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STOMP to take BPAC stage Feb. 28

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

STOMP, the international percussion sensation, makes its Mississippi Delta premiere at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

From its beginnings as a street performance in the United Kingdom, STOMP has grown into an international sensation over the past 20 years, having performed in more than 50 countries and in front of more than 24 million people.

A unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, STOMP has created its own inimitable, contemporary form of rhythmic expression. Both household and industrial objects find new life as musical instruments in the hands of an idiosyncratic band of body percussionists. It is a journey through sound, a celebration of the everyday, and a comic interplay of characters wordlessly communicating through dance and drum.

Created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, STOMP continues its phenomenal run with four global productions: the ongoing sell-out production at New York’s Orpheum Theatre, a permanent London company, and North American and European tours. Throughout its life, the show has continued to change by creating new material. This year, it will incorporate two new pieces.

An overwhelming success marked by rave reviews, the production has won numerous awards and sell-out engagements. It is the winner of an Olivier Award for Best Choreography (London’s Tony Award), a New York Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatre Experience, and a Special Citation from Best Plays.

In addition to the stage shows, STOMP has been an overwhelming success marked by an Academy Award nomination, four Emmy nominations and one Emmy Award for their acclaimed HBO special “Stomp Out Loud,” noteworthy TV appearances including the London 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony, The Academy Awards (produced by Quincy Jones), Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and a series of award-winning international commercials.

“The performers make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hands on that makes a sound,” said Cresswell, co-founder and director.

Synchronized stiff-bristle brooms become a sweeping orchestra; eight Zippo lighters flip open and closed to create a fiery fugue; and wooden poles thump and clack in a rhythmic explosion. STOMP uses everything but conventional percussion instruments — dustbins, tea chests, radiator hoses, boots, hub caps — to fill the stage with a compelling and unique act that is often imitated but never duplicated.

Tickets are available at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Ticket Office, open Monday–Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by calling 662-846-4626, or going online to www.bolognapac.com.

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Students prep trees for Arbor Day

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

To help celebrate Arbor Day each year, the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Cleveland gives trees to local residents to plant at their residences or throughout the community.

On Feb. 7, Teressa Oakes with the NRCS in Cleveland, allowed Dr. Baghai-Riding’s Foundation of Environmental Science class to help with this year’s effort. Oakes brought several hundred tree saplings to the loading dock area of Caylor Hall where students dipped the tree roots in water to keep them moist, then placed them into plastic bags for distribution. Several students also took a few trees to plant in their yards.

Specimens included river birch, sawtooth oak, water oak, crepe myrtle, flowering dogwood and bald cypress.

The trees were given out at the NRCS office on Feb. 10. Oakes thanked Baghai-Riding’s class for making fast work of this task and is making plans for Delta State students to help with next year’s event.

Contact Baghai-Riding at nbaghai@deltastate.edu to learn more about the environmental science program at Delta State University.

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Women’s Conference scheduled for March 2-3

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

The Office of Student Affairs will present the 2017 Women’s Conference titled ““I Am My Sister’s Keeper” on March 2-3 at Delta State University.

Under the direction of Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Vernell Bennett, the conference will be a celebration of female excellence on campus.

“It will also be a means to increase student engagement, foster a culture of students supporting one another, endorse a healthy mind, body and spirit, participate in community service, networking and finally, recognize regional stewardship,” said Bennett.women's conference

Students are asked to register online for the event at www.deltastate.edu/womens-conference. The schedule of events will be provided free to students, and the first 100 registrants will receive a free T-shirt.

Featured guests will include Dr. Myrtis Tabb, Judge Linda Coleman, Rochelle Owsley, Christy Pickering, and more.

The schedule kicks off at 11 a.m. on March 2 with a luncheon on the second floor of the Student Union (free to the first 100 registrants) and a discussion about HIV awareness. Participants are asked to wear red shoes to be entered into a prize raffle.

The Lady Statesman Spa & Health and Wellness Fair will feature health agencies from the region, and local vendors and exhibitors. All activities, including massages and pedicures, will be free of charge.

Later that evening, the red carpet will be rolled out for the Lady Statesman Emerald Awards of Excellence.

The schedule continues March 3 with a day of service throughout Cleveland, followed by a flash mob performance on campus, a convocation speech by Pickering, the United in Green women’s empowerment panel, and a film screening of “A League of Their Own” at 6 p.m. to round out the conference.

“I hope the biggest takeaway for the students is that they’ll enjoy being actively engaged in a number of different capacities,” said Bennett. “We want the young ladies to come out and learn about the resources and support systems on campus and in the community. We want them to enjoy the experience, and then go back and get more young ladies involved.”

Bennett added that a men’s conference would be planned for the fall semester.

For more information, contact 662-846-4150.

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Registration open for Mississippi Summer Arts Institute

By | Academics, Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

The 2017 Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute at the Bologna Performing Arts Center is gearing up for its annual summer programs.

This year marks its 20th summer of operation, impacting the lives of countless emerging artists by providing a unique opportunity for students to gain broad exposure in all artistic disciplines.

Core Arts, occurring June 4-17, is an exciting two-week arts intensive residential camp for ages 12-18. Core Arts provides a positive and supportive environment for students who wish to gain exposure to the arts or aim to further develop their creative abilities. Students stay on the Delta State campus, take classes in a wide range of art forms with highly qualified professional teaching artists during the day, and participate in fun activities at night. Courses are offered in dance, digital arts, music, theater and visual arts. Core Arts culminates with a visual arts exhibition June 16, as well as a final performance which demonstrates the talents of the performing arts campers on June 17. An optional non-residential track is also available for campers ages 12-13.

Young artists ages 5-11 are invited to attend PLUS Camp on July 17-22, a high-energy, performance-oriented day camp where students take classes and prepare for their final performance — a choreographed medley of songs that revolve around a central theme. MSAI is excited to welcome back beloved faculty from previous summers and newer additions like Chuck Galey, a Jackson illustrator and an accredited Mississippi Arts Commission teaching artist.

Applications are being accepted now and are available at the Bologna Performing Arts Center or for download online: bolognapac.com/education/mississippi-summer-arts-institute. For more information, stop by the BPAC, or call Cade Holder, Arts Education coordinator, at 662-846-4844.

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Music department presents guest recital Feb. 27

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

The Department of Music will present a guest artist recital in the recital hall of the Bologna Performing Arts Center Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

The guest artists, Dr. Jacob Coleman (piano) and Elise Blatchford (flute), will share the musical works of Frank Martin, Darius Milhaud, Randall Woolf, and Carl Vine.

A native of Athens, Georgia, Coleman keeps a busy schedule collaborating with a broad range of performers throughout the U.S. He is currently on faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he directs the Collaborative Piano Program. From 2014-16 Coleman served as a visiting assistant professor of collaborative piano at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. During the summer, he is a member of the piano staff at Meadowmount School of Music founded by Ivan Galamian.

As a collaborator, Coleman has performed with artists such as Cleveland Orchestra principal clarinetist Franklin Cohen, bassoonist William Ludwig, St. Louis Brass member Jeff Nelsen, flutist Leone Buyse, Oregon Symphony principal cellist Nancy Ives, Metropolitan Opera baritone Frederick Burchinal, as well as the Kenari Quartet. He has also performed for a number of master class clinicians including Gil Shaham, Angela Hewitt, Donald McInnes, Warren Jones, Ransom Wilson, Mark Nuccio, Julianne Baird and Cho Liang Lin. As a vocal coach, he has held staff positions at the University of Georgia Opera Theater and the Astoria Music Festival. Additionally, Coleman has served as the principal keyboardist for the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra and The University of Texas Wind Ensemble under the direction of Jerry Junkin. In 2012, he was a collaborative piano fellow at the Music Academy of the West, where he worked with Jonathan Feldman. In 2016, he served as the official pianist for the MidSouth Flute Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. Coleman has also performed at the North American Saxophone Alliance and International Double Reeds Society conferences.

Coleman is an avid performer of new music. As a soloist, he gave the Georgia premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’s “Two New Etudes” in 2003. In April of 2016, he premiered a new work by Lansing McLoskey for oboe and piano with ToniMarie Marchioni at Spectrum. Coleman holds degrees from The University of Texas at Austin (DMA, collaborative piano), University of Oregon (MM, collaborative piano), and the University of Georgia (BM, piano performance). His primary teachers were Richard Zimdars, David Riley and Anne Epperson.

A flutist who embraces the independent, experimental and the DIY, Elise Blatchford is a professor, a member of the City of Tomorrow wind quintet, and a frequent soloist and recitalist. Her solo playing has been hailed for its “superb command of color and nuance,” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Blatchford is the assistant professor of flute at the University of Memphis Scheidt School of Music. With the contemporary music wind quintet the City of Tomorrow, she has won a gold medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and toured across the U.S.

Blatchford’s willingness to take risks has extended to multidisciplinary performance art at the Next Wave Festival at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), touring with the amplified cello rock band Portland Cello Project, and arranging and performing an entire album by singer-songwriter Mirah with her partner Leander Star.

Also at home in the traditional orchestra world, Blatchford has performed with the Oregon Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the YOA Orchestra of the Americas. With YOA, she toured extensively throughout South America, the Caribbean and mainland China, made an appearance at Carnegie Hall with Valery Gergiev, and recorded with Philip Glass.

A dedicated and inventive pedagogue, Blatchford has given master classes at New England Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory, Williams College, Longy School of Music and Skidmore College, among many others. She completed degrees in flute performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory.

The recital is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Department of Music at 662-846-4615.