Lawrence University Saxophone Quartet Advances in Two National Competitions

The Lawrence University Saxophone Quartet will compete for top honors in a pair of upcoming prestigious national music competitions.

The quartet recently qualified for the final round of the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition April 26 in Pasadena, Calif., and the semifinal round of the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition May 9-11 in South Bend, Ind.

Formed last fall, the quartet — seniors Ryan Alban, Casey Schmidt, Bryan Wente and Rasa Zeltina — performed four pieces for the preliminary round of both competitions: “July” by Michael Torke; “Back Burner” by Frank Ticheli; “Grave et presto” by Jean Rivier; and “Four, for tango” by Astor Piazzolla. Auditions were conducted by audio CD for the Coleman competition and by an unedited videotape for the Fischoff competition.

The two competitions are widely considered to be among the country’s most prestigious chamber music competitions. First held in 1947, the Coleman competition is an international event for non-professional chamber music ensembles. As a Coleman finalist, the Lawrence quartet will compete for four prizes totaling $13,000. The four winners will perform a formal concert Sunday, April 27 in the Ramo Auditorium on the campus of the California Institute of Technology.

The Fischoff competition, founded in 1973, is the largest national chamber music competition in the country. Open to performers 39 years of age or younger, it attracts more than 60 ensembles in both wind and string categories from top American conservatories as well as foreign nationals from more than 20 countries representing Asia, Europe and South America.

Fischoff finalists compete for seven prizes totaling $17,000, including a $5,000 grand prize award and a performance tour that includes select appearances in Italy at the Emilia Romagna Festival.

“For our students to be admitted to the final rounds of these two competitions is an important and wonderful achievement,” said Steve Jordheim, Lawrence professor of music. The quartet members are all students in Jordheim’s saxophone studio.

Alban, Schmidt and Wente are pursuing bachelor of music degrees with majors in performance and instrumental music education, while Zeltina is completing both a bachelor of music degree in performance and a bachelor of arts degree in Russian.

Appleton’s Wallenfang Awarded $22,000 Fellowship for “Wanderjahr” to China, India

Formal piano studies at the age of seven and martial arts training in Tae Kwon Do and Kapkido as a 10-year old sparked a fascination both in music and in other cultures, particularly those of Asia, in Ansel Wallenfang that has since grown into a life-long passion.

Beginning this August, Wallenfang will have an entire year to pursue those passions up close and personal thanks to a $22,000 fellowship from the Providence, R.I. based Thomas J. Watson Foundation.

A senior piano performance major at Lawrence University, Wallenfang Monday (3/17) was named one of 48 national recipients of a 2003-04 Watson Fellowship, a grant that supports a “wanderjahr” — a year of independent travel and exploration outside the United States — on a topic of the student’s choosing.

Wallenfang, 22, was selected for the fellowship from nearly 200 nominees representing 50 of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges and universities. He is the 59th Lawrence student awarded a Watson Fellowship since the program’s inception in 1969.

Wallenfang will embark on a 12-month study of music and Asian cultures in mid-August, spending six months each in China and India, beginning in Xi’an, China with extended stops along the way in Guagnzhou, Ji’nan, Beijing, Calcutta and eventually Pune, India. His project will center on two instruments that are indigenous and unique to each country’s musical identity: the erhu, China’s two-stringed violin, and the tabla, India’s famed classical drums.

“My fascination with Asian music and my desire to learn the instruments and traditions surrounding them run very deep,” said Wallenfang. “I vividly remember the first I heard the tabla, in accompaniment to Ravi Shankar’s sitar. Everything seemed to stop. I discovered a new and ethereal sound that still speaks to me in a way clearer than anything I have ever known.

“The same is true for the Chinese erhu,” he added. “Its pleasing, unique tone conjures a flood of notions and images in my mind of what it is like to live in China.”

In addition to learning to play the two instruments, Wallenfang intends to study the historical, cultural and spiritual roles of the intruments, examining such basic questions as how they are used today, their role in ceremony, meditation and professional concert, the traditions surrounding them and the regional variations of technique and style in both instruments.

His study will include intense practice time with both instruments, associations with musicians and performers at concerts and recitals as well as visits to temples and other sacred sites to evaluate the role of music in ceremony and spiritual life through direct observation and participation.

“I hope not only to answer these questions, but also carry the essense of these musical traditions and make them a permanent part of my life,” said Wallenfang, who has visited China twice in the past year as part of two separate Lawrence study tours supported by the Freeman Foundation grant. “The meaningful relationships I hope to build through music will help transform my comprehension of the East-West dichotomy as I work toward a new and insightful understanding of music, other peoples and myself.

“I realize this won’t be easy, but I’m ready for, and need the shock of, throwing myself into cultures that are wholly unlike my own for the sake of my evolution as a person and as a musician.”

The Watson Fellowship Program was established by the children of Thomas J. Watson Sr., the founder of IBM Corporation, and his wife, Jeannette, to honor their parents’ long-standing interest in education and world affairs. Watson Fellows are selected on the basis of the nominee’s character, academic record, leadership potential, willingness to delve into another culture and the personal significance of the project proposal.

Lawrence University Receives Community Foundation Grant for Science, Math Outreach Program

Lawrence University has been awarded a $3,695 grant from the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Inc. to encourage science and math interests among area middle school girls.

Beginning next month, Lawrence will launch the outreach program Partners Reaching Youth in Science and Math — PRYSM — which will match women students from Lawrence with strong interests in mathematics and science with eighth-grade girls from Appleton’s Roosevelt Middle School.

The one-on-one partnerships are designed to encourage the middle school students’ math and science interests and foster self-confidence in their individual skills. Program organizers are expected to provide 10 partnership matches initially, with hopes of establishing as many as two dozen one-on-one partnerships when school resumes next fall.

As part of the PRYSM program, Lawrence will host a “Celebrate Science and Math Day,” Saturday, April 12 for all interested seventh- and eighth-grade girls and one of their parents from the five Appleton middle schools. The free, day-long celebration will feature hands-on workshops in biology, chemistry, geology and mathematics led by Lawrence faculty and students as well as science and math teachers from Appleton schools.

“This is an exciting opportunity to strengthen the community ties between Lawrence and the Appleton schools, especially with girls who may have never been on a college campus before, and we’re grateful for the Community Foundation’s support for it,” said Karen Nordell, assistant professor of chemistry, who will co-direct the PRYSM program along with Eugenie Hunsicker, assistant professor of mathematics. “Research has indicated trends in ‘interest attrition’ in math and the sciences among girls during middle school. Through the PRYSM program, we’re hoping to nurture and encourage those interests among female students during that crucial period in their education.”

Any Appleton seventh- and eight-grade girls interested in participating in the Celebrate Math and Science Day can register for the event by calling 832-7685 or via email at outreach@lawrence.edu.

Lawrence University French Professor Cited By Knox College as Distinguished Alumna

Lawrence University Associate Professor of French Judith Sarnecki was recently honored by Knox College as a distinguished graduate. Sarnecki was one of three recipients of Knox’s 2003 Alumni Achievement Award.

A member of the Lawrence faculty since 1985, Sarnecki graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Knox in 1966 with a bachelor of arts degree in French and psychology. She earned a master’s degree in teaching from Portland State University, a master’s degree in French from the University of Iowa and a doctorate in French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sarnecki taught French at the junior and high school level for 17 years before joining the Lawrence French department, where her research interests focus on 20th-century French novels, plays and films.

In addition to teaching all levels of French language at Lawrence, Sarnecki is a member of the college’s gender studies department. She organized and founded Lawrence’s Francophone Seminar in Dakar, Senegal, and by working collaboratively with faculty and administration at Knox, made the program available to Knox students as well.

Her scholarly research has produced published articles on French novelist Marguerite Yourcenar and poet Aime Cesaire as well as on pedagogical topics.

Her most recent research interests include gender issues and the subject of tattoos with a focus on the history of women and tattoos, how tattoos function in literature and film and tattoos as a response to personal trauma. She has presented invited papers on her tattoo research at the International Narrative Conference at Dartmouth University and at two Midwest Modern Language Association meetings.

History of Russian National Anthems Traced in Lawrence Main Hall Forum

Rebecca Matveyev traces the long and often-complicated history of official and informal national anthems of Russia in a Lawrence University Main Hall Forum.

Matveyev, associate professor of Russian at Lawrence, presents “Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet National Anthems” Tuesday, March 11 at 4:30 p.m. in Main Hall, Room 201. The event is free and open to the public.

Beginning in the late 1600s up to the present, Matveyev will examine the evolution of the various anthems and the roles that historic events and national identity played in their development.

A specialist in 19th-century Russian literature, Matveyev joined the Lawrence faculty in 1996. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Russian at Rice University and her Ph.D. in Russian language and literature at the University of Wisconsin.

America’s Earliest High Plains Inhabitants Focus of Archaeological Institute Lecture at Lawrence University

Professional archaeologist Bruce Bradley discusses evidence of the earliest Americans and their lifestyles in an Archaeological Institute of America lecture at Lawrence University.

Bradley presents the slide-illustrated address “More Than Enough: Paleoindian Kill Sites on the High Plains” Tuesday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Lawrence¹s Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. An informal reception with the speaker follows the address.

A renowned master flintknapper and potter, Bradley will outline the inhabitation and cultural history of the New World, focusing on large animal — primarily mammoth and bison — kill and processing sites.

A native of Milwaukee, Bradley has served as a research associate at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., since 1999 and currently holds a similar position with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. He earned his Ph.D. in archaeology at the University of Cambridge.

Lawrence University Jazz Combo Earns Outstanding Performance Award

The Lawrence University Jazz Combo I, under the direction of Jose Encarnacion, minority pre-doctoral fellow in music, earned the Outstanding Performance Award Feb. 21-22 at the 2003 Elmhurst College Jazz Festival in Elmhurst, Ill. The two-day competition featured more than 50 college and university jazz ensembles from throughout the Midwest.

The six-member ensemble performed original compositions by renowned jazz artists James Williams and Gary Thomas that were arranged by Encarnacion as well as members of the group.

Combo members include senior Dan Crane, drums, senior Steve Rogness, trombone, senior Kyle Simpson, trumpet, junior Jacob Teichroew, saxophone, junior Bryan Teoh, guitar and freshman Tucker Yaro, bass.

“The students were overjoyed with the reaction that their performance received from the audience — an audience of their peers from other university jazz programs,” said Fred Sturm, professor of music. “It’s important for them to step beyond the confines of the Lawrence campus and recognize just how strong their work really is.

“For those of us on the jazz and improvisational music department faculty, the accomplishment of Combo I at this prestigious festival helps us spread the word about what’s happening here,” Sturm added. “We’re very proud of these superb young musicians.”

The Jazz Combo I is one of seven small jazz groups in the Lawrence jazz and improvisational music department that focus upon jazz improvisation, theory, aural training and small-group performance practice.

Evolution of Eurasian Steppe Communities Examined in Archaeological Institute Lecture at Lawrence University

Sweet Briar College anthropologist Claudia Chang highlights the latest research conducted on settlements in the Talgar region of southeastern Kazakhstan in an Archaeological Institute of America lecture at Lawrence University.

Chang presents the slide-illustrated address “Researching the Eurasian Steppe: Excavations and Surveys along the Silk Route of Southeastern Kazakhstan” Thursday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Lawrence’s Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. An informal reception with the speaker follows the address.

Chang will outline the evolution of communities of the Talgar region on the northern side of the Tian Shan Mountains of modern Kazakhstan, tracing developments from the Bronze Age (1700-900 B.C.) through the Islamic and Mongolian periods of Medieval settlement (700-1500 A.D.). She will discuss the the agricultural and pastoral nomadic economic cycles on the steppe and the relationship between burial traditions and settlement sites.

A specialist in Iron Age archaeology of the Eurasian steppe, Chang joined the faculty at Sweet Briar in 1995 after spending a year as a Fulbright Scholar at the Kazakh State University in Kazakhstan. She earned her Ph.D. in anthropology at the State Univeristy of New York-Binghamton.

ABC News Analyst, Newsweek Editor Discusses “Why They Hate Us” in Lawrence University Convocation

Newsweek International editor and ABC News analyst Fareed Zakaria examines the religious, cultural and political reasons behind the growing resentment and distrust of America in much of the Arab world Tuesday, March 4 in a Lawrence University convocation.

Zakaria presents “Why Do They Hate Us? America in a New World” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. He also will conduct a question-and-answer session immediately following his address. Both events are free and open to the public.

Widely considered one of the nation’s best foreign policy minds, Zakaria, 39, has been editor of Newsweek International since October, 2000, overseeing the magazine’s three English and 26 foreign language editions in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In 1992, at the age of 28, the Bombay, India-born Zakaria became the youngest managing editor in the history of Foreign Affairs — America’s most influential foreign policy journal — where he spent eight years before joining Newsweek.

A contributing editor at Newsweek for the past six years, Zakaria’s first column for the magazine, “Thank Goodness for a Villain,” argued why America needed Saddam Hussein in order to sustain American policy in the Middle East, but today he supports military action in Iraq.

In addition to Newsweek International and Foreign Affairs, Zakaria has written on international affairs for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The National Interest, International Security, The New Republic and the webzine IntellectualCapital.com.

Named “one of the 21 most important people of the 21st Century” in 1999 by Esquire magazine, Zakaria joined ABC News last fall as an analyst and appears regularly as a member of the round table panel on the Sunday morning program “This Week” hosted by George Stephanopoulos.

Zakaria, a resident of New York City, earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and a Ph.D in international relations from Harvard University. He is the author of the 1998 book “From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America’s World Role” and his latest book, “The Future of Freedom,” is scheduled to be released in April.

Lawrence University Hosts Professional Stylists for Hair-Cutting Demonstrations

For the second straight year, Lawrence University will host three professional hair stylists from the Chicago area who will provide demonstrations of the latest black hair styles and cuts and offer advice to local cosmotologists on some of the “tricks of the trade.”

The three stylists will be cutting and styling hair at the Lawrence Diversity Center, 207 S. Meade St., from 6-9 p.m. Friday Feb. 28 and from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1. All cuts will be free of charge, but those wishing to participate are encouraged to make a reservation by calling 832-7051 prior to Feb. 28.

“We had a fantastic turnout last year,” said Rod Bradley, Lawrence’s assistant dean of students for multicultural affairs. “In two days, we were able to cut the hair of 40 people and we are looking to equal or exceed that number this year.”

Time restrictions will limit the number of haircuts to approximately 50 volunteers this year.

While getting a haircut would seem to be a simple thing most people take for granted, Bradley said for blacks it can be quite a challenge.

“Many of the students can’t just walk in off the street into a salon and be assured that the barber or stylists know how to cut black hair,” said Bradley. “Some of our black students and some at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh cut each other’s hair. Some have to travel Milwaukee or Madison to get the cuts they want or they just wait until they return to their hometowns to have it done.

“Black women, in particular, have all but given up hope trying to find salons that can offer chemical relaxants for their particular kind of hair or specialized stylings like cornrows, dread locks, jerry curls and even particular styles of perms.

“We felt there was a need for instruction on black cultural hair styling in the area, not only for our students but for other community members as well,” Bradley added.

Bradley said area salon owners and stylists are encouraged to attend the demonstrations to learn some of the cutting techniques that are readily available in many larger urban areas.