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Choral and symphony students to perform free Holiday Concert

MSU-HolidayConcert-Dec012015Flyer-541x700Missouri State’s Grand Chorus and Symphony Orchestra — 278 performers in total — will join for the University’s annual Holiday Concert on Dec. 1 at the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

Dr. Christopher Kelts, director of orchestral activities, will conduct the free, two-hour concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Cameron LaBarr, director of choral studies, helped prepare the choir for their contributions.

Program of events

The evening will include the following pieces:


The First Noel
Audience sing-a-long

Good King Wenceles
Audience sing-a-long
Conducted by David Curtman and Garrett Lea, graduate students in the orchestral conducting program

Christmas Day
Gustav Holst
Featuring MSU student soloists Brianna Gilliam (soprano), Lisa Blake (mezzo), Will Allen King (tenor) and Michael Payne (baritone)

Russian Christmas Music
Alfred Reed
Featured Symphony Orchestra performance

Cantata BWV147
Johann Sebastian Bach
Featuring MSU faculty Dr. Carol Chapman (soprano), Dr. Ann Marie Daehn (mezzo) and Dr. Chris Thompson (baritone), as well as Dr. Jeremy Chesman playing the continuo, and esteemed alumnus Michael Spyres (tenor).


Opportunity to give back

The evening will also provide an opportunity to fulfill one of Missouri State’s public affairs goals: community engagement by giving back, Kelts said. Guests are asked to bring in canned goods or dried food items to donate to the Ozarks Food Harvest. There will be containers around the Hall for collections.

“The music is the nourishment for our souls, but we can also help with the nourishment of the body for those who need it in Springfield,” Kelts said.

Event details

Date: Dec. 1
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Location: Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
Admission: Free and open to the public
For more information, visit the music department site or the orchestra Facebook page, or call the music department at 417-836-5648.

Can’t make the event?

Nothing beats the experience of attending a performance in Hammons Hall; however, if you are unable to attend, the College of Arts and Letters plans to livestream the event at http://livestream.com/msu-coal/HolidayConcert-2015.


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Jazz studies to get boost from professor’s art collection

Artwork by Bill Armstrong

Bill Armstrong, a Missouri State emeritus professor and co-founder of the Watercolor USA Honor Society, has donated several pieces of art to be sold in two fundraising events in November.

The proceeds will benefit the MSU jazz studies program led by Director Randy Hamm.

Watercolors, oil paintings and drawings up for sale

The wine and cheese receptions will be held 3 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 21 and 28 at the B.H. Armstrong Studio Gallery at 2053 S. Waverly Ave., Suite A.

The work will include more than 50 watercolors, oil paintings and drawings and will be available from Nov. 16 to 19 for pre-showing.

More about Armstrong

Armstrong joined MSU in 1963 and helped establish the graphic design program. He was its program director for 20 years. In 1988, he was named emeritus professor.

He has received more than 50 regional and national awards, including the Philadelphia Watercolor prize for the strongest painting in the Pennsylvania Academy Annual, eight awards in Watercolor USA and two awards in the National Watercolor Society.

His work has been included in four international exhibits, including exhibits sponsored by the American Federation of Arts and the Society of American Graphic Artists.

Event details

Dates: Nov. 21 and Nov. 28
Time: 3-6 p.m.
Location: B.H. Armstrong Studio Gallery, 2053 S. Waverly Ave., Suite A
Admission: Free and open to the public
Call 417-881-4426 to schedule a private showing.

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MSU bands participate in Veterans Day events

Missouri State’s bands will perform at two events during this year’s campus Veterans Day celebration. For a full list of campus events related to Veterans Day, visit the university communications website.


A Musical Salute To Our Veterans Concert

The Jazz Band, entertainment ensembles, dance line and Pride Marching Band will combine forces to present this concert at on Nov. 8 at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts. Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills will be the featured speaker. Mills is a wounded warrior and motivational speaker who lost portions of both arms and legs while on active duty in Afghanistan.

Event details

Date: Nov. 8
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
Admission: Free and open to the public

“Taps Project”

The Missouri State University Pride Band’s trumpet section will be joined by community trumpeters for the annual “Taps Project” on Nov. 11 on the patio between McDonald Arena and the PSU.

Beginning at 10:45 a.m., the Pride Band will assemble on the steps of McDonald Arena to perform the national anthem.

At 11 a.m., 60 trumpeters will disperse to their assigned areas throughout campus to perform “Taps” — the musical piece played during military funerals and flag ceremonies — in a cascading effect.  Each trumpeter takes his cue three notes after the one preceding him.

Event details

Date: Nov. 11
Time: 10:30 – 11:10 a.m.
Location: Between McDonald Arena and the PSU
Admission: Free and open to the public

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Symphony orchestra to perform free HHPA concert

orchestra-300x199Missouri State’s University Symphony Orchestra will offer a free concert on Nov. 3 at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

One of the music department’s more recent faculty additions, Director of Orchestral Studies Dr. Christopher Kelts, will conduct the concert, performing works of celebrated classical musicians such as Wagner and Mendelssohn.

Symphony orchestra concerts, collaboration

The University Symphony Orchestra is a 75-member ensemble led by Assistant Professor Kelts.

The ensemble gives six concerts a year and collaborates with the choral studies area as well as other interdisciplinary performances.

MSU_OrchestraAndChoir_HolidayConcertMore about MSU orchestras

The MSU’s orchestras — the University Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra — provide students with training in the craft of orchestral music making through the rehearsal and performance of works from the standard and expanded repertoire.

The end product is the making of high art through the orchestral tradition — providing cultural enrichment of music through performance.


Event details

Date: Nov. 3
Time: 7:30 – 9 p.m.
Location: Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
Admission: Free and open to the public

Nothing beats the experience of attending the symphony orchestra concert in Hammons Hall; however, if you are unable to attend, the College of Arts and Letters plans to livestream the event at https://livestream.com/msu-coal/Symphony-Nov32015.


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Speed dating on agenda for Nov. 6 opera performance

AnnMarieWilcox-DaehnDr. Ann Marie Daehn will debut Michael Ching’s “Speed Dating Tonight!” Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 8 at 2:30 p.m. in Ellis Recital Hall.

Admission is $5, which can be paid in advance online. Tickets will not be printed, but attendees names will be place on a list.

More about the performance

Dr. Amy Muchnick will conduct the popular American opera, while students of Missouri State’s Opera Workshop and Chamber Musicians will perform.

SpeedDatingTonightMSU’s opera students were national finalists last year in the National Opera Association scenes competition.

Comedy exposes world of speed dating

“Speed Dating Tonight!” was written in 2013. It is a witty and endearing peek into a sometimes romantic and often ridiculous speed-dating event. Set in a bar with 27 characters, the attendees include a cat lady, a guy who loves his muscle car, a triathlete, and many more. With traditional opening and closing numbers, the middle section of the opera is a group of one-to-two-minute “dater arias.”

Event details

Schedule: Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 8 at 2:30 p.m.
Location: Ellis Recital Hall
Tickets: $5


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Recitalist to perform works by notable African American composers

BriannaGilliamBrianna Gilliam will present a graduate lecture recital at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 in Hammons Hall, room 305.

The event, “3 Dream Portraits: The Influence and Compositions of Florence Price, Margaret Bonds and Langston Hughes,” is free and open to the public.

Gilliam, a master’s degree candidate, will perform the songs of and speak about Margaret Bonds and Florence Price, two African-American female composers who were influenced by the poetry of Langston Hughes.

Event details

Date: Oct. 24
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts, room 305
Admission: Free and open to the public

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MFAA students gain new artistic perspectives

Missouri State’s Missouri Fine Arts Academy, also known as MFAA,will begin accepting applications for its 2016 summer program (June 5-25) several months earlier this year on Nov. 1. The application period will run until Jan. 15, 2016.

Changes on the horizon for summer 2016 academy

That is not the only change this year. Students who are accepted will be able to attend MFAA for free this year through a state appropriation given by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Director Ray Castrey, who has been with MFAA for two decades, retired at the end of summer 2015. Melissa Herr has taken over the position.

Lastly, Ellis Hall will be undergoing renovations during the summer, so daily assemblies and evening performances will be relocated to other MSU campus facilities.

A day in the life of MFAA students

Three students from the 2015 academy describe their artistic journeys in hopes to inspire others to join them for 2016.

MauraShimmens_webTransformation begins here

Maura Shimmens wakes up nearly three hours before her first class begins. Sometimes she goes for coffee with other students, but most days she finds a peaceful place to be alone, meditate on what she’s learning and get ready for a day of constant interactions and performances.

Shimmens, soon to be a junior at Helias Catholic High School in Jefferson City, Missouri, is more than 130 miles from home living among 93 other high school juniors and seniors she’d never met. She’s soaking in the experiences at MFAA, and it’s transforming her, she said.

“Before I came here, I was slowly losing confidence. I’m learning how to not forget that I’m valid in whatever I do. I’m learning to not only show others how confident I am, but show myself.”

RayCastrey3MFAA is a three-week summer residential program for highly motivated student artists in visual arts, theatre, dance, creative writing and music. The academy, which celebrated its 20th year last summer, offers an intensive schedule of classes in interdisciplinary and discipline-specific arts, and a wide range of co-curricular activities.

Art from an interdisciplinary perspective

The interdisciplinary aspect is key, said former MFAA Director Ray Castrey, who has been with the program for all of its 20 years, starting as a part-time teacher after the academy’s inception in 1995.

“It is probably the most difficult to implement, but I have a pretty strong feeling that it is the most important part.”

BaylorBarnes_webBaylor Barnes, a senior at Springfield’s Parkview High School, can attest to its powerful effect. He came to MFAA with a focus in theatre, but he found a passion for painting, an art form he previously thought he was terrible at: “Growing up, I thought, ‘I can’t draw. I can’t paint. I can’t do anything like that.’”

Barnes had five paintings in the works by the middle of the program’s second week.

“There’s no such things as bad art. I guess that’s one of the biggest things that I’ve learned,” he said.

LeahSutherlin_webLearning from one another

Leah Sutherlin will be a senior at McCluer North High School in Florissant, Missouri. She said her friends recommended she come to MFAA, and she’s glad she did.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to get to know other people and their backgrounds, and incorporate their knowledge with yours. You learn a lot from the students. The teachers, too, but the students are the really big teachers in the program.”

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Music department offers free practice resource to high school band students

Missouri high school band students auditioning for all-district and all-state band now have a practice resource through Missouri State’s music department.


Videos help students learn audition materials

The department has released a free Guided Practice Sessions (GPS) video series that cover the required scales and etudes from the band audition materials for 2015.

MSU-Music-GPS-Horn-BlogPhotoThe videos, which include trumpet, horn, clarinet, flute, trombone and saxophone, take a progressive teaching approach to help students prepare the material.

Each scale is in four different tempos from slow to fast, both tongued and slurred. The etudes are divided into smaller sections and, as with the scales, are presented in four different tempos from slow to fast.

View the videos for free online

The videos can be found in the GPS playlist of the music department’s YouTube channel.


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Alumna to talk about career as professional musician

Sarah Tannehill AndersonBefore the parade marches through town and the football team takes the field, College of Arts and Letters will host its annual master class series on Oct. 16 as part of its Homecoming event schedule.

Sarah Tannehill Anderson (BMus, 1996) will be among those presenters

Versatile musician has impressive repertoire

Tannehill Anderson is an accomplished singer, pianist and violinist. She lives in Kansas City and performs with the Bach Aria Soloists, Lyric Arts Trio and the Kansas City Chorale. She is a featured soloist on the Chorale’s Grammy-winning album “Life and Breath.”

MSU background includes symphony, choir, jazz band

As a Missouri State student, Tannehill Anderson was a member of the University Symphony, the Concert Choir and the “Dues” Jazz Band.  She went on to receive her Masters in Music at the UMKC Conservatory of Music in 1999.

Where you can find her next spring

This spring she will be singing with the KC Chorale at Lincoln Center in New York City, the role of the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute in Columbia, Missouri, and performing the Soprano solo at Missouri State’s President’s Concert.

When will she present at Homecoming?

Date: Oct. 16
Time: 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union Theater
Admission: Free and open to public
Connect online: #BearsHomecoming

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Recital series celebrates work of German poet

Carol ChapmanDr. Carol Chapman is coordinating a two-day festival on Oct. 23 and 25 at Ellis Recital Hall to pay tribute to 19th century German poet Heinrich Heine. The event, called “Heinrich Heine: German Poetry in Music,” is part of the music department’s bi-annual recital series.

Chapman, an assistant professor in voice, said various faculty, guests and students will perform. The event is free and open to the public.

Telling Heine’s story through music, prose

Audiences will have the opportunity to hear songs, piano transcriptions and chamber music that reflect Heine’s influence, and a German professor will speak briefly about the poet and his works. Composers Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert will also be represented.

Event details

Schedule: Oct. 23, 5:30 p.m.; Oct. 25 at 3:30 p.m.
Location: Ellis Recital Hall
Admission: Free and open to the public

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