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UK Student's Win at International Competition Places Her on Carnegie Hall Stage

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 3:18pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 20, 2015) — This Memorial Day, the University of Kentucky will be well represented on one of the nation's most prestigious stages as doctoral candidate Hye Jin Yeom performs at Carnegie Hall. Yeom was one of only 12 first place winners in the college students and professionals' pianist category at the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, which qualifies her to perform in a special winners recital held in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall on May 25.

 

A solo appearance at Carnegie Hall is no small feat. "It is a dream for any serious musician to play solo at Carnegie Hall. A performance there never 'just happens' — one has to earn it with hard work, dedication and never-ending self-improvement," said Yeom's professor, Irina Voro, professor of piano at UK School of Music.

 

Yeom will play Allegro de Concierto, op. 49 by Spanish composer Enrique Granados.

 

American Protégé is dedicated to advancing the careers and promoting the talents of all participants and winners. Judges select several winners from different categories including brass, wind, piano, string and voice. The competition is open to artists from around the world who qualify in any of five categories related to age and experience.

 

The 2015 competition saw submissions from musicians from approximately 30 countries. Previous winners have gone on to perform on TV shows, such as "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "The Voice," as well as several prestigious concerts.

 

"Hye Jin Yeom definitely earned her performance at Carnegie Hall. It is an honor for UK School of Music and the entire university that our student won first prize at the international competition," Voro said.

 

Yeom recently completed her second year of doctoral studies under Voro. She earned her master's degree in piano performance from Morehead State University.

 

Music has been an important part of Yeom's life from a very early age when she began playing the piano at the age of 5 in her home in South Korea. "Music is beyond language, I believe. And the music depicts the ‘beyondness’ of the world and human beings."  

 

Locally, the award-winning musician can be heard not only on a UK stage but also at Harrodsburg Christian Church, where she plays the piano and organ.

 

Yeom's passion for music is still strong more than 25 years after the first time sitting down at a piano. "I love Hans Andersen’s expression about music: 'Where words fail, music speaks,'" Yeom said. "Without music, I don’t know how I could awake my soul to see the world the way it is."

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

UK Musician Named Disneyland All-American

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 11:42am

Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 7, 2015) — Lexington native Colleen Wagoner will be headed to California this month to be a part of the All-American College Band in Disneyland. Wagoner, a graduating music education senior, will be playing baritone saxophone for the prestigious summer program which has been around since 1971.

 

“As a musician, it is rare that we get opportunities like these where we are living and breathing music 24 hours a day and seven days a week,” Wagoner said. “Playing, rehearsing and talking to my band mates on a daily basis will influence and benefit me as a musician more than I can even grasp right now.”

 

Wagoner has been playing the saxophone for roughly eight years after making the switch from flute to saxophone in high school. Since being at UK, she has gained experience in flute, saxophone and clarinet. Wagoner has studied for five years under Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Saxophone Miles Osland, who she counts as a mentor as well as his wife Lisa Osland, adjunct professor of saxophone. While this will be her first trip to California, Wagoner has played several events across the country as a member of Wildcat Marching BandUK Mega-Sax, the UK Sax Quartets, UK Jazz Combos, UK Wind Symphony and UK Jazz Ensemble, which she toured China with last summer. 

 

The Disneyland All-American College Band is an ensemble of 21 college musicians who provide musical entertainment in the park. Disney chooses students who are musically gifted, have a diverse musical background and an expressive and outgoing personality as part of the All-American Band. Wagoner is only the second UK student to make the band.

 

Along with performing five-days-a-week, band members will also be able to study with professional musicians from the Los Angelese area and complete a musical educational project. Performances include big band, flag retreat and several parade shows throughout the park. In addition to being the only member playing the baritone saxophone, Wagoner will also be asked to play the flute, clarinet and piccolo while with the Disneyland All-American College Band.

 

The audition process consisted of one round of submitted video auditions followed by a second round of live auditions. As part of the band, Wagoner and her bandmates will live in California for three months where they are provided housing and a weekly stipend.

 

“The group is extremely difficult to get into, and I still can hardly believe I made it,” Wagoner said. “I can't wait to see how much better I become as a saxophone player once my time at Disney is up.”

 

UK Jazz Studies is part of the UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Arts Administration Students Help At-Risk Kids Capture 'A Beautiful Life'

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 3:12pm

 

Video from Studio Walz website, www.studiowalz.com/blog.  

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2015) — As adults, many of us look back fondly on childhood and the world of wonder that surrounded us. Nothing seemed impossible until the daily routine of life dampened our sense of optimism with age and responsibility.

 

Unfortunately, bleak realities can come all too early for some children, who witness domestic violence or struggle with illness at an early age. In an attempt to help bring light to these sometimes dark times, a class of University of Kentucky arts administration students developed real life arts workshops for children working with two Lexington organizations. The resulting artwork is the focus of a book published by the class that will raise money for the organizations and future community art programs from the class.

 

The enterprising UK arts administration students presenting these art workshops are part of a spring course first presented in 2014 that created an initiative called Art in Unlikely Places. The class is led by Mark Rabideau, adjunct assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Arts Administration Program. The goal of Art in Unlikely Places is driven by a belief that creativity is the seed of hope. The initiative connects inspiring artists to those most in need of the transformative powers of the arts.

 

The students' vision is that this organization will deliver the work of inspiring artists to the ailing, the impoverished and the distraught, sharing beauty with those whose life-circumstances might otherwise prevent them from discovering the hope that is found in the artistic moment. 

 

Students participating in Art in Unlikely Places, now in its second year, developed a project titled "A Beautiful Life: Through the Eyes of a Child." The project introduced children in need to the arts by providing them an opportunity to express themselves in creative ways. At the suggestion of some members of the class, the group partnered with Greenhouse 17, a refuge for children who have been witness to domestic violence, and The Kidz Club, where children with medical needs are provided special attention with academic and social interaction.

 

"As a child, the arts were so strongly encouraged to me at an early age. The same goes with my classmates. We wanted to share our love with these children, so that they could have an opportunity like we did to experience the power the arts have," said art studio senior Janie Kegley, of Louisa, Kentucky, who serves as director of marketing for the arts administration course.

 

Art in Unlikely Places held workshops with 30 local children from the organizations, prompting the kids to create artwork that expressed their inner feelings, hopes and dreams. All were asked to draw what made life beautiful to them.

 

In addition to using visual arts to help the children give voice to their feelings, the class also invited music therapists from Evolve to partner with them and lead the children in songs and games.

 

Lending his talents to "A Beautiful Life” is renowned fiber artist, UK Professor Arturo Alonzo Sandoval. The internationally celebrated artist was pleased to participate when approached by one of his students, noting that service is one of the three elements of being a UK professor.

 

The class was honored Sandoval took them up on their request. "Arturo is an artist who has touched the lives of myself and another student inside our class. When we were discussing artists there really wasn't any competition. His heart is so big and he achieved a product even better than we imagined. He did all of this for free and we are so grateful," Kegley said.

 

Sandoval, with the assistance of photographer Scott Walz, incorporated images of the artworks the children created into four quilts. Two of the art quilts will be donated to the respected organizations and the remaining two have been sold to benefit the program.

 

"The four art quilts are digital compositions of the original drawings the participating children accomplished," Sandoval said. "Scott Walz, my IT designer/expert, used his skills and our collaborative design sense to layer the children’s drawings into four lovely images with lots of energy, color and texture."

 

Sandoval and Walz believe helping bring the artwork from the coloring page to a book and art quilt form was a great fit for their talents. "The goal of art is to communicate beauty," Sandoval said.

 

For only $30, arts patrons can purchase the book of original artworks by children at Greenhouse 17 and The Kidz Club and receive an invitation to Art in Unlikely Places finale this week. All Art in Unlikely places supporters will be invited to the unveiling celebration of the final artworks Thursday, May 7, at Lexington Art League. Light refreshments will be served accompanied by a musical guest appearance from the popular UK a cappella group, the acoUstiKats.

 

Proceeds from the event will allow Art in Unlikely Places to continue to send art workshops back to Greenhouse 17 and The Kidz Club.

 

Additional funds will also insure that the Art in Unlikely Places will continue to thrive and benefit the future students of the program. "This class is groundbreaking in education. We want to make sure the students after us can have the same experience. It has truly been life changing," Kegley said.

 

In addition to the dedicated students in Art in Unlikely Places, who created and executed "A Beautiful Life," the project also was made possible with support of local organizations and businesses like the UK College of Fine Arts, WRFL, Red Mango, T.G.I. Fridays and Bourbon n' Toulouse, who helped the class and UK student organization achieve their fundraising and marketing goals for the semester.

 

For further information on this student project, visit Arts in Unlikely Places at their GoFundMe website: www.gofundme.com/artinunlikelyplace. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at: www.facebook.com/artin.unlikelyplaces; www.twitter.com/ArtinUnlikely; and www.instagram.com/artinunlikelyplaces

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Voices Dominate at NATS Regional

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 1:33pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 1, 2015) — Many University of Kentucky School of Music students took home honors, including wins in 10 categories, at the 2015 Mid-South Region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Inc. (NATS) competition held April 17-18, at UK. The event featured 261 vocalists from 30 schools, universities and private studios in Kentucky and Tennessee competing.

 

The 10 UK Opera Theatre students who took first place in their divisions at the NATS competition are:

· vocal performance and music education sophomore Willnard Anderson, from Florissant, Missouri, who won the Sophomore Men Division;

· doctoral candidate Shareese Arnold, from Lexington, who won the Post Advanced Division;

· vocal performance senior Gabrielle Baker, from Lexington, who won the Advanced Women Division;

· vocal performance freshman Clark Davis, from Lexington, who won the Freshman Women Division;

· vocal performance and music education freshman Blake Denson, from Paducah, Kentucky, who won the Freshman Men Division;

· graduate student Brittany Jones, from Louisville, Kentucky, who won the Adult Intermediate Division;

· graduate student Christopher Kenney, from Fargo, North Dakota, who won the Advanced Men Division;

· vocal performance senior Laura Salyer, from Lexington, who won the Senior Women Division;

· vocal performance junior Mary Catherine Wright, from Lexington, who won the Junior Women Division; and

· music education sophomore Joseph Wrightson, from Lexington, who won the Music Theater Underclass Division.

 

Anderson, Barker, Davis and Wright study voice under Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre and the OperaLex Endowed Chair in Opera Studies. Kenney studies under Endowed Chair, Professor of Voice Cynthia Lawrence. Arnold studies under Angelique Clay, associate professor of voice. Denson and Wrightson study under Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice. Jones studies under Noemi Lugo, professor of voice.

 

In addition to the 10 wins, UK opera students took home 14 second place and third place finishes at the NATS Mid-South Region. Those students and honors are:

· Jonathan Adams, third place in the Junior Men Division;

· Jenna Day, third place in the Music Theater Underclass Division; 

· Alyssa Marie Detterich, third place in the Junior Women Division; 

· Liz Frodge, second place in the Junior Women Division; 

· Wesley Hammond, third place in the Music Theater Upperclass Division;

· Caitlyn Howard, second place in the Advanced Women Division;

· Henry Huhtulag, third place in the Freshman Men Division; 

· Thabang Masango, second place in the Adult Intermediate Division;

· Steven  Olson, third place in the Men Sophomore Division;

· Michael Pandolfo, second place in the Freshman Men Division;

· Maria Daniela Ruiz, third place in the Freshman Women Division; 

· Hunter Shaner, second place in the Men Sophomore Division;

· Maggie Smith, second place in the Senior Women Division; and  

· Mary Catherine Wright, second place in the Music Theater Upperclass Division.

 

Accompanying UK's finalists at the competition were Suna Avci-Gunther, coach at the Academy for Creative Excellence and assistant music director of Schmidt Opera Outreach Program; William Cooper, UK alumna Maris Deddens; Maureen Howell; Cliff Jackson; Tedrin Blair Lindsay, lecturer and vocal coach; doctoral candidate Yuri Kim; doctoral candidate Lucia Marin; Nan McSwain, lecturer and vocal coach; Lynn Vera; and music education sophomore Wurile Wang.

 

NATS encourages the highest standards of the vocal art and of ethical principles in the teaching of singing and promotes vocal education and research at all levels, both for the enrichment of the general public and for the professional advancement of the talented. Founded in 1944, NATS is the largest association of teachers of singing in the world and boasts more than 6,500 members in the United States, Canada and more than 25 other countries around the world.

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has achieved awards and national and international recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as for music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

Art in Unlikely Places: Student Entrepreneurs Impacting Community through the Arts

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 5:10pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts is paving a new frontier by offering an experience to college kids that brings new meaning to the hands-on learning environment. 

 

In the spring of 2014, the Arts Administration Program at UK launched a new course and initiative called Art in Unlikely Places. The goal of Art in Unlikely Places is driven by a belief that creativity is the seed of hope. The initiative connects inspiring artists to those most in need of the transformative powers of the arts. The students' vision is that this organization will deliver the work of inspiring artists to the ailing, the impoverished, and the distraught, sharing beauty with those whose life-circumstances might otherwise prevent them from discovering the hope that is found in the artistic moment. 

 

Art in Unlikely Places, in its second year, is a registered student organization at UK. The organization elects officers within the class based on a typical nonprofit organizational structure. From the beginning of the semester the students are challenged to develop an idea into a fully realized initiative that fulfills the mission of the organization.

 

Students participating in Art in Unlikely Places this semester have developed a new idea to impact the Lexington community through the power of the arts. "A Beautiful Life: Through the Eyes of a Child" introduces children in need to the arts by providing them an opportunity to express themselves in creative ways. They have partnered this year with Greenhouse 17, a refuge for children who have been witness to domestic violence, and The Kidz Club, where children with medical needs are provided special attention with academic and social interaction.

 

Art in Unlikely Places held workshops with 30 children for the organizations, prompting participants to create artworks that expressed their inner feelings, hopes and dreams. All were asked to draw what made life beautiful to them. Music therapists from Evolve joined the partnership with the students during the workshops where children participated in songs and games.

 

Lending his talents to "A Beautiful Life” is renowned artist, UK Professor Arturo Alonzo Sandoval. Sandoval, with the assistance of photographer Scott Walz, will incorporate images of the artworks the children created into four quilts and a digital collage. Two of the art quilts will be donated to the partner organizations and the remaining two have been sold to benefit the program. The original artworks by the kids at Greenhouse 17 and The Kidz Club along with the story of the Art in Unlikely Places students will be reproduced into a book.

 

For $30, arts patrons can purchase the book and receive an invitation to the Art in Unlikely Places finale. All Art in Unlikely places supporters will be invited to the unveiling celebration of the final artworks May 7, at the Lexington Art League. Light refreshments will be served accompanied by a musical guest appearance from the popular UK a cappella group, the acoUstiKats.

 

Proceeds from the event will allow Art in Unlikely Places to continue to send art workshops back to Greenhouse 17 and The Kidz Club. Funds will also insure that Art in Unlikely Places will continue to thrive and benefit the future students of the program.

 

Students have collaborated with local organizations and businesses like the UK College of Fine Arts, WRFL, Red Mango, T.G.I. Fridays and Bourbon and Toulouse to help them achieve their fundraising and marketing goals for the semester.

 

The class collectively feels that this style of instruction has been one of the most real and beneficial programs to their educational experience. The students of Art in Unlikely Places are led by Mark Rabideau, adjunct assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Arts Administration Program.

 

Rabideau is a strong believer in the real life experiences this course structure offers. “I am willing to watch my students fail, but I am not prepared to watch them do something ordinary. I believe this class and these students are extraordinary,” Rabideau said.

 

For further information on this student project, visit Art in Unlikely Places at their GoFundMe website: www.gofundme.com/artinunlikelyplace. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at: www.facebook.com/artin.unlikelyplaces; www.twitter.com/ArtinUnlikely; and www.instagram.com/artinunlikelyplaces.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Art is in Bloom at the UK Art Museum

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 3:33pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 24, 2015) — Art In Bloom, the Art Museum at University of Kentucky's annual fundraiser, opens today, Friday, April 24, with floral designers interpreting works of art from the museum's permanent collection. Floral designs will be on display from noon-8 p.m. Friday, April 24, and from noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26. Admission to see the floral designs is free.

 

This year's Art in Bloom festivities honor Kasia and Andre Pater. Since their move from Poland in 1988, Andre's art has focused on subjects including polo, racing, cattle, wildlife, foxhunting and Native Americans. Kasia has contributed to magazines including Kentucky Living and Kentucky Monthly, as well as published a book of poems, "Poste Restante."

In addition to the exhibition of floral designs, the Art in Bloom cocktail party will be presented 7:30-11:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25. The party will consist of art-inspired food, drinks, music and poetry. Food will be provided by local chefs including:
· Cole Arimes, of Coles;

· Renee Brewer, of Wine + Market;

· Seth Brewer and Carrie Arps, of Enoteca;

· Toa Green, of Crank & Boom Craft Ice Cream;

· Martine Holzman, of Martine's Pastries;

· Jonathan Lundy, of Coba Cocina;

· alumna Ouita Michel, of Holly Hill Inn;

· Johnny Shipley, of County Club;

· alumnus Dan Wu, a private chef who appeared on Fox's "Master Chef," and

· Nat Yuttayong, of Nat's.

 

Maker's Mark will provide signature cocktails and music will be performed by the Carlos Espinosa Trio, the UK String Quartet and singer-songwriter Carla Gover.

 

Art-inspired poetry by Julia Johnson, Maurice Manning, Erik Reece, Katerina Stoykova-Klemer and Frank X Walker will also be read at the event.

Tickets for the Art in Bloom Cocktail Party are $75 and are available at the door, online by visiting the museum's website at http://finearts.uky.edu/art-museum or by phone at 859-257-6218.

Art in Bloom 2015 is co-chaired by Renee Saunier Brewer, Seth Brewer, David Coomer and Dan Wu.

 

The mission of the Art Museum at UK, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

 

An Evening of Mozart Masterpieces

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 2:59pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2015) — In a grand collaboration with the University of Kentucky Choirs and the UK Symphony Orchestra, hundreds of performers from UK School of Music will take the Singletary Center for the Arts stage to perform works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 24. The concert is free and open to the public.

 

The concert program will feature Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D minor under the direction of conductor of the UK Symphony Orchestra John Nardolillo and conductor of the UK Choirs Jefferson Johnson. The ensembles will also perform the composer’s “Overture to Le nozze di Figaro” and Symphony No. 38 in D Major “Prague.”

 

Prior to the concert, the Friends of the UK School of Music and the Art Museum at UK will host a pre-show reception at 6 p.m. in the museum.

 

Mozart was born into a musical family, educated by his father, Leopold, and paraded on tour throughout Europe as a musical prodigy on both the keyboard and violin. Ten years of travel fostered the growth of his compositional voice, which became one of the most influential in the history of western music.

 

The Requiem Mass was one of three major works that dominated the final months of Mozart’s life. The Mass was commissioned by Count Walsegg-Stuppach to honor his wife, who had died in February 1791. The story of the Requiem’s commissioning and conception were a point of intrigue from the moment of its first performance. The combination of Walsegg-Stuppach requesting the work in secret and Mozart’s death before its completion sowed the seeds of conjecture for years to come. At the time of Mozart’s death in December 1791, the manuscripts were handed over to a former student, Franz Xaver Sussmayr, who claimed to have composed the latter parts of the Requiem while completing the rest of Mozart’s sketches to create the Requiem we know today.

 

In addition to the gifted ensembles and conductors, the concert will showcase the vocal talents of UK Opera Theatre senior Jessica Bayne, of Christiansburg, Virginia; graduate student Holly Dodson, of Lexington; junior Matthew Pearce, of Union, Kentucky; and doctoral candidate André Campelo, of Goiânia, Brazil.

 

Founded in 1918, the UK Symphony Orchestra is regarded as one of the nation’s best college orchestras. The group is made up of undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States, Asia, South America and Europe. The orchestra regularly performs with world-renowned concert artists including Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Gil Shaham, Mark O’Connor, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, Lang Lang and Arlo Guthrie. The orchestra performs in the concert hall at the Singletary Center for the Arts, with UK Opera Theatre at the Lexington Opera House, and on tour, including concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2007 and 2010, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2009. In addition to live performances, UK's orchestra is one of the only collegiate orchestra programs to record with Naxos, the world’s largest classical music label.

 

The ensembles of the UK Choirs constitute one of the most active and vibrant collegiate choral programs in the country. UK's choral ensembles are 220 students strong, presenting more than 60 performances annually. The choirs are regularly invited to perform at prestigious national conferences including the American Choral Directors Association. They have also toured Europe extensively, offering a rich international educational experience for our students.

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has achieved awards and national and international recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as for music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Theatre Ends 'Hair' Raising Season With Broadway Musical

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 3:44pm

 

 

Promotional video for "Hair" by UK Department of Theatre and Dance. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2015) — Don't miss the last four performances of the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance closing production, the popular Broadway musical "Hair," running through April 26, at the Guignol Theatre.

 

A rock musical, "Hair" follows the lives of politically active young people living the bohemian lifestyle in New York's East Village during the 1960s. Its cast of characters fights against the draft and Vietnam War, questions authority and advocates for freedom of expression. "Hair," written by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, originally premiered off Broadway in the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1967, found its way to Broadway in April 1968, and won a Tony and Drama Desk Award in 2009. Family of Ragni will be in attendance at the April 25th performance.

 

"Hair" takes the Guignol stage 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 23-25, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 26. Tickets to "Hair" are $20 for general admission and $15 for UK students with a valid ID through the Singletary Center box office. To purchase tickets, contact the box office at 859-257-4929, visit online at www.scfatickets.com or purchase in person during operating hours.

 

The UK Department of Theatre and Dance at UK College of Fine Arts has played an active role in the performance scene in Central Kentucky for more than 100 years. Students in the program get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from the renowned professional theatre faculty. The liberal arts focus of their bachelor's degree program is coupled with ongoing career counseling to ensure a successful transition from campus to professional life. 

UK Ethnomusicologist Donna Kwon Selected for ACLS Fellowship

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 1:42pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17 , 2015) — University of Kentucky Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology Donna Kwon has been selected as a recipient of a 2014-2015 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship. Kwon's research is titled "Stepping in the Madang: Embodying Space and Place in Korean Drumming and Dance."

 

"Stepping in the Madang" addresses the spatialization of culture in Korean drumming and dance, centering on the concept of the “madang,” a cultural space that was revived in opposition to the Western stage in South Korea. While the madang can best be visualized as a village courtyard, it can also refer temporally to an occasion in time or socially to a sense of embodied communal participation. The thesis of this research contends that the participatory way of being that is cultivated in the madang counteracts the fossilization of tradition by bringing folk practices more fully into the embodied present, even if in an idealized fashion.

 

Kwon earned bachelor's degrees in piano performance and women's studies from Oberlin College and Conservatory, a master's degree in music and ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University and a doctoral degree in musicology and ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley. She has served as an elected member of the Society for Ethnomusicology Council and is president of the Association for Korean Music Research.

 

Before coming to UK School of Music in 2008, Kwon taught at Lawrence University and Grinnell College and served as the William Randolph Hearst Fellow at Rhodes College, offering courses on Asian music, global and American popular music, world music, Korean percussion and musical places, spaces and scenes. She is the recipient of a Fulbright IIE fellowship, two grants from the Korea Foundation, the Distinguished Master's Thesis Award, and the Marnie Dilling Prize. Kwon presents papers regularly at the Society for Ethnomusicology conference on her research interest which include Korean music, East Asian and Asian American popular and creative music, issues of music and embodiment, gender and the body, space and place, music scenes and the workings of cultural politics. She is also the author of the book "Music in Korea: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture" that was published as part of the Global Music Series of Oxford University Press (2011).

 

Kwon was happily surprised with the ACLS Fellowship. "My first reaction was just utter disbelief. In fact, I was so convinced that I would be passed over that I completely missed the 'congratulations' in the subject line when opening the initial email from the ACLS Director of Fellowship Programs, Dr. Matthew Goldfeder. I am beyond ecstatic to be a recipient of this support in order to bring this research to fruition and really bring the book project to life. Beyond this, it is incredibly gratifying to know that my research spoke to specialists and non-specialists enough to be selected from the pool of applicants this year. As one of the few ethnomusicologists in the state of Kentucky, it’s easy to feel isolated and lose a sense of connection and perspective from others in the field so this award means that much more to me."

 

The ACLS, a private, nonprofit federation of 72 national scholarly organizations, is the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences. This year ACLS made a total of 70 awards to faculty of all ranks and independent scholars too support research in the humanities and the humanistic social sciences.

 

"Fellows were chosen for their potential to create new knowledge resulting from investigations and reflections on cultures, texts and artifacts from across the globe and human history," Goldfeder said. "ACLS programs employs a rigorous multi-stage peer review process to ensure that humanities scholars themselves select those few fellows who exemplify the very best in their fields. The 70 fellows this year represent more than 50 colleges and universities and an array of human disciplines, including linguistics, religious studies, architectural history and geography."

 

ACLS Fellowships allow the scholars to spend six to 12 months on full-time researching and writing. The program is funded by the ACLS endowment, which has received contributions from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment of Humanities, the council's college and university associates, past fellows and friends of ACLS.

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

Love/Hate Relationship With Gypsies and Gypsy Music Focus of Longyear Lecture

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 4:53pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2015) — The University of Kentucky School of Music will present a colloquium talk and workshop on Gypsy music by Carol Silverman as part of the Rey M. Longyear Colloquium Lecture Series. The talk is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, in the Niles Gallery located in the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center. Silverman will also hold a Balkan singing workshop the following afternoon at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 18, in the Niles Gallery.

 

Carol Silverman is a professor of cultural anthropology and folklore at the University of Oregon. As part of the Longyear Lecture, she will present her research in a talk titled “Global Gypsy: Balkan Romani Music, Appropriation and Representation.”

 

In the last 20 years, the popularity of Balkan "Gypsy" music has exploded, becoming a staple at world music festivals and dance clubs in the United States and Western Europe. At the same time, thousands of Balkan Roma have emigrated westward due to deteriorating living conditions. Entrenched stereotypes of thievery have arisen amidst deportations and harassment. In this heightened atmosphere of xenophobia, Roma, as Europe’s largest minority and its quintessential “other,” face the paradox that they are revered for their music yet reviled as people. 

 

Balkan Gypsy music is simultaneously a commodity, a trope of multiculturalism, and a potent in-group symbol in cosmopolitan contexts. Focusing on clubs and festivals, this ethnographic presentation investigates the ramifications of the current scene for Romani performers and non-Romani musicians, producers, audiences and marketers.

 

Silverman has done research with Roma for over 25 years in Balkans, Western Europe and the U.S. Her work explores the intersection of politics, music, human rights, gender and state policy with a focus on issues of representation. A professional performer and teacher of Balkan music, she also works with the Voice of Roma

 

In addition to scores of articles in scholarly journals and edited volumes, Silverman published "Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora" (Oxford University Press, 2012), which won the Merriam Book Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology. She is also the recipient of numerous prestigious fellowships including the John Simon Guggenheim and the American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships.

 

The UK School of Music, part of UK College of Fine Arts, has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Theatre 'Lets the Sunshine In' at Guignol With 'Hair'

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 1:06pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance will end the season with a groovy revolution. The department will present the popular musical “Hair” April 16- April 26, in the Guignol Theatre.

 

“Hair,” written by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, originally premiered off Broadway in the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1967 and found its way to Broadway in April 1968. “Hair” is a musical that embodies the romanticized spirit of the hippie counter culture of the 1960s. Though the plot is rather loose, the musical tells the story of Claude and his struggle with conscription into the Vietnam War.

 

Under the direction of Russell Henderson, the department first produced “Hair” in October 1993. It ran with such overwhelming success that it included midnight showings and a rerun in the summer of 1994.

 

“Like Hamlet, it’s a play about a man who can’t make up his mind ultimately,” said Associate Professor of Theatre Russell Henderson, who will also direct the 2015 production. “But it’s really about the search for self and self identification and how you figure into a larger society.”

 

The cast consists of a “tribe” of 30 people. Students registered for the show like a class and have designated rehearsal times on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. During the rehearsal process the cast had to acquire a necessary understanding of the period both historically and culturally. The musical encompasses a lot of references that were contemporary in the 1960s and explores themes such as resistance to the Vietnam War, women’s liberation, the sexual revolution and the drug culture of the time. Henderson stressed in rehearsal that the actors should not be playing ‘hippies’ but rather people living during the period.

 

In the 1960s a group of like-minded, unrelated people who lived together for mutual gain was considered a tribe or a commune. These people would often live with each other, provide for each other and celebrated ideas such as freedom, happiness, peace, harmony and understanding. A tribe could also include people who would be a hippie for the weekend and return to their desk jobs on Monday.

 

 “We are representing an era and a group of people that really believed in the power of love and believed in the power of togetherness – the whole cast had to find that together,” said theatre senior Rachel Snyder, of Dayton, Ohio, who is playing Shelia Franklin. “We had to become the tribe. And I think we have done that.”

 

“These people lived free without labels in a world that always wanted to confine something to a label, and this directly mirrors our society today,” said theatre junior DeAndreus Baines, of Memphis, Tennessee, who portrays Hud. “We spend more time now trying to give something a title instead of letting it be whatever it wants to be.”

 

While many of the references will be understood fully by those who grew up in the 1960s, the musical is still relevant to a 2015 audience. Many of the issues brought to light in the 1960s, such as the fight for equal human rights, are still prevalent in today’s culture.

 

“This is 2015, not 1948, but have we really progressed?” said Synder. “We are still fighting about discrimination, drug use, sexuality, human rights and freedom. Do we need to keep illuminating the issues, fighting for humanity, and sharing love? I think now is the time to ‘Let the Sunshine In.’”

 

Taking in the April 25 show will be several members of the family of "Hair" co-writer Gerome Ragni, including a relative who attends UK.

 

The show begins at 7:30 p.m., April 16-18 and 23-25. A 2 p.m. matinee performance will be presented April 26. Tickets are $15 for students and $20 for the general public.

 

The production contains mature content such as strong language and brief nudity.

 

The UK Department of Theatre and Dance at UK College of Fine Arts has played an active role in the performance scene in Central Kentucky for more than 100 years. Students in the program get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from a renowned professional theatre faculty. The liberal arts focus of their bachelor's degree program is coupled with ongoing career counseling to ensure a successful transition from campus to professional life.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

The Beat Goes On: UK Percussion Students, Alums Join Forces for 30-year Concert

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 4:29pm
 LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 8, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of James Campbell, will join forces with a generation of its distinguished alumni to present a performance of John Luther Adams’ outdoor masterpiece “Inuksuit” for 9 to 99 percussionists at the Singletary Center for the Arts. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin 3 p.m. Sunday, April 12. 

Designed as a concert with an open footprint, “Inuksuit” will feature 75 percussionists and take place on and around Stoll Field, the Student Center and the Singletary Center. The special event celebrates the 30-year anniversary of the award-winning UK Percussion Ensemble, who recently won the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) International Percussion Ensemble Competition for a record fifth time. If inclement weather arises, the concert will be moved inside the Singletary Center.

 

Andrew Bliss, UK alumnus and professor of percussion at the University of Tennessee, will serve as the concert’s artistic director. Bliss was involved in both the world and U.S. premieres of “Inuksuit” in Banff, Alberta, and Greenville, South Carolina.

 

 

Two pre-concert events will also mark this special reunion concert. Bliss and noted Wilco drummer, Glenn Kotche, will give a pre-concert talk in the Singletary Center President’s Room at 2 p.m.

 

Hear what percussionist Kothce had to say about returning to campus during his last visit to UK.

 

In addition, the UK Wildcat Marching Band Alumni Drumline will perform on Stoll Field in a pre-concert exhibition at 2 p.m. The talk, exhibition and concert performance are free and open to the public.

 

Noted music critic Alex Ross called “Inuksuit” “one of the most rapturous experiences of [his] listening life.” Composer John Luther Adams has been called "one of the most original musical thinkers of the new century" (The New Yorker). His life and work are deeply rooted in the natural world, and he is known "for melding the physical and musical worlds into a unique artistic vision that transcends stylistic boundaries." In 2014, Adams was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his recent orchestral work, “Become Ocean.”

 

Under the direction of Campbell, the UK Percussion Ensemble has won the prestigious PAS Collegiate Percussion Ensemble Contest five times. They have also performed at several PAS International Conventions, the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, The Bands of America Percussion Ensemble Festival, and alongside international guest artists such as Robin Engelman, Steve Houghton, John Bergamo, Michael Burritt, Bob Becker, William Cahn, Michael Spiro, Chalo Eduardo, Ney Rosauro, Liam Teague, Dick Schory, Anders Åstrand, Richie Garcia, Dave Samuels, Danny Gottlieb, Glenn Velez, Emil Richards, Joe Porcaro, Jerry Steinholtz, David Johnson, Rich Holly, Dean Gronemeier, Fred Sanford, Thomas Burritt, John Parks, J.B. Smith, N. Scott Robinson, Andy Harnsberger and many others.

 

The UK Percussion Ensemble is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Marks 10 Years of Showcasing Music Around the World

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 3:21pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2015) — Join the University of Kentucky School of Music for the 10th anniversary of the UK World Music and Dance Concert 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

 

The event was started in 2005 by emeritus Professor Han Kuo-Huang. In honor of his legacy, the School of Music will present a special concert featuring music and dance from around the world with a sonic journey that spans the Bluegrass to Bali and beyond.

 

The concert will begin with the rare opportunity to hear the dynamic sounds of the Balinese “marching gamelan” called gamelan bebonangan, featuring fast syncopated rhythms, interlocking melodies, weaving movements and powerful gongs. Following this, the program journeys to Zimbabwe for the entrancing sounds of the Shona mbira (thumb piano) performed by the MbiraCats from the University of Cincinnati College and Conservatory of Music, led by Stefan Fiol.

 

Next will be virtuosic solo pieces on two representative Chinese string instruments. First, Luyin Shao, a doctoral candidate in musicology and ethnomusicology at UK, will play on the pear-shaped pipa and then Qi Yu will perform on the guzheng zither. These international musicians have studied these instruments from a young age and majored in music performance in their home countries.

 

Next the program will return “home” and feature music from the UK Bluegrass Ensemble, led by Ellyn Washburne, a UK musicology graduate student.

 

The concert will also highlight the talents of exchange students from the Arts College of Inner Mongolia University and include selections of overtone throat singing, horsehead fiddle pieces, Mongolian choir music and traditional bowl dance. The concert will conclude with a Korean samulnori piece performed by the UK Korean Ensemble, led by Donna Kwon, assistant professor of ethnomusicology.

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

For more information about these events, call 859-257-4912 or contact Donna Kwon by email at donna.kwon@uky.edu.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Superstar Violinist Joshua Bell Joins UK Orchestra in Concert

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 4:10pm

 

 

Joshua Bell plays "Summer" from Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons." 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2015) — Continuing a tradition of playing with the best of the best classical musicians, University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra will take the Singletary Center for the Arts stage with superstar violinist Joshua Bell this weekend. The concert will begin 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3.

 

The program for the Bell concert with UK Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro John Nardolillo, includes performances of Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No.1 in G Minor, Op. 26 and Camille Saint-Saëns' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28.

 

Often referred to as the "poet of the violin," Bell is one of the world's most famous violinists. He continues to enchant audiences with his breathtaking virtuosity, tone of sheer beauty, and charismatic stage presence. His restless curiosity, passion, universal appeal and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of "classical music superstar."

 

Recently named the music director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Bell is the first person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958. Their first recording under his leadership of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Symphony No. 7 from Sony Classical debuted at number one on the Billboard Classical chart. Bell’s recording of the Bach violin concertos with the orchestra was released September 2014 and coincided with the airing of the HBO documentary "Joshua Bell: A YoungArts MasterClass." He has recorded more than 40 CDs, garnering Mercury, Grammy, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards. Bell's previous release "Romance of the Violin" was named the 2004 Classical CD of the Year by Billboard and earned the musician Classical Artist of the Year honors.

 

Bell was recognized for his achievements by the New York Chapter, The Recording Academy in 2013 and by the National YoungArts Foundation in 2012. In 2011, he received the Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons and the Huberman Award from Moment magazine. Bell was named Instrumentalist of the Year 2010 by Musical America and received the Humanitarian Award from Seton Hall University. In 2009, he was honored by Education Through Music and received the Academy of Achievement Award in 2008. In 2007, Bell was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize and recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2005.

 

Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell received his first violin at age four. At age 12, he began studying with Josef Gingold at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he is now on faculty. Two years later, he came to national attention in his debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra and at 17 debuted at Carnegie Hall. His career has spanned over 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and conductor, and he is an outspoken advocate for classical music and keeping music education in schools. Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius.

 

To hear Bell talk about the upcoming concert at UK, listen to his interview with WUKY at: http://wuky.org/post/meet-joshua-bell.

 

Founded in 1918, the UK Symphony Orchestra is regarded as one of the nation’s best college orchestras. The 100-member all-student orchestra, housed at UK School of Music, presents more than 50 concerts each year including classical, chamber and education concerts. The group is made up of undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States, Asia, South America and Europe. The orchestra regularly performs with world-renowned concert artists including Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Chang, Gil Shaham, Mark O’Connor, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, Denyce Graves, Lang Lang, Ronan Tynan, Natasha Paremski and Arlo Guthrie. The orchestra performs in the concert hall at the Singletary Center for the Arts and on tour, including concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2007 and 2010, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2009.

 

Many of UK Symphony Orchestra's performances with major artists are the result of collaboration between Nardolillo and Michael Grice, director of the Singletary Center. More on that partnernship can be seen here:

Video by UK Public Relations and Marketing

 

The UK Symphony Orchestra also collaborates yearly with UK Opera Theatre and has recently presented "Porgy and Bess," "La Bohème," "Die Fledermaus," "Carmen," "La Traviata" and "Madama Butterfly," as well as Broadway favorites "Sweeney Todd," "Les Miserables" and "The Phantom of the Opera." They also have an active outreach program bringing classical music to all corners of the Commonwealth. In addition to live performances, UK's orchestra is one of the only collegiate orchestra programs to record for Naxos, the world’s largest classical music label.

 

Ticket prices range from $65-$85 for the public and are on sale now.  Tickets for UK students, faculty and staff are $45. Tickets to the concert can be purchased by calling the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visiting online at www.scfatickets.com, or in person at the venue. Processing fees will be added to purchase upon transaction.

 

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Men's Chorus, Women's Choir Spring into Concert

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 4:22pm

 

UK Women's Choir singing "Pie Jesu" at Ely Cathedral. A transcription of this video can be found here

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 25, 2015) — As the University of Kentucky's Women’s Choir prepares for their summer tour to Spain and the Men’s Chorus returns to their home stage fresh off their heralded performance at the American Choral Director’s Association National Convention in Salt Lake City, the ensembles will come together in a concert of mutual commendation and celebration. The UK Women's Choir and Men's Chorus Spring Concert will begin 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, at the Singletary Center for the Arts.

 

"Gaudete" performed by the UK Men's Chorus. Video courtesy of American Choral Directors Association. A transcript of this video can be seen here.

 

At the spring concert, the UK Men’s Chorus will perform a variety of works including the medieval Irish chant “Christus Resurgens,” Richard Burchard’s “Tenebrae” and guest conductor and UK doctoral candidate J.D. Frizzell’s composition “i thank you God for most this amazing day” based on a poem by E. E. Cummings. A composer, conductor and baritone, Frizzell is the director of Fine Arts and director of Vocal Music at Briarcrest Christian School.

 

The concert will also include selections sung by the UK Women’s Choir from Spanish composers to celebrate their trip to Spain in June 2015. Among the works to be performed will be “Gloria” by Ola Gjeilo and “O Magnum Mysterium” by Tomás Luis de Victoria.

 

In addition to the Men’s Chorus and Women’s Choir, the a cappella groups acoUstiKats and Paws and Listen will also perform.

 

The UK Women’s Choir, directed by Lori Hetzel, is a select ensemble composed of more than 100 of the school’s most talented female voices. The singers, ranging from freshmen to graduate students, represent a variety of musical backgrounds and academic disciplines. The choir’s challenging and diverse repertoire includes literature spanning from Gregorian chant to eight-part music of the 21st Century. With an emphasis on music by female composers, the ensemble performs works of many different languages and compositional forms. The UK Women’s Choir has achieved many distinguished honors and performed in countless venues worldwide.

 

The UK Men’s Chorus, directed by Jefferson Johnson, is a 90-voice ensemble composed of students who range from freshmen to graduate students. The young men represent a variety of musical backgrounds and academic disciplines. Founded in fall 2002, the Men’s Chorus has grown in size and popularity each semester. The choir’s challenging and diverse repertoire includes literature that spans from Gregorian chant to music of the 21st century. Rehearsing only twice weekly, the Men’s Chorus maintains an active performing schedule throughout the state of Kentucky, touring each semester.

 

Tickets for the UK Women's Choir and UK Men's Chorus Spring Concert are $10 for general admission. The tickets may be purchased via the Singletary Center ticket office online, by phone at 859-257-4929, or in person at the ticket office.

 

UK Choirs are a part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The choral ensembles have garnered international attention with appearances at Carnegie Hall (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Mormon Tabernacle (Salt Lake City), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome, Italy) and St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Vienna, Austria). 

 

For more information on the concert, contact Evan Pulliam, administrative assistant for UK Choirs, at evan.pulliam@uky.edu.             

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Vocalist Reginald Smith Jr. Winner at Metropolitan Opera Auditions

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:51am

 

 

 

 

 

"A Woman is a Sometime Thing" performed by Reginald Smith Jr. in UK Opera Theatre's production of "Porgy and Bess." Video courtesy of Smith. A transcript for this video can be found here.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) – University of Kentucky alumnus Reginald Smith Jr. has taken one of the five winning spots in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after competing against eight other vocalists in the grand finals concert March 22 at the Metropolitan Opera. Smith is the second UK vocalist to win the prestigious opera competition.

 

"I am so proud of Reggie. It couldn't have happened to a kinder person," said Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies. "Reggie has worked hard his entire young career. He was an incredible citizen in our program when he matriculated at the University of Kentucky and it's wonderful to see all of that hard work paying off. This is a great day for the University of Kentucky, the College of Fine Arts and for the UK Opera Program. It also speaks to the quality of the comprehensive training that the students are receiving in the UK School of Music. I couldn't be prouder of all of our students and faculty."

 

As part of the finals, Smith, a baritone, performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by Fabio Luisi. He advanced to the semifinals and finals at the Met out of the Southeastern Region held in Atlanta, Georgia. Among Smith's competitors in the semifinals was bass and UK student Matthew Turner, who took first place at the regional in Lexington and also studies with McCorvey, as well as Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice.

 

A 2013 choral music education and vocal performance graduate of UK, Smith came to UK Opera Theatre as an Alltech Vocal Scholar where he studied under McCorvey. Currently, Smith is in the young artist program at Houston Grand Opera.

 

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions program provides a venue for young opera singers from all over the U.S. to be heard by a representative of the Met. Applicants prepare a minimum of five operatic arias in their original language; selections must demonstrate contrasting style as well as languages. Upon completing the audition, candidates are given the opportunity to meet with the judges personally to discuss matters of evaluation and advice.

 

The Met holds the auditions to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. The Lindemann program, designed to nurture the most talented young artists through training and performance opportunities, provides financial aid together with supervised artistic direction to the young artists.

 

Tenor and UK Artist-in-Residence Gregory Turay was the first UK vocalist to be named a winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1995.

 

The highly acclaimed UK Opera Theatre program is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. For more information on the program, visit online at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/ukot.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

Classical Superstar Joshua Bell to Perform With UK Orchestra

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 2:00pm

 

Joshua Bell performs "The Four Seasons" Summer III. Presto by Antonio Vivaldi.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Classical aficionados will not want to miss celebrated violinist Joshua Bell as he joins Maestro John Nardolillo and the acclaimed University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra in concert at the Singletary Center for the Arts. Bell will take the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3.

 

Often referred to as the "poet of the violin," Bell is one of the world's most famous violinists. He continues to enchant audiences with his breathtaking virtuosity, tone of sheer beauty, and charismatic stage presence. His restless curiosity, passion, universal appeal and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of "classical music superstar."

 

Ticket prices range from $65-$85 for the public and are on sale now.  Tickets for UK students, faculty and staff are $45. Tickets to the concert can be purchased by calling the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visiting online at www.scfatickets.com, or in person at the venue. Processing fees will be added to purchase upon transaction.

 

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Alum Takes Easter Oratorio on the Road

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 12:38am

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — When University of Kentucky alumnus Lorne Dechtenberg wrote his Easter oratorio, "King of Glory," in 2014, he hoped those who experienced the work in Lexington would enjoy it. As it turned out, not only did they enjoy it, but so did residents of other communities who began requesting performances as well. As a result, Dechtenberg and the Bluegrass Opera will present six performances of the work this Easter season in five different Kentucky towns.

 

The work tells the story of the crucifixion and resurrection through a musical journey that is designed to reach audiences on a visceral level, enabling them to experience the text in a new and vivid way. "It's like Handel's "Messiah" only it's meant for today's listeners instead of 18th-century ears," said Dechtenberg, who has been receiving praise for the work since its premiere last April.

 

The work features professional singers, auditioned from across a 200-mile swath of Kentucky (from Hodgenville to Hazard), with tight, colorful harmonies and warm, rich melodies that they hope will stay with listeners long after the performance ends.

 

Dechtenberg, who holds degrees from UK School of Music in composition and conducting, co-founded the Bluegrass Opera in 2008. In 2010, he and his "Honeymoon Symphony" were chronicled in the KET documentary "Composer at Work," an effort that brought together members of the Lexington Philharmonic, UK Symphony Orchestra, and the Lexington Community Orchestra for a premiere at UK's Singletary Center for the Arts

 

In addition to Dechtenberg, "King of Glory" will feature several performers with ties to UK, including alumni Gordon Earl Thomas, Kaymon Murrah and Dena Sullivan Smith, as well as staff member Mike Bratcher, of UK HealthCare Information Technology.

 

"King of Glory" will be presented:

· 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at Actors’ Playhouse of Georgetown;

· 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at Immanuel Baptist Church, in Lexington; 

· 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at Union Church, in Berea; 

· 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 30, at First Christian Church, in Frankfort;

· 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, at First Baptist Church, in Richmond; and 

· 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3, at Lexington Seventh Day Adventist Church.

 

Tickets for "King of Glory" are $20 for adults, $10 for students with a valid ID, and kids 12 and under get in free. Tickets can be ordered online at www.bluegrassopera.org or by phone at 859-940-9379.

 

The Bluegrass Opera is a nonprofit performing arts company that specializes in the performance of new and underperformed musical works for the stage – operas, musicals, and everything in between. 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Vocalist Advances to Finals of Metropolitan Opera Auditions

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 1:32pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015) — University of Kentucky alumnus Reginald Smith Jr. is one of nine vocalists who has advanced to the finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after competing against 17 semifinalists March 15 at the Metropolitan Opera. He will vie to win the competition performing with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by Fabio Luisi, this weekend in the grand finals concert 3 p.m. Sunday, March 22.

 

 

"A Woman is a Sometime Thing" performed by Reginald Smith Jr. in UK Opera Theatre's production of "Porgy and Bess." Video courtesy of Smith. A transcript for this video can be found here.

 

Smith, a baritone, advanced to the semifinals out of the Southeastern Region held in Atlanta, Georgia. A 2013 choral music education and vocal performance graduate of UK, Smith came to UK Opera Theatre as an Alltech Vocal Scholar. He studied under Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies. Currently, Smith is in the young artist program at Houston Grand Opera.

 

Among Smith's competitors in the semifinals was bass and UK student Matthew Turner, who took first place at the regional in Lexington and also studies with McCorvey, as well as Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice.

 

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions program provides a venue for young opera singers from all over the U.S. to be heard by a representative of the Met. Applicants prepare a minimum of five operatic arias in their original language; selections must demonstrate contrasting style as well as languages. Upon completing the audition, candidates are given the opportunity to meet with the judges personally to discuss matters of evaluation and advice.

 

The Met holds the auditions to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. The Lindemann program, designed to nurture the most talented young artists through training and performance opportunities, provides financial aid together with supervised artistic direction to the young artists.

 

The highly acclaimed UK Opera Theatre program is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. For more information on the program, visit online at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/ukot.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Voices in Harmony Brings to UK Three of Nation's Best A Capella Groups

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 2:51pm

 

 

The House Jacks in concert with a special appearance by Voices of Legend High School Choir. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 11, 2015) — Voices in Harmony, a two-day a cappella festival, will culminate with a public concert featuring some of the best a cappella acts in the nation including The House Jacks, Musae and University of Kentucky's own Acoustikats, national finalists on NBC's "The Sing Off" in 2013. The concert, presented by the UK Choirs in association with the A Cappella Educators Association, will begin 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall.  

 

The fifth annual Voices in Harmony A Cappella Festival is making its UK debut after starting at Lexington Catholic High School. The festival has grown each year and has supported the formation and growth of dozens of a cappella groups across the region.

 

This year more 300 participants from more than 20 local and regional middle schools, high schools, universities and community choirs will experience thrilling performance, dynamic clinics and engaging educational workshops.

 

A high school group competition will be held as part of the festival at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 13, at Lexington Catholic High School, and will include performances by UK Acoustikats and Paws and Listen, UK's popular female a cappella group.  

 

The House Jacks is known as “the original rock band without instruments” (San Francisco Chronicle) that creates powerful original music using only their five voices. The band’s vocal innovations laid the groundwork for the current a cappella renaissance, and their music can be heard in the movie “Pitch Perfect,” on the television show “The Sing Off” (U.S., China, Netherlands and France) and on radio stations around the world. The House Jacks continue to electrify audiences with their pioneering sound, powerful original songs, dynamic versions of popular songs and their incomparable “Human Jukebox,” a popular part of their act where they take requests from the audience. 

 

 

Musae singing "Electric Lady" O.P.B. Janelle Monae at the Hong Kong A Cappella Dinner 2014.

 

Founded in 2011, Musae has gained acclaim performing at a cappella festivals across the nation. As a powerhouse all-female vocal band, Musae shares a fresh and fun sound while playing on their sense of femininity and womanhood. True to the original Latin, these “muses” seek not to just inspire but also breathe new life into the professional vocal scene in the U.S. and abroad. Most of their singers have been prominently featured in groups on NBC’s “The Sing Off.”

 

Founded in 1993, by Jefferson Johnson as a subsection of the UK Men’s Chorus, the acoUstiKats are the premier all-male a cappella ensemble in the state of Kentucky. Following their success on “The Sing-Off,” the Acoustikats decided to form a professional vocal band following in the footsteps of notable all-male groups like Straight No Chaser and they have performed in countless venues across the U.S. The professional group features current UK students and alumni from the ensemble.

 

Tickets for the Voices in Harmony concert featuring The House Jacks, Musae and the Acoustikats range from $15-25 with a discount for groups of 15 or more. To purchase tickets, contact the Singletary Center for the Arts box office online at www.scfaticket.com or call 859-257-4929. 

 

UK Choirs are a part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The choral ensembles have garnered international attention with appearances at Carnegie Hall (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Mormon Tabernacle (Salt Lake City), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome, Italy) and St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Vienna, Austria). 

 

For more information on the Voice in Harmony festivities, contact Adam Beeken, at ajbeeken@gmail.com, or visit online at www.voicesinharmony.net.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

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