What’s going on with the blog? (Note from the professor)

questionsfry-panique-questionsDear Arts@Lehigh blog subscriber,

You may be seeing a bunch of notifications in your email with new posts to the Arts@Lehigh blog. These posts are from students in a course at Lehigh University called “Entrepreneurial Communications for Creative Industries.” An entry level course of the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, the 39 students enrolled come from many areas of study, experiential backgrounds, and interests: Finance, Marketing, Journalism, Supply Chain Management, Public Relations, Political Science, athletes, greeks….what’s missing? Arts, Theatre, Music, and Design majors. Not that I don’t get the occasional arts student, but they are unicorns in this class.

And I like it that way. Experiential learning through community arts and cultural activities can be open to all students. This course offers an opportunity for students to explore the arts and cultural industry of the community that surrounds the campus. For their first assignment, the pedagogical process included identifying something to experience, create content that described the experience, identify an audience, and find ways to deliver their content to an audience wider than their immediate circle of friends and family. Through learning how to communicate their first-person experiences while learning various techniques that employ entrepreneurial thinking, the students come to understand the cultural assets in terms that matter to them.

The recent posts are their stories, observations, and possible motivations to an audience they don’t know. They don’t need a deep understanding of the art, the cultural organization, or community asset to describe what they experienced. Through writing, they are encouraged to think about who else would care about their story.

This blog was used as a tool for the students to see immediate response to their work. It’s a way for them to observe analytics, and to learn the nuances of reaching an audience through strategic social media engagement. An established readership (you) have been inundated with posts that may not be talking about the arts. However, if you feel compelled to comment on any of the posts, we welcome your contribution. Invite the students to something you care about. Challenge them. This is a great place to start a conversation.

For some of the posts, it may also be useful for cultural organizational leadership to read the students’ experiences. If they are interested in what students have to say about how they engage in the community off campus; these experiences could offer a bit of insight into the mysterious ways of Lehigh University students.

The students won’t be doing another round of writing for a while. Don’t fear a continuous stream of more notifications. As always, I thank you for subscribing to this blog.


Dr. Silagh White

Symphonie Fantastique – dig deep

This coming Friday and Saturday (April 29 & 30) at 8pm in Baker Hall, Zoellner Arts Center, the LU Philharmonic will perform Berlioz’ masterwork, Symphonie Fantastique along with Verdi’s Overture to La Forza del Destino and Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde.

If you’re a particularly passionate orchestra masterworks enthusiast, here’s a few other goodies worth investigating on Berlioz’ piece:

Philharmonia Orchestra Viola player Sam Burstin explores the story surrounding the creation of Symphonie Fantastique in this listening guide. He also walks through some of the compositional techniques that pull the story through the movements (idée fixes, other symbolism and references) It’s only 5:14 – and worth a look if only for the production ideas. IMHO, some of them are a bit over the top; at least worth an “lol.”

Call Me Maybe

Related to that, Esa-Pekka Salonen from the Philharmonic Orchestra introduces Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, narrative programme music for the modern orchestra. If you listen to this 4:15 clip to the end, you’ll hear a bit about their app which offers interactive scores to follow along as you listen to the pieces, plus other insights into the art form that is orchestral music.

The London Symphony orchestra also produced a listening guide for Symphonie Fantastique.

If you don’t view these videos, there’s one compositional technique worth knowing about before you listen to the concert. It’s rather like understanding some of the finer rules of baseball; or at least having some idea of what you might listen for. The technique is called the idée fixes. In Wagner’s work, it’s called the leitmotif. You have heard this technique if you know the music that associates with Darth Vader in Star Wars, or the shark in Jaws, or the shower scene in Psycho. Music in film does this frequently. And the dies irae tune in the 4th movement? In Berlioz’ time, that tune was a familiar as “Happy Birthday” is to our culture. When we hear “Happy Birthday” we know what it means. The “dies irae” – it means you’re at a funeral.

If you need something with a little less production and more insight into Berlioz’ motivations, Linda Ganus Albulescu shared her program notes that will also be available at the concert. Just click here -> Berlioz program note

LU Jazz Rep & Nicole Henry on April 16th at 8pm

Nicole Henry

“There’s plenty for jazz and funk fans to savor here, and Warfield’s Hell’s Kitchen Funk Orchestra delivers a tasty meal for the ears.”
~Bill Milkowski, contributor to Down Beat & Jazziz

“Vocalist Nicole Henry pleasingly brings together a range of styles—smooth and mainstream jazz, along with pop and gospel.”
~ All About Jazz

Lehigh University Music Department presents its annual spring jazz performance with Bill Warfield and the Hell’s Kitchen Funk Orchestra featuring vocalist Nicole Henry with Lehigh University Jazz Repertory Orchestra on April 16 at 8pm in Baker Hall. Tickets are $15; general admission. WDIY is the Lehigh University Music Department media sponsor.

Nicole long Badgley Mischka dress 2015 - by Rafael BalcazarSM 1Nicole Henry has established herself as one of the jazz world’s most acclaimed vocalists, possessing a potent combination of dynamic vocal abilities, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance. Her passionate, soulful voice and heart-felt charisma has earned her a 2013 Soul Train Award for “Best Traditional Jazz Performance,” three Top-10 U.S. Billboard and HMV Japan jazz albums. Heralded by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Japan Times, El Pais, Jazz Times, Essence and more, Henry tells real stories through repertoire from the American Songbook, classic and contemporary jazz, contemporary standards, blues and originals.

She has captivated audiences in over 15 countries, headlining at venues in cities including New York, Tokyo, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Miami. Ms. Henry has also performed in more than 30 music festivals worldwide and in some of the world’s most famous venues including Blue Note, NYC; Jazz at Lincoln Center; Blues Alley; Arsht Center; Feinstein’s; Green Mill; Madrid Jazz Festival; the Regattabar; and Catalina Jazz.

Bill playingBill Warfield, since his 1988 opus, the New York City Jazz, trumpeter-composer-arranger has been widely known as a dyed-in-the-wool big band guy culminating in last year’s Trumpet Story, with special guest Randy Brecker. This time out, Warfield had something completely different in mind. As he explained, “The original idea was to do a mid ‘60s Miles kind of thing, and as I got more into it and started thinking about it, my roots are really in rhythm ‘n’ blues. All the bands I played in growing up in Baltimore were Motown bands and funk bands and Atlantic Starr kinds of bands. Baltimore is like the Oakland of the East Coast in that regard. That funky side of things is well represented on this project dubbed ‘The Hell’s Kitchen Funk Orchestra’ by their intrepid leader, who resides in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan. But to call it just a funk band is far too limiting for this remarkably versatile outfit. Indeed, few other bands have the wherewithal to go from Joe Zawinul to Tito Puente, Fats Waller, Eddie Harris and Snarky Puppy in a single record.

Warfield has released nine previous albums leading his own ensembles and has appeared in the horn sections of numerous other albums, including two by the acclaimed Bill Kirchner Nonet. Over the years he has performed with such artists as Ornette Coleman, Mel Torme, Mel Lewis, David Liebman and Sonny Stitt. He received a commission from the Spanish government to arrange and produce “Hollywood Jazz” for the 1992 Olympics in that country, and has also been commissioned by the Berlin Radio Orchestra and the US Air Force “Airmen Of Note.” In addition, Warfield is the founder and director of the New York Jazz Repertory Orchestra as well as its offshoot, the New York Jazz Octet, and also the Lehigh Valley Jazz Repertory Orchestra.

Tickets for April 16 are $15; free for Lehigh students.  For more information, call 610-758-2787, ext. 0 or visit Zoellner Ticket Services, Tuesday 12-6 pm, Wednesday – Friday from 125 pm, two hours before curtain, or online at www.zoellnerartscenter.org.  Senior, student, group and LVAIC discounts are available.

Michael Milligan returns for “Side Effects” premiere

Michael Milligan performs a staged reading of the one-man play Side Effects

Inspired by Physicians Facing Challenges in America’s Health Care System
Part of Zoellner Arts Center’s Notation Series

Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University proudly presents its sixth year of the innovative series–Notations: Lectures and Other Presentations–with highly-respected representatives from a variety of literary genres. Actor Michael Milligan performs Side Effects, a dramatic play he also wrote, on Thursday, April 14 at 4:30pm and Friday, April 15 at 7:30pm. The play was developed at the esteemed NYC Stella Adler Studio of Acting with its artistic director and president, Tom Oppenheim. Notations is sponsored by the Lehigh Creative Writing Program in collaboration with the Visiting Lecturers Committee. Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for Lehigh faculty, staff and students. Tickets are required for all and available at zoellnerartscenter.org.

Actor Michael Milligan’s first performed at Zoellner in 2014 in a one-man show, Mercy Killers, which examined the challenges patients face, and he is now returning with a project commissioned by and premiering at the center, Side Effects, another topical play examining America’s health care system from a doctor’s point of view. Following up on the research and notions in Mercy Killers, this new work builds on the topic of our healthcare system from the perspective of the healer, the practitioner, the physician.  It deals with the intellect, inspiration, commitment and compulsion that informs or compels people to “go into” medicine and the triumphs and trials that keep them there…or not.

As his physician father slips towards senility, Dr. William MacQueen strives to live up to the standards he has inherited. The frustration of forms, complicated coding and red tape begin to erode his practice and threaten his family life. William must choose between the roles of doctor, husband, father, and son. Based on extensive interviews, Milligan’s solo play examines the challenges confronting primary care doctors in America. “Medicine is a trust earned by listening, but I can’t hear anymore,” states the broken physician in Milligan’s play.

Milligan examines the art of medicine, of a physician’s desire to heal patients, versus the war of attrition they face against a mindless machine comprised of malpractice suits, ethical questions, and a broken health care system. He posits how many people fall through the cracks because of these distractions from practicing true medicine.  Milligan’s work strives to put a human face on what he perceives to be a national tragedy.
Playwright and actor Michael Milligan has been writing and acting for the theater for almost two decades. Milligan has appeared on the Broadway stage as Little Charles in “August: Osage County,” De Bries in “La Bete,” and as a ‘raver’ and understudy in Jerusalem. No stranger to the one man show, Milligan performed Will Eno’s Thom Pain in the original New York run taking over from James Urbaniak and T. Ryder Smith at the DR2. Other New York credits include The Golem with Robert Prosky, the world premiere of “The Empty Ocean” with Harold Clurman Theater Lab, and “Nightlands” with New Georges.

He also received 4 Stars for his performance of Lanford Wilson’s one man show ‘Poster of the Cosmos’ at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A performance which also earned him Best Actor nods in his hometown, Columbus, Ohio. Milligan’s other produced plays include “Heroine, Urgent: Aliens,” and a musical adaptation of Aesop’s Fables for Circle in the Square with composer/rocker, Joziah Longo, of Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams. 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.

In his position as Artistic Director and President of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting for over 15 years, Tom Oppenheim has articulated a mission, engaged top faculty, structured a world-class training program and created a cultural center. He originated the Harold Clurman Laboratory Theater Company in 2002 which has since presented over twenty productions including eleven world premieres.  As a result of his vision the Studio has evolved from an acting conservatory to a cultural center with a unique focus in American actor training. Students are encouraged to not only be well versed in theater, art, music and literature, but to also be conscious of and involved in social, humanitarian and political issues.  Oppenheim studied acting at the National Shakespeare Conservatory and with his grandmother, Stella Adler.

At Zoellner this week (Feb 11-14)

Some great opportunities this week for fabulous arts experiences. Here’s a quick line up of what’s happening in the Zoellner Arts Center.


Thursday, February 11 at 7pm – free documentary film screening of “The Winding Stream.” Another moment of Zoellner’s “On Screen / In Person” series. Film maker Beth Harrington will be present for Q&A after. Please enjoy this brief trailer of the film:

BIL BIG BANDFriday, February 12 at 8pm – Lehigh University Jazz Faculty. Bill Warfield and the faculty jazz musicians return to the stage for an evening of jazz standards, called from the stage. These are master musicians offering their best work! Tickets are $15, and free to Lehigh students who present their IDs at the box office. For a hint of their music, here is a link to Bill Warfield’s ReverbNation page.

Larry Harlow

Saturday, February 13 at 8pm – Guest Artist, Larry Harlow and the Legends of Fania. The International Latin Music Hall of Famer reunites some of his Fania all-stars alongside new guard musicians for a high octane salsa concert, infused with infectious riffs & dance-party rhythms. There will be a dance floor and concessions available. General admission tickets are $25/$20/$13 (Details for price difference here)

Warm up your dance moves with a special curtain warmer with the Hector Rosado Quintet in the Black Box Theater.

MoonMouseSunday, February 14 at 1pm and 4pm – Two performances of Moon Mouse by Lightwire Theater. Marvin the mouse wants to be popular. Constantly picked on by the “cool” rats, he is labeled a geek. Marvin retreats into his science books and has the adventure of a lifetime. Great for children, this cosmic tale celebrates differences rare theatrical event of mime, acrobatics and mysterious frogs in a fun family friendly show! Great for children of all ages!

Tickets for 1pm here. Tickets for 4pm here. A special DaVinci Science center project inspired by the show and made by Broughal students will be on display before both performances.