Lawrence hosts 6th annual Latin American and Spanish Film Festival

Foreign film fans are in for a treat. Lawrence University’s 6th annual Latin American and Spanish Film Festival April 26-29 features eight films from seven countries in four days.

Each film, shown in Spanish with English subtitles in the Warch Campus Center cinema, is free and open to the public. All the films are rated R, for mature audiences only.

A head shot of film director Ari Maniel Cruz
Director Arí Maniel Cruz

In addition to screening some of the best international films from the 2015-2016 season, including several regional premieres, the festival features a visit by award-winning Puerto Rican director Arí Maniel Cruz.

“Since launching the Latin American and Spanish Film Festival in 2011, it has gotten better and more popular every year,” said Rosa Tapia, associate professor of Spanish and one of the festival’s organizers. “We’re thrilled to be able to bring these terrific films to the Fox Cities and expose movie lovers to some of the best cinema outside of the United States.”

Cecilia Herrera, instructor of Spanish at Lawrence, says the festival offers a perfect opportunity to see world through the eyes of other cultures.

“While the directors and actors in these films may not be well-known here, they are among the world’s most talented people in the business. It’s an honor to showcase their work and perspective on universal issues,” said Herrera, co-organizer of the festival. “We’re especially excited to have director Ari Maniel Cruz join us this year to share insights on his approach to film-making.”

Cruz will participate in an audience question-and-answer on Friday, April 28 following a screening of his 2016 film “Before the Rooster Crows,” which won the Yellow Robin Award at the Curaçao International Film Festival Rotterdam, which supports the careers of talented beginning filmmakers from the Caribbean region.

His 2011 film, “Under my Nails,” opened the San Juan International Film Festival in Puerto Rico, winning the Special Jury Award and the Best Actress Award. It went on to be shown at film festivals in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Marseille, France, Brussels and Geneva, among others. It received the Best U.S. Picture Award at the HBO New York International Latino Film Festival.

The festival also features a pair of free receptions at 7 p.m.: an opening reception Wednesday, April 26 and a closing reception Saturday, April 29. Both will be held in the Mead-Witter Room of the Warch Campus Center.

This year’s festival schedule:

A photo of a poster for the movie "The Bride"Wednesday, April 26, 5 p.m. “The Bride” (Spain, 2015, 96 min.)

Two lovers carried away by their passion, defy all moral and social rules while challenging their own judgment in this drama about a love triangle between two men and a woman. When the bride runs off with her escape on her wedding day, their decision leads to devastating consequences.

It received Goya Awards — Spain’s version of the Academy Awards — for supporting actress and cinematography and six Premios Feroz awards, Spain’s equivalent of the Golden Globes, including best drama, best director and best actress.

An image of a poster of the film "The Clan"Wednesday, April 26, 8:30 p.m. “The Clan(Argentina, 2015, 108 min.)

The “disappearances” that marked the regime of President Jorge Rafael Videla in Argentina continued after the dictator’s fall in 1981, but the motive changed from politics to money. Crime family member Arquimedes Puccio kidnaps wealthy men and women, holding them for ransom in his home. He exercises domineering control over his family and, for a time, the tacit protection of police to pull it off.

It won the 2016 Goya Award for best Spanish language foreign film.

Image of the poster for the film "Alias Maria"Thursday, April 27, 5 p.m. “Alias Maria” (Colombia, 2015, 92 min.)

Maria, a 13-year-old guerrilla soldier, must take the commander’s newborn baby to safety in a neighboring town while hiding the fact she is pregnant. Having a child is forbidden in the guerrilla, but when her secret is revealed, she flees to avoid being forced to abort and finds the strength to seek a new life.

Image of a poster for the movie "The Companion"Thursday, April 27, 8:30 p.m. “The Companion” (Cuba, 2015, min.)

Set in 1988 Cuba during the AIDS epidemic, a government established sanatorium houses all HIV patients under military watch. Each patient is assigned a “companion,” who monitors the patient’s activities. A friendship develops between a former Olympic boxing champion and a soldier infected by an African prostitute while on an international mission. First-time director Lorenzo Vigas won the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion Prize for Best Picture.

Friday, April 28, 5 p.m. “Before the Rooster Crows” (Puerto Rico, 2016, 98 min.)

Carmín’s dreams of moving to San Juan vanishes when her mother leaves for the U.S. with her new husband, but her sadness is eased by the arrival of her father after many years in prison. Carmín’s relationship with him forces her to learn to live between abandonment and carefulness.

An image of a poster of the movie "Desierto"Friday, April 28, 8:30 p.m. “Desierto” (Mexico, 2016, 90 min.)

A hopeful journey to seek a better life becomes a harrowing and primal fight for survival when a deranged, rifle-toting vigilante chases a group of unarmed men and women through the treacherous U.S.-Mexican border. In the unforgiving desert terrain, the odds are stacked firmly against them as they continuously discover there’s nowhere to hide from the unrelenting, merciless killer.

An image of a poster of the movie "Neruda"Saturday, April 29, 5 p.m. “Neruda” (Chile, 2016, 107 min.)

Nobel Prize-winning poet and Senator Pablo Neruda denounces the brutal, anti-communist repression of Chilean President Gabriel González Videla in a 1948 speech in the National Congress. Threatened with government arrest, Neruda goes underground, but instead of living the life of a fugitive, he taunts the authorities by appearing in public venues or leaving evidence of his movements.

Winner of numerous film festival awards, including best foreign film (Woodstock Film Festival), best screenplay (Lima Latin American Film Festival) and best actor (Palm Springs International Film Festival).

An image of a poster for the movie "Julieta"Saturday, April 29, 8:30 p.m., “Julieta,” (Spain, 2016, 96 min.)

Julieta and her daughter Antía suffer in silence over the loss of their husband and father, respectively. When Antía turns 18, she leaves her mother without explanation. While Julieta searches for her, she discovers how little she knows about her daughter. Against Julieta’s struggles to survive uncertainty, the film examines guilt complexes and that unfathomable mystery that leads us to abandon the people we love, erasing them from our lives as if they never existed.

Emma Suaréz was recognized as best actress as the title character with a Goya Award, a Sant Jordi Award and a Cinema Writers Circle Award while the National Board of Review, USA named it one of the top five foreign language films of 2016.

The festival is made possible by the generous support of Bemis Company Inc., Kimberly-Clark Corp., 91.1 The Avenue and La Vida Hispana magazine.

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.

Indian tabla, santoor masters featured in World Music Series concert

Musician/composer/educator Zakir Hussain, widely considered one of the world’s foremost masters of the Indian tabla, brings his unique talents to Lawrence University Wednesday, April 26 for the university’s 2016-17 World Music Series. He will be joined by Indian classical musician Rahul Sharma.

A photo of Indian muscian Zakir Hussain
Tabla master Zakir Hussain

Tickets for the 8 p.m. performance in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, at $10 for adults, $5 for seniors/students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749 or online at go.lawrence.edu/boxoffice.

Since the passing of Ravi Shankar in 2012, the San Francisco-based Hussain has established himself as India’s greatest classical musician. Considered by many a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Hussain is widely regarded in the field of percussion and in the music world at-large as an international phenomenon. A child prodigy who began his professional career at the age of 12, Hussain was touring internationally by time he was 18.

A 2009 Grammy Award-winner in the Contemporary World Music Album category, Hussain also was voted “Best Percussionist” in the 2015 Downbeat Critics’ Poll and Modern Drummer’s Reader’s Poll.

As an educator, he conducts frequent workshops and lectures each year, has held artist-in-residence appointments at Princeton and Stanford universities and in 201 was appointed Regents Lecturer at University of California-Berkeley.

A photo of Indian musician Rahul Sharma
Santoor master Rahul Sharma

Performing Hindustani classical music, Sharma is a master of the 100-string santoor, which is played by striking the strings with a pair of light wooden mallets. A native of Mumbai, Sharma has collaborated with numerous international musicians, including pianist Richard Clayderman and keyboardist Kersi Lord.

Sharma provided the music for the Hindi feature film “Mujhse Dosti Karoge,” for which he won the Best Debut Music Director award at the 2002 Zee Bollywood Music Awards. During a 2015 visit to Delhi by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, Sharma played songs by The Beatles on the santoor for the royal couple.

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.

 

Diversity program aims to help individuals find “their authentic self”

Photo of Sandy Eichel
Sandy Eichel

Professional diversity and inclusion consultant Sandy Eichel leads the community program “Finding Your Voice” Wednesday, April 19 at 4:30 p.m. in Lawrence University’s Warch Campus Center cinema. The event is free and open to the public.

Eichel’s presentation will focus on ways for individuals to let go of the past, break free from a life of people pleasing, build a positive future and find your “authentic self.” An engaging speaker, Eichel uses humor and her own personal vulnerabilities to broach difficult topics and expose the audience to perspectives outside of their comfort zone.

The former wife of a Lutheran pastor, a one-time professional opera singer and a consummate perfectionist, Eichel’s seemingly perfect life was anything but. When it became intolerable, she decided to change…everything.

After years of looking outside of herself for answers, she decided to focus internally and seek them from within. She changed her name and her career. She became a financial advisor and discovered an industry in which she saw much need for change. It led to her work as a leadership, diversity and inclusion consultant and facilitator.

Based in Madison, Eichel is active in a variety of nonprofit organizations, including serving on the board of O.P.E.N. (Out Professional Engagement Network), C.A.S.A. (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and MadREP (Madison.Regional Economic Partnership).

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.

Sophomore Nina Wilson heading to Russia as critical language scholarship recipient

For the second time in five years, Nina Wilson will polish her Russian language skills with an extended stay in Russia.

A head shot of Lawrence University student Nina Wilson
Nina Wilson ’19

The Lawrence University sophomore will spend eight weeks (June 18-Aug. 19) in the city of Vladimir courtesy of a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS). Administered by the U. S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the CLS is a summer overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students. Wilson is the fourth Lawrence student since 2010 to receive a CLS.

While in Vladimir, a city of nearly 350,000 people a little more 100 miles east of Moscow, Wilson will live with a host family and study at the KORA Russian Language Center.

A home-school graduate from Grayslake, Ill., Wilson got started on her Russian as a 12-year old. A Russian family friend who was teaching a class on Russian literature that Wilson was taking, asked if she wanted to learn the language.

“I was like, ‘okay,’” said Wilson, who is pursuing majors in government and Russian studies at Lawrence. “I’ve been studying it ever since.”

In 2012, Wilson participated in a high school version of the CLS program— the National Security Language Initiative for Youth — in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, previously known as Gorky, 150-miles east of Vladimir.

Even though she began her Lawrence career by taking third-year level Russian classes as a freshman, Wilson is looking forward to improving her reading and writing skills while in Vladimir as well as her language proficiency.

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“Nina has been working hard towards her goal of becoming fluent in Russian. I have no doubt she will thrive in the intensive, immersive environment that the Critical Language Scholarship provides.”
— Victoria Kononova, assistant professor of Russian studies

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“The area I am weakest in is speaking ability, so if I can have really solid conversations by the end of the program, I’ll be really happy,” said Wilson. “I’m just excited to see a new place, learn about history and culture there and visit more of Russia then when I was there in 2012.”

She is especially looking forward to enjoying the cuisine.

“I love Russian food,” she says enthusiastically. “My favorite dish is pelmeni which are these Russian dumplings. You can put chicken or potatoes or whatever in them and they’re really good.”

Victoria Kononova, assistant professor of Russian Studies, calls Wilson “an exemplary student: curious, dedicated, creative and always eager to try and learn something new.”

“Nina has been working hard towards her goal of becoming fluent in Russian” Kononova added. “I have no doubt she will thrive in the intensive, immersive environment that the Critical Language Scholarship provides.”

Despite the current rise in tensions between the United States and Russia, Wilson isn’t worried about any potential danger during her trip abroad.

“The main thing I’m concerned about is how to talk to people about politics and current events. I feel like there may be some potential disconnect if I am talking to my host family about the news since we come from very different perspectives. But I’ll also try to better understand where they might be coming from and have a healthy discourse.”

According to Kononova, Wilson’s interest in contemporary Russian politics makes it crucial she get first-hand experience with Russia and Russians.

“I hope that the CLS will help her get that kind of ‘inside knowledge’ and bring her closer to her ambitious academic and professional goals,” said Kononova.

The CLS was launched in 2006 to increase opportunities for American students to study critical-need languages overseas and expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical-need languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian Japanese, Korean, Persian, Russian, Indic (Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu) and Turkic (Turkish and Azerbaijani).

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.

Former U.S. Ambassador Christopher Murray ’75 discusses President Trump’s foreign policy challenges

A former U.S. Ambassador will offer a nonpartisan assessment of the of U.S. foreign policy and international affairs under President Trump in a Lawrence University address.

A Head shot of former U.S. Ambassador Christopher Murray.
Ambassador Christopher Murray ’75

Christopher Murray, a foreign service officer with more than 40 years of experience, including serving three years as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo, presents “What to Expect in the Trump Foreign Policy” Monday, April 17 at 7 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

A 1975 Lawrence graduate, Murray will examine the top 10 foreign policy challenges that President Trump will likely face, discuss the importance of collaboration and contributions from our allies, and underscore the need to develop a strong foreign policy team at the White House and in the State Department as the country seeks support for our goals, such as achieving peace in the Middle East and defusing tensions with North Korea.

Murray will spend part of spring term as Lawrence’s Visiting Scarff Professor of International Affairs for 2017. In addition to his public lecture, Murray will lead discussions in eight different courses in four departments and meet with students to talk about foreign service careers.

He served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo from 2010-2013 and spent the final three years of his career as the Political Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander for NATO forces in Europe before retiring in 2016. He currently makes his home in Brussels, Belgium.

Other assignments abroad during his career have include deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut; chief of the political section at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria; political officer at the U.S. Mission to the European Communities in Brussels; economic officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo; and consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica.

Murray was presented Lawrence’s Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award in 2015 in recognition of his outstanding career in public service.

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.

 

Critical Issues Forum series explores “The Purpose of Higher Education”

A Head shot of Lawrence University President Mark Burstein
President Mark Burstein

Lawrence University President Mark Burstein leads a panel discussion examining the issues and challenges facing higher education as part of the university’s ongoing Critical Issues Forum series.

The program “The Purpose of Higher Education,” Friday, April 14 at 11:10 a.m. in the Thomas Steitz Hall of Science atrium, is free and open to the public.

A Head shot of Lawrence Provost David Burrows
Provost David Burrows
A Head shot of Lawrence vice president for diversity and inclusion Kimberly Barrett
Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Kimberly Barrett

Burstein will be joined on the panel by Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Kimberly Barrett. Together they will explore the role education plays in addressing the challenges of our day and discuss university and community practices related to higher education. Audience members will be encouraged to share their perspective and opinions on the topic and their input will be used to inform future university decision making and practices.

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.

2017-18 Lawrence Performing Arts Series features renowned classical, jazz musicians

More than a dozen world-class artists will grace the stage of the Lawrence Memorial Chapel during Lawrence University’s 2017-18 Performing Arts Series.

Subscriptions for both the Artist and Jazz series are on sale now. Subscribers may choose from either series for a “Favorite 4” package, with discounts available to senior citizens and students. Single-concert tickets go on sale Sept. 18. For more information, contact the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749 or boxoffice@lawrence.edu.

The Artist Series     

• Jonathan Biss, piano, Friday, Oct. 6, 8 p.m.

A head shot of pianist Jonathan Biss
Pianist Jonathan Biss. Photo by Benjamin Ealovega.

Since making his New York City recital debut as a 20-year old in 2000, Biss has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and many other of the world’s leading orchestras.

He performs regularly as a guest soloist throughout Europe and in 2002 became first American to be named the BBC’s “New Generation Artist.”

Biss is currently in his second year of the “Beethoven/5” project, in which he will premiere five new piano concertos, each inspired by one of Beethoven’s. He opened the project in 2016 with “The Blind Banister” by Timo Andre, which was a finalist for Pulitzer Prize in Music. Later this year he will debut Sally Beamish’s concerto with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

• Sasha Cooke, mezzo soprano, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, 8 p.m.

A head shot of singer Sasha Cooke
Mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke

A 2011 Grammy Award-winner for her electrifying performance as Kitty Oppenhemier in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of “Doctor Atomic,” Cooke has been racking up acclaim and honors since graduating from Rice University and the Juilliard School, where she made her professional debut.

Hailed by the New York Times as “a luminous standout,” Cooke specializes in contemporary opera and is renowned for her work with the music of Gustav Mahler, which she has performed to robust praise on four continents.

A much-in-demand singer, Cooke has performed with nearly 30 orchestras around the world from New York to New Zealand and from San Francisco to Shanghai.

She released her debut solo album “If you love for beauty” with the Colburn Orchestra in 2012, one of six albums in her discography. Her latest, “Liszt: The Complete Songs, Vol 4” was released in 20

• Colin Currie, percussion, Friday, March 30, 2018, 8 p.m.

A photo of percussionist Colin Currie.
Percussionist Colin Currie

A champion of new music at the highest level, Currie has been called “the world’s finest and most daring percussionist” by British magazine The Spectator. A graduate of England’s Royal Academy of Music, Currie performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors.

Known as an adventurous soloist with an unmatched commitment to creating new music, Currie was recognized by the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2000 with its Young Artist Award and in 2015 with its prestigious Instrumentalist Award.

Professor of Music Dane Richeson, who teaches percussion in the Lawrence conservatory, said Currie “ranks right there with the top contemporary percussionists in the world.”

“Colin has inspired many new compositions that have led the way in breaking new ground for the percussive arts, bringing whole new audiences and appreciation to the art form,” said Richeson. “We’re all grateful for his musical mastery.”

Currie’s 13-album discography includes 2016’s “Dawn to Dust” with the Utah Symphony.

• Joshua Roman, cello, with JACK Quartet, Saturday, April 21, 2018, 8 p.m.

A photo of cellist Joshua Roman.
Cellist Joshua Roman

The 33-year old Roman has earned an international reputation for his wide-ranging repertoire, artistic leadership and versatility. Beyond being a celebrated performer, he is recognized as an accomplished composer and curator.

As artistic director of Seattle’s TownMusic, Roman has showcased his own eclectic musical influences and chamber music favorites while also promoting newly commissioned works. His cultural leadership utilizes digital platforms to harness new audiences, including YouTube for his “Everyday Bach” project, in which he performs Bach’s cello suites in gorgeous settings around the world.

A photo of the musical quartet JACK Quartet
JACK Quartet

He’ll be joined by the JACK Quartet — violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violinist John Pickford Richards and cellist Kevin McFarland. Founded in 2007 and based in New York City, the quartet was called “superheroes of the new music world” by the Boston Globe.

Their performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center were met with critical acclaim and their commitment to new music has earned them the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and New Music USA’s Trailblazer Award.

The Jazz Series

• Lizz Wright, vocalist, Friday, November 3, 7:30 p.m.

A headshot of singer LIzz Wright
Singer Lizz Wright. Photo by Jesse Kitt.

The charismatic, honey-voiced Wright opens Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend. A native of Georgia who makes her home now in North Carolina, Wright’s musical baptism began in church. Her early gospel roots have since been fused with jazz, blues, folk and R&B, earning comparisons to Norah Jones.

She has drawn critical raves since her debut album, “Salt,” zoomed to the top of the contemporary jazz charts in 2003.  Through her three following discs, Wright has demonstrated her innovative interpretation skills and established herself as popular song stylist.

• Storms/Nocturnes with the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble, Saturday, Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m.

A photo of the trio Storms/Nocturnes
Storms/Nocturnes

Combine British saxophone legend Tim Garland, world-class vibraphone virtuoso Joe Locke and recent Grammy nominee pianist Geoffrey Keezer and you have a chamber jazz trio with few peers. The extraordinary combination serves as the bookend to Lizz Wright for Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend.

As Storms/Nocturnes, the three artists combine their distinctive talents and diverse backgrounds to create captivating music that can be spacious or immensely complex one moment and delicate the next. No less an authority than jazz legend Chick Corea has said “This trio truly sizzles with virtuosity and creativity.”

After collaborating on a pair of successful releases, “Storms/Nocturnes” in 2002 and “Rising Tide” in 2003, the trio members spent seven years working on individual projects and with other bands before reuniting in 2010 to release the 10-track disc “VIA” the following year. The reunion revived one of the most timeless intercontinental jazz collaborations in the world today.

• Joe Lovano Classic Quartet, Friday, February 2, 2018, 8 p.m.

A photo of saxophonist Joe Lovano
Saxophonist Joe Lavano

For more than 20 years, Lovano has enjoyed an international reputation as one of the world’s premiere tenor saxophonists. Allmusic critic Chris Kelsey has described him as “”the tenor titan for our times.”

A 2000 Grammy Award winner, Lovano more recently was recognized by DownBeat magazine and the Jazz Journalists Association as 2014’s tenor saxophonist of the year.

José Encarnación, director of jazz studies at Lawrence who met Lovano at the Heineken Jazz Festival in the late 1990s, calls him “one of my favorite saxophone players ever.

“Joe’s unique voice on the saxophone, or any other instrument he plays, is so full of expression and freedom,” said Encarnación. “He possesses that innate ability in his playing to convey the sense of fresh spontaneity that has always characterized the music’s greatest improvisers.”

• Vijay Iyer Sextet, Friday, May 11, 2018, 8 p.m.

A photo of pianist Vijay Iyer
Pianist Vijay Iyer

A three-time recipient (2012, ’15, ’16) of DownBeat magazine’s “Artist of the Year” honor, Iyer unprecedentedly added Pianist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Jazz Group of the Year and Rising Star Composer honors in the 2012 Downbeat International Critics Poll.

It’s little wonder the The New York Times wrote “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.”

The recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 2013, Iyer has expanded his acclaimed piano trio to a sextet by adding renowned horn players Graham Haynes, Steve Lehman and Mark Shim.

In 2014, Iyer began a permanent appointment as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in Harvard University’s music department.

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 students win pair of music competitions

Two Lawrence University students finished first in a pair of recent music competitions.

A head shot of Lawrence student Sam Buse
Junior Sam Buse

Sam Buse, a junior from La Mesa, Calif., earned first-place honors in the first round of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) Regional Young Organists Competition conducted at First United Methodist Church in Glendale, Calif. He received $1,000 for his winning performance and advances to the AGO’s regional convention June 10 in Salt Lake City. The competition is open to competitors up to 24 years of age.

Competitors are required to play four selections during a 45-minute performance. Buse played the hymn “In Babilone,” Frank Ferko’s “Mass for Dedication,” J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor “Dorian” and Max Reger’s “Introduction and Passacaglia in D Minor.” He studies with university organist Kathrine Handford.

Jessica Castleberry, a senior from Dillon, Colo., won the 2017 Wisconsin Music Teachers Association (WMTA) Badger Collegiate Performance Competition conducted at Silver Lake College in Manitowoc. She received $200 for her winning performance.

The competition is open to pianists, instrumentalists and vocalists. Each is required to perform three different pieces from three contrasting musical eras.

A head shot of Lawrence student Jessica Castleberry
Senior Jessica Castleberry

Castleberry played Mozart’s “Piano Sonata’ in G major, Chopin’s “Polonaise” in F-sharp minor and Debussy’s “Images Book 1.” Maria Santos, a freshman from Princeton, N.J., and Christian Vallery, a sophomore from Hampton, Iowa, tied for second place in the WMTA Badger Competition. All three study in the piano studio of Professor Catherine Kautsky.

Castleberry is the second straight Lawrentian to win the WMTA Badger Competition after sophomore Neil Krzeski earned first-place honors in 2016.

Ming Hu, a sophomore from Changsha, China, earned honorable mention honors in the piano at the annual Schubert Club Student Scholarship Competition conducted at St. Catherine’s University in Minnesota. The competition features divisions for piano, strings, brass, woodwinds and guitar. Hu is a student of Kautsky’s.

Five other Lawrence pianists advanced to the Schubert competition finals: Gabrielle Claus, Milou De Meij, Xiaoya Gao, Krzeski and Tammy Li.

Liam Mayo, a piano student in the Lawrence Academy of Music from Green Bay who studies with Lawrence Professor Anthony Padilla, won first place honors in the Schubert competition’s high school division.

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.

The Garden of Humanity: Lawrence International Cabaret celebrates the beauty of diversity

The beauty and richness of the world’s diverse heritage will be celebrated April 8-9 in two performances of Lawrence University’s 41st annual International Cabaret.A photo of Japanese dancers in traditional clothing.

Representing more than 30 countries, 125 Lawrence students showcase their native cultures through dance, music and fashion in performances Saturday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 9 at 3 p.m. in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center. A free reception follows Sunday’s performance at 5 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center.

Tickets, at $10 for adults, $5 for students/children (age four and under are free), are available online  or through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749. In addition to its normal hours, the box office will be open one hour prior to Sunday’s performance.

This year’s theme for Cabaret, “The Garden of Humanity,” reflects the organizers vision of people of different races and cultures as flowers, each uniquely beautiful in their own individual way.

A black student singing wearing traditional African clothing.“For the international community at Lawrence, Cabaret gives us an incredible opportunity to show a little glimpse of where we are from and encourage others to learn more about it,” said Tamanna Akram, a junior from Dhaka, Bangladesh and current president of Lawrence International.

“Everyone involved puts in an enormous amount of time and effort to share a piece of their culture,” Akram added. “It’s amazing to see how involved everyone is as they work together as a team for months to make this show a success. It is a collaborative effort by Lawrentians with different interests and backgrounds, but when they take the stage, they have one goal: to make Cabaret a success.”

In addition to a pair of fashion shows featuring traditional clothing from the students’ home countries, Cabaret will include 14 performances.

Among this years acts will be “Ode to Beauty,” a dance that will transport the audience to the beauty of the southern Yangtze River in China, a singer-pianist duo performing a German song that incorporates lyrics from many famous songs, Nepalese dances that fuse folk, traditional and modern styles, a song that melds elements of classical Indian music with modern, fast-paced rhythms, the totem birds dance, which celebrates the rich history of the Vietnamese agrarian society and the always-popular K-pop dance showcasing modern Korean dance.

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.

Educators with Lawrence ties recognized with state teaching awards

Stacy Mallette, a 2013 Lawrence University graduate, has been recognized by the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE).

A head shot of Stacy Mallette
Stacy Mallette ’13

A secondary level language arts and special education teacher at Green Bay’s Dr. Rosa Minoka-Hill School, a K-12 school that serves students with a continuum of unique learning needs, is one of the 2017 recipients of the WACTE’s Early Career Educator Award.

Corey Otis, who has been instrumental in shepherding nearly a dozen student teachers from Lawrence into the profession, has been named one of the 2017 winners of WACTE’s Pre-Service Educator Mentor Award.

Both will be honored Sunday, May 7 at the home of Lawrence University President Mark Burstein.

Otis and Mallette were selected for the awards by faculty of Lawrence’s college and conservatory teacher education program. Each Wisconsin college or university that belongs to WACTE was invited to select a recipient for each award.

The Early Career Educator Award honors outstanding educators within the first three years of their professional career. Mallette has taught at Minoka-Hill for three years.

Minoka-Hill Principal Renee Every credited Mallette for connecting with students who may never have experienced the benefit of having an adult in their school lives. While Minoka-Hill’s students are traditionally labeled “at risk,” Mallette only sees their “promise of success” according to Every.

“Stacy is caring, compassionate and an upbeat advocate for our students who not only cares about academic success, but about each one of them as a person,” said Every.

Stewart Purkey, Bee Connell Mielke Professor of Education and associate professor of education at Lawrence, called Mallette “the kind of teacher every parent would like for their children.”

“Lawrence is proud to name Stacy as its Early Career Educator this year,” said Purkey.

A head shot of teacher Corey Otis
Corey Otis

The Mentor Award recognizes an outstanding educator who has demonstrated a sustained pattern of mentoring pre-service educators for at least five years. Otis has taught English language arts teacher at Appleton East High School for 17 years.

Purkey describes Otis as a mentor in every sense of the term: advisor, guide, confidant, counselor, guru.

“Although veteran teachers sometimes forget they were once beginners and how difficult it is to learn to teach,” said Purkey, “Corey always treats budding teachers gently, with patience and good humor, care and respect, even as he holds them to the highest standards of the profession.”

Otis earned a bachelor’s degree from UW-Madison and his teaching certification from Lawrence.

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.