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New works by noted choreographers Takehiro Ueyama, Alexander Sanchez and Dwight Rhoden are set to well-known 20th-century music

 

Event celebrates Meadows’ 50th anniversary and honors The Meadows Foundation

 

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU Meadows School of the Arts will present three premieres by internationally recognized choreographers at its 26th annual benefit concert, “Meadows at the Winspear,” at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 4 in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. in Dallas. The concert will feature the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips, and the students of the Meadows Dance Ensemble performing three new works, each set to well-known 20th-century music. The works include Takehiro Ueyama’s ethereal Heroes, set to John Adams’ The Chairman Dances; Broadway choreographer Alexander Sanchez’s lively interpretation of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue; and Dwight Rhoden’s vibrant ballet Stellar Matter, set to an orchestral suite from Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

The annual spring concert raises funds to support talented Meadows students through the Meadows Scholars Program. It also honors a community leader, and this year, the honoree is The Meadows Foundation, which has supported SMU and Dallas for more than five decades. The event also kicks off the school’s 50th anniversary celebration; it was in 1969 that SMU’s School of the Arts was renamed Meadows School of the Arts in honor of Algur H. Meadows. The honorary chairs are Linda and Bill Custard, and the event chair is Stacey McCord. SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Algur H. Meadows Dean Samuel Holland will provide remarks at the event.

The concert opens with Ueyama’s Heroes, a work for 12 dancers, including guest artist and alumnus Albert Drake, that combines powerful athleticism and delicate gestures drawn from the choreographer’s Japanese heritage. It is set to composer John Adams’ 1985 work The Chairman Dances, an imagined foxtrot for Chairman Mao Tse-Tung and his bride, Chiang Ch’ing, which Adams called a warmup to his opera Nixon in China. Ueyama, a former Paul Taylor dancer, has created a piece that he said honors the dedication and perseverance of citizens who played a crucial role in Japan’s recovery after World War II and are driving its success today. Ueyama has won multiple awards for his choreography, which has been inspired by the beauty in nature, the duality of darkness and light in the universal human condition and the humanity and compassion in day-to-day living.

The program continues with A Rhapsody in Blue, set to George Gershwin’s famous 1924 composition combining jazz rhythms and classical music. Award-winning choreographer Alexander Sanchez, known for his work both on and off Broadway, has created a new group work that follows the narrative of two young immigrants arriving in New York in the 1920s to pursue the American dream. Sanchez, who has directed and choreographed for numerous New York and regional theaters, was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 artists to watch” in 2016 and has been praised by critics for works that are “whimsical,” “spectacular” and “wildly ingenious.” 

Concluding the program is Stellar Matter by Dwight Rhoden, co-founder and co-artistic director of New York City-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet, set to three of the seven movements from Gustav Holst’s The Planets – Mars, Uranus and Jupiter (1914-16). Holst said the pieces were suggested by the astrological significance of the planets. Rhoden has created an abstract interpretation of the composition, describing it as combining “the power and strength of Mars, the illusion and deception of Uranus, and the vibrancy and liveliness of Jupiter.” Complexions Contemporary Ballet has received numerous awards, including The New York Times Critics’ Choice Award, and has toured the globe. Celebrated for his choreography and wide-ranging collaborations with well-known dance artists, Rhoden has created over 80 ballets for Complexions and for numerous other major companies, earning distinction from The New York Times as “one of the most sought-out choreographers of the day.”

“Meadows at the Winspear is the pinnacle of our performance season,” said Samuel Holland, dean of the Meadows School. “We are thrilled to share the talents of our gifted dance and music students in world premieres by these three extraordinary choreographers. We are grateful for the support this concert provides for the Meadows Scholars Program, the impact of which can be measured by rising academic achievement, artistry and diversity with each incoming class. We are especially proud this year to commemorate our 50th anniversary and to celebrate the civic and cultural contributions of The Meadows Foundation to SMU and to Dallas.”

 

The Meadows Foundation: Supporting SMU and Dallas since 1948

The Meadows Foundationis a private philanthropic institution established in 1948 by Algur H. and Virginia Meadows from wealth accumulated through the General American Oil Company, once among the largest private oil and gas companies in the United States. The Foundation exists to assist people and institutions of Texas to improve the quality and circumstances of life for themselves and future generations. The Foundation strives to exemplify the principles of its founder in addressing basic human needs; protecting the environment; providing cultural enrichment; encouraging excellence; and promoting understanding and cooperation among people. Since its inception, the Foundation has disbursed more than $1.2 billion in grants and direct charitable expenditures to more than 3,500 Texas institutions and agencies. The Meadows Foundation grants funds in the areas of arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health and human services.

The Meadows Foundation traces its historic partnership with SMU back to the early 1960s, when Algur Meadows, an avid art collector, donated his Spanish art collection to SMU in honor of Virginia after her passing, along with a $1 million endowment to create the Virginia Meadows Museum within the Owen Arts Center. Mr. Meadows later donated his collection of sculptures by contemporary Italian artists to SMU to establish the Elizabeth Meadows Sculpture Garden, named in honor of his second wife. The museum and garden opened in the Owen Arts Center in 1965. He also gave a $10 million gift to the SMU School of the Arts, and in gratitude, the SMU Board of Trustees renamed the school Meadows School of the Arts in 1969.

The Meadows Foundation has continued its generous support of initiatives and causes across SMU over the decades, and in 2015 announced a gift of $45 million to the Meadows School and the Meadows Museum – the largest single gift in SMU’s history. The momentous gift made the Foundation the only entity to provide SMU more than $100 million in financial resources to a singular area of focus: the education and promotion of the arts.

 

The Meadows Scholars Program: Bringing the best and brightest to Dallas

The annual Meadows at the Winspear concert provides important funding for the Meadows Scholars Program, inaugurated in 2008 to recruit the brightest and most talented students nationwide to the Meadows School of the Arts. It is targeted to applicants who are accepted to Meadows and who meet both stringent academic and artistic/leadership criteria. While such high achievers often receive SMU academic scholarship awards, many of them are still unable to afford full tuition. The Meadows Scholars Program offers an additional annual scholarship, plus an exploration grant that can be used any time during their years at Meadows for a creative project, providing a significant incentive for them to choose SMU and Dallas. Now in its eleventh year, the program has supported the academic careers of more than 200 students.

Ticket and sponsorship information

Tickets to the Meadows at the Winspear concert are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $17 for students and SMU faculty and staff. A $10 discount is available for Meadows subscribers. For subscriber tickets, contact the Meadows box office at 214-768-2787. For general tickets, visit TicketDFW.com or call 214-871-5000. For additional information, visit smu.edu/winspear.

Patron and corporate sponsorships with special benefits and seating packages are available from $2,500 to $15,000.  In addition, Meadows recognizes those who either permanently endow a Meadows Scholar at $150,000 or who make a $30,000 commitment to fund a scholarship over four years. For more information, call the Meadows Development Office at 214-768-4189.

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New works by noted choreographers Takehiro Ueyama, Alexander Sanchez and Dwight Rhoden are set to well-known 20th-century music

 

Event celebrates Meadows’ 50th anniversary and honors The Meadows Foundation

 

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU Meadows School of the Arts will present three premieres by internationally recognized choreographers at its 26th annual benefit concert, “Meadows at the Winspear,” at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 4 in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. in Dallas. The concert will feature the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips, and the students of the Meadows Dance Ensemble performing three new works, each set to well-known 20th-century music. The works include Takehiro Ueyama’s ethereal Heroes, set to John Adams’ The Chairman Dances; Broadway choreographer Alexander Sanchez’s lively interpretation of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue; and Dwight Rhoden’s vibrant ballet Stellar Matter, set to an orchestral suite from Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

The annual spring concert raises funds to support talented Meadows students through the Meadows Scholars Program. It also honors a community leader, and this year, the honoree is The Meadows Foundation, which has supported SMU and Dallas for more than five decades. The event also kicks off the school’s 50th anniversary celebration; it was in 1969 that SMU’s School of the Arts was renamed Meadows School of the Arts in honor of Algur H. Meadows. The honorary chairs are Linda and Bill Custard, and the event chair is Stacey McCord. SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Algur H. Meadows Dean Samuel Holland will provide remarks at the event.

The concert opens with Ueyama’s Heroes, a work for 12 dancers, including guest artist and alumnus Albert Drake, that combines powerful athleticism and delicate gestures drawn from the choreographer’s Japanese heritage. It is set to composer John Adams’ 1985 work The Chairman Dances, an imagined foxtrot for Chairman Mao Tse-Tung and his bride, Chiang Ch’ing, which Adams called a warmup to his opera Nixon in China. Ueyama, a former Paul Taylor dancer, has created a piece that he said honors the dedication and perseverance of citizens who played a crucial role in Japan’s recovery after World War II and are driving its success today. Ueyama has won multiple awards for his choreography, which has been inspired by the beauty in nature, the duality of darkness and light in the universal human condition and the humanity and compassion in day-to-day living.

The program continues with A Rhapsody in Blue, set to George Gershwin’s famous 1924 composition combining jazz rhythms and classical music. Award-winning choreographer Alexander Sanchez, known for his work both on and off Broadway, has created a new group work that follows the narrative of two young immigrants arriving in New York in the 1920s to pursue the American dream. Sanchez, who has directed and choreographed for numerous New York and regional theaters, was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 artists to watch” in 2016 and has been praised by critics for works that are “whimsical,” “spectacular” and “wildly ingenious.” 

Concluding the program is Stellar Matter by Dwight Rhoden, co-founder and co-artistic director of New York City-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet, set to three of the seven movements from Gustav Holst’s The Planets – Mars, Uranus and Jupiter (1914-16). Holst said the pieces were suggested by the astrological significance of the planets. Rhoden has created an abstract interpretation of the composition, describing it as combining “the power and strength of Mars, the illusion and deception of Uranus, and the vibrancy and liveliness of Jupiter.” Complexions Contemporary Ballet has received numerous awards, including The New York Times Critics’ Choice Award, and has toured the globe. Celebrated for his choreography and wide-ranging collaborations with well-known dance artists, Rhoden has created over 80 ballets for Complexions and for numerous other major companies, earning distinction from The New York Times as “one of the most sought-out choreographers of the day.”

“Meadows at the Winspear is the pinnacle of our performance season,” said Samuel Holland, dean of the Meadows School. “We are thrilled to share the talents of our gifted dance and music students in world premieres by these three extraordinary choreographers. We are grateful for the support this concert provides for the Meadows Scholars Program, the impact of which can be measured by rising academic achievement, artistry and diversity with each incoming class. We are especially proud this year to commemorate our 50th anniversary and to celebrate the civic and cultural contributions of The Meadows Foundation to SMU and to Dallas.”

 

The Meadows Foundation: Supporting SMU and Dallas since 1948

The Meadows Foundation is a private philanthropic institution established in 1948 by Algur H. and Virginia Meadows from wealth accumulated through the General American Oil Company, once among the largest private oil and gas companies in the United States. The Foundation exists to assist people and institutions of Texas to improve the quality and circumstances of life for themselves and future generations. The Foundation strives to exemplify the principles of its founder in addressing basic human needs; protecting the environment; providing cultural enrichment; encouraging excellence; and promoting understanding and cooperation among people. Since its inception, the Foundation has disbursed more than $1.2 billion in grants and direct charitable expenditures to more than 3,500 Texas institutions and agencies. The Meadows Foundation grants funds in the areas of arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health and human services.

The Meadows Foundation traces its historic partnership with SMU back to the early 1960s, when Algur Meadows, an avid art collector, donated his Spanish art collection to SMU in honor of Virginia after her passing, along with a $1 million endowment to create the Virginia Meadows Museum within the Owen Arts Center. Mr. Meadows later donated his collection of sculptures by contemporary Italian artists to SMU to establish the Elizabeth Meadows Sculpture Garden, named in honor of his second wife. The museum and garden opened in the Owen Arts Center in 1965. He also gave a $10 million gift to the SMU School of the Arts, and in gratitude, the SMU Board of Trustees renamed the school Meadows School of the Arts in 1969.

The Meadows Foundation has continued its generous support of initiatives and causes across SMU over the decades, and in 2015 announced a gift of $45 million to the Meadows School and the Meadows Museum – the largest single gift in SMU’s history. The momentous gift made the Foundation the only entity to provide SMU more than $100 million in financial resources to a singular area of focus: the education and promotion of the arts.

 

The Meadows Scholars Program: Bringing the best and brightest to Dallas

The annual Meadows at the Winspear concert provides important funding for the Meadows Scholars Program, inaugurated in 2008 to recruit the brightest and most talented students nationwide to the Meadows School of the Arts. It is targeted to applicants who are accepted to Meadows and who meet both stringent academic and artistic/leadership criteria. While such high achievers often receive SMU academic scholarship awards, many of them are still unable to afford full tuition. The Meadows Scholars Program offers an additional annual scholarship, plus an exploration grant that can be used any time during their years at Meadows for a creative project, providing a significant incentive for them to choose SMU and Dallas. Now in its eleventh year, the program has supported the academic careers of more than 200 students.

Ticket and sponsorship information

Tickets to the Meadows at the Winspear concert are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $17 for students and SMU faculty and staff. A $10 discount is available for Meadows subscribers. For subscriber tickets, contact the Meadows box office at 214-768-2787. For general tickets, visit TicketDFW.com or call 214-871-5000. For additional information, visit smu.edu/winspear.

Patron and corporate sponsorships with special benefits and seating packages are available from $2,500 to $15,000.  In addition, Meadows recognizes those who either permanently endow a Meadows Scholar at $150,000 or who make a $30,000 commitment to fund a scholarship over four years. For more information, call the Meadows Development Office at 214-768-4189.

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A Rhapsody in Blue, choreography by Alex Sanchez
 
 

 

Featuring three world premieres by acclaimed choreographers Takehiro Ueyama, Alexander Sanchez and Dwight Rhoden

 

Three world premieres by internationally acclaimed choreographers, each set to a well-known 20th-century musical work, will be showcased at the 2019 Spring Dance Concert at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, March 21-24. The Meadows Dance Ensemble will present Takehiro Ueyama’s Heroes, set to John Adams’ The Chairman Dances; Broadway choreographer Alexander Sanchez’s interpretation of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue; and Dwight Rhoden’s vibrant ballet Stellar Matter, set to an orchestral suite from Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

The concert opens with Ueyama’s Heroes, a work for 12 dancers, including guest artist and alumnus Albert Drake, that combines powerful athleticism and delicate gestures drawn from the choreographer’s Japanese heritage. It is set to composer John Adams’ 1985 work The Chairman Dances, an imagined foxtrot for Chairman Mao Tse-Tung and his bride, Chiang Ch’ing, which Adams called a warmup to his opera Nixon in China. Ueyama, a former Paul Taylor dancer, has created a piece that he said honors the dedication and perseverance of citizens who played a crucial role in Japan’s recovery after World War II and are driving its success today. Ueyama has won multiple awards for his choreography, which has been inspired by the beauty in nature, the duality of darkness and light in the universal human condition and the humanity and compassion in day-to-day living.

The program continues with A Rhapsody in Blue, set to George Gershwin’s famous 1924 composition combining jazz rhythms and classical music. Award-winning choreographer Alexander Sanchez, known for his work both on and off Broadway, has created a new group work that follows the narrative of two young immigrants arriving in New York in the 1920s to pursue the American dream. Sanchez, who has directed and choreographed for numerous New York and regional theaters, was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 artists to watch” in 2016 and has been praised by critics for works that are “whimsical,” “spectacular” and “wildly ingenious.”  

Concluding the program is Stellar Matter by Dwight Rhoden, co-founder and co-artistic director of New York City-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet, set to three of the seven movements from Gustav Holst’s The Planets – Mars, Uranus and Jupiter (1914-16). Holst said the pieces were suggested by the astrological significance of the planets. Rhoden has created an abstract interpretation of the composition, describing it as combining “the power and strength of Mars, the illusion and deception of Uranus, and the vibrancy and liveliness of Jupiter.” Complexions Contemporary Ballet has received numerous awards, including The New York Times Critics’ Choice Award, and has toured the globe.  Celebrated for his choreography and wide-ranging collaborations with well-known dance artists, Rhoden has created over 80 ballets for Complexions and for numerous other major companies, earning distinction from The New York Times as one of the most sought-out choreographers of the day.

The Spring Dance Concert takes place in the Bob Hope Theatre in SMU’s Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd., Dallas 75205. Performance times are 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.  Tickets are $14 for adults, $11 for seniors and $8 for students, SMU faculty and staff. Free parking is available in the Meadows School parking lot at Hillcrest and Binkley or in the garage under the Meadows Museum. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 214-768-2787.

NOTE:  This program will be offered again at the Winspear Opera House on April 4 at 8 p.m. for “Meadows at the Winspear,” the annual fundraising event for the Meadows School of the Arts, with the Meadows Dance Ensemble performing with the acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips. Proceeds from the event provide scholarships for the Meadows Scholars Program, aimed at recruiting the brightest and most talented students to SMU and Dallas. “Meadows at the Winspear” tickets are available at TicketDFW.com or by calling 214-871-5000. For additional information, visit smu.edu/winspear.

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SMU Meadows School of the Arts Theatre Division presents Anton Chekhov's "A Cherry Orchard" beginning Wednesday, November 30th running through December 2nd. 
 
"A Cherry Orchard" is Chekhov's final play, considered a modern masterpiece. Madame Ranevskaya returns to her family's estate in the Russian countryside just as the estate may be sold to pay for debts. Selling their famous cherry orchard would rescue the estate - will it be done? Chekhov's comedy centers around frustrated love, identity, class, just-missed opportunities, and a group of delightful, contradictory characters to examine the nature of social change and the human struggle for happiness. 
 
Showtimes are:
Wednesday, November 28 at 8 PM
Thursday, November 29 at 8 PM
Friday, November 30 at 8 PM
Saturday, December 1 at 2 PM & 8 PM
Sunday, December 2 at 2 PM
 
For more information, call 214.768.2787 or check out the play's trailer here
 

 
Lee Gleiser
Event Marketing Manager
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
 
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SMU Music Composition Graduate Student Christian Jesse

Named Student Composer-in-Residence with Irving Symphony

 

Irving Symphony will premiere his new work, A Soldier’s Memory,

on Veterans Day tribute concert, November 3, 2018

 

Christian Jesse, a second-year master’s student in the music composition program at SMU Meadows School of the Arts, has been named the Student Composer-in-Residence with the Irving Symphony Orchestra for its 2018-19 season.

Launched in 2011, the Student Composer-in-Residence program is a unique partnership between SMU Meadows and the Irving Symphony Orchestra (ISO). Each year, an undergraduate or graduate Meadows music composition student is selected to serve as a composer-in-residence with the orchestra and to create a commissioned work to be premiered by the ISO. It is the only known program of its kind between a professional orchestra and a university music department.

Jesse’s work, A Soldier’s Memory, will premiere at the ISO’s concert on November 3. It was commissioned to fit with the concert theme, “An Evening at the Movies and a Tribute to Veterans Day.”

“I come from a family of veterans, and with this opportunity I wanted to express my love and support for the military and contribute in my own way to my family’s military legacy,” said Jesse. “The work deals with different emotions and thoughts that returning soldiers have as they come home from deployment – from thoughts of heroism to the special moments of being reunited with their loved ones, and even moments of PTSD flashbacks. While there are aspects of celebration within the piece, overall I want to tell a more realistic story of a soldier’s journey. I couldn’t be more excited to be part of this concert!” 

An annual competition to select the student composer-in-residence is held by a committee composed of two members of the SMU composition faculty and ISO Music Director Hector Guzman, who earned a Master of Music in instrumental conducting at SMU in 1983. Faculty select three finalists who show the greatest potential, have demonstrated ability to score for orchestra, and have the maturity and work ethic to successfully complete the residency. Maestro Guzman then makes the final selection of the student he feels would be the best fit with the ISO’s repertoire and audience.

In addition to working closely with Maestro Guzman, Jesse will participate in ISO educational outreach programs and other orchestra activities as part of his residency.

“Being selected for this residency was an incredible honor, especially knowing the amount of talent and creativity in our composition department,” said Jesse. “I have learned so much under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Frank, the professor I’m working closely with on this project and my thesis. We share many of the same interests and his knowledge of many different film scoring techniques was able to help me grow within this piece and overall as a composer. I am very excited to be working with Maestro Guzman to learn more about the internal workings of an orchestra and to see how I can best contribute to a professional performing arts organization.” 

“Christian’s music has always shown a direct emotional connection with his audiences, and with his family background including a number of veterans, this project seemed ideally suited to his talents,” said Dr. Frank, associate professor of composition at SMU Meadows. “It is exciting to be able to give our top students real-world professional experience via this opportunity, one that few professional composers are ever able to have. Christian has creativity and skills along with the strong work ethic that point towards a successful career as a composer, and I am thrilled to be mentoring him.”  

Jesse will receive his M.M. in composition at Meadows in spring 2019. He earned a B.A. in music composition at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where his awards included the 2016 Edna and Judson Loomis Prize in Music, and first place in the 2016 Wisconsin Alliance for Composers’ Student Composer Competition (undergraduate division) and the 2017 Spring University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Concerto Competition for Composition. With a passion for writing in all mediums, he has composed works for various ensembles, musicians, video games and film. He continues to explore new sounds, techniques and genres as he works toward his dream career: composing for film and video games. 

Jesse is the sixth SMU student selected for the ISO Student Composer-in-Residence program. The first was Vince Gover, whose “Let Us Begin Anew…” (a quote from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech) premiered in November 2011 at an ISO concert honoring the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s inauguration. Succeeding winners included Alvin Trotman, who premiered Jubilee in November 2012; Jesus J. Martinez, whose Harmonic Tremor was performed in February 2014; and Michael van der Sloot, whose work Cascade was presented in March 2016. Last year’s winner, Olga Amelkina-Vera, developed her award-winning guitar quartet piece Cattywampus Rompus (Texas Tarantella) into an orchestral work premiered by the ISO in April 2017.

The Irving Symphony Orchestra is a professional orchestra that provides signature performances for North Texas and regularly features renowned guest artists. Under the music direction of Maestro Guzman, it annually presents six concerts in its subscription season, four multi-media free youth concerts for more than 6,000 Irving middle school students, and free family, community and educational events. In addition to Jesse’s work, the November 3 concert will feature a Veteran’s Day celebration and music from such movie classics as Star Wars, The Magnificent Seven, The Patriot and more. For tickets and more information about the ISO’s 2018-19 season, visit www.irvingsymphony.com.

 

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SMU Music Composition Graduate Student Christian Jesse

Named Student Composer-in-Residence with Irving Symphony

 

Irving Symphony will premiere his new work, A Soldier’s Memory,

on Veterans Day tribute concert, November 3, 2018

 

Christian Jesse, a second-year master’s student in the music composition program at SMU Meadows School of the Arts, has been named the Student Composer-in-Residence with the Irving Symphony Orchestra for its 2018-19 season.

Launched in 2011, the Student Composer-in-Residence program is a unique partnership between SMU Meadows and the Irving Symphony Orchestra (ISO). Each year, an undergraduate or graduate Meadows music composition student is selected to serve as a composer-in-residence with the orchestra and to create a commissioned work to be premiered by the ISO. It is the only known program of its kind between a professional orchestra and a university music department.

Jesse’s work, A Soldier’s Memory, will premiere at the ISO’s concert on November 3. It was commissioned to fit with the concert theme, “An Evening at the Movies and a Tribute to Veterans Day.”

“I come from a family of veterans, and with this opportunity I wanted to express my love and support for the military and contribute in my own way to my family’s military legacy,” said Jesse. “The work deals with different emotions and thoughts that returning soldiers have as they come home from deployment – from thoughts of heroism to the special moments of being reunited with their loved ones, and even moments of PTSD flashbacks. While there are aspects of celebration within the piece, overall I want to tell a more realistic story of a soldier’s journey. I couldn’t be more excited to be part of this concert!” 

An annual competition to select the student composer-in-residence is held by a committee composed of two members of the SMU composition faculty and ISO Music Director Hector Guzman, who earned a Master of Music in instrumental conducting at SMU in 1983. Faculty select three finalists who show the greatest potential, have demonstrated ability to score for orchestra, and have the maturity and work ethic to successfully complete the residency. Maestro Guzman then makes the final selection of the student he feels would be the best fit with the ISO’s repertoire and audience.

In addition to working closely with Maestro Guzman, Jesse will participate in ISO educational outreach programs and other orchestra activities as part of his residency.

“Being selected for this residency was an incredible honor, especially knowing the amount of talent and creativity in our composition department,” said Jesse. “I have learned so much under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Frank, the professor I’m working closely with on this project and my thesis. We share many of the same interests and his knowledge of many different film scoring techniques was able to help me grow within this piece and overall as a composer. I am very excited to be working with Maestro Guzman to learn more about the internal workings of an orchestra and to see how I can best contribute to a professional performing arts organization.” 

“Christian’s music has always shown a direct emotional connection with his audiences, and with his family background including a number of veterans, this project seemed ideally suited to his talents,” said Dr. Frank, associate professor of composition at SMU Meadows. “It is exciting to be able to give our top students real-world professional experience via this opportunity, one that few professional composers are ever able to have. Christian has creativity and skills along with the strong work ethic that point towards a successful career as a composer, and I am thrilled to be mentoring him.”  

Jesse will receive his M.M. in composition at Meadows in spring 2019. He earned a B.A. in music composition at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where his awards included the 2016 Edna and Judson Loomis Prize in Music, and first place in the 2016 Wisconsin Alliance for Composers’ Student Composer Competition (undergraduate division) and the 2017 Spring University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Concerto Competition for Composition. With a passion for writing in all mediums, he has composed works for various ensembles, musicians, video games and film. He continues to explore new sounds, techniques and genres as he works toward his dream career: composing for film and video games. 

Jesse is the sixth SMU student selected for the ISO Student Composer-in-Residence program. The first was Vince Gover, whose “Let Us Begin Anew…” (a quote from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech) premiered in November 2011 at an ISO concert honoring the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s inauguration. Succeeding winners included Alvin Trotman, who premiered Jubilee in November 2012; Jesus J. Martinez, whose Harmonic Tremor was performed in February 2014; and Michael van der Sloot, whose work Cascade was presented in March 2016. Last year’s winner, Olga Amelkina-Vera, developed her award-winning guitar quartet piece Cattywampus Rompus (Texas Tarantella) into an orchestral work premiered by the ISO in April 2017.

The Irving Symphony Orchestra is a professional orchestra that provides signature performances for North Texas and regularly features renowned guest artists. Under the music direction of Maestro Guzman, it annually presents six concerts in its subscription season, four multi-media free youth concerts for more than 6,000 Irving middle school students, and free family, community and educational events. In addition to Jesse’s work, the November 3 concert will feature a Veteran’s Day celebration and music from such movie classics as Star Wars, The Magnificent Seven, The Patriot and more. For tickets and more information about the ISO’s 2018-19 season, visit www.irvingsymphony.com.

 

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SMU Meadows Dance Concert; photo by Paul Phillips
 
 

 

 

Program is Meadows’ first to showcase works exclusively by female choreographers,

and will feature two world premieres

 

Three exciting contemporary works, including premieres by Princess Grace Award recipient Bridget L. Moore and by Meadows Artist-in-Residence Brandi Coleman and a re-created work by New York-based choreographer Cherylyn Lavagnino, will be presented at SMU Meadows School of the Arts’ Fall Dance Concert, October 24-28 in the Bob Hope Theatre at SMU. The concert, titled “Celebrating Women’s Voices,” represents the first time Meadows has presented an entire show of works by female choreographers.

The program opens with Lavagnino’s Seize en Jeu, a work for 16 dancers set to the fourth movement of Franz Schubert’s Trio in E-flat Major. A re-creation of her 2013 work Treize en Jeu, it features additional dancers in duets, trios and solos set against a backdrop of counterpoint group entrances and exits, creating a textured picture that reflects the complex musical score. The work reflects Lavagnino’s mission to create movement that engages an audience by aligning the rigor of ballet with the humanistic performance values of contemporary dance. A former Pennsylvania Ballet soloist, Lavagnino has been a faculty member of NYU Tisch School of the Arts since 1987 and has led her own company, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, since 2000. She has created more than 40 works that have been performed both nationally and internationally.

The program continues with the premiere of Simply, Eartha by Dallas-based choreographer Bridget L. Moore, a work celebrating the life and legacy of singer/actress/dancer/activist Eartha Kitt. The six-part work reflects collective narratives conveyed through music and dance. Moore is the founder and artistic director of B. Moore Dance, and is known for creating works that provide both cultural and kinesthetic experiences rooted in African American and global dance aesthetics. She received both a 2012 Princess Grace Foundation Choreography Fellowship Award and a 2016 Princess Grace Professional Development grant for Arts Administration. She has received choreographic commissions from numerous companies, and her work has been presented at leading venues and festivals including Jacob’s Pillow, The Joyce Theater and the Ailey Citigroup Theater.

Concluding the program is Coleman’s upbeat new jazz work And One More Thing…, highlighting strength, resilience and an unwillingness to compromise as portrayed by a group of hard-hitting, unapologetic women. The piece is based in Jump Rhythm® Technique, a rhythm-generated, vocally supported approach to movement that focuses on percussive energy as a means of expressive dancing. Coleman is the associate artistic director of Jump Rhythm® Jazz Project (JRJP), an Emmy Award-winning performing and teaching company that celebrates the communal core of jazz performance: dancing, singing and storytelling in rhythmically syncopated bursts of energy. As an artist with JRJP since 2001, Coleman has both performed and led residencies and master classes at universities, companies and festivals across the country and internationally.

Fall Dance Concert performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.  Tickets are $14 for adults, $11 for seniors and $8 for students, SMU faculty and staff.  The Bob Hope Theatre is located inside the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 214-768-2787 or click here.

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 by Nusaiba Mizan September 25, 2018                                                     
 
 
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2018 Arts Vibrancy Index Includes Nine New Cities

Cities Ranked by Per Capita Supply, Demand, and Government Support for the Arts

 

Dallas (SMU), July 12, 2018 – SMU’s National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) today released its fourth annual Arts Vibrancy Index, which ranks more than 900 communities across the country, examining the level of supply, demand, and government support for the arts in each city. This year, more than 20% of the communities on the most-vibrant list appear for the first time – a total of nine new communities, including four new states: Florida, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota.

“Arts vibrancy is dynamic, not static,” said Dr. Zannie Voss, director of NCAR. “New communities made the list, and there is some reshuffling among communities that made the list in previous years.”

Key movements and new communities featured on the lists include:

  • Traverse City, MI and Edwards, CO, which were ranked in 2016 but not in 2017,both reclaimed spots on the lists, in the top 10 medium and small communities, respectively;

  • Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA and Cleveland-Elyria, OH, are new to the index and are featured in the top-20, large metropolitan area list;

  • Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA; Durham-Chapel Hill, NC; and Rapid City, SD, also new to the index, are featured in the top 10 medium cities list;

  • Hood River, OR; Durango, CO; Key West, FL; and Fredericksburg, TX, are making their debutin the top 10 small cities list.

Community rankings are organized into three distinct lists based on size: large (population over 1 million), medium (population between 100,000 and 1 million), and small (population under 100,000 with an urban core of 10,000-50,000).  The report complements each listed community’s scores with its story of what makes it unique and dynamic. For the complete lists and methodology, please visit the NCAR website. In addition to the Arts Vibrancy Index, NCAR provides scores for every U.S. county on its heat map, based on measures of arts dollars, arts providers, government support, and socio-economic and other leisure characteristics.

 “Arts and cultural organizations are well distributed across the country, serving communities both poor and affluent, rural and urban, not just on the coasts and not just in major metropolitan markets,” said Dr. Voss. “Between threats to eliminate federal arts funding, pushback from developers on percent-for-art requirements, and tax law changes that are expected to affect charitable giving, today’s climate of uncertainty makes it more important than ever to acknowledge and celebrate the essential role that arts and culture play in making communities throughout the country more vibrant places to live and visit. Creativity is a desirable and necessary element for an innovative and thriving community. Aside from being an engine of job creation and economic growth, arts and culture contribute to social well-being and are essential to creating more livable, safe, memorable and connected communities.”

 “The new Vibrancy Report once again demonstrates the dynamic power of the arts sector in America and how it ‘lives’ and thrives all over our vast nation,” said Karen Brooks Hopkins, NCAR’s Nasher Haemisegger Fellow. “The field continues to be under immense pressure for resources, but as the Vibrancy Report indicates, despite the challenges, arts programs and organizations are important tools in community revitalization.”

The overall index is composed of three dimensions examined on a per capita basis: supply, demand, and government support. Supply is assessed by the total number of arts providers in the community, including the number of arts and culture organizations and employees, independent artists, and entertainment firms. Demand is gauged by the total nonprofit arts dollars in the community, including program revenue, contributed revenue, total expenses, and total compensation. Lastly, the level of government support is based on state and federal arts dollars and grants.

Beyond the specific rankings, select findings in the Arts Vibrancy Index include:

 

 

  • Every region of the country is represented in the index: Arts vibrancy is not exclusive to large, coastal metropolitan areas – cities large and small from every region appear in the index. While large and medium metropolitan areas are represented in all regions of the country, the list of small communities is dominated by those located in western states – Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

  • Rankings of communities that have previously made the list are in constant flux: Many factors contribute to these shifts, including transformations in a city’s cultural scene (for example, through the opening of a large arts center) or changes in population size. In addition, Dr. Voss said, “We have learned a lot over the past two years about the role of distance, how concentration vs. dispersion of arts organizations and people factors in, and the extent to which a city’s cultural activity can attract or involve its neighboring communities. This has led us to make some adjustments to our analyses.”

  • Arts vibrancy takes many shapes and forms. Some communities have large, impressive nonprofit cultural institutions (e.g. Los Angeles, Washington, and Minneapolis), some have an abundance of smaller organizations and venues (e.g. Asheville, NC; Juneau, AK; and Austin, TX), while others are particularly attractive to artists (e.g. Jackson, WY, and Los Angeles) or to tourists (e.g. Summit Park, UT, and New Orleans). Some cities are robust and strong in a variety of arts sectors (e.g. New York and San Francisco), while others excel in one particular art form (Nashville). Some communities also received high levels of government support, including Rochester, NY, Pittsfield, MA, and Santa Fe.

  • Vibrancy in very large cities takes two distinct forms: Some cities feature a strong concentration of arts vibrancy in the urban core with less going on in the surrounding areas (e.g. Chicago and Philadelphia), while others feature vibrancy distributed evenly throughout the larger metropolitan area (e.g. Boston and Cambridge).

     

    The Lists

    The full lists, with detailed information on each community, are available on the NCAR website, including scores on each of the three metrics of vibrancy, i.e. level of arts providers (supply), arts dollars (demand), and government support for the arts.

     

    Large Cities

    Among cities with populations of 1 million or more, the five most vibrant arts communities are as follows:

  1. San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA

  2. New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ

  3. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

  4. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN

  5. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

     These were the top five large cities in 2017 as well; this year, San Francisco and Washington traded places, while the other three maintained their rankings. Two other cities joined the list for the first time: Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA, came in at #15, and Cleveland-Elyria, OH, ranked #19.

     

    Medium Cities

    Three communities with populations of 100,000 to 1 million are new to the Top 10 medium city list: Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA; Durham-Chapel Hill, NC; and Rapid City, SD. They are ranked #6, #7 and #8, respectively. In addition, Traverse City, MI, which was included in 2016 but not 2017, returned to the list this year at #4. The top five list is as follows:

  1. Santa Fe, NM

  2. Pittsfield, MA

  3. San Rafael, CA

  4. Traverse City, MI

  5. Asheville, NC

     

    Small Cities

    For small communities, defined as areas with an urban core of 10,000-50,000 people, four cities are making their debut on the list: Hood River, OR; Durango, CO; Key West, FL; and Fredericksburg, TX. These new cities rank #4, #5, #6 and #10 in the Top 10 small communities list, respectively. The top five cities are:

  1. Edwards, CO

  2. Jackson, WY-ID

  3. Summit Park, UT

  4. Hood River, OR

  5. Durango, CO

     

About NCAR

In 2012, the Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business at SMU launched the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR). The vision of NCAR is to act as a catalyst for the transformation and sustainability of the national arts and cultural community. The goals of the Center are to unlock insights on: 1) arts attendance and patronage; 2) understanding how managerial decisions, arts attendance, and patronage affect one another; and 3) fiscal trends and fiscal stability of the arts in the U.S., and to create an in-depth assessment of the industry that allows arts and cultural leaders to make more informed decisions and improve the health of their organizations. To work toward these goals, NCAR integrates data from DataArts and its Cultural Data Profile[1] and other national and government sources such as Theatre Communications Group, the League of American Orchestras, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Census Bureau, and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. NCAR makes its findings available free of charge to arts leaders, funders, policymakers, researchers, and the general public.

NCAR develops reports based on this uniquely comprehensive set of data that models the arts and culture ecosystem. It assesses the industry from multiple perspectives, including sector/art form, geography, and size of the organization, and it determines what drives health from the organization’s conditions and its community’s characteristics. Recent publications include white papers on ways to improve working capital health, dispelling the myth that the arts are elitist, and diversity and equity in the arts, as well as reports on the health of the U.S. arts and cultural sector. NCAR also offers the KIPI Dashboard, a free online diagnostic tool that allows arts organizations to benchmark their individual performance in nine finance and operations categories against their peers.

For more information, please visit the NCAR website at smu.edu/artsresearch.

 



[1] “DataArts is a nonprofit organization that empowers the arts and cultural sector with high-quality data and resources in order to strengthen its vitality, performance, and public impact. Any interpretation of the data is that of NCAR, not DataArts. For more information, visit www.culturaldata.org.”

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Meadows School of the Arts Presents Free Performances of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, May 31 and June 1 at 2 p.m.

 

Show is produced by “American Musical Theatre” MayTerm class in Margo Jones Theatre at SMU

 

The Meadows School of the Arts will present two performances of the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown on May 31 and June 1 at 2 p.m. in the Margo Jones Theatre, located in the Owen Arts Center on the SMU campus. Admission is free; seating is first-come, first-served and limited to 125.

 

The show is the culmination of this year’s “American Musical Theatre” MayTerm class, in which music and theatre students produce a musical in less than three weeks. The shows are extremely popular – last year’s class presented The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee to packed audiences.

 

“SMU music, theatre and dance students are having great success being cast in musicals in companies in the Dallas area and across the country, and the course is helping to cultivate the skills necessary to be considered and cast in musicals,” said Professor of Voice Virginia Dupuy, who leads the class. She said it emphasizes dancing and acting skills as well as training in various singing techniques, including belting, for the musical stage. The show is directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Sara Romersberger, a veteran stage director and movement specialist, and is produced by Dupuy.

 

“We offer an immersive rehearsal experience, and we stress smart preparation because we only have ten rehearsal days from the first singing rehearsal until an audience sees the show. It’s an exciting opportunity for the students to produce a musical,” said Dupuy. Assisting her in production is Lane Harder, lecturer of music composition and theory and director of SYZYGY, the contemporary music ensemble of Meadows, and music director Chris Widomski (M.M. Performance/Organ ’11 and M.M. Conducting/Instrumental ’18), lecturer in music at The University of Texas at Dallas.

 

“The course addresses specific needs that our students have, with the eventual goal of them finding artistic success as well as employment as working musicians upon graduation,” says Harder. “Our students work very hard; it’s gratifying to see their very rapid progress.”

 

The show is presented without an intermission and lasts about 90 minutes. For more information, contact Lane Harder at lharder@smu.edu.

 

 
 
Lee Gleiser
Event Marketing Manager
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
 

Contact Info

SMU Meadows School of the Arts
32.8410948 -96.7861547
The Meadows School of the Arts, formally established in 1969 at SMU, is one of the foremost arts education institutions in the United States. The Meadows School comprises 11 academic disciplines: the Temerlin Advertising Institute, Art, Art History, Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, Communication Studies, Creative Computation, Dance, Film and Media Arts, Journalism, Music and Theatre.

The goal of the Meadows School is to prepare students to meet the demands of professional careers. It is also committed to providing an ongoing opportunity for all SMU students to grow in the understanding and appreciation of the arts. The Meadows School is a leader in developing innovative outreach and community engagement programs, challenging its students to make a difference locally and globally by developing connections between art entrepreneurship and social change.
Address
6101 Bishop Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75205
Phone
214-768-2787 (Meadows ticket office)
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