<em>Wading Home</em> opera marks an SMU Meadows-guided community collaboration between Dallas and New Orleans

Dallas City Performance Hall

Wading Home opera marks an SMU Meadows-guided community collaboration between Dallas and New Orleans

'Wading Home' photoTo observe the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, SMU is participating in a community collaboration that commemorates the event in music. Wading Home, an opera set against the backdrop of the historic storm, opens for a one-night-only free performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 in Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora Street. The show was performed in New Orleans on Sept. 12-13 at Loyola University’s Roussel Hall.

The story of a young musician’s struggle to find his missing father in the chaotic aftermath of the hurricane, Wading Home is based on the novel of the same name by Dallas author and violinist Rosalyn Story. The opera, composed by Dallas musician Mary Alice Rich, is produced in collaboration with several Meadows School of the Arts faculty members and students, as well as community members from Dallas and New Orleans.

The opera is a dream project for Meadows Professor of Voice Barbara Hill Moore, who is serving as producer and music director. The stage director is Meadows Director of Opera Hank Hammett, and the conductor is Constantina Tsolainou, former head of choral activities at the Meadows School.

“I am intensely proud of the amazing gifts of time, talent, and love of the human family and spirit, shared without compensation by SMU faculty, staff, students and alumni in this collaborative project with Loyola University and the people of New Orleans,” says Hill Moore. “The three performances of Wading Home are a community collaboration shared by Texans, Louisianans, New Yorkers, South Africans and a host of people from around the globe with the people of New Orleans and of Dallas.”

Baritone and Meadows alumnus Donnie Ray Albert (M.M. ’75) sings the role of the lost father, Simon. Other leading roles in the Dallas performance include established opera singers and Meadows alumni Leon Turner (M.M. ’92) as Julian, Simon’s musician son, and Bronwen Forbay (Artist Diploma ’04) as Velmyra, Julian’s former love who helps him reconnect with his Louisiana roots and his lost father. Also sharing the stage is Quintin Coleman (M.M. ’15, Performer’s Diploma ’17) as Julian’s trumpeter friend Grady, with whom Julian has lost touch during the years he has been performing around the globe as a famous jazz musician. Dance alumnus Jamal Story (B.F.A. Dance Performance and B.A. Corporate Communications ’99) will also perform.

The SMU Meadows new music ensemble SYZYGY, led by Meadows Director of Chamber Music and three-time Grammy winner Matt Albert, will play live. Also onstage for the Dallas performance will be the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas.

The performances have been produced with support from the Dallas-based organization The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL), with funding from the Meadows School of the Arts and the Bruce R. Foote Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

> Read the full story from the SMU Meadows homepage

September 15, 2015|Calendar Highlights, For the Record, News|

Meadows Symphony Orchestra kicks off 2013-14 season

The 2013-14 season of the Meadows Symphony Orchestra kicks off this weekend. MSO will perform Friday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center and Sunday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. at Dallas City Performance Hall.

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MSO via SMU

The program consists of 20th-century works; opening with Einojuhani Rautavaara’s 1995 Isle of Bliss and follows with works by Maurice Ravel and Maduel de Falla. Sunday’s off-campus performance is part of the Meadows School’s new community concert series.

“SMU Meadows School of the Arts is transporting its art and music into the community as part of the new Meadows Community Series, which will present five events in diverse venues throughout Dallas over the fall and spring semesters,” a recent article explained. Tickets for this weekend’s performance are $7 for faculty, staff and students.

Just in time for opening weekend, it has been announced that the Preston Peak family gifted Meadows $2 million to establish the Martha Raley Peak Endowed Centennial Chair and Director of the Meadows Symphony Orchestra.

Martha Raley Peak is a musician, arts leader and patron. Mrs. Peak graduated from SMU in 1950 and was a member of the symphony, chorus and music fraternities as a student.

Maestro Paul Phillips will be the first holder of the chair. Phillips graduated from SMU on 1974 and joined the faculty in 1996.

Martha Raley Peak via SMU

Martha Raley Peak via SMU

“Music teaches discernment, dedication, and attention to detail. It impacts the ways our brain develop and function and is a universal language. I am thrilled to support the training of young student musicians by endowing the position,” Peak told SMU in a recent article.

The $2 million gift counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date, has raised more than $780 million.

September 27, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News|

Meadows kicks off new community performance series in 2013-14

Meadows Symphony OrchestraSMU’s Meadows School of the Arts is transporting its art and music into the community as part of a new “Meadows Community Series,” which will present five events in diverse venues throughout Dallas over the fall and spring semesters.

The series launches with a concert by the Meadows Wind Ensemble at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13 in the new Dallas City Performance Hall. Other offerings will include concerts by the Meadows Symphony Orchestra and Meadows choirs, a creative take on Shakespeare at NorthPark Center, and a dance performance and children’s creative movement class at Klyde Warren Park.

The new series is part of Meadows’ ongoing initiative to engage the community with art, music, theatre, dance and more. Sam Holland, professor and director of the Division of Music at Meadows, says the series is about more than showcasing talented Meadows performers in new city locales; it’s also about inviting the audience members to have an aesthetic experience.

“People don’t come to concerts to learn something, or to be edified, or to be in the presence of greatness,” says Holland. “They come to feel something, to be moved by something greater than themselves. That is what the aesthetic experience is, and that is what we want to provide.”

Three of the events are ticketed, and two are free. Ticket prices range from $7-$13 and may be purchased at the door or online in advance at Vendini.com. For more information contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

> Find a full schedule of Meadows Community Series events at SMU News

September 11, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News|

Calendar Highlights: Sept. 10, 2013

A perfect union: Dolley Madison, spouse of James Madison, is remembered for the impact she had while living in the White House – especially her keen understanding of both the social and political workings of Washington. SMU will host a lecture Tuesday, Sept. 10,  focusing on Dolley and her role in the construction of a new political society and democratic ruling style. A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation starts at 6 p.m. in McCord Auditorium. Please contact Brian Franklin for more information.

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Image via Reston Books

The accidental victim: Friends of the SMU Libraries will host James Reston Jr. for a lecture and book signing on his new work, The Accidental Victim: JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the Real Target in Dallas Tuesday, Sept. 10 in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom. Reston, who was David Frost’s Watergate advisor from 1976-77 and has written 15 books, presents the theory that Texas Governor John Connally was the intended target of the JFK shooting. A reception precedes the event at 6 p.m. The event is free, but space is limited;  RSVP to Cynthia Ruppi or call 214-768-3225. Watch “The Today Show” on Thursday, Sept. 12 for a special feature on Reston.

Visiting artist: Uruguayan multimedia artist Alejandro Cesarco will present a Visiting Artist Lecture at SMU Wednesday, Sept. 11. Cesarco’s work explores how we comprehend and frame narrative by using repetition and memory across numerous media. Cesarco was born in Uruguay and represented the country in the 2011 Venice Biennale and was the 2011 winner of the Baloise Art Prize. The lecture takes place at 7 p.m. in Room B600, Owen Arts Center.

Honest Abe: The Hon. Frank Williams, retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, is known for his knowledge and collection of Abraham Lincoln information and materials. He will speak on Lincoln’s unique approaches to our nation’s issues, especially his openness to reevaluation and change, in “Abraham Lincoln: An Evolving Commander in Chief,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 in DeGolyer Library.

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Image via Phi Beta Mu

MWE: The annual Meadows Wind Ensemble classics concert celebrates the 75th birthday of a Dallas pioneer Friday, Sept. 13. To honor the late Howard Dunn (pictured left) – the second conductor of the MWE and founder of Dallas Wind Symphony – the Wind Ensemble will perform works from Paul Dukas, Richard Strauss and more. The concert takes place at Dallas City Performance Hall at 8 p.m., and tickets are $7 for faculty, staff and students.

Friday’s concert marks the first event in the Meadows School’s new Community Concert Series, which will showcase SMU Meadows performers in different Dallas venues throughout the year.

September 10, 2013|Calendar Highlights|
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