College of Fine Arts News Archive

March 2018

  • SFA Opera Theater to present Mozart's 'The Magic Flute'

    SFA Opera Theater to present Mozart's 'The Magic Flute'

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    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music and School of Theatre will present W.A. Mozart's “The Magic Flute” as this year's SFA Opera Theater. Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 12 through 14, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    March 29, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    A fairy tale for all ages is what the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music and School of Theatre promise when they present W.A. Mozart's "The Magic Flute" as this year's SFA Opera Theater.

    Taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 12 through 14, in W.M. Turner Auditorium, "The Magic Flute" is a perennial favorite for audiences and musicians alike, according to Dr. Deborah Dalton, associate professor of voice at SFA and stage director of the opera.

    "In the 2015-16 season, there were more than 500 productions of 'The Magic Flute' worldwide, totaling more than 3,000 performances," Dalton said. "The fairy tale story with prince and princess, magical creatures, and familiar themes of good versus evil appeals to all ages.

    As Mozart's final opera - its premiere was two months prior to his death - the musical score is varied and beautiful, Dalton said.

    "It requires virtuosic singing from the highest female voice (Queen of the Night) to the lowest male voice (Sarastro)," she said. "It has been on my wish list for many years, and we finally had the right combination of voices to mount a production."

    "The Magic Flute" is a Singspiele, a form of German light opera with both singing and spoken dialogue that was popular in the late 18th century, Dalton explained.

    "It was written in collaboration with Emanuel Schikaneder for his theatre and is noted for its Masonic elements," she said. "Both Mozart and Schikaneder were Freemasons."

    In the opera, the Queen of the Night persuades Prince Tamino to rescue her daughter, Pamina, from captivity under the high priest, Sarastro. Tamino accepts the quest, but when he learns the high ideals of Sarastro's community, he seeks to join it. Separately, then together, Tamino and Pamina undergo severe trials of initiation, which end in triumph, with the Queen and her cohorts vanquished. The bird catcher, Papageno, who accompanies Tamino on his quest, fails the trials completely but is rewarded anyway with the hand of his "pretty bird," Papagena.

    Scenic design for "The Magic Flute" is by theatre faculty member Kenneth Verdugo. The design is influenced by ancient Egypt and features temples, palm trees and rocky elements. A false proscenium frames the stage and highlights important elements of the story, Dalton explained.

    Angela Bacarisse, professor of design and arts management in the School of Theatre, designed the costumes that Dalton described as a mix of fairy tale and "The Arabian Nights."

    "The large chorus posed a particular challenge: 28 to 30 identical costumes that will look good on everyone and fit our limited budget," Dalton said. "Angela came up with a brilliant solution. I won't give it away, but it is stunning!"

    Other music faculty members in key roles include Nita Hudson, voice and opera instructor, assistant director; Dr. Gene H. Moon, director of orchestras, musical director and orchestra conductor; and Dr. Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities, chorus master.

    "This is truly a fun show for all ages that has something for everyone - comedy, majesty and great beauty," Dalton said. "SFA Opera Theater continues to feature beautiful voices accompanied by an SFA orchestra in the pit. This production, designed and built by the SFA School of Theatre, has Egyptian elements, a Queen of the Night (Superstition), the Temple of the Sun (Enlightenment), and a monster!"

    Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/ or call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407.

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  • Noted art critic Perl juror for annual Texas National event

    Noted art critic Perl juror for annual Texas National event

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    Jed Perl - Photo by Duane Michaels

    March 29, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    Acclaimed art critic and author Jed Perl will serve as juror for the 24th annual Texas National, Stephen F. Austin State University's acclaimed art competition and exhibition, which opens Saturday, April 14, and runs through June 10 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, SFA's historic art gallery in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Texas National features an assortment of art, including photography, painting, sculpture and mixed media, according to John Handley, director of SFA galleries. This year's exhibition includes more than 65 pieces of art by 65 artists from 19 states.

    This year's exhibition will also include entries by four current SFA art students, Austin Cullen, Jacob Moffatt, Tracey King and Erik Ordaz, whose work Perl selected for the competition.

    The School of Art's annual juried competition and exhibition attracts entrants from across the United States, providing artists an opportunity to have their work juried by highly regarded artists and critics, such as Perl, Handley said.

    "Texas National is about as wide open as you can get, and it is always exciting to see, not only the diversity of works, but how each exhibition is entirely different due to the individual juror's tastes," Handley said.

    The event opens with the juror's talk at 5 p.m., followed by a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., during which time competition winners will be announced.

    "The competition is open to all media except for video and performance," Handley explained. "The juror is tasked with sifting through an enormous amount of entries to select up to 100 works of art for the exhibition."

    The exhibition is chosen from online entries. However, the winners are chosen by the juror in person, and the top three receive cash prizes.

    Perl, a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, has been called by poet John Ashbery "an almost solitary, essential voice." And a reviewer in the Atlantic, writing about "Magicians and Charlatans," Perl's most recent collection of essays, observed that he "may be the finest American critic at work today in any field."

    Perl was the art critic for The New Republic for 20 years and a contributing editor at Vogue for a decade. Among Perl's many books are "Antoine's Alphabet: Watteau and His World," "Eyewitness: Reports from an Art World in Crisis" and "New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century," which was a 2005 New York Times Notable Book. He is also the editor of "Art in America: 1945-1970," a 900-page anthology that he edited and introduced, published by the Library of America. He has written for The New York Times Book Review, Harper's, The New Criterion, The Threepenny Review, The Yale Review, Salmagundi and many other publications.

    He is the recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy in Rome, the Leon Levy Biography Center at the City University of New York, and the Ingram-Merrill Foundation. He has appeared on "Charlie Rose," "The McNeil/Lehrer NewsHour" and CNN, as well as National Public Radio. He is a professor of liberal studies at The New School in New York City where he lives.

    The exhibition and reception are sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts, Nacogdoches Junior Forum, The Flower Shop and R&K Distributors, Inc.

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

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  • SFA senior theatre student to direct 'Nine'

    SFA senior theatre student to direct 'Nine'

    March 27, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the one-act play "Nine" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 6, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Written by Jane Shepard, "Nine" will be directed by Lewisville senior theatre major Marie Phillips. The play is about two women who are chained to a room by unseen forces. Exercise and discussing their memories help them get through the day. As they hang on to life, they explore truth, bonds and hope, according to Phillips.

    The two-member cast features Grand Prairie senior Hope Kidd and Nacogdoches sophomore Alli Beck.

    The production staff includes Gabriel Peñaloza-Hernandez, Austin senior, stage manager; Lexie Lundy, Malakoff freshman, scenic designer; Jessica Griffin, Brownsboro sophomore, costume designer; Mia Lindemann, Prosper junior, lighting designer; Skyler Moore, Plano senior, sound designer; Eryn English, Beaumont senior, makeup designer; and Kathleen McNamara, Irving sophomore, properties master.

    Phillips is the treasurer of SFA's chapter of Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society, a past member of the Student Production Advisory Committee, and a player in Improv Strikes Back, the School of Theatre's improvisation troupe. While at SFA, she has been involved in more than a dozen shows, either as an actor, designer, dramaturg or director. Her minor is in anthropology.

    Dr. Slade Billew is faculty production advisor for "Nine." The play is recommended for mature audiences.

    Tickets are $4. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit theatre.sfasu.edu.

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  • SFA's Trombone Choir performance part of international observance

    SFA's Trombone Choir performance part of international observance

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    SFA's Trombone Choir will celebrate International Trombone Week with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    March 27, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The 20-piece Trombone Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform a variety of music when ensemble director Dr. Deb Scott presents the students in concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The performance is part of International Trombone Week in which musicians around the globe celebrate the trombone. Marking its 16th year, International Trombone Week features thousands of trombonists creating and participating in grassroots events and performances all over the world, according to Scott, professor of trombone in the SFA School of Music.

    Dr. Danny Chapa, instructor of low brass at SFA, will conduct the choir in its performance of "6 Pieces for 4 Trombones" by Vaclav Nelhybel and "O'er the Deep Blue Sea" by Garry Wickliffe, who is a former SFA composition student of Dr. Stephen Lias, professor of composition.

    "This piece was originally composed for the SFA Trombone Choir years ago," Chapa said. "It is now published by Brassworks 4 Publishing Company."

    Chapa will also conduct "Washington Post" by John Philip Sousa, arranged by Mark Benson.

    Scott will conduct the choir in Two Orchestral Fanfares arranged by David Mathie. The works in this selection include "Fanfare pour preceder 'La Peri'" by Paul Dukas and "Fanfare to Act III, 'Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien'" by Claude Debussy.

    Scott will also conduct "Buonasera Trombone" by Nicola Ferro, a prominent composer of trombone music.

    "'Buonasera Trombone' is composed in a fun Latin style that will include several other musicians helping out by clapping their parts," Scott said. "It will close out the program."

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/.

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  • Concert at SFA to feature new works of Texas composers

    Concert at SFA to feature new works of Texas composers

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    Meg Griffith

    March 26, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The Texas New Music Ensemble will make its first appearance on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus when the newly formed group performs at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in Cole Concert Hall.

    The Texas New Music Ensemble is a Houston-based, mixed chamber ensemble focused solely on the work of Texas composers, according to its artistic director, Dr. Chad Robinson. The ensemble is dedicated to the enrichment of Texas communities through the performance of contemporary art music created by Texas composers and performed by Texas musicians, according to the TNME website.

    "We are happy to be bringing them to our campus for the first time," said Dr. Stephen Lias, professor of composition in the SFA School of Music.

    The SFA performance will feature TNME flutist Meg Griffith performing a set of intense and alluring works for flute, piccolo and electronics written by Texas composers from Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin and Houston. The program includes works by Panayiotis Kokoras, Joel Love, Neil Anderson-Himmelspach, Marcus Maroney, Joseph Kelin, Till Meyn, Andrew May, Russel Pinkston and Robinson.

    "I have selected works that show the variety and talent of composers all over the great state of Texas," Robinson said. "SFA is the third and final stop on our first Texas tour. We've already performed in Fort Worth and Austin and cannot be more excited to make our way to Nacogdoches."

    The concert is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of music.

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

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  • Concert to celebrate great American songs of the 1930s through 1950s - CANCELED!

    Concert to celebrate great American songs of the 1930s through 1950s - CANCELED!

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    Kayla Roth
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    Erin Roth Thomas
    March 22, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The recital by Kayla Roth and Erin Roth Thomas, titled "I Won't Dance: An Evening of Great American Song" and originally scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in the Music Recital Hall, has been canceled.

    For more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/.
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    The Calliope Concert Series at Stephen F. Austin State University will feature the program "I Won't Dance: An Evening of Great American Song" at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in the Music Recital Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    The recital features guest mezzo soprano Erin Roth Thomas of Plano performing with her sister, Kayla Roth, instructor of music theory and ear-training at SFA, who will accompany on piano.

    "'I Won't Dance' is an evening celebrating the great old songs of the 1930s through the 1950s," said Thomas. "We've loved this music since we were kids. We'd stay up late on summer nights watching old musicals on Turner Classic Movies. We hope that the audience will feel transported back to a simpler time as they hear these old songs."

    Among the tunes to be performed are "I Won't Dance" by Cole Porter; "They Can't Take That Away From Me" by George and Ira Gershwin; "What'll I Do?" by Irving Berlin; "I've Got You Under My Skin" by Jerome Kern, and many more.

    "We were inspired by Bea Arthur's timeless performance of 'What'll I Do?' on 'The Golden Girls,'" Thomas said.

    Also on the program is the Gershwins' "Someone to Watch Over Me," which was originally envisioned as an up-tempo jazz tune but eventually was re-worked as a ballad, Thomas explained.

    Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone," also featured on the program, was originally from the musical "Carousel" and has been covered by numerous artists ranging from Judy Garland to the punk rock band Dropkick Murphies.

    The recital will include a performance of the Gershwins' "By Strauss." Roth explains, "The singer proclaims the popular Broadway tunes of Berlin, Kern, Porter, and - in an inspired bit of self-deprecation - even Gershwin can't compare to the grand waltzes of Johann Strauss and his son. It includes lyrical references to some of Strauss Jr.'s best-known works, such as 'On the Beautiful Blue Danube,' 'Wine, Women and Song,' and 'Die Fledermaus,'" she said.

    Praised by Theaterjones.com for possessing "a voice of surprising power and emotion," Thomas regularly performs as a concert soloist in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, singing a vast repertoire ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach's "Magnificat" to Richard Danielpour's "An American Requiem." Equally comfortable on the opera stage, she has performed numerous roles, including Pitti-Sing in 'The Mikado,' Meg Page in 'Falstaff," The Mother in "Amahl and the Night Visitors," Prince Orlofsky in "Die Fledermaus," and, most recently, Hansel in "Hansel and Gretel."

    Thomas is the alto section leader and soloist for Lovers Lane United Methodist Church. She is looking forward to the upcoming season, in which she is engaged as a soloist and chorister with Orpheus Chamber Singers, Verdigris Ensemble, Highland Park Chorale and The Texas Voices. An SFA graduate and former student of Nita Hudson, SFA voice faculty member, Thomas said she is thrilled to be back in the Piney Woods to perform with her sister.

    Roth is also a graduate of SFA and Texas State University. All music on the concert was arranged by Roth.

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

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  • SFA's new Celtic Harp Band to perform Irish favorites

    SFA's new Celtic Harp Band to perform Irish favorites

    March 22, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music and its Calliope Concert Series will present the Celtic Harp Band in concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 8, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Present and past SFA harp students will come together to perform Irish music on smaller, Celtic harps. The program will also include poetry of W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Thomas Moore, Eavan Boland and Spike Milligan read by Dr. Jamie Weaver, associate professor of music history at SFA.

    The Celtic Harp Band includes Haley Brant, Susanna Campbell, Rachel Clark, Corinna Hogan, Martha de Luna, Emily Mitchell and Kjersten Sanders.

    Among the selections to be performed are "Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)," "The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls" and "Wearin' o' the Green."

    This concert replaces the originally scheduled concert by flutist/composer Gary Schocker who had to cancel his performance on the Calliope Series due to a scheduling conflict.

    The cancellation provided an opportunity to proceed with the budding idea of establishing a harp band, according to Emily Mitchell, SFA artist-in-residence and harp adjunct instructor.

    "SFA is always on spring break during St Patrick's Day, so we're waiting a couple of weeks to get our Irish on," Mitchell said.

    Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

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

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  • Annual 'Coleidoscope' to showcase 'Works for Clarinet, Piano and Strings'

    Annual 'Coleidoscope' to showcase 'Works for Clarinet, Piano and Strings'

    March 20, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The annual "Coleidoscope" chamber music concert at Stephen F. Austin State University will be at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 25, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The event is presented each year in honor of SFA School of Music benefactor Ed Cole and his late wife, Gwen. Cole Concert Hall is named in their honor in recognition of their support for the School of Music and its students.

    "This concert is dedicated to them and their support of the arts in Nacogdoches," said Dr. Jennifer Dalmas, professor of violin and viola at SFA.

    This year's "Coleidoscope" program is "Works for Clarinet, Piano and Strings" and features performances by guest artist Kae Hosoda-Ayer. Selections to be performed are by Canadian composer Stephen Chatman, Bohuslav Martinu and Lowell Liebermann.

    "Each year for 'Coleidoscope,' we enjoy collaborating with our colleagues featuring various instruments," Dalmas said. "In recent years, this has included diverse instruments such as the harp, oboe and saxophone. This year will actually feature both the clarinet and the piano, with our own clarinet professor, Chris Ayer, and his wife, Kae Hosoda-Ayer, performing with us, as well."

    Dalmas describes Chatman's Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano as "an engaging and entertaining work, composed in three movements."

    "The outer movements are energetic and technically challenging, while the slow middle movement explores some lovely blues timbres and harmonies," she said.

    Martinu's Serenade No. 2 also features an unusual instrumentation; it is composed for two clarinets and string trio.

    "This work, which has four movements, has wonderful interplay between the textures of winds and strings," Dalmas said. "It contains beautiful lyrical writing in the slow movement."

    The Chelsea Chamber Ensemble premiered Liebermann's work in 1988. Scored for clarinet, string trio and piano, the piece explores interesting textures between the various instruments and shows effective emotional contrasts within each movement, Dalmas explained.

    Another music faculty member, Melissa Nabb, instructor of music theory, viola and violin, will perform (viola) in two of the three pieces, and SFA graduate student and clarinetist Gary Jones will join the ensemble on one piece (the Martinu), as well.

    The recital is part of the School of Music's Calliope Concert Series.

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

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  • SFA's Stone Fort Wind Quintet to perform works of Beethoven, Lacerda

    SFA's Stone Fort Wind Quintet to perform works of Beethoven, Lacerda

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    SFA's Stone Fort Wind Quintet, featuring music faculty members Charles Gavin, Christopher Ayer, Kerry Hughes, Christina Guenther and Lee Goodhew, will present a recital at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    March 19, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stone Fort Wind Quintet at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in Cole Concert Hall.

    The faculty recital is a feature of the SFA School of Music's Calliope Concert Series. The quintet includes music faculty members Charles Gavin, horn; Christopher Ayer, clarinet; Kerry Hughes, oboe; Christina Guenther, flute; and Lee Goodhew, bassoon.

    Works to be performed include Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn, op. 71 by Ludwig van Beethoven; "Quinteto de Sopro" by Osvaldo Lacerda; Six Riotous Rhymes for Woodwind Quintet With Narration by Trevor Cramer and words by Carole Scutt; and "La Milonga" by Christopher Caliendo.

    Beethoven's classic work for woodwind quintet in four movements was originally composed as a sextet for two clarinets, two bassoons and two horns, according to Guenther. The first movement opens with a brief stately Adagio before the clarinet leads into the Allegro.

    "This movement features dramatic melodic lines with varied dynamics and high energy," Guenther said. "The second movement begins with a horn solo that is featured throughout the movement. The Menuetto is a light dance that opens with horn and bassoon answered by the flute, oboe and clarinet. The final movement is a high-energy rondo that has lovely melodic lines and stately pronouncements between the ever-repeating A theme."

    Lacerda's "Quintet for Winds" is another four-movement, high-energy piece, Guenther explains. The first movement is energetic with many rhythmic and tempo shifts. The second movement is an animated 6/8 with driving eighth notes and insistent accents. The third movement opens with a recitativo bassoon solo, and then continues with singing lines throughout the ensemble.

    "The final movement, vivo, is spritely and dance-like, recalling some thematic material from the first movement," she said.

    Six Riotous Rhymes for Woodwind Quintet is based on the books "Riotous Rhymes for Children of all Ages" and "Rhyme Time." The six movements feature comical narration presented by the ensemble players throughout each movement: "Two Rabbits (or more hare to spare)," "Catered Affair," "Unique Antique," "Clearly I'm a Jellyfish," "Peep in Touch" and "Bear With Me." Of the work, the composer writes: "The music is not meant to be profound - just good fun!"

    Milonga is a musical genre that originated in the Río de la Plata areas of Argentina and Uruguay. Popular in the 1870s, it was derived from an earlier style of singing known as the payada de contrapunto and was set to a lively 2/4 tempo, as are most milongas, Guenther explained.

    "Caliendo's 'La Milonga' is a highly energetic work based on this genre that is sure to have you dancing in your seat," she said.

    The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/.

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  • School of Theatre to present student-directed 'Haiku'

    School of Theatre to present student-directed 'Haiku'

    March 9, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the one-act play "Haiku" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Written by Katherine Snodgrass, "Haiku" will be directed by Houston senior theatre major Tevia Loeser. The play is about a mother's love, one sister's struggle with doing what is right and another sister who may be gifted a artist with an impaired mind. "Haiku" won the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

    "Nell takes care of her cognitively challenged daughter, Louise, who, in miraculous intervals, retains super-normalcy and speaks in Haikus, which Nell publishes," Loeser explains. "When Billie (the other daughter) comes home wanting to start a contingency plan, Nell has to convince her of Louise's progress."

    The cast includes Rusk senior Bre'Ann Higgins as Nell; Red Oak freshman Beau McAfee as Louise; and Arlington junior Kayla Mroch as Billie.

    The production staff includes Rebekah Webb, DeSoto senior, as stage manager; Richard Rogers, Kerrville sophomore, scenic designer; Jordyn Averitte, Baytown sophomore, costume designer; Dustin Barnes, Needville sophomore, lighting designer; Jessica Tinker-Akers, Marshall graduate student, sound designer; Drake Combs, Austin junior, makeup designer; and Tyler Canada, Los Angeles, California, senior, properties master.

    "Haiku" is Loeser's first play to direct at SFA. She has held a variety of roles in plays since her freshman year, including props designer for "Springtime" to playing Nancy in "Ivy + Bean The Musical" during the 2017 SummerStage Festival. She will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre and a minor in mass communication.

    Faculty production advisor for "Haiku" is Cleo House Jr.

    Tickets are $4. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit theatre.sfasu.edu.

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  • Faculty recital to feature selections from LaGraff CD

    Faculty recital to feature selections from LaGraff CD

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    SFA music faculty members Scott LaGraff, baritone, and Hyun Ji Oh, pianist, will be joined by mezzo soprano Kimberly LaGraff in a recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    March 9, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present a faculty recital featuring Scott LaGraff, baritone, and Hyun Ji Oh, pianist, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.
    LaGraff will perform works by some of his favorite composers along with selections from his latest CD, "Incline Thine Ear and Other Sacred Songs." Kimberly LaGraff, mezzo soprano, will join her husband for selected duets.
    Works to be performed are by G.F. Handel, Hugo Wolf, Maurice Ravel, W.A. Mozart, Oley Speaks, Albert Hay Malotte, Ernest Charles and others.
    Ravel's "Don Quichotte à Dulcinée" has been a baritone standard since its composition in the early 1930s, but one that LaGraff has not performed in about 15 years.
    "Each piece explores a different aspect of Don Quixote's deep love for Dulcinea," LaGraff explained. "The cycle begins with a sensuous love song, moves to a heroic song of dedication, and ends with a frivolous and comical drinking song."
    The program includes sacred selections composed by Speaks that are included on LaGraff's most recent CD.
    "The songs are musically interesting and technically challenging settings of well-known passages of scripture," he said. "Speaks was born in Canal Winchester, Ohio, very close to where I grew up, which makes these pieces even more personal for me."
    Malotte's "The Lord's Prayer," which will be performed as a duet with Kimberly LaGraff, has been recorded by artists as diverse as Leontyne Price and the Beach Boys, LaGraff said.
    "Most importantly to us, however, is the fact that we sang it at our own wedding and have performed it countless times since then at weddings, in church services, and even in a cow pen at a cattle auction!" he said. "The duet version is not heard nearly as often as the solo version. It is also on my CD."
    The concert is a joint presentation of the College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.
    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • Madrid to teach violin, viola in SFA's Music Preparatory Division

    Madrid to teach violin, viola in SFA's Music Preparatory Division

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    Alba Madrid

    March 7, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The Music Preparatory Division of the School of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University has announced the addition of Alba Madrid to its staff of exceptionally talented music educators.

    Madrid will teach violin and viola lessons at the Music Prep House, located at 3028 Raguet St. With a bachelor's degree in music and computer science and a master's degree in music from the University of Southern Mississippi, Madrid has extensive experience as a teacher and orchestra director, according to Pat Barnett, director of the Music Prep Division.

    "We are very fortunate to have Alba joining us at Music Prep," Barnett said. "She brings a wealth of experience and talent, and we are confident that our students will benefit greatly from her expertise."

    Madrid has directed high school and middle school orchestras, taught applied violin and viola lessons, led sectionals and master classes and overseen music programs for various grade levels at school districts in Edinburg, McAllen and Houston. She maintained an active studio as the violin instructor for the Champaign School of Music in Champaign, Illinois, where she also performed as a member of Sinfonia da Camera, The Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, the Heartland Festival Orchestra and the Danville Symphony Orchestra.

    Madrid is the wife of Dr. Jacob Walburn, assistant professor of trumpet in the SFA School of Music.

    Contact the Music Prep office at (936) 468-1291 for more information.

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  • Last chance to see '(Biedermann and) The Firebugs'

    Last chance to see '(Biedermann and) The Firebugs'

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    March 2, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    Huffman junior theatre student Sidney Lowell plays the role of Babette in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre's presentation of Max Frisch's play "(Biedermann and) The Firebugs." Curtain goes up at 7:30 nightly through Saturday, March 3, in the W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.theatre.sfasu.edu. Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for students/youth.

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  • FVA to award scholarship in honor of esteemed art professor Arscott

    FVA to award scholarship in honor of esteemed art professor Arscott

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    A newly established scholarship will be awarded for the first time this spring to honor esteemed SFA art and filmmaking professor William Arscott.

    March 2, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The Friends of the Visual Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University will award a newly established $1,000 scholarship this spring in honor of longtime art and filmmaking professor William E. Arscott.

    Arscott, who recently turned 83, is SFA's longest-tenured faculty member with more than 54 years teaching at the university. This scholarship is one of many the FVA has established to honor retiring art instructors. However, Arscott has no plans to retire soon.

    "Normally, the FVA Board only awards scholarships for a retired professor," FVA scholarship chair Linda Mock explained. "But we decided that Bill may never retire, and we want to honor him now. He has been generous in providing financial assistance to the gallery and supporting all our FVA scholarship fundraising efforts."

    The Arscott scholarship will be awarded on an annual basis to a junior, senior or graduate level student who is working toward an art degree with a major area of study in filmmaking.

    Arscott has worked in many artistic fields, including ceramics, painting, printmaking, sculpture and cinematography. For many years, while teaching cinematography, he also taught huge sections of art appreciation, and his lectures for these have been aptly described as "legendary," according to a Faculty Spotlight feature.

    Arscott established the cinematography program in 1980. His primary artist activity is that of a movie producer, though he also does some work in painting and printmaking, the Spotlight article explained. Distinguished both as an artist and educator, Arscott has been recognized and awarded many honors, including Texas Senate Resolution No. 514, Outstanding Educator of America, Alumni Distinguished Professor and Regents Professor.

    Among his proudest moments was when Dr. Baker Pattillo, SFA president, recognized Arscott in August 2013 for his 50 years of service to SFA. Pattillo presented Arscott with a plaque proclaiming Aug. 22, 2013, 'William E. Arscott Day' at SFA.

    Today, Arscott spends most of his time teaching alongside one of his most famous former students, two-time Emmy-Award nominee Brad Maule, who portrayed Dr. Tony Jones on the daytime soap opera General Hospital for 20 years. Together, the two colleagues spend hundreds of hours a year teaching undergraduate and graduate students filmmaking, cinematography and production design.

    A testament to the program's commitment to graduating "camera-ready" professionals, Arscott said about 90 percent of the program's graduates are employed in the industry. "They leave us with the skills they need to excel," Arscott said in the Spotlight article.

    The FVA has established scholarships in the name of retiring SFA School of Art professors who were employed in the School of Art for a minimum of 10 years before retirement and who contributed in a significant way to the mission of the Friends of the Visual Arts board and its fundraising activities, such as consistently donating art for fundraisers, by providing monetary assistance, or by serving on FVA committees or board.

    The SFA Friends of the Visual Arts is made up of community members who support the arts in East Texas and provide monetary assistance to students enrolled in the School of Art to assist them with expenses incurred in producing the required exhibition for earning a B.A. or M.F.A. in art. The FVA also assists students with expenses related to attending educational trips planned by the School of Art or to attending conferences/workshops related to their primary area of study.

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  • Tickets still available for Barefoot Movement bluegrass concert

    Tickets still available for Barefoot Movement bluegrass concert

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    The Barefoot Movement bluegrass band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus as part of the College of Fine Arts’ University Series.

    March 2, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    Tickets are still available for the upcoming concert of The Barefoot Movement when the exciting, young bluegrass band performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    The performance is the last in this year's University Series presented by the SFA College of Fine Arts.

    Heralded by CMT Edge as "one of the most promising bands on the bluegrass scene," The Barefoot Movement was named "Band of the Year" in 2014 by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Billboard Magazine describes their sound as "slices of bluegrass, country, folk and even a little bit of rock and roll."

    "When this up-and-coming, youthful quartet of superb musicians romps through pop-infused 'newgrass' medleys and country-flavored ballads, you can expect an evening of music with something for everyone," said Scott Shattuck, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and director of the series. "Tickets are selling fast, but there are still good seats available if you act quickly. Take advantage of our buy-one, get-one ad in The Daily Sentinel and bring a friend for free."

    The band's University Series performance is sponsored in part by Commercial Bank of Texas.

    Prior to the performance, artist, musician and SFA Professor Emeritus Charles D. Jones will present an informative talk at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery. The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium, which is inside the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

    Tickets for the University Series are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for non-SFA students/youth. Tickets for SFA students are $3. For tickets or more information, visit finearts.sfasu.edu, stop by the Box Office in Room 211 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

    You may also be interested in these related articles:

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  • SFA's choral ensembles celebrate works of Bernstein

    SFA's choral ensembles celebrate works of Bernstein

    March 1, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The Choral Union and Women's Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the program "The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Bernstein Celebration" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The concert's music celebrates the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein, who is "arguably the greatest, and most diverse, musical mind in our country's history," according to Dr. Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities for the SFA School of Music.

    "The concert will be a display of Bernstein's skillful fusing of styles over the course of his compositional life," Fish said.

    Bernstein's style has been described as both "urban" and "urbane," as he was able to incorporate all the musical attributes laid before him as a conductor, performer, pedagogue and scholar, Fish explained.

    "Bernstein was able to masterfully combine the forms and styles of European composers with the driving rhythmic impetus of urban America to create a style he described as 'unashamedly diverse,' consequently 'the best of all possible worlds,'" Fish said.

    Members of the SFA voice faculty will join the ensembles to sing a choral setting of an arrangement by Robert Page of "Make Our Garden Grow" from "Candide."

    Dr. Kristin Lyman, assistant professor of music education, will accompany as percussionist the Women's Choir and Choral Union's performance of "Chichester Psalms."

    "This work was important to Bernstein," Fish said. "He took a 15-month sabbatical from his conducting duties with the New York Philharmonic from 1964 to 1965, using the time for soul-searching and reflection to see whether or not he was out of touch with modern trends and to decide in what direction contemporary music, particularly his own, was heading. In the end, he decided he still had something to say and would achieve it through tonality, which bucked the trends of the time. 'Chichester Psalms' is the result of this decision and was premiered in 1965."

    Other guests joining in the performance of "Chichester Psalms" are music faculty member Dr. Christina Harmon and her student, Polina Golubkova, who will accompany the combined choirs on the organ. Harpist Rachel Clark, student of faculty member Emily Mitchell, as well as percussionist Briley Patterson, student of Dr. Bradley Meyer, director of percussion studies at SFA, will also perform.

    The ensembles will combine to perform "Sanctus" from "Mass" as the concert's finale.

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  • SFA's A Cappella Choir to premiere 'Where Everything is Music'

    SFA's A Cappella Choir to premiere 'Where Everything is Music'

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    The SFA A Cappella Choir will present “Where Everything is Music” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    March 1, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The A Cappella Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present "Where Everything is Music" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The program theme will examine the many ways in which music permeates and affects our everyday life, according to Dr. Michael Murphy, associate professor and director of choral activities in the SFA School of Music.

    The A Cappella Choir will perform the North American premiere of Swedish composer Bo Hansson's original composition "Where Everything is Music" for choir and cello. The 900-year-old text from Persian poet Rumi talks about removing barriers and boundaries in life. Dr. Evgeni Raychev, cello instructor at SFA, will collaborate with the choir.

    The choir will also perform southwest premieres of two unaccompanied choral selections by composer Andrew Smith, who was born in Liverpool, England, and has lived in Norway since 1984.

    Other works performed will feature "Reggel" ("Morning") by the Hungarian-Austrian avant-garde composer György Ligeti. The rhythmic Haitian folk song "Peze Kafe" by Swedish arranger Sten Källman, along with the melancholy "Nächtens" ("In the Night") by Johannes Brahms and other selections will complete the program.

    The concert is a joint presentation of the College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

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

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