December 2020

In this issue:
  • A Commencement with Virtual Pomp and Circumstance
  • 2020 Commencement Profiles
  • Shout-Outs to Student Excellence
  • A Guide to Year-End Giving
  • Alumni and Faculty/Staff News & Notes

Walking through the newly renovated Elizabeth Herring Memorial Garden, I spotted a scattering of paper stars on the brick pavers. Remnants from a pre-graduation celebration, the white stars stood out against the red bricks. Stars so often serve as a metaphor for hopes and aspirations, such as in the poem “Stars” (1921) by the black poet and social activist Langston Hughes:

O, sweep of stars over Harlem streets,
O, little breath of oblivion that is night.
A city building
To a mother’s song.
A city dreaming
To a lullaby.
Reach up your hand, dark boy, and take a star.
Out of the little breath of oblivion
That is night,
Take just
One star.

Langston Hughes “Stars” (1921) in The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, p. 85.

This month we celebrate the hopes and aspirations of our graduates who will earn their academic degrees. Our College will confer 125 degrees: 97 bachelor’s degrees, 24 master’s degrees and post-baccalaureate certificates, and 4 doctoral degrees. We are one of the few visual and performing arts colleges in the country to offer the terminal MFA in art, dance, and theatre, and the DMA and PhD in music.

With the pandemic, the University is planning a virtual commencement ceremony. Here in the College, we will be publicizing the accomplishments of our graduates with a full-page ad in the News & Record, running the names of our graduates on the electronic signs on W. Market and McIver Streets and on Tate Street, and including them in this issue of the e-Newsletter.

Our advising team will be editing videos of our graduates celebrating at home, which will run on a special commencement microsite. And our Schools of Art, Dance, Music, and Theatre are planning individual ways to recognize our graduates. All of us are pooling ideas on how to recognize the significant artistic and academic achievements of each of our graduates.

This month we honor the fulfilled hopes and aspirations of our August and December graduates and the grit and determination it took to complete an academic degree during a pandemic. Despite being separated by social distancing, we warmly celebrate and congratulate all 2020 graduates from the College as they advance their careers to become the stars of tomorrow.

bruce d. mcclung, Dean
College of Visual and Performing Arts
Jacob Brown
BA in Dance Studies

“Dance was the first thing that I found that really interested me enough to dedicate myself entirely. I found that same dedication in my professors. My advice to future students is to take advantage of that. Listen and learn. You are in school, but you are already working in your professional career.”

Zoe Hardee
BM in Jazz Studies, BA in Geography with a Concentration in Urban Planning

“I play guitar, piano, and upright bass. The bass is my instrument of study here, and I studied with Steve Haines. He is one of the baddest cats I know, and I couldn't have earned my bachelor's degrees without him!”

Victoria Grelecki
BA in Theatre, Minor in Musical Theatre

“CVPA was a great fit for me because it pushed me in ways that I didn’t realize I needed. I have learned to be resourceful and resilient. I feel like the energy on this campus is that of strength and perseverance.”

Allison Hines
BFA in Theatre Design and Production with a Concentration in Costuming

“It’s okay if your path isn’t perfectly planned out. I’ve learned it’s okay to mess up. In my world, it’s just paper and fabric. If you make a mistake, congratulations! You just found a way to not make that garment but to create something else.”

Billy James Hawkains III (Graduate Student, MFA Dance) has been awarded a $500 grant from the Atlantic World Research Network to advance his thesis, “Come Sunday: Baptized by Fire and Bound for Glory,” investigating how the physical body has been used as a vessel of worship in the Southern Black Church in ways connected to a transatlantic African past. The project involves a creative team of seven dancers, four musicians, and two cinematographers, who will conduct interviews and perform at churches around the Triad. Read more about the award here.

Adam Jones (Freshman, BM Cello Performance) has been named a winner of the 2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge from the American Theatre Wing and the National Endowment for the Arts. The national contest provides each winner with a two-person coaching team—a mentor and a music director—to hone an original song into a Broadway-ready composition. Each song is then recorded by Broadway musicians and vocalists in New York City, made available on streaming music platforms, and compiled into a songbook by Concord Theatricals. Adam’s entry, “A Father’s Fear/Mardi Gras,” was chosen by a review panel of professional theater artists in a blind competition from almost 200 applications from 41 states. Read more here.

India Jones (Sophomore, BFA Theatre) has been hired by West Virginia Public Theatre as a non-union actor on a radio production titled “Radio Theatre for Our Time,”
a dramatization of non-dramatic text drawn from letters and speeches relating to current social conditions. The first episode aired on WVPB on November 23rd. Listen here.

Erin Lally (Graduate Student, MA Dance Education) was featured in a recent New York Times article for her work as director of the Dance Education Laboratory at the
92nd Street Y in New York City. Read the article here.

Caitlyn Schrader (Graduate Student, MFA Dance) created a dance film that was selected to be included in a recent UNCG Art Truck Exhibition The Social Body - Exquisite Imagination, which was shared virtually last month. View the exhibit and film here.

Kyrese Washington (Junior, BM Flute Performance) was selected as the Division 7 winner in the Raleigh Area Flute Association (RAFA) Review and Contest. Her competition submission of the second movement of Rozsa’s Sonata for Flute was included in RAFA’s Virtual Flute Fair on November 14th.
Hugh Hysell ('88 BFA Acting) is a producer for the play The Inheritance which just received the Drama Desk Award for "Outstanding Play". The Inheritance is also nominated for eleven Tony Awards this year.

Dominick Amendum (BM '01 Piano Performance and Coordinator of the Musical Theatre Program) has received a Grammy Nomination for Best Musical Theater Album for Stephen Schwartz’s new musical Prince of Egypt. Dom was on the podium when Prince of Egypt opened at the Dominion Theatre in London’s West End on February 25, 2020. Read more about the Grammys here.

Julianna Foster ('01 BFA Art) is featured in Create Magazine for her photography series “Geological Lore,” which the magazine describes as “complex and layered... like tectonic plates that shift in jagged forms.” Read the article here.

Will Kelley ('14 Piano Performance) has joined the music staff at Theater Bremen in Germany as Kapellmeister and Solorepetitor.

Caity Brewer ('16 BFA Acting) has landed a supporting role in the new film Uncle Frank starring Paul Bettany. Some of Caity’s other credits include Homeland (2011) and One Tree Hill (2003).

Alumni News & Notes are compiled from self-submissions 
and from the Universitys news clip service. 

Guy Capuzzo (Professor of Music Theory) presented a paper, “‘Dance to the Dissonant Sway’: Groove, Headbanging, and Entrainment in Extreme Metal,” at the Society for Music Theory’s virtual conference on November 15th.

Gaurang Doshi (Lecturer of Indian Music) and Rebecca MacLeod (Professor of String Education) collaborated on a concert by the Sinfonia and Indian Music Ensemble classes called “Sangam Project.” Watch here.

Gavin Douglas (Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology) has published the chapter “Music in Myanmar (Burma)” in Oxford University Press’s new textbook Global Music Cultures: An Introduction to World Music.

Hannah Grannemann (Assistant Professor and Director of Arts Administration) hosted a podcast with AudienceViewListen here.

Garrett Klein (Assistant Professor of Trumpet) has a received a $5,000 New Faculty Internal Award for his new method book, Collaborative Practice Routines, which will provide trumpet students several comprehensive daily practice routines that they can go through with a friend, teacher, a large group, or alone. The book will include demos and play-along tracks, which he will create with the assistance of one of his doctoral trumpet students.

Jennifer Meanley (Associate Professor of Painting, Printmaking, and Drawing) contributed to a new mural installation at the Greenway trailhead on Spring Garden Street. The work is called “Bridging the Gap.” Check out a photo of the mural and read more about the project in the Greensboro News & Record.

Karen Messina (Lecturer in Music Theory) successfully defended her dissertation, “Dramatic Impulse: Diegetic Music in the Operas of Giacomo Puccini,” and now holds a PhD from Duke University.

Amy Moore (Business Officer and Executive Assistant to the Dean) has been selected as the 2020/21 UNCG Southern Conference Staff Award recipient. This award annually recognizes a member of the staff who has made a significant impact in the lives of students and served their institutions in significant ways including service to UNCG, recognition for bringing out the best in others and creating conditions for success, and contributions to student life and the local community.

Christine Morris (Associate Professor of Voice and Acting) co-authored, with Dr. Bill Adams of Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, the peer-reviewed paper “Vocal Traditions: Acting and Singing with Archetypes,” recently published in the journal Voice and Speech Review.

Jennifer Reis (Assistant Professor of Arts Administration) has received a $5,000 New Faculty Internal Award for her project “Andragogy and Creative Entrepreneurship Education: Current Best Practices of Content and Delivery in the United States.” The
year-and-a-half-long project will involve research into the theory and practice of creative entrepreneurship education for adult learners, interviews with program directors and facilitators of established courses, and a partnership with ArtsGreensboro to deliver a specifically designed creative entrepreneurship course to their clientele with built-in program assessment.

Rachele Riley (Assistant Professor of New Media and Design) has received a $5,000 Regular Faculty Internal Award to support her new research project titled “Annie Scanner,” which is an extension of her multi-dimensional project “The Evolution of Silence.” The project focuses on visualizing the impact of nuclear testing through critical and engaging experiences and explores representations of conflict, the body and environment, and visual culture. Read more here.

Rachele Riley (Assistant Professor of New Media and Design), Nicole Scalissi (Assistant Professor of Art History), and Sunny Spillane (Associate Professor of Art Education) participated in the SECAC (formerly Southeastern College Art Conference) virtual conference, hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University this month. Riley presented her paper “Making with Different Data-Visual Design Approaches to Uncovering Dynamics in the Environment” and was part of the panel “Evolving Curriculum in the Anthropocene.” Scalissi presented her paper “‘Real Violence’ at the Whitney Museum: Jordan Wolfson and Privilege of Allegory” and participated in the panel discussion “Forms of Violence.” Spillane co-led a Racial Justice Town Hall and, as Secretary of the SECAC Board of Directors, presented SECAC’s new EDI Awards.

John Salmon (Professor of Piano) was a guest artist for the Virginia Music Teachers Association virtual conference. He presented a piano recital with works by Ludwig van Beethoven and Dave Brubeck, as well as a workshop titled “Improvising in Beethoven.” Salmon, along with Annie Jeng (Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy), co-presented a workshop titled “Dave Brubeck’s Classical Piano Compositions.”

Natalie Sowell (Associate Professor and School of Theatre Director) is featured in the latest UNC Greensboro Research Magazine. Read the article here.

Joan Titus (Associate Professor of Musicology) has published a chapter for the book Music in Action Film Sounds Like Action. The chapter titled “Tale of Two Cinemas: Zashchitniki (Guardians, 2017) and Music for the New Russian Superhero Film” examines the cultural politics and music of the first Russian superhero film, which was released in 2017.

Faculty/Staff News & Notes are compiled from self-submissions 
and from the Universitys news clip service. 
The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) e-Newsletter is published eight times a year in September, October, November, December, February, March, April, and May.  

The Newsletter is emailed to CVPA alumni, faculty, staff, students, patrons, and donors.  
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The e-Newsletter is edited by Terri Relos, Director of Marketing and Alumni Outreach. Archived issues can be found in the “News” section of the CVPA website. To submit Alumni News & Notes, please use this form. For Faculty/Staff News & Notes, use this form