Lawrence students win three divisions at state music competition

MTNA sealLawrence University students captured three first-place honors at the recent 2016 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Wisconsin state competition conducted at UW-Stevens Point.

Senior Derrick Hahn of Milwaukee extended Lawrence’s remarkable streak in the piano division with his winning performance, becoming the 16th Lawrence piano student in the past 17 years to win the annual Wisconsin MTNA competition.

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Derrick Hahn

Lawrence students swept the piano division. Senior Ming Hu of Changsha, China was named first alternate while sophomore Nick Suminski of Williamsburg, Mich., sophomore Mayan Essak of Shorewood, senior Evan Newman of Plymouth, Minn., and freshman Gabrielle Claus of Lancaster, Pa., all earned honorable mention recognition.

Flutist Bianca Pratte, a sophomore from Walnut Creek, Calif., won the woodwind competition, marking the second year in a row a Lawrence flutist won the MTNA woodwind division.

Trio Arcia — junior Ethan Valentin of Chicago, piano, junior Meghan Murphy of Wauwatosa, violin, and junior Mikaela Marget of Stillwater, Minn., cello, was named winner of the chamber music division.

Each of the three winners will advance to the East Central regional competition Jan. 14-15, 2017 at Central Michigan University. Regional winners advance to the MTNA national finals in March 2017 in Baltimore, Md.

Hahn, who studies in the studio of Anthony Padilla, played Rodion Shchedrin’s “Basso Ostinato” and Brahms’ first published work, the massive “First Sonata in C major” for his winning performance.

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Bianca Pratte

Pratte, a student in Erin Lesser’s flute studio and the 2015 winner of the Wisconsin Flute Festival’s Collegiate competition and the National Flute Association Collegiate Flute Choir competition, played Frank Martin’s “Ballade for flute and piano,” Robert Muczynski’s “Three Preludes for Solo Flute” and Jules Mouquet’s “La Flute de Pan” in the finals.

Arcia Trio’s winning program consisted of the second movement of Dvorak’s “Dumky” and the first movement of Beethoven “Ghost.”

The MTNA performance competitions recognize exceptionally talented young artists and their teachers in their pursuit of musical excellence.

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’s National Honor Roll recognizes Lawrence for community service

For the ninth year in a row, Lawrence University has been named to the annual President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Presidents-HonorRoll_Logo2Lawrence is one of only two Wisconsin institutions to be cited every year by the Washington, D.C.-based Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) since the honor roll program was launched in 2006 in response to the relief efforts of thousands of college students who traveled to the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. It recognizes the nation’s leading higher education institutions and their students, faculty and staff for their commitment to improving their communities through service.

Among the initiatives for which Lawrence was cited:

The President’s Honor Roll program recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities on a broad range of issues. Honorees are chosen on the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

“Lawrence’s many organizational partnerships in Appleton and the surrounding communities have long been an important ingredient in the transformative education that we provide for our students,” said Mark Jenike, Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and director of the college’s Office of Community-Based Learning and Research. “We also strive to support opportunities for volunteering, internships, community-based research and coursework, and community-oriented performances that have positive impacts on our neighbors and on the city and region in which we live. We are grateful to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for recognizing our accomplishments in these areas.”

Among the initiatives for which Lawrence was cited:

• Self-Agency in Youth (SAY) Program. Created in the fall of 2012, the SAY President's-Honor-Roll_2016_newsblogProgram partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley to run two empowerment groups for local teens:  the Beautiful You African American Girls’ group and Hmong Youth Pride and Empowerment (HYPE) group. Using the support groups and a tutoring/mentoring initiative, the SAY Program helps teens gain ownership over their post-high school futures. More than 60 volunteers — students, staff members, faculty, community members — were involved with the program that served more than 65 teenagers. By helping connect and build on the strengths of local youth from low-income backgrounds, the SAY program has helped these young people build their own communities where they find the support they need to thrive. The program now consists of Hmong Youth Pride and Empowerment (HYPE), Black Youth Empowerment (BYE) and the Organization of Latin@American Student (OLAS).

  • Music for All. Led by Lawrence conservatory faculty members Michael Mizrahi and Erin Lesser, the Music for All initiative strives to increase access to, and inclusion in, classical chamber music performances for children and populations who ordinarily do not participate. Performances have been conducted at Riverview Gardens, the Fox Valley Warming Shelter and Jefferson Elementary School. The program was founded on the belief that communities are strengthened through positive interaction and shared experiences and music has the power to connect people, transcend social barriers and provide meaningful emotional experiences.
  • Riverview Gardens Partnership: Lawrence students contributed more than 1200 hours of service at Riverview Gardens in support of its mission of combating root causes of hunger, homelessness, and unemployment. Lawrence has been closely connected to Riverview Gardens since the start of its operations in 2012. The first garden manager and other members of the garden staff have been Lawrence students or alumni; the fruit and vegetable gardens were designed and created by graduates of Lawrence’s own sustainable garden; students and faculty have applied their expertise in geology, terrestrial ecology and botany to plan and implement conservation and habitat restoration on the 72-acre property.

For the 2015 President’s Honor Roll, 785 members of the Lawrence community provided more than 12,000 hours of volunteer service to 144 local agencies. Many of Lawrence’s service initiatives are targeted towards addressing areas of need, including arts opportunities for youth, academic help for low-income kids, transitional housing and adult literacy and life/work skills identified in a report by The Fox Cities Community Foundation.

The Corporation for National and Community Service compiles the President’s Community Service Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

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 hosts Native American pow-wow

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The Menominee Nation Smokeytown drum group will be among the performers at a pow-wow demonstration in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

To help raise awareness about Indigenous Peoples Day, Lawrence University, is hosting a Native American Pow-wow demonstration Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

The program will feature the award-winning Menominee Nation Smokeytown singers and drum group along with local tribal dancers, sharing their unique history and musical traditions. The pow-wow is part of a national effort to reimagine the traditional Columbus Day holiday, shifting it from a celebration of colonialism into an opportunity to focus on the many positive contributions of indigenous people in America.

“My hope is for our audience to get a first-hand glimpse of the resiliency and sheer beauty of our culture that sometimes gets overlooked in school curriculum and national media,” said Brigetta Miller, associate professor of music education and ethnic studies at Lawrence, a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee (Mohican) Nation and an organizer of the event. “Pow-wows are a wonderful time for us to connect and come together as a community.”

The pow-wow is collaboratively supported by the Lawrence Diversity Center, Lawrence University Native Americans (LUNA), Goodwill NCW and the Appleton Area School District.

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.

 

Chamber trio opens Lawrence University’s 2016-17 Artist Series

The combined musical genius of violinist Ani Kavafian, pianist Anna Polonsky and clarinetist David Shifrin visit the Lawrence Memorial Chapel Friday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. to open Lawrence University’s 2016-17 Artists Series.

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Violinist Ani Kavafian

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

Polonsky is a late substitute for originally scheduled pianist Andre-Michel Schub, who had to cancel his appearance due to a medical emergency.

Each performer is an individual award-winning artist while  Kavafian and Shifrin have performed with Schub as a trio since 2005. As an ensemble, they have performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as well as in major national and international concert halls. While works by Mozart, Stravinsky and Poulenc are staples of their repertoire, the trio also features contemporary composers such as William Bolcom.

Catherine Kautsky, chair of the piano department at Lawrence’s conservatory of music hailed Kavafian and Shifrin as “an absolute master of their instrument.”

““I remember Ani Kavafian from her days as a very young violinist in New York and have heard her since on numerous occasions,” said Kautsky. “She’s a consummately sensitive collaborative player. David Shifrin must be one of the two or three most famous clarinetists in the world these days.”

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Clarinetist David Shifrin

Lawrence violin professor Wen-Lei Gu, who studied with Kavafian’s sister in New York City, called the concert “a rare opportunity for music lovers in the Fox Valley area to experience a top notch, world-class performance.”

“When I was going to graduate school in New York City, I had the great pleasure of seeing the Kavafians perform as part of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society concert series,” said Gu. “Each time it was an incredibly moving and inspiring experience. The upcoming concert is going to be a real musical treat.”

Each artist enjoys notable solo careers and each holds teaching positions at prestigious institutions: Kavafian and Shifrin at Yale School of Music, Polonsky at Vassar College.

A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Kavafian launched her professional career as a winner of the 1973 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Three years later she was the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

David Bell, who teaches clarinet in the Lawrence conservatory, called Shifrin “arguably the premiere clarinetist of his generation.”

“He has quite literally done it all — principal clarinet of a major symphony at age 23, a chamber musician of extraordinary skill throughout his career, a universally acclaimed concert soloist and recitalist and a fantastic career as one of the premiere teachers of his instrument,” said Bell. “He continues to perform at the highest level. For those of us who have gotten to know him a bit, he is an unfailingly humble, generous and warm human being. One of the really ‘good guys.’  It’s a privilege to have him coming to our campus and I hope many people will take advantage of the opportunity to attend his performance.”

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Pianist Anna Polonsky

Awarded an honorary professorship at China’s Central Conservatory in Beijing in 2007, Shifrin is one of only two wind players ever to win Avery Fisher Prize in the award’s 42-year history. Early in his career, Shifrin was a grand prize winner in both the Munich and the Geneva International Competitions and a recipient of a Solo Recitalists’ Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

A former student of renowned pianist Peter Serkin, Polonsky made her solo debut at the age of seven in Moscow, Russia. She has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia and is a frequent guest at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She has collaborated with many of the world’s leading chamber music artists and ensembles, including David Shifrin, Yo-Yo Ma, Richard Goode, Guarneri and Shanghai quartets.

Other performers on this year’s Artist Series line-up include the Elias String Quartet, Feb. 3, 2017; Mnozil Brass, March 29, 2017; and Roomful of Teeth, April 7, 2017.

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 hosts weekend reunion for Black Alumni Network

Black-Alumni-Network_newsblog1Lawrence University welcomes members of its Black Alumni Network to campus Sept. 30-Oct. 2 for its second reunion. The weekend-long event is designed to provide opportunities to reconnect with former classmates and the college as well as interact with current students.

“This reunion provides a wonderful opportunity for Lawrence to support this engaged and successful group of graduates,” said Kimberly Barrett, vice president of diversity and inclusion and associate dean of the faculty. “It also provides a way for these individuals to give back to the institution by contributing to the success of current students, particular those who identify as African-American.

Alumni attending the reunion can relive their college days by sitting in on one of three Fall Term classes with current students: “Democracy in Comparative Perspective,” “Introduction to Gender Studies” and “Literature and the Environment.”

Other reunion activities include campus tours, a lunch with small group conversations addressing campus issues related to identity development and diversity with Pa Lee Moua, associate dean of students for diversity and students, a screening of author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates’ 2015 Lawrence convocation “Race in America: A Deeper Black” followed by group discussion and a Diversity Circle program offering a contemporary approach to diversity training moderated by current Lawrence students.

Black-Affinity-Reunion_newsblog2As part of the weekend festivities, the president and other senior administrators will join the alumni for lunch on Oct. 1, members of Lawrence’s Black Student Union will host an open house at Sankofa House for the alumni Saturday evening and members of the President’s Committee on Diversity Affairs will host a question-and-answer session in conjunction with a Sunday brunch.

“Those attending the reunion will be able to share key insights with university administrators to assist in our efforts to create a more inclusive Lawrence,” said Barrett. “I feel extremely fortunate to have access to this brain trust to inform my work as I begin my tenure at Lawrence as the college’s first chief diversity officer.”

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.

Wriston Art Center exhibition honors former Lawrence art professor

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Arthur Thrall taught art at Lawrence from 1964 until his retirement in 1990.

 A celebration of former Lawrence University art professor Arthur Thrall’s skills and imagination as an award-winning printmaker and painter highlights the newest exhibition in Lawrence’s Wriston Art Center galleries.

Arthur Thrall: Tribute to a Master Artist” in the Kohler Gallery opens Friday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. with a free public reception. The exhibition runs through Nov. 23.

During a 26-year teaching career at Lawrence — Thrall retired in 1990 but remained an active artist in retirement — he established an international reputation for works inspired by sources as diverse as calligraphy and computers, music and microchips.

Covering three broad themes — calligraphy, musical notation and lyrical lines — the exhibition features a wide array of media and print-making processes, from intaglio and relief prints to gouache and oil paintings.

A video by professional photographer Mark Heffron, “Orchestrated Lines,” that documents Thrall creating the print “Confluence” will be shown during the exhibition, while the plate for that print and some of Thrall’s printmaking tools also will be displayed.

Beth Zinsli, director and curator of the Wriston Art Center galleries, called Thrall “a legend in the Wisconsin arts community.”

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“Etude,” acrylic on canvas, will be one of Arthur Thrall’s works in the “Tribute to a Master Artist” exhibition.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to showcase this stunning array of Arthur’s complex and multilayer works in a variety of media,” said Zinsli. “I’m confident viewers will find his work aesthetically pleasing and intellectually engaging.”

His prints and paintings appeared in more than 500 exhibitions around the world and many found homes in the permanent collections of the British Museum, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate Gallery, the Smithsonian Institute, the Library of Congress and the Chicago Art Institute, among others.

A native of Milwaukee, Thrall was one of 21 members of the Milwaukee-Downer College faculty who came to Lawrence in 1964 as part of the consolidation with the former all-women’s college. He died at the age of 88 in March, 2015.

During his career, Thrall was recognized by the art community with more than 75 awards, including the Lifetime Award from the Society of American Graphic Artists in New York in 2013. He also received the Museum of Wisconsin Art’s Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

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Shannon Sullivan’s”Interactive Bubble Array” will be among the featured works in the exhibition “FACET.”

In addition to “Tribute to a Master Artist,” the Leech and Hoffmaster galleries host  “FACET: Diverse Works by Women in the West.” The show features five female artists from the American West — Renee Brown, Natalie Macellaio, Jessica McCambly, Lesli Robertson and Shannon Sullivan — who work with “heavy” sculpture materials, including metals, clay, concrete, wood and glass. Their work, reflecting deep consideration of the virtues and limitations of their chosen medium, references the natural world, including geologic, chemical and biological processes.

“FACET” includes Sullivan’s interactive piece “Interactive Bubble Array,” which visitors can manipulate (while wearing gloves).

The Wriston Art Center galleries are free and open to the public Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday noon – 4 p.m.; closed Mondays. For more information on the exhibition, 920-832-6890.

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.

 

Tuvan acoustic quartet opens Lawrence’s 2016-17 World Music Series

Huun-Huur-Tu_newsblogThe traditional music and instruments from the Russian province of Tuva come to Lawrence University’s Stansbury Theatre Monday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m as the acoustic quartet Huun Huur Tu opens the college’s 2016-17 World Music Series. Tickets, at $10 for adults, $5 for seniors/students, are available through the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6947. Free to Lawrence faculty/students/staff.

The performance features musicians deeply rooted in the art of Tuvan music. Huun Huur Tu specializes in throat singing, a unique singing style that is popularly practiced throughout East and Central Asia, as well as in northern Canada and South Africa.

While throat singing is usually performed acappella, this program celebrates traditional Tuvan music with the addition of traditional instruments. The power of human voices form eerie overtones producing a meditative, evocative sound straight from the avant garde. Using traditional instruments such as the igil, Tuvan jaw harp and dünggür (shaman drum), and drawing subtly on 20th-century composers, Huun Huur Tu transforms ancient songs into complex acoustic compositions.

Founded in 1992, Huun Huur Tu has released 15 albums, including “Ancestors Call” and “Legend” in 2010.

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.

Community Early Learning Center recognized with Lawrence University’s 2016 Collaboration in Action Award

An Appleton education center that helps establish the foundation for young children to reach their full potential was honored Sept. 21 by Lawrence University during the college’s eighth annual Report to the Community.

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Lawrence President Mark Burstein addresses a crowd of community leaders at the university’s 2016 Report to the Community.

Recognized for being “a catalyst for positive change in our community,” the Community Early Learning Center (CELC) received the seventh annual Lawrence University Collaboration in Action Award. The award recognizes an individual or organization, who, in partnership with Lawrence, has provided exemplary service to the Fox Cities community through strategic vision, leadership influence, long-standing commitment and enthusiasm, financial contributions and/or volunteerism.

Lawrence faculty members Beth Haines, associate professor of psychology, and Adam Loy, assistant professor of statistics, along Kathy Phillippi-Immel, associate professor of psychology at UW-Fox Valley, presented the award. Accepting the award on behalf of the CELC were Jon Stellmacher, board president of the CELC, Lee Allinger, superintendent of the Appleton Area School District, Dr. John Mielke of the Mielke Family Foundation and Nicole Desten, director of the Bridges Child Enrichment Center.

Launched in 2014 in the former Catholic Central
 Elementary School in downtown Appleton, the CELC brought five nonprofit and public organizations together under one roof: Bridges Child Enrichment Center (formerly Project Bridges), Appleton Area School District Birth–5 Programs, Even Start Family Literacy, Outagamie County Early Intervention and the UW–Oshkosh Head Start program.

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community Early Learning Center Board President Jon Stellmacher was one of four representatives who spoke on behalf of the center and its award.

The one-time independently operating organizations now share space, data and resources to serve children from birth to age five. Each focuses on different aspects of early childhood development and intervention to ensure that all children — especially those from low-income backgrounds — have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

According to Burstein, this kind of collaborative investment in early childhood education “keeps our community on the cutting edge of education research and best practices.”

“Collaboration with Appleton and the greater Fox Cities has never been more important to Lawrence,” Burstein added. “The Report to the Community allows us to deepen the conversation among all partners and provide a moment to celebrate recent accomplishments.  Lawrence is thrilled to award the Collaboration In Action prize to the Community Early Learning Center this year.  The Center’s impact on the educational environment in the Fox Cities is powerful and our work together has provided wonderful learning experiences for our students and faculty as well as hopefully an opportunity to enhance what the CELC has to offer.”

Lawrence faculty and staff have been involved with the CELC since its founding. Haines and David Burrows, provost and dean of the Lawrence faculty, served on the planning and implementation team during the CELC’s early stages. Haines, who chairs the center’s research committee, led efforts to create an ongoing assessment plan. Haines, Loy and Phillippi-Immel also helped develop a shared database for the five agencies.

Under Haines’ guidance, Lawrence students have conducted screenings and data analysis each summer since the CELC opened. They also have gained real-world experience working in CELC classrooms.

“It’s really nice for them to be able to not just read about why these programs are in place, but to actually help out,” says Haines. “When they do fieldwork, they volunteer. They’re not just observing.”

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Brittni Adekoya is among several Lawrence students who have conducted fieldwork at the Community Early Learning Center.

Through the integration of applied research and collaborative program planning, Lawrence enables the CELC to make the most of limited staff time and money, allowing  the CELC to maximize the benefits to area young children and families.

“Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of quality early care and education in improving social and emotional development and school readiness, helping reduce the costs of remediation and increasing the benefits of a productive citizenry,” said CELC Board President Jon Stellmacher. “As we elevate attention to the importance of the early years and their long-term impact on school and life success, we add one more excellent reason why this is a wonderful community in which to live and work.”

The CELC joins Mile of Music (2015), Riverview Gardens (2014), Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Cities (2013), the Appleton Area School District (2012), the YMCA of the Fox Cities (2011) and the Mielke Family Foundation  (2010) as previous winners of Lawrence’s Collaboration in Action Award.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ImprovisationaLU: Two-day festival features some of music world’s best improvisers

New York City’s Jen Shyu and England-born, California-based  guitarist/composer Fred Frith headline a two-day music festival at Lawrence University devoted to all things improvisation.

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Jen Shyu performs her “Solo Rites: Seven Breaths” on the opening night of the ImprovisationaLU festival. Photo: National Gugak Center.

Shyu and Frith will be among five artists performing Sept. 23-24 for the first “ImprovisationaLU” in the Warch Campus Center. All festival performances are free and open to the public.

Festival organizer Sam Genualdi, a senior from Evanston, Ill., said he wanted to showcase artists “who haven’t previously had a strong voice on campus.”

“These are people I’ve been listening to for a long time,” said Genauldi, who has played guitar with the Lawrence Faculty Jazz Quartet pm several occasions. “The festival is designed to provide a forum for artists who are pushing the boundaries of their musical communities. There will be something there for people who are already knowledgeable about improvised music as well as those who are simply curious about it.”

Shyu, an experimental jazz vocalist, composer, dancer and multi-instrumentalist, takes the stage Friday evening for a performance of her critically acclaimed composition “Solo Rites: Seven Breaths.” The personal story of loss and redemption examined through the lens of modern world hardships combines vocals and dance with a variety of instruments, including piano, the Taiwanese moon lute and gayageum (a traditional Korean zither-like instrument).

Classically trained in opera, violin and ballet, Shyu has recorded six albums, including her most recent, “Sounds and Cries of the World,” which the New York Times included on its list of “Top 10 Best Albums of 2015.” Music critic Ben Ratliff has called Shyu’s concerts “the most arresting performances I’ve seen over the past five years..she seems open, instinctual, almost fearless.”

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Fred Frith will perform a solo gig before teaming with White Out on Sept. 24.

Frith performs Saturday as a solo act as well as for the first time with the two-person experimental band White Out.

In a career spanning more than four decades, Frith has performed with numerous bands, including the British avant-rock group Henry Cow, Skeleton Crew and Keep the Dog. Best known for his genre-bending and innovative work with the electric guitar, Frith currently leads the Gravity Band and Cosa Brava, an experimental rock and improvisation quintet he helped found in 2008. He also leads Eye to Ear, which performs and records film and theatre music composed by Frith.

The schedule for ImprovisationaLU:

FRIDAY, SEPT. 23
8 p.m.-9 p.m. Matt Turner and Hal Rammel.  Turner, a 1989 graduate of Lawrence and current lecturer in the Lawrence conservatory, has established himself as one of the world’s leading improvising cellists. He has performed on more than 100 recordings with artists ranging from jazz violinist Randy Sabien and goth vocalist/pianist Jo Gabriel to punk artist Kyle Fische and alt-country band Heller Mason.

Rammel is a composer and improviser who performs on musical instruments of his own creation. In the 1980s, he was an active member of Chicago’s experimental and improvised music scene. In 2007 he organized the quartet The LOST DATA Project and founded the Great Lakes Improvising Orchestra in 2011 to explore large ensemble open form and structured improvisation.

• 9:15 p.m.-10:30 p.m., Jen Shyu, “Solo Rites: Seven Breaths.” Shyu will conduct an audience Q & A following her performance.

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Rapper/beatboxer Carnage the Executioner kicks off the second night of the ImprovisationaLU festival.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 24
•  7:15 p.m.-8:15 p.m. Carnage the Executioner (Terrell Woods). Minneapolis-based Carnage is a rapper and beatboxer known for his lyrical dexterity and uncanny ability to compose musical symphonies with his mouth through beat boxing.

•  8:30 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. Fred Frith

•  9:15 p.m.-10:15 p.m. White Out with Fred Frith. A product of the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, White Out is the husband-wife team of percussion maverick Tom Surgal and synthesizer artiste Lin Culbertson, who also plays autoharp, flute and mystery electronics while providing vocals. Musical experimentalists to the core, White Out released its seventh album, “Accidental Sky,” in 2015. With its “spiritual jams from the outer regions…spastic, feedback-laden licks and massaging and stabbing beats that resemble a voodoo ceremony,” it landed on the New York Observer’s 2015 list of “best experimental albums.

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.

Work of Lawrence student photographers featured in Trout Museum of Art exhibition

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“Giza” by Torrey Smith

The photographic talents of 10 Lawrence University students are featured in the exhibition “Out of the Darkroom” in the Regional Artist Gallery at The Trout Museum of Art in downtown Appleton.

Featuring a variety of works ranging from tableau and portraiture, to landscape and still life photos, the exhibition opens Friday, Sept. 16 and runs though Dec. 31.

The students whose work is featured in the exhibit are: Natalie Cash ’18, Michael Hubbard ’17, Cherise John ’17, Regan Martin ’17, Glenn McMahon ‘17, Nick Nootenboom ’17, Penn Ryan  ’18, Torrey Smith ’17, Chloe Stella ’16 and Sadie Tenpas ’17. All are students of Associate Professor of Art John Shimon.

“What interests me here is how the students respond to, and utilize, this medium of light-sensitive materials,” said Shimon. “Established as the primary image-making tool of the 20th century, it was early in these students’ life times that these processes were replaced with digital technologies.

“Now the darkroom has become solely the domain of artists, with a rich history to respond to and extend,” Shimon added. “There is a freshness in viewpoint here as these students are distanced from the practical applications of analog photography.”

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“8” by Regan Martin

The materials needed to create the exhibition’s body of work were fully funded through generous donations to Julie’s kindness project in memory of former Lawrence associate professor of art Julie Lindemann, and through the efforts of 2015 Lawrence graduate Lucy Bowman, who helped secure a grant from the Reva and David Logan Foundation that allowed students full access to darkroom facilities.

The Regional Artist Gallery is open free of charge to the public during museum hours. The gallery is a community-oriented space celebrating and exhibiting high quality artwork from regional artists. The Regional Artist Gallery, an extension of The Trout Museum of Art, is located on the third floor of the Fox Cities Building for the Arts, 111 W. College Ave., Appleton.

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.