20 Reasons to see Violet – only 4 more performances

This post was directly lifted from Jon Hoffman’s (’12?) Facebook page. He’s in the cast. He also started a Theatre company. He’s a awesome person. (Oh, and pay attention to #11, especially for Wednesday night’s performance)

11221282_796811893773945_7560037824137178322_nReasons to go see “Violet” this week at the Zoellner Arts Center:

1.) I’m in it, so like, c’mon. It’s great.

2.) No seriously, it’s very very good. A beautiful production of an underappreciated musical that you likely never heard of.

3.) The composer of “Violet” also won a Tony this year for her music in the award winning “Fun Home”! She’s also the mind behind “Thoroughly Modern Millie”.

4.) If you like country, blue grass, and gospel, you’re in for a huge treat. If you’re not, this show might be the best examples of those genres you’ve ever heard!

5.) It’s directed by two of my favorite people in the world: Pam Pepper is at the helm with another outstanding addition to her Lehigh history, and Bill Whitney owned it with his music direction and is conducting the pit AND playing piano.

6.) The cast is all very talented, but I have to mention Eden Weinflash‘s beautiful and thoughtful portrayal of the title character, Meg Kelly‘s pitch perfect tones as younger Violet, and Jake Blecher energy as the lovable-yet-hateable Monty.

7.) This production of “Violet” collects it’s talent from the far reaches of the valley. Marcel Logan is hitting notes I seriously never heard of as Flick, and Eric Anders Fosselius as Violet’s Father is so nuanced I practically cry every time I watch him.

8.) If it is me you’re interested in, I’m playing multiple parts. Not the least of which is a Southern Baptist Televangelist Preacher. I get a huge, high energy sequence in Act 2, backed by a whole choir of my best homies just rocking it the whole way. At the very least, come to see me make a complete idiot out of myself. You won’t be dissapointed.

9.) Having a busy week? No sweat! We have show nights Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday! Lot’s of chances!

10.) Is it money that’s holding you up? Never fear! This experience can be yours for a very affordable $12 a ticket ($10 for students, $8 for Lehigh students. That’s extremely low for this kind of thing.

11.) Still too pricey for you? Tomorrow (Wednesday) is “Pay-What-You-Will Night”, meaning you can pay as much or as little as you please. You can literally see this for free! No judgment! We really just want you here!

12.) The show only lasts a brisk 2 hours, including intermission. That’s personally how I like my theatre, quick! “Violet” doesn’t have the fluff and filler of some musicals. You can be home by 10!

13.) So far it’s been very well received. Who am I to argue?

14.) The Diamond Theatre is just a beautiful space, and we know how to work it. In Thrust, everywhere is a good seat.

15.) Beautful lighting! I’m especially impressed with the track spots (or whatever you call them. I’m not a lighting guy my self). That spot light follows me for my whole scene, which is more impressive than it might sound.

16.) You really deserve it! You’ve been working extra hard lately smile emoticon

17.) I think “Violet” has a really profound message that a lot of people could take to heart. It’s really easy to say “It’s what’s on the inside that counts,” but this is a show that actually puts that adage to the ultimate test.

18.) Two words: Lula Buffington. If you haven’t heard Kiyaana Cox-Jones sing “Raise Me Up”, you’re seriously missing out!

19.) I know you don’t actually experience this from the audience perspective, but our stage manager Lindy Fruithandler is amazing. There’s like 700 cues, and the whole show moves smooth as butter.

20.) That goes double for our assistant stage managers, Caraline Jeffreyand Winnie Gu. They’re awesome. You don’t see them, but they’re invisibly making the show more awesome.

That’s 20 reasons off the top of my head. 20! And the more people come each night, the stronger the performance gets! I really hope you can make it! If you follow the link below you can get all the information and find link to buy tickets ahead of time, though you can also easily get them at the door. See you there!

LV Charter Arts High School – Performs at Lehigh University, Tuesday 11/10 @ Noon

Charter School
Peggie's Bell

TOMORROW, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH @ 12:00 NOON (rain or shine)
Lehigh University Sacred Grove area at Brodhead & Packer; The green space, steps north of Alumni Memorial Hall.

Tomorrow at noon The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts Choir under the direction of David Macbeth will be performing in Peggie’s Bell.  The bell is an acoustic space produced by the Lehigh University Department of Art, Architecture and Design, build by interdisciplinary students from AAD and the College of Engineering under the direction of Professors’ Richard Kroeker and Anthony Viscardi.  A design-build project, it was funded as part of the The Hammerschlag Design Series.

The bell is activated by the human voice.  It is intended for the use of singers, singing groups, and other seeking a place for conversation, contemplation or for playing with sound.  Peggie’s Bell is being built by adapting a tile vault building technique brought to America by Rafael Guastavino (1842-1908) and used by him to build many public spaces.  Peggie (Peggie Sisson 1922-2015) was a dance teacher whose love of music and dance inspired this singing bell.

LUCY GANS – October 28th 6:15 – 7:45 – Cedar Crest College, Harmon Hall of Peace

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Narratives: Personal and Otherwise
Artist Reception and Gallery Talk:  October 28th 6:15 – 7:45
October 26th through January 3rd
Harmon Hall of Peace

LUCY GANS works with sculptural forms, drawing and printmaking to produce works that are self-reflective. She incorporates memory and history in intimate ways, creating a space where women’s stories are articulated. She has exhibited widely primarily in alternative spaces, women’s cooperative galleries, college and university galleries and small museums, most recently in Chicago, New York, Washington D.C. and Richmond. Her work is included in public and private collections in this country and abroad. She has received numerous grants, fellowships and awards including the National Association of Women Artists: Medal of Honor, the Peabody award for her work in printmaking and the Clara Shainless Memorial Award. She earned her MFA from Pratt Institute in sculpture with a minor in drawing. She also studied painting and drawing at the Art Students League, and earned her BFA from Lake Erie College.  She is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Art, Architecture and Design and is the first holder of the Louis & Jane Weinstock ’36 Chair in Art and Architecture at Lehigh University where she teaches sculpture and drawing.

I have always been drawn to the physical processes of art making, I carve wood, manipulate clay and etch copper plates. I use material I can distress, erode or mark and although I prefer to work in multiples, I individually manipulate each piece through surface marking and coloration. The sculpture is more expressive, the works on paper more representational. The work in this exhibition has been selected from different series and is grouped accordingly. This body of work, all done in the past few years, centers on domestic violence, remembered childhood sexual abuse and personal memory. The drawings start as a watercolor or gouache from photographs and direct observation and then are rendered over tightly in graphite. I use my own image, one I have control over, to draw attention to issues I have little control over: aging, domestic violence, remembered childhood abuse. The prints come from my manipulated photographs and are processed as litho-transfer and, most recently, as photogravure with letterpress. I work through the violent acts I write about by cutting, stabbing, beating and scratching into the surface of the clay, wood and paper. Writing and research is an important part of my process, I write while I carve, I write while I draw and sometimes carve and stamp and stencil this text into my pieces to further illuminate the social and political context for each piece. But the work is personal; the text culled from literature, biography, and interviews as well as personal narrative and invention, coupled with constant adjustments, refinements and modifications. For me nothing is ever really finished: I enjoy the imperfect nature of my process and the implication that the work is always evolving, reminding me that there is always more to learn and always more to do.

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LECTURE: Gallery Talk with Nicholas Sawicki

Thursday, Oct 22, 2015 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM – ZOELLNER, Main Gallery

Object as Subject: The LUAG Teaching Collection Gallery Talk with guest essayist Nicholas Sawicki, Associate Professor of Art History, and LUAG Director/Curator, Ricardo Viera.

Nicholas Sawicki is an Assistant Professor of art history and currently holds Lehigh’s Frank Hook Assistant Professorship.  His area of specialization is European modernism, and he teaches a range of courses on the subject, in addition to more general introductory courses in art history.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from New York University.

Ricardo Viera is professor of art and Director/Chief Curator of the Lehigh University Art Galleries/Museum Operation, where he has established a visual laboratory program with the LUAG work/study collection and a nationally recognized collection of Latin American photography and video.  Professor Viera teaches courses in museum and curatorial studies, independent topics in the history of photography, public art, visual thinking strategies and multimedia/new media workshops.

Reception to follow.

All LUAG exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.

This is a 5 x 10 event.

Lehigh University Choral Arts A Child’s Requiem – November 6 & 7 at Zoellner Arts Center

A Child’s Requiem, an oratorio written by Lehigh composer Steven P. Sametz to honor the twenty children and six adults who were killed during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, will be performed for the first time in the Lehigh Valley.

“We do these things for the living,” Sametz said. “We do it for the comfort of those left behind.”

Lehigh University Choral Arts and Dr. Steven Sametz, Artistic Director, and Sun Min Lee, Associate Director present Sametz’s A Child’s Requiem featuring Tami Petty, soprano and David Vanderwahl, tenor along with The Princeton Singers, The Princeton Girlchoir, and twenty-two member orchestra and over 200 singers of Lehigh University Choral Arts on Friday, Saturday, November 6 & 7 at Zoellner Arts Center. Vaughan Williams’ “A Serenade to Music,” a serenely beautiful tribute to the healing power of music on a text by William Shakespeare, opens the program. Tickets are $18 and free for Lehigh students.

“On December 14, 2012, images of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut dominated the news. Chief among them was the photograph of a line of children being out of the school to the nearby fire station. From the time I considered writing a piece to commemorate these children and their teachers, three lines suggested themselves and haunted me recalling that picture: ‘Stay in line…’ ‘Hold hands…’ ‘Keep your eyes closed…’ I knew these would be the first intoned words of A Child’s Requiem,” said Sametz on his website.

“I am giving a voice to children affected by gun violence. The arts can offer healing and a way to approach difficult subjects. It’s possible that this may open a larger conversation about how we keep our children safe” Sametz says. “Working with The Swain School (Allentown, PA) and Hamilton-Disston Elementary School (Philadelphia) was a transformative process in giving voice to children’s stories and how they are affected by tragedy and loss.”

A Child's RequiemAllentown native 7-year-old Jessica Stone, put crayon to paper after a discussion with her mother about what happens to people when they die. Stone’s crayon drawing shows two friends holding hands — newly minted angels on a cloud to heaven — along with a sun and rainbow. Her drawing has become the iconic artwork associated with the piece.

WDIY is the Lehigh University Music Department media sponsor. Dr. Silagh White, Director of Arts Engagement and Community Cultural Affairs at Lehigh University will lead a pre-show discussion at 7 pm about Sametz’s process of connecting to students in schools for his libretto. She will also talk about the importance of giving our children a voice in tragedy and grief.

Sametz, a native of Westport, CT said “A Child’s Requiem” “revolves around a libretto, much of which was written by children. “It’s paired with lines from [the American poets Ralph Waldo] Emerson and [Emily] Dickinson and H.D. [Hilda Doolittle, who was born in Bethlehem]. It’s a collision between the adult world and the world of innocence. I hope to offer this piece as a gift to the town of Newtown as they heal from their tragic loss.”

Artistic director, Steven Sametz marks his 35th year as Director of Choral Activities at Lehigh University. Sametz is the first professor at Lehigh to be named a candidate in the Fulbright Specialist Program, a US government-sponsored program sending master teachers to universities around the world.

Sametz has earned increasing renown in recent years both as a composer and conductor. Sametz is the Ronald J. Ulrich Professor of Music and director of Lehigh University Choral Arts, one of the country’s premiere choral programs. He is the founding director of the Lehigh Choral Union and the Lehigh University Choral Composers’ Forum, a summer course of study designed to mentor emerging choral composers. Since 1998, he has served as Artistic Director for the professional a cappella ensemble, The Princeton Singers. Recently, Sametz has made guest conducting appearances at the Taipei Philharmonic Foundation, the Berkshire Music Festival, the New York Chamber Symphony and the Netherlands Radio Choir. His compositions have been heard in music festivals throughout the world and his work appeared on the Grammy award-winning CD Colors of Love by Chanticleer.

Sametz received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Council on the Arts and the Santa Fe music festival. He has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and Chorus America. Before coming to Lehigh, he was the Director of Choral Activities at Harvard University. Sametz received degrees from Yale University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany.

Associate director, Sun Min Lee, the Robert Cutler Professor of Practice in Choral Arts, is the director of the women’s choir Dolce, an associate conductor of Lehigh Choral Arts, teacher of aural skills for both beginners and advanced musicians, and overseer of the voice program. Lee served as an assistant professor of choral conducting for eight years at Rider University’s Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. She was the director of the Westminster Chapel Choir and the Rider University Chorale. Lee holds a Bachelor of Church Music degree from the Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary in her native South Korea and an advanced diploma in Kodaly’s music pedagogy from the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary. She received a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting with distinction from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, where she was the recipient of the Currin Foundation Scholarship.

The Lehigh University Choral Arts is dedicated to the preservation and practice of the art of choral singing. It has a repertoire spanning over six centuries and includes music from around the globe. Lehigh University Choral Arts provides an opportunity to explore the best in choral literature while fostering and improving vocal technique and artistry. Lehigh Choral Arts has been heard on NPR and toured internationally, most recently to Italy in May of 2015.

For tickets, call 610-758-2787, ext. 0, visit Zoellner Ticket Services, Tuesday 12-6 pm, Wednesday through Friday from 12-5 p.m, or two hours before curtain, or order online at http://www.zoellnerartscenter.org. Senior, student, group and LVAIC discounts are available.

Prepping for Gala2015 – Ms. Patti LaBelle

Here’s how we get excited to hear a legendary R&B singer at the Zoellner Arts Center.

Step 1 – set hair appointments (if needed)
Step 2 – consider a fancy wrap or shawl to prep for chilly temps between the valet parking and the receiving line. Once inside, you’ll be confortable.
Mac&CheeseStep 3 – consider making Patti LaBelle’s Mac & Cheese. (Did you know she has a cooking show?) You can read about how she “cooks her face off” in this Rolling Stone Magazine article. Even our local food blogger, Michelle Rittler says this one’s a winner!
Step 4 – learn interesting facts about Patti Labelle. She was born and raised in Philadelphia. She has her own line of BBQ sauce. She’s involved with charity work, too. On Monday, October 19, the Empire State Building will honor Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research by shining its world-famous tower lights in red and purple to celebrate Angel Ball 2015.  Patti LaBelle and Denise Rich will “flip the switch” for Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research and light the world-famous Empire State Building’s tower lights in red and purple in honor of Angel Ball 2015 at 12pm on Monday. (Benefits blood cancer research)

Step 5 – review Patti LaBelle’s greatest hits.

Lady Marmalade – check out the artistic vision in this vintage video:

need the lyrics?

Hey Sister, Go Sister, Soul Sister, Go Sister [x2]
He met Marmalade down in Old New Orleans
Struttin’ her stuff on the street
She said ‘Hello,
Hey Joe, you wanna give it a go?
‘Mmm Hmmm Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Da Da [? ]
Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya
Here [? ]
Mocca chocolata Ya Ya
Creole Lady Marmalade
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?
He savored her cool
While she freshed up
That boy drank all that magnolia wine
On the black satin sheets where
He started to freak
Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Da Da
Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Here
Mocca chocalata Ya Ya
Creole Lady Marmalade
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?
Heh, Heh, Hehhhh
Seeing her skin feeling silky smooth
Colour of cafe au lait
Made the savage beast inside
Roaring till it cried More, More, More
Now he’s at home doing 9 to 5
Living his brave life of lies
But when he turns off to sleep
All memories keep More, More, More
Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Da Da Da
Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya here
Mocca chocolata Ya Ya
Creole Lady Marmalade
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?
Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir?
Creole Lady Marmalade

Somebody Loves You Baby

If You Asked Me To (again, more vintage hair!)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Yo Mister

The Right Kinda Lover

On My Own (featuring Michael McDonald)

A New Attitude (1984 styling. OMG, that hair! Those nails! DIVA Delicious!)

Finally… Ms. Patti appeared on season 20 of Dancing with the Stars. What an entertainer!

WHY go through all this preparation? Because Ms. LaBelle (and any artist, for that matter) wants an audience to get into their show. Singing along (but not too loud to draw attention away from the performance) is OK. Delighting in how the artist stylizes her most popular tunes and showing facial appreciation is another way to draw out an even BETTER performance.

Live art is something truly special. Seeing a legend is an extraordinary experience – have as much fun prepping for this concert as we are!