SOU-Theater JPR building

SOU unveils theater, JPR facilities with public celebration

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University will dedicate its expanded and renovated Theater Building, and new Jefferson Public Radio Broadcast Center, in a daylong celebration on Saturday. The public is encouraged to participate in the festivities.

The event will begin with a dedication ceremony at 11 a.m., followed by an open house, tours, complimentary entertainment and refreshments beginning at 11:30 a.m. A full day of theatre performances is also planned, with productions of “Small Mouth Sounds” in the Black Box Theater at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and “Into the Woods” in the Main Stage Theater at 8 p.m.

Tickets to the theater performances are limited, so those planning to attend any of the shows should call the SOU Box Office to purchase tickets 541-552-6348, or by email at boxoffice@sou.edu.

Planning for the expansion and renovation project – which added about 60,000 square feet to SOU’s Theater Building – began about 10 years ago, and construction wrapped up this week with the installation of public art in the facility’s outdoor courtyard.

The project added facilities for the university’s Theatre Department that include a new costume shop, control booths, acting studios, movement studio, theater design studio, lighting lab, administrative and theater offices, green room and backstage restrooms. The JPR studios and offices account for 7,000 square feet of the overall project.

The total cost was about $12.75 million, which includes $2.75 million for JPR annex. Construction bonds approved by the Oregon Legislature provided $11.5 million in funding, and JPR donors contributed another $1.25 million.

Entertainment during Saturday’s open house celebration will be provided by the Danielle Kelly Jazz Project, and refreshments will be available from the Peruvian Point Restaurant, Rogue Creamery, Ashland Food Co-op, Troon, Weisinger Winery, Kriselle Cellars and Simple Machine Winery.

-SOU-

SOU-musical-Into the Woods

“Into the Woods” to be featured on the Main Stage at SOU

“Into the Woods,” a musical about classic fairy tale characters and their lives after the stories, will be performed beginning this week on the Main Stage Theater at Southern Oregon University.

Based on the book by James Lapine, “Into the Woods” is a compilation of fractured fairy tales and is set to Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics. The show is just under three hours, including a 15-minute intermission.

Admission to “Into the Woods” is $5 for full-time students of any school. Students must purchase their tickets in person and show appropriate ID. General admission is $20, and $15 for seniors. The minimum age recommended for those attending the show is 8 years old.

Tickets can also be purchased online, by calling 541-552-6348, or by stopping at the OCA Box Office. The Box Office is open Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m.

“Into the Woods” will be performed at 8 p.m. Nov. 8 through 10 and Nov. 15 through 17. The musical will also be performed at 2 p.m. on Nov. 17 and 18.

Paul Barnes, an Ashland theatre veteran, is directing the musical masterpiece. Barnes was a founder of the Oregon Cabaret Theater and was education director for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has also taught at college and university theatre programs, including at the University of Oklahoma’s Helemerich School of Drama and the University of San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre.

His most recent assignment for SOU’s Theatre Department was Our Town, in 2013.

Parking on the evenings of the “Into the Woods” performances will be free in the university lot on South Mountain Avenue and Henry Street. Contact the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU Box Office with any questions, at (541) 552-6348.

Story by Bryn Mosier, SOU Marketing and Communications intern

SOU-Collier-Field Burns exhibition

Patrick Collier, visiting artist at SOU’s Schneider Museum of Art

Multidisciplinary artist Patrick Collier will give a visiting artist lecture from 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. on Nov. 7 in the SOU Art Building’s Meese Auditorium. He will also exhibit a selection of recent digital prints in the Schneider Museum of Art.

Collier’s current exhibition, “Field Burns,” shows both the power and beauty of the controlled burning of grass seed fields in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Collier moved in 2003 from Chicago to the Willamette Valley, where he farms and works on his art.

“Field Burns” will be on display in the Schneider Main Gallery until Jan. 5. The landscapes provide viewers an opportunity to reflect on various regional agricultural and artistic issues, and to be inspired by the beauty of Collier’s compositions.

Another exhibition, “Outland About,” will be on display in the Schneider Museum’s Heiter and Treehaven galleries until Jan 5. It features the work of Carl Diehl and Susan Murrell, and is curated by Collier.

Collier has shown his art in several prestigious venues, including the Beret International Gallery in Chicago, the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts in Milwaukee and the Nine Gallery in Portland. He has presented frequently in Portland and Corvallis, but is best known for regionally for his critical writing in the online journal Oregon ArtsWatch.

He works in many disciplines, including photography, poetry, drawing, video, sculpture and installation. Collier’s artistic career has spanned nearly 25 years.

Collier has degrees in philosophy, literature and art. He studies at the University of Illinois in Chicago and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Story by Bryn Mosier, SOU Marketing and Communications intern

SOU-Jerome Rose-Tutunov

Piano master Jerome Rose to perform in SOU’s Tutunov Series

SOU’s Tutunov Piano Series will host a master of the piano on Friday, Nov. 2, when Jerome Rose – who has been hailed as “the last romantic of our own age” – graces the Music Recital Hall stage.

Rose will perform selections from Beethoven, Liszt and Chopin in a performance of about 90 minutes, with a 15-minute intermission.

He is one of America’s most distinguished pianists, having played in major concert halls across five continents and studied under the late Austrian-American pianist Adolph Baller. Rose is a frequent performer at the Toho Conservatory of Music in Tokyo, Japan.

Admission to the SOU performance is free for full-time students of any school. Tickets are $20 regularly, and $5 for Oregon Trail Card Holders. Students and Oregon Trail Card Holders must purchase their tickets in person and show appropriate ID.

Tickets can also be purchased online at oca.sou.edu/box-office, by calling (541) 552-6348, or by stopping at the OCA Box Office. The Box Office is open Monday through Friday, noon to five. Visa and Mastercard are accepted.

Rose had his debut with the San Francisco Symphony at age 15 and began teaching when he was 25. He is a graduate of Mannes College and Juilliard School of Music, and is currently on the faculty of Mannes College of Music.

Rose also founded the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in 1999. The summer music academy at New York’s Hunter College attracts some of the world’s top piano students and is staffed by world-class piano faculty and performing artists. The festival hosts the Dorothy Mackenzie Piano Competition, with winners awarded international performing and recording opportunities.

Parking on the evening of the SOU performance will be free in the university lot on South Mountain Avenue and Henry Street. Contact the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU Box Office with any questions, at (541) 552-6348 or oca.sou.edu/box-office.

Story by Bryn Mosier, SOU Marketing and Communications intern

SOU-Left Edge Percussion-Tower Music

SOU’s Left Edge Percussion presents world premiere of Tower Music

Terry Longshore will lead SOU’s Left Edge Percussion in the premiere of New York composer Joseph Bertolozzi’s percussion arrangement of “Tower Music.” The work features 82 percussion instruments played by five performers, and will premiere Nov. 8 at the university’s Music Recital Hall.

Left Edge Percussion is a contemporary percussion group in residence at SOU’s Oregon Center for the Arts.

The idea behind “Tower Music” grew out of Bertolozzi’s “Bronze Collection” project for solo percussion. He reasoned that everything vibrates and drummers like to bang on things, so why not play the Eiffel Tower?

Never thinking he would get permission to drum on the iconic French tower but liking the concept, Bertolozzi first sought approval from the New York State Bridge Authority to create another piece, “Bridge Music,” on the Mid-Hudson Bridge.

“I didn’t think I’d get permission for that either, but at least I didn’t have to learn French just to ask,” he said.

“Bridge Music” is now in its 9th year as a public sound art installation.

Using “Bridge Music” as a proof of concept, Bertolozzi approached the French government (six times) and eventually received permission to “sample” (record) the Eiffel Tower’s surfaces. He and his team of audio and video engineers sampled over 10,000 sounds of the Eiffel Tower, then narrowed those down to about 2,800 “usable” sounds. He next constructed scales and “instrument sets” out of those raw recordings.

Seven years of planning, fundraising and sweat later, “Tower Music” became a reality. It reached  No. 11 and No. 16, respectively, on the iTunes Classical and Billboard Classical Crossover charts.

The score for “Tower Music” on the Eiffel Tower itself is written out in standard notation so it can be performed live by 100 percussionists. A possible live performance directly on the Eiffel Tower is currently in development for the 2024 Paris Olympics, but is far from certain.

Meanwhile, Bertolozzi’s new arrangement makes it possible for a percussion 5tet to reproduce the music – for instance, with cymbals standing in for fence crashes, bass drums for booms on the Tower legs with a log and glockenspiel for pings on a pipe.

“This arrangement is important to me, as it will bring live performances of the work into the concert hall, since live performance on the Eiffel Tower itself will be an extremely rare (if ever) event,” Bertolozzi said. “It gives longevity and presence to the music by allowing live audiences to enjoy live performances in an authentic, composer-created arrangement.”

Bertolozzi, joined by SOU’s Longshore and Left Edge Percussion, will also give a free talk about “Tower Music” from 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, , in the Music Recital Hall.

Longshore and Left Edge Percussion tours and performs throughout the Northwest and actively collaborates on innovative projects with composers and artists of various media. Members of the group have been featured around the globe at prestigious festivals, competitions, conferences and workshops.

SOU OLLI murder mystery dinner play

Murder at the Cafe Noir: An audience-participation whodunnit from OLLI

Members, instructors and community supporters of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at SOU are invited to three audience-participation performances next month of the comedy, “Murder at the Café Noir.” All proceeds of the events will support OLLI’s Campbell Center Renovation Fund.

The dinner play will be performed by the OLLI Improv Players from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2 and 3, and from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. All performances will be in the Diversions Room on the bottom floor of SOU’s Stevenson Union.

Tickets are $55 per person and include appetizers, wine, dinner and entertainment. The meal includes vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

Reservations may be made online before the deadline of Friday, Oct. 26. A check payable to OLLI must be received within one week of reservations to confirm seats.

Seating will be limited to 70 audience members per performance – seven people at each of 10 tables. Seating preferences will be accommodated when possible.

OLLI at SOU offers a variety of peer-taught, non-credit classes to almost 1,900 members at locations in Ashland and Medford. Membership is open to adults of any age, but the program is geared toward those who are 50-plus. More information is available on the OLLI website.

SOU Flamenco Pacifico

Flamenco Pacifico One World Performance Oct. 14 at SOU

JPR and the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU will present Flamenco Pacifico at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14, at the SOU Music Recital Hall.

The performance will offer an unforgettable journey into the fascinating world of flamenco. It will feature flamenco guitarist and composer Berto Boyd, guitarist Grant Ruiz and percussionist Terry Longshore with dance performances by Elena Villa and Melissa Cruz.

Flamenco Pacifico is a dynamic, professional performance group dedicated to bringing the art of flamenco music and dance to audiences in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The group seeks to present flamenco as a cultural event and an art form that invites creative innovation.

“The compositions take you into serene and moving musical landscapes you’ll want to visit again and again,” singer/songwriter Kathy Zavada said. “This is flamenco music at its best.”

With collective musical influences as diverse as Brazilian, jazz, Western classical and Middle Eastern, Flamenco Pacifico offers its unique version of modern flamenco with a world orientation.

The group’s most recent album, “Convivencia,” was nominated for “Best World/Global Fusion Album of 2017” by One World Music Awards.

Tickets are $25 General Admission / $5 SOU Student with valid student ID. Tickets are available online by CLICKING HERE, or at the Box Office: (541) 552-6348.

This story is reposted from Jefferson Public Radio

SOU Curt Tolfteland Shakespeare in Prison

Oregon Center for the Arts and ShakespeareAMERICA present “Shakespeare in Prison”

The Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU and ShakespeareAMERICA will present “Shakespeare in Prison” from 12:30 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, in the Art Building’s Meese Auditorium on the SOU campus.

The event will include a screening of the acclaimed 2005 documentary, “Shakespeare Behind Bars,” and a panel discussion featuring the director of the prison performance chronicled in the film and one of its actors. There is no admission charge.

David McCandless – director of Shakespeare studies at SOU and organizer of the event –said “Shakespeare in Prison” will address the unique ways in which performing Shakespeare’s plays helps inmates move beyond a criminal past and toward a successful re-integration into society.

The event will begin with a brief lecture from Oakland University (Michigan) Professor Niels Herold, entitled “Transformative Play in Pericles Behind Bars.” Herold is the author of “Prison Shakespeare and the Purpose of Performance.” The screening of “Shakespeare Behind Bars” will follow.

Hailed by critics as a moving tribute to the transformative power of Shakespeare’s art, “Shakespeare Behind Bars” captures the efforts of theatre professional Curt Tofteland to stage a production of “The Tempest” at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in La Grange, Kentucky.

Tofteland, who went on to found the national organization “Shakespeare Behind Bars,” will take part in the panel discussion that will follow the SOU screening. He will be joined by Sammie Byron, a returned citizen who is prominently featured in the film. Other panelists include Lesley Currier, managing director of Marin Shakespeare Company and founder of “Shakespeare for Social Justice,” a program facilitating Shakespearean performance at eight California state prisons; and Dameion Brown, an alumnus of Currier’s program at Solano State Prison, who is now a professional actor in the Bay Area.

ShakespeareAMERICA was founded by David Humphrey, director of the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU, and Paul Nicholson, executive director emeritus at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Past events of ShakespeareAmerica – a project to bridge Shakespeare performance and scholarship – have included “Multi-Cultural Shakespeare,” “The Woman’s Part in Shakespeare” and a “A Conversation with Peter Sellars.“

Reposted from Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU

SOU Adams songbirdsongs Caballito Negro

Caballito Negro & Friends perform John Luther Adams’ “songbirdsongs”

NEWS RELEASE
(Ashland, Ore.) — Caballito Negro (flutist Tessa Brinckman and percussionist Terry Longshore) along with their guest artists, flutist Elizabeth McNutt and percussionists Chris Whyte and Jared Brown, will perform “songbirdsongs” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the SOU Music Recital Hall.

The concert is free for full-time students and SOU faculty,$5 for seniors 65 and older, and $10 for regular admission.

“songbirdsongs,” an epic poem to wilderness, is a collection of indeterminate miniature pieces for piccolos, ocarinas and percussion, based on free translations of bird songs.

“These small songs are echoes of rare moments and places where the voices of birds have been clear and I have been quiet enough to hear,” Adams writes. “This music is not literal transcription. It is translation. These melodies and rhythms are not so much constructed artifacts as they are spontaneous affirmations.

“No one has yet explained why the free songs of birds are so simply beautiful. And what do they say? What are their meanings? We may never know. But beyond the realm of ideas and emotions, language and sense, we just may hear something of their essence.”

Adams is an American composer whose music is inspired by nature – especially the landscapes of Alaska, where he lived from 1978 to 2014. His orchestral work, “Become Ocean,” was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Caballito Negro performs intercultural work in a fearless, ecstatic blend of modern and traditional aesthetics. Inspired by Federico García Lorca’s poem, Canción de Jinete (1860), flutist Tessa Brinckman and percussionist Terry Longshore collaborate with many prominent, innovative artists, creating contemporary music that pushes the flute and percussion repertoire to new heights, and always in the spirit of duende. For more information go to caballitonegro.com

Flutist Elizabeth McNutt in on the faculty of the University of North Texas and is the director of the Sounds Modern series at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Chris Whyte is on the faculty of Portland State University and Western Oregon University, and is a member of the Portland Percussion Group. Jared Brown is the director of the Oregon Fringe Festival, and is an active composer and performer.

-OCA at SOU-

SOU Schneider Museum

Fall exhibitions at SOU’s Schneider Museum

NEWS RELEASE

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s Schneider Museum of Art has announced the opening of its Fall Exhibition, “Terrain: The Space Between from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation.” The work is curated by SMA Director Scott Malbaurn, and includes work by Vija Celmins, Judy Pfaff and Ed Ruscha, on view in the museum’s Entry Gallery through Jan. 5.

The exhibition’s opening reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27, at SOU’s Schneider Museum of Art.

“The Schneider Museum of Art continues to curate exciting exhibitions of some of the most important artists of our time,” said Jordan D. Schnitzer, President of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. “The artists on view encourage patrons to think about the space and time in our lives. This is our fifth exhibit at the Schneider and we look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.”

Exhibition Essay Excerpts by Elizabeth Walborn
Ed Ruscha, Judy Pfaff and Vija Celmins have vast differences in artistic styles, but they share a similar appreciation in the spaces between.

  • The space between the viewer, the black redaction marks and the landscape in Ruscha’s “Country Cityscapes: It’s Payback Time” (1991) leaves a question of what is blocked out – not only the words, but the scenery behind it. One is caught between wanting to know what is more important; what lies behind the large marks or the reasons behind marking the image.
  • In Pfaff’s “End of the Rain” (C) (2000), the space between the viewer and the blue house creates a feeling of driving along an abandoned country road and spying an old home across the lake.
  • The lack of space between the viewer and the waves in Celmins’ “Ocean with Cross #1” (2005) creates a loss of horizon and a direct plain of existence, leaving the spectator in a state of alarm.

About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation
Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother’s Portland contemporary art gallery at age 14, starting his lifelong avocation as a collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. The collection now exceeds 13,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be one of the country’s largest private collections. He generously lends work from his collection to qualified institutions. The Foundation has organized over 160 exhibitions and has had art exhibited at over 100 museums.

Schnitzer is also president of Harsch Investment Properties, a privately-owned and Portland-based real estate investment company that owns and manages office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family and retail properties in six Western states. For more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit jordanschnitzer.org.

About the Schneider Museum of Art
The Schneider Museum of Art, part of the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU, is a vital force in the intellectual life of SOU that promotes an understanding of the visual arts within a liberal arts education. Serving both an academic and community audience, it builds a challenging environment that engages with the visual arts through exhibitions and programs supporting interdisciplinary study, research and discourse. Visit sma.sou.edu.