Tag Archive for: Oregon Center for the Arts

Andrew Gay, director of SOU School of Arts & Communication

Internal candidate hired for SOU director position

(Ashland, Ore.) — Andrew Kenneth Gay, a professor and chair of Communication, Media & Cinema at Southern Oregon University, has been hired as director of SOU’s new School of Arts & Communication – which includes the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU.

Gay has taken on numerous leadership roles since joining the SOU faculty in 2014, including his current, two-year appointment to the SOU Board of Trustees. In addition to his academic roles, he has served two years as chair of the Faculty Senate and led a recent three-year effort to transform SOU’s general education curriculum.

“I am especially excited to know that our students will benefit from Andrew’s collaborative and interdisciplinary vision for the future,” said Susan Walsh, SOU’s provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, in announcing Gay’s promotion to the campus community.

SOU’s School of Arts & Communication, which was initiated this fall, combines the university’s Theatre, Music and Creative Arts departments with its Communication, Media & Cinema department, among other programs. All share components related to performance, creativity and production, and new opportunities for collaboration are created by placing them under the same school.

All of the university’s 46 undergraduate and 10 graduate-level academic programs have been distributed among four “schools” beginning this fall, rather than the seven “divisions” that previously administered the programs. The shift leads to more efficiency in SOU’s administrative structure, and was a key part of the cost management plan adopted last spring by the Board of Trustees.

Gay will succeed David Humphrey, Ph.D., who created the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU and led that division for 11 years. Humphrey is retiring at the end of December.

“Ashland and SOU have always been internationally recognized destinations for creativity, storytelling and human connection, and our new School of Arts & Communication continues that tradition with a renewed focus on interdisciplinary collaboration,” Gay said. “I’m thrilled to lead the new school and the Oregon Center for the Arts as we build a hub for creative careers and meaningful expression in our region and work to realize our students’ most ambitious dreams.”

The university’s undergraduate program in Digital Cinema was created under Gay’s leadership in 2019. The program launched an innovative, 12-credit spring immersion course called “The Crew Experience” in 2022, and later that year the program was accepted as a member of the prestigious Green Film School Alliance.

He received the Teaching Excellence Award from the University Film and Video Association (UFVA) in 2022 and earned SOU’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2021.

Gay teaches digital cinema courses in storytelling, screenwriting, directing, producing, production management, film festival programming, career design and development, and short film production. He is the former board president of Film Southern Oregon, previously sat on the board of the Oregon Media Production Association, has been a programmer for the Ashland Independent Film Festival and serves on the Teaching Committee for EDIT Media (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Teaching Media) and on the board for the University Film & Video Association (UFVA).

He came to SOU in 2014 from the University of Central Florida, where he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Film and Digital Media, and his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film Production. He has a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy/Religion from Flagler College.

Gay has also worked as a freelance production coordinator, production manager and assistant director in commercials, reality television and independent film, and for such companies as Red Bull, Discovery and Disney. He has written, directed and produced for both fiction and documentary media.


Duo combines organ and percussion in SOU concert

Organized Rhythm Duo to combine organ and percussion in SOU concert

The Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University together with the Southern Oregon Chapter of the American Guild of Organists present: “An Afternoon of Organ and Percussion” on Sunday, April 24, at the SOU Music Recital Hall.

Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the concert hall will begin shaking with the vibrations of pipes and percussion at 3 p.m., featuring the award-winning, and seldom paired combination of organ and percussion known as the Organized Rhythm Duo. This combination of instruments will be the first for the Rogue Valley.

The concert will be offered in-person and live-streamed from the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University: https://youtu.be/_YzH2A0Ai3o

The Organized Rhythm Duo has dazzled audiences for more than two decades. Founded in 2004, the duo is made up of Britain-born organist Clive Driskill-Smith and Oregonian Joseph Gramley, two top musicians in their fields. Driskill-Smith is wry and reserved – until he lets loose an astonishing array of effects at the organ’s keyboard, and Gramley gracefully complements with dance-like movements across a cadre of more than a dozen percussion instruments.

Together, they captivate audiences with their explosion of energy, sound and musicality, and fill the stage with a lyrical and powerful melding of thunderous and dulcet organ pipes with the arresting and delicate aspects of percussion instruments.

Trumpet and organ: it’s been done before. Flute and organ: it’s been done before. But the “symphonic-orchestral” pairing of organ and percussion remains a rarity, making Organized Rhythm the only full-time duo of its kind anywhere in the world.

The program will open with “Beaming Music,” by innovative 21st century composer Nico Muhly, and the audience will hear dozens of world drums, cymbals, multi-keyboard melodic percussion, orchestral percussion and timpani breaking through the full organ’s sound as satisfyingly as any trumpet; the duo has found balances in which even the soft bars of the marimba meld seamlessly with the organ’s softest registers.

Recognizable classics such as Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” Bizet’s “Aragonaise” (from Carmen), and Canfield’s “Pictures at a Klee Exhibition,” will round out the program which will conclude with a lively foot-stomping rendition of Copland’s “Hoe-Down.”

The inspiration to bring the Organized Rhythm Duo to the Rogue Valley for this unique musical experience, was conceived by Margaret Evans, Dean of the Southern Oregon Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and SOU’s professor emerita, who teaches organ at SOU. Evans partnered with Terry Longshore, professor of music and director of Percussion Studies at SOU. Organized Rhythm Duo is represented by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists.

For information on the Organized Rhythm Duo, the artists and their music, click here.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for seniors, and free to SOU faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The OCA Box Office will open at 2:00pm – one hour before the performance for last-minute ticket sales. Tickets can also be purchased online here or by calling (541) 552-6348 or emailing boxoffice@sou.edu.

About the performers:

Joseph Gramley has had an extensive, award-winning solo and chamber music career, has taught percussion at multiple universities, collaborates and plays with major symphony orchestras, has two solo recordings, and has released eight albums. He was the associate artistic director of the Silkroad Ensemble from 2014-2017. During Gramley’s tenure, the ensemble won the 2017 GRAMMY award for “best world music” album, was nominated for “best music film” and recorded the music for Ken Burns’ documentary, “Vietnam,” for PBS.

Gramley’s versatility as a percussionist has found him performing alongside a broad cross section of artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Elton John, Michael Stern, Renee Fleming, Wu Man, Glen Velez, and Keiko Abe. Gramley’s two solo recordings, “American Deconstruction” and “Global Percussion,” represent definitive, milestone works in the modern multi-percussion canon. He is currently a professor of music in percussion at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Born in 1970, Gramley grew up in Oregon and was named a presidential scholar in the arts in 1988. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan, and earned his master’s degree from Juilliard and directed its Summer Percussion Seminar for 17 years. Festival experience includes Tanglewood, Salzburg Mozarteum, Spoleto Festival, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and 15 summers at the Marlboro Music Festival.

Clive Driskill-Smith has been named “a star of a new generation” and critics have praised his “blazing technique” and “unbelievable virtuosity” and describe his performances as “intensely moving” and “truly breathtaking.” He began early as a pianist and bassoon player and later at age 15 began playing organ.

Driskill-Smith is currently the organist and choirmaster at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, Texas – a post that he combines with an international concert career. He has performed at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., Melbourne Town Hall, Westminster Abbey, The Grand Philharmonic Hall in Perm (Russia) and the National Performing Arts Center in Taipei. He has played at prominent festivals and conventions, and continues to work with acclaimed conductors.

His performances have been broadcast on the BBC (UK), NHK (Japan), Pipedreams (USA), and on radio and television throughout the world. His CDs have received critical acclaim and he has recorded albums with Peter Gabriel on Virgin Records, and with Howard Goodall on EMI Classics.

Story by Kim Andresen, Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU

Free tickets to OCA performances

OCA offers free performance tickets to SOU community

Did you know that if you are an SOU faculty, staff or student that you receive two free tickets to all SOU Theatre and Music program performances?

The Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU is pleased to offer this two-free-ticket benefit to the SOU campus community. Faculty, staff and students can reserve tickets online or by calling or visiting the OCA Box Office in person. The box office is located between the music and theatre buildings, at 450 S. Mountain Ave.

“We can now directly email you tickets for both reserved seating and general admission performances – for unlimited plays and music concerts,” said Kim Andresen, OCA marketing and box office manager.

Students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to reserve their tickets online in advance of performance days to help alleviate last-minute congestion in the OCA Box Office.

“This past weekend during a theatre performance, more than 40 people were waiting in line to purchase or redeem their free tickets in the OCA Box Office,” Andresen said. “It’s a bit of a tight space, and students and faculty could have avoided the lines altogether. We highly recommend that the SOU Community reserve their tickets early to avoid the last-minute rush.”

In addition to the SOU campus community ticket benefit, the OCA offers a reduced rate SOU alumni ticket for local or visiting alumni so that they, too, can enjoy the opportunity to attend performances and concerts. Also offered are reduced rates for seniors age 55 and above, and complimentary SOU VIP ticket reservations.

The OCA Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. for in-person reservations/ticket purchases, and one hour prior to performances. You can also get tickets via phone at (541) 552- 6348 and email at box-office@sou.edu. All ticket types can be reserved or purchased online at oca.sou.edu/tickets.

Examples of opportunities to use your free ticket benefit are this week’s SOU Percussion and Wind Ensembles concert titled “Meditations and Celebrations” on Thursday, Nov. 18, at  7:30 p.m. in the SOU Music Recital Hall. After Thanksgiving, the SOU Choir will also perform their end-of-term concert: “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 3 p.m.; and don’t miss the SOU Jazz and Commercial Music Ensemble’s (re-named MUSIX) performance on Thursday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m.

Many concerts are also presented via livestream on the Oregon Center for the Arts YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/OregonCenterfortheArts

SOU’s Theatre Program will also have four shows coming up during winter and spring terms (Black Box and Main Stage productions) and we hope the SOU campus community will plan to come and support the hard work and professional quality performances our students, faculty and staff create.

Another option for free music enjoyment is the Friday Music Showcase offered by the SOU Music Program. No tickets are necessary. This is a music appreciation class that showcases student and faculty performances on most Fridays (we follow SOU Academic Calendar for non- school/holiday schedules), as well as international guest artists, and the occasional Q&A or guest artist lecture. Livestreamed on the Oregon Center for the Arts YouTube Channel, and available in person 12:30 p.m. to 1:20 p.m. on Fridays in the SOU Music Recital Hall.

The SOU Campus Community is welcome to attend in person. For more information, call the Music Office at (541) 552-6101 or attend virtually https://www.youtube.com/c/OregonCenterfortheArts.

For more information on OCA performances please go to https://oca.sou.edu/events/ or contact Kim Andresen at (541) 552-6348.

Story by Kim Andresen, marketing and box office manager, Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU

"Angels in America" is one of two plays performed this month by SOU students

SOU’S Oregon Center for the Arts presents two plays in November

Southern Oregon University theater students are performing two plays this month: Henrik Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler” was presented on eight dates ending on Nov. 17, and Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America Part Two: Perestroika” has four performances remaining.

Tickets for “Angels” can be purchased online or in-person for $5 for students, $20 for the general public, and $15 for seniors. Parking during the Oregon Center for the Arts performances is free in lot #36, which is on South Mountain Avenue and Henry Street, across from the SOU Music Building.

Following up spring 2019’s production of “Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches,” this fall’s “Angels in America Part Two” is directed by SOU faculty member Jim Edmondson and follows the entwined stories of two AIDS; the reluctant “prophet” Prior, who sees angels, and the notorious reactionary Roy Cohn, who sees the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg (played by Katie Bullock).

The play offsets the end-of-the-world dread of the 1980’s AIDS Crisis with a powerful affirmation of love and hope. It began last weekend and can still be seen at the Main Stage Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 and 22, and at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 23 and 24.

“Hedda Gabler,” directed by SOU Theatre professor Jackie Apodaca, followed the titular main character (played by Angela Hernandez) as she chafes against the restraints placed on women in the late 19th century.

The conflicts Hedda deals with are still relevant today: what does it cost a woman to be “likable?” Can she be strong but not “bossy,” smart but not “scary?” The play was performed in the Black Box Theatre on eight dates between Nov. 7 and Nov. 17.

Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer

Free employee tickets to OCA events

Latest benefit for SOU employees: free tickets to OCA events

Employees at Southern Oregon University recently gained another perk: free tickets to all music and theatre productions by the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU.

OCA officials met in December and decided that free tickets to in-house shows should be extended to all SOU faculty and staff, as a benefit to employees and to encourage support for the university’s performing arts programs. An updated policy that took effect Jan. 7 allows SOU employees to receive two free tickets per production in the Mainstage Theater and Music Recital Hall, and one free ticket per production in the Black Box Theater.

SOU students also qualify for the free ticket policy, which applies to all OCA-produced theater and musical group performances. The new policy does not cover shows featuring performers from outside the university.

SOU faculty and staff, after receiving their free tickets, can still purchase as many as four tickets at $10 each for SOU plays.

All free and reduced-price tickets can be acquired from the OCA box office at 491 S. Mountain Ave., in Ashland. Faculty and staff must verify their employment status by showing their ID cards or through the SOU directory.

Before the ticket policy was updated in January, complimentary tickets were offered to all students, faculty and staff affiliated with the OCA, but not to others at SOU.

Information about all upcoming performances at OCA facilities can be found on the events website or by calling the box office at (541) 552-6348.

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 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

Inaugural Oregon Arts Medallion goes to Medford’s James Morrison Collier

NEWS BRIEF (available online at https://goo.gl/ikzPhh)
(Ashland, Ore.) — The inaugural Oregon Arts Medallion, presented by Southern Oregon University’s Oregon Center for the Arts, was awarded today to local arts patron James Morrison Collier in recognition of his widespread philanthropy in support of local arts organizations.
Collier – who taught English in Delano, Calif., before moving to Medford in 2003 – was honored during a luncheon in SOU’s Schneider Museum of Art. Speakers included SOU President Linda Schott and SOU Board of Trustees Chair Bill Thorndike, who presented the medallion.
Other guests at the presentation included acclaimed pianist and SOU music professor Alexander Tutunov, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor Armando Duran, who plays the title role in OSF’s current production of Julius Caesar. Duran spoke as Julius Caesar to honor Collier, who wrote his master’s thesis on the Shakespeare play.
The Oregon Arts Medallion was created by the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU to recognize and honor outstanding philanthropy in the arts throughout Oregon. The OCA’s mission, in part, is to honor Oregonians who participate in or support the arts.
Criteria for the new award is straightforward: long-term support for the arts in Oregon. The recipient is selected by OCA Director David Humphrey and the SOU Foundation.
Collier, who is particularly interested in supporting young artists, has helped numerous local arts organizations. Medford’s Craterian Theater became the Craterian Theater at The Collier Center for the Performing Arts after Collier made an undisclosed donation five years ago. Talent’s Camelot Theatre named a new venue in Collier’s honor in 2010 after he made a $300,000 donation. Other organizations he has supported include the Rogue Valley Symphony, the Rogue Opera and the Rogue Valley Chorale.
He has also donated several pianos, including one to the Rogue Valley Manor, where he lives.
About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

SOU unveils unique MBA in Arts Administration program

NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/TBTcTg)
(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University continues to set itself apart in arts education, currently with the introduction of a one-of-a-kind MBA degree in Arts Administration that opens numerous career paths for students in the performing and visual arts. The program is currently accepting students.
Undergraduate students can earn the new MBA in Arts Administration in as few as five years – four to complete a bachelor’s degree with a business minor in one of SOU’s arts programs, and a fifth year to complete the master’s in business administration degree. Arts students can alternatively complete their bachelor’s degrees without the business minor, then move on to a two-year MBA program.
“This MBA program builds on SOU’s excellence in the arts, expanding it into the business side,” said Greg Jones, director of the university’s Division of Business, Communication and the Environment. “It provides new opportunities for students to capitalize on their arts education.”
The MBA in Arts Administration is the result of collaboration between SOU’s School of Business and the university’s Oregon Center for the Arts. The new degree is intended for those who are interested in leading arts organizations, galleries or museums, or directing, producing, marketing or managing in the arts.
“This program is unique in the nation in that most arts administration programs are arts programs and not MBA programs,” said David Humphrey, director of SOU’s Oregon Center for the Arts. “An MBA degree is highly marketable, especially if students want to work in the arts.
“I am excited about this program in that it provides a career path for those arts students who do not wish to perform or exhibit,” he said.
The MBA in Arts Administration program equips students for local, regional or national arts management, combining business strategy and community insights to create connections with artists and the arts. It is intended for those pursuing bachelor’s degrees in any of the five Oregon Center for the Arts programs: Art, Emerging Media and Digital Arts, Creative Writing, Music and Theatre Arts.
About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.