The Department of Performing Arts (which includes the dance, theatre and music areas) has several events planned for the Celebration of Scholarship. We invite everyone in the Lock Haven community and beyond to pay us a visit on April 20 and see what we've been up to.
The first of these events, scheduled from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Price Performance Center, will be a lecture-recital given by yours truly, David Curtin. This recital will mostly focus on the works of Franz Liszt (1811-1886), whose 200th anniversary is being celebrated worldwide this year. Liszt is generally recognized to be the greatest pianist of the 19th century, perhaps even of all time. He was certainly one of the most important and forward-looking composers of his time. In his later career, he anticipated by several decades some of the most important trends of the 20th century, such as impressionism and atonality. I will be playing eight works by Liszt, and discussing their various sources of inspiration and noteworthy technical features.
At 1 p.m. in Price Auditorium, music education major and outstanding tenor James Vesey will sing the national anthem just before the keynote address. (Those of you who attended the theatre area's recent performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat may recognize James, even though he likely won't be wearing his coat of many colors and clown nose!) You can hear James again an hour later at 2, when he will be joined by sophomore Margo Welshans on piano and Dr. Mahlon Grass of the music faculty on the bassoon. The trio will take the stage in Price Auditorium for a performance of the aria "Una Furtiva Lagrima" from Donizetti's opera L'Elisir D'Amore (The Elixir of Love). This aria, one of the most popular in the entire opera repertoire, is sung by the lead male character, a country bumpkin named Nemorino. Nemorino is in love with Adina, but Adina doesn't return his feelings and taunts him instead. To win her heart, Nemorino buys a "love potion" with all the money he has in his pocket. The love potion is actually a cheap red wine sold by a traveling con man. But when he sees Adina weeping, he is mistakenly convinced that she has fallen in love with him, and that the "Elixir" works.
My colleague, Dr. Jayme Klinger Host, and her dance students will present several works in a variety of different styles in the ballroom of the Durrwachter Almuni Center from 2:30-3:30 p.m. The first piece, "Contagion", is a contemporary perspective of the transmission of germs by direct and indirect contact. It features music by the Danish multi-instrumentalist Anders Trentemoller. The choreography is by Host and the 26 student dancers enrolled in her beginning modern technique class. The next work, "Ballet Pastoral", is a music visualization of Beethoven's Symphony no. 6 through dynamic use of space and classical form. The choreography is Host and the 22 student dancers of the intermediate ballet technique class. Hosts's dance in western culture students will present "1920s Charleston", a historical reconstruction of the dance craze that reflected the women's liberation movement of the 1920s. Reconstructed and staged by Host, the music is by the Green Hill Instrumental Dixieland Jazz band. This same group of dancers will then perform "Contemporary Waltz", a fusion of traditional ballroom steps from the waltz with contemporary choreography, with music by Epic Score and choreography by Host.
Also from 2:30-3:30, Dr. Angela Sweigart-Gallagher of the theatre area and her students will present "Puppets on Parade" in the lobby/art gallery Sloan Fine Arts building. This presentation is the culmination of a week-long in-class puppet project in Sweigart-Gallagher's course in children's theatre. The project had two goals: first, to teach students a simple technique for creating puppets, which could be modified for a theatrical production and also to demonstrate a strategy for teaching character development in an elementary or middle school classroom. The students were first asked to generate a character description and sketch. Then, after a demonstration in basic papier mache techniques for creating a base head shape and adding three-dimensional features, students created three-dimensional puppets based on their character sketches and using school room supplies of newspaper scraps, glue, and tempura paint.
We hope you can join us and help celebrate the achievements of LHU's students and faculty from the Department of Performing Arts. For a complete run-down on the events scheduled for the Day of Scholarship, April 20, just go to the LHU homepage (www.lhup.edu) and click on the link for Celebration of Scholarship. See you there.
Dr. David Curtin is an associate professor in Lock Haven University's Department of?Performing Arts.