Monday, September 10, 2007

Theatre, music events highlight SMU Family Weekend Sept. 28-30

WINONA, Minn. — A full slate of events await parents and students during Saint Mary’s University’s annual Family Weekend Sept. 28-30. In addition, the public is invited to enjoy the talents of SMU students during theatre, jazz, and band and chorus events.

The weather is cooling off but the jazz is heating up at Saint Mary's. Two student groups led by Dr. John Paulson will kick off the year with a concert at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, in the Performance Center’s Figliulo Recital Hall. Tickets are $6, $4 for students and seniors. The 18-piece Jazz Ensemble and six-piece Jazz Combo I will perform from 6 to 7 p.m., and two Jazz Workshop Combos, directed by Dr. Paulson and Eric Heukeshoven, will play for a reception following the concert in the Toner Student Center Lounge.

Jazz Combo I will start off the concert playing selections from their repertoire of recognizable jazz standards like “Stolen Moments” by Oliver Nelson. Featured soloists include Sam Courtier on guitar, Matt Clementz on trumpet and Tony Freeman on tenor sax.

The big band will perform tunes like Bryan Kid's arrangement “Sister Sadie” by Horace Silver, and “Round Midnight” by Thelonius Monk, featuring sophomore Vanessa Grams on alto sax. Also included in their set will be the recognizable “Cold Duck Time” by Eddie Harris, arranged by Mark Taylor.

The SMU Concert Band and SMU choirs will perform 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, in Page Theatre, located in the Performance Center. Tickets are $6, $4 for students and seniors. The concert band — under the direction of Dr. Janet Heukeshoven — is a 77-member ensemble made up of SMU students, as well as qualified community musicians. Rehearsing twice weekly, the band performs a wide variety of traditional and modern wind band literature. Saturday's concert will include the “National Anthem,” arranged by Bowles; Vaughan Williams’ “English Folk Song Suite;” Eric Whitacre’s “October;” and Hardiman’s “Lord of the Dance,” arranged by Saucedo. The “English Folk Song Suite” contains three movements, the march, “Seventeen Come Sunday;” the intermezzo, “My Bonnie Boy;” and the march, “Folk Songs from Somerset.”

The Saint Mary's Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Women's Choir will perform a number of choral works, from the Renaissance to Gospel music, and in several languages including Latin and Iroquois. The Concert Choir (65 voices) and Chamber Singers (24 voices) are directed by Dr. Patrick O’Shea, and the Women’s Choir (23 voices) is directed by faculty member Peter Schleif.

The SMU Department of Theatre Arts will stage “Art” 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28; Saturday, Sept. 29; and Monday, Oct. 1; as well as 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. Written by Yasmina Reza, and directed by Dr. Stephen Bouler, “Art,” is a humorous and honest examination of modern friendship.

Reza demonstrates through comic relief what it means to be a friend. When an art lover buys a very expensive white painting (with white stripes), his best friend goes ballistic. A third friend enters the scene acting as a mediator. Reza humorously examines both subjects with the use of three characters: the man who bought the painting and the two friends who come to see it. Tickets for the performance — to be held in Page Theatre — are $8, $6 for students and seniors. The audience should be advised that “Art” contains strong language.

To order tickets for any of these Family Weekend events — or to learn more about any upcoming productions at SMU — contact the Performance Center Box Office at (507) 457-1715 during business hours, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, or order online at