College of Fine Arts News Archive

March 2019

  • Gilbert, Sullivan's 'The Pirates of Penzance' opens Thursday at SFA

    Gilbert, Sullivan's 'The Pirates of Penzance' opens Thursday at SFA

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    March 29, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present the comic operetta "The Pirates of Penzance" by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 4 through 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. With memorable melodies, sharp dialogue, a twisting plot and clever lyrics, "The Pirates of Penzance" is one of the most beloved shows in the English-speaking world. Among the student performers are, from left, Houston graduate student E.J. Grayson as Sam; The Colony graduate student Jacob Rivas as the Pirate King; and Houston sophomore Isaiah Collazo and Spring freshman Rudy Barrera as pirates. 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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  • SFA Wind Ensemble to present 'Faces & Places' concert

    SFA Wind Ensemble to present 'Faces & Places' concert

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    John Mackey, left, and Dr. Jacob Walburn

    March 29, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Wind Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will present "Faces & Places" when the student group performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    The concert will feature Dr. Jacob Walburn, assistant professor of trumpet at SFA, as soloist on American composer John Mackey's iconic trumpet concerto "Antique Violences." "We are thrilled that the composer will be in residence for the concert," said Dr. David Campo, director of bands at SFA and of the Wind Ensemble.

    The concert will open with Frank Ticheli's "Angels in the Architecture," commissioned by Kingsway International and receiving its premiere performance at the Sydney Opera House on July 6, 2008. Ticheli describes the music as "a dramatic conflict between the two extremes of human existence - one divine, the other evil." The Sydney Opera House itself, with its halo-shaped acoustical ornaments hanging directly above the performance stage, inspired the work's title.

    The program also features composer Percy Grainger's "Lincolnshire Posy," of which he wrote, "This bunch of 'musical wildflowers' (hence the title) is based on folksongs collected in Lincolnshire, England, and the work is dedicated to the old folksingers who sang so sweetly to me."

    Following a brief intermission, the Wind Ensemble will accompany Walburn in Mackey's 2017 landmark work "Antique Violences." In the program notes for the concerto, A.E. Jaques writes in part, "The title of this four-movement work comes from a line is Rickey Laurentis' 'Writing an Elegy' and reminds us that where there are humans, there is violence. The concerto notes that the trumpet and its 'cousins' always 'call the bloody tune.' The structure of our social world is born, and reborn, in the mass violence of war; borders are made of blood."

    Closing the program is Jacques Press' rollicking "Wedding Dance," from the composer's symphonic suite entitled "Hasseneh." "Wedding Dance" is a spirited horah, or traditional Jewish circle dance, displaying an infectious energy and quick tempo.

    "With whirling woodwind lines and memorable melodies, the work exudes a fiery energy and relentless pulse in an exciting, no-holds-barred celebration of life," Campo said.

    The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Concert 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 to present student-directed 'Postponing the Heat Death of the Universe'

    SFA to present student-directed 'Postponing the Heat Death of the Universe'

    March 27, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the one-act play "Postponing the Heat Death of the Universe" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 5, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Written by Stephen Gregg, "Postponing the Heat Death of the Universe" is directed by Longview junior Bethany Trauger. The play is about the conversation that ensues between two people after one loses a scholarship contest to the other. "Hours ago, Nick lost a scholarship contest. Now he's lying motionless in a dark room, and when Jackie, the winner of the contest, arrives to give him her condolences, she finds his behavior a little bizarre," the synopsis reads.

    The cast includes Royce City junior Bayley Owen as Nick; Arlington sophomore Sadie Mae Taylor as Jackie; and Lufkin sophomore Britney Day as Stacy. Stage manager is Hawkins junior Allie Smith, and assistant stage manager is Edinburg freshman Makayla Moreno.

    Trauger is a junior theatre major with an emphasis in directing and an interest in dramaturgy. She has previously directed "Hanging On" by Claudia Haas, and she was dramaturg for the musical "Oklahoma!"

    Faculty production advisor for "Postponing the Heat Death of the Universe" is Rosie Brownlow-Calkin.

    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 faculty chamber recital to feature 'Zodiacal Light'

    SFA faculty chamber recital to feature 'Zodiacal Light'

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    Christina Guenther, Christopher Ayer, Lee Goodhew and Ron Petti

    March 25, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music and its Friends of Music Concert Series will present a rescheduling of the faculty chamber recital "Zodiacal Light" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, 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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  • SFA senior choreography students to perform during Danceworks

    SFA senior choreography students to perform during Danceworks

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    Stephen F. Austin State University's dance program will showcase senior choreographic works during its production of "Danceworks: Labyrinth … the only way out is through" at 7 p.m. April 10 in the HPE Complex Dance Studio, Room 201, on the university's campus.

    March 15, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University's dance program will showcase senior choreographic works during its production of "Danceworks: Labyrinth … the only way out is through" at 7 p.m. April 10 in the HPE Complex Dance Studio, Room 201, on the university's campus.

    Additional showings are scheduled for 7 p.m. April 11 and 12, and 3 p.m. April 13. A total of 12 works will be performed and will alternate with six works being showcased during the first performance and the remaining six the next, then repeating.

    Admission is free for SFA students. Tickets cost $5 for non-SFA students and children; $8 for faculty, staff and senior citizens; and $10 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

    The production's theme "labyrinth" plays with the idea of diversity and mystery.

    "We thought labyrinth was a great way to showcase the diverse choreography because you don't know what's around the corner. It's a surprise, and you have to guide your way through it and find your perception and understanding," said Heather Samuelson, dance program co-coordinator and assistant professor in SFA's Department of Kinesiology and Health Science.

    Danceworks serves as the capstone course for dance seniors. Samuelson explained the production teaches students a variety of skills other than choreography. For example, students learn how to cast a show, promote a performance, design lighting, select costumes and edit music.

    Modern and contemporary dance are the main styles that will be featured during this production, along with jazz/funk and hip-hop. One piece pays homage to the historical contributions of entertainer Josephine Baker.

    Before and after the production, students will be selling Bundt cakes as a fundraiser for their summer trip to Scotland, where they will perform "Tales of Neverland" during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest art festival in the world.

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  • SFA School of Music to present Gilbert, Sullivan's 'The Pirates of Penzance'

    SFA School of Music to present Gilbert, Sullivan's 'The Pirates of Penzance'

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    Audiences attending "The Pirates of Penzance" will be transported to pirate ships and rocky coastlines when the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music presents Gilbert and Sullivan's most famous operetta at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 4 through 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. Pictured are The Colony graduate student Jacob Rivas; Nacogdoches freshman William Murphy; Hutto sophomore Maiya Williams; Katy sophomore Sara Rosado; Katy junior Megan Bucher; Katy freshman Allison Barentine; and Houston graduate student E.J. Grayson.

    March 15, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    A funny and entertaining musical tale for the entire family is this year's opera selection to be presented by the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music.

    "The Pirates of Penzance" by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan is "good, old-fashioned fun," says Dr. Debbie Dalton, associate professor of music at SFA and the show's stage director.

    Although the opera is selected to fit the voices the School of Music has in each particular year, "The Pirates of Penzance" was chosen because it is "the most popular and beloved of all Gilbert and Sullivan operettas," Dalton said.

    "The music is beautiful and memorable," Dalton said. "Audiences will recognize many of the tunes and say, 'Oh, this is the show that song comes from!'"

    Young Frederic has just finished his obligation as a pirate apprentice, Dalton said in describing the story. After 21 years at sea, he looks forward to new adventures on land. He meets and falls in love with Mabel, one of the many wards of Major-General Stanley, but, of course, there are many obstacles to overcome before they may marry.

    At the heart of each year's opera production are student performers and designers, guided by faculty members who direct the musical and visual components. Other music faculty production staff members include Musical Director/Conductor Dr. Pierre-Alain Chevalier, musical director of SFA's Orchestra of the Pines; Chorus Master Dr. Todd Fish, associate director of choral activities at SFA; and Production Stage Manager and Assistant Director Nita Hudson, voice and opera instructor.

    "This is a School of Music production," Dalton said, "but we hire advanced and capable student designers from the School of Theatre to build the sets, coordinate and build costumes, and design and run the lighting."

    Costume coordinator is Marshall graduate student Jessica Tinker-Akers, who has "single-handedly taken the measurements from head to toe of all 47 in the cast," Dalton said.

    "Some costumes are rented, but most are pulled from stock and altered, if needed, or Jessica builds them," she added.

    Set designer Richard Rogers, junior theater major from Kerrville, is building particular set pieces to compliment the rented backdrops, Dalton said.

    "I enjoy working with all of our wonderful students and watching them grow in confidence and ability in the rehearsal process," Dalton said. "The real joy in this production is having so much fun watching the goofiness of the pirate crew and the policemen.

    "After all, who doesn't want to be a pirate?!"

    "The Pirates of Penzance" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 4 through 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium, 2222 Alumni Drive, on the SFA campus.

    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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  • Snow Pond Saxophone Quartet to perform at SFA

    Snow Pond Saxophone Quartet to perform at SFA

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    Yoko Kusaka, Maho Kuroda, Jack Thorpe, Kyle White

    March 13, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Snow Pond Saxophone Quartet will perform a guest chamber recital at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, in Cole Concert Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    Formed in 2016 by world-renowned saxophonist and pedagogue Dr. Fredrick L. Hemke, Snow Pond Saxophone Quartet is dedicated to continuing the legacy of Hemke's life work of music making and saxophone performance. Quartet members are Yoko Kusaka, Maho Kuroda, Jack Thorpe and Kyle White, who have all studied with Hemke at the Fredrick L. Hemke Saxophone Institute at Snow Pond Music Festival in Sidney, Maine.

    Thorpe is a graduate student in the SFA School of Music.

    The SFA performance is a continuation of the quartet's celebration of Hemke, former professor of saxophone at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, and "his unmatched influence on American and Japanese saxophone performance and pedagogy," according to Thorpe.

    "This recital theme reflects this mission," Thorpe writes. "All of the music on the program was written by American or Japanese composers or was inspired by American and Japanese culture. This recital is a part of the Snow Pond Saxophone Quartet's second tour, and the quartet hopes to continue strengthening the relationship between American and Japanese saxophonists."

    In 2017, SPSQ performed throughout Japan alongside acclaimed saxophonist Masato Kumoi.

    "Snow Pond Saxophone Quartet is excited to be presenting a recital at SFA," Thorpe said. "We will be performing works by Kechley, Kushida, Dvorák, Mihira and Mellits."

    Antoni´n Dvorák's String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96 is nicknamed his "American Quartet" because it was written while he was in the United States and is inspired by his time in America. The quartet was arranged by Hemke and has become a popular transcription in the saxophone quartet repertoire.

    This recital includes the premiere of a new arrangement of Noriko Mihira's "Kariboshikiriuta Fantasy." Mihira arranged this new version for the Snow Pond Saxophone Quartet's American tour.

    Marc Mellits is a popular American composer who has written a number of works for the saxophone. His "Ex Machina" was written in 2016 and utilizes Mellits' groove-based minimalistic style.

    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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  • Cole Art Center to be open during spring break

    Cole Art Center to be open during spring break

    March 13, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, Stephen F. Austin State University's historic downtown art gallery, will be open regular hours during spring break.

    An encore screening of the film "Koo-Hoot Kiwat: The Caddo Grass House" will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24, in Cole Art Center. 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.

    Showing in Cole Art Center are the exhibitions "Caddo Contemporary: Present and Relevant" and "Frank Dituri: Il Sacro." (The Sacred).

    Featuring ceramics, paintings, beadwork, stonework and drawings, "Caddo Contemporary" is a collaborative presentation of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and Art Galleries and the Caddo Mound Historic Site in Alto. The exhibition highlights the work of seven Caddo Nation artisans, including Wayne Earles, Chad Earles, Chase Earles, Raven Halfmoon, Yonavea Hawkins, Jeri Redcorn and Thompson Williams. The show closes March 24.

    Only a few days remain to see "Frank Dituri: Il Sacro." (The Sacred), which includes photographs the artist took in Italy over the past few years. The show closes Sunday, March 17.

    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. Regular hours are from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

    Griffith Gallery in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus will be closed during spring break and will reopen Tuesday, March 26.

    All events and exhibitions are free to the public.

    For more information, contact the gallery director at (936) 468-1131 or the Cole Art Center front desk at (936) 468-5500.

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  • SFA School of Music to present guest flute, piano recital

    SFA School of Music to present guest flute, piano recital

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    Meghan Bennett and Maria Lyapkova

    March 13, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present a flute and piano recital when guest artists Meghan Bennett and Maria Lyapkova perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Bennett is adjunct instructor of flute at Prairie View A&M University, and Lyapkova is a teaching assistant at The University of Texas in Austin.

    Their program features "Dance of the Blessed Spirits" by Christoph Willibald Gluck; Sonata for Flute and Piano by Anatoly Samonov; Black Anemones for Flute and Piano by Joseph Schwantner; and Sonata for Flute and Piano by Yuko Uebayashi.

    Bennett leads a diverse career as an educator and solo, chamber and orchestral musician. Most recently, she was guest soloist with Chamber Music International in Dallas, joined the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players on tour, and was flutist with Spotlight on Opera in Austin. She has performed with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, Waco Symphony Orchestra, Round Rock Symphony and the Palmetto Opera Orchestra.

    Bennett is a founding member of both Prismatx Ensemble, a contemporary music ensemble based in Austin, and Li5ten quintet, 2017 quarterfinalists at the Fischoff Competition, and she is a recipient of the Chamber Music Residency Fellowship at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. She is also a member of Emissary Quartet, whose 2016-17 season highlights included an invitation to perform and present a workshop at the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention and a week-long residency in Seattle, Washington.

    Lyapkova has appeared at top festivals including the Aspen Music Festival and School and the National Music Festival in the United States, Spotlight on Young Musicians in France, and the Primavera Classica in Russia. Prior to her duties at U.T.-Austin, she was a full-time staff accompanist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and instructed chamber music, piano ensemble class and piano accompaniment at the University of South Florida.

    The SFA 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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  • SFA theatre students participate in prestigious regional festival

    SFA theatre students participate in prestigious regional festival

    March 11, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Students in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre earned prestigious honors and made impressive presentations at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for Region VI held recently in Abilene.

    Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas comprise KCACTF's Region VI, and students in junior colleges, colleges and universities competed against one another for awards.

    The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships provide recognition, honor and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. Since 1972, the Irene Ryan Foundation of Encino, California, has awarded scholarships to the outstanding student performers at each regional festival. These scholarships are made possible by the generosity of the late American actress Irene Ryan who is best remembered for her portrayal of the lovable and feisty Granny Clampett in "The Beverly Hillbillies." All student actors in both participating and associate productions are eligible for consideration for these $500 regional scholarships.

    This year's Irene Ryan acting competition consisted of 162 teams (student actors are nominated based on their work in a theatrical production) vying for the first place spot. Earning first place allows the winner to go to Washington, D.C., to compete and represent the region against the rest of the nation, according to Cleo House Jr., director of the SFA School of Theatre.

    SFA submitted three teams of two, including sophomore theatre major Kaitlyn McDearmont of Sulpher Springs and her scene partner, junior theatre major Triston Haq of Baytown; sophomore theatre major Crayten Clendion of Cypress and her scene partner, junior theatre major Kiara Hawkins of Tyler; and senior theatre major Ga'Brielle Charlot of Houston and her scene partner, senior theatre major Alex Duty of Needville.

    Charlot and Duty advanced to the semifinals where the teams were whittled down from 162 to 32. The SFA representatives then advanced to the final round for further elimination.

    "Charlot and Duty won first runner up, just one team away from going to D.C.," House said. "This is an excellent opportunity for our students, as both Charlot and Duty will now be able to skip the prescreening process at the United Resident Theatre Association auditions in 2020 where they can audition for graduate schools and professional theatre companies."

    Copperas Cove senior theatre major Sarah Wiseman's "The Game" was chosen from more than 60 one-act plays to be one of six given a concert-style staged reading at the festival. Each play received a half-hour response from two professional playwrights and will be considered for nomination to the national festival in Washington, D.C.

    "This type of recognition by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival will assist Wiseman tremendously in application to graduate schools where she will be a candidate for an M.F.A. in playwriting," House said.

    The School of Theatre's devised theatre group, Speak Up, performed at the festival, as well. Additional student presentations were made in the area of lighting design by senior theatre major Mia Lindemann of Prosper and in stage management by junior theatre major Katie Irwin of Tyler.

    "This is SFA's second year participating in KCACTF and the second year we've had a student team make it to the finals in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition," House said.

    House and fellow theatre faculty member Dr. Slade Billew coached the Irene Ryan teams. Faculty member Jackie Rosenfeld is the chair of the National Playwriting Program.

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  • SFA School of Theatre raising funds for Nielsen scholarship

    SFA School of Theatre raising funds for Nielsen scholarship

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    The School of Theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University has begun a campaign to fund its scholarship created to honor the late Dr. Alan Nielsen (pictured), a former theatre professor and creator of SFA's cabaret troupe, The Original Cast.

    March 6, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The School of Theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University has begun a campaign to fund its scholarship created to honor the late Dr. Alan Nielsen, a former theatre professor and creator of SFA's cabaret troupe, The Original Cast.

    Nielsen passed away on March 26, 2018, in Nacogdoches. He was 72.

    During his career at SFA, Nielsen inspired hundreds of students to pursue careers in theatre arts. By building the scholarship fund to an endowment, future theatre students will benefit for years to come from Nielsen's devotion to theatre education, according to Cleo House Jr., director of the School of Theatre.

    "Dr. Nielsen is a legend," House said. "His influence on the School of Theatre is still felt and talked about to this day. We must do what we can to honor his memory and make sure that students who are representatives of what he stood for, which is being a well-rounded artist and scholar, are recruited and/or awarded."

    Nielsen was born on Jan. 26, 1946, in Oakland, Nebraska. As a young boy, his dream was to be a cartoon animator, but his talent for writing and directing musicals and composing music and lyrics soon emerged. He earned degrees from Concordia Teachers College, the University of Nebraska and City University of New York and went on to teach and become a puppeteer while he continued to perform, write and compose for performance venues such as EXIT (Experience in Theater), Nebraska Repertory Theater, the Chautauqua Tent Tour of Nebraska, NY Choral Society, the Minnesota Musical Workshop and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

    He began his 21-year career at SFA in 1990, directing more than 25 plays and creating the traveling musical troupe The Original Cast, for which he both composed and produced their shows.

    The Original Cast attracted many of the School of Theatre's best performers, and Nielsen's legacy lives on in the hearts and talents of the many students that he mentored, according to CC Conn, associate professor in the School of Theatre.

    "He touched many lives with his beautiful smile, big heart and unlimited creativity, and he inspired many young artists to go forward into careers as actors, directors, teachers and designers, spreading the love of theatre that he instilled into them," Conn said upon his passing last year. "His work as a teacher, advisor, mentor, director, actor, composer and puppeteer was unparalleled. He was greatly loved, and he is greatly missed."

    House hopes that the many SFA students who were mentored by Nielsen will use this scholarship opportunity to "give back" to their alma mater and honor a great educator.

    "It is one thing to reminisce on days gone by and another to take action to ensure that a legacy is not forgotten," House said. "I am hopeful that all those who feel like Dr. Nielsen had any influence on them will take up the charge to support creating an endowment in his honor."

    Gifts by check: Checks should be made payable to the SFASU Foundation. Please include a note or write on the memo section of the check Dr. Alan Nielsen Memorial Theatre Scholarship. Mail to: SFASU Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 6092, SFA Station, Nacogdoches, TX 75962-6092. Deliver to: SFA Office of Development, Austin Building, Room 303.

    Gifts online: Go to http://www.sfasu.edu/give. Under Step 1, click Select Other and type in Dr. Alan Nielsen Memorial Theatre Scholarship. Follow the next three steps to make a secure gift online.

    Gifts by phone: Call (936) 468-5406 and visit with the Development Office.

    Payroll deduction: Call (936) 468-5406 and visit with Sarah Sargent in the Development Office to prepare the payroll deduction paperwork.

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  • Hachidori Duo to present 'Musical Dialogues' in SFA concert

    Hachidori Duo to present 'Musical Dialogues' in SFA concert

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    The Hachidori Duo, featuring Jennifer Dalmas, violin, and Evgeni Raychev, cello, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    March 5, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Hachidori Duo will present "Musical Dialogues" when the husband-wife duo performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    The Hachidori Duo was founded in 1998 by Jennifer Dalmas, violin, and Evgeni Raychev, cello, while they were each pursuing doctoral degrees in music performance at Florida State University. Since 2003, both performers have taught in the SFA School of Music.

    "'Hachidori' is the Japanese word for hummingbird," Dalmas said. "These incredible and beautiful creatures open our eyes to the beauty of the natural world. It is our hope that the music we perform will open a new world for our audience, as well."

    The program title "Musical Dialogues" was selected because much of the music has a "conversational give-and-take" aspect, according to Dalmas. Selections include "Two Duets" by J.S. Bach; Sonatine pour Violon et Violoncelle by Arthur Honegger; Duo No. 1 by Bohuslav Martinu; and Sonata pour Violon et Violoncelle by Maurice Ravel.

    "The Bach arrangements are re-workings of some of Bach's works for keyboard," Dalmas said. "The contrapuntal writing, or writing with two equal voices in mind, works very well for string duo.

    "The Martinu and Honegger duos are lesser known works for violin and cello, but both are wonderfully written compositions that contain lyrical, melodic slower sections and exciting, virtuosic fast movements," she said.

    The Ravel sonata is the best-known work for violin and cello on the program and was written almost 100 years ago, in 1920.

    "It is arguably one of Ravel's finest works, in which he shifts his focus from harmony to melody, and to dialogue between two voices," Dalmas said.

    The Hachidori Duo has given recitals and master classes in various countries in Europe and Central America as well as the United States and has also performed several double concertos with orchestra. The duo was featured at the National ASTA convention in 2009. Dalmas and Raychev frequently perform as part of educational programs, such as "Music in the Schools." In 2015, they served as music faculty at the Interharmony International Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy. As part of the Interharmony chamber music concert series, the duo performed in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2016.

    The SFA 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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  • SFA to screen Arscott's 'Hoorah' film

    SFA to screen Arscott's 'Hoorah' film

    March 5, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    A special screening of a film by William E. Arscott, filmmaking professor at Stephen F. Austin State University, will be at 7 p.m. Friday, March 8, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    "Hoorah" was filmed across portions of the southwestern United States between 1975 and 1976 on 16mm color film stock with a crew of SFA students. Described as a "poetic documentary," it examines the vanishing American Indian culture at that time and the rise of the "white face," according to Peyton Paulette, filmmaking adjunct faculty and chair of the Friends of the Visual Arts film committee.

    "This will be the first time this film has been screened for a public audience, and it's the first time the final finished film has been screened in color," Paulette said. "Previous screenings have been in black and white."

    Arscott is SFA's longest-tenured faculty member and the senior member of the art faculty. He began his nearly 56-year tenure with SFA in 1963 as an art instructor. He established SFA's cinematography program in 1980 and now primarily teaches filmmaking. He has worked in many artistic fields, including ceramics, painting, print making, sculpture and cinematography.

    He was named a Regents Professor in 1984 and the SFA Alumni Association's Distinguished Professor in 1986. The late Dr. Baker Pattillo, former SFA president, recognized Arscott in August 2013 for his 50 years of service to SFA, proclaiming Aug. 22, 2013, William E. Arscott Day at SFA.

    The screening of "Hoorah" is presented by the School of Art and Friends of the Visual Arts. Admission is free.

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

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  • SFA School of Theatre to present 'The Zoo Story' by Edward Albee

    SFA School of Theatre to present 'The Zoo Story' by Edward Albee

    March 4, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present Edward Albee's one-act play "The Zoo Story" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Directed by Jackie Rosenfeld, a lecturer in the School of Theatre, "The Zoo Story" is about a conversation that occurs between two strangers in a New York City park. To escape his wife, two daughters and two parakeets, Peter sits on a bench in Central Park, reading and thinking, Rosenfeld explains. Jerry joins him, having just been to the zoo. He draws the unwilling Peter into conversation and extracts information from him. In return, Jerry supplies Peter with a curious medley of information about his wanderings in New York.

    "'The Zoo Story' is considered to be the first absurdist play written by an American playwright," Rosenfeld said.

    The two-person cast includes Wichita Falls senior Travis Brasher as Jerry and Las Vegas, Nevada, senior Shane Reynolds as Peter. Stage manager is Dallas freshman Michael Nunez.

    Originally from Abilene, Rosenfeld earned an M.F.A. in playwriting from Texas Tech University. She currently serves as the Region VI chair for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Playwriting Program and co-coordinator for the Scholar Debut Panel with the Texas Educational Theatre Association. Her plays have been produced across the country including several performances in Manhattan. Her play "keepingabreast" was recently published as an audiobook by Blunder Woman Productions.

    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 to host guest percussionist Shane Reeves in concert

    SFA to host guest percussionist Shane Reeves in concert

    press image
    Shane Reeves

    March 1, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present guest artist Shane Reeves in a percussion recital at 6 p.m. Monday, March 11, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Reeves is on the music faculty at Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina, and is the principal percussionist for the Florence Symphony Orchestra, principal timpanist for the Masterworks Choir, and drummer for the experimental rock group Yellodrama.

    He will perform works by Claude Debussy, Mark Applebaum, Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, Robert Stright, Dave Hollinden and Andy Akhio. He will also perform one of his own compositions, "Scavenger Mastermind." The piece is a multi-percussion solo that makes use of a variety of instruments including gongs, woodblocks, drums and castanets, along with non-conventional instruments such as a metal bowl and a wooden plank.

    "I wanted to create a piece that treated the setup as a single instrument rather than a conglomeration of instruments," Reeves writes of the music. "The piece is performed with four mallets throughout and is written as if the entire setup was some type of exotic marimba. This idea came out of my interest in mimicking electronic sounds with acoustic instruments."

    Other works on the program are Debussy's "La fille aux cheveux de lin" from Préludes Book I, Applebaum's Entre Funérailles II, Tchaikovsky's "October" from "The Seasons," Op. 37a, Stright's "Six Poems," Hollinden's "Of Wind and Water" and Akiho's "Macqueripe."

    A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Reeves has performed at many conferences and conventions and with a variety of musical ensembles such as the Central Florida Symphony, Fayetteville Symphony, Gainesville Chamber Orchestra, Palmetto Opera, South Carolina Philharmonic, Wilmington Symphony, J'Ouvert Steel Band, Pantasia Steel Band, Sunshine Steelers, Jacare Brazil and the Woyate West African Drum and Dance Ensemble. As a member of the Florence Symphony Orchestra, Reeves has shared the stage with Art Garfunkel, The Indigo Girls, Point of Grace and Cirque Musica.

    As a member of the University of South Carolina wind ensemble, Reeves participated in a recording of the music of Leonard Bernstein for the Naxos label and was the principal percussionist during the ensemble's concert tour of China. He has also given recitals and clinics at universities throughout the United States. As an educator, he has taught percussion at various middle schools and high schools in Alabama, Florida and South Carolina.

    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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