Eurydice Plays On Audience Emotions

The Lord of the Underworld thinks that Eurydice needs a man who can “carry a cow in labor” but Eurydice has other ideas. In this moving interpretation of the traditional Greek myth, Eurydice is a master of her own fate. However, all the self-mastery in the world could not save the woeful woman, doomed since the story was first told in the ancient world. The show was an emotional roller coaster for the audience. In one moment they could be flying head-long down a tremulous path, verging almost on the melancholic. In the next, they would be jerked sideways by the morbidly comedic enterprises of the Lord of the Underworld and his quasi-minions, Little Stone, Big Stone, and Loud Stone. Jordyn Jones, senior and musical theater major, said David Bilbray is her “hero.” He and his antics, one involving a very expensive tricycle, certainly stole the show for some of the audience. “My favorite character was the Lord of the Underworld,” said JaCobe King, freshman music business major. “His speaking voice was really great for his character and he really put his entire body into who he was.” After the show, there were praises all around the lobby for associate professor of piano Scott Watkins’, Ph.D, original compositions. The poignant pieces wafted throughout the play lending an atmosphere of sobriety and leaving a lasting impression on the audience. Eurydice will show for three more days: Friday Nov. 1 and Saturday Nov. 2 at 7:30 and Sunday Nov. 3 at 3:00.

Fine Arts Preview: The Semester’s Closing Acts

The College of Fine Arts will be buzzing with a full schedule of events as the curtains draw on the fall 2013 semester. Each week audiences can expect an array of events showcasing the best talent the JU students and faculty have to offer.

The Art of the Clarinet,, Terry Concert Hall, 
Nov. 3 at 3 p.m.

The Jacksonville Symphony clarinet section will perform a program of ensemble music. There will also be a performance by the Jacksonville Clarinet Choir.

JUMU: Students’ Recital, Terry Concert Hall,
 Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

A night of chamber music that will be showcased by the JU Honors Chamber Ensembles.

The JU Jazz Faculty in Concert, Swisher Theater,
 Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

John Ricci, visiting assistant professor of jazz studies, Gary Starling, artist-in-residence of music, Scott Giddens, Billy Thornton and Rick Kirkland perform in their first feature concert as a band. Each individuals skill set will be highlighted in different ways throughout the night.

Chamber Music by Brahms, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Pianist Scott Watkins, associate professor of piano, cellist Shannon Lockwood, violinist Marguerite Richardson, clarinetist Artie Clifton and hornist Sean Morgan collaborate for some of Brahms vivid music including Horn Trio, Clarinet Trio and a Quartet in C minor.

Annual Student Juried Exhibition, Nov. 14 – Dec.12
 5-7 p.m.

The student showcase work is a memoir of contemporary pulse in art making of Northeast Florida. It hosts animation, ceramics, drawings, paintings, prints and many more from JU students. Awards are given for outstanding work.

“Malfi,” Swisher Theater, 
Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Written by JU alumni Brian Trumble and Matt Watson, directed by former professor Carolina Conte, and scored by composer Scott Watkins, associate professor of piano, “Malfi” is inspired by the tragedy of The Duchess of Malfi. The story tells of love, betrayal and rebellion.

Make We Joy: Songs of the Season, Terry Concert Hall
, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the renown cello performer and composer David Popper, cellist Shannon Lockwood, Ph.D., and Scott Watkins, associate professor of piano, will be joined by guest artists Richard Slavich and Katharine Knight of the University of Denver.

Art of The “Big Band,” Terry Concert Hall
, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Joining forces are JU students and faculty performing original and eclectic “big band” jazz music. The event will showcase original music by JU faculty members Chris Creswell, artist-in-residence of music, and John Ricci, visiting assistant professor of jazz studies, along with guests Nicholas Uri and trumpet player Bijon Watson.

Senior Dance Showcase, Swisher Theater,
 Nov. 21, 22, 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Senior dance majors showcase their semester-long choreography efforts in a weekend of creative and authentic dance pieces performed exclusively by JU students.

Senior dance major, Marissa Garcia, points out the benefits of attending this year’s show.

“This year you are going to get to see some many great dances in a variety of genres,” Garcia said. “We have worked so hard to put this together and cant wait to show of all that we have created.”

Orchestra Holiday Concert, Terry Concert Hall,
 Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

An evening of classic holiday music.

Make We Joy: Songs of the Season, Sam Marks Chapel,
 Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m.

The annual Jacksonville holiday tradition features University Singers, the Men’s Choir, and the Women’s choir in a seasonal music concert covering Christmas music from around the world.

Dean of the college of fine arts, William “Bill” Hill is excited for the upcoming performances with the various showcases.

“When we do programming, we take a different approach to why we make choices,” Hill said. “In the best interest of the students, we make choices that others may not get to see somewhere else. JU has given us many opportunities that other college campus do not have and I am very pleased with our upcoming events.”

In the Spotlight: “Hackers and Painters”

Joelle Dietrick, faculty member at Florida State University, explores contemporary nomadism, 21st century power structures and female expatriates in her art.

Her colleague, Judy Rushin, has work exhibited in museums, art fairs and universities all over America and at Gallery Meepyung in Seoul, Korea.

Dietrick’s work has likewise been featured all over the country, but also around the world in places such as Prague, Venice and Austria.

The lobby of the Alexander Brest Museum features artwork that was produced during a two-day workshop hosted by Dietrick and Rushin on campus. They spent part of their time discussing how computer programming and contemporary art are often brought together.

They produced prints which were then brought to the painting studios where they layered color into their work for the second part of the workshop.

Dietrick and Rushin’s personal work is on display in the first gallery.

Jack Turnock, associate professor of art, said the exhibit was meant to have been larger, spanning the lobby and all three galleries. Unfortunately, with all of the unexpected construction work  on the museum and the delay in getting permits for the construction, the art for display had to be carefully selected. The gallery features six pieces from Dietrick and Rushin, who said that it was important to display the student work.

The exhibition, titled “Hackers and Painters,” will be on display until the week of Monday, Nov. 11.

Alumni Artists: Lights, Camera, Action

A number of distinguished Jacksonville University alumni have found their way to the spotlight and a place in Hollywood, employing the talents that they learned as students in the JU fine arts program.

After graduating with the class of 1973 and serving on the JU Board of Trustees, Frank Pace has become one of Hollywood’s most prolific producers with over 500 episodes of network television to his credit.

Pace has worked on a variety of shows including “Murphy Brown,” “Suddenly Susan,” “Head of the Class” and Emmy Award winning biopic “Babe Ruth.” Pace’s work has received 16 primetime Emmy nominations and four awards. Pace also worked on the ABC comedy show,
“George Lopez.”

Pace was named JU Soccer Goalkeeper of the Decade 1970 to 1979 and continues to serve as an enthusiastic member of the JU Board of Trustees.

Jacksonville native and class of 1985 JU graduate, William “Bill” Boston, works as primary orchestrator for films.

Boston has worked on the films “I-Robot,” “Terminator,” “Live Free or Die Hard,” “Aliens vs. Predator,” “Anaconda,” the “Scream” trilogy, and a host of other films gaining worldwide recognition.
Boston also composed concert pieces for various chamber groups and larger ensembles including an original work for Jacksonville’s First Coast Wind Ensemble under the instruction of JU associate professor of music, Artie Clifton.

Graduating in 1996 with a B.F.A. in dance from JU is Lindsay Moss. After receiving the Phillips Fine Arts Award for Most Outstanding Ballet Technique, Moss moved on to create an extensive portfolio of
dance pieces.

Living in Orlando, Fla., Moss dances in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at M.G. M studios. In 2006, Moss published her first novel, “You Made This Drink, You Drink It.”

Jay Thomas is a TV and radio personality who graduated from JU in 1972. Thomas has been on a variety of TV and radio shows for more than 30 years.

Thomas has received an Emmy Award for his role of Jerry Gold on the hit show, “Murphy Brown,” which led to his role on “Cheers.” Thomas then went on to star the TV series on CBS called “Love and War,” which lasted for three years and starred himself and celebrity actress Annie Potts.

He has also received credits working on “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” Thomas used his radio style to help push him to a primer’s status in radio in early 1980s New York City and later Los Angeles.

Radio personality Howard Stern has credited Thomas in influencing his syndicated radio show. Thomas can be heard on Sirius Satellite Radio.

William Forsythe graduated in 1969 with a B.F.A in dance and grew to be one of the most influential choreographers of today.

Forsythe is celebrated internationally as a dancer and choreographer who now resides in Germany. The New York City Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet and numerous others have performed
Forsythe’s works.

Forsythe attributed the JU fine arts department to opening his mind to dance, film, music, art and theatre. Forsythe used these talents to reshape dance for the future.

Sherri Chung is a composer of film and television who graduated with a B.F.A in composition and theory in 2001.

Chung worked as an orchestrator for the 2008 films, “The Haunting in Connecticut,” and “B.A.M.,” a short independent drama directed by LaRon Austin. Chung regularly works with Walter Murphy on “Family Guy” and “American Dad” as a composer showcasing her talents in piano and vocals.

Bruce Helford graduated in 1975 and works as a TV writer and executive producer. He created the long-running ABC hit series’, “The Drew Carey Show” and “George Lopez.”

Helford has received many awards ranging from the Peabody Award, a Humanities Prize and also a Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy Series.

Leaving his legacy here at JU, Helford is the sponsor for JU’s national playwriting competition, the Helford Prize, which awarded $10,000 to a student playwright.

Commending all of these successful alumni from the Phillips Fine Arts division is the Dean of Fine Arts, Dean William “Bill” Hill.

“Come back and visit,” Hill said. “I am really proud of all our alums. We are so proud of them in fine arts. And it’s great that we here at JU have prepared them in this way. They carry our entire legacy with them. And I wish them all the best in the future.”

Sharing this same message, the Director of Alumni relations, Shirin Brenick, is ecstatic of all the accomplishments of the fine arts alumni.

“As an alum myself, I am delighted that we have so many distinguished alumni around the world and of a specific stature to have achieved so much,” Brenick said. “We have both achieved the same
Dolphin experience.”

Brenick also sends a message to these distinguished alumni in regards to becoming active in the JU community.

“I would want you to come back and remain engaged at JU to share all of your experiences with the students,” Brenick said. “I want you to speak highly of your JU career everywhere you are.”

Senior Dance Profile: Jenine Brodeur CJ

Waiting for change to happen and changes that can happen in a person’s life are all aspects of change that people are faced with on a daily basis. Coming this fall to the senior choreography showcase is a dance piece addressing these two types of change.

Jenine Brodeur, a senior dance major, is working hard creating a choreography piece that has an overall theme of change. Taking two different paths diverging from the theme, Brodeur is using dance as a way to show that in the end success is possible.

From this piece, Jenine was able to utilize personal experiences in her life, to translate into articulate and precise movements. Communicating this message to the dancers in this piece has been a gratifying task.

“I told them my story about a recent breakup that had happened and I felt that I honestly was not going to be able to move on with my life,” Brodeur said. “Ultimately I was able to make it through this change, and I asked my dancers to think of a time they have been in this situation.”

Brodeur was able to pick a cast for her dance piece that she thought would ultimately understand the story that she wanted to tell along with picking dancers who are able to take risks by dancing outside of their normal comfort zone.

“I was going for jagged, fast and corky movements that would help to give my piece more of a dynamic and fun feel,” Brodeur said.

For anyone who attends and watches Brodeurs’ dance piece, they are sure to receive a personal message about change within their personal lives. From the gestures to the music, change will be an evident feature of the selection.

“With my piece I am able to have my message of change to become very transparent in this choreography,” Brodeur said. “Within the piece I am also giving my dancers a selection to tell their own version of the story through improvisations.”

Brodeur is currently working on a name to give her performance. The Senior Dance Showcase will take place on November 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Art in the Palm of Their Hands

Photo By: Courtney Jimenez

Smart phones have never been just a device for calling a loved one or sending a text message to a friend. These computers, encased in slick sheets of metal and glass, connect many people of the modernized world with portable, unlimited internet to the World Wide Web.

Increased usage and demands for faster, more organized access to information and entertainment have resulted in applications to take over the smart phone world. They range from “apps” designed track the exact location of others to those that can transform a picture into a mock-painting.

On Thursday, Sept. 5, Jacksonville University’s John Turnock, associate professor of art, orchestrated an art show showcasing photos taken strictly by iPhones. These photos were then turned into artwork, many of them made to look like real paintings rather than pictures.

It isn’t the type of show that is normally done, Turnock said.

“It’s an unusual show that hasn’t been done very often, so it’s kind of exciting for the artists and us,” Turnock said, in a Sept. 5 Florida Times-Union article. “I invited artists from around the world to participate. Some of the participants are professional photographers, some are amateur artists, but all are intrigued by the possibilities offered by technology.”

The advances in smartphone technology offered these professionals a different artistic medium for their talents.

“The pictures are truly amazing,” said Ashley Simon, JU junior and international business major. “I didn’t know they were pictures until someone told me. A lot of them seem a little morbid and gothic but the way they were transformed to look like a painting it absolutely fascinating. I wish I new how to do something like this.”

All artwork in the exhibition was printed on campus on recycled, acid-free paper.

The show, which is free and open to the public, will be on display weekdays through Oct. 2.

JU Fine Arts Presents: Breaking Boundaries

Jacksonville University’s College of Fine Arts presented a duo performance of two local dance companies, Braided Lights Dance Project and Jacksonville Dance Theatre,  on Sept. 6 and 7 in the Swisher Theater.

“Breaking Boundaries,” a phrase intended to symbolize going beyond, would not only serve as the title of this performance but also the message that was being translated through dance. Teaming up together to bring this show to JU and the College of Fine Arts was the Braided Lights Dance Project and Jacksonville Dance Theatre, both serving as the only professional dance companies within the city of Jacksonville.

Braided Light Dance Project is a contemporary dance company whose mission is to present the best of modern dance to diverse audiences. The company focuses on community outreach, original choreography, networking with allied arts and promoting the art of innovative movement using traditional and nontraditional venues.

Jacksonville Dance Theatre is a contemporary dance and performance company dedicated to creating and promoting excellence in the field of professional dance on the local, national and global stage.

The show included ten different choreographers and a variety of styles of dance, with a “festive” format of the performances to fit the Breaking Boundaries theme.

Forerunning this collaboration at JU is the Dean of Fine Arts, William Hill.

“We are happy to see the growth of professional dance in Jacksonville and are excited to be able to present these incredible talents on one stage,” Hill said.

Tiffany Fish of the Jacksonville Dance Theatre, points out the significance of the title “Breaking Boundaries.”

“I am a native here in Jacksonville and for a while dancers have always had to leave Jacksonville to be professional dancers, and now we have two great companies here in town and this is the first time a collaboration has happened,” Fish said.

Najuwa Sade a visiting University of North Florida student points out the positive potential that this collaboration brings to the city.

“My hope is that from this performance there will be more attention put on dance here in Jacksonville,” Sade said. “I love going to dance performances in places like New York City, but it’s great that now I have an option to view a dance performance locally.”

The next dance concert will be the Senior Choreography Concert taking place in Swisher Theatre Nov. 21 through 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Fine Arts Preview: Expression of a University

Photo Courtesy of: The Wave Weekly

Bursting at the seams this fall 2013 semester is the Jacksonville University Performing Arts schedule which includes a variety of stimulating events to draw in students from all across campus. With the first event beginning Sept. 5, almost every week is jam-packed with an artistic display of the fine arts program.

Phonography, Camera Phone Show (Sept. 5- Oct. 2)

Smart phones and their various applications have changed the way we create and see artwork. At JU’s Camera Phone Show artists from all around the world will have their work on display.These works are not typical forms of art because these artists are using their smart phones to revolutionize image capturing.

Breaking Boundaries (Sept. 6, 7 at 7:30 p.m.)

Jacksonville University Dance will host three professional contemporary dance companies in the Swisher Theater in one weekend: Braided Light, Jacksonville Dance Theatre and Kavin Grant Productions.

Music Faculty Showcase (Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m.)

The JU music division faculty are all teaming up to provide a night of memorable and thrilling performances ranging in many forms of music compilations.

Adam Blackstock, Marimba (Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m.)

Troy University’s Adam Blackstock, Ph.D. will perform a guest artist recital featuring musical stylings written for the marimba, which is a musical instrument in the percussion family.

Andrew Cummings, Saxophonist (Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m.)

Cummings will present both a master class in Terry Concert Hall and a program of works from the classical saxophone.

JUMU: Students’ Recital (Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m.)

New to the Performing Arts Series this year are the Music Student Nomination Recital evenings. These special recitals are created to recognize members of the student body selected by the faculty to illustrate individual prowess throughout the academic year.

Tony Steve, Percussion (Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m.)

Tony Steve, Assistant Professor of Contemporary & World Music, plays with the exciting new percussion trio, Ground Floor. After placing a performance on hold for a couple years, Steve decided that it was time he teamed up with the music faculty and put on a breathtaking performance for JU.

“This is going to be a night of festive music-making, not some boring ho-hum evening of the same old, same old. Expect the unexpected,” Steve said about the Recital.

Students who attend this event will be sure to see and hear the authenticity from this performance.

“Students can spot when a musician is faking enjoyment. When Boril and I play together, there is no faking, the enjoyment and passion for the music is real and substantive,” Steve said.

JUMU: Students’ Recital (Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m.)

This event will follow along the lines of the first JUMU Recital.

Hackers and Painters (Oct. 10 - Nov. 6 )

JU will host the works of Florida State University faculty members Joelle Dietrick and Judy Rushin.

A Grand Night for Singing (Oct. 11, 12 and 13)

Jacksonville University’s Division of Music presents: A Grand Night for Singing. The showcase will include Tony award-winning Rodgers and Hammerstein revue along with pioneering musical pieces from a variety of R&H tunes. The event will also feature JU voice majors and musicians.

Kimberely Beasley, Assistant Professor of Voice, will be the director of this showcase. Beasley decided to bring this event to JU “to expose our singers to this style of music as well as bringing music to our audiences that is well known and loved,” Beasley said.

This event attracts to many students and has a variety of songs which range from romantic sentiments and also upbeat performances that will be sure to get students out their seat.

“It is also fun to watch the instrumentalists play on the stage where you can see them,” Beasley said.

Eurydice (Oct. 25, 26 Nov. 1, 2 at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at 3:00 p.m.)

The JU Theatre Department retells the story of the Orpheus myth.

The play will be under the direction and staging of Deborah Jordan, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts. The production design will be done by Professor Ben Wilson, Professor of Theatre Arts, with original music by Professor Scott Watkins, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Music. The play is by Sarah Ruhl.

The theatre department says they are excited to team up with the music department.

“A collaboration with the music department, both for the music theatre students and the musicians as Professor Scott Watkins (piano) is composing music for the show,” Jordan said.

An Entanglement of Theater and Opera

Photo By: Lorna Kelso

Bursting onto the stage in a wildly wonderful dance of musical theater, the opening night of Street Scene, an American Opera filled Jacksonville University’s Swisher Theater nearly to the brim. On Friday, April 5, the audience buzzed as parents, friends and theater goers eagerly anticipated the less frequently performed but effectively moving melodic entanglement of theater and American Opera.

“I enjoyed it,” said Siera Patrick, a JU sophomore. “I’ve never been to an opera before and one of my friends was actually in the play, so, we were really excited to see him.”

Street Scene, an American Opera, was delivered to the awestruck audience in a way that was sure to capture their imaginations and transport them onto a Lower East Side, New York City street in the midst of the heat and humanity of 1946.

The play begins the same way it ends, a statement in itself, with a few women opening up the floor to gossip with the general words “ain’t it awful. the heat?” despite the heart-wrenching and tear-jerking events in between.

The Jacksonville University Orchestra lead the audience on an emotional adventure, molding the feelings with the melodies and moods of their music as the actors performed on stage. At the end of the show, a few excited musicians waggled their bows and earned an applause of their own.

“The dancing to Moon-Faced, Starry-Eyed, was my favorite part,” said sophomore Mya Adjamah, “I wanted to dance with them.”

With a stunning set that was painted in the bright yet rugged likeness of a multistory building with lilacs near the doorstep, an audience member could forget the dark drapes and carpets surrounding them and fall into the drama before them.

“The play was really good. This was my first time at an opera and my brother [L. Matthew Cox] was in the play, he was Mr. Sankey, who was with the married woman,” said Hilary Cox, a sophomore, “I was sad when he got shot but he did a great job.”

Due to the clever manipulation of lighting, including the swarming of colors that mirrored a slow but vibrant sunrise, the range of emotions felt by the players and onlookers where enhanced onstage, and the light faded according to the suggested sun in the show.

All in all, the happenings on this NYC street were well received. The age range of actors enriched the degree of realism that was adopted for this production and showcased the talents of young actors in the Jacksonville community. The jazzy, smooth waves of the music and high energy dancing helped balance the audience for the brewing tragedy and, eventually, it’s long shadow over the street in the end.

Irene Ryan Award:Tyson and Boucher Nominated

Close to two months before the April Florida sun awakened students to another ending, the hot Texas heat of 1975 blazed through Swisher Theater. It lingered and continued to affect the audience and critics days after. Though the entire performance succeeded in the eyes of the commentators, two students stood out. Nick Boucher and Elaine Tyson have been nominated for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Irene Ryan Award in acting for their work in “Laundry & Bourbon” and “Lone Star.”

According to the Kennedy Center website, this scholarship provides “recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education.” Senior and theater major Tyson says winning the nomination felt “pretty amazing” and sees the nomination as solidification for all she is working for.

“I think being able to work very closely in the field that I’m majoring in as well as having someone come in and nominate me will greatly help me when I graduate and go out in the real world,” Tyson said. “It just shows me that what I’m doing is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing for the rest of my life and that I can do my job. I don’t really see it as a job; I see it as doing what I love every single day.”

Tyson attributes much of her success to the department she was able to be a part of at Jacksonville University.

“I think our acting program at JU produces student actors with a firmly rooted acting process and technique, and also provides them with the tools to pursue further training on the graduate level,” said Deborah Jordan, assistant professor of theater, in a press release.

Before winning the nomination, Tyson and Boucher had to develop their characters, train and rehearse.

“After reading the script I found out that my character in a lot of ways caries my personality and characteristics so I tried to take my character and my own life and put it together and in the parts of my character that did not apply to me I found ways to apply them and found situations that I could probably understand to develop my character to the best possible ability,” Tyson said.

The nomination recipients also had the challenge and privilege of working with a smaller cast.

“Working with such a small cast is great because you get to know each other really well,” Tyson said. “I’ve worked with small and large casts at JU and you get to know each other on a more personal level and you get to see each other grow a lot more than if you work with a large cast.”

Along with the Irene Ryan Award nomination, Boucher and Tyson have also won other honors within the university. For the College of Fine Arts awards, Boucher won Student of the Year and Tyson won the award for theater. For theater awards, Boucher was honored Best Actor and Tyson Best Actress. Both students also won the 2012 Dean’s Award for Excellence.

“I’m glad to have had the opportunity to go to JU,” Tyson said. “It’s definitely been one of the greatest experiences I’ve had in the last four years. We have some great professors and they really want you to succeed once you graduate and I’m really blessed to have had this opportunity.”

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