Michael Jorgensen featured on next LU Philharmonic program

pic1Faculty member and violinist Michael Jorgensen will be featured on the first Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra concert this coming Friday at Saturday at 8pm in Baker Hall.

He will perform Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Eugene Albulescu. The concert Autumn Romantics will also feature works by Schubert and Tchaikovsky on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25 and Sept. 26 at 8 pm.  Tickets are $18; LUstudents free with valid ID; Available online at zoellnerartscenter.org.  WDIY is the Lehigh University Music Department media sponsor.

“The orchestra is performing Schubert’s incomplete eighth symphony, and although it contains only two movements, the composition is considered one of the greatest and one of the most unique of the genre.  Our concert also features Beethoven’s significant Violin Concerto performed by Lehigh music department faculty member Michael Jorgensen and we are performing the always popular Romeo and Juliet overture by Tchaikovksy,” said Albulescu.

LU Philharmonic conductor, Eugene Albulescu

LU Philharmonic conductor, Eugene Albulescu

Lehigh University Philharmonic Music Director Eugene Albulescu is an award-winning performer and conductor who has led the Lehigh University Philharmonic for the past five years. Among his conducting accomplishments are a stint as director of the French Chamber Orchestra while on tour during 2008-2010, as well as several performances and recordings with top orchestras including the Romanian NationalPhilharmonic, New York Chamber Orchestra, as well as the New Zealand Symphony, which released his recent recording of Jenny McLeod’s “Rock Concerto” on the Naxos label. As a pianist, Albulescu is Steinway Artist who combines a blazing technique with the artistic integrity and originality to express musical emotions at their most personal level. He started his piano studies in Romania at the age of six, at the Enescu Music School in Bucharest. His family moved to New Zealand in 1984 to escape Romania’s Communist regime.

Albulescu completed his musical studies at Indiana University where, at 19, he was the youngest person ever to reach the level of assistant instructor. He emerged on the international scene in 1994 when his debut CD was awarded the International Grand Prix Liszt, adding Albulescu’s name to the list of winners which include Brendel, Arrau, Horowitz and Bolet.  Since then Albulescu has performed worldwide, including concerts at the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago, Bargemusic in New York, the Purely Piano series in Auckland, New Zealand, the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall in New York, as well as the International Liszt Festival of the American Liszt Society. Having been invited to the White House to perform for the Millennium celebrations, he also performed at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Celebrated critic Harold C. Schonberg hailed Albulescu’s “power and infallible fingers of steel,” declaring that “nothing anywhere has any terrors for him.”

Described as an “exceptional” player by Maestro Lorin Maazel, violinist Michael Jorgensen is the Professor of Practice in Orchestral Strings at Lehigh University, where he serves as the concertmaster of the Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also taught violin at Middle Tennessee State University, Covenant College, and the Wyoming Center for the Arts in their Touchstone program for at-risk youth. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, a master’s from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and a doctorate from Florida State University.

A dedicated recitalist and chamber musician, Jorgensen has performed recitals at the London School of Contemporary Dance, the Taft Museum of Art Chamber Music Series, and has been a returning guest artist to Middle Tennessee State University. As a string quartet performer, he founded the Frequency String Quartet, a new music group with an education and community building mission that was described as “a gifted and stimulating foursome” by Cincinnati classical music reviewer Mary Ellyn Hutton. He has also played first violin in the Chanticleer String Quartet which holds an annual rural residency in Richmond, Indiana.

The highly acclaimed Lehigh University Philharmonic is a group of talented musicians, most of whom are undergraduate students majoring in disciplines outside of music. They regularly perform at their home in Zoellner Arts Center on the campus of Lehigh University, and have performed at various international venues in Europe, Asia and South America and Africa. The orchestra celebrated the Mahler centennial year (2011) with a memorable rendition of his first symphony, a performance that was cited by The Morning Call as “one of the ten best performances of the year” in the Lehigh Valley. The orchestra also champions student achievement, presenting each February a marathon of concerto movements where orchestra members have a chance to play a solo.  The orchestra’s programming focus is the historically important main orchestral repertoire, ranging from Bach to Barber and everything in between. New multi-media presentations of such works as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite have earned the orchestra a reputation for originality.  Pioneering new music is also a focus.  In the past few years the orchestra presented several North American as well as world premieres and a yearly concert featuring works of Lehigh University student composers.

Tickets for the September 25 and 26 performances are $18; LU students free; Senior, student, group and LVAIC discounts are available.  For more information, call 610-758-2787, ext. 0; visit Zoellner Ticket Services, Tuesday 12-6 pm, Wednesday – Friday 12-5 pm, and 2 hours before curtain, or order online atwww.zoellnerartscenter.org.

Art & Food

How do you like to get excited about going to a show? Do you think about what to wear? What about dinner or drink plans before or after? For our season opener last week, Silagh White (Director of Arts Engagement and Community Cultural Affairs) shared how she got ready to fully enjoy Sheila E. Read here how she tapped into local retailers and a smart Lehigh Alum food blogger.


Michelle Rittler – Taste As You Go Food Blogger, Lehigh University, ’02

Or if you don’t want to read that post, here’s what you should know. Lehigh alum, Michelle Rittler (’02) is a successful food blogger who has done her research on the Zoellner Guest Artist season to share great food/cocktail pairings for the shows. She’s come up with inspiring recipes that are kitchen tested and presented with techniques beautifully photographed for the experienced and novice cook.

We are hoping to share her ideas with you, and encourage you to sign up for Michelle’s newsletter, right on the top of her blog. Here are Michelle’s ideas for this weekend:

Potato Gratin

Potato Gratin


Friday night – Morgan James.
Potato Gratin. Recipe here.
WHY? Morgan James is from Idaho!

Local dining alternative: Try the tater tots at Molly’s. Always crispy, always delicious. They also have a “loaded” version of tater tots worth experimenting.



Melon Ball Cocktails

Saturday night – Bill Warfield & the Hell’s Kitchen Funk Orchestra; Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Melon Ball Cocktails. Recipe here.
WHY? Hard bop has its origins in the 1950s. This was a popular cocktail during this time.

Local dining alternative. Try any of these five establishments highlighted by another Lehigh Valley blogger (Cheryl Doll) on her “5 Best Cocktail Bars in Bethlehem” list. Two on the list are within walking distance of Zoellner Arts Center (hint: Social Still and Bookstore Speakeasy), We also suggest trying Molinari’s: tell them Zoellner sent you!


Sunday afternoon – Faculty Recital: Paul Salerni – Music from Three Continents
Rugelach (a popular Jewish dessert) – Sign up for Michelle’s newsletter to get the recipe
WHY? The program includes works by Israeli-American composer Ofer Ben-Amots. And this concert is in between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. (Happy Sweet New Year)

Local dining alternative: Head to Molinari’s for some great Italian dining. Paul Salerni proudly celebrates his Italian heritage.

Opening Reception & Awards Presentation – Siegel Galley @ Mountain Top Campus: Lehigh Art Alliance and the Printmakers Society of the Lehigh Valley Exhibition

terminal junctions viscardi

A heartfelt congratulations to Art, Architecture & Design Professor Tony Viscardi for his recent recognition from the Lehigh Art Alliance and the Printmakers Society of the Lehigh Valley.  Professor Viscardi received an LAA award for his drawing “Terminal Junctions” (Pencil on Mylar 15″x 34″).

The LAA exhibition opening reception is this Sunday, September 20th at 2:00 p.m. in the Siegel Galley, Lehigh Mountain Top Campus.  Awards presentation held at 3:00pm.


Open Auditions for Violet

Violet Auditions copy

These auditions will be for the characters of Monty, Flick, Father and the Six Ensemble Members (3 men, 3 women)

Please visit the bulletin board outside Zoellner Arts Center room 301 for detailed character descriptions and audition information. [The same information is added to the bottom of this post: WHAT TO PREPARE FOR THE AUDITION, PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS, & ENSEMBLE]

Contact Pam Pepper or Bill Whitney


Music by Jeanine Tesori
Book and Lyrics by Brian Crawley
Based on The Ugliest Pilgrim by Doris Betts

Directed by Pam Pepper
Music Direction by Bill Whitney

Straight from the Broadway production of 214, Violet is the story of a woman’s search for beauty and her place in the world. Physically scared by a tragic childhood accident, Violet fervently desires the healing powers of an Oklahoma revivalist preacher. Her journey by Greyhound bus toward physical healing becomes so much more as she befriends two soldiers and discovers the true meaning of beauty, courage, and love. With a musical score equally influenced by bluegrass, gospel and Broadway, and a backdrop of the American south during an era of great social change, this musical will inspire, challenge and uplift.

Critically acclaimed, the original 1997 off-Broadway production of Violet was nominated for 7 Drama Dest awards and won the Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Musical. The 2014 Broadway revival was nominated for 4 Tony awards and 3 Drama Desk awards.

Here are some resources: fuller synopsis, additional facts, and clips of the music:


Please come to Zoellner 121 prepared to sing approximately 32 bars of a song which you feel best shows your range and vocal ability. Any style is acceptable, as long as it is a song you are comfortable with – it does not have to be from musical theatre. You may sing a cappella (without accompaniment), or you may bring sheet music or a recorded accompaniment to sing with. Your song should not be from VIOLET.

In addition to singing, we’ll also be doing some reading from the script. Please read the libretto before auditioning if at all possible.

Father – Young Violet: pp. 12-13
Flick-Violet – Monty: pp. 22-25, 30-31
Violet – Flick: pp. 36-39, 56-58
Violet – Father: pp. 78-80

Sign up for one 10 minutes audition slot. Reading copes are available in the Department of Theatre office, 301 Zoellner.

Questions? Contact Pam Pepper or Bill Whitney


VIOLET: 25. (Violet Karl from Spruce Pine, N.C.) She is stubborn and prickly, but filled with equal parts hope and obsession that she may be healed and be made beautiful. She’s direct with people who stare at her scar (which is quite prominently located on her face, although not literally visible to the theatre audience). Violet has a sarcasm and toughness to her. She was tortured by other children, especially the Elum brothers who said the axe accident was God’s way of punishing her because she and her father didn’t go to church. Violet has high expectations of God when it comes to being healed. After her father died, she tried doctors, snake handlers and a Catholic church to be healed. Strongly influenced by movies – idealizes the glamour actresses. Flick is the first black person with whom she has spoken. She’s a good poker player, which translates to living her life. Mezzo, belt. Range: G3 – F5

YOUNG VIOLET: 13. Mezzo Soprano. Not quite as guarded or prickly as her older self, but still tough and stubborn. She has a keen curiosity and the rough edges of being brought up solely by her father. Range: A3 – E5 (Should we not find a college student appropriate for this role, we will cast a local teenager.)

FLICK: Late 20’s. Baritone. Real name: Grady Fliggins. An African-American soldier who looks for the positive in life – a dreamer and a go-getter. “You do what you gotta’ do, but in the end you do it alone. You choose your road, then you walk it, one step at a time.” He doesn’t enjoy the army, but enjoys the respect it garners him. There is something gentle and good about him, not to be interpreted or confused with weakness or lack of authority. He is not moved much by Violet’s scar. Flick carries a flask with him most of the time. He was in basic training with Monty. Range: C4 – E6 Gospel and blues.

MONTY: Mid 20’s. Tenor. Real name: Montgomery Harrill (from Raleigh, N.C.). A white paratrooper and corporal. Believes himself to be fearless and irresistible to most – especially women. He is a bit full of himself. Although self-consumed, it is not necessarily purposefully so. As described by Violet, he’s “a boy in the skin of a man.” He’s rough around the edges and he’s fighting his own demons. Monty was in basic training with Flick, and now he trains young men to jump out of airplanes. Range: A3 – G5 Country Western

FATHER: Late 30s – mid 40s. Baritone. A simple, widowed man who lovingly raises his daughter, Violet, alone, doing the best he can with the little knowledge and resources he has to do so. Stern but friendly, smart but uneducated. He accidentally scars 13 year-old Violet’s face while he is chopping wood. Can be stern with her. Protects and toughens her. Teaches her to hide from others so she won’t be tortured by them. He took Violet to see doctors in Charlotte for her 18th birthday. He died of a heart attack when Violet was 22 and left her a little money. Range: A3 – F5


E1-FEMALE: 55-65 yrs old Old Lady, Hotel Singer, Old Lady 2. Range: F3 – E5
OLD LADY: A former beauty in her heyday, now tired and frustrated with life. She’s gossipy, pushy and nosy and fellow passenger, Violet, is the unwilling recipient of her boldness. Not a huge fan of boys or men. She’s on her way to Nashville to see her son Harvey, who works in a cellophane plant. Although she had eight children of her own, she’s not eager to be in a house full of children. Stevie, her youngest, died in Korea. She believes her daughters to have been beautiful brides.
HOTEL SINGER: Memphis. Sings with/counterpoint to Flick.
OLD LADY 2: Passenger, Tulsa to Fort Smith. Sure that whomever is supposed to pick her up forgot. (still a man hater)

E2-FEMALE: 35-45 yrs old Music Hall Singer, Mabel, Woman with Fan. Range: A3 – G5
MUSIC HALL SINGER: Memphis. Has an eye for Flick, but loses interest as soon as she sees him with Violet.
MABEL: Passenger Tulsa to Fort Smith. Talkative. Tired of sitting. A bit man crazy. Three straight husbands tried to teach her to drive before she figured out how to do it. She once hit a traffic cop and subsequently married him after he got out of the hospital. She loves gray eyes.
WOMAN WITH FAN: Fort Smith to Tulsa?

E3-FEMALE: 50-70 yrs old. Landlady, Woman Knitting, Gospel Soloist (Lula). Range: F3 – G5
LANDLADY: Almeta. African-American. Flick’s friend. Runs boarding house in Memphis. Agrees to let them stay when Flick pays her $20. Tells Flick to use the back alley exit if they leave the premises. Has a point of view that is reminiscent of Violet’s father’s.
WOMAN KNITTING: A quiet woman.
GOSPEL SOLOIST: Lula Buffington. Seen in the Hope and Glory Bldg as a member of the volunteer choir that sings for the Preacher’s telecast. Sings for God with passion and power. African-American.

E4-MALE: 30-40 yrs old. Bus Driver 1, Rufus, Radio Singer, Bus Driver 4. Range: B3 – G5
BUS DRIVER 1: Johnson, aka Mr. Wallace Weatherman. Thin lips, flat cheeks, bent nose, small ears, Cherokee black straight hair. Looks forward to Sal’s Barbecue and greasy food. Gets off at Nashville.
PREACHER: In Violet’s fantasy. Talks in tongues. TV preacher. An impassioned, theatrical man who preaches with all the bravado he can muster. Once had a true healing touch but has lost it in his quest to become a showman. Dismissive and egotistical.
RUFUS: In Memphis. A mechanic. Along with the other mechanic, accosts Flick.
RADIO SINGER: Memphis boarding house radio singer.
BUS DRIVER 4: Tulsa to Fort Smith. Johnson, aka Mr. Wallace Weatherman. Wants Dan’s Irish Stew, blackberry pie and beer when he gets to Fort Smith.

E5-MALE: 50-70 yrs old. Radio Soloist, Waiter, Leroy Evans, Mechanic, Bus Driver 3. Range: B3 – F5
LEROY EVANS: Has a dog named Roscoe. Not too smart. Won’t look Violet in the eye because of her scar.
WAITER: In Kingsport. Blunt about Violet’s scar. Racist.
MECHANIC: In Memphis. Gets into fight with Flick.
RADIO SOLIST: Memphis. Part of the boarding house radio trio.
BUS DRIVER 3: Memphis to Fort Smith. Sings “Lonely Stranger.”
EARL: Tulsa to Fort Smith. Overweight? (clothes too tight). Flea circus owner, former midway barker. A strange character on the Greyhound bus who sneaks smokes in the bathroom and is carrying a smelly suitcase he claims holds a flea circus.

E6-MALE: 20-25 yrs old. Billy Dean, Creepy Guy, Radio Singer, Bus Driver 2. Range: B3 – B5
CREEPY GUY: Tulsa to Fort Smith. A “Jesus freak.”
BUS DRIVER 2: On the Nashville to Memphis leg.
RADIO SINGER: Memphis. Part of the boarding house radio trio.
BILLY DEAN: Violet’s first sexual encounter – on a $5 bet. An Elum brother.
VIRGIL: The preacher’s assistant. Knows the smoke & mirrors of the Preacher’s show and must begrudgingly deal with anyone who might derail it.

Foreign Puzzle – screens Sept 8, Zoeller Arts Center – Baker Hall

TUES SEPT 8 at 7:00PM
Foreign Puzzle follows dancer and choreographer Sharon Marroquin through her breast cancer treatments and explores her anxieties and challenges as she creates a dance titled, “The Materiality of Impermanence.” The dance becomes Sharon’s only outlet, allowing her to escape the daily pressures of the disease and life as a single working parent, and shapes her perceptions about life as she fights to heal her body and mind. The subject of the film may support courses in the following programs:

Health, Medicine & Society
Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Latin American Studies
Mellon Digital Humanities Initiative

Co-curricular interest:

Lehigh University Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority – National Philanthropy; breast cancer education and awareness
Art & Healing
SPECIAL NOTE: We are pleased to announce a partnership with the SouthSide Film Festival. People who attend 5 out of the 7 free screenings on the On Screen/In Person series will receive 50% off an all-access pass to the next SouthSide Film Festival, June 14-18, 2016.

Foreign Puzzle is the first of seven documentary film in Zoellner Arts Center’s new film series, On Screen/In Person.

Zoellner Arts Center has been selected as a host site for the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s On Screen/In Person program. “On Screen/In Person” is designed to bring some of the best new independent American films and their respective filmmakers to communities across the mid-Atlantic region. The filmmakers will tour with their films are are available through the host sites to develop community activities that provide audiences context and greater appreciation for their respective work and the art of film.

Lehigh Unviersity is the only stop for the films in Pennsylvania. The documentary film series tour will travel to seven venues in seven states during fall 2015 and spring 2016.

Zoellner’s new Film Series – On Screen/In Person

Zoellner Arts Center film series, On Screen/In Person, part of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation program

Only stop for the films in Pennsylvania. The tour will travel to seven venues in seven states during fall 2015 and spring 2016.

Zoellner added 20 FEET FROM STARDOM ahead of Darlene Love and Lisa Fischer live appearances in Baker Hall.

Zoellner Arts Center has been selected as a host site for the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s “On Screen/In Person” program.  “On Screen/In Person” is designed to bring some of the best new independent American films and their respective filmmakers to communities across the mid-Atlantic region. The filmmakers will tour with their films and are available through  the host sites to develop community activities that provide audiences context and greater appreciation for their respective work and the art of film.  Foreign Puzzle directed by Chithra Jeyaram will open the series at Zoellner on September 8 at 7:00 pm. All film showings and meetings with film makers will be in Baker Hall, Zoellner Arts Center, 420 E. Packer Ave., Bethlehem.  They are offered free of charge, no tickets required (pay as you wish).

An addition to the series, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM directed by Morgan Neville, will be shown on TUES SEPT 15 at 4:15 PM & 7:00PM. The 2013 American film was produced by Gil Friesen, a music industry executive whose curiosity to know more about the lives of background singers inspired the making of the film.  The film provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse of immensely talented singers and stars like Darlene Love Merry Clayton and Judith Hill.  Darlene Love will, in fact, be returning to Zoellner for a live performance on November 21. Another performer featured in the film, Lisa Fischer, will also be performing in Baker Hall on October 10. Other singers featured in the film include Táta Vega, and Jo Lawry.  20 FEET FROM STARDOM won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
List Of Films
TUES SEPT 8 | | 7:00PM
Foreign Puzzle follows dancer and choreographer Sharon Marroquin through her breast cancer treatments and explores her anxieties and challenges as she creates a dance titled, “The Materiality of Impermanence.” The dance becomes Sharon’s only outlet, allowing her to escape the daily pressures of the disease and life as a single working parent, and shapes her perceptions about life as she fights to heal her body and mind.

TUES OCT 20 | | 7:00PM
After filmmaker Jessica Vale became personally involved with 7-year old Olivia and her mother while working on another project in Monrovia, Liberia, her quest to film them became a mission of hope and medical help in a country where rape is the number one crime, and the majority of the victims are children. Here is the NYTimes movie review. (warning; this is a really tough story – but needs to be heard)

SUN NOV 15 | | 7:00PM
In her more than 60 years as a groundbreaking artist, Miriam Beerman has overcome loss and tragedy to inspire friends, family, and fans about how to remain defiant, creative and strong. Miriam Beerman: Expressing the Chaos is the retrospective of a remarkable career and the profile of an artist whose personal demons and empathy for human suffering colored a lifetime of her work.

[no trailer available]

THURS FEB 11 | | 7:00PM
The Winding Stream tells the story of the American roots music dynasty, the Carters and the Cashes, tracing the influence of their music from the 1920s through the present day, and how a seemingly unlikely young man named Johnny Cash would be the one to lift up the Carter legacy from obscurity. An intimate account of reciprocity and love, the Winding Stream features interviews and performances with roots music practitioners, including one of the last interviews ever granted by Johnny Cash.


TUES MARCH 8 | | 7:00PM
One of the thousand women said to have fought in the Civil War, Loreta Janeta Velazquez concealed her gender and ethnicity, and changed her identity in order to become a Confederate soldier spy and double agent for the Union, only to be dismissed as a hoax after revealing her story in her scandalous 1876 memoir, The Woman in Battle. REBEL is a story about a woman, a myth, and the politics of national memory.  


TUES APRIL 19 | | 7:00PM
Illuminating the extraordinary power of American Sign Language (ASL) poetry, Deaf Jam is the story of Aneta Brodski‘s bold journey into the spoken word slam scene. When Aneta, a deaf Israeli immigrant high school student, makes an extraordinary connection with a hearing Palestinian slam poet, they transcend personal and political divisions to generate a new form of poetry that speaks to both the hearing and the deaf. “Poetry, friendship and respect transcend politics…Delightful and endearing, utilizing upbeat music and clever graphics, Deaf Jam immerses us in the richness and complexity of deaf culture and gives us a unique perspective into a world so vibrant, so diverse, it may forever change the way we see the non-hearing.” Barbara Pokras, A.C.E. – Woodstock Film Festival.

On Screen/In Person is made possible by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Regional Touring Program.

No tickets are required for the performances.  For more information, call 610-758-2787 (7LU-ARTS), visit Zoellner Ticket Services Tues 12-6pm, Wed- Fri 125pm, 90 minutes before curtain ticketed events or online atwww.zoellnerartscenter.org.