    The Danceworks concerts are choreographed by senior dance students majoring in dance education or performance and choreography, according to Heather Samuelson, SFA’s dance program director.

    “This is the capstone course for all dance majors, and it is in partial fulfillment of the B.S. degree in dance,” Samuelson said. “The purpose behind these concerts is for each senior to demonstrate the skills learned throughout their collegiate career in preparation for their entry into the professional field of dance as performers, choreographers and educators.”

    In this learning experience, senior dance students conduct auditions to select dancers, and they hold rehearsals and solicit sponsors and donors for fundraising purposes. Additionally, they host a photo shoot to be used for publicity, create and design show posters and programs and place print orders for each. The students design costumes and lighting for their pieces, Samuelson said.

    “All of the elements that go into preparing for and producing a concert are valuable for these senior choreographers to learn,” she said. “They also learn about intellectual property and how to provide credit to collaborative artists. Ethical and inclusive practices are instilled into our dancers in order to better prepare them for the professional field of dance.”

    The student dancers are exposed to the process prior to entering their senior year and the capstone course, and each course in the curriculum prepares them for an element in the capstone course, Samuelson added. “They gain experience auditioning and performing, as well as learning how to be a reviewer, critic and active audience member,” she said.

    The senior choreographers title each Danceworks concert collaboratively with an underlying theme that often emerges based on their research topics. Each piece presented in Danceworks has a title and a topic of research explained in the program next to the choreographer’s bio. Other program information includes music credit, a list of the dancers and videography credit if film is used within a piece. The program also includes the names of sponsors and donors and/or their business logos in appreciation for their support.

    The fall Danceworks predominantly features choreography that is contemporary modern. A few pieces demonstrate jazz in a more theatrical form.

    All Danceworks concerts this academic year are presented in the HPE Complex, Room 201. Performances are at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 10 and 11, and at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12.

    General ticket prices are $10 for general admission; $8 for seniors (62+); $8 for SFA faculty and staff; and $5 for non-SFA students. SFA students are admitted for free. To purchase tickets, call the Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS, or visit boxoffice.sfasu.edu. Tickets can be purchased at the door along with T-shirts if patrons would like to support the dance program further. Cash or checks are accepted. Nothing Bundt Cakes will be sold after each Danceworks performance to raise money and support study abroad for the theatre and dance students traveling to Scotland next summer.

    For more information, contact Samuelson at samuelsoh@sfasu.edu or the School of Theatre and Dance at (936) 468-4003 or sfasu.edu/theatre-dance.

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  • SFA Music Prep students qualify for All-Region orchestras

    SFA Music Prep students qualify for All-Region orchestras

    October 24, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    Twelve students in the Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music were selected for TMEA All-Region High School Orchestra and Middle School Orchestra at recent auditions at Kilgore Middle School.

    A total of 103 middle school students and 88 high school students from across East Texas auditioned.

    Middle School students who qualified on violin included Jonah Raychev, first chair; Joelle Quant, 11th chair; and Ella Guenther-Scott, 21st chair. High school students who qualified on cello were Will Sams, first chair; Grace Hao, fifth chair; Kailey Busby, ninth chair; and Samantha Flores, 13th chair. High School students qualifying on violin included Hannah Trainor, fifth chair; Karys Alders, 14th chair; and Kira Gallander, 24th chair. Qualifying on viola were Cate Baker, sixth chair; and Josue Morales, seventh chair.

    “Thank you to all the teachers who helped to prepare these students for this tough audition,” said Alba Madrid, director of SFA’s Music Prep program. In addition to Madrid, other instructors included Ozge Serceler, Isabella Gaertner, Melissa Nabb, Evgeni Raychev and Jennifer Dalmas.

    Those who qualified will participate in a clinic Dec. 2 in Tyler and will perform in a concert Dec. 3, also in Tyler.

    For more information about Music Prep programs, 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’s trombone ensembles to perform works by Nehlybel, Arbiza

    SFA’s trombone ensembles to perform works by Nehlybel, Arbiza

    October 24, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    The Trombone Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a mixture of choir, octet and quartet performances in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Directed by Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone in the School of Music, and Luke Vacca, adjunct professor of low brass, the choir will perform “Tower Music” by Vaclav Nehlybel, and a trombone octet will perform “Icarus” by Uruguayan musician Ricardo Arbiza, among other works.

    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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  • Still time to bid on 12 X 12 works of art

    Still time to bid on 12 X 12 works of art

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    October 19, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    There is still time to bid on unique works of art in the 12 X 12 Scholarship Fundraiser hosted by the Friends of the Visual Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University and benefiting students in the SFA School of Art.

    Anyone may silently bid on the exclusive one-of-a-kind pieces on display at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Silent bidding ($250 minimum) will continue up to the day of the art party, which is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at the art center. Starting bids drop to $100 the night of the event, and raffle tickets will also be sold that night. Appetizers and wine will be served at the auction party. This year’s featured artist is Professor Peter Andrew, who has donated several pieces to the auction.

    The purpose of 12 X 12 is to raise funds for the FVA scholarships and grants that are awarded to SFA art students. Between $12,000 and $15,000 is awarded annually in scholarships to deserving students in the School of Art.

    In addition to the Friends of the Visual Arts, other sponsors of 12 X 12 are The Flower Shop, The Cottage Wine Bar, Woodworkers Club of East Texas, Canty Forklift, Galleria Z, Wright Construction and The Monarch Group of Raymond James.

    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information about 12 X 12, contact Linda Mock at mockl@sfasu.edu.

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  • SFA Symphony Orchestra to perform ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’

    SFA Symphony Orchestra to perform ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’

    October 19, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    A performance of Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” will be the highlight at a concert of the Stephen F. Austin State University Symphony Orchestra when the ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Conducting the SFA Symphony Orchestra is Dr. Gregory Grabowski, director of orchestral activities for the university. He describes “Pictures at an Exhibition” as “a wonderful suite that takes the listener on a journey through an exhibition of different pieces of art.”

    “The piece was originally a piano solo that was later orchestrated by a number of brilliant orchestrators,” Grabowski said. “The most common one, and the one performed on this program, was by the genius orchestrator Maurice Ravel.

    “With the combination of wonderful themes by Mussorgsky paired with the brilliant orchestration vision of Ravel, it’s no wonder this is one of the most performed pieces in orchestral literature,” he added.

    Also on the program is Dmitri Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 featuring Dr. Evgeni Raychev, School of Music adjunct faculty, as guest soloist.

    “This is a powerful and exciting piece that’s a staple in solo cello literature,” Grabowski said.

    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 at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, on the SFA Symphony Orchestra YouTube channel.

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  • SRT student ensembles to perform at Mill Room

    SRT student ensembles to perform at Mill Room

    October 19, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    Student ensembles in the Sound Recording Technology program at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, in the Mill Room at Banita Creek Hall.

    The Commercial Music Ensemble will perform “As It Was” by Harry Styles, “Transparent Soul” by Willow, and “Dive” by Ed Sheeran, among other works. The Popular Music Ensemble will perform “It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over” by Lenny Kravitz, “Karma Police” by Radiohead and “Bend The Rules” by Niall Horan, along with other artists. Both groups are directed by James Taylor, SRT lecturer in the School of Music.

    Admission is free. Banita Creek Hall is located at 401 W. Main St. For additional information about the SRT program, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

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  • SFA’s A Cappella Choir to perform Duruflé’s Requiem

    SFA’s A Cappella Choir to perform Duruflé’s Requiem

    October 17, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    The A Cappella Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem when the choir performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Nacogdoches.

    The A Cappella Choir is conducted by Dr. Michael Murphy, director of choral activities at SFA. Also performing on Requiem are music faculty members Weston Jennings, organ, and Dr. Scott LaGraff, baritone.

    Dr. Nathan Nabb, director of the School of Music and professor of saxophone, will perform on English composer Patrick Hawes’ “Quanta Qualia.” Also on the program is Gabriel Fauré’s “Cantique de Jean Racine” featuring Martha De Luna, graduate conducting student from Las Caobas, Dominican Republic. Music by Frank Martin will also be performed.

    The concert is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted for the A Cappella Choir’s Italy tour of Venice, Florence and Rome. Sacred Heart Catholic Church is located at 2508 Appleby Sand Road. For more information about the concert, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

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  • SFA to present Golding’s iconic ‘Lord of the Flies’

    SFA to present Golding’s iconic ‘Lord of the Flies’

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    The SFA School of Theatre and Dance will present William Golding’s play “Lord of the Flies” Nov. 3 through 6 in Kennedy Auditorium on the university campus. The cast features, from left, Xavier Munoz, playing Sam, freshman, Dallas; Jesus Duarte, playing Eric, freshman, Houston; Sami Hurley, playing Simon/Naval Officer, junior, Dallas; Joshua Harris, playing Piggy, sophomore, Baytown; Grant Calloway, playing Ralph, sophomore, Carthage; Anthony Krosecz, playing Jack, freshman, Sugar Land; Carter Colvin, playing Perceval, senior, Lindale; Austin Raymond, playing Henry, junior, Liberty City; Sin Calton, playing Bill, sophomore, Katy; David Smith, playing Maurice, sophomore, Houston; and Alex Karnell, playing Rodger, sophomore, Austin.

    October 17, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    The story about a group of young boys, trapped on a desert island, who discover the darkness of human nature will come to life on stage when the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre and Dance present “Lord of the Flies” Nov. 3 through 6 in Kennedy Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    The 1954 novel by Nobel Prize-winning British author William Golding, “Lord of the Flies” has been a staple on high school reading lists for decades. Even those who have not read the novel are well acquainted with its title and storyline, giving it what School of Theatre and Dance Director Cleo House Jr. describes as “iconic” status.

    “It’s a big show, with characters who do larger-than-life things,” said House, who is the play’s director. “Even though there’s plenty of drama, the comedy in the show is very present. We picked this show because it gives students an opportunity to do something very different from a traditional play.”

    Evacuated from a war-torn world and marooned on a deserted island when their plane crashes, a group of teenage British boys find themselves battling for survival with no adults to help them. Struggling with inner demons and external fears, and driven by a primitive blood-lust, their childish “games” lead to tragic consequence.

    “The play asks the question: what happens when people are left to their own devices without the bounds of societal norms?” House asks. “It also explores what happens when we stop seeing each other as people. When I spoke initially with the cast, I told them the play is rooted in illusion: What is real? Is it the societal norms? Is it the freedom of the jungle, or the fear of the jungle? My approach with the play is to explore all of these questions.”

    With a cast of mostly first-timers in an SFA Mainstage Series show, including a freshman lead character, House is looking forward to guiding students in building three-dimensional characters in the play, adapted for the stage by Nigel Williams.

    “In a show like this, you have to give a lot of energy and emotion,” he said. “The show is also very, very physical. The actors are running, crawling, fighting, laughing, crying, dancing. It has been a journey. The actors are constantly working to build their stamina. And, characters are speaking in British accents, which is always a challenge.

    “The setting for the show is quite large with many different locations,” he added. “In rehearsals, we had to get creative about how we used the space.”

    House considers this presentation of “Lord of the Flies” a PG-13 play, “but anyone from 12 years old and up can find joy in the ‘adventure’ the play offers,” he added.

    “And, I hope everyone will come to see how amazing our students are,” he said. “The actors in the show have brought such a high level of energy and excitement. They have been pushing each other to be better in and out of rehearsal. They started memorizing their lines well before the due date, and they are always asking questions and seeking ways to be better. They are simply incredibly hard workers. Yes, they are talented, but it is their commitment to each other and the process that makes them great artists.”

    Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 3 through 5, and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6. General ticket prices are: adult, $15; senior (62+), $10; youth (high school and younger), $8; SFA faculty/staff, $8; non-SFA student, $8; and SFA student, $5. For ticketing information or to purchase tickets, call the Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS, or visit sfasu.edu/boxoffice.

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  • SFA theatre students to present Allen’s Neo-Futurist work

    SFA theatre students to present Allen’s Neo-Futurist work

    October 13, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre and Dance will present the student-directed “30 Neo-Futurist Plays from Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind (30 Plays in 60 Minutes)" by Greg Allen at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, in Regents Suite A in the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the SFA campus.

    Directed by Connor Molen, junior theatre major from Denton, the production features 10 actors presenting 30 plays in 60 minutes. “Ten actors, 30 plays and one audience … at a time,” Molen writes to summarize the endeavor. “Time is of the essence in Greg Allen’s ‘30 Neo-Futurist Plays from Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind.’ The Neo-Futurist work explores Surrealism, Dada, Boal, Brecht and a variety of other theatrical styles in one hour or less. The interactive performance puts the audience in charge, and no two shows are the same. Join the ensemble as they explore the ‘right here, right now’ on stage.”

    Performers do not have named character tracks and are credited by the actor’s name. Due to the nature of “Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind,” the plays are performed in a different order each night. However, performances will consistently begin with words from Dallas junior Mariano Aguirre and Houston senior Maggie Jordan. Other cast members are Beth Powell, Baytown junior; Leiah McCasland Downey, Wills Point junior; Whitney Posey, Hawkins junior; Evan Hamilton, Houston sophomore; Aria Bethea, Rockwall freshman; Xavier Sanchez, Houston freshman; Erik Colbert, Houston freshman; and Karolyn Panfil, Katy freshman.

    The crew includes Winnie senior Andria Clement as stage manager; Stephenville senior Kyla Carter, scenic and props designer; Spring junior Jillian Helberg, costume designer; Wylie senior Natalie Elderbroom, lighting designer; Wylie junior Josiah Richardson, sound designer; and Gonzales senior Theo Moers, intimacy director.

    Additionally, SFA music student Ethan Sizelove, League City senior, has composed an original overture for the production. He will serve as music director for a trio, in which he will also perform on guitar; along with Aidan LaGraff, Nacogdoches junior, violin; and John Alan Jasso Velez, Freeport graduate student, cello.

    Molen is a B.F.A. candidate with acting/directing focus. During his time at SFA, he has performed on the Mainstage in “Ride Share/Overshare,” “The Maids,” “Ajax in Iraq” and “The Taming of the Shrew.” He is a member of and an officer in Alpha Psi Omega national theatre honor society and president of Speak Up: Devised Theatre. He has directed a studio hour and was assistant director for “Women Who Weave.” Molen was assistant director for “The Moors” and costume designer for “The Yellow Boat.”

    Tickets are $4. To purchase tickets, visit the SFA Fine Arts Box Office online at boxoffice.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407. Available tickets may be purchased at the door. For more information about the play, call the School of Theatre and Dance at (936) 468-4003 or visit sfasu.edu/theatre-dance. This production is recommended for mature audiences. Faculty production advisor is Dr. Inga Meier.

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  • Eason, Seregow duo to perform concert at SFA

    Eason, Seregow duo to perform concert at SFA

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    Bob Eason

    October 7, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    Dr. Bob Eason, adjunct instructor of saxophone at Stephen F. Austin State University, will perform with pianist Michael Seregow in a recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The performance will feature works by Edvard Grieg, Tania León, Gabriela Lena Frank, Joel Love and Manuel de Falla, and each of these compositions will be featured on the duo’s upcoming album to be released in late 2023.

    Seregow enjoys a multifaceted career as a performer, teacher and recording artist. Currently a member of the piano faculty at Ball State University, he has also served on the keyboard faculties at Washington State University, University of Puget Sound and University of Oregon.

    During his visit to Nacogdoches, Seregow will also present a free masterclass for SFA piano students at 1 p.m. Oct. 14 in Cole Concert Hall. After their recital on Friday evening, the duo will continue on a performance tour through central Texas, the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and Norman, Oklahoma.

    Recital 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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  • Singin’ Axes, Kantorei choirs to perform diverse program

    Singin’ Axes, Kantorei choirs to perform diverse program

    October 7, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    The Singin’ Axes and Kantorei choirs at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the program “A Bit of This, a Bit of That …” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The program theme reflects the diversity of styles to be performed for this concert by the ensembles, according to Dr. Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities at SFA and director of the choirs.

    “The choirs will sing a variety of selections, such as Renaissance motets, a movement from a Baroque cantata, 20th century compositional techniques from both a musical and poetic standpoint, an American folk song, African folk music and a gospel selection,” Fish said. “Composers range from Orlando di Lasso and J.S. Bach to the likes of Vincent Persichetti, Emma Lou Diemer and Keith Hampton.”

    The choirs will be joined by collaborative pianists Dr. Thomas Nixon and Maggie Hinchliffe. Herbert Midgley, music technology lecturer, will join Kantorei on either banjo or guitar for an American folk song performance. Dr. Scott LaGraff, baritone, will join the Singin’ Axes when the choir performs two movements from Charles Villiers Standford’s Opus 91 “Songs of the Sea” for solo baritone and tenor bass chorus.

    The Kantorei treble choir will perform Diemer’s “Fragments from the Mass,” “which at one point was a staple in the treble choir repertory but has recently been fairly forgotten,” Fish said. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to present this challenging work with our students.”

    New faculty member Dr. Cody Hunter, assistant professor of bassoon and music theory, will join the choirs for a performance of Bach’s Den Tod from“ Christ lag in Todesbanden.”

    The concert will conclude with Hampton’s “This is the Day,” a gospel selection that will feature several soloists from the choirs.

    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 perform celebratory works

    SFA’s Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band perform celebratory works

    October 7, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    The Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will celebrate the music of Frank Ticheli, Vincent Persichetti and other composers in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Director of the Wind Symphony is Dr. Dan Haddad, associate director of bands at SFA, and director of the Symphonic Band is Dr. Chris Kaatz, assistant director of bands.

    The Symphonic Band opens the concert with works that evoke celebration, either by honoring a specific person or event, or by portraying a feeling of revelry, according to Kaatz. Santigo Lope, composer, arranger and band leader in early 20th century Spain, was known for his pasodobles, a type of march evoking music played at Spanish bullfights. The band will perform his “Gallito,” written for Fernando Gomez, a famous matador.

    The Symphonic Band will perform Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium,” arranged by H. Robert Reynolds. Lauridsen's choral setting of "O Magnum Mysterium" ("O Great Mystery") has become one of the world's most performed and recorded compositions since its 1994 premiere by the Los Angeles Master Chorale. About his setting, Lauridsen writes, "For centuries, composers have been inspired by the beautiful ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ text with its depiction of the birth of the new-born King amongst the lowly animals and shepherds. This affirmation of God's grace to the meek and the adoration of the Blessed Virgin are celebrated in my setting through a quiet song of profound inner joy."

    The Symphonic Band will also perform Chen Yi’s “Spring Festival,” which celebrates the Chinese New Year, and Persichetti’s “Pageant,” which premiered at the American Bandmasters Association’s 1953 conference with the composer conducting. Persichetti used the words "gritty and gracious" to describe the essence of his music. Several themes are playfully tossed between brass and woodwinds as they are cleverly devolved and eventually woven together just before the work's exciting finale.

    The Wind Symphony will perform Jack Stamp’s “Gavorkna Fanfare,” which exploits the idea of a fanfare for full wind band, rather than the traditional brass and percussion instrumentation.

    Carter Pann’s “Hold This Boy and Listen” is “an unusually soft and subdued song for band,” the composer writes, adding he wrote the piece for a nephew. “The sentiment is at times innocent or wistful and at other times haunted and serene. The players should really be allowed to sing through their instruments in this piece.”

    The Wind Symphony concludes the concert with Ticheli’s “San Antonio Dances.” The first movement depicts the serene Alamo Gardens with live oak trees that provide welcome shade from the Texas sun. A tango mood and lazily winding lines give way to a brief but powerful climax depicting the Alamo itself, Ticheli explains. The second movement’s lighthearted and joyous music celebrates San Antonio’s famous Riverwalk. “Picture a group of friends seated at an outdoor patio of one of the Riverwalk’s many Tex-Mex restaurants, enjoying the scenery, the food, the company,” Ticheli writes. “In time, the evening settles in, the air cools, the mood brightens, the crowd picks up, and music is heard from every direction. Before you know it, the whole place is one giant fiesta that could go on forever.”

    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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  • Young pianist Olivia Ajero featured on NPR’s ‘From The Top Daily Joy’

    Young pianist Olivia Ajero featured on NPR’s ‘From The Top Daily Joy’

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    Olivia Ajero

    October 6, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    Nacogdoches pianist Olivia Ajero, 14, was featured in a “Daily Joy” online video. “Daily Joy’ is an online video project curated by NPR’s “From The Top” radio program. Its aim is to serve as a reminder of music’s power to uplift, inspire and unite. “Daily Joy” began in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and continues today to offer a much-needed respite from the anxiety and worry that people encounter in the world.

    Olivia, who studies piano with Linda Parr in the Music Preparatory Division of Stephen F. Austin State University’s School of Music, performed Frédéric Chopin’s Étude in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 10, No. 4, also known as the “Torrent Étude.” Her performance can be viewed at: https://www.daily-joy.org/video/fabulous-13-year-old-pianist/.

    Olivia will perform the “Torrent Étude” again for her birthday recital at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, at First United Methodist Church in Nacogdoches, along with works by J.S. Bach, Joseph Haydn, Franz Liszt, Sergei Rachmaninov and Sergei Prokofiev. Olivia attends McMichael Middle School in Nacogdoches. This past summer, she attended the Luzerne Music Center camp in New York. While there, Olivia won their concerto competition and performed as a featured soloist with the LMC Orchestra.

    For more information about Sunday’s recital, email ajeromp@sfasu.edu or call (936) 205-1881. The recital is free and open to the public.

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  • SFA’s Wind Ensemble to present ‘American Steampunk’

    SFA’s Wind Ensemble to present ‘American Steampunk’

    October 4, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    The Wind Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the program “American Steampunk” in its first concert of the 2022-23 season. Featuring music by American composers, the concert is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, in Cole Concert Hall, Wright Music Building, on the SFA campus.

    The four-movement work “Steampunk Suite” by Wisconsin composer Erika Svanoe is a program highlight, according to Dr. Tamey Anglley, director of bands at SFA and director of the Wind Ensemble.

    Written in 2017, Svanoe writes about the piece: “‘Steampunk Suite’ attempts to depict various scenes that take place in a fictional alternate history that features notable people alive in the Victorian era, including Charles Ives, Marie Curie, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, P.T. Barnum and Nikola Tesla.”

    The concert will open with “Canzona,” Peter Mennin’s only wind band composition, which has “remained a staple in our repertoire,” Anglley said. “‘Canzona’ was one of the many important commissions by Edwin Franko Goldman through the League of Composers and was composed and performed in 1951.”

    The Wind Ensemble will also perform the SFA premiere of “Keepers of the House” by Nashville-based composer Conni Ellisor. “Keepers of the House” began as an idea in the fall of 2019 and was realized two years later following a pandemic that halted large ensemble music making. Ellisor's two-movement work was inspired by Suzanne Simard's book, “The Mother Tree.”

    The final concert piece will be Donald Grantham’s “J’ai été au bal,” which translates to “I went to the dance.” Written in 1999, Grantham celebrates some of the popular/folk music styles of Louisiana, in particular Cajun music and the brass band tradition of New Orleans.

    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 2187

  • Andrew this year’s featured 12 X 12 artist

    Andrew this year’s featured 12 X 12 artist

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    Works by Peter Andrew, including  “Entranced by palms,” 12 x 12,” watercolor on paper 2022; “Tropical warmth,” 12 x 12,” watercolor on paper 2022; and “Walking into woods,” 20 x 20,” oils on canvas 2022, will be among the works of art available for purchase in the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts’ 12 X 12 fundraiser. Silent bidding gets underway Oct. 8 and continues until the start of the Art Party at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    October 4, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    Works by Stephen F. Austin State University Professor of Art Peter Andrew will be among the pieces available for purchase in the upcoming 12 X 12 Art Scholarship Fundraiser presented by the Friends of the Visual Arts at SFA.

    This year’s 12 X 12 Art Party and Auction is slated for 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches. Silent bidding on the pieces will take place Oct. 8 through 22, leading up to the Saturday night festivities.

    Andrew, who has taught at SFA for 40 years and heads up the School of Art’s advertising design program, is the featured artist for the 2022 event. The purpose of 12 X 12, which features 12-by-12-inch pieces of art created by artists from Nacogdoches, Lufkin and other areas of Texas, is to raise funds for FVA scholarships and grants awarded to SFA art students. Between $12,000 and $15,000 is awarded annually in scholarships to deserving students in the School of Art.

    A long-time art educator and supporter of Friends of the Visual Arts, Andrew believes that “appreciation of art is something that makes us all more human,” and his own artwork “uses color as a key expressive voice.”

    “Years of experience as an artist consultant and education manager in the artists’ materials industry has gifted me a wealth of hands-on experiences with a range of methods and techniques,” he said. “As an illustrator and designer, I appreciate the ways art can serve others. In my personal work I enjoy combining opposites: wet and dry media, or complementary colors, for example.”

    Andrew likes to offer more than one piece each year to 12 X 12 both to help raise more scholarship funds to support the art students and also to share his work with a wider audience.

    “My pieces tend to be landscapes or wildlife themed,” he said. “Lately, the works I create represent places and persons of meaning to me.”

    Among the pieces by Andrew that will be available for purchase are “Entranced by palms,” 12 x 12,” watercolor on paper 2022; “Tropical warmth,” 12 x 12,” watercolor on paper 2022; and “Walking into woods,” 20 x 20,” oils on canvas 2022.

    For two weeks leading up to the party, silent bidding on artwork will take place. Anyone may silently bid on the unique one-of-a-kind pieces, according to Linda Mock, event committee chair. Silent bidding ($250 minimum) begins Saturday, Oct. 8, at The Cole Art Center and will continue up to the day of the art party/auction. Starting bids drop to $100 the night of the event, and raffle tickets will also be sold that night. Appetizers and wine will be served at the auction party.

    Proceeds from the event help students defray the costs of special projects for art classes or M.F.A./B.F.A. exhibitions. Some recipients have attended conferences or gone on school trips that will help with their professional development. This has included Maymester trips for art students to photograph areas of Big Bend in West Texas as well as study abroad trips to Italy. The organization also awards scholarships for elementary school students to attend the SFA Art Academy.

    In addition to the Friends of the Visual Arts, other sponsors of this year’s 12 X 12 are The Flower Shop, The Cottage Wine Bar, Woodworkers Club of East Texas, Canty Forklift, Galleria Z, Wright Construction and The Monarch Group of Raymond James.

    The Cole Art Center, SFA’s historic art gallery, is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information about 12 X 12 or to become a sponsor, contact Mock at mockl@sfasu.edu.

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  • South American tubist Consentino to perform at SFA

    South American tubist Consentino to perform at SFA

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    Patricio Consentino

    October 4, 2022—Robbie Goodrich

    South American tubist Patricio Consentino will perform a recital at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, in the Music Recital Hall in Wright Music Building on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    His performance is part of the 2022 Octubafest Celebrations being held at universities throughout the country. These events are showcasing the tuba and euphonium as solo instruments as opposed to their traditional place as supporting instruments in many ensembles.

    Consentino will collaborate with Dr. Minhae Lee, assistant professor of piano at SFA, in performing Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Concerto for Bass Tuba, the first concerto written for tuba and orchestra; Astor Piazolla’s “Libertango,” one of Piazolla’s most popular tangos that has been transcribed for many instruments and showcases the soloist’s virtuosic abilities; and the Scottish folk song “The Water is Wide,” arranged by Joseph Green.

    Consentino is one of the most active tubists in South America, having made a career as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor. After receiving his musical degree at the “Franz Liszt” Hochschule für Musik in Weimar, Germany, Consentino returned to Argentina to accept the principal tuba position with the National Symphony Orchestra. He will also present a masterclass while visiting the SFA campus.

    Recital admission is free. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

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