College of Fine Arts News Archive

November 2019

  • SFA to present annual Holiday Celebration

    SFA to present annual Holiday Celebration

    November 22, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present its annual SFA Holiday Celebration at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    A highlight of the program will be a performance of “Christmas Cantata,” or “Sinfonia Sacra,” by Daniel Pinkham. The concert will also feature works by Dominick Argento, Felix Mendelssohn, George Frideric Handel, Eric Edward Whitacre and Giuseppe Verdi, along with seasonal favorites.

    The celebration will showcase the SFA A Cappella Choir, Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir and SFA Brass ensemble. Conductors will be Dr. Michael Murphy, director of choral activities at SFA; Dr. Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities; and graduate conductors Jacob Rivas of The Colony and David Zielke of Albany, Oregon. Accompanists will be SFA collaborative pianists Dr. Ron Petti, Dr. Thomas Nixon and Hyun Ji Oh.

    “American composer Daniel Pinkham composed his ‘Christmas Cantata’ as a 20th century homage to the Venetian School of choir and brass,” Murphy explained. “This style was particularly embodied in the works of Giovanni Gabrieli. The work is comprised of three movements and features a double brass choir.”

    The SFA Women’s Choir will present Verdi’s “Laudi alla Vergine Maria” from his famous “Quattro pezzi sacri” (Four Sacred Pieces). The work is scored for four-part women’s choir. This year’s SFA Women’s Choir has been invited to sing in March at the Southwest Division of the American Choral Directors Association Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.

    The Men’s Chorus will present Whitacre’s “Lux Arumque,” arranged for mixed choirs, men’s choirs and wind band. The work was inspired by Edward Esch’s poem, “Light and Gold.”

    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 two touring versions of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’

    SFA to present two touring versions of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’

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    Gather the family and celebrate the spirit of Christmas in spectacular fashion with PerSeverance Productions’ presentation of the holiday tale “A Christmas Carol” in a University Series performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. This show is sponsored in part by Nacogdoches Medical Center.

    November 20, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Ring in the holiday season with Stephen F. Austin State University as the College of Fine Arts presents not one but two stage versions of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” The first event is a musical extravaganza for the entire family, and the second is especially geared toward sharing the holiday classic with younger audiences.

    Gather the family and celebrate the spirit of Christmas in spectacular fashion with PerSeverance Productions’ presentation of the holiday tale in a University Series performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    “This production not only features top-flight professional performances, costumes and effects,” said Scott Shattuck, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and director of the University Series, “it also incorporates dozens of actual Christmas carols! Everyone that attends will leave brimming with holiday cheer.”

    Based upon Dickens’ famous classic, “A Christmas Carol” is a heartwarming story of the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge from a greedy, heartless miser to a generous, loving friend to everyone. Three ghostly visits – from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future – leave an indelible impression on Scrooge. Filled with kindness and the true spirit of the Christmas season, Scrooge changes his selfish ways and opens his heart to those around him.

    “With all the splendor, magic and joy of the holiday season, this fabulous gift of a show overflows with 26 beloved yuletide songs and warm good humor,” Shattuck said.

    Prior to the show, Dr. Steven J. Marsden, professor in the Department of English and Creative Writing in the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, will present an informative talk about Dickens and “A Christmas Carol” at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery. The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium, which is inside the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive. The audience is invited back to the gallery for a post-performance reception to honor the show’s corporate sponsor, Nacogdoches Medical Center.

    Single event ticket prices for the University Series are $30 for adults, $24 for seniors and $12 for non-SFA students/youth. Tickets for SFA students are $3.

    The Children’s Performing Arts Series at SFA will present two performances of Virginia Repertory Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol” on Thursday, Dec. 12, in Turner Auditorium. This version targets children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Performances are at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in Turner Auditorium. Tickets are $7.50 for individuals and $6 per person for groups of 20 or more.

    “Students will delight in this classic tale of Scrooge, the ghosts, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim,” Peterson said. “Virginia Repertory Theatre brings all the characters to life on stage in this lively and heartwarming musical performance that brings all the joy, sentiment and meaning of Dickens’ story without being too scary for young audiences.”

    For more information or to purchase tickets, visit finearts.sfasu.edu, stop by the Box Office in Room 211 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

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  • Cole Art Center to host annual Vintage Christmas Display

    Cole Art Center to host annual Vintage Christmas Display

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    The annual Vintage Christmas Display at Cole Art Center opens Dec. 3 and runs through Jan. 3.

    November 20, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The annual Vintage Christmas Display opens Tuesday, Dec.3, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

    This display has become a holiday tradition for Stephen F. Austin State University’s historic downtown art gallery, according to John Handley, director of SFA galleries.

    “Featuring antique and vintage holiday ornaments, dolls and toys, this display offers a glimpse into Christmas past and provides a perfect treat for the family during the holidays,” Handley said.

    Handley will discuss the Christmas exhibition, as well as a toy books display that is part of the exhibition “Picturing Books: Illustrations in Print from the 15th to the 20th Centuries,” in a gallery talk at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the art center.

    The Vintage Christmas Display runs through Jan. 3. The “Picturing Books” exhibition runs through Jan. 5.

    Art exhibitions and receptions are hosted by the SFA School of Art and sponsored by the Friends of the Visual Arts, Nacogdoches Junior Forum, William Arscott and The Flower Shop. Admission is free.

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

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  • SFA Symphony Orchestra to perform works by Schumann, von Weber, Grondahl

    SFA Symphony Orchestra to perform works by Schumann, von Weber, Grondahl

    November 20, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The SFA Symphony Orchestra will perform works of German Romantic composers in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, in Cole Concert Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    The headlining piece on the program is Symphony No. 4 by Robert Schumann.

    Conducted by Dr. Gregory Grabowski, director of orchestral activities for the SFA School of Music, the student ensemble will also perform “Oberon Overture” by Carl Maria von Weber and Trombone Concerto by Danish composer and conductor Launy Grondahl. The concerto performance will feature Duncanville sophomore Kahlil Burley-Wyatt, student concerto competition winner.

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

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

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  • ‘The Music of Silence’ featured in SFA’s Friday Night Film Series

    ‘The Music of Silence’ featured in SFA’s Friday Night Film Series

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    The Golden Globe-nominated “The Music of Silence” will be screened at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in The Cole Art Center.

    November 20, 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 “The Music of Silence” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Directed by Michael Radford, “The Music of Silence” is based on the life of Italian opera tenor Andrea Bocelli, who was born with an eye condition that eventually leads to blindness. The film, starring Antonio Banderas and Toby Sebastian, chronicles Bocelli’s life from his childhood to becoming one of the world’s most renowned opera singers. The film is based on the novel of the same name written by Bocelli and Anna Pavignano.

    This 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 and the Nacogdoches Junior Forum.

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

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  • Cole Art Center announces special Thanksgiving holiday hours

    Cole Art Center announces special Thanksgiving holiday hours

    November 19, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, Stephen F. Austin State University’s historic downtown gallery, will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, but open during regular gallery hours during the rest of the Thanksgiving holiday week.

    The art center will also be open from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, for the Main Street Nacogdoches Jingle and Mingle holiday event, featuring extended shopping hours for downtown retail stores, live entertainment, food trucks and more.

    Currently showing at Cole Art Center is “Picturing Books: Illustrations in Print from the 15th to the 20th Centuries,” Vol. I. Curated by Dr. John Handley, director of SFA’s art galleries, and Dr. David A. Lewis, professor of art history, the exhibition, presented in two volumes, offers a series of “chapters” that explore the evolution of the printed illustration, beginning with the Incunabulum (meaning the first 50 years of the printed book), including the Nuremberg Chronicle of 1493, and continuing up to the 20th century.

    Because the exhibition contains books and other printed items that are hundreds of years old, the materials will be displayed under protective glass. Viewers will be able to “see” additional pages in the books by scanning codes on mobile devices, including phones.

    Volume 1 runs through Jan. 5. Volume II will be presented in the early spring semester and will run through March 29.

    A vintage Christmas display featuring antique ornaments, decorations, dolls and toys of bygone eras will be added Dec. 3 through Jan. 3.

    Regular gallery 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.

    The exhibitions are free and open to the public and are sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts, William Arscott, Nacogdoches Junior Forum and The Flower Shop. The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For additional information, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • Congressional Art Competition exhibition to show in Griffith Gallery

    Congressional Art Competition exhibition to show in Griffith Gallery

    November 19, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. The competition provides an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents.

    The artwork submitted for the competition by high school students residing or attending school within U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert’s congressional district will be displayed in Griffith Fine Arts Gallery on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    “Historically, art and its expression have always been vital to our culture,” Gohmert said. “One of my own daughters is a very gifted artist with her pieces showcased in the U.S., China and Germany, so art has certainly played a substantial role in my family’s life.

    “Fine art needs to be a part of our children’s lives and can be instrumental in our children’s developmental capacities for so many aspects of a fulfilling life,” he added. “It seems that every year we have even more students with incredible talent and creativity that makes me shake my head in awe. Our congressional district is extraordinarily blessed with very talented art teachers who have nurtured superbly talented students, and the way the Griffith Fine Arts Gallery at Stephen F. Austin State University showcases each piece of art while being so incredibly hospitable to our students should make every East Texan proud.”

    The entries will be exhibited beginning Tuesday, Dec. 3, and will be displayed through Saturday, Dec. 7, when an awards ceremony will be held, and an open house/reception will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The exhibition will close following the reception.

    Griffith Gallery is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive, and is open this fall from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Friday. The exhibition will open at 9:30 a.m. prior to the awards ceremony on Dec. 7.

    First place winner will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

    Since it began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. Students submit entries to their representative’s office, and panels of local artists in each district select the winning entries.

    First place winning entry from this congressional district will be displayed in the hallway of the U.S. Capitol; the second-place winning entry will be displayed in Gohmert’s office in Washington; and the third-place winning entry will be displayed in Gohmert’s district office in Tyler.

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  • SFA Steel Band to perform traditional calypso selections

    SFA Steel Band to perform traditional calypso selections

    November 19, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Steel Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will present its fall concert at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Directed by Dr. Ben Tomlinson, adjunct professor of percussion in the School of Music, the student ensemble will perform a number of traditional calypso selections from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago and additional tunes from around the world.

    Among the works on the program is “Chunk,” a funk tune composed by Oklahoma City-based composer Jamie Wind Whitmarsh. This rendition will include an extended percussion solo to feature the band’s “Engine Room,” which includes drumset and a percussionist playing hand drums and other auxiliary percussion within the Steel Band.

    “‘Chunk’ is an upbeat tune with colorful harmonies and rhythms that really challenge the ensemble’s timing and ability to fit in the pocket,” Tomlinson said.

    Also on the program is Ray Holman’s “Pan in My System,” which Tomlinson describes as fast and upbeat and “a challenging soca chart that is sure to be a crowd favorite.”

    The Steel Band will perform “The Peanut Vendor” by Moisés Simons. The tune has been recorded more than 160 times and has been included in the United States Recording Registry by the National Recording Preservation Board.

    “Arranged by ensemble member Ethan Ainsworth, ‘The Peanut Vendor’ is arguably one of the most famous pieces of music to come out of Cuba,” Tomlinson said. “Released in the 1930s, this tune was responsible for ‘rhumbamania’ in the United States, introducing U.S. listeners to Cuban music.” Ainsworth is a senior music major from Hallsville.

    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 art student to compete in ‘Forged in Fire’ episode

    SFA art student to compete in ‘Forged in Fire’ episode

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    SFA art student Kevin Burgess of Nacogdoches will compete on the reality show “Forged in Fire” at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, on the History Channel.

    November 18, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    A Stephen F. Austin State University art student will compete in an episode of “Forged in Fire” that will air between 9 and 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, on the History Channel.

    Nacogdoches junior Kevin Burgess is an art metals student studying with Lauren Selden, professor of metalworking and jewelry in the School of Art.

    Produced by Outpost Entertainment, “Forged in Fire” is a competition in which four bladesmiths compete in timed elimination rounds to forge bladed weapons for a chance to win a $10,000 prize and be named a “Forged in Fire” champion. In its seventh season, the competition, which is judged by experts in weapon history and use, tests some of the best in the industry as they attempt to re-create historic weapons.

    The road to the reality series competition began in the summer of 2018 when Burgess, at the urging of a friend and fellow bladesmith, signed up online as a contestant. After an initial screening process, Burgess was required to complete a form where he outlined his experience and described the bladesmith equipment he used and the longest blade he had forged.

    “They required you to have forged at least a 15-inch blade at some time in your career, and at that point, I had forged a blade only about 13 inches long,” he said. “I had a big chunk of material left over from another project, so I went crazy and forged a full 32-inch arming sword.”

    Burgess was then contacted by show officials for a Skype interview where he displayed some of his creations. From that point on, it was a waiting game until this past summer when he was contacted again for a final interview to determine if he would actually compete. In early August, he flew to the forge location where filming began.

    The results of the competition will be aired Wednesday night.

    Burgess first became interested in bladesmithing about four years ago after watching “Man at Arms: Reforged” YouTube videos where skilled bladesmiths recreate weapons from TV shows and video games. He is currently a member in and an apprentice with the American Bladesmith Society, hoping to eventually pursue journeyman distinction.

    He started his college career at SFA studying computer science but soon changed his major to art where he could follow his passion. Following graduation, he plans to earn a master’s degree with the hope of teaching bladesmithing at the college level.

    “Bladesmithing is something I am really passionate about,” he said, “and I’d like to pass that on to the next generation.”

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  • Time running out to see ‘Titus Andronicus’ at SFA

    Time running out to see ‘Titus Andronicus’ at SFA

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    November 14, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Only a few opportunities remain to see the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre’s presentation of William Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus.” The play is at 7:30 nightly through Saturday, Nov. 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. “Titus Andronicus” chronicles Rome’s honored general as he returns home from war and begins a cycle of revenge filled with bloody deaths as punishment for a series of committed wrongs. In a scene from the play are, from left, Brownsboro freshman Levi Laymance; Cushing freshman Drake Willis; Hawkins freshman Triston Dodson; Ferris sophomore Cameron Ralston; Houston sophomore Fatimah Green; and Forney sophomore Trace Killian. Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and non-SFA students 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

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  • SFA School of Theatre presents ‘Titus Andronicus’ through Saturday

    SFA School of Theatre presents ‘Titus Andronicus’ through Saturday

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    November 13, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will continue to present William Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” at 7:30 nightly through Saturday, Nov. 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. “Titus Andronicus” chronicles Rome’s honored general as he returns home from war and begins a cycle of revenge filled with bloody deaths as punishment for a series of committed wrongs. Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and non-SFA students 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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  • Rockin’ Axes to perform favorites by Rush, Black Sabbath, Edgar Winter

    Rockin’ Axes to perform favorites by Rush, Black Sabbath, Edgar Winter

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    The Rockin’ Axes at SFA will perform at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in Kennedy Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    November 12, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Rockin’ Axes at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a rock concert at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in Kennedy Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    The Rockin’ Axes is directed by Nick Lambson, a Sound Recording Technology faculty member within the School of Music. One of three SRT performance groups, the Rockin’ Axes will perform “YYZ” by Rush, “Schism” by Tool, “Part III” by Crumb and “Frankenstein” by Edgar Winter, among other rock favorites.

    The SRT program added a new, third ensemble this year to meet overwhelming student demand. “We have also made each ensemble smaller,” Lambson said. “This allows each student to perform on more songs, and it also became more competitive.

    “As a result, we are working on some more advanced music like ‘YYZ’ and ‘Schism,’ which are technically and musically complex, with challenging rhythms, like changing meters,” he said. “We are also using music technology for special effects and using timbales for Winter’s ‘Frankenstein.’”

    Music students attending this concert will receive recital credit. For additional information about the Rockin’ Axes, visit https://www.facebook.com/RockinAxesOfSFAStateUniversity/.

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

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  • Vienna Boys Choir concert tickets still available

    Vienna Boys Choir concert tickets still available

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    Tickets are still available to a performance of the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir, conducted by Choirmaster Manuel Huber, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. This special College of Fine Arts Encore Event performance is sponsored in part by Commercial Bank of Texas. Photo: Lukas Beck

    November 12, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Tickets are still available to the Vienna Boys Choir concert on Nov. 21 on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    A special Encore Event presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts, the concert is sponsored in part by Commercial Bank of Texas. The renowned vocal ensemble will present “Journey Through the Americas” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, in W.M. Turner Auditorium. The program includes favorite Strauss waltzes, classical masterpieces by Verdi and Beethoven, modern-era works by Bernstein and Gershwin and folk songs from around the world. A performance of “Amazing Grace” arranged by John Coates will be among the concert’s highlights.

    “With so many discounts available for seniors and youngsters, especially in alternative seat locations, we hope that every East Texas family will jump on the chance to experience this world-famous choir,” said Scott Shattuck, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and director of the University Series. “This is a rare opportunity for generations to come together to hear some of the greatest music ever written, sung by the angelic voices in one of the greatest ensembles ever assembled.”

    Prior to the performance, Dr. Tod Fish, assistant professor and associate director of choral activities in the SFA School of Music, will present an informative talk at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery. The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium, which is inside the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive. The audience is invited back to the gallery for a post-performance reception to honor the show’s corporate sponsor.

    On the night of the concert, the College of Fine Arts will team up with the SFA Office of Student Engagement to collect non-perishable food items for The Pantry at SFA, which is the food pantry designed to assist SFA students in need. Any non-perishable food item will be accepted, but current special needs are canned fruit, variety boxes of oatmeal packets, canned entrees such as Chef Boyardee ravioli, spaghetti, etc., and 1.5 gallons of fruit juice.

    Encore Event tickets are $45 for Section A seating; $36 for Section B seating; and $27 for Section C seating. Discounts are available in all sections for seniors, students, children and SFA faculty and staff members, ranging from $3 (for SFA students) to $36 tickets, depending on discount type. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit finearts.sfasu.edu, stop by the Box Office in Room 211 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

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  • SFA’s concert bands, wind faculty to present ‘Kaleidoscope’

    SFA’s concert bands, wind faculty to present ‘Kaleidoscope’

    November 11, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Band Department in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will feature several of its student and faculty ensembles in presenting “Kaleidoscope” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    “This unique concert format will feature all of the concert bands as well as the wind faculty members of the Stone Fort Wind Quintet and the Pineywoods Brass Quintet in a seamless evening of musical entertainment,” said Dr. David Campo, director of bands at SFA.

    The concert will open with the SFA Trombone Octet, directed by Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone, performing James Kazik’s “The Hex Files.”

    Next, the Symphonic Band, under the direction of Chris Kaatz, assistant director of bands, will perform “Seeds of Glass” by Benjamin Taylor and “Single” by Jonathan Newman.

    The Stone Fort Wind Quintet will continue the evening’s musical offerings with “Afro,” one movement of Valeria Coleman’s Afro-Cuban Concerto for Wind Quintet.

    The evening transitions to the Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. Tamey Anglley, associate director of bands, performing “Procession of the Nobles” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakoff and “La Procesion del Rocio” by Joaquin Turina.

    Following the Wind Symphony, the Pineywoods Brass Quintet will perform Lee Morgan’s 1965 composition, “Ceora.”

    Rounding out the evening will be the Wind Ensemble, directed by Campo, performing John Mackey’s epic symphony for band, “Wine Dark Sea,” based on the Homeric epic “The Odyssey.”

    “The Band Department looks forward to sharing this musical offering with the community without interruption,” Campo 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.

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  • SFA’s Music Prep students selected to All-Region orchestras

    SFA’s Music Prep students selected to All-Region orchestras

    November 8, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Music Prep Division in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music had several students to qualify for All-Region orchestras during recent auditions held at Kilgore Middle School.

    Those selected to the All-Region High School Orchestra are violinists Shelby Rotramel, Holden Kelly, Haylee Harman, Ashlyn McBroom, Haley McBroom and Karys Alders; violist Connor Rudolph; cellist Jessica Schlaudt; and bassist Mason Baker.

    Selected to the Middle School All-Region Orchestra are violinists Luke Scala, Gracie Lyn Harman, Nathaniel Hendricks and Lauren Hansen; violist Cate Baker; and cellist Will Sams.

    The All-Region orchestras will perform Dec. 7 at Longview High School.

    For a complete listing of Music Prep classes and types of instruction available, visit http://www.music.sfasu.edu/prep or contact Director Melissa Nabb at (936) 468-1291.

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  • Cello Club to present ‘Around the World’

    Cello Club to present ‘Around the World’

    November 7, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Cello Club will present the program “Around the World” at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    “It has been 500 years since Ferdinand Magellan left Spain sailing west to circumnavigate Earth,” said Dr. Evgeni Raychev, cello instructor in the SFA School of Music and artistic director for Cello Club. “This concert will take us on a musical journey together from Spain to the Caribbean and through the Far East.”

    Cello Club is an educational project aimed at establishing a path of success for developing young artists, according Raychev.

    “This endeavor seeks to promote and provide opportunities for cello ensemble playing, establish connections between musicians, develop an awareness of ensemble techniques, and provide competitive opportunities and collaborations with professional musicians,” Raychev said. “It is designed to help build one’s creativity and imagination and to promote the esthetics of art.”

    The program of original arrangements will include the world premiere of “Latin Dances,” commissioned and composed for this event by Mike McGowan, adjunct professor of music theory in the School of Music.

    Participants in this year’s Cello Club are all from Texas and come from Henderson, Houston, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Beckville, Carrollton, Gary, Tyler, Frisco, Longview, Tomball, Plano, Flower Mound and Diana.

    Any donations and profit exceeding the Cello Club’s expenses will be used for building scholarship opportunities.

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

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  • School of Music to present ‘Messiah’ sing-along fundraiser

    School of Music to present ‘Messiah’ sing-along fundraiser

    November 7, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    A community sing-along of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” will raise funds for the A Cappella Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University to travel to Italy in 2020.

    The community event, featuring the audience and SFA A Cappella Choir as the chorus, is at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, in Cole Concert Hall.

    The fundraiser is designed to help defray the costs of the choir’s 2020 Italy tour, according to Dr. Michael Murphy, director of choral activities in the SFA School of Music. For information on how to donate to the Italy trip, email Murphy at murphymt2@sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-1181.

    “Ring in the holiday season with the perennial favorite, Handel’s ‘Messiah,’” Murphy said. “The SFA choral area is hosting a community sing-along for Nacogdoches and surrounding communities. Bring your ‘Messiah’ score or rent one for $2 from the SFA choral area and sing or listen to Handel’s glorious masterpiece.”

    The program will feature graduate and undergraduate student soloists Cole Jones of Livingston; Nathan Ponder and Anthony Rodriguez, both of Houston; William Murphy of Nacogdoches; Summer Price of Needville; Reagan Bradshaw of Wiley; Kayla Luptak of Bullard; Megan Stone of Spring; Brianna Glaze of Beaumont and Viveca Richards of Houston. In addition to Murphy, conductors will include Dr. Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities, and SFA graduate students in choral conducting, Jacob Rivas of The Colony; David Zielke of Albany, Oregon; and Greg Simmons of Lufkin. Accompanists will be SFA collaborative pianists Drs. Ron Petti and Thomas Nixon.

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

    Tickets are $15 adults, $10 senior citizens, $5 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 1806

  • Campus, community collaborations highlight ‘Titus Andronicus’ performance

    Campus, community collaborations highlight ‘Titus Andronicus’ performance

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    Musician Casey Muze Williams of Starr Avenue Co. assists in creating sound accompaniment for the SFA School of Theatre presentation of Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” live, on stage with “found objects” rather than traditional instruments.

    November 7, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The School of Theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University is keen on building collaborative artistic relationships across disciplines on campus and within the Nacogdoches community. A number of unique collaborations in the upcoming Mainstage Series presentation of William Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” takes this theatre experience to a higher level, according to CC Conn, associate professor of lighting and sound design.

    Among the strongest of these collaborations is with musician Casey Muze Williams of Starr Avenue Co. Williams is working with Conn, sound designer for “Titus,” along with the play’s assistant sound designer, Corpus Christi junior Armando Chavez-Garcia, and School of Theatre Technical Director Tyler Cureton to create the show’s sound accompaniment live, on stage with “found objects” rather than traditional instruments.

    The sound design concept stems from show Director Cleo House Jr.’s concept of a post-apocalyptic world and his desire to incorporate an onstage musician. House is director of the School of Theatre. Because of the post-apocalyptic setting, Conn wanted to create a “found object” soundscape that could be indicative of a world where traditional musical instruments may no longer exist or be difficult to locate. As a result, this has given the production “a strong sense of collaborative creativity and exploration,” she said.

    Williams and Conn have explored various sound qualities of these items to match them with the moods within the play. Chavez-Garcia and Cureton have created many of the objects which are part of the sound setup. There will be electronic sound playback and microphone support, as well.

    Williams, a performance percussionist using numerous rhythm instruments, established Starr Avenue Co. in 2016 with an idea for hosting open invitation music jam sessions as a community outreach endeavor.

    “Our mission is to provide opportunities for individuals within a community to explore creativity and participate in educational opportunities that strengthen the positive relationships of the citizens within that community,” Williams explained. “We do this by providing opportunities for self-expression that include art, music and other creative avenues. We are founded on a strong belief that art, music and other creative expressions are some of the healthiest ways to advocate for positivity and acceptance among the citizens of each community.”

    In another collaboration, Victoria sophomore Myah Mallory, sound engineer, will do a full accompaniment of microphones for the cast in order to support a clean, multi-camera recording of the opening-night performance to be provided by mass communication students of Dr. Casey Hart, associate professor of mass communication at SFA.

    “Mallory will be prepping and operating a 20-mic show,” Conn said. “This is a complicated job for a sophomore-level student. However, Mallory was the sound engineer for an eight-mic play last summer. Live mics require a lot of preplanning in acquiring the supplies needed and setting up the sound equipment in the theatre. During the performances, Mallory will place the microphones on the actors and operate the mixing board to properly reinforce the actors’ voices over the music. She will also make a recording of the performance for the video production by the mass communications students.”

    Mia Lindemann, a senior from Prosper, is providing lighting design for show. With a scheduled December graduation, it will be Lindemann’s final design at SFA. With Conn’s help, she acquired a loan of seven LED fixtures for demo purposes from Electronic Theatre Controls, a global leader in the manufacture of lighting and rigging technology. These fixtures will help to create the eerie atmospheres in the production along with fog and haze.

    This adaptation of “Titus Andronicus” takes place in 2100 in Washington, D.C., in a post American-Russian (Roman-Goth) fallout. The play chronicles Rome’s honored general as he returns home from war and begins a cycle of revenge filled with bloody deaths as punishment for a series of committed wrongs.

    “Titus Andronicus” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 12 through 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. A matinee for high school students is at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14.

    Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and non-SFA students 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. The play is recommended for mature audiences.

    article ID 1804

  • SFA’s Contemporary Music Ensemble to present concert using technology as instruments

    SFA’s Contemporary Music Ensemble to present concert using technology as instruments

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    SFA’s Contemporary Music Ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, in the Music Recital Hall on the SFA campus.

    November 4, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Contemporary Music Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a concert, which will include using music technology as instruments, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, in the Music Recital Hall of the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    Directed by Nick Lambson, a Sound Recording Technology faculty member in the SFA School of Music, the Contemporary Ensemble will perform the music of Frank Zappa, Daft Punk, Snarky Puppy, Moondog and more.

    Lambson described Zappa, Daft Punk and Snarky Puppy as “artists that exist in more than one world.”

    “Their music incorporates elements from multiple styles, and they manage to be both accessible and complex, familiar but interesting,” he said.

    Students will perform music that utilizes laptops, iPads and synthesizers. Much of that music will be improvised, using technology as instruments, Lambson said.

    “The musical genre minimalism will also be explored with a piece by Moondog, who was homeless in New York City at one time but ended up influencing major composers that followed, like Philip Glass and Steve Reich,” Lambson said.

    Student interest in the first two SRT ensembles – Contemporary Ensemble and the Rockin’ Axes – has been so overwhelming that the School of Music expanded its offering, adding a third group this year –¬ the Commercial Music Ensemble.

    “The Contemporary Music Ensemble will focus on more complex works, including electronic music and progressive musical styles,” Lambson said. “The students have been very excited about the new direction of this group and have been part of its development.”

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

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    article ID 1802

  • U.S. Marine Corps trombonist to perform with Swingin’ Axes

    U.S. Marine Corps trombonist to perform with Swingin’ Axes

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    Gunnery Sgt. Ken Ebo, U.S. Marine Corps trombonist, will perform with SFA’s Swingin‘ Axes at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in Cole Concert Hall on the university campus.

    November 4, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Gunnery Sgt. Ken Ebo, U.S. Marine Corps Jazz Orchestra director and trombonist, will join the Swingin’ Axes jazz band of Stephen F. Austin State University in a performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The concert will also feature the Swingin’ Aces, directed by Dr. J.D. Salas, professor of tuba and euphonium at SFA.

    Much of the concert will feature the trombone players from the Swingin’ Axes, directed by Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone in the SFA School of Music, as well as some of Ebo’s compositions for jazz band. Among them is “Trombonius Rex,” a fast bebop style tune that will feature Ebo, the entire Axes trombone section and Scott. The Axes will also perform Ebo’s “Sunset Parade,” composed in the Count Basie ballad style, and “Basie Training,” a spoof on basic training, also written in the Count Basie swing style of jazz.

    A versatile musician, Ebo will sing one of Natalie Cole’s most famous jazz standards, “Almost Like Being in Love,” with arrangement by Bill Holman.

    The Axes will feature its lead saxophone player, graduate music student Felipe Hernandez, and senior music student and trumpet player Isaac Martinez on a Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer song, “Skylark.”

    Ebo is the former head of the Instrumental Division at the Naval School of Music in Virginia Beach where he also served as trombone faculty and jazz improvisation instructor. He is currently serving as the music placement director for the Marine Music Program in the Southwestern United States. An active clinician, educator and performer, Ebo holds degrees from Indiana University and the University of South Carolina. He has played with numerous artists in both military and civilian settings including Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra Jr., Johnny Mathis, Jon Faddis, Michael Mossman and Tim Akers & the Smoking Section.

    Ebo is a recipient of the Musician of the Year Award for the U.S. Marine Corps and has performed nationwide as the musical director and lead trombonist for the Marine Corps Jazz Orchestra. His compositions and arrangements have been featured as part of USMC national recruiting efforts and have been performed by numerous ensembles. He is the author of “Common Sense for Comeback Chops,” published by Mountain Peak Music.

    Ebo also directs his own jazz orchestra in a series of benefit concerts for Toys for Tots in Baltimore, M.D., now in its 17th season, including eight years of annual concerts also held in Virginia Beach. Ebo resides in Fort Worth with his wife, also a professional musician, and their two children, who collectively sing and play trumpet, harp, piano, ukulele, drums and other instruments.

    The Swingin’ Aces will perform “Skyliner” by Charlie Barnett; “Midnight Voyage” by Joey Calderazzo and arranged by Alan Baylock; and “My Romance” by Richard Rodgers featuring Mike McGowan, SFA adjunct professor of music theory.

    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.

    article ID 1803

  • SFA’s ‘Titus Andronicus’ features complex special effects

    SFA’s ‘Titus Andronicus’ features complex special effects

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    Among the special effects props created for the SFA School of Theatre’s presentation of Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” are severed heads, hands and other limbs. The play will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 12 through 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    November 1, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Elaborate special effects on the big screen can really enhance a movie-going experience. Today’s audiences expect bigger and better every time. That’s exactly what theatre-goers who attend the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre’s presentation of William Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” will receive – an elaborate special effects experience.

    Directed by Cleo House Jr., director of the School of Theatre, “Titus Andronicus” chronicles Rome’s honored general as he returns home from war and begins a cycle of revenge filled with bloody deaths as punishment for a series of committed wrongs. The show runs Nov. 12 through 16 in W.M. Turner Auditorium.

    This adaptation of “Titus Andronicus” takes place in 2100 in Washington, D.C., in a post American-Russian (Roman-Goth) fallout. The play’s action on stage includes intricate fight choreography, film-like special effects, beheadings and missing limbs. Dr. Slade Billew, assistant professor of acting and movement in the School of Theatre who specializes in fight choreography, has incorporated a variety of fighting styles into the show.

    “Since the play was updated to the near future, the fights reflect the wide range of fighting styles available in contemporary society,” Billew said. “The audience will see elements of Kung Fu, Filipino martial arts and various other styles. We intentionally chose a very broad range of weapons, so that we could showcase variety.”

    “Titus Andronicus” has been described as one of Shakespeare’s most violent plays. As such, perfecting massive amounts of fight choreography can take a lot of time. “We began choreographing towards the beginning of this semester and have continued to layer in new elements and details throughout the process,” Billew said.

    Safety is always a key concern when choreographing fight scenes, according to Billew. Repetition, clarity and control of distance are key to maintaining actor safety. One of the big challenges of this piece has been that many of the fights happen in small spaces, he added.

    “This show contains some large group battle scenes that involve a lot of intense activity, and the level of physical demand varies,” he said. “Actors need to maintain a base level of physical fitness, and then receive training through our program to help them move with more efficiency and control.”

    Kingwood sophomore Jenna Alley is properties master for the show. She and fellow students have been busy creating the multitude of props needed for “Titus Andronicus,” including severed heads and hands.

    “This is one of the biggest shows I’ve ever been a part of, and it’s definitely the biggest and most demanding show I’ve been in here at SFA, so one of the biggest challenges is the sheer quantity of props needed for this production,” she said. “The process of creating props is amazing, from coming up with some kind of concept or sketch and then figuring out how to make it work and then finally being able to see and hold it in your hands.”

    The students have learned such techniques as how to create molds of and cast hands and faces and how to make human entrails – projects that seemed “really daunting at first,” Alley said.

    “We’ve learned that sometimes there’s a lot of trial and error before you get something absolutely perfect,” she said, “but it’s worth it once you end up with something you’re really proud of.

    “I think we are all super excited to see the whole thing come together and also to have other people finally see it,” she said. “Everyone in this production, and all the students whose names aren’t in the playbill but came in to help, worked so incredibly hard, and I think it absolutely paid off.”

    Billew said he is looking forward to seeing how the audience reacts to the show, which opens with a mass battle on stage.

    “Figuring out something that is dynamic, but clear enough for audiences to follow while so much action is happening on stage, has been fun,” he said.

    “Titus Andronicus” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 12 through 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. A matinee for high school students is at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14.

    Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and non-SFA students 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. The play is recommended for mature audiences.

    article ID 1800

  • Stone Fort Wind Quintet to perform music by North American composers

    Stone Fort Wind Quintet to perform music by North American composers

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    SFA’s Stone Fort Wind Quintet, featuring music faculty members, from left, Chris Ayer, Christina Guenther, Lee Goodhew, Abby Y. Held and Charles Gavin, will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, in Cole Concert Hall on the university campus.

    November 1, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stone Fort Wind Quintet at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a concert of music by North American composers at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The quintet is comprised of SFA School of Music faculty, including Christina Guenther, flute; Abby Held, oboe; Chris Ayer, clarinet; Charles Gavin, horn; and Lee Goodhew, bassoon. The performance is a feature of the Friends of Music Concert Series.

    Among the pieces on the program is the unique “Beer Music” by American composer Brian DuFord. The composer writes, “Beer Music is a musical tasting celebration of our civilization’s fondness for this ancient fermented beverage.” The inspiration for the work was the craft brewery scene in Madison, Wisconsin, as the composer sampled more than 50 beers. Descriptive movement titles include “Black Earth Porter,” “Groundskeeper Willie” and “Hopalicious.”

    Two other works also come from American composers who, generally, compose for their own wind quintet, the Imani Winds. “The Afro-Cuban Concerto” for Wind Quintet by Valerie Coleman is inspired by influences of African and Cuban music in American music. “Startin’ Sumthin’ by another member of the Imani Winds, Jeff Scott, is somewhat of a “fusion” composition with influences from both jazz and rock, Gavin explained. “It features virtuosic passages for all the woodwind players,” he added.

    “This program promises to have something for everybody,” Gavin said. “We feel every piece on the program will engage the audience. The music is vibrant and colorful. It is sure to be a fun and entertaining 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.

    article ID 1801

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