Category

College of Arts and Sciences

Carmina-Burana-Poster

Carmina Burana presented by Delta State University Choirs

By | Academics, Bologna Performing Arts Center, College of Arts and Sciences | No Comments

The Delta State University Choirs will present “Carmina Burana” April 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

“Carmina Burana” is a cantata composed by Carl Orff, and uses the text of 24 medieval poems. The text, written and performed in Medieval Latin and Middle High German, ranges in subject from the frightful and tense sounding “O, Fortuna” to the playful “Swaz hie gat umbe,” and to themes of love as in “Veni, veni, venias.”

All three of Delta State’s choral groups (Delta Chorale, University Chamber Singers, and Delta Singers Women’s Chorale) will participate in the performance. The choirs will be joined by faculty instrumentalists Dr. Karen Fosheim, Dr. Kumiko Shimizu and Dr. Josh Armstrong, as well as the DSU Percussion Ensemble. This performance will also feature three soloists: faculty member Dr. Chad Payton (countertenor) and guest artists Abigail Rethwisch (soprano) and Andrew Paulson (baritone).

Dr. Chad R. Payton, countertenor, is an assistant professor of music at Delta State. He teaches private voice instruction, song literature and vocal pedagogy. Payton is the originator and host of the Opera Lecture Series, in which he offers lectures and public viewings of operatic masterworks to Delta State students and community members. He has served on DSU’s Gender Studies Group, where he presented research on gender issues surrounding countertenor performance practice, and is the chair of the Department of Music’s Recruitment Committee. Payton received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Kansas with honors.

He switched to countertenor repertoire in 2005, having made his Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center operatic debuts, as well as his off-Broadway debut, as a tenor in the world premiere of Michael Ching’s opera “Corps of Discovery: A Musical Journey.” Payton found success in local, regional, and national competitions, including National Association of Teachers of Singing, National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award and the Music Teachers National Association. He is a proponent of oratorio literature, often seen with regional orchestras such as the Quincy Symphony Society in Illinois, the Saint Joseph Symphony, Columbia Civic Orchestra, Odyssey Chamber Orchestra and the University of Missouri’s Philharmonic Orchestra in Missouri. Frequent oratorio engagements include the alto soloist in Handel’s “Messiah,” Bach’s “Mass in B Minor,” “St. John Passion” and “St. Matthew Passion,” and Orff’s “Carmina Burana.” In addition, he premiered and has frequented the countertenor soloist role in Barbara Garrett’s “Requiem for Broken Souls,” a signature piece of Kansas City’s Artistic Advocates for Healing.

Payton serves on the voice faculty and as general manager for Seagle Music Colony, the nation’s oldest young artist training program for opera and musical theatre, located in New York. Each summer he offers multiple audition classes, vocal masterclasses and lessons, and organizes and oversees the daily rehearsal, staging and performance schedule for six fully staged productions in eight weeks. Seagle Music Colony alumni are performing in major opera houses throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Houston Grand Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. They are frequently named national finalists and winners in national competitions such as the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Payton’s doctoral dissertation is titled “A Performer’s Analysis of Lori Laitman’s Men with Small Heads and Jake Heggie’s Encountertenor,” in which he examines two 20th century song cycles written specifically for countertenor. His performances of these pieces earned him national recognition in The American Prize Competition, in which he was named a national finalist in the art song division. He was invited to present “Laitman’s Men with Small Heads” at the regional NATS conference in Baton Rouge in 2012. In addition, he has commissioned and premiered several chamber works for his professional ensemble, Payton and the Pipes, featuring countertenor, clarinet and flute, including “Three Poems of Vladimir Nabokov” by American composer Jason Charney. Payton and the Pipes have been invited to perform on the 2013 Great Spaces Concert Series in Topeka, Kansas, sharing the series with internationally recognized artists such as the Vienna Boys Choir.

Abigail Rethwisch, soprano, is from Iowa City, Iowa, and is currently a resident artist with Tri-Cities Opera, where she has sung the roles of Iolanta (Iolanta), and Lucy (The Telephone), and will soon sing Johanna (Sweeney Todd), as well as Lucy Goat (The Billy Goats Gruff) for Opera Go Round. This June she will join Chautauqua Opera as an apprentice artist singing the role of Annina and cover Violetta in “La Traviata.”

Having recently come from Des Moines, Iowa, she sang with Opera Iowa and Des Moines Metro Opera. Her roles there included Clorinda (La Cenerentola), and Lucy (The Three Billy Goats Gruff) and covering the roles of Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), and Beatriz (La hija de Rappiccini).

Gaining significant recognition in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Rethwisch has been a regional finalist three times, most recently in the Great Lakes Region where she won second place. Other competition awards include first place in the Central Region NATS Competition, first place in the Young Artist Concerto Competition for both the Fort Dodge Symphony and Central Iowa Symphony, later leading to performances with both orchestras.

Equally comfortable on the concert stage, Rethwisch has been highlighted in Tallahassee, Florida. With the Tallahassee Community Chorus she has been seen as the soprano soloist in “Dvořák’s Te Deum” and the soprano soloist in Mozart’s “Grand Mass in C minor.” She has performed Schubert’s “Mass in G” with the Tallahassee Civic Choral, and has sung the Queen of Sheba in Handel’s “Solomon” and as well as a number of performances of “Messiah.”

In addition to Rethwisch’s love for the opera stage, she enjoys engaging younger audiences, and has been seen in two elementary and middle school outreach tours. In the greater Tallahassee area she was seen performing Gretel in “Hansel and Gretel,” and Fiordiligi in an English adapted version of “Così fan tutte.” Rethwisch’s young artist training includes three summers as an apprentice with Des Moines Metro Opera, and a fellowship at the CoOPERAtive Program. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Simpson College and a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Florida State University.

Andrew Paulson, a native of Great Falls, Virginia, is currently a studio artist singing with Sarasota Opera. His responsibilities include Marcello cover in the fall season production of “La Bohème” and Guglielmo cover in the winter season production of “Così Fan Tutte.” In addition, he can be seen performing in the Young Verdi Concert, The Verdi Cycle Grand Finale Concert and Aida Chorus. Future engagements feature his Santa Fe debut as Happy in La fanciulla del West and a Diener in “Capriccio.” In addition, he is covering Mercutio in “Roméo et Juliette.”

Recent engagements include Nardo cover in “La Finta Giardiniera” and Marullo cover in “Rigoletto” with Santa Fe Opera, Papageno in “Die Zauberflöte,” Roger Chillingworth in a concert performance of “The Scarlet Letter” by Lori Laitman, Imperial Commissioner in “Madame Butterfly,” the father in “Hansel and Gretel,” and Mercutio in “Romeo and Juliette” with Opera Colorado.

Paulson recently received recognition in competitions including second place in the Mobile Opera Competition, third place in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild Competition, fourth place in the Florida Suncoast Opera Guild Competition, the Gérard Souzay Award at the Positively Poulenc: Joy in Singing Competition, an Encouragement Award from the Florida District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and first place in the annual voice competition of the Friday Morning Music Club of Washington, D.C.

Concert performances include singing with the Tallahassee Community Chorus as the baritone soloist in the “Dvořák Te Deum,” soloist with the Florida State Baroque ensemble singing “Telemann’s Ist Gott Versöhnt und Unser Freund cantata” and Schütz’s “Symphoniae Sacrae I.” Paulson studied at Florida State University receiving a master’s degree in Voice Performance and at Westminster Choir College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performace magna cum laude with honors.

Dr. Karen Fosheim, professor of music, was named the chair of the Department of Music.

Fosheim named chair of Department of Music

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Delta State University recently announced Dr. Karen Fosheim, professor of music, as the new chair of the Department of Music.

Fosheim had served as the interim chair since July of 2015.

“The music faculty at DSU is first rate,” said Fosheim. “Any success in the department is because of them. I just need to stay out of the way, facilitate what I can, and let them do their thing.

“The recurring goal, of course, is to attract the highest quality student to our program. Our plan is to throw out a wider net and recruit students in different areas of the region than we currently draw from. Also, an option for recruiting international students is currently being developed.”

Fosheim has taught piano, music theory, music in American culture, and is co-director of the Community Drumming Ensemble at Delta State. She said the department would continue to seek resources to help the program grow.

“We are currently looking at new approaches to make the department more efficient,” she said. “We are also actively seeking funding from outside sources, such as private donations, to help fund normal departmental activities and to replace worn out instruments and equipment.”

As an active performer, she has appeared as a soloist and collaborative pianist around the U.S. and in Mexico. In the summer of 2001, she was selected as a performer in the Van Cliburn Institute.

Her piano teachers include Nohema Fernandez, Ozan Marsh, Paula Fan, Dale Childs, and Billie Erlings in pedagogy.

Fosheim holds degrees from the University of Arizona and Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.

She is currently the president-elect of the Southern Chapter of the College Music Society. In addition, she has been a presenter and adjudicator for the College Music Society, Mississippi Music Teacher’s Association, Mississippi Music Educators Association, MENC: National Association for Music Education, and the Pianist Foundation of America.

Learn more about the Department of Music at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/music.

Environmental science students (l to r) Emily Bodin, Shawnee Gundry and Megan Clark recently presented at the Mississippi Academy of Sciences meeting in Hattiesburg.

Students and faculty present at Mississippi Academy of Sciences meeting

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Delta State University environmental science students and professors recently presented five scientific posters at the 80th annual Mississippi Academy of Sciences meeting held in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The yearly meeting is comprised of addresses, symposia, workshops, scientific papers and exhibits grouped by division. Delta State’s posters highlighted research the students had conducted over the past academic year. Four of the posters were presented in the ecology and evolutionary section, and the fifth was presented in the cellular, molecular and developmental section.

Participating students included Emily Bodin, Megan Clark, Shawnee Gundry, Brittany Husley and Christine Beck. Delta State professors included Dr. Nina L. Baghai-Riding and Dr. AHM Ali Reza.

Presentation titles included “Habitat use and food habits of coyote in Dahomey Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi;” “Storm drain study on Delta State University Campus, Cleveland, Mississippi;” “Carbon dioxide/leaf peel study for three plant species in the Mississippi Delta;” “Analysis of a palynological sample from the Bucatunna Formation, southwestern Alabama;” and “Molecular function of selenoproteins in Rickettsia parkeri survival within the tick host.”

Abstracts for the presentations can be found in the Mississippi Academy of Sciences journal of abstracts at http://msacad.org/mas-journal/current-abstract.

Also announced at the conference, Reza was selected as the 2016-17 chair of the division of ecology and evolutionary biology.

“Being elected as the chair of one MAS’s major divisions, ecology and evolutionary biology, is an extreme honor and recognition of our contribution to science in the state,” said Reza. “I am privileged to represent the Department of Biological Sciences and Delta State University in general. I strongly believe this position will help us work closely with other scientists in the state. This will also help our students connect with other scientists and possibly build a meaningful professional career in the future.”

According to Reza, there were more than 750 participants this year, which is the largest gathering of any scientific community in the state.

“Overall, all of the presentations were very well received and the students had a positive experience,” said Baghai-Riding. “The students also attended professional talks, networked with other professionals and were engaged in scientific workshops.”

For more information concerning the environmental science program at Delta State University, contact Baghai-Riding at nbaghai@deltastate.edu.

2016juriedshow-011

Student exhibit and silent auction hosted by art department

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences | No Comments

Delta State University’s Department of Art invites the public to the opening of its annual juried Student Exhibition on March 17 from 5-7 p.m at the Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery. The exhibit allows the department to highlight work produced by students in the past year and provides the students a professional opportunity to prepare and submit work for a juried exhibition.

Students submitting work are also eligible to win monetary awards in a variety of categories. The awards are made possible through the generous support of art patrons from the Cleveland community.

This year’s juror is Ashley Chavis, a ceramic artist and curator, who teaches at Northwest Mississippi Community College. Chavis also runs the college’s art gallery and is the faculty advisor of the student art club, Les Fauves.

Chavis’s creative energies are devoted to producing functional pottery that has a unique sense of tactility and surface design. His work has been exhibited regionally and nationally and can be found at Southside Gallery in Oxford. He is a member of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, Southeastern College Art Conference, Southern Graphics Council International and Sycamore Arts Council.

Chavis commended the variety and quality of work submitted to this year’s show.

This year’s opening includes a silent auction of student and faculty work to benefit a Delta State art student who lost the use of her legs in a car accident.

“The student has been an inspiration for all in the art department,” said Dr. Michaela Merryday, associate professor of art. “She has never let her health issues limit her ambitions, nor cloud her optimism and sunny disposition. The student is in need of a new wheelchair and her colleagues and faculty are hoping to raise $1,000 through the sale of original works of art donated by them to help defray the costs of a new wheelchair.”

The silent auction will only take place on the opening night of the exhibit. Winning bids will be announced at the end of the day. Student awards will be presented at 6 p.m. The exhibition will remain on display from March 17 to April 22.

The Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gallery is closed weekends, holidays and during semester breaks.

For more information on the Department of Art, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/art/or contact 662-846-4720.

Dr. Aram Goudsouzian, professor of history at the University of Memphis, is this year's lecturer at the 19th annual Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture April 7 at 7 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium.

Goudsouzian to be featured speaker at Cranford Lecture

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Delta State University is gearing up for the 19th annual Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture on April 7 at 7 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium.

This year’s lecturer is Dr. Aram Goudsouzian, professor of history and department chair at the University of Memphis. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the 1966 James Meredith March Against Fear, Goudsouzian’s lecture is entitled, “Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear.”

The Cranford Lecture is sponsored by the Delta State Division of Social Sciences and History and is supported by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council. This event honors the life of Dr. Sammy Orren Cranford, longtime history professor and archivist at Delta State. This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Goudsouzian is one of the leading scholars in post-World War II African American history and civil rights,” said Dr. Chuck Westmoreland, assistant professor of history at Delta State. “He is an extremely versatile scholar who has written biographies of Sidney Poitier and Bill Russell, in addition to his latest work on the 1966 James Meredith March Against Fear. The march, which is an often misunderstood and oversimplified moment in the modern civil rights struggle, gains new life and clarity in Dr. Goudsouzian’s award-winning book ‘Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear.’ 

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Goudsouzian give this year’s Cranford Lecture. It will be a great time for learning and for honoring one of Delta State’s most distinguished faculty members, Dr. Sammy O. Cranford, and the Cranford family.”

For more information on the Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture, contact Westmoreland at cwestmoreland@deltastate.edu.

Previous lecturers include: 1998, John Marzalek; 1999, John Ray Skates; 2000, James Cobb; 2001, Martha Swain; 2002, Lawrence Nelson; 2003, Nan Woodruff; 2004, David Sansing; 2005, Charles Reagan Wilson; 2006, James Hollandsworth; 2007, Elbert Hilliard; 2008, Larry Griffin; 2009, William LaForge; 2010, Chris Myers Asch; 2011, Charles Eagles; 2012, George Rable; 2013, Jeannie Whayne; 2014, Tim Huebner; and 2015, Alecia Long.