Corner of Vine and 4th street project. Public Discussion

Friends of the South Side Initiative (SSI):

After tabling discussion of Dennis Benner’s new plans for the building on the corner of 4th Street and Vine Street at the last Historic Conservation Commission meeting, the commission has decided to hold a special meeting on this project. You may recall from our previous emails that Mr. Benner’s proposed 7-story building on the corner of 4th Street and Vine Street was approved by the city, but that Mr. Benner is now proposing changes to that building to include an adjacent building and to extend upward in height.

The new project will be discussed by the Historic Conservation Commission (HCC) this Monday, September 29th at 7:00 p.m., after which the HCC will make their recommendation to the city regarding whether or not to approve the expanded project. The HCC meeting is open to the public and will provide time for those of you who care about the South Side to share your views on whether this expanded project is at a scale appropriate for a building on 4th Street.

If you wish to attend this meeting, it will be held at the following location:

BANANA FACTORY
CRAYOLA ROOM, 1st FLOOR
25 W. THIRD STREET
BETHLEHEM, PA

If you wish to read the HCC’s design guidelines for the South Bethlehem Historic Conservation District, they can be found at this link: http://www.bethlehem-pa.gov/pdf/DesignGuidelines.pdf

We look forward to seeing many of you on Monday night!

Sincerely,

Breena Holland
Director, South Side Initiative

Lehigh Symposium of Fiscal Challenges Facing Pennsylvania

If you care about policies that impact you on a daily basis, you may want to pay attention to fiscal challenges our state and local officials need to address in the coming months and years. image001

Morning session 9:30-noon
The Fiscal Consequences of Pennsylvania’s Aging Population
Robert Strauss, Professor of Economics, Carnegie Mellon University
Yunni Deng, Research Analyst, International Monetary Fund

Panel Discussion: Financial Challenges Facing State Government
Allen Wohlstetter, moderator, President, Charter School Renewal
Sharon Ward, Executive Director, PA Budget & Policy Center
Dan Meuser, Secretary, PA Department of Revenue
Charlie Dent, United States Congressman, PA-15th district

Lunch 12:30 -1:30 includes a panel discussion of Lehigh Faculty Research Persepctive

Afternoon session 2:00-4:30
Financing Cities: An Agenda for Growth
Robert Inman, Professor of Economics, University of Pennsylvania

Panel Discussion: Fiscal challenges Facing Local Government
Bill Michalerya, moderator, Associate Vice President for Government Relations & Economic Development, Lehigh University
Robert Donchez, Mayor of Bethlehem
Joseph Roy, Superintendent, Bethlehem Area School District
Julio Guridy, President, Allentown City Council,
Don Cunningham, CEO, Lehigh Valley Economic Development

NO FEE – Registration Required. Register by Sept 12th to reserve lunch.

For more information, 610-758-2906

Art Professor Lucy Gans – Exhibit

lucy front 1Lucy Gans’ work explores the notion of self through repetition. All of her works are done as a series, many contain text but it is the relationship of one image to another along with a continuing narrative that primarily interests the artist. She uses her own face and body as a stand-in for all women, so they are not really “self” portraits. The subject of her work for the past seven years has been violence and injustices committed against women and girls. “I use drawing and printmaking as a way to negotiate my way through some of the irreconcilable differences I encounter in human behavior.”

Gans teaches visual art at Lehigh University were she currently holds the Weinstock Chair in Art and Architecture, and is also an affiliated faculty member in the Women Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. She earned her MFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY and her BFA from Lake Erie College, Painesville, OH. She studied at the Art Students League, New York, NY.

Lucy exhibit info

The exhibit in the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts rum August 30th through October 26, 2014. There will be an opening reception on Friday, September 12th from 5:30-7:30pm.

 

Music Professor Bill Warfield’s Jazz Album Getting Stellar Reviews

Trumpet StoryAn associate professor of music and director of jazz studies at Lehigh University has a new album out that’s been getting great reviews. Bill Warfield’s “Trumpet Story” was released last July and has been doing very well in the Jazz album charts. You can hear a few tracks on his Reverb Nation profile here.

Or, if you want to listen to the album live, you could hear the CD release party at the Iridium in New York City on September 24, at 8PM. Randy Brecker will be joining the group for this event. Or, if you can’t wait to hear Bill perform, he will be performing with the New York Jazz Octet at the Deer Head Inn in Delaware Water Gap, PA this Saturday August 30th at 7:30pm. Come to think of it, that sounds like a lovely holiday weekend get away.

In the music business, reviews are highly valued. We appreciate all of the journalists who support jazz music. For an academic musician who composes, performs and records, music reviews are the peer view journal of their research. Consider this post a celebration of Lehigh University Jazz Professor Bill Warfield’s artistic, musical and academic success. (All of the reviews below are linked to the original source for reference.)

So what are the Jazz Critics saying? Here’s a list:

Buffalo News – Jeff Simon
Because Randy Brecker is dealing with the orchestra of his friend, arranger and trumpet player Bill Warfield (a jazz academic from Lehigh University), there is a good deal of variation in sonority, from the brass richness of Warfield’s version of Herbie Hancock’s “Speak Like a Child” to the dark, brooding muted textures and Stravinskyish carnival dancing of Warfield’s “In the Land of Chad and Barbie,” the disc is never uninteresting for very long. It gives Randy Brecker opportunities to do some of his most interesting playing on disc in quite a while. Other soloists besides Brecker include guitarist Vic Jurist, always a pleasure in any context.

Midwest Record – Chris Spector
PLANET ARTS- BILL WARFIELD BIG BAND featuring Randy Brecker/Trumpet Story: A boomer that grew up on all the same stuff as the rest of us but knows how to play a mean trumpet decides to pay musical tribute to all the trumpet players that inspired him. Once again we find that arts council music is no longer sounding like arts council music. A swinging date loaded with originals that hit the mark, Warfield even brings in Randy Brecker to blow a few notes, and he’s one of the cats Warfield is paying tribute to. Edgy big band stuff, it’s high water mark sitting down jazz that’s an unabashed roller coaster ride for your ears. You can feel all the care that went into all facets of the execution from concept to finish and listening to this kind of detail is a real treat. Check it out.

Straight No Chaser (blogcritics.org)
With his participation in the Bill Warfield Big Band’s Trumpet Story, the legendary trumpeter Randy Brecker continues a series of fine guest recordings with large ensembles. Since his Grammy winning Randy in Brasil CD in 2008, he has continually made recordings with ensembles as varied as the Danish Radio Big Band and The Danish National Chamber Orchestra (The Jazz Ballad Book); the Kalisz Philharmonic Orchestra (Night in Calisia, also a Grammy winner); and Chuck Owen’s Big Band Jazz Surge (The Comet’s Tail – Performing the Compositions of Michael Brecker).

Brecker’s 
playing 
has 
been 
a 
major 
influence
 on 
the 
work 
of 
fellow 
trumpeter/composer
 Bill
 Warfield.

Brecker 
first 
collaborated
 with 
Warfield
 on 
a 
Sketches
 of
 Spain
 concert
 at 
Lehigh 
University, 
where
 Warfield is an Associate Professor of Music and directs the jazz studies program. Since then, whenever Warfield considered working on a large scale tribute to his favorite trumpet players, he always heard Brecker in his head.

The project, a four-part suite, morphed into Trumpet Story, a Big Band recording of four Warfield pieces, a Brecker tune (“Sponge”) and arrangements of songs that influenced Warfield over the years, including “Speak Like a Child” and “Pharoah’s Dance”. Brecker shines throughout, especially on Warfield’s funky “When Janie Takes the Stand.” As always, Brecker can play with the bombast needed for a a Big Band soloist, yet with the undeniable lyricism that has made his versions of Brazilian tunes so plaintive and seductive. For me, the highlights come on the soloing on “Sponge”, as Brecker lays it down, and Mark Phaneuf’s tenor sax and Sam Burtis’ trombone answer the challenge.

Music Review: The Bill Warfield Big Band Featuring Randy Brecker – ‘Trumpet Story’ (by Jack Goodstein)
Review Overview Summary :Randy Brecker and Bill Warfield make a combination that’s hard to beat.

As Neil Tesser’s liner notes explain, the original idea behind Trumpet Story – the new album from The Bill Warfield Big Band – was to celebrate the trumpet by “writing a suite of big-band compositions for trumpet soloist” focusing on the contributions of icons of the instrument. Warfield, a fine trumpeter in his own right, decided that rather than taking the lead himself he would write for a different trumpeter, one he had worked with before and whose talents were legend: Randy Brecker.

While originally a four-movement suite, the current album grew into something a bit different, celebrating not only the trumpet but a whole range of Warfield’s musical influences. Three of the suite’s original sections are retained, and a selection of compositions by some of these other influences arranged by Warfield fills out the disc. While the focus is still on the trumpet, the current arrangements try to set the instrument in a broader musical context.

The album opens with the funky “When Janie Takes the Stand,” an edgy piece that resurfaces again to close the set in an (edited) airplay track. Brecker’s solo work is complemented by solos from Vic Juris on guitar and Tim Sessions on trombone. Herbie Hancock’s “Speak Like a Child,” a splendidly lyrical piece which appropriately features pianist Mike Eckroth, follows. The piano, now played by Art Hirahara, introduces Warfield’s beautiful “A Window That Shows Me the Moon.”

“Theme for Malcolm” is a Donald Brown composition with some sweet solo work from Brecker and Mike Migliore on the alto sax. Warfield himself does the solo work on Philip Sparke’s “Flowerdale,” a mood ballad with some majestic passages. Brecker’s “Sponge” gives some idea of the trumpeter’s compositional skills. Two more pieces by Warfield, “Carol,” written for his wife, and the haunting “In the Land of Chad and Barbie,” plus a 16-minute take on Joe Zawinul’s “Pharaoh’s Dance” round out the album. Trumpet Story is big band music at its finest. Randy Brecker and Bill Warfield make a combination that’s hard to beat.

The Bill Warfield Big Band Featuring Randy Brecker Trumpet Story PAN 2014 by Brent Black
The Bill Warfield Big Band takes a look at the great Randy Brecker and is a triumph!

Actually…Trumpet Story goes slightly back to the future paying homage to other inspirations including Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinful, Donald Byrd and of course Randy Brecker. The achilles heel of big band is the automatic assumption of predictable. Trumpet Story moves past the accepted norm with variety ranging from a brilliant arrangement of Hancock’s “Speak Like A Child” to the slightly more unexpected conceptual nature of the original performance suite which was to be geared around Brecker’s ability to become that elusive harmonic chameleon as style would dictate.

Other notables include the incredibly overlooked pianist Art Hiahara on the Warfield original “A Window That Shows Me The Moon.” The deceptively subtle nuanced textures from which Brecker seems to favor take what might otherwise be a better than average big band release and elevate this collective to that special place long missing from the much maligned genre. Bill Warfield’s compositions and arrangements highlight that at times there is little doubt simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

The 
”Trumpet 
Story” 
Story
With his participation in the Bill Warfield Big Band’s Trumpet Story, the legendary trumpeter Randy Brecker continues a series of fine guest recordings with large ensembles. Since his Grammy winning Randy in Brasil CD in 2008, he has continually made recordings with ensembles as varied as the Danish Radio Big Band and The Danish National Chamber Orchestra (The Jazz Ballad Book); the Kalisz Philharmonic Orchestra (Night in Calisia, also a Grammy winner); and Chuck Owen’s Big Band Jazz Surge (The Comet’s Tail – Performing the Compositions of Michael Brecker).  

Brecker’s playing has been a major influence on the work of fellow trumpeter/composer Bill Warfield. Brecker first collaborated with Warfield on a Sketches of Spain concert at Lehigh University, where Warfield is an Associate Professor of Music and directs the jazz studies program. Since then, whenever Warfield considered working on a large scale tribute to his favorite trumpet players, he always heard Brecker in his head.

The project, a four-part suite, morphed into Trumpet Story, a Big Band recording of four Warfield pieces, a Brecker tune (“Sponge”) and arrangements of songs that influenced Warfield over the years, including “Speak Like a Child” and “Pharoah’s Dance.” Brecker shines throughout, especially on Warfield’s funky “When Janie Takes the Stand.” As always, Brecker can play with the bombast needed for a a Big Band soloist, yet with the undeniable lyricism that has made his versions of Brazilian tunes so plaintive and seductive.  For me, the highlights come on the soloing on “Sponge”, as Brecker lays it down, and Mark Phaneuf’s tenor sax and Sam Burtis’ trombone answer the challenge.

All
*About*
Jazz
 – Bill Warfield Big Band: Trumpet Story (2014) reviewed by Jack Bowers
Trumpeters Bill Warfield and Randy Brecker have been friends for twenty years; it’s high time they joined forces in a recording studio and began making beautiful music together. On Trumpet Story, Warfield’s big-band homage to trumpeters and other musicians who have influenced him through the years, six-time Grammy Award winner Brecker solos on eight of ten numbers, several of which were written by Warfield with him in mind. The result is what Joe Listener might expect—uniformly high- caliber jazz tastefully articulated by Brecker’s all- purpose trumpet / flugelhorn and suitably amplified by Warfield’s A-list ensemble and perceptive charts.

This is not, as one might reasonably expect from its name, an anthology of jazz trumpet from New Orleans to the present day but rather an invariably contemporary enterprise with bows not only toward a number of eminent trumpeters but to such notable composers as Herbie Hancock, Donald Brown, Joe Zawinul and Philip Sparke. Warfield, who solos handsomely on Sparke’s easygoing “Flowerdale,” arranged every number and wrote four: “When Janie Takes the Stand,” “A Window That Shows Me the Moon,” “In the Land of Chad and Barbie” and the winsome ballad “Carol” (for his wife). Brecker, for his part, composed the squishy “Sponge.” A slightly abbreviated airplay version of “Janie” closes the album.

Besides Brecker, who is always in sync, the band’s able soloists include guitarist Vic Juris (“Jamie,” “Chad and Barbie,” Zawinul’s provocative “Pharaoh’s Dance”), trombonist Tim Sessions (“Jamie”), bass trombonist Sam Burtis (“Sponge”), pianists Mike Eckroth (Hancock’s “Speak Like a Child”) and Art Hirahara (“Window”), alto Mike Migliore (Brown’s charming “Theme for Malcolm”), tenors Mark Phaneuf (“Sponge,” “Chad and Barbie”) and Dave Riekenberg (“Carol”) and baritone Matt Hong (“Pharaoh’s Dance”). As every member of the ensemble is a seasoned pro whose unwavering focus is on the task at hand, there is no cause to single out or censure anyone.

In sum, a splendid enterprise from start to finish. If there is a downside, it may be that Warfield now and again leans a tad too heavily on rock beats (“Jamie,” “Sponge,” “Pharaoh’s Dance”) but that is purely a matter of personal taste, certainly nothing to give rise to any equivocation or concern.

Brecker, Warfield offer a brassy ‘Trumpet Story’ By The Tribune-Review Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014 by Bob Karlovits
Trumpeter Randy Brecker is indeed the story behind this album. It has been a busy year for the brass star, and he continues it on the Bill Warfield Big Band’s “Trumpet Story.” Being the guest on a number of recent albums, Brecker provides a top-notch voice to the band and its offerings. The tunes include Warfield originals, Brecker’s “Sponge,” Herbie Hancock’s “Speak Like a Child,” Joe Zawinul’s “Pharoah’s Dance” and even “Flowerdale” from British brass-band specialist Phillip Sparke. Although the band is of traditional size and instrumentation, Warfield’s arrangements give it a brassier sound that fits in well around Brecker’s powerful trumpet voice. The other part of this story is Warfield’s own work on the trumpet. He takes the lead on the Sparke piece and gives it power and precision. His arrangement also is an excellent big-band version of that brass-band composition.

Mercy Killers; Zoellner Guest Artist – Course Connections

Last year, the Zoellner Arts Center facilitated an opportunity for students, faculty and program directors to gather for reflection and insight on the theme of “Beauty” with the Jane Comfort Dance Company. This season, Zoellner is presenting more performing arts experiences with the intention of inspiring reflection and dialog on themes that cross multiple academic disciplines. The first of these presentations is the one-man show, Mercy Killers.

Michael Milligan Residency

Wed-Friday; September 10-12, 2014

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The Story

Blue collar ‘Joe’ grapples with his red state ideals when he realizes the measures he must take to care for his beloved wife.  A surprisingly tender lover story, Mercy Killers is an unblinking look at health care in America.

Planning Details:

Tickets are $10 (for public) and free to all Lehigh students, faculty and staff for both performances.

  • Thursday, Sept 11that 4:30pm
  • Friday, September 12that 7:30pm

The play is quite intimate, with audience seating on the stage. It is a one act; 65 minutes running time. Following each performance, a Q&A session with Lehigh faculty in other academic disciplines from the Health Medicine and Society program.

Testimonials

“Mercy Killers makes public the suffering that thousands of American families experience in private. I was inspired by the performance, and energized to move our state from health insurance for some to health care for all.” – John Marty, State Senator, MN

“Mercy Killers reveals the barbarity of it all through the story of Joe, a man who was ‘all about the American dream’ until the system hits, hits, and hits again. A deeply affecting love story, Mike Milligan astonishes.”  – Connie Julian, Revolution Books

“Michael Milligan’s breathtaking performance of a shattered man in the throws of a healthcare nightmare, made only worse by the twists and turns of insurance companies, truly humanizes the vast inequities of America’s for-profit health insurance system. You will be talking about Mercy Killers long after the curtain draws.” – Josh Starcher, Healthcare-Now! NYC

About the playwright/Actor 

Milligan has been writing and acting for the theater for almost two decades.  He has appeared on Broadway in August Osage County, La Bete and Jerusalem.  No stranger to the one man show, Milligan performed Will Eno’s title role of Thom Pain in the original New York run.  A reading of Milligan’s verse play, Phaeton, was presented by the Harold Clurman Theater Lab featuring Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley.  Milligan received his training from Julliard where he won the John Houseman Prize for excellence in classical drama.  He has performed Shakespearean roles around the world and is a sometime instructor of Shakespeare at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

We are planning an Acting/Playwriting workshop with Michael following the Thursday afternoon performance and after a dinner break. There are also open times available in his residency schedule for classroom visits on Friday morning and afternoon. If you have any interest in Mr. Mulligan meet with your class; even if outside your scheduled class meeting time, we’d be happy to arrange it. Please forward all inquiries to Silagh White by email siw205@lehigh.edu

LU Choral Arts information

 This post is in support of student leadership in the arts at Lehigh
~S. White; Dir. of Arts Engagement & Community Cultural Affairs

My name is Ohmny and I am the Lehigh Choral Arts Recruitment manager for this year!  Here at Lehigh we have two main choral groups: University Choir and Choral Union.
The Lehigh University Choir which is comprised of about 60 students who represent all three of Lehigh’s colleges (business, engineering, and arts & sciences), meets twice a week during the semester, and performs in four concerts throughout the school year. The Choral Union is comprised of Lehigh students, faculty and staff, and community members as well. It is a smaller time commitment, meeting only once a week and performs three concerts throughout the school year. The Choral Union also participates on tour!
***Members of University Choir can automatically choose to join Glee Club, the all male ensemble, or DOLCE, the all female ensemble.
We also tour every other year either to a different country or throughout the US (this year being a tour year!). Last time, we traveled to Hawaii and performed in a few churches and several high schools! Tour is TBA on location for this year, but you can expect something just as great.  Another event to note is that Choral Union and University Choir will be performing in Carnegie Hall this year!
If you are interested and would like more information about when the auditions are, how they are held, or what you need to know contact me at odr215@lehigh.edu, message me on facebook, or familiarize yourself on the Choral arts website, http://lehighchoralarts.com/, or on our event group, https://www.facebook.com/events/563963567054557/.
I hope to hear from you soon!
Ohmny

 

We’re number …. what now?

reviewlogoThe Princeton Review has just released the annual list of  “[insert whatever of 58 topics here] college lists. Here are some of the topics where Lehigh ranked in the top 20.

  • Best College Library – Lehigh made # 20
  • Best Science Lab Facilities – Lehigh made # 14
  • Top Party Schools – Lehigh made # 6
  • Little Race/Class Interaction – Lehigh made #10
  • Town-Gown Relations Strained – Lehigh made #3. At least Duke beat us on this one.

For those interested, here is a link to their Lehigh University profile.

The criteria for the rankings:

Based on surveys of 130,000 students (average 343 per campus) at the colleges in the book in 2013-14 and/or the previous two school years. The survey asks students 80 questions about their school’s academics, administration, student body, and themselves. The ranking methodology uses a five-point Likert scale (1-most disagree, 2-disagree, 3-neutral, 4-agree, 5-most agree)  to convert qualitative student assessments (a.k.a, student’s opinions) into quantitative (a.k.a, numbers that offer ranking scale) data for school-to-school comparisons.

No school has ever paid a fee to be profiled in the Princeton Review.

The Princeton Review list is very different from the US World News & Report rankings in which this year, Lehigh was tied with FIVE others schools at #41. According to their website: “The host of intangibles that make up the college experience can’t be measured by a series of data points. But for families concerned with finding the best academic value for their money, the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings provide an excellent starting point for the search.”

Their criteria is a bit more robust: Schools in the National Universities category offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and Ph.D. programs, and emphasize faculty research. Topics such as faculty resources (student/ faculty ratio, # of PhDs), student retention, tuition, graduation rate, financial resources, and alumni giving rate are measured. But the topic that gets the most significant weight is the undergraduate academic reputation: opinions of those in a position to judge a school’s undergraduate academic excellence. The academic peer assessment survey allows top academics – presidents, provosts and deans of admissions – to account for intangibles at peer institutions such as faculty dedication to teaching.

While no one has ever paid to boost school rankings directly, there is a significant amount of resources (time, energy and money) allocated to make sure our reputation reflects our adherence to the educational mission of the school:

“To advance learning through the integration of teaching, research, and service to others.”

(read the full mission statement here)

The Princeton Review (to some) may have about the same credibility as a Buzzfeed Survey. To potential future students or parents of future students, these rankings can be a significant influencer on their school choice or their expectations of their experience before they even get here.

Why do I (an arts administrator at Lehigh) check the Princeton Review lists? Because it’s good to know what might be informing student expectations about their campus experience on all levels of life and learning. Institutional awareness means listening to student opinions as well as finding other research studies that inform our continuous improvement. Yes, there’s always room for improvement.

Why write a blog post about it? Because some of our non-campus readers may hear us talking about this topic in whispered tones over coffee or lunch in the community? Or maybe it’s because it’s a national news item every time the rankings are updated. Some may wonder if it is validation, or a distraction. Either way on this topic, we bob our heads up once a year to size up ourselves against our aspirational and peer institutions. Then we go back to work in service to the students who choose to come to Lehigh.

Now… what can we do to improve our score on strained Town-Gown relations?

Videos from various campus programs

We at Arts@Lehigh actively watch various social media channels to stay on top of great things going on campus and in South Bethlehem. Summer time is typically quiet on campus, but this sumer a few neat things have launched that show how Lehigh is evolving to meet the needs of a more diverse study body, and a more innovative learning environment.

Summer Scholars’ Institute
Sharing with great admiration to the administrators, staff and faculty who supported the program, here is a final video celebration to mark its successful completion. Give a little bit of your time to hear these students share their story. For those of us who work at Lehigh, this is what it’s all about.

This three-week preparatory experience was designed for incoming first year students who not only show academic promise, but also great potential in community/civic engagement and leadership. Read more about the program on the Multicultural Affairs website.

Update on Lehigh’s Mountaintop Campus
The video produced by Lehigh University’s Office of Communications tells a quick story from student descriptions.

Here are two videos that give a little more detail on two projects. The first is a project to study ventilation in mud huts. Yes, they built one!

The second video is about designing new play structures that are more shape shifters…

Oh, and by the way… if you haven’t seen the wonderful write up in the New York Times about the Mountaintop,we hope this link opens for you.