Paul Phillips

Meadows Fall Dance Concert 2017 runs Nov. 8-12 in Bob Hope Theatre

Bolero by Christopher Dolder, photo by Paul Phillips

Scene from Bolero by Christopher Dolder, SMU Meadows Fall Dance Concert 2017. Photo credit: Paul Phillips

Three contemporary works, including newly created pieces by Complexions Ballet co-founders Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson and by Associate Professor Christopher Dolder, are highlights of the Meadows School of the Arts’ Fall Dance Concert. The show runs Nov. 8-12, 2017 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

The program will open with Dolder’s new version of Bolero, set to a London Symphony recording of Ravel’s famous work. An interactive set featuring a circular stage space, curving ramps and central spire provide the physical backdrop for dancers representing an array of societal archetypes perennially caught in the cycles of life and culture. Dolder, a former soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company, has previously expressed a fascination for architectural design in productions of His Handle (2014), Metropolis (2015) and a collaboration with Canadian wood sculptor Erik More in The Orca Project (2016).

Ascension is a new piece created by Visiting Artists-in-Residence Richardson and Rhoden, featuring a blend of ballet and contemporary dance expressed in sculptural choreography. Complexions Ballet has received numerous honors, including The New York Times Critics’ Choice Award, and has performed at Lincoln Center and The Joyce Theater in New York, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, and most recently at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of “Ballet Across America.”  Celebrated for his choreography and wide-ranging collaborations with well-known dance artists, Rhoden has created over 80 ballets for Complexions and for numerous other major companies. Richardson is a Tony-nominated actor and the first black American principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre.

Drop Me Off in Harlem by Moncell Durden Fall Dance 2017 photo by Paul Phillips

Scene from Drop Me Off in Harlem by Moncell Durden, SMU Meadows Fall Dance Concert 2017. Photo credit: Paul Phillips

Concluding the program is Moncell Durden’s Drop Me Off in Harlem, a tribute to the music and dance of the 1930s. Premiered earlier this year, it uses vernacular jazz movement to recount the adventures of three ladies from Pennsylvania who travel to New York City to dance at the famous Savoy Ballroom and watch the battle of the bands between Benny Goodman and Chick Webb. The audience follows Norma, Mabel and Dawn as they navigate the spirited streets, subways and ballrooms of New York and Harlem nightlife. Durden is a choreographer, historian, dance educator and current faculty member at the University of Southern California, where he teaches jazz, hip-hop and improvisation.

Fall Dance Concert performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $14 for adults, $11 for seniors and $8 for students, SMU faculty and staff.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Meadows website or call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

— Written by Victoria Winkelman

> Buy Meadows Fall Dance Concert tickets online at Vendini

Enjoy this gallery of photos by Paul Phillips from Fall Dance Concert rehearsal. camera, slide show icon

Meadows School of the Arts presents “Meadows at the Meyerson” April 12, 2017

Meadows at the MeyersonSMU’s Meadows School of the Arts brings out its best to honor community leader Don Glendenning during “Meadows at the Meyerson 2017.” The 24th annual benefit concert will take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 12 in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. in Dallas.

The program features works by Ravel, Fauré and Delibes, performed by the Meadows Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips. Also performing will be women of the Meadows choral ensembles, led by director Pamela Elrod Huffman, and operatic soloist and alumna Katrina Galka.

The event supports talented Meadows students through the Meadows Scholars Program and the newly established Diane and Hal Brierley Endowed Scholarship. The annual spring concert also honors a community leader; Glendenning, this year’s honoree, is a noted arts and civic patron. The 2017 event chair is Nancy Carlson and the honorary chairs are Diane and Hal Brierley.

Program highlights include:

  • La Valse, a “choreographic poem for orchestra” by Maurice Ravel
  • “L’Air des clochettes” (The Bell Song) from the opera Lakmé by Leo Delibes, featuring award-winning soprano and Meadows alumna Katrina Galka as guest soloist
  • Prelude to Pénélope and Pavane, Op. 50 by Gabriel Fauré, the latter featuring the women of the Meadows School’s three principal choral ensembles – the Meadows Chorale, Meadows Concert Choir and Diva Dolce
  • Ravel’s Suite No. 2 from Daphnis et Chloé, originally composed for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.

Tickets are $17 for students and SMU faculty and staff. A $10 discount is available for subscribers. For more information, contact the Meadows Box Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

> Read the full story from the SMU Meadows website

Meadows Opera Theatre presents The Elixir of Love at SMU Feb. 9-12, 2017

Elixir of Love rehearsal stillThe Meadows Opera Theatre’s first show of 2017 opens tonight in SMU’s Bob Hope Theatre, featuring the Meadows Opera Orchestra and the slogan, “Never underestimate the power of true love and a little cheap Bordeaux.”

The Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti is directed by Hank Hammett and conducted by Paul Phillips. Performances are scheduled Feb. 9-12 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Tickets are $14 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $8 for students, faculty and staff.

The opera will be sung in Italian with English projected titles.

> SMU Opera Behind the Scenes: A new way of rendering costume designs

Donizetti’s enduring comedy focuses on a poor, uneducated young man who, though he thinks he’s a nobody, is hopelessly in love with the most popular, affluent girl in town. With the help of a flamboyant snake-oil salesman and a bottle (or two) of a special “love potion,” he sets out to win her.

First performed in Milan in 1832, the opera remains a keystone of the international repertoire and one of Donizetti’s most frequently performed works. The SMU production was inspired by the works of artists Jerry Bywaters and Romare Bearden.

For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts to present two premieres at “Meadows at the Winspear” benefit concert, May 11

The 2016 Meadows at the Winspear event, benefitting the Meadows Scholars Program, will take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 11 in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora Street in Dallas.

AppalachianSpringFinal

The Meadows Dance Ensemble performing Appalachian Spring

The concert will feature the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips, and the Meadows Dance Ensemble, composed of top students from the Meadows School’s nationally respected dance program, in both works.

The first is the premiere of a newly envisioned choreography of Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird, created by Claudia Lavista and Victor Manuel Ruiz, noted artistic directors of the acclaimed Delfos Danza Contemporanea in Mazatlán, Mexico. They have replaced the magical and mercurial glowing bird of Russian folklore with a more contemporary version of Stravinsky’s masterwork, inspired by the visual aesthetics of Hieronymus Bosch and the theme of migration.

The second is Martha Graham’s ballet masterpiece Appalachian Spring, featuring the world premiere of the newly completed, full orchestra version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning music by Aaron Copland. The Meadows Symphony Orchestra will be the first to perform the new material and will also act as “test drivers” for the score, helping to inform any corrections required before the music is published.

Donna-Wilhelm-photo-by-Kim-Leeson

Donna Wilhelm

The event will also honor Donna Wilhelm, a committed supporter of the arts in education and will inaugurate the new scholarship fund in her name. Beginning this fall, the Donna Wilhelm Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide SMU Meadows scholarships to highly qualified students from underrepresented ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

“Meadows at the Winspear is the pinnacle of our performance season,” said Meadows Dean Samuel S. Holland. “Not only will talented students in dance and music collaborate in presenting two extraordinary premieres, they will do so in a world-class venue. We’re honored to give the first performance of Copland’s iconic work with full symphony orchestra and to present a moving reinterpretation of Firebird based on a theme of migration and human displacement – reflecting our philosophy that art can become a form of social action. We are also delighted to honor Donna Wilhelm – whose work has had an impact not only on SMU but on all of North Texas.”

Tickets are $17 for students, faculty and staff and can be purchased online.

Calendar Highlights: April 9, 2014

2014 Meadows at Meyerson conductor Paul Phillips (c/o SMU Meadows)

2014 Meadows at Meyerson conductor Paul Phillips (c/o SMU Meadows)

“Meadows at the Meyerson” gala: SMU Meadows presents their 21st annual benefit concert Wednesday, April 9 at 8 p.m. in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The concert will feature the Meadows Symphony Orchestra and honor noted arts and civic leader Bess Enloe. The evening includes three Italian-themed works: The Italian Girl in Algiers by Giochino Rossi, Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 and Church Windows (1926) by Ottorino Respighi. Tickets are $15 for faculty, staff and students with proceeds providing scholarships for the Meadows Scholars program. Please call 214-768-2787 for tickets.

Founders’ Day Weekend: SMU will celebrate Founders’ Day Weekend 2014 April 10-13. The celebration is in conjunction of the University’s centennial celebration of the Year of the Faculty, and events have been planned accordingly.

  • Thursday, April 10: Founders’ Day Weekend kicks off with the Golden Mustangs Reunion at 10:30 a.m. Classes 1963 and earlier are invited to attend. There is also a Hunt Leadership Scholars 20-year Reunion hosted by President R. Gerald Turner.
  • Friday, April 11: Friday’s events revolve around SMU’s campus and outstanding leaders. Highlights include a TEDxSMU event at 1 p.m., SMU President’s Briefing and Centennial Faculty Salute at 6 p.m. and Program Council’s Sing Song at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 12: Saturday’s focus is on SMU and the Dallas community. There are open house events at the George W. Bush Presidential Center and Meadows Museum. SMU will also celebrate Earth Day with Barefoot on the Boulevard.

World Music Ensemble: The Meadows World Music Ensemble is having their spring concert on Sunday, April 13 at 8 p.m. The ensemble produces music with exotic instruments and traditional orchestra to create a unique sound. The concert is in the Greer Garson Theatre of Owen Arts Center and is free of charge.

Arts and civic leader Bess Enloe to be honored in 2014 “Meadows at the Meyerson” concert on Wednesday, April 9

noted arts and civic leader Bess Enloe

Bess Enloe will be honored in the 2014 “Meadows at the Meyerson” benefit concert, presented by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts presents its 21st annual benefit concert, “The 2014 Meadows at the Meyerson,” at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora Street in Dallas.

Held each spring, the concert features the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra and honors a community leader. This year’s honoree is noted arts and civic leader Bess Enloe. The 2014 event chairs are Janie and Paul Cooke, and the honorary chair is Dr. Bobby Lyle.

Under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips, the Meadows Symphony will perform three Italian-themed works. The concert opens with the short overture to the enduringly popular opera The Italian Girl in Algiers by Giochino Rossini (1813). It will be followed by Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 (“Italian”), which was inspired by the composer’s grand tour of Europe from 1829 to 1831.

After intermission, the symphony will perform Church Windows (1926) by Ottorino Respighi, one of the most popular modern Italian composers. Each of the work’s four movements evokes religious events portrayed in church windows throughout Italy, including “The Flight into Egypt,” “St. Michael the Archangel,” “The Matins of St. Clare” and “St. Gregory the Great.”

> VIDEO: MSO Director Paul Phillips on preparing for “Meadows at the Meyerson” video

Dallas Arts Week 2014 logo“The Meadows at the Meyerson” is part of 2014 Dallas Arts Week, April 5-13, which includes numerous other SMU events. More information about Dallas Arts Week is available on its Facebook page and at Dallas Arts News.

> Find more SMU Dallas Arts Week 2014 events

“The Meadows at the Meyerson is the perfect demonstration of our values as an arts organization in Dallas: We take one of the country’s finest student orchestras into the heart of our city and raise money for scholarships to bring even more talented students from around the world to Dallas,” said Meadows Dean José Bowen. “There is no one better to celebrate for this event than Bess Enloe, who has been a champion for arts and cultural excellence in our city.

“A number of these smart-artists, our ‘smartists,’ have chosen to stay in Dallas after they graduate, building on Dallas’s momentum as one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the U.S.”

Event honoree Bess Enloe has been an energetic leader and supporter of numerous Dallas arts groups through the years. A graduate of SMU, she served as chair of the executive board of the Meadows School of the Arts from 2010 to 2013. She is a life trustee of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, where she was also the founding president, and a life trustee of the Dallas Theater Center. Ms. Enloe has received several awards in recognition of her work, including the TACA Silver Cup Award in 1993, the TITAS Award for Excellence in Arts Leadership in 2007, and the Dallas Historical Society’s Award for Excellence in Community Service – Arts Leadership in 2009.

Tickets to the Meadows at the Meyerson concert are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for students and SMU faculty and staff. For tickets, contact the Meadows Box Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

> Read the full story from SMU News

Paul Phillips to serve as guest conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra March 20-22, 2014

Meadows Symphony Orchestra conductor Paul PhillipsMeadows Symphony Orchestra conductor Paul Phillips ’74 will step in for Dallas Symphony Orchestra Music Director Jaap van Zweden and serve as guest conductor of the DSO on March 20, 21 and 22.

Under Phillips’ baton, the DSO and guest pianist Anna Fedorova will perform the stirring Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2; Shostakovich’s Five Fragments; and Aaron Copland’s Third Symphony.

Tickets are available online for the March 20, 21 and 22 DSO performances with Paul Phillips as guest conductor. For more information, call 214-692-0203.

> Find the event at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra homepage

Phillips, the Martha Raley Peak Endowed Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts’ Division of Music, was originally scheduled to conduct the MSO on Wednesday, March 19 in Caruth Auditorium. Instead, he will be at the Meyerson Symphony Center rehearsing with the DSO. Taking Phillips’ place on the Meadows conductor platform that night will be Michelle Merrill, a former student of Phillips’ who was the only American among the four winners of the 2012 International Conductors Workshop and Competition. She has conducted such orchestras as the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Round Rock Symphony and the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic.

With guest cellist Christopher Adkins (a Meadows faculty member and principal cellist for the DSO), the MSO will present Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo, a Hebraic rhapsody exploring the lamentations and trials of King Solomon. The ensemble will also perform Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4, a piece originally composed in 1936 but not performed publicly until 1961 due to threat of repercussion by Stalin, who denounced Shostakovich as a creator of “chaos instead of music.” The concert takes place at 8 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center.

Tickets are available online for the Meadows Symphony Orchestra performance and cost $7 for SMU students, faculty and staff. For more information, call the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

> Read the full story from SMU 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.

paul-phillips-and-meadows-orchestra

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.

Meadows Opera Theatre performs Albert Herring Feb. 7-10, 2013

It is time for the annual May Day Festival, but what happens when none of the girls are pure enough to be May Queen?

In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Benjamin Britten, the Meadows Opera Theatre and Meadows Symphony Orchestra will perform Britten’s comic opera Albert Herring. The production runs Feb. 7-10, 2013 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Albert Herring is set in 1947, just two years after the end of World War II, in a time when youth were trying to pull away from traditions and live life in their own terms. This theme is explored through the title character, who is named May King after being lauded as the only virgin in town. Albert is embarrassed by his new title and seeks adventure and independence from his mother after unknowingly drinking rum-spiked lemonade at the May Day Festival. The opera is a story of triumph and having the right to be who we really are regardless of what others think and accept.

The opera was first performed in 1947, with a libretto by Eric Crozier. Meadows Opera Theatre Director Hank Hammett had the privilege of studying with Crozier in his younger years, and they became good friends. “Eric and Nancy (Eric’s wife) fell in love during the writing of the opera,” Hammett says, “and that love is very much reflected in the music that Britten wrote for Nancy’s character. Nancy is one of the individuals who spikes the lemonade.”

Meadows student Julie Dieltz, playing Lady Billows, says, “Performing in an opera is one of the most exciting and terrifying experiences I’ve had. One must rely on specific personal experiences in order to develop a character. Through research into one’s life, the life of the character, and into history, the character comes alive.”

A unique element of Meadows Opera Theatre productions is that they are each fully designed by third-year M.F.A. students from the Division of Theatre. All sets, costumes and lighting are specially created by Meadows production, something that sets Meadows apart from other universities.

“This year’s production has surpassed them all. We are so fortunate to be surrounded by this kind of collaborative, interdisciplinary talent,” Hammett says.

First-time opera performer Daniel Bouchard, playing Mr. Gedge, also noted the collaborative nature of Meadows. “The true beauty of opera is that it is a collaborative art, bringing extremely talented musicians together on stage and in the pit to tell a story. Cooperation between these talented artists can be difficult sometimes, but we have worked so hard together that this interaction is almost second nature now.”

The Meadows Symphony Orchestra will be in the pit under the direction of Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities Paul Phillips. The opera will be sung in English, with projected English text above the stage as well.

Tickets are $7 for SMU faculty, staff and students. The show begins at 8 p.m. Feb. 7-9 and 2 p.m. Feb. 10. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

(All images by Brian Hwu c/o Meadows School of the Arts)

Find a complete cast list below the cut.

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Meadows at the Meyerson 2012 honors Gloria and Jack Hammack

The Meadows Orchestra under the direction of Paul Phillips

SMU’s Meadows Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Paul Phillips.

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present its 19th annual benefit concert, “The 2012 Meadows at the Meyerson,” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center at 2301 Flora Street in Dallas.

Held each spring, the concert features the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra and honors a community leader. This year’s honorees are noted arts and civic patrons and Meadows School supporters Gloria ’52 and Jack Hammack.

Under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips, the Meadows Symphony will perform Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. Completed in 1909 after the composer had been diagnosed with a fatal heart condition, the work seems to reflect Mahler’s acceptance of impending death while affirming the beauty of life. The eloquent and poignant symphony is Mahler’s last, and is considered one of his greatest.

“Since its inception, Meadows at the Meyerson has been our most important fundraising event,” says Meadows Dean José Bowen. “Thanks to the generosity of many supporters, it has raised more than $2.6 million to benefit our students, our programs and our educational mission. For the past four years, it has served as an important source of scholarship funds for our Meadows Scholars program, enabling us to recruit the most outstanding arts and communications students from across the nation to Dallas and SMU. We are now proud to support 60 Meadows Scholars at the university, thanks to the generosity of our Meadows at the Meyerson benefactors.”

Tickets to the Meadows at the Meyerson concert are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for students and SMU faculty and staff. For tickets, contact the Meadows Box Office, 214-768-2787.

> Read the full story from SMU News

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