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Program for talented youth to showcase AU's performing arts
4/01/09

The performing arts will take center stage Saturday as Alfred University plays host to approximately 30 students in grades 7-10 and their families, part of a Center for Talented Youth (CTY) Program at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Lisa Lantz, professor of music and chair of the Performing Arts Division in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Alfred University, said “Living Art/Shaping Lives” is a culmination of nearly a year’s planning with the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins.

“I was contacted nearly a year ago, and asked if Alfred University would be interested in having one of the programs on our campus,” said Lantz. “Their goal is to showcase the importance of visual and performing arts in a well-rounded education, and that’s something we do very well at Alfred University.”

Students and their families are expected to arrive on campus by 9 a.m. Saturday. Following welcoming remarks by Jeremy Spencer, director of Admissions, and Lantz, students will hear a performance by the AU Brass Ensemble, directed by Dr. Christopher Foster.

Next on the agenda is a little “heavy metal,” which in AU terms that means the two-ton bell at the Davis Memorial Carillon. Participants will climb to the top of the tower for a demonstration by Carilloneur Laurel Buckwalter of the 47 bells that comprise the carillon, and may have a turn at playing the bells themselves.

Mid-morning, the group will head to the Miller Performing Arts Center for three workshops. Dr. Becky Prophet, professor of theater, will offer “Explore, Create, Improvise!” Zachary Hamm, technical director of theater, will lead “Behind the Scenes: Technical Theater Workshop;” and Nate Smith, a senior Performing Arts major, will conduct, “Let’s Dance! Hip-Hop Dance Workshop.”

The second series of workshops will be “The Maestro Myth,” a conducting workshop led by Foster; a performance art workshop led by Laurel Jay Carpenter, assistant professor of Fine Arts; and “The Play’s The Thing,” a playwriting workshop offered by Prophet and Susan Morehouse, professor of English.

Following lunch at Ade Hall, students will return to the C.D. Smith Theater in the Miller Performing Arts Center for a student music recital and an “Ask the Director, Ask the Actors” session led by Graham Watts, guest director for AU’s production of “King Lear,” and J. Stephen Crosby, professor of theater.

The arts at Alfred – both performing arts and visual arts – are undergoing a transformation made possible by a $35 million gift from Dr. Marlin Miller, an AU alumnus and trustee. A portion of the gift is funding the construction of a proscenium theater at the Miller Performing Arts Center, built with an earlier gift from Miller; another $25 million created an endowment for the School of Art & Design and will support six faculty positions.

Alfred University has been tapped as one of the top creative colleges in the nation. The second edition of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” has named Alfred University as one of the top 200 programs in the nation for creative students.