College of Fine Arts News Archive

February 2019

  • 'Three One-Act Plays by Asian Authors' continues through Saturday

    'Three One-Act Plays by Asian Authors' continues through Saturday

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    February 28, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre continues to present "Three One-Act Plays by Asian Authors" at 7:30 p.m. nightly through Saturday, March 2, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. Among the student performers in Rabindranath Tagore's "The Post Office" are, from left, Gilmer senior Hunter Ballard, Leander sophomore Zach Loveday and Tyler junior Holden Guinn. Other one-act plays include Mishima Yukio's "The Lady Aoi" and Gao Xingjian's "Hiding from the Rain." Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for youth. Tickets for SFA students are $5. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.theatre.sfasu.edu/.

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  • SFA's combined choirs, orchestra to present 'War and Peace' concert

    SFA's combined choirs, orchestra to present 'War and Peace' concert

    February 27, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The combined choirs and orchestra at Stephen F. Austin State University will present "War and Peace" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    Conducted by Dr. Michael Murphy, director of choral activities at SFA, the masterwork concert features Franz Joseph Haydn's "Mass in Time of War" and Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Dona Nobis Pacem."

    "The subjects of war and peace have always occupied the great themes of literature and music," Murphy said. "From the Old Testament and the epic stories of Homer and Virgil down to the writings of many 19th and 20th century authors like Walt Whitman and Wilfred Owen, the emotional and physical turmoil of war and the hope of peace emerge as leading preoccupations of the human race.

    "As in literature, war and peace in music is often conveyed either through the glorious exploits of conquests or the realistic brutality that war brings to all," he said. "That stark duality is explored in our concert."

    Murphy directs SFA's A Cappella Choir; Dr. Todd Fish, associate director of choral activities, directs the Men's Choir and Women's Choir; and Dr. Pierre-Alain Chevalier, visiting director of orchestral activities, directs the Orchestra of the Pines.
    Soloists include voice faculty members Prof. Debbie Berry, Prof. Nita Hudson, Dr. Ric Berry, Dr. Scott LaGraff and Dr. Chris Turner.

    Prior to the concert, a lecture will be presented at 6:30 p.m. in the Griffith Art Gallery (FA 208) by Dr. Samantha Inman, assistant professor of music theory, and Dr. Jamie Weaver, associate professor of music history. The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium.

    The concert is a joint presentation of the 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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  • Pianist Hai Jin's concert canceled

    Pianist Hai Jin's concert canceled

    February 21, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    A concert by pianist Hai Jin originally scheduled for Friday night, Feb. 22, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus has been canceled due to inclement weather affecting the artist's travel plans.

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  • SFA faculty chamber recital to feature 'Zodiacal Light'

    SFA faculty chamber recital to feature 'Zodiacal Light'

    February 21, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music and its Friends of Music Concert Series will present "Zodiacal Light," a faculty chamber recital, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The recital will feature Christina Guenther, flute; Christopher Ayer, clarinet; Lee Goodhew, bassoon; and Ron Petti, piano. They will perform works by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Roger Zare, Kyle Hovatter and Daniel Dorff.

    Villa-Lobos was considered one of the most prominent Brazilian composers of the 20th century, according to Guenther. He synthesized Brazilian folk idioms with Western art music techniques to create a unique nationalist style. He composed his set of nine Bachianas Brasileiras (Brazilian Bach pieces) between 1930 and 1945 upon his return from Europe. These neoclassical compositions sought to link Brazilian popular music to Baroque harmonic and contrapuntal procedures, according to program notes by Amanda Cook.

    Zare is an American composer and pianist. His "Zodiacal Light" was commissioned by the Flute and Clarinet Duo Consortium in 2018. Each movement is based on rare and awe-inspiring events that light up the night sky. The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, is the inspiration for the first movement. The second movement, False Dawn, is a reference to the composition's title. The Zodiacal Light is a luminous cone that appears along the ecliptic, or the line along which the sun moves throughout the year.

    "Frequently during the movement, the flute, clarinet and later the piano sound create an aural representation of the meteors with quick rising gestures," Zare writes of the piece. "The music alternates between a rapid fluid moto perpetuo and a more stilted but still energetic imitative texture. Towards the end, the flowing theme from the first movement returns. It is paired with the stilted texture at first, and finally stated in a grandiose manner. One final upward rush of meteors brings the work to a close."

    Hovatter's works span orchestral, choral, chamber and electronic genres. Like much of Hovatter's music, "Mutation from 'The Cascades,'" (written in 2016) is rhythmically driven, according to Guenther.

    "Almost incessant murmurings and surprising accents with constant interplay between the three instruments throughout the majority of the trio give way to a slower section with lush piano chords, culminating in a playful, very rag-like ending," she said. "The keen listener will hear that this piece is based off of 'The Cascades,' a rag by Scott Joplin."

    Dorff's "Three Romances" was composed "by accident" in several stages, he said. Throughout the summer of 2006, Dorff was mainly focused on writing a lengthy piano concerto.

    "One day in July 2006, a frisky-sounding duet for flute and clarinet just popped out," he writes. "It was a complete movement, but too short to be a stand-alone composition, so I decided to write a few more companion movements."

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

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  • Creating multiple costume, set designs offers good learning experiences for students

    Creating multiple costume, set designs offers good learning experiences for students

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    Chandler senior theater major Jessica Griffin dyes fabric for one of the costumes she designed for “The Post Office,” one of “Three One-Acts Plays by Asian Authors” the School of Theatre will present Feb. 26 through March 2 in Turner Auditorium of the SFA campus.

    February 21, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Presenting three different plays in three different styles on one stage in one night takes detailed logistical planning and coordination among designers.

    That's what the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre accomplishes when it presents "Three One-Act Plays by Asian Authors" Feb. 26 through March 2 on the W.M. Turner Auditorium stage.

    Rick Jones, professor of theatre at SFA, directs the show, which features the one-acts "The Post Office" by Rabindranath Tagore; "The Lady Aoi" by Mishima Yukio; and "Hiding from the Rain" by Gao Xingjian.

    Each play has a differenct student costume designer: Jessica Griffin for "The Post Office," Jordyn Averitte for "The Lady Aoi" and Kate Berry for "Hiding from the Rain." They were all students in Professor Angela Bacarisse's costume design class last fall, and one of their major projects was to work on these plays. Jones visited the class a few times to talk about the plays, look at their concept boards and sketches, and finally to sign off on the designs themselves.

    Averitte said going through the design process with fellow student designers was fun.

    "It was interesting to see each design form as we went along," she said. "The biggest challenge for me has been tailoring patterns to match my design during construction. I wanted my designs to be intriguing and represent the characters and their backgrounds."

    Working on "Hiding from the Rain" was a great experience for Berry as a new costume designer.

    "This show presented a couple of unique challenges in the design aspect of it in that the two female characters, Bright Voice and Sweet Voice, on the surface, can appear very similar and almost as if they are the same person," she said, "so it was important for me to show that they were different but also connected in some way. I accomplished this by distinguishing them in color as well as style."

    One of her goals was to showcase the color red.

    "In Chinese culture, red symbolizes wealth and prosperity, which the two girls are experiencing, so each of their costumes has red in them," she said. "Using red also helped to show that the girls are connected. The Old Man presented his own unique challenges because I wanted to convey how he is almost the opposite of the two girls in terms of status in life and attitude towards life, as well."

    Moving three different set designs on and off the stage quickly in between the performances presented a bit of a challenge for scenic designer Kenneth John Verdugo, assistant professor in the School of Theatre.

    "He had to devise a system to get one entire set off and another on in only a few minutes," Jones said. "And our lift really has to stay in one place throughout.

    "We went back and forth a few times about what order we should present the plays," he added. "It makes more sense thematically to do it one way, but it's better logistically to do it another, and so on. And I've never tried anything like this before. We've been doing some learning on the fly."

    The first concern for Verdugo was that each set would need to be portable enough for the needed transitions while also being sustainable enough to stand alone to serve the individual play.

    "It was important to keep the design essential - not overstated but specific enough to tell a story," Verdugo said. "For practical purposes, there is one scenic element that is constant - downstage platform - but is only used in one of the three plays."

    "The Lady Aoi" and "Hiding from the Rain" are fairly contemporary - or at least lend themselves to a more current setting, according to Verdugo.

    "The fact that these are not three Asian plays but rather are three plays by Asian authors allows for the design to remain within the context of a setting that is familiar to our Western audience," he said. "'The Post Office' felt a bit more timeless and perhaps archaic in some respects. I believe this is reflected in the costumes. As such, I followed the lead of the costume designers.

    "The costumes and the language of the text do not feel or read as contemporary," he said. "How one arrives at what can be considered timeless, or rather not specifically of a particular time period, was a challenge. Design is a combination of such factors, as well as essential collaboration in style, color and scale."

    Verdugo believes the challenge of presenting three different plays on one night has been a good learning experience for students.

    "I believe students are seeing that effective design does not have to be elaborate or overstated," he said. "The three different environments are very distinct, each providing only what is needed to tell the story. They have prepared an evening of performances that are not constructed within a traditional framework.

    "Students were given the task of setting and re-dressing multiple units in a single evening of performances," he added. "They are learning to keep each setting consistent by hitting their mark each night.

    "I believe the challenge of the evening is to produce three very different plays that are linked through cultural sensibilities and language that is profound, often poetic and hopefully accessible."

    "Three One-Act Plays by Asian Authors" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Feb. 26 through March 2, in Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive, on the SFA campus.

    Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for youth. Tickets for SFA students are $5. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.theatre.sfasu.edu/.

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  • SFA to screen 'Koo-Hoot Kiwat: The Caddo Grass House'

    SFA to screen 'Koo-Hoot Kiwat: The Caddo Grass House'

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    A free, one-night screening of the documentary “Koo-Hoot Kiwat: The Caddo Grass House” will be at 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

    February 19, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and the Friends of the Visual Arts will present a free, one-night screening of the documentary "Koo-Hoot Kiwat: The Caddo Grass House" at 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    In the PBS film, which is directed by Curtis Craven, a Caddo tribal elder and his apprentice return to their ancestral homeland in East Texas to direct the construction of a traditional grass house.

    The film is being shown in conjunction with an exhibition of Caddo Nation artists showing through March 24 in The Cole Art Center. "Caddo Contemporary: Present and Relevant" is an exhibition of ceramics, paintings, beadwork, stonework and drawings by seven living Caddo artists. The exhibition is a collaborative presentation of the SFA School of Art and Art Galleries and the Caddo Mound State Historic Site in Alto.

    "Caddo Contemporary: Present and Relevant" is sponsored in part by William Arscott, The Flower Shop, Nacogdoches Junior Forum, Humanities Texas and Friends of the Visual Arts. Admission is free.

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

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

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  • ArtsPower brings 'Madeline and the Bad Hat' to SFA stage

    ArtsPower brings 'Madeline and the Bad Hat' to SFA stage

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    Two performances of “Madeline and the Bad Hat” will be presented on Wednesday, March 6, as part of the Children's Performing Arts Series at SFA.

    February 18, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Children's Performing Arts Series at Stephen F. Austin State University will present two performances of the enchanting "Madeline and the Bad Hat" on Wednesday, March 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    The third in Ludwig Bemelman's "Madeline" series, "Madeline and the Bad Hat" is presented by ArtsPower National Touring Theatre. The story focuses on the unbreakable bonds of friendship and family, according to Diane Peterson, SFA Fine Arts Box Office manager and director of the children's series.

    Capturing the blithe yet touching spirit of the much-loved Madeline, this tale traces the adventures of a young Parisian girl who - despite starting off on the wrong foot with a mischievous new neighbor - eventually learns that first impressions aren't everything.

    "In this show, Madeline is in that important 'discovery' phase of her life, when the types of challenges and conflicts she faces are important to resolve," Peterson explains. "The timeless charm of Bemelmans' story is quite relevant to young children, who are forever seeking ways to handle such problems, and the stage is a wonderful venue for such lessons."

    The show targets children in pre-kindergarten through third grade. Study guides provide suggestions for pre- and post¬ performance activities and discussions for teachers to use in the classroom. A comprehensive study guide for "Madeline and the Bad Hat" may be accessed at cpas.sfasu.edu.

    "Told with gentle humor, and featuring a beautiful musical score, this amusing tale of enemies-become-friends will charm and entertain children and adults alike," Peterson said.

    "Madeline and the Bad Hat" has been adapted for the stage by ArtsPower's artistic director Greg Gunning, who also wrote the lyrics and directed the production. Composer/orchestrator Richard DeRosa created the original Broadway-style score.

    Performances are at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in Turner Auditorium, which is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building. Tickets are $7.50 for individuals and $6 per person for groups of 20 or more.

    The final CPAS performance of this season is "The Jungle Book" to be presented on Thursday, May 16.

    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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  • Buyse-Webster Duo to present flute, clarinet recital

    Buyse-Webster Duo to present flute, clarinet recital

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    Michael Webster and Leone Buyse as the Buyse-Webster Duo will perform at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 2, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    February 18, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music and the Friends of Music Concert Series will present the Buyse-Webster Duo performing in a flute and clarinet recital at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 2, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Leone Buyse is the Joseph and Ida Kirkland Mullen Professor of Flute at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. Her husband, clarinetist Michael Webster, is professor of music at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and artistic director of the Houston Youth Symphony. Together, they perform in the Webster Trio and the Buyse-Webster Duo. Accompanying them in the SFA recital will be Dr. Ron Petti, director of collaborative piano in the SFA School of Music.

    The program will feature Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Leonard Bernstein; Duos for Flute and Clarinet, op. 34b by Robert Muczynski; Sonata for Flute and Piano by Paul Hindemith; "La Bergère Captive" for solo flute by Pierre-Octave Ferroud; "Two Dancers" from Sonatina Casada for Flute and Clarinet by Arthur Gottschalk; and Norwegian Dances, op. 35 by Edvard Grieg and arranged by Michael Webster for flute, clarinet and piano.

    Buyse relinquished her position with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1993 to pursue a more active teaching and solo career after 22 years as an orchestral musician. She also served as assistant principal flutist of the San Francisco Symphony and played solo piccolo and second flute with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She can be heard as solo flutist on numerous recordings of the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops and the San Francisco Symphony for the Philips, Deutsche Grammophon, RCA Victor, and Sony Classical labels.

    Webster has collaborated with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Tokyo, Cleveland, Muir, Ying, Leontóvych, Dover, and Chester String Quartets and artists such as Yo Yo Ma and Joshua Bell, among many others. He has performed in all of New York City's major halls, across the United States, and in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. He has been associated with many of North America's finest festivals and performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra with Aaron Copland and the Boston Pops with John Williams.

    Buyse and Webster have presented clinics and master classes across the United States and internationally. While on campus, they will present master classes for flute and clarinet students, and they will conduct an intonation clinic with the SFA Symphonic Band.

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

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  • Concert pianist Hai Jin to present 'Summer Dreams'

    Concert pianist Hai Jin to present 'Summer Dreams'

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    Hai Jin

    February 15, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present concert pianist Hai Jin performing the program "Summer Dreams" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Filled with "lots of pictures and imagination," the program features music from various periods and styles, from Baroque to Romantic, impressionism to nationalism, according to Jin.

    "All of the pieces are related to paintings, poetic sources and the imagination," she said.

    The recital opens with works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Robert Schumann. Bach's "Sheep My Safely Graze" is a soprano aria written in 1713 as part of his cantata Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd, BWV 208, also known as the "Hunting Cantata," with text by Saloman Franck.

    "The cantata's title translates 'The lively hunt is all my heart's desire,'" Jin explained.

    The other Bach piece, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," is frequently played at weddings.

    Schumann's Arabeske Op.18 is also on the program. The term "Arabeske" is used here as a poetic metaphor, Jin explained.

    French composer Maurice Ravel's "Miroirs," French for "Mirrors," has five movements, each dedicated to a fellow member of the avant-garde artist group Les Apaches. "Noctuelles," or "Moths," is described as a chromatic work, maintaining a dark, nocturnal mood throughout. "Oiseaux tristes," or "Sad Birds," represents a lone bird whistling a sad tune, after which others join in. "Une barque sur l'océan," or "A Boat on the Ocean," recounts a boat as it sails upon the waves of the ocean, with arpeggiated sections and sweeping melodies imitating the flow of ocean currents. "Alborada del gracioso," or "The Jester's Morning Song," incorporates Spanish musical themes into its complicated melodies. "La vallée des cloches," or "The Valley of Bells," elicits the sounds of bells through its use of sonorous harmonies.

    The program closes with two selections from Goyescas Op. 11, a piano suite written in 1911 by Spanish composer Enrique Granados.

    "This piano suite is usually considered Granados's crowning creation and was inspired by the paintings of Francisco Goya," Jin said. "Quejas, ó la maja y el ruiseñor," or "The Maiden and the Nightingale," is the best-known piece from the suite, and "El pelele," or "The Puppet," is a fast, technically difficult piece.

    Jin is a D.M.A. candidate at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and she is the assistant conductor of the Maryland Lyric Opera. She is an active concert pianist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist and is a member of the Sassmannshaus Piano Trio. She has performed across the U.S. and Asia.

    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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  • Swingin' Axes, Aces to perform jazz benefit at LugNutz

    Swingin' Axes, Aces to perform jazz benefit at LugNutz

    February 14, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    A fun evening of jazz featuring the Swingin' Axes and Swingin' Aces from Stephen F. Austin State University will be presented from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, March 1, at LugNutz Bar & Grill.

    If weather permits, the jazz bands will perform on the outdoor stage. In inclement weather, the concert will be moved indoors.

    The evening will open with The Swingin' Aces, directed by Dr. J.D. Salas, performing a mix of big band favorites such as Count Basie's "April in Paris" and Duke Ellington's "Take the A Train." The band will also feature newer works for jazz ensemble, including Kris Berg's "No Spring Chicken," which rearranges some of the themes from Pee-Wee Ellis's well-known funk song "The Chicken."

    The Swingin' Axes, directed by Dr. Deb Scott, will perform more big band favorites from the 1940s, including "In the Mood" and "String of Pearls," both made famous by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, as well as "Song of India" as performed by Tommy Dorsey.

    The evening will also include a performance by a newly formed jazz band, the SFA Jazz Club, directed by jazz graduate teaching assistant Max Mucino. The band will perform Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher" and Al Jarreau's "Roof Garden," among others.

    "As the evening progresses, so will the music, changing to blues, funk and rock," Scott said.

    Concert tickets may be purchased ahead of time at the SFA Fine Arts Box Office for $10. Tickets at the door will be $15. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/. Tickets do not include food or beverages.

    All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the School of Music jazz program.

    LugNutz is located at 5287 U.S. Highway 59 approximately five miles south of Loop 224, Nacogdoches. Drinks from the bar and food from LugNutz' Spitfire Grill will be available for purchase.

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  • SFA's Orchestra of the Pines to perform works by Barber, Mendelssohn

    SFA's Orchestra of the Pines to perform works by Barber, Mendelssohn

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    Amanda Sheriff

    February 13, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Orchestra of the Pines at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform the music of Samuel Barber and Felix Mendelssohn in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Dr. Pierre-Alain Chevalier, visiting director of orchestral activities in the School of Music, will conduct the orchestra performing "Sorrow and Joy" featuring Barber's "Knoxville: Summer of 1915" and Mendelssohn's "Italian."

    Soprano Amanda Sheriff is soloist for "Knoxville: Summer of 1915," op. 24. The orchestra's program will also include Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4 in A major, op. 90, his Italian symphony.

    Sheriff graduated from SFA with a master's degree in vocal performance and a bachelor's degree in music education. While earning her master's, she received many accolades, including receiving one of the two voice assistantships allowing her to teach voice to collegiate level music minors and non-music majors. She was president of the 2017 A Cappella Choir and directed a scene for the SFA Opera Scenes performance in 2018.

    While at SFA, Sheriff was awarded with the Opera Conductor's Award, Baumgartner- Outstanding Senior Voice Award and Recitalist of the Year, and she earned her membership into Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society. She was selected to perform in SFA's exclusive Madrigal Singers. Sheriff studied voice with SFA alumnus Debbie Berry.

    Sheriff performed principal operatic roles with SFA opera, including Lauretta in "Gianni Schicchi" (Puccini), Rosabella in "The Most Happy Fella" (Loesser), Marenka in "The Bartered Bride" (Smetna), Anne in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" (Nicola), and Pamina in "The Magic Flute" (Mozart). Sheriff has also competed at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), placing in the finals from 2013-2018.

    Outside of SFA, Sheriff has performed as soloist at the Texas Music Educators Association Conference (TMEA) in 2015, sang the title-role in Carlisle Floyd's "Susannah" with Red River Lyric Opera Festival in 2016. She performed with the renowned Ron Raines and the Longview Symphony in 2017, performed the chamber opera "Face on the Barroom Floor" (Mollicone), and was the soprano-soloist in Faure's Requiem with the St. Cyprian Episcopal Church. Sheriff was a chancel choir member at First United Methodist Church in Nacogdoches under direction of Dr. Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities at SFA, since 2013.

    Sheriff recently moved to the Washington, D.C., area with her fiancé and is currently pursuing a career in performance on the East Coast. This summer, Sheriff will perform the role of Susanna in "Le Nozze di Figaro" (Mozart) at Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake, New York.

    The concert is a joint presentation of the 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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  • 'Up Close and Personal' to raise funds for SFA School of Music

    'Up Close and Personal' to raise funds for SFA School of Music

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    The SFA Faculty Brass Quintet will perform during “Up Close and Personal,” a fundraiser for the School of Music on Sunday, March 3, in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    February 12, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Friends of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University will host a fundraiser for the School of Music that will give the community and contributors an entertaining "behind-the-scenes" look at the school and its talented faculty and students.

    "Up Close and Personal" will be presented from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 3, in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building on the SFA campus. Beginning with an opening reception in the lobby of Cole Concert Hall, participants will enjoy hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar and bid on silent auction items.

    The Friends of Music have adopted the slogan "Let's Keep the Music Playing" in an effort to broaden the donor base for the School of Music, to acquaint more people in the community with the outstanding music program and to "demonstrate why we all need to support it," said Susie Lower, Friends of Music co-chair for fundraising.

    "So much of our community is unaware of the excellent reputation our School of Music has throughout the state or how much business it brings to the Nacogdoches area through its many programs, workshops, summer camps and competitions," said Carolyn Andrews, Friends of Music board present and fundraising co-chair.

    Dr. Gary Wurtz, director of the School of Music, and music professors Deborah Dalton, Stephen Lias, Jen Dalmas and Kayla Roth will give interactive presentations that will prove both fun and informative. The SFA Faculty Brass, as well as Dr. Brad Meyer and the Percussion Ensemble, will perform and engage audience members as well.

    There is no charge for admission, but donations to "keep the music playing" will be accepted. Reservations and/or credit card donations are accepted by calling (936) 468-6407. Checks should be made payable to SFASU with "Up Close and Personal" in the memo line.

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  • Caddo storytelling, children's activities planned at Cole Art Center

    Caddo storytelling, children's activities planned at Cole Art Center

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    In her traditional Caddo dress and Kiowa buckskin Kricket Rhoads-Connywerdy will tell Kiowa and Caddo stories beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, in Cole Art Center. Photo: The Oklahoman archives

    February 11, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    In conjunction with an exhibition of Caddo Nation artists showing through March 24 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, SFA Art Galleries will host internationally renowned storyteller Kricket Rhoads-Connywerdy in a special programming event from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, in Cole Art Center.

    The program, which will include Caddo stories and children's activities, is a continuation of the celebration surrounding "Caddo Contemporary: Present and Relevant," an exhibition of ceramics, paintings, beadwork, stonework and drawings by seven living Caddo artists. The exhibition is a collaborative presentation of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and Art Galleries and the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site in Alto.

    Rhoads-Connywerdy is an enrolled member of the Caddo and Kiowa tribes of Oklahoma. She has been telling Kiowa and Caddo stories in Oklahoma, across the United States and internationally for more than two decades.

    Dancing in her traditional Caddo dress and Kiowa buckskin, Rhoads-Connywerdy toured extensively with the legendary Charles Chibitty, the last Comanche code talker, and was Gulhei descendent princess (family princess) for 1999-2000. She has won awards for her lead movie roles, which included "The Legend of Billy Fail," "The Alamo," "Chasing the Wind," "Last of the Mohicans" and "UHF."

    She has an associate's degree from Tulsa Community College and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in Native American studies. She is the former executive director of the Historic Jacobson House Native Art Center and currently works with the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma's Kiowa Language and Culture Revitalization Program.

    Additionally, for the monthly Friday Film Series, the SFA School of Art and Friends of the Visual Arts will present the documentary "Koo-Hoot Kiwat: The Caddo Grass House" in a free screening at 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, at Cole Art Center. In the film, a Caddo tribal elder and his apprentice return to their ancestral homeland in East Texas to direct the construction of a traditional grass house.

    "Caddo Contemporary: Present and Relevant" is sponsored in part by William Arscott, The Flower Shop, Nacogdoches Junior Forum, Humanities Texas and Friends of the Visual Arts. Admission is free.

    SFA's historic downtown art gallery, Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For additional information, call (936) 468-1131.

    You may also be interested in the following related article:

    article ID 1647

  • SFA to present Turner, Leonberger in vocal recital

    SFA to present Turner, Leonberger in vocal recital

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    Dr. Chris Turner
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    Dr. Garry Leonberger
    February 11, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present a vocal faculty-guest recital featuring Dr. Chris Turner and Dr. Garry Leonberger at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, in the Music Recital Hall on the university campus.

    Turner is assistant professor of voice at SFA, and Leonberger is a former SFA music faculty member who is now on the voice faculty at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Dr. Ron Petti, director of collaborative piano at SFA, will accompany.

    The tenor-baritone recital will feature "beloved standards from vocal literature in each of the genres," Turner explained. The program includes songs by Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725), Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) and Roger Quilter (1877-1953).

    "The Schumann songs will be selections from his song cycle 'Liederkreis' based on the poems of one his favorite poets - Joseph Eichendorff," Turner said. "Schumann credited his wife Clara for his inspiration, as he did for many of his song compositions, and said of these particular songs that they were his 'most Romantic music ever.' The theme is basically nature and seasons. It's a staple of German repertoire."

    Songs performed include the first five of the cycle - "In der Fremde," "Intermezzo," "Waldesgespräch," "Die Stille," and "Mondnacht."

    "Fauré is considered to be one of the greatest, mélodie composers of all time," Turner said. "The songs to be performed are all by the poet Paul-Armand Silvestre, who is considered one of the Parnassian poets who composed between the late romantic poets and the symbolists. They strove for exactitude and 'faultless workmanship' and wanted a certain level of emotional detachment to allow the 'art,' or song in this case, to speak for itself without undue influence."

    The Quilter songs on the program are among his most popular, Turner said.

    "Quilter was known for his beautiful melodies and rich harmonies, making him a favorite song composer among singers in English repertoire," he said. "He was a major influence on other composers as well." English composer Peter Warlock is quoted as saying "if it were not for the songs of Roger Quilter, there would have been no Peter Warlock."

    "Probably his most famous song, which has also been arranged for choir and is often performed in its own right, is his 'Go, Lovely Rose' from the poet Edmund Waller," Turner said. "It has been called one of his 'song masterpieces' and shows his 'fluid gift of melody.'"

    The Music Recital 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 visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

    article ID 1648

  • Texas New Music Ensemble to perform at SFA

    Texas New Music Ensemble to perform at SFA

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    Joanna Becker
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    Andrew Schneider
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    Stephen Lias
    February 11, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music and the Friends of Music Concert Series will present members of the Texas New Music Ensemble performing at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.
    The Houston-based ensemble's program will focus solely on music written by composers who live and work in Texas, according to Chad Robinson, the ensemble's artistic director and founder.

    The nonprofit Texas New Music 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 its website at https://tnme.org.

    Among the works to be showcased is "Whitewater," composed by Dr. Stephen Lias, professor of composition in the SFA School of Music.

    Of his piece, Lias says, "Although I had no extra-musical idea in mind while writing this challenging piano solo, after finishing it, it seemed to evoke the many states of running water - from serene flowing brooks, to foaming rivers rushing over boulders."

    Other works on the program, to be performed by Joanna Becker, violin, and Andrew Schneider, piano, include "Souvenir D'une Fee" by Mei-Fang Lin; "Rhapsody for Violin and Piano" by Peter Lieuwen; the world premiere of Dmitri Shostakovitch's "Songs by Captain Lebyadkin," with arrangement by Yevgeniy Sharlat; and Robinson's own "Violin Sonata."

    In addition to its Nacogdoches concert, the ensemble will perform in Arlington, Dallas and North Richland Hills on this spring's Texas tour. This is the second consecutive year for the ensemble to perform at SFA.
    "We're thrilled to be returning," Robinson said.

    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.

    article ID 1649

  • SFA to present 'Three One-Act Plays by Asian Authors'

    SFA to present 'Three One-Act Plays by Asian Authors'

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    SFA to present 'Three One-Act Plays by Asian Authors'

    February 8, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    A unique opportunity to see multiple one-act plays by different authors presents itself when the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre performs "Three One-Act Plays by Asian Authors" Feb. 26 through March 2 in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    Rick Jones, professor of theatre at SFA, directs the show, which features one-acts by Rabindranath Tagore, Mishima Yukio and Gao Xingjian.

    "There are few opportunities to encounter work by non-Western playwrights," Jones said. "I'm pretty certain we've never had anything by an Asian playwright on our Mainstage - certainly not in the 18 years I've been here. So this represents an opportunity for local theatregoers to see something they haven't really encountered before, at least in Nacogdoches."

    Jones describes Tagore's "The Post Office" as a "sad but beautiful play" about a young boy, Amal, who is dying of an unspecified disease. He remains remarkably upbeat and curious about the wider world, however, and dreams about being a postman, or even receiving a letter.

    "He is teased by the bullying town headman, who pretends the illiterate boy has received a letter from the king, who is sending the Royal Physician to assist in Amal's recovery," Jones said. "But the Royal Physician really does show up…"
    Mishima's "The Lady Aoi" is an adaptation of a 14th-century Noh play, "Aoi no Uye," possibly by the greatest of Noh playwrights, Zeami Motokiyo, Jones explains. The Noh play, in turn, is derived from the 11th-century novel "The Tale of Genji" by Murasaki Shikibu.

    "In the original, Genji is a prince; in this adaptation, the equivalent role is Hikaru Wakabayashi, a successful businessman," Jones said. "His wife, Aoi, is ill, and the doctors are unable to find a cause. Hikaru's ex-lover, Yasuko Rokujo, shows up at the hospital and cheerfully claims that her spirit has left her body and is torturing Aoi."
    The two central characters in Gao's "Hiding from the Rain" are young women who, as the title suggests, seek shelter under a makeshift tent in a rainstorm.

    "As they discuss their jobs, their lives and their dreams, they are unaware of the presence of an old man on the other side of a barrier who silently hears every word," Jones said.

    In selecting a play to direct for this year's Mainstage Series, Jones said a course in Asian theatre he was scheduled to teach this spring was a consideration. School of Theatre Director Cleo House Jr. suggested Jones direct a show in the intercultural/world theatre category, "so we talked about the possibility of doing something Asian," he said.

    The course includes Indonesia, Vietnam and Korea, but the overwhelming majority of what is discussed is Indian, Japanese or Chinese. Jones said he started thinking about which to do and concluded, "what about all three?" He has previously taught "The Post Office" and "The Lady Aoi," and he liked the full-length plays he'd read by Gao.

    "I looked to see if Gao had written any one-acts," he said. "I found 'Hiding from the Rain' online, and thought the language, even in translation, was beautiful."

    He submitted the evening of three plays as one of his proposals for the season, and that was the one the Mainstage selection committee chose. Jones says it is important to note that two of the three playwrights, Tagore and Gao, are Nobel Prize-winning authors, and the third, Mishima, was a finalist.

    "It's also important that we not be perceived as trying to present 'authentic' Asian plays," he said. Jones has a doctoral minor in Asian theatre, and he taught courses Eastern civilizations for a year at the University of Kansas, but the distinction being made with these selections is that these are not "Asian plays," but "plays by Asian authors," he said.

    "All of these plays are modern in theatre history terms," he said. "The oldest, 'The Post Office,' was written in the early 20th century. We're not using any traditional forms - no dance drama, no masks, no exaggerated makeup. The idea is to look at these plays as stories with universal appeal rather than to try to suggest that our students can 'be Asian.'

    "These plays are about people, not Indian people or Japanese people or Chinese people. Gao even crafted his plays so there were never any blood relations between characters who were seldom identified further as more than young or old. This was intentional, so actors of whatever race or body type could play his roles."

    Jones believes that each of the stories is relatable to the audience, and each conveys a message of how people are more alike than they are different from one another.

    "These plays might have a couple of character names that don't sound familiar, but otherwise they're a romantic fantasy, a ghost story, and a slice of life, and very recognizable to Westerners in those terms," he said.

    "Three One-Act Plays by Asian Authors" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Feb. 26 through March 2, in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive, on the SFA campus.

    Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for youth. Tickets for SFA students are $5. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.theatre.sfasu.edu.

    article ID 1646

  • SFA establishes Tim King Choral Scholarship

    SFA establishes Tim King Choral Scholarship

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    Dr. Tim King

    February 7, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The School of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University has established a scholarship to honor Dr. Tim King, the former director of choral activities at SFA who retired in 2017.

    The Tim King Choral Scholarship is being unveiled this week to coincide with the annual convention of the Texas Music Educators Association Feb. 13 through 16 in San Antonio.

    "Creating a choral scholarship bearing Dr. Tim King's name honors the many years of service Tim gave to our great university - music which enriched our Nacogdoches community and the devotion he gave to his students," said Dr. Michael Murphy, associate professor of music and director of choral activities at SFA.

    King joined the SFA music faculty in 1983 and enjoyed a 30-plus year tenure with the university, positively influencing the careers of countless students. He directed the A Cappella Choir through numerous tours of Europe and conducted the student ensemble in performances in such prestigious venues as St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, San Marco (St. Mark's) Basilica and the Vatican.

    In the 2014-15 academic year, King was named Regents Professor, the highest honor SFA bestows upon members of the faculty and reserved for exemplary university role models.

    "SFA choral graduates are now conductors and music education leaders throughout Texas and the United States," King said. "What an honor to represent my former students through this endowed scholarship.

    "It goes without saying that this scholarship will inspire the next generation of SFA choral excellence," he added. "I sincerely want to thank Dr. Murphy for his leadership and to all contributors for their sponsorship."

    Helping to build the King scholarship fund to benefit future choral students is a great way of saying "thank you" to an educator who gave the Nacogdoches community countless performances of beautiful choral music, according to Murphy.

    "No doubt this scholarship, when fully funded, will help ensure future students realize a career in choral music," Murphy added.

    Contributions to the Tim King Choral Scholarship can be made by visiting http://www.sfasu.edu/timking.

    article ID 1644

  • SFA School of Theatre to present student-directed 'Crazy Eights'

    SFA School of Theatre to present student-directed 'Crazy Eights'

    February 7, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present David Lindsay-Abaire's one-act play "Crazy Eights" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Feb. 16, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Directed by Needville senior Alex Duty, "Crazy Eights" is about an ex-con, Connie, who comes home late one night to find her parole officer waiting in her apartment with a torte and a long list of questions. The interrogation and courting dance that follows is complicated by the after-hours arrival of Connie's charming card-playing friend, Duty explains.

    The cast includes Richmond freshman Jordan Ellisse-Berezi as Connie; Baytown sophomore Triston Haq as Cliff; and McKinney freshman Carson Cook as Benny.

    Stage manager for the play is Carrollton sophomore Yanelly Vargas. Student production assistants are Prosper senior Mia Lindemann, scenic; Beaumont junior Sydney McKinley, lighting and sound; and Del Rio senior Ernesto Dominguez, costumes.

    Duty previously directed an Upstage Theatre production of "Transferring Kyle" and acted in Mainstage productions of "Sweat," Festival of New American Plays, "By the Bog of Cats" and "Picasso at the Lapin Agile." He aspires to not only act and direct professionally but to also become a successful playwright. His own play, "The Answer is in the Cube," will be performed in the Upstage Theatre on April 3.

    Faculty production advisor for "Crazy Eights" is Cleo House Jr., director of the School of Theatre. 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.

    article ID 1645

  • SFA Percussion Ensemble to present TMEA concert preview

    SFA Percussion Ensemble to present TMEA concert preview

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    The SFA Percussion Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, in Cole Concert Hall on the university campus.

    February 4, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Percussion Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Directed by Dr. Brad Meyer and Dr. Ben Tomlinson, the ensemble will present a preview of its showcase concert to be performed at the 2019 Texas Music Educators Association Convention on Feb. 14 in San Antonio.

    The preview concert features "Gandrung" by Bill Alves; "Ritmica No. 5" by Amadeo Roldán; "B-Radicles" by Brad Meyer; "Lost in Thought" by Andrew Patzig; and "Boom Bap" by Nick Werth.

    Ensemble members include Ethan Ainsworth, Hallsville; D'Angelo Brackeen, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Joseph Bankston, Giddings; Davis Carr, Sugar Land; Adreanna Casares, Somerville; Eli Garza, Friendswood; Rick Gonzalez, Harlingen; Sam Harrison, San Antonio; Jason House, Carrollton; Ashley Johnson, Allen; graduate assistant Spencer Jones, Alexandria, Louisiana; Sophie Lee, Kyle; Spencer Matthews, Alvarado; Briley Patterson, Elkhart; Emmie Schubert, Tomball; Kurt Swisher, Tyler; Addie Thornhill, Redwater; Matt Volker, Lumberton; and Austen White, Robinson.

    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.

    article ID 1643

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