From August 31 through September 25, 2015, the exhibition Symbiosis?: New Sculpture by Jon McMillan will be on view at Mary Baldwin College’s Hunt Gallery. Jon McMillan is an artist and educator residing in Fredericksburg, where he is an assistant professor of ceramics at the University of Mary Washington.
McMillan holds an MFA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a BFA from James Madison University, where he also earned a minor in art history. After earning his undergraduate degree, McMillan worked for seven years as a full time potter. Currently, he makes functional and sculptural ceramic artwork, both of which are exhibited nationally and internationally. Recently, McMillan taught ceramics workshops in Houston and in Vallauris, France, where he also undertook a month-long artist residency.
McMillan’s recent sculptural work will be on view at Hunt Gallery, within which he explores dualities — “simple and complex, formal and conceptual, internal and external” — that focus on the curious and sometimes challenging intersections of nature and culture. McMillan says the following about the work: “I use juxtaposition and ambiguity to create objects and installations that address both general and specific dichotomies, allowing viewers to bring their own experiences to bear in the interpretation of the work. While this body of work generates from ideas related to my own personality and humankind’s relationship with the natural world, I do not wish to dictate these concepts to my audience. Instead, I strive to engage the viewer by making objects that pique interest through their vague and surreal nature. Although the forms and surfaces in each component of the work are evocative, they are not immediately recognizable. In the end, my hope is to encourage dialogue by raising questions instead of providing answers.”
A reception will be held for the artist 4:30–6 p.m. on September 7 in Hunt Gallery. The public is invited to attend.
Hunt Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary work in all media by regionally and nationally recognized artists. The gallery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday during the college’s academic year. Hunt Gallery’s schedule for the 2015–16 academic year can be found online.
At Student Government Association (SGA) Installation on April 7, the college recognized student leaders and those scholars who stand out for their leadership, academic record, and commitment to MBC’s values.
Kristia Vasiloff, recipient of the President’s Award
The President’s Award is given to one student who demonstrates a commitment to academics, campus and community service, exceptional leadership qualities, and dedication to diversity. Such a student exhibits honor and integrity in her actions and a spirit of adventure. She is committed to personal wellness and shows an ability to balance mind, body, and spirit. This year’s recipient is Kristia Vasiloff.
Kathryn Laflin (center), recipient of the Brenda Bryant Student Leadership Award
For her ability to build a team of peers, serve as a role model, and inspire others to action, Kathryn Laflin earned this year’s Brenda Bryant Student Leadership Award. Such leaders have a strong sense of self, can balance multiple commitments, demonstrate creative problem-solving skills, and are dedicated students.
Bathany Zaiman, recipient of the Global Citizenship Award
Students who earn the Global Citizenship Award demonstrate respect for all people and value diverse perspectives of others; engage in service to the campus, community, nation, or world; effect positive change; show a commitment to diversity; and embrace all members of the community with compassion. This year’s recipient is Bethany Zaiman.
Kathleen Hurlock, recipient of the Honor and Integrity Award
Upholding the principles of the MBC Honor and Judicial codes is the hallmark trait of students who receive the Honor and Integrity Award. This year, that award goes to Kathleen Hurlock.
Damba Koroma, recipeint of the Unsung Hero Award
Recipients of Mary Baldwin’s Unsung Hero Award are students who serve as role models to others and go above and beyond in their care and concern of the campus community, but who often do not receive public acknowledgement of their hard work. This year, Damba Koroma is MBC’s unsung hero.
Shekira Ramdass, one of the recipients of the Lynn Gilliglan Boldly Baldwin Award
The Lynn Gilliland Boldly Baldwin Award recognizes a student who demonstrates exceptional school spirit, a desire to mentor and help classmates, and strong communications skills. Awardees effect positive change on campus and in the greater community and have a strong sense of self — all traits embodied by MBC’s former director of first- and second-year experience, Lynn Tuggle Gilliland ’80. This year, Reetu Sinha and Shekira Ramdass jointly received the award.
Amber Keen Ellis, recipient of the Advisor of the Year Award
For committing to students’ academic success; exceeding expectations; and leading by example with honor, integrity, and a dedication to personal wellness, Director of Student Development and Support Amber Keen Ellis received this year’s Advisor of the Year award.
The student organization that best enhances life on the MBC campus, demonstrates growth and increased strength of leadership, and exceeds expectations earns top recognition as Organization of the Year. In 2014–15, the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership band jointly proved to be the most effective in engaging students and encouraging participation in campus life.
Students elected to the 2015–16 Executive Committee of the SGA were also installed as part of the ceremony. They are:
Tralen Neal, president
Jazmine Brooks, vice president
Sharanya Rao, secretary
Molly “Jasyn” Chase, treasurer
MiAngel Hite, Residence Hall Association chair
Jan Edlene Miguel, Judicial Board chair
Rasheeda Bradley, lead advocate
Lillie Parker, Baldwin Program Board chair
Ciara McLaren, Honor Council chair
Ciara Dacosta-Reyes, Inter-Club Council chair
At the Reunion and Awards Parade on April 10, 2015, the following cadets in the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL) received spring awards:
Jazmine Brooks and Mariah Efurd received the Sarah K. Small Award, which is presented in honor of 1st Lieutenant Sarah Small ’02 to senior cadets who have exemplified service and commitment to community and country.
Kimberly Denny received the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution Award, which is presented to a senior cadet in the upper 25% of her graduating class who will seek a commission after graduation.
Sarah Seekins, Stephanie Collins, Hailey Caton, and Melissa Lovretich received the Military Officers Association of America Award, which recognizes outstanding ROTC cadets that show exceptional potential for future military leadership, good academic standards, high moral character, and loyalty to VWIL and country.
Jade Baker receives her award
Jade Baker received the National Society of United States Daughters of the War of 1812 Award, which recognizes a graduating senior who has demonstrated qualities of academic excellence, leadership, military discipline, dependability, patriotism and upright character of speech and habits, exemplifying the ideals upon which our nation was founded.
Shanelle Espinal received the Association of Military Colleges and Schools (AMCSUS) President’s Award from Mary Baldwin President Pamela Fox. Each year, AMCSUS provides the college with a president’s award to present to a cadet with two full years in the VWIL Corps of Cadets who best demonstrates the mission of AMCSUS: strong values, positive leadership development, outstanding citizenship, and service to others.
Jasnique Rolle received the VWIL Corps Communication Award, which is presented to the cadet demonstrating commitment to the promotion and publicity of the corps through marketing and media.
Brig. Gen. Terry Djuric and Jochebed Koomson
Jochebed Koomson received the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, which is awarded to a scholar officer candidate based on academic excellence and leadership potential.
Tatiana Western, Katherine Narvaez, Carolyn Gale, and Brenda Ajavon received VWIL Strength and Endurance Test (SET) Awards, which are presented to the cadets from each class with the highest SET average and all passing scores. Western, a graduating senior, had an average fitness score of 94 percent; Narvaez, a junior, had an 88 percent average; Gale, a sophomore, had a 90 percent average; and Ajavon, a freshman, had an 83 percent average.
Carolyn Denny received the MacArthur Award, which is presented to a senior demonstrating academic excellence, physical training, and leadership.
Meagan Barron received the Colonel Frank Pancake Award, which is presented to a senior demonstrating leadership, academic excellence, and the attributes of a citizen solider.
Jazmyne Williamson received the VWIL Physical Training Award, which is presented to the cadet who has been committed to improving and refining PT within the Corps.
Tisha Wilkerson and Terra Daniels received the VWIL Corps Service Award, which is presented for outstanding service to the Corps.
Rachel Jones received the VWIL Spirit Award, which is presented to the senior who best represents the spirit of the Corps.
(l-r) Alana Rister, Nhi Nguyen, Director of Leadership Development and Academic Affairs for VWIL Amy Underwood, Breanna Thomas, and Mikayla Waters-Crittenton
Nhi Nguyen, Alana Rister, Mikayla Waters-Crittenton, and Breanna Thomas received the VWIL Academic Awards, which are presented to the cadets from each class with the highest cumulative grade point average (GPA). Nguyen, a graduating senior, has a 3.88 GPA; Riser, a junior, has a 3.9 GPA; Waters-Crittenton, a sophomore, has a 3.71 GPA; and Thomas, a freshman, has a 3.77 GPA.
Aimee Barrenada received the VWIL Molly Pitcher Award, which is presented to a cadet who displays professionalism while representing the VWIL Corps at Mary Baldwin and in the Staunton community.
Photo courtesy of National Law Journal
Danielle Spinelli ’85 is slated to be the guest speaker at Mary Baldwin’s Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) initiation ceremony during Commencement weekend. A partner at WilmerHale — a leading international law firm in Washington DC — Spinelli is an experienced litigator and appellate advocate whose practice focuses on representing clients in the United States Supreme Court, in the federal and state appellate courts, and in trial-level matters involving complex legal questions. Her cases have taken up issues such as administrative law, bankruptcy, constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, federal jurisdiction, Native-American law, insurance law, and international trade.
The Legal 500 recognized Spinelli as “a great lawyer in every sense,” saying she “has superb legal acumen, is a very effective oral advocate, and provides an excellent written product.”
She was inducted into PBK at MBC in 1985 and graduated magna cum laude that same year. After earning a master’s degree from Columbia University, she served as executive editor of the Harvard Law Review, graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1999.
The PBK initiation and reception will take place at 5 p.m. on May 16 in Miller Chapel. PBK is the nation’s oldest academic honor society recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.
||Maria Craig, assistant professor of chemistry
Presented posters with co-authors Celine Brooks, Sophia Stone, and Kaela Kelly, Annual Meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Boston. Karl Zachary, associate professor of chemistry, was also a co-author on Kaela Kelly’s presentation.
||Sarah Kennedy, professor of English
Participated in a panel, “Murder in another Time and Place,” Virginia Festival of the Book, March.
Her second novel, City of Ladies, was chosen as a finalist for the IndieFab award.
Served as an outside accreditation reviewer for the English Department at Principia College.
||Daniel Metraux, professor of Asian studies
Contributed a long biographical chapter on the Japanese Buddhist monk Nichiren for the book The Buddhist World being published by Routledge.
||Janna Segal, assistant professor of theatre
Dramaturged four plays for the Comparative Drama Conference’s Staged Reading series: Katherine B. Free’s The Misanthrope; Susan McCully’s Leah’s Dybbuk; Michele Osherow and Manil Suri’s The Mathematics of Being; and Mark Scharf’s The Quickening.
||Mary Clay Thomas, assistant professor and director of social work
Presented a paper, “Creating a Collaborative Based Mural Project with Imprisoned, Undocumented Youth,” Western Social Sciences conference, April 9, Portland, Oregon.
||Katherine Turner, associate professor of English
Attended the Virginia Humanities Conference on “The Humanities in the Public Sphere” as the MBC delegate and chaired a session on “Memorialization and Trauma.”
||Tamra Willis, associate professor of education
A presentation, “Back Creek Streambank Restoration Project: Engaging Students in Community-Focused 21st Century Skills,” with co-presenter Courtney Hallacher, a local high school teacher and graduate student in the College of Education, Green Schools National Conference, March, Virginia Beach. Their presentation was about the three-year (and continuing) service learning project in Middlebrook between the MBC Environment-Based Learning program and Riverheads High School students in environmental science and ecology.
Students, faculty, staff, and friends of Mary Baldwin College gathered inside Francis Auditorium on March 26 for Honors Convocation, a ceremony to recognize student academic achievement.
Awards presented included:
Student Class Marshals
Jennifer Jin ’15
Sophia Stone ’15
Alexandra Ellmauer, alternate
Emma Reger ’16
Elizabeth Suchanic ’16
Raven Showalter, alternate
Sharanya Rao ’17
Brooke Wiles ’17
Sammantha Grzb, alternate
Martha Garcia-Cervantes ’18
Carlyssa Lebeauf ’18
Madison Payne, alternate
Layla Teears, alternate
Phi Beta Kappa
Membership in the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society, is an emblem of high achievement and exceptional potential conferred upon barely one percent of college seniors nationwide. The Society, founded in 1776, maintains high standards for individual members as well as for the colleges from which members are elected. Mary Baldwin College is one of only 280 institutions to shelter a chapter, Lambda of Virginia. To be elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a student must have demonstrated through her or his undergraduate record a commitment to the pursuit of excellence in the liberal arts and sciences that is both broad and deep. In addition to a high GPA, minimum eligibility requirements include foreign language, mathematics, and laboratory science. Standards for election as a junior are higher than for seniors. The ideal Phi Beta Kappan is a model of intellectual curiosity, academic integrity, tolerance for other views, and a broad range of academic interests.
Global Honors Scholars 2014–15
Class of 2015
Class of 2016
Class of 2017
Class of 2018
Margaret Hartman Kable Russell Award
Adult Degree Program Loyalty Fund Scholarships
The Adult Degree Program (ADP) Loyalty Fund Scholarships are funded through donations from ADP faculty, staff, graduates, friends, family, and present students through donations to the college’s annual fund. To be eligible, applicants must be students in good standing in ADP and be seeking their first bachelor’s degree; have completed 12 or more semester hours of MBC-graded work, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5; and be planning to enroll in the following fall semester. Recipients are selected on the basis of their academic record; service to the program, college, and community; and commitment to learning and growth in ADP.
Mary Margaret Isbell
Carrie Douglass Award for Excellence in Anthropology
The Carrie Douglass Award for Excellence in Anthropology honors one student, an anthropology/sociology major or anthropology minor, for his or her work in and contribution to the anthropology program at Mary Baldwin College. The award is determined by major GPA, career GPA, and contributions to the anthropology program through campus organizations, civic and/or global engagement, and excellence in research. The award is named in honor of former Mary Baldwin College Professor of Anthropology Carrie Douglass.
Ulysse Desportes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Art History and Ulysse Desportes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Studio Art
This award acknowledges the outstanding work, accomplishments, and growth of a selected art history major and a studio art major. It also signifies the capacity of the recipients to carry forward a high level of quality within her studio practice and/or art history scholarship beyond Mary Baldwin College.
Art History: Sutton Hastman
Studio Art: Toby Ziemba
The Eric Matthew Brown Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design
Amy M. Rupe Award for Excellence in Asian Studies
Given to member(s) of MBC sports teams who achieves high academic standing.
Mary Jane Donnally Award
Awarded to the student athlete with the highest cumulative GPA after three semesters of work.
Team GPA Award
Awarded to the team with the highest cumulative GPA.
Cross Country Team: Sara Caldwell, Alejandra Cotoc-Cax, Wendy Deptula, Sydney Ellis, Amanda Fadden, Jennifer Jin, Jochebed Koomson, Kaylyn Lonergan, Monique McGough, Katherine Narvaez, Campbell Scollo, Sophia Stone, and Bailey Willis
Alice McCaa Class of 1976 Biology Award
The Alice McCaa (pronounced “McCay”) Award honors a 1976 graduate of Mary Baldwin College who majored in biology and whose friends and classmates wanted to honor her memory by establishing an annual award for biology majors. The award is intended to “encourage and recognize excellence in the field of biology.” It is given to an undergraduate biology major based on academic standing and excellent performance in laboratory and research settings. The recipient is chosen by the biology faculty and includes a cash award.
Outstanding Student – Biology
The Outstanding Biology Student Awards are unique because winners are selected by their student colleagues, who define outstanding achievement from the valuable peer perspective.
Business — Adult Degree Program Outstanding Senior
This award is based on grade point average and faculty recommendation.
Gordon L. Hammock Student Mentor
Professor Gordon Hammock was a deeply loved and well-respected member of the business faculty who passed away a number of years ago. One of his greatest gifts was his ability to mentor students. To honor him, the college created an endowed fund that carries a cash award for the recipient. The student who receives this award “exemplifies Gordon’s focus on teaching and mentoring students to be ethical leaders in business.”
Business — Outstanding RCW Student
The Outstanding Business Student award is given to the student that best exemplifies the effective practices in today’s world with special focus on “business for a sustainable future.” MBC business students look at the triple bottom line — achieving benefits that are economic, social, and environmental. With a strong foundation that includes marketing, management, finance, and economics, students will learn first-hand how successful business practices are enhanced with responsible, ethical, and sustainable decisions. The award winners exhibit these practices in and out of the classroom.
Chemistry — Outstanding Student
The Chemistry Award is given annually to a chemistry major who has excelled academically in the field, shown promise in the research lab, and been involved in service to the department through the American Chemical Society student group.
Peggy Pinkston Biochemistry Research Award
The Biochemistry Research Award is given in memory of Peggy Pinkston, a beloved Mary Baldwin faculty member from 1976 to 1989. This quote from former student Joi Phelps Walker ‘82, excerpted from The Mary Baldwin College Magazine, describes Pinkston’s spirit and her many contributions to Mary Baldwin: “Dr. Pinkston opened my mind to the range of possibilities that a woman could pursue. Here she was, a PhD in biochemistry and an accomplished violinist as well. She was a powerful role model to young women just breaking into science in the late 1970s.”
Sophia Stone and Kaela Kelly
Physics Outstanding Student
Benn Award for Creative Writing
The Benn Award for Creative Writing was established in 1969 by the late Mrs. Clyde Myers Lambert of Waynesboro in memory of her parents, Dr. and Mrs. R. L. Benn. The award is presented by the English faculty in recognition of a returning Mary Baldwin student who has distinguished herself in the literary arts.
Health Care Administration
Health Care Administration Award
This award has been given out by the Health Care Administration (HCA) program for more than 20 years. It is given to the top student in the HCA program — the person who exhibits the qualities of an effective, efficient, and humane professional in the making. Among the elements considered are GPA, classroom engagement, participation in HCA program activities, leadership, the quality of the required internship, a cooperative spirit matched with action, and a sense of humor.
Donald D. Thompson Memorial Scholarship
The Donald D. Thompson Memorial Scholarship was established in 1985 by former students and friends of Professor Thompson to honor his service to the college, his excellence as an instructor, and his professional achievement in the field of psychology. The scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding student in psychology for her senior year of study.
First Year Calculus Award
This award is given to a freshman with the highest grade in the Introduction to Calculus and Analytic Geometry I and II courses. The award is funded by the mathematics department to celebrate and encourage women into mathematics.
Ashley DuLac Award
This award is funded by the DuLac family in honor of their daughter Ashley DuLac, class of 1989. Each year this award is given to an outstanding graduating senior in the mathematics department.
Sigma Beta Delta Fellowship
Jane Addams Social Work Award
Given to an outstanding student in the social work department. The award is named in honor of Jane Addams, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, founder of the Settlement House Movement, a mover and shaker in the areas of labor reform, and a charter member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Outstanding Field Practicum Award
Sociology — Academic excellence
Given to a senior who has achieved academic distinction and has excelled in all her classes.
Sociology — Public Service Award
Given in recognition of exceptional service to MBC and the greater community.
Study Abroad Scholarships
Twelve scholarships totaling more than $10,000 were awarded this year through a rigorous application and selection process, which took into account financial need, academic excellence, academic and career goals, diversity, class year and prior experience abroad.
The C. Perry Nair Jr. Endowed Fund scholarship: Lorien Lutz and Sabrina Phansa
The Thelma T. McDowell Endowed Fund scholarship: Celine Brooks
The Marion Barge Clark ’67 scholarship: Kimberly Martin
The Melissa Mitchell Award for May Term Abroad: Bibianna Santana
The Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement Endowed Fund scholarships: Katie Bonilla, Ciara McLaren, Brooke Wiles, Beverly Kelly, and Kelly Clark
2014–15 VFIC Ethics Bowl Participants
Brinley Broomfield and Reetu Sinha
The Music Department at Mary Baldwin College is pleased to announce the final Sunday Recital of the season featuring the popular duo Terra Voce at 3 p.m. on April 12 in Francis Auditorium. The duo, flutist Elizabeth Brightbill and cellist Andrew Gabbert, will be joined by pianist Lise Keiter for an afternoon of chamber music.
“It’s wonderful to have Terra Voce on the series again,” said Keiter, chair of the music department at Mary Baldwin. “They always choose such an interesting and appealing selection of pieces, and their warm and friendly performance style really draws the audience in.”
Sunday’s diverse program ranges from part of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, to selections from Piazolla’s Histoire du Tango, to Gonzaga’s Araponga, a lively Brazilian choro that will close the program. Brightbill and Gabbert arranged these works for their unusual flute and cello instrumentation.
“We enjoy the challenge of arranging pieces we love for flute and cello, because not much is composed for this instrumental combination,” explains Brightbill. “For example, we’ve arranged the Bach Aria and First Variation from Goldberg Variations because a good friend performed this at our wedding. We also enjoy crafting programs that feature a wide variety of musical styles, and this concert is a treat for us because we get to play with piano as well.”
The program’s more traditional offerings include a trio by Haydn and Erwin Schulhoff’s sonata for flute and piano, where they will be joined by Keiter at the piano. Gabbert will also share the D Minor Ricercare for solo cello of Gabrieli, which Brightbill describes as “one of the earliest pieces composed for solo cello, predating the famous J. S. Bach suites.”
In addition to their numerous performances on college campuses and community concert series, Terra Voce has appeared on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, in the Christ Chapel Chamber Series at New York City’s Riverside Church, and as finalists in the National Flute Association’s Chamber Music Competition. They have released two CDs; their self-titled debut CD (2009) and The Frost is All Over (2011) which was chosen as an “Editor’s Pick” on CD Baby. They have also recently been selected to be on the Virginia Commission for the Arts Performing Arts Tour Directory. Prior to moving to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Brightbill and Gabbert lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they were members of the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra. Keiter performs regularly in both solo and chamber music settings, including recent performances with the Heifetz Institute and with the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival.
Tickets for April 12 may be purchased at the door and are $5 for the general public and $4 for seniors and students (MBC students are free). For more information call 540-887-7294 or visit Music at MBC.
The Music Department at Mary Baldwin College is pleased to announce its Spring Choir Concert, “Sing All Ye Joyful,” featuring the Mary Baldwin College Choir, along with Bella Voce and Baldwin Charm, the department’s two small a cappella ensembles. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. on April 7 at First Presbyterian Church in Staunton. Admission to the concert is free, and the public is invited.
“The concert title is from J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit,” explains Linell Gray Moss, who directs the college choir and the Bella Voce ensemble. “The choir will sing this selection in a musical setting by American composer Kirk Mechem.”
Moss goes on to say, “We are celebrating this year’s college-wide theme of Roots with a beautiful setting by Gwyneth Walker of May Swenson’s poem, ‘I will be earth.’”
The College Choir will also sing in French, German, and Nguni, and senior music major Leslie Pittman will conduct an arrangement of Gershwin’s “The Man I Love.” The program will close with the lively African-American spiritual “Ain’t no grave can hold my body down.” Several of the works feature the talents of pianist Luis Gonzalez.
Bella Voce’s selections include a Navajo prayer, a Latin chant set by contemporary composer Eleanor Daley, and the beautiful Southern Harmony hymntune, “Wondrous Love.” Baldwin Charm will share several popular music songs, including an arrangement by the group Pentatonix.
The choirs recently toured the Washington, DC area. A highlight of the tour was the opportunity to interact with diverse audiences, including teenagers at the Shenandoah Juvenile Detention Center and folks at Sunnyside Retirement Community, where the choir helped to celebrate the 102nd birthday of a resident in attendance. Audiences included MBC alumni from the 1940s through recent years, including a former choir member of former director Gordon Page.
Moss has taught for colleges and universities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, New York, and Virginia. She holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the University of Iowa, and Macalester College. Kathleen Bell has been featured in many opera roles in the U.S. and in Europe. She has also been a soloist with the Miami Symphony, the Miami Oratorio Society, the Hispanic Lyric Theatre, the Miami Civic Chorale, and the Middle Saxony Orchestra in Germany. Currently, Bell is finishing the doctorate of musical arts in voice pedagogy at Shenandoah University with special interests in vocal health and contemporary commercial music styles.
Turning Glass Shakespeare (TGS), the 2014–15 Master of Fine Arts (MFA) company of Mary Baldwin College’s Shakespeare and Performance graduate program, in association with the American Shakespeare Center, announces its MFA Festival. The festival will run March 27–31 and will include all five productions from TGS’s season: the devised show, Little Life; William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and The Winter’s Tale; and Thomas Middleton’s A Chaste Maid in Cheapside.
TGS created Little Life during the first month of their company’s session. Little Life blends text from TGS’s season with music and text from other sources to explore the life cycles of the young heroines in each play. TGS will perform Little Life on March 27 at 6 p.m. at the Masonic Building in downtown Staunton.
One of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays, Twelfth Night is a romantic comedy about life, love, death, and the power of family. Set in Virginia and featuring Appalachian music, TGS’s one-hour production, designed as an educational tour, delights audiences both young and old. TGS will perform Twelfth Night on March 28 at 2 p.m. at Masonic and on March 31 at 2 p.m. at the Blackfriars Playhouse. The March 31 performance will include a Q&A session about Appalachian culture with Clyde Jenkins, a White Oak Basket Artisan and Basket Supplier for Colonial Williamsburg.
Romeo & Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays due to its mixture of tragedy, romance, action, and bawdy comedy. As a small-scale tour, TGS’s production uses only six actors as well as minimal props and costumes. This approach challenges the company to find imaginative ways to use actors’ bodies and Shakespeare’s words to tell a story and challenges the audience to use their imaginations to enter the world of the play. TGS will perform Romeo & Juliet on Saturday, March 28 at 8 p.m. at Masonic and on March 30 at 10:30 a.m. at Blackfriars. A talk back will follow the performance on March 28.
One of Shakespeare’s “romances,” The Winter’s Tale tells a story of loss and redemption that is powerful, funny, and thought-provoking. TGS’s production is set in the 1920s, when European nations were rebuilding after WWI, jazz music reigned, and women all across the Western world fought for the right to vote. TGS will perform The Winter’s Tale on March 29 at 8 p.m. and on March 31 at 8 p.m., both performances at the Blackfriars Playhouse. The performance on March 29 will include an event at 7:30 p.m. in which students from James Madison University will read poems that they have written inspired by The Winter’s Tale. The performance on March 31 will include a loyalty card giveaway during intermission.
A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, a city comedy, is the company’s Renaissance production. TGS will have only 10 days of rehearsal and will work without a director. This style of rehearsal allows the company to use performance as research to understand some of the conditions under which an early modern playing company may have worked. TGS will perform Chaste Maid on March 30 at 8 p.m. at Blackfriars and will include an open bar prior to the show.
The festival will also include a performance of the master of letters production of Clyomon and Clamydes on March 30 at 2 p.m. at Blackfriars. Written by an unknown author, Clyomon and Clamydes tells the story of competing knights and is filled with comedy, adventure, and romance.
The MFA Festival is a chance for audiences to revisit Turning Glass Shakespeare’s productions or experience them for the first time and a chance to say goodbye to this company as they complete a year of work, play, and learning.
The Mary Baldwin College Music Department announces the next Carl Broman Concert, which will feature the award-winning Ariel Quartet at 8 p.m. on March 23 in Francis Auditorium on the Mary Baldwin College campus.
Characterized by youth, brilliant playing, and soulful interpretations, the Ariel Quartet has quickly earned a glowing international reputation. Its members have been playing together ever since they formed 16 years ago as students in Israel. They continue to astonish audiences with their performances of complete works by memory, and they perform widely in Europe, North America, and Israel, including two record-setting Beethoven cycles last season (performed before all the members of the quartet turned 30).
The quartet has won a number of international prizes, including the Grand Prize at the 2006 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Recently, they were honored with the Cleveland Quartet Award, a prestigious award which recognizes and promotes a rising young string quartet whose artistry demonstrates that it is in the process of establishing a major career. The quartet serves as the faculty quartet-in-residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where they direct the chamber music program and perform their own annual series of concerts.
“It is always something special when we are able to bring a string quartet to the Broman series,” says Lise Keiter, chair of the Music Department at Mary Baldwin. “And we are especially pleased to feature the Ariel Quartet, considered one of the most exciting young quartets today.”
One of the quartet’s many impressive achievements has been to perform all 17 of Beethoven’s string quartets over a period of only a few months. They will treat the Staunton audience to one of these works, opening their program with Beethoven’s Quartet in A Major, op. 18, no. 5, a delightful work that shows influence of Mozart. They will continue with the Quartet No. 5 of Hungarian composer Bela Bartok. After a recent performance of this piece, a reviewer from The News-Gazette noted, “… it was technically and emotionally a Bartok performance at the highest level. No wonder the Ariels have won a Hungarian prize for their playing of Bartok.” They will conclude the evening with the beautiful Quartet in F Major of Ravel, a remarkable work which shows many aspects of Ravel’s unique style: the influence of Impressionism, along with the clear and transparent textures of Neoclassicism, and even an interest the music of the Far East.
Tickets for the Ariel Quartet may be purchased at the door and are $25 for the general public, $20 for seniors, and $5 for students (free to MBC students). For more information call 540-887-7294 or visit Music at MBC.
Turning Glass Shakespeare, the 2014–15 MFA company of Mary Baldwin College’s Shakespeare and Performance graduate program, announces a special performance of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with fun activities for the whole family.
Turning Glass Shakespeare created this hour-long production of Shakespeare’s comedy as an education show to tour schools. This special performance is part of the company’s MFA Festival and includes a series of exciting educational workshops. Children will have the opportunity to learn about music, Shakespearean costumes, face painting, and smiling in the style of the grave Malvolio, one of the play’s most memorable comic characters. There will also be delicious treats including King Cakes, popcorn, and lemonade.
The Family Day performance takes place on the fifth floor of the Masonic Building, 13 W. Beverley Street, on Saturday, March 28. The activities will start at 1 p.m. followed by the Twelfth Night performance at 2 p.m. The event is pay-what-you-will.