UNCG’s The Ugly Duckling Approaches Youth Theatre with Innovation

ugly-ducklingFor over 50 years now, UNCG’s The North Carolina Theatre for Young People has been instrumental in facilitating theatrical productions and educational programming for the youth community statewide. As it is in many cases, such experiences often serve as an introduction to the theatre for local children with limited artistic exposure. Therefore, the productions are always highly entertaining, and handled with creative thoughtfulness. Currently, The Ugly Duckling is no exception to the program’s long lineage of performance achievements…[t]he modest cast of three, consisting of Rebecca Joan Woodrum as the young girl, and the two puppeteers, Sophie Larin and Liam Yates, all used the human body along with one-dimensional translucent cutouts projected onto a screen to propel the story without the use of any dialogue, only instrumental underscoring. The meticulous execution of the images aligning and interacting convincingly with one another, as well as with the silhouetted actress, is a testament to Campbell’s innovative eye for theatrical direction, and the diligence of her three cast members.

Excerpt from Brandon C. JonesLink opens in new window‘s review (CVNC)

[Read full review…Link opens in new window]

Eric Willie Joins SMTD as Director of Percussion Studies and Assistant Professor of Percussion

willieGREENSBORO, NC – Percussionist Eric Willie has joined the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance as Director of Percussion Studies & Assistant Professor of Percussion. Described as a “true musical talent and professional” (Ivan Trevino, Composer), Eric Willie has a varied career as a solo performer, chamber musician, orchestral player, arranger, and teacher. He has performed in Carnegie Hall, at several Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, and on regional live broadcasts, such as Nashville’s NPR Station “Live in Studio C.”

Dr. Willie regularly performs with the Nief-Norf Project and the Eclectic Chamber

Players. He has performed at the Big Ears Music Festival, the Nashville Symphony’s OnStage Series, seven Percussive Arts Society International Conventions (PASIC), multiple Eastern Trombone Workshops, the Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival, the World Saxophone Congress, and the Music for All National Percussion Festival. As an orchestral musician, Dr. Willie has performed as a percussionist with the Nashville Symphony , Nashville Ballet Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, Murfreesboro Symphony, Bryan Symphony, and the Beloit/Janesville Symphony.

An avid promoter of new music for percussion, Dr. Willie recently commissioned and performed the world premiere of “Flow,” by Ivan Trevino at the 2013 Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention. Prior, Dr. Willie performed the world premiere of John Mackey’s “Drum Music” (2011), a concerto for solo percussion and wind ensemble. In addition, Eric has commissioned and/or premiered works by Christopher Adler, Doug Bristol, Greg Danner, Christopher Deane, Paul Lansky, Marc Mellits, Leroy Osmon, John Psathas, D.J. Sparr, Blake Tyson, Alejandro Viñao, Matt Walker, and James Wood.

Active within the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), Eric currently serves as Chair of the International Percussion Ensemble Committee. In addition, he has served as President and Vice-President for the Tennessee Chapter of PAS, and as a New Literature and Recordings Reviewer for Percussive Notes journal.

In addition to his talents as a classical percussionist, Dr. Willie is known for his marching percussion arranging and teaching experience. He has served as a Percussion Consultant with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, and instructor and/or arranger for the Spirit, Southwind, Carolina Crown, and the Madison Scouts drum and bugle corps. The University of North Texas, University of Kentucky, and the Murray State University Drum Lines have performed his marching percussion arrangements. He has also instructed for the University of North Texas “A” Line, Music City Mystique, and as Faculty for the Music for All World Percussion Symposium.

As a clinician, Dr. Willie has appeared at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, IL, several “Days of Percussion,” as well as several state music educators

conventions throughout the midwest and southeastern United States. His educational articles have appeared in The Instrumentalist and Percussive Notes, and he has

contributed educational resources to Innovative Percussion, Inc., Sabian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, and Black Swamp Percussion. His music has been published by Innovative Percussion and TapSpace publications.

Prior to his appointment at UNCG, Dr. Willie served for nine years as Director of Percussion Studies at Tennessee Tech University (TTU) in Cookeville, TN. In this time, his ensembles performed at the Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention, the National Association for Future Music Educators In-Service Conference, regional & community events, and at several Tennessee days of percussion. His percussion students were named winners in the American Protégé International Concerto Competition; multiple PASIC Solo Competitions; the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra Competition; the TTU Derryberry Concerto Competition; as well as the Tennessee PAS Soloist Competition. On campus, the TTU Percussion Ensemble was recognized as a leading student organization, and a TTU percussionist was named the TTU Department of Music Outstanding Music Major for four consecutive years.

Eric holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas, a Master of Music from the University of Kentucky, and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Austin Peay State University. Eric and his wife, Rebecca (a violinist with the Nashville Symphony), will be moving to Greensboro, NC prior to the start of the fall semester with their son and daughter.

Daedalus Quartet to Perform on April 7

daedalusThey’ve been called “an exceptionally refined young ensemble with a translucent sound” by The New Yorker, with playing of “such security, technical finish, interpretive unity and sheer gusto it sounded as if these young string players had somehow been performing these works together for a good 50 or 60 years.” (The Washington Post)

Don’t miss your opportunity to hear the Daedalus QuartetLink opens in new window perform a free concert on Monday, April 7th at 7:30 PM at Christ United Methodist Church. (410 N. Holden Road)

Over the course of their thirteen years together, the Daedalus Quartet has established themselves as a leader among the new generation of string ensembles. They have received praise from praise from critics and listeners alike for the security, technical finish, interpretive unity, and sheer gusto of their performances.

Though steeped in the traditional literature of Haydn, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn, they have also won acclaim for their adventurous exploration of contemporary music, the Daedalus Quartet has performed works by notable composers such as Elliott Carter, George Perle, György Kurtág and György Ligeti.

On April 7, the Daedalus Quartet will present a program of challenging, modernist works from three centuries. The quartet will open the program with three of Henry Purcell’s elusive, introspective “Fantasias”. Presumably written for viol consorts by the young Purcell, these pieces defy the stereotypical whimsy and gaiety of Restoration England with their rhythmic and contrapuntal experimentation, interweaving melancholy fugal themes with quicker dance melodies and solemn chorales.

Joan Tower’s fifth quartet, “White Water,” serves as the centerpiece of the program. Written for the Daedalus Quartet in 2011, the piece develops from its spare but beautiful beginnings into a relentless, kinetic frenzy, employing swooping glissandi and other extended techniques to draw the audience on to the thrilling conclusion.

The program concludes with Beethoven’s most monumental and ground-breaking quartet, the Bb major Opus 130. The Daedalus Quartet will present the piece with its original finale, the Grand Fugue, a piece which Stravinsky later called “an absolutely contemporary piece of music that will be contemporary forever.” The scope and grandeur of this quartet, in which Beethoven swings wildly between moods of mystery, exuberance, satire, and, in the penultimate movement (the ethereal Cavatina), otherworldly beauty, set the stage for the “new music” that would emerge in the twentieth century.

This performance is sponsored by the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance and is made possible through generous support from the Anglo-American Composers Performance Grants of the Christopher C. and Laura B. Tew Legacy Fund.

UNCG Selected to Perform at National College Dance Festival

acquiring-dawnGreensboro, NC — The UNCG dance department has been selected to perform at the American College Dance Festival Association’s 16th National College Dance FestivalLink opens in new window, June 5-7, 2014 in Washington, DC. This is UNCG’s second invitation to the Festival.

This year’s performance will feature MFA in Dance students in alumna Renay Aumiller’sLink opens in new window (BA, ’04) evocative and incredibly physical choreography, Acquiring DawnLink opens in new window.

For more information about the performance schedule and tickets, please visit acdfa.orgLink opens in new window. Tickets go on sale April 21, 2014

The National Festival, normally a biennial event held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, showcases dances selected by the adjudicators from each of the regional conferences based on their outstanding artistic excellence and merit. The primary objective of the National Festival is to highlight, on the national level, the outstanding quality of choreography and performance that is being created on college and university campuses. The National Festival provides this venue in three gala performances, presenting works from approximately 30 colleges and universities.

The American College Dance Festival Association’s primary focus is to support and promote the wealth of talent and creativity that is prominent throughout college and university dance departments. ACDFA’s sponsorship of regional conferences and the national dance festival provides the venue for students and faculty to engage in three days of performances, workshops, panels, and master classes taught by instructors from around the region and country. The conferences also provide the unique opportunity for students and faculty to have their dance works adjudicated by a panel of nationally recognized dance professionals in an open and constructive forum. Culminating with the presentation of pieces selected for their exemplary artistic quality, the conferences are the primary means for college and university dance programs to perform outside their own academic setting and be exposed to the diversity of the national college dance world.

At UNCG, ‘Ukulele for Two’ plus ukulele for all

Pass by Room 110 in the UNCG Music Building on a Thursday evening, you’ll hear an unmistakable sound. Ukuleles. Lots of them.

It’s called UNCG Ukes. Dr. Sandra Teglas calls it a “y’all come hum and strum.” It’s community engagement with four strings. And no strings attached. Just show up and enjoy.

UNCG Ukes is every Thursday night at UNCG, starting at 7:45 p.m. Typically, 10-15 players show up to jam. Maybe some Beatles tunes. Maybe Sting. Invariably, someone will say “Let’s do ‘Rocky Top.'”

It began after music education doctoral student Jackie Secoy was asked a question last April, after the structured “Ukulele for Two” program ended for the semester. “Do you offer an ‘everybody come’ class”?

Now they do. And she’s the president of UNCG Ukes.

The informal session is immediately after the formal UNCG Ukulele for Two class. Uke for Two is for one child with one guardian/parent. Participants need an instrument, music and CD; otherwise there’s no cost to them. UNCG’s Music Research Institute, of which Teglas is program coordinator, uses it for research. They are determining what impact such classes have on the participants.

Why have ukuleles grown so popular in the last few years? You hear them on pop songs; you see them prominently displayed in music stores. Teglas believes whenever the economy is hurting, the inexpensive instrument has a resurgence.

Secoy pulls out her tablet to play Jake Shimabukuro’s performance of “While my Guitar Gently Weeps” on ukulele in Central Park. The video has gotten 12 million views, Teglas notes, and inspired more people to take up the uke.

Teglas and Secoy are both former public school music teachers. Teglas’ musical focus was trumpet; for Secoy it was bassoon. Now ukulele is a big part of their professional lives.

No one in UNCG Ukes has played more than three or four years on the instrument. Some have just gotten their instruments. “I hope more will come and play,” Teglas says.

One UNCG Ukes participant has purchased every one of her grandchildren a ukulele and a book of 365 songs, Teglas says. While this woman played piano as a child, her mother had played ukulele. The appeal spans the generations.

Ages 14 and up are welcome at UNCG Ukes. Just bring your ukulele. Questions? Email Dr. Sandra Teglas at stmace@uncg.edu or Jacki Secoy at jjsecoy@uncg.edu.

Interested in an upcoming formal Ukulele for Two class? Email Teglas for registration information at stmace@uncg.edu.

See UNCG Ukes and Uke for Two perform April 3, 7-9 p.m. at UNCG’s Spartan Trader, located across from Bojangles on Spring Garden. ($1 minimum purchase for concert admission.)

Story by Mike Harris, UNCG NOW (original article)