March 2024

Dr. Kenneth Boulton

Dean, School of Fine Arts

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Greetings from the Dean

Although it is only March, this is the time of year when the faculty and I are planning for our new class of freshman for the upcoming fall semester. Through these efforts, we ensure the continued success, and growth of the entire School of Fine Arts. All signs continue to be positive with another extremely accomplished group of talented freshmen on its way to NSU. I am indebted to the faculty for their coordinated and proactive recruiting work, helping to ensure a bright future for the arts at Northern!

Upcoming Events

All events are free and open to the public except as noted, and most are held in the Johnson Fine Arts Center (JFAC). For ticketed events, the cost is $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and NSU faculty/staff. Students will be admitted for free. Payments are limited to cash or check only; debit or credit cards will not be accepted. There will be no advance or online ticket sales. For more information, contact the NSU School of Fine Arts at 605-626-2497.

You may view all NSU concerts and recitals at any time via Facebook on your computer, tablet or cell phone. To watch an event live, go to the NSU Music Department’s Facebook home page. To access past events, on the Music Department’s Facebook home page, click “More” and select “Videos” to view.

March 4 through 29 - NSU Juried Student Art Exhibition, JFAC Gallery X. (Awards Ceremony and Reception: Friday, March 22 at 5:30 pm)

March 18 through April 4 - NSU Senior Art Show: Lily Tobin, “Perceptions of Her,” JFAC Art Gallery

Wednesday, March 20 at noon - 13th Annual Bach’s Lunch Concert, Bethlehem Lutheran Church (1620 Milwaukee Avenue N.E., Aberdeen)

Student Achievements

NSU digital media students John Schwab (director), Kayleen Hermans, and Jensen Eckart created their first film together, Vile, in the recent 48Create Film Festival sponsored by Aberdeen’s Capitol Cinema. The cast included former NSU theatre students Kylee Carlson, Tony Kollman, and Haley Salem, along with Kane Anderson (Assistant Professor of Acting/Directing). The film won prestigious awards in the categories of Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Creator’s Choice, People’s Choice Best Film, and Best Film. This project was the product of the NSU Department of Art’s new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media, which emphasizes digital filmmaking and is led by Jason Knowles (Assistant Professor of Digital Media). Click here to view a Dakota News Now feature on this accomplishment.

Members of the NSU Symphonic Band, under the direction of Audrey Miller (Associate Professor of Clarinet/Music Department Chair), had a very successful and productive recent tour. Between February 6-7, the band gave performances at high schools in Ipswich, Mellette, Watertown, and Milbank. NSU instrumental music faculty joined the tour and interacted with nearly 1,000 enthusiastic high school students.

Members of NSU Opera recently performed the one-act opera by John Davies entitled, The Three Little Pigs, between February 26-29 at four elementary schools in Aberdeen, including Mike Miller, C.C. Lee, O.M. Tiffany, and May Overby. This production is a retelling of the classic children’s fairy tale incorporating popular tunes from four of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s most famous operas. The students were prepared and directed by Darci Bultema (Professor of Voice), Marla Fogderud (Professor of Voice), and Michael Skyles (Instructor of Voice). Participating students included Hannah Gasperich, Jayda Hunstad, Jaron Gross, Gavin Wollman, Tatum Waldrop, Alexis Martin, and Taye Cundiff. Pictured here (l to r) are members of the gold cast: Hannah Gasperich, Jayda Hunstad, Jaron Gross, and Gavin Wollman.

Thirteen of NSU’s top instrumental students were selected to participate in the 2024 South Dakota Intercollegiate Band, which will take place March 21-23 in Pierre. This event is organized in conjunction with the South Dakota High School Activities Association 2024 All-State Band event. The students will be joined by musicians from other universities in South Dakota and perform under guest conductor Shanti Simon from the University of Oklahoma.

Faculty News

In addition to his work in John Schwab’s film, Vile, Kane Anderson participated in another 48Create film project, appearing in The Last Stand of the Norwood Sisters, directed by NSU theatre alum Gary Darling. Click here for more information and a listing of all viewable films.

Terry Beckler (Professor of Percussion) received the South Dakota National Guard’s Williamson Militiaman Award on February 1 in Pierre. The Williamson Militiaman Award was established in 1987 by Major General Ronald F. Williamson. The award recognizes an individual who exemplifies the spirit of the citizen-soldier or airman as shown by their community leadership, their support of the National Guard, and the defense of the country. Dr. Beckler retired from the South Dakota National Guard in 2022 with the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 5. Pictured here (l to r) are Governor Kristi Noem, Major General (ret) Ronald Williamson, Terry Beckler, and Major General Mark Morrell.

Other News

The Northern State University School of Fine Arts held its 2024 NSU Fine Arts Invitational on February 16-17. Serving as the school’s primary scholarship event for high school seniors, the event drew talented students interested in the fine arts program at NSU. Additionally, the NSU Department of Art faculty hosted a regional round of the South Dakota High School Activities Association Art Wars on February 16. Nearly 85 high school art students from regional schools attended this event, where they competed against each other in various categories of studio and digital art.

The NSU Department of Music held its 54th Annual South Dakota Jazz Festival on February 29 at the Johnson Fine Arts Center. Organized and directed by Grant Manhart (Professor of Trumpet/Director of Jazz Studies), the festival was attended by enthusiastic middle and high school students from eastern South Dakota. Included in the schedule were performances by each participating band, masterclasses, and a captivating evening concert. Featured guest artists this year were percussionist Daniel Jimenez and bassist Ever Jimenez, two outstanding Bolivian musicians and brothers who are both alums of the NSU Department of Music. Currently a music educator in Summit, SD, Daniel teaches general music, choir, and band, where he nurtures students’ talents and fosters a genuine appreciation for music. Beyond the classroom, Daniel's musical journey extends to his work as a versatile freelance musician. Operating from his home studio, he leverages his exceptional skills as a session drummer, lending his artistry to diverse recording projects. Having returned to his hometown of Cochabamba after graduation from Northern, Ever emerged as an active and influential figure in the local music scene. His notable presence has been felt through his participation in prestigious jazz festivals, including the renowned Llajta Jazz and Festijazz. These esteemed platforms have provided Ever with invaluable opportunities to highlight his musical talents. Ever is also the proprietor of a music instrument store that collaborates extensively with numerous companies, primarily based in the United States and Asia.

School of Fine Arts | NSU | 605-626-2497 | Fax: 605-626-2263 |


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