**Photo by William Munoz
Fire science education for youth merges with the performing arts when The CoMotion Dance Project presents 18 performances of Fire Speaks the Land: An Active Audiences Performance. Performed for school audiences in Montana and Idaho school gymnasiums and theatres, the 50-minute performance uses original choreography, narration, and music to explore fire science, forest ecology, and traditional Native perspectives on fire. This beautifully crafted live performance has appeal for all ages and is expected to reach over 4,000 children and adults.
Six performances will be held at Missoula elementary and middle schools. A week-long Idaho tour features eight performances at rural schools. In the Flathead Valley, three theatre performances will enable 1,268 Flathead Valley students and teachers to bus to the theatre to participate. Participating Flathead schools include: Fair-Mont Egan, Deer Park, Pleasant Valley, West Valley, Trinity Lutheran, Whitefish Middle Schools, Kalispell Montessori, Kalispell Middle School, Helena Flats, Olney-Bissell, and West Glacier. CoMotion company members will conduct creative dance workshops for Kalispell Montessori students, who will learn choreography about forest regeneration after a fire, to perform live at a Fire Speaks the Land concert.
Designed for K-6 students, Fire Speaks the Land features five dancers, a narrator, unique scenery and lighting, and colorful costumes as well as several opportunities for the audience to participate in the performance, both on and off stage. Students learn about ecological issues relevant to our region through an artistic, narrated performance that both delights and informs.
Karen Kaufmann, 2014 recipient of the Montana Arts Council’s Artist Innovation Award, directs the CoMotion Dance Project, an organization that promotes dance in K-12 education. Written and produced by Karen Kaufmann and Steve Kalling, the piece features choreography by Karen Kaufmann and Joy French, with live performance by five professional dancers: Allison Herther, Kaitlin Kinsley, Katie McEwen, Ashley Griffith and Joy French. Original music is composed and recorded by Steve Kalling and nine Montana musicians. Blackfeet musician and storyteller Jack Gladstone narrates the sound score.
The Fire Speaks the Land tour is supported in part by The University of Montana, Montana Cultural Trust, Montana Arts Council, Public Value Partnership, USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, Flathead Conservation District, Cadeau Foundation, Idaho FireWise, Nez Perce Tribe Forestry and Fire Management Division, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, the North Central Idaho Fire Prevention Cooperative, Whitefish Performing Arts Center, Flathead National Forest, Missoula Fire Sciences Lab, individual schools and private contributors.
Fire Speaks the Land Tour Schedule
Meadow Hill School, Missoula, MT, March 6 at 10am
Washington Middle School, Missoula, MT, March 6 at 1pm
CS Porter Middle School, Missoula, March 7 at 10am
Missoula International School, Missoula, MT, March 7 at 2pm
Clearwater Elementary, Kooskia, ID, March 10th at 1pm
Kamiah Middle School, Kamiah, ID, March 11 at 9am
Timberline School, Kamiah, ID, March 11 at 1pm
Orofino Elementary, Orofino, ID, March 12 at 9am
Deary Elementary, Deary, ID, March 12 at 2pm
Troy Elementary, Troy, ID, March 13 at 9am
Lapwei Elementary, Lapwei, ID, March 13 at 2pm
Grangeville Elementary, Grangeville ID, March 14 at 9am
Hellgate Elementary, Missoula, MT, March 21 at 12:45 and 2pm
Workshops for Kalispell Montessori, Kalispell, MT, March 25th
Whitefish Performing Arts Center, Whitefish, MT, March 26 at 12:45pm (for 6 schools)
Whitefish Performing Arts Center, Whitefish, MT, March 27 at 10am (for 3 schools)
Whitefish Performing Arts Center, Whitefish, MT, March 27 at 1pm (for 5 schools)
Univ of Montana/Missoula, American College Dance Festival/NW Region, April 4 at 10:30am.
Media Arts Receives Large Software Donation
Korean software development company, “FXGear,” has donated incredible software and plug-ins to the School of Media Arts Animation Program such as Qualoth, FXHair, ezCloth, and FluX. These software products are used by designers and artists at Walt Disney Studios, Blizzard, Dreamworks, and other top VFX and Animation studios. With this software, students are able to create realistic cloth, hair and fluid simulations. In consultation with Professor Heejoo Gwen Kim, our Animation program is the third international and the second US recipient of cutting-edge VFX software. This significant contribution will help our students to expand their creative realm and give them more of a chance to develop their professional careers.
Mr. Chang-Hwan Lee, CEO of FXGear, recognizes the importance continued advances in software development have on the creative process, advising students that “Computer graphics and 3D animation [are] a combination of art and technology … do not forget to embrace the newest technology and use these tools for your creative art.” Mr. Tommy Ryoo, Sale and Marketing Director, said that FXGear was very pleased to donate their products to a renowned university where students have both the talent and the ability to optimize this software. The School of Media Arts is extremely appreciative of FXGear for this significant and meaningful donation, and to Professor Heejoo Gwen Kim for her advocacy of our students and curriculum.
For more information on FXGear and their Qualtoth, FluX and FXHair software, please visit www.fxgear.net
UM School of Music presents Fusion V the most eclectic and exciting mash up of musical events in the region. In one 70-minute seamless showcase, the audience will experience highlights of pieces from nearly every area of study in the UM School of Music including orchestra, jazz, choir, string chamber music, band, percussion ensemble, wind chamber music, opera aria, and steel drum music.
“It is like channel surfing for the listener,” says founder and director, Dr. James Smart. “Each musical ‘act’ is only three minutes long and the lighting is cued to bounce to the next act with no delay in the sound or energy. We use all of the space in the Dennison Theater including the seating area so don’t be surprised if you have a tuba player in your lap!”
The event began in the fall semester of 2009 and was patterned after popular concerts at the Eastman School of Music and University of Michigan. The diversity is not only in the style of music but also in the number of people involved. This year’s concert will feature pieces by a marimba soloist to a grand finale of over 150 musicians.
According to Dean Stephen Kalm, “If you could choose just one UM Music concert to attend this year, this would be the one.”
The public is invited to attend the Fusion V in concert on Friday, February 7 at 7:30pm in the George and Jane Dennison Theatre, UM Campus. Tickets are General Admission, $11 general, $6 seniors, $5 students. For more information, visit umt.edu/music/fusion.
To learn more about supporting scholarships and the School of Music, contact Christian Gold Stagg, director of development, UMArts, (406) 243-4990, email@example.com.
University of Montana senior Arielle Nachtigal is having an extraordinary school year. She recently advanced to the National Finals of the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition. This competition recognizes exceptionally talented young artists, and their teachers, in their pursuit of musical excellence. Nachtigal and five other singers from across the US have been selected for the final stage of the competition, which takes place March 23 in Chicago.
In addition, Nachtigal won the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions for the third straight year and advanced to the Northwest Regional Finals at Seattle's Benaroya Hall, where she won an Encouragement Award. The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions is a program designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers.
Nachtigal was also the winner of the Coeur D’Alene Symphony Young Artist Competition. She will perform with that orchestra in concert March 21. In January 2013, Nachtigal and John Knispel of UM’s Opera Theatre program performed a scene from Strauss’s opera “Die Fledermaus” which won the Collegiate Scenes Competition of the National Opera Association, during the national convention in Portland, Or.
Her singing has captured the attention of opera professionals across the US. “They are impressed with the beauty and size of her voice, as well as her natural expressive abilities,” says UM voice teacher David Cody. “And of course, they can’t help telling her she has the perfect name for a singer,” as the word “Nachtigall” is German for nightingale. “Arielle is someone of whom both the university and community can be proud,” Cody says. She spent much of her youth with the Missoula Children’s Theatre, and has taken advantage of everything UM has to offer, including its study abroad program in Vienna, Austria.” She has been accepted to audition for the graduate voice programs at the University of Houston, the Eastman School of Music, and the New England Conservatory of Music.
As a senior in vocal performance major in the UM School of Music, Nachtigal has proven a very dedicated and highly motivated student. She has taken advantage of many opportunities to learn by participating in UM Opera Theatre, collaborative musicals at the School of Theatre & Dance, Masterclasses by visiting artists, and MCT productions. Nachtigal will perform during the upcoming UM Opera Theatre and Symphony Orchestra production of “The Legend of Orpheus,” at the MCT Center for Performing Arts Feb. 14-16.
MISSOULA, MT— Experience the legendary love story of Orpheus and Eurydice, set to music of the Baroque era in the opera titled The Legend of Orpheus. The production is a bi-annual collaboration between MCT’s Out of the Box Productions, the University of Montana Opera Theater and the University of Montana Symphony Orchestra. It will be presented live on stage at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts February 14-16, 2014. Offering this love story on Valentine’s weekend gives romantics the perfect date night!
As the creative team of David Cody, Anne Basinski, and Luis Millán considered a title for this year’s collaboration, Dr. Millán said, “Let’s do a Baroque pastiche!” They chose actual, individual numbers by various composers (Handel et al) and put them together, with a new English text, to make their own opera. Adding to the work is a group of talented dancers, choreographed by Joy French.
The Metropolitan Opera’s Baroque pastiche in the 2011-2012 season (The Enchanted Island) was very successful, and that particular production will be repeated this year in New York.
The Legend of Orpheus is an ambitious collaboration which features an original storyline and lyrics, and a cast of twenty-eight performers from the University of Montana, including singers and dancers. There are two casts with some members performing in both casts. MCT provides the technical support, costuming, theatre space, and ticket sales. The production is being sponsored by Tom Rickard and Cathy Capps.
** Tickets for The Legend of Orpheus are available beginning Monday, January 27th. The piece runs approximately 2 ½ hours, including an intermission and plays Friday, February 14th at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 15th at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 16th at 2:00 p.m. Ticket prices range from $15.00-$21.00 and can be purchased at the MCT box office (200 North Adams), online at www.MCTinc.org, or by calling (406) 728-7529. All seats are reserved.
Media inquiries, please contact Terri Elander at MCT at 728-1911, ext. 232 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Multimedia Drawing Installation Opens at UM Gallery of Visual Arts
MISSOULA – A new exhibit of large-scale, three-dimensional drawings and installations using nontraditional materials and digital media will be featured at the University of Montana Gallery of Visual Arts. “Phobic” by Denver artist Sarah Rockett, will be on display Feb. 6-March 5 in the gallery, located on the first floor of the Social Science Building.
The artist will present a lecture on her work, sponsored by the UM School of Art Jim and Jane Dew Visiting Artist Fund, on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 5:10 p.m. in Social Science Building Room 356. A reception for the artist will follow the lecture from 6 to 7 p.m. in the gallery. All events and the exhibition are free and open to the public.
“Phobic” explores how fear operates within the relationships between the individual, the collective and others in American culture. The artist states that “fear is perpetuated by routine social interactions that purposely devise invisible barriers, segregating individuals from unknown people, places, and situations.”
Rockett’s multimedia approach to her work can be best characterized as drawings in space that are heavily invested in the formal elements of line and mark-making. Both figurative and abstract forms are created with benign, everyday materials such as wire, hot glue, plastic sheeting, tubes and insulation foam. The juxtaposition of menacing textures along with common materials prompts the viewer to re-examine the validity of fear.
In addition to her exhibition in the Gallery of Visual Arts, the artist will be working with students in the School of Art Student Gallery, located on the second floor of the Fine Arts Building, to create a collaborative installation. Rockett received her M.F.A. from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, and currently is an adjunct instructor at Metropolitan State University of Denver and Front Range Community College in Westminster, Colo.
The Gallery of Visual Arts is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, Mondays are available by appointment only. More information about the UM School of Art and the gallery is available online at umt.edu/art
When University of Montana piano professors Steven Hesla and Christopher Hahn heard pianist Spencer Myer play the headliner recital for the Montana State Music Teachers Association’s state conference in November 2012, they knew they were hearing one of the nation’s top young musical artists.
“It was one of those ‘pin drop’ musical experiences,” Hesla said. “We simply knew we had to have him play for our Missoula audiences.”
On Sunday, Feb. 9, Myer will perform during UM’s Celebrate Piano Series IV. The performance begins at 3 p.m. in the UM Music Recital Hall and tickets cost $20 for general public, $15 for seniors and $10 students. Proceeds will help support the Keyboard Benefit Fund, which allows students to travel, compete, earn scholarships and allow the School of Music to maintain and improve keyboard inventory. Tickets can be purchased online at http://umt.edu/music/pianoseries, at the UMArts Box Office in the Performing Arts and Radio/TV Center or by calling 406-243-4581. A master class will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in the Music Recital Hall. It is free and open to the public.
Hailed as “one of the most important American artists of his generation,” Myer graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School. He has been victorious at many important international piano competitions, taking first place in the 10th UNISA International Piano Competition in Pretoria, South Africa, in 2004. That same year, Myer became a laureate of the Montreal International Piano Competition, and further distinguished himself at the prestigious Busoni, Cleveland and William Kapell international piano competitions in 2005 and 2007. He nailed the gold medal at the New Orleans International Piano Competition in 2008.
“These international piano competitions, renowned for their formidable requirements and world-class standards, are undertaken by few, and won by even fewer,” Hahn said.
Myer’s friendly and engaging personality further endears him to musical audiences. “There is something magical that happens when performers and audiences merge,” Hahn said, “And this is certainly the case when Spencer Myer takes command of both the music and the instrument.”
Myer’s recital at UM’s School of Music will feature three sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti; Franz Schubert’s noble “Sonata in A Major, D. 959;” Claude Debussy’s colorful “Images from Book II;” Aaron Copland’s “Piano Variations;” and three pieces from William Bolcom’s cheeky ragtime suite, “Garden of Eden.”
The recital will pair world-class playing with the finest of compositions, and Myer will play the identical program as the headliner recital at the National Conference of the 2014 Music Teachers National Association in Chicago this March. For more information on Myer, visit http://www.spencermyer.com/.
It is fitting that an outstanding artist like Myer should take the stage at UM. The Keyboard Division of the School of Music has a long history of excellence, punctuated by increasing acclaim in recent years. UM’s popular “Pianissimo” concert was invited to perform in the Old Supreme Court Chamber in Helena in February 2013. UM’s Keyboard Society, an official student affiliate chapter of the MTNA, is comprised of more than 30 students majoring or minoring in piano. The MTNA Collegiate Chapter of the Year was awarded to UM’s Keyboard Society at the National Conference in Albuquerque, N.M., in 2010. In 2013, “Pianissimo VI” was featured at the Steinway Gallery in Spokane, Wash.
To learn more about the Celebrate Piano Series, call Hesla at 406-243-6055 or email email@example.com.
The University of Montana choral music department represents a dynamic and vibrant community of individuals from colleges across the campus. All three choral ensembles, the University Choir, the Women’s Choir, and the Chamber Chorale owe a great deal of their recent successes and positive trajectories to the numerous collaborative projects in which they each participate.
In April 2014, the Chamber Chorale will travel to Illinois and take part in a performance in one of the grandest concert halls in the country: Chicago’s own Orchestra Hall in Symphony Center. The group was selected by taped audition to present as part of the Debut Series. The UM singers are excited about traveling and participating in this high-profile performance.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for all of us,” says Music Education major and three-year choir member Elin Peterson of Missoula. “Traveling with Chamber Chorale in the past has, I feel, proven to really bring us together as an ensemble. I think Chicago will bring the group to new levels of excellence!” After presenting their own portion of the performance, the Chamber Chorale will sing alongside the Manhattan Chorale - a professional choral ensemble from New York—providing some of the students a glimpse into what their lives might be like after graduation. “Many of us in this choir are looking forward to careers as professional musicians and trips like this give us an idea of what our lives could be like,” Tenor Ben Fox, Voice Performance major, remarks.
The choir will also work with internationally recognized conductor Dr. Craig Arnold. Arnold, who is also the conductor of the Manhattan Chorale, will lead the UM choir and the Manhattan Chorale in a combined performance of several choral works at the conclusion of the concert. For many of the singers the thought of performing in such a prestigious hall is both nerve-wracking and exhilarating. As junior Caitlin Wallace puts it, “It’s a really great opportunity for all of us to be able to sing in such a renowned place. This choir has really grown as an ensemble in recent years, and this experience will allow us to show how much we’ve improved as a group.”
Gilbert A. Millikan – Generosity in Perpetuity
On Thursday, November 21, 2013, the School of Art formally recognized Gilbert A. Millikan (1936-2003) during the dedication ceremony of the Gilbert Millikan Art Resource Center (Fine Arts Building, room 304). The Millikan Center provides students with access to books, journals, electronic media, and other research materials for the study of art history and criticism and the visual arts. The dedication is a testament to Millikan’s love of art, his legacy to the university, and his generous gift to the School of Art and the Montana Museum of Art & Culture. Millikan’s bequest has enriched the life of the university by enhancing creative research opportunities for its faculty and students, upgrading equipment, and renovating facilities.
Gilbert A. Millikan was a dedicated supporter of the visual arts at the University of Montana. As an alumnus of the university and a member of the College of Visual and Performing Arts Advisory Council, Millikan was devoted to nurturing young artists in the Missoula community. He cared deeply about the School of Art and participated in many of its activities, taking art history classes, attending exhibitions, openings, and lectures, visiting students in their studios, and collecting their works. At the end of his life, he and life-long partner David Richards made provisions to continue that advocacy and investment through a generous gift from his estate, the single largest gift to the School of Art in its over 100 year history.
Speakers Justin Armintrout, Rafael Chacόn, Julia Galloway, Stephen Kalm, Bob Knight, and Barbara Koostra, addressed the largesse of Gilbert Millikan’s legacy, his passion for art in the community, collecting and museums, his dedication to Montana artists and university students, and his unflagging commitment to professional development and student success. The School of Art, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and the University of Montana are better because of Gilbert A. Millikan.
The dedication of the Millikan Center was preceded by the School of Art’s 7th annual Gilbert A. Millikan Faculty Lecture. The series focuses on the creative research activities of the School of Art faculty made possible through funds from the Millikan estate.