Lawrence opera program recognized with national award — again

The hits just keep on coming for Lawrence University’s opera studies program.

For the second straight year, Lawrence has garnered national recognition. Its 2016 production of “The Beggar’s Opera,” which was performed last February at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, was awarded first-place honors in the 2015-16 National Opera Association’s (NOA) Division 6 Best Opera Production competition.

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Lawrence’s 2016 production of “The Beggar Opera” earned first-place honors in the National Opera Association’s Division 6 Best Opera Production competition.

Lawrence earned top honors against competitors with graduate student programs, some of which are previous winners in the category.

The college’s first micro-opera production, “Expressions of Acceptance,” which was performed at the PAC in November 2015, tied for third place in the 2015-16 NOA’s Division 1 Best Opera Production competition.

“This is a win for all of Lawrence because opera is a huge, intricate event,” said Copeland Woodruff, who joined the college in the fall of 2014 as director of opera studies. “Opera incorporates all of the disciplines — singing, instrumental solo and ensemble, collaborative piano, theatre design and technical craft, acting, choreography, stage combat, research in history, literature, art, sociology, psychology and of course administrative assistance to make it all happen. We are so lucky to have such a supportive, collaborative environment at Lawrence that fosters this type of exploration.”

“Expressions of Acceptance” was a collaborative effort between Woodruff, Margaret Paek, director of Lawrence’s dance program and Matt Turner, director of the ensemble Improvisation Group of Lawrence University (IGLU) in conjunction with Lawrence’s student organization GLOW and Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities, Riverview Gardens and COTS. Through , 5-8 minute micro-operas, it examined issues and experiences that both bind people together as well as differentiate us. The pieces were perrformed in non-traditional places in the PAC, including stairwells, bathrooms and even an elevator.

“I am thrilled that our students’ talent is recognized and revered by our peers across the nation.”
      — Copeland Woodruff, director of opera studies

This was the second year in a row Lawrence was recognized nationally for its opera program. In 2015, Lawrence earned first-place honors in the undergraduate division of the Collegiate Opera Scenes competition at the joint national conventions of NOA and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Lawrence’s 2015 production of “The Tender Land” earned second-place honors the NOA’s Best Opera Production competition.

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Lawrence’s micro-opera production “Expressions of Acceptance” earned third-place recognition the National Opera Association’s Division 1 Best Opera Production competition.

“These awards allow our students to garner a idea of where they stand among their peers,” said Woodruff, who will accept the awards in person in January at the 2017 NOA national convention in Santa Barbara, Calif.  “I’m so proud of the dedication, hard work and long hours everyone devoted to crafting these memorable, landmark experiences. I am thrilled that our students’ talent is recognized and revered by our peers across the nation.

“Being remote from other opera companies and schools with opera programs, it is important for our students to participate in these competitions so that they can compare themselves with the pool of artists who will be their competitors for and colleagues in graduate schools, summer opera training programs and their eventual career,” Woodruff added.

The production competitions are based on an anonymously submitted video of the production. Judges, who are industry and academic professionals, base their decisions on criteria that includes musicianship of both singers and instrumentalists; dramatic credibility and characterization; production concept, staging and execution; and overall quality of the production. The scenes competition is based upon live performance at the national conference.

The divisions are based upon the size and scope of an institution’s music and opera program, level of vocal training of the singers and production budget.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

President Burstein signs joint letter to President-elect Trump calling for end to acts of hate, harassment

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Lawrence President Mark Burstein

Lawrence University President Mark Burstein has joined 109 of his colleagues in signing an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across the country.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 430 incidents of hateful harassment and intimidation were reported in the first five days following the election, with 67 of those occurring on college and university campuses and another 99 happening in K–12 schools.

The letter calls for a reaffirmation of the nation’s core values of democracy: human decency, equal rights, freedom of expression and freedom from discrimination.

Burstein was one of only two college/university presidents in Wisconsin to sign the letter. Liberal arts college presidents represent the majority of the letter signers, while seven presidents lead historically black colleges. The signers include the president of one Canadian university.

Two other signers have ties to Lawrence. Macalester President Brian Rosenberg served as dean of the faculty at Lawrence from 1998-2003 and James Gandre, president of Manhattan School of Music, is a 1981 Lawrence graduate.

The letter and its signers follows.

Dear President-elect Trump,

As do you, we “seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict.” In order to maintain the trust required for such productive engagement, it is essential that we immediately reaffirm the core values of our democratic nation: human decency, equal rights, freedom of expression, and freedom from discrimination. As college and university presidents, we commit ourselves to promoting these values on our campuses and in our communities, and we stand alongside the business, nonprofit, religious, and civic leaders who are doing the same in organizations large and small.

In light of your pledge to be “President for all Americans,” we urge you to condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate, and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across our nation, sometimes in your name which is now synonymous with our nation’s highest office. In our schools, on job sites and college campuses, on public streets and in coffee shops, members of our communities, our children, our families, our neighbors, our students, and our employees are facing very real threats, and are frightened.

One of the roles of leaders is to protect and empower the most vulnerable. As President-elect, this responsibility rests heavily on you. Let this be a mark of your leadership.

Raymond E. Crossman
President
Adler UniversityMauri Ditzler
President
Albion CollegeMark Zupan
President
Alfred University

Jeff Abernathy
President
Alma College

Biddy Martin
President
Amherst College

William R. Groves
Chancellor
Antioch University

John M Sullivan
President
Art Academy of Cincinnati

Paul C. Pribbenow
President
Augsburg College

Steven Bahls
President
Augustana College

Marjorie Hass
President
Austin College

Leon Botstein
President
Bard College

Mac Powell
President
Bastyr University

Scott Bierman
President
Beloit College

Mariko Silver
President
Bennington College

David C. Joyce
President
Brevard College

Kimberly Wright Cassidy
President
Bryn Mawr College

Nancy Blattner
President
Caldwell University

Donald J. Laackman
President
Champlain College

Frank G. Pogue
Interim President
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

David McInally
President
Coe College

Brian W. Casey
President
Colgate University

Helen J. Streubert
President
College of Saint Elizabeth

Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.
President
College of the Holy Cross

Jonathan Brand
President
Cornell College

Jann Weitzel
President
Cottey College

Carol Quillen
President
Davidson College

Mark McCoy
President
DePauw University

Walter M. Kimbrough
President
Dillard University

MaryAnn Baenninger
President
Drew University

Donald Eastman
President
Eckerd College

Carl J Strikwerda
President
Elizabethtown College

Jake B. Schrum
President
Emory & Henry College

James A. Anderson
Chancellor & Professor of Psychology
Fayetteville State University

Michael Pressimone
President
Fontbonne University

Daniel Porterfield
President
Franklin & Marshall College

Elizabeth Davis
President
Furman University

Janet Morgan Riggs
President
Gettysburg College

Robert Kenny
President
Goddard College

Mark Scheinberg
President
Goodwin College

Jose Antonio Bowen
President
Goucher College

Raynard S. Kington
President
Grinnell College

Jane K. Fernandes
President
Guilford College

Rebecca M. Bergman
President
Gustavus Adolphus College

John J. “Ski” Sygielski
President
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College

Margaret L. Drugovich
President
Hartwick College

Kimberly Benston
President
Haverford College

Lori Varlotta
President
Hiram College

Mark D. Gearan
President
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Andrea Chapdelaine
President
Hood College

Shirley A. Mullen
President
Houghton College

Lisa A. Rossbacher
President
Humboldt State University

Alison Byerly
President
Lafayette College

Dan McAlexander
President
LaGrange College

Michael B. Alexander
President
Lasell College

Mark Burstein
President
Lawrence University

Barry Glassner
President
Lewis & Clark CollegeRichard Green
President
Lincoln University, PennsylvaniaBrian F. Linnane, S.J.
President
Loyola University Maryland

Kenneth R. Garren
President
Lynchburg College

Brian Rosenberg
President
Macalester College

Stuart Kestenbaum
President
Maine College of Art

James Gandre
President
Manhattan School of Music

Kevin F. F. Quigley
President
Marlboro College

Kerry Walk
President
Marymount Manhattan College

Laurie Patton
President
Middlebury College

Bryon Grigsby
President
Moravian College

John Silvanus Wilson, Jr.
President
Morehouse College

David Wilson
President
Morgan State University

Stanley J. Pritchett, Sr.
President
Morris Brown College

Sonya Stephens
Acting President
Mount Holyoke College

Timothy E. Trainor
President
Mount St. Mary’s University

John I. Williams, Jr.
President
Muhlenberg College

Kent Devereaux
President
New Hampshire Institute of Art

Richard Helldobler
Interim President
Northeastern Illinois University

Lawrence Schall
President
Oglethorpe University

David W. Oxtoby
President
Pomona College

Debbie Sydow
President
Richard Bland College

Allan Cahoon
President and Vice Chancellor
Royal Roads University

Rachel Schreiber
Interim President
San Francisco Art Institute

Karen R. Lawrence
President
Sarah Lawrence College

Tracy Fitzsimmons
President
Shenandoah University

Susan E. Henking
President
Shimer College

Peg Albert
President
Siena Heights University

Joe Bertolino
President
Southern Connecticut State University

David Rees Evans
President
Southern Vermont College

Edward B. Burger
President
Southwestern University

John A. Pieper
President
St. Louis College of Pharmacy

Kevin J. Manning
President
Stevenson University

Valerie Smith
President
Swarthmore College

Susan C. Scrimshaw
President
The Sage Colleges

John M. McCardell, Jr.
Vice-Chancellor and President
The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee

Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President
Trinity College (Hartford)

Stephen C. Ainlay
President
Union College

Thomas W. Keefe
President
University of Dallas

Quint Thurman
President
University of the Southwest

Jonathan Chenette
President
Vassar College

Thomas Christopher Greene
President
Vermont College of Fine Arts

Scott D. Miller
President
Virginia Wesleyan College

Tori Haring-Smith
President
Washington & Jefferson College

Weymouth Spence
President
Washington Adventist University

Joseph Kline
President
Watkins College

Jonathan Gibralter
President
Wells College

Michael S. Roth
President
Wesleyan University

Dennis Hanno
President
Wheaton College (Massachusetts)

David J. Chard
President
Wheelock College

Sharon Herzberger
President
Whittier College

Stephen E. Thorsett
President
Willamette University

Elizabeth MacLeod Walls
President
William Jewell College

Adam Falk
President
Williams College

Barbara K. Mistick
President
Wilson College

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence, Door County Land Trust sign conservation easement agreement to preserve 305 acres of Björklunden property

Mark Breseman was an 18-year-old college student who had just completed his freshman year at Lawrence University when he first discovered the beauty of Björklunden, a then-pristine 325-acre parcel of lakeside Door County that had been bequeathed to the Appleton college in 1963. It was the summer of 1975 and Breseman was hired as the property’s first student “grunt” to help the groundskeeper with general maintenance.Bjorklunden-sign_newsblog

“I was completely enthralled with the place,” said Breseman. “I would spend off-work hours walking the trail along the Lake Michigan shore, going up in to the fields to sit in the trees or on the rocks along the lakeshore just enveloped by its sense of pure tranquility. Björklunden left an indelible imprint on me.”

Fast forward 41 years and Breseman is excited about creating similar touchstone moments for future generations of Lawrence students. Since 1997, when he returned to his alma mater as director of Björklunden, Breseman has served as Lawrence’s chief steward and cheerleader of the estate, which has grown to 441 acres since he first stepped foot on it.

He also has been at the forefront of efforts to preserve and protect the natural beauty and ecological integrity of the property that culminated Nov. 17 with a grant of conservation easement signing ceremony at the Björklunden lodge between Lawrence officials and Door County Land Trust representatives. The agreement secures 305 acres of the estate from future development that would degrade the conservation values described in the terms of the agreement.

“My dream has long been to have as much of the Björklunden property put in conservation easement as possible so it would never be sold for development,” said Breseman. “The agreement sends a clear message to the Door County community that Lawrence is not going anywhere. We’re going to be here forever and keep this wonderful property in its beautiful, natural state.”

Representing 10 percent of the DCLT’s total conservation easement acreage, the Björklunden easement is the organization’s 70th protected parcel and its largest in the past five years. It includes the most shoreline of any of its conservation easements.

Bjorklunden_lake_by-Dan-Eggert_newsblog
Approximately one-half mile of Lake Michigan shoreline will be included in the Björklunden conservation easement agreement. Photo by Dan Eggert.

The one-time summer retreat of Donald and Winifred Boynton of Highland Park, Ill., Björklunden vid Sjön — Swedish for “Birch Grove by the Lake” — was bequeathed to Lawrence in 1963 by the Boyntons with the understanding that it would be preserved in a way that would ensure its legacy as a place of peace and contemplation. Winifred Boynton referred to her beloved summer residence as a place “far removed from confusion and aggression, it offers a sanctuary for all.”

“Our agreement to preserve natural habitat at Bjorklunden underscores our commitment to Donald and Winifred Boynton who generously gave us these lands close to 50 years ago,” said Mark Burstein, president of Lawrence University. “We are grateful for the partnership we have established with the Door County Land Trust which makes this agreement possible.”

A visionary group of leaders from Lawrence, Björklunden and the Door County Land Trust planted a seed a decade ago about protecting part of the property.

“Now that seed has come to fruition with Lawrence entering into a conservation easement with DCLT to forever protect 305 acres of the Björklunden property from future development or subdivision,” said Terrie Cooper, Door County Land Trust’s director of land programs.

“Our agreement to preserve natural habitat at Bjorklunden underscores our commitment to Donald and Winifred Boynton who generously gave us these lands close to 50 years ago.
     — Lawrence President Mark Burstein

“Björklunden’s conservation easement protects in perpetuity more than one-half mile of Lake Michigan shoreline, boreal forest, migratory bird habitat and wildlife habitat, and an expanse of open space along Hwy 57 south of Baileys Harbor,” Cooper added. “The partnership with Björklunden sets a precedent for other conservation-minded organizations and is such a gift to the Door County community and future generations. The Door County Land Trust is honored to assist Björklunden and Lawrence in realizing their vision and upholding forever the terms of their conservation easement.”

Michael Cisler, a member of the Lawrence Board of Trustees and chair of its buildings and grounds committee, said the easement agreement between Lawrence and the DCLT ensures Björklunden “will always be the sylvan setting that the Boyntons treasured.”

“The easement also connects Lawrence to the larger Door County community with a shared commitment to the conservation of our natural resources, the preservation of our cultural past and a responsibility for a sustainable future,” Cisler added. “The arrangement secures wild spaces that will forever be a valuable part of the quality of life and appeal of Northeast Wisconsin.”

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Björklunden is home to one of the most southern extents of boreal forest in Wisconsin. Photo by Dan Eggert.

According to Drew Reinke, land protection specialist for the DCLT, the protected property contains a variety of habitat types resulting from Lake Michigan’s influence.

“A long list of terrestrial species inhabits the property and the shoreline serves as critical stopover habitat for migratory birds,” said Reinke. “Its forest is one of the most southern extents of boreal forest in Wisconsin with mature to near old growth characteristics. This large tract of land can easily be identified by boaters on Lake Michigan as it is the largest block of forest just south of Baileys Harbor with no development.”

Lawrence has conducted an adult, non-credit summer seminar program at Björklunden since 1980. The construction of a new lodge in 1996 opened up the property to additional weekend seminars for Lawrence students. During the 2015-16 academic year, nearly 2,000 Lawrence students, faculty, staff and guests participated in a weekend seminar.  Bjorklunden is also a popular destination for weddings, retreats and business meetings.

Stephanie Vrabec, a member of Lawrence’s Board of Trustees and current president of the board of the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust, said protecting the property in its natural condition provides unique open space to support Lawrence’s educational mission.

“The Björklunden property is a place where students can ‘retreat’ to learn and grow,” said Vrabec. “It is a working laboratory space for those who gain inspiration and learning from nature. Setting aside conservation land of this significance shows a commitment to long-term environmental sustainability.”

A land trust provides the most common way to protect the conservation values of private land. With approximately 5,000 acres nationally lost to development every day, Vrabec says the establishment of the Björklunden conservation easement “is the right thing to do.”

“Beside preserving the property in a natural state forever, the benefits of conservation lands extend beyond the property boundaries,” said Vrabec. “This agreement underscores our commitment to honor the intentions of the Boyntons and demonstrates our commitment to protect Door County’s incredible natural history and unique environmental quality.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Two Lawrence students earn first-place honors at state singing competition

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Nick Fahrenkrug ’17

Lawrence University’s Nick Fahrenkrug and Froya Olson earned first-place honors at the annual Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition held Nov. 4-5 at UW-Milwaukee.

Fahrenkrug, a freshman from Davenport, Iowa, won the men’s first-year college classical division, while Olson, a senior from Dawson, Minn., won the women’s fourth/fifth-year classical division. They both received $150 for their winning performances.

In the finals, Fahrenkrug sang Gabriel Faure’s “Lydia” and Franz Schubert’s “Du bist du Ruh.” Olson performed “La statue de bronze” by Erik Satie and “Song to the Moon” from Antonin Dvořák’s opera “Rusalka.”

Fahrenkrug is a student of music professor John Gates while Olson studies in the voice studio of Karen Leigh-Post.

Five other Lawrence singers placed in the competition.

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Froya Olson ’17

Senior Lizzie Burmeister, junior Claire LaLiberte and sophomore Alex Quackenbush each earned second-place honors in their respective divisions. Freshman Victor Montanez Cruz in the freshman men’s classical division and Cristina Sada Segovia in the music theater division both earned third-place honors.

Lawrence was represented by 26 singers, 15 of which reached the semifinals and seven who reached the finals. The competition drew nearly 400 singers from around the state.

The NATS competition features 28 separate divisions grouped by gender and level. Depending upon the category, competitors are required to sing two, three or four classical pieces from different time periods with at least one selection sung in a foreign language.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

Lawrence student pianists finish 1-2 in Green Bay Civic Symphony concerto competition

Derrick-Hahn_newsblog
Derrick Hahn ’17

Lawrence University pianists Derrick Hahn and Evan Newman earned first- and second-place honors, respectively, Nov. 12 in the Civic Symphony of Green Bay’s Miroslav Pansky Memorial Concerto Competition.

Hahn, a senior from Milwaukee, is the fourth Lawrence student since 2009 to win the Pansky competition. He played the first movement of Béla Bartók’s “Second Concerto” for the competition and received $500 for his winning performance. He will reprise his performance with the Civic Symphony as guest artist on Feb. 18, 2017 in a concert at the Meyer Theater.

This was Hahn’s second competition triumph this fall. Last month he won the piano division of the 2016 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Wisconsin state competition.

Newman, a senior from Plymouth, Minn., received $250 for his second-place performance. He performed Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 1 for the competition. Newman earned honorable mention honors at the MTNA Wisconsin state competition.

Both are students in the piano studio of Associate Professor of Music Anthony Padilla.

Emmy Hauer, an Appleton home-schooled freshman who studies violin with Lawrence Associate Professor Samantha George through the Lawrence Academy of Music, placed second in the Pansky competition’s high school division.

The competition is open to voice, brass, woodwind and piano students from Northeast Wisconsin through the age of 21. It is named in honor of the late Miroslav Pansky, the long-time conductor of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra and founder of its youth orchestras.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Giving Day: A 12-hour live celebration of all things Lawrence

With two smash hits to its credit, Lawrence University looks to make it three in a row with its third edition of Giving Day.

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Giving Day can be a learning experience as co-host Kasey Corrado found out in 2015 when she worked with art professor Rob Neilson to create some living art — a face mold.

From athletics to art, dance to diversity, physics to philosophy, virtually everything you want to know about what’s new and interesting at Lawrence will be discussed Tuesday, Nov. 15 during the college’s third annual 12-hour Giving Day extravaganza.

The 9 a.m.-to-9 p.m. show will be webcast LIVE at go.lawrence.edu/givingday and will feature dozens of special guests and performers from all corners of the campus throughout the day. Lawrence President Mark Burstein, dance instructor Margaret Paek, theatre director Timothy Troy, Kimberly Barrett, dean of diversity and inclusion, classics professor Randall McNeil, the Lawrence Fiddle Club and Porky’s Groove Machine are among those who will share their insights, perspectives and talents.

Kasey Corrado, Lawrence’s director of social media, returns for her third year as “ringmaster” of the show. She will be joined by first-time co-host Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid.

While a 12-hour live gig is definitely a challenge, Corrado calls Giving Day “her favorite day of the year at Lawrence.”

“When you’re given that signal that you’re ‘live,’ it slowly but surely sinks in that you have a marathon and not a sprint ahead of you,” said Corrado. “But this is such a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all that is Lawrence. In 12 hours, we’re able to showcase current students, connect with alumni, interact with faculty, talk with staff, and of course, share appreciation for our generous donors.

“As a co-host, I enjoy experiencing all the excitement and energy of the day,” she added. “I always come away from Giving Day completely amazed at the amount of love and support Lawrence has not only from people on campus but from all over the world.”

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Great music is a staple of the Giving Day live show as faculty saxophonists Sumner Truax and Steven Jordheim proved last year.

Being in front of a camera is nothing new for Anselment, who previously has “starred” in a pair of Lawrence April Fool’s Day videos, but he admits those productions weren’t exactly perfect preparation for a 12-hour stint in front of the camera eye.

“I’ve stood behind college fair tables for four hours at a time and I’ve run a handful of half marathons, but I have never tried to do all of that in one day,” said Anselment, a 12-year veteran of admissions and financial aid operations at Lawrence.

“My job will be to help our viewers get a sense of how engaging, interesting and fun our community is and that is best done by letting our guests shine as brightly as they can,” added Anselment, a former college cheerleader. “I plan to bring all that enthusiasm to Giving Day without, of course, my old cheerleading uniform.”

Lawrence held its first Giving Day in 2014 as a one-day-only fundraising event for alumni and friends to show their support for Lawrence and its programs. The first year, with the help of “game changers” who promised to match gifts, raised $1.1 million for the college. Last year, more than 2,300 donors generated $1.36 million during the second Giving Day event.

For this year’s event, more than 140 alumni, parents and friends have agreed to serve as “game changers” by providing matching funds to motivate others to support the college and its students according to Ben Campbell, Lawrence’s director of annual giving.

“We are heartened by the way the university community continues to pull together for this wonderful celebration of Lawrence, past and present,” said Campbell, a 1997 LU graduate. “We’re looking forward to doing it all again, only bigger, better and ‘bLUer.’ We hope everyone can find some time during the show to give, share and watch in celebration of Lawrence Giving Day 2016.”

Exhibiting her apparent high pain threshold, Rachel Crowl has returned to perform her masterful behind-the-scenes wizardry as the webcast’s all-important producer/director for a third straight year.

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With encouragement from biologist Bart DeStasio, Giving Day co-host Kasey Corrado gets ready to don some field research gear.

“I’m fully prepared for things to once again go wrong in ways I never expected and I can’t wait to watch us catch ourselves again before we fall,” said Crowl, who has spent months lining up guests and organizing the show. She’s promising a more music-infused program for year three along with the usual staples.

“I’m hoping to have at least one jaw-dropping musical performance very hour. We’re also going to take a look at some of the mainstays of a liberal arts college, like philosophy and classics, do a little science, learn about public art, make some chili, do some dancing, make some noise.

“I just want to have some fun, be entertaining, show off Lawrence University and raise some money.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Helping the Hungry: Lawrence Hosts “Music for Food” concerts to benefit St. Joseph’s Food Pantry

The Lawrence University Conservatory of Music is once again partnering with Music for Food, a national program for local hunger relief, to help combat hunger in the Fox Cities during the holiday season.Music for Food Logo_2

Three upcoming concerts, all in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, will be dedicated to  benefiting the St. Joseph Food Program. Audience members are encouraged to make a charitable donation — monetary or a non-perishable food item. All monetary donations are tax deductible, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to St. Joseph Food Program.

The Music for Food concerts are:

• Friday, Nov. 11, Lawrence Concert Choir, Cantala women’s choir, Viking Chorale, 8 p.m. Free. On the heels of the most divisive presidential election in memory, Lawrence’s nationally-recognized choirs present “Speaking Out.” The performance will explore vocal music’s ability to make a difference by bringing communities together to provoke change or to heal wounds. The program will feature songs that have toppled empires, roused nations to revolt, called us to account for our failures to live up to our dream and shown us our better selves.

• Saturday, Nov. 12, Lawrence Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, 8 p.m. Free. Titled “On the Shoulders of Giants,” the concert honors both the wind ensemble’s world premiere of a work by the same name written by Lawrence graduate David Werfelmann as well as the caliber of the program’s other composers. The wind ensemble also will perform Gustav Holst’s masterpiece “Hammersmith.” The symphonic band program features works by composing giants in the genre — Norman Dello Joio, John Barnes Chance and Michael Daugherty.

• Tuesday, Nov. 15, Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, 8 p.m. Free. The 80-member orchestra will perform Johannes Brahms’ 1877 “Symphony No. 2” and Christopher Theofanidis’ 2003 “Rainbow Body.”

Music-for-Food-2016_newblogThis marks the fourth year Lawrence has participated in the Music for Food program. Last year Lawrence concerts generated more than $1,350 and 75 pounds of donated food for St. Joe’s.

Music for Food is a musician-led initiative founded in 2010 by violist Kim Kashkashian in collaboration with the New England Conservatory. Concerts raise funds and awareness to combat  hunger, empowering musicians who use their artistry to further social justice. Now in its sixth season, Music for Food has provided more than 200,000 meals through donations made at certs on behalf of more than a dozen hunger-relief organizations.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Gold: Lawrence magazine earns top honors in CASE competition

Lawrence University’s quarterly magazine has been recognized with a 2016 Pride of CASE gold award in the annual competition sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).CASE-Pride_award-logo

The Pride of CASE V Awards Program honors institutions and individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement in the concept and execution of advancement programs and communications throughout the six-state District V (Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio).

Lawrence was honored in the best alumni/institution magazine category for colleges and universities with less than 3,000 students. Specifically cited were the 2016 Winter and 2016 Spring editions, which examined Lawrence’s commitment to engaged learning on a global scale and how a liberal arts education prepares students for success in the workforce and in life, respectively.

The award was based on several criteria, including the objectives of the magazine publishing program; the magazine’s content, writing, editing, layout/design and print quality; creative story ideas and how best it serves the audience.

Tom Ziemer is the editor of the magazine and Elizabeth Boutelle is its art director.

Craig Gagnon, associate vice president of communications, said the magazine’s evolution was the result of a deliberate, research-driven process to inform content and design.

Magazine_liberal-arts_newsblog“We began by taking a critical look at our own magazine as well as those of more than 30 other colleges to identify the characteristics of the best in class,” said Gagnon. “We then conducted a readership study to determine what was of greatest interest to our readers and compared those results to national norms.

“With information in hand, our writers and designers made incremental changes over the past two years, leading to a compelling magazine that combines creative execution with reader interest,” he added. “Although the evolution will continue, we’re delighted to have been recognized for our efforts to date.”

This was Lawrence’s third CASE award in the past two years. In June of this year, Lawrence earned gold honors for its recruitment package of brochures entitled “The Power of Engaged Learning at Lawrence University” and its student recruitment single mailer “Don’t Just Finish. Flourish.”

In 2015, Lawrence won a Grand Gold award, CASE’s highest honor, in the general information video category for “The Rabbit’s Nose,” a spoken-word piece, written and performed by Shea Love, a 2014 graduate, and produced by Rachel Crowl.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Jazz Weekend welcomes Luciana Souza, Children of the Light Trio

A little Latin flavor will spice up Lawrence University’s 36th annual salute to all things jazz Nov. 4-5.

Brazil-born Grammy Award-winning vocalist Luciana Souza performs Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. with guitarist Romero Lubambo and percussionist Cyro Baptista.Luciana-Souza_newsblog2016

The Children of the Light Trio — pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade — closes the Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Both concerts are in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Tickets, at $30/$25 for adults, $25/$20 for seniors and $20/$18 for students are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

The daughter of a singer/songwriter father and poet/lyricist mother, Souza has been transcending traditional boundaries around musical styles as one of jazz’s leading singers and interpreters. a transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles. She has been releasing recordings to much acclaim since 2002, including six records that have earned Grammy nominations. Souza won a Grammy Award in 2007 as a featured vocalist on Herbie Hancock’s “River: The Joni Letters.”

Souza, who is returning to Lawrence after performing at 2010’s Jazz Celebration Weekend, has recorded with numerous jazz greats, among them Maria Schneider, Donny McCaslin and Vince Mendoza. She also has worked with Bobby McFerrin, Paul Simon and James Taylor and performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, among others.

“We are thrilled to have Luciana Souza return to the Chapel for Friday evening’s concert,” said Patricia Darling, lecturer in music at Lawrence who also directs the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble. “Luciana’s work combines solid roots in jazz with sophisticated elements of world music and new music.”

Grammy Award winners Perez, Patitucci and Blade have been long-time musical soulmates as the rhythm section of the Wayne Shorter Quartet. As the Children of the Light trio, they celebrate Shorter’s music and embrace new compositions.Chilldren-of-the-Light-Trio_newsblog

Their group improvisations of Shorter’s 50-year history of compositions were described by NPR as “a family dinner where everyone’s talking at once yet somehow, everyone’s being heard.” The trio’s name is an homage to the Shorter composition “Children Of The Night.”

“This trio features three independent musical virtuosos and when they come together, they bring layers of intricate melodies, rhythm and textures, which is positively explosive,” said Jose Encarnacion, director of jazz studies at Lawrence. “Just as light naturally stimulates sights and makes things visible, so does this trio, bringing enlightenment and illumination to all its audience.”

Like Souza, Perez is also making a return visit to Lawrence, having closed out the 2011-12 Jazz Series. Born in Panama, he began playing piano at age three and later studied classical music at the National Conservatory in Panama. After moving to the United States, he studied jazz at Berklee College of Music, where he began performing with jazz heavyweights Jon Hendricks, Terence Blanchard, Claudio Roditi and Paquito D’Rivera. In the late 1980s, Pérez became the youngest member of Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra.

A Brooklyn native, Patitucci has been playing the bass since the age of 10. As a successful studio musician in Los Angeles, Patitucci performed on scores of albums with artists ranging from B. B. King, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock to Bon Jovi, Sting and Queen Latifah. A 15-time Grammy Award nominee, his self-titled first solo recording hit No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz charts. Last year, he released his 14th solo album, “Brooklyn,” which featured his latest band, “The John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet.”

Blade, who performed at Lawrence in May 2015 with Jon Cowherd, is the founder of the eight-member Fellowship Band, which has released four albums, including 2014’s “Landmarks,” since making its debut in 1997. Blade applied his own singer/songwriter talents to his first solo album in 2009, “Mama Rosa,” which featured songs dedicated to his grandmother and family.

In addition to the evening concerts, a series of free performances by Lawrence combos, big bands, jazz faculty and high school bands will be held throughout the day on Saturday. Visit http://go.lawrence.edu/lujazz-16 for a complete schedule.

Lawrence’s annual jazz celebration weekend was renamed last year in honor of long-time music professor Fred Sturm, its founder and mentor who passed away in 2014.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Democrat vice president nominee Tim Kaine visiting Lawrence Nov. 1

Senator Tim Kaine, vice president running mate of Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, will deliver a campaign address Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Lawrence University.

Tim-Kaine_newsblog
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is the Democrat’s vice president candidate.

The former Virginia governor will speak in the Somerset Room of the Warch Campus Center, 711 E. Boldt Way, beginning at approximately 2 p.m.

Attendance is limited and advance registration is required. The Lawrence community will be guaranteed admission for one half of the total capacity allowed. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. All registrants’ names will be placed on a list that will be checked at the door. Lawrence registrants will be required to show a valid LU ID to be admitted.

Due to the anticipated capacity turnout, this will be a standing-only event. 

By institutional policy, Lawrence does not endorse or invite political candidates to campus, but when approached by them, policies allow for the booking of such events as part of the college’s educational mission, provided more than half of all spaces are available for students, faculty and staff. The college does encourage students to experience first-hand the political process by participating in candidate visits.

Kaine, who formally accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for vice president on July 28, is one of 30 people in history who have served as a mayor, governor and a U.S. Senator. He served as mayor of Richmond, Va., from 1998–2001; lieutenant governor of Virginia from 2002–2006; and governor of Virginia from 2006-2010. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012.

“Although Clinton is polling ahead here in Wisconsin, the 8th Congressional district is the state’s only swing district and only one of about 20 in the nation,” said Arnold Shober, associate professor of government at Lawrence. “Kaine’s visit shows that national Democrats recognize the importance of this district for their chances in the House.”

Earlier this year, Bill Clinton became the first former president ever to visit Lawrence. William Howard Taft was the only sitting president to ever visit Lawrence (1911). Three future presidents have paid visits to the Lawrence campus: Richard Nixon (1959); John F. Kennedy (1960) and George H.W. Bush (1988). Only one first lady — Michelle Obama — has ever spoken at Lawrence (2012).

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.