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The Arts Scene

On Stage at the Mount

Kathryn Franke
MSM Class of 2013

(9/2011) As another school year begins, the dorms once again become filled with new freshmen and familiar faces returning to their second home on the mountain. With this new wave of students comes even more opportunity to see what kind of talents these students can bring to the Mount Saint Maryís community. As the students trickle into the dorms and classrooms, starting off the school year fresh and renewed after a long, much-needed summer vacation, so begins the lineup of events for the Fine Arts Department.

But before we get into the schedule, I want to make sure everyone knows about the amazing renovations done to the Fine Arts building, formerly known as Flynn Hall and now the Delaplaine Fine Arts Center. It is home to the Fine and Performing Arts Department (and has been since the very first performances at the Mount), and it has many new features that will enhance the quality of future performances at the school. Some of these features include the state-of-the-art black box theater, known as The Lynne & Joseph Horning Theater, and an art gallery (The Thomas H. & Mary K. Williams Art Gallery) where students, faculty, and professional artists can display their work. The building boasts state-of-the-art theater technology, faculty offices and music teaching rooms, green rooms, a makeup room, and a theater support addition. The building was fully renovated and its grand opening was this past fall.

The wonderful addition to the Mount St. Mary's campus is complete thanks to the Mount community and the donors that made the renovations possible, especially George & Bettie Delaplaine, Joe & Lynne Horning, and Tom & Mary Williams. Now, the Mount is able to showcase both local and national artists for the students and the surrounding community. The Fine Arts section of the Mount website (http://www.msmary.edu/) has more information about the renovations, including a slideshow with photos of the renovation and reconstruction processes, the addition to the building, and of course, the finished product!

The slideshow may be a good way to see the means that brought forth the end result, but what better way to see the completed renovations than to come to one of the Mountís many great performances scheduled for the fall? Although some of the events are still to be announced, there are numerous events already lined up, so mark your calendars now so you donít miss out on any of these great performances! Keep in mind that the details regarding these performances are tentative. No days or times are set in stone yet, so be sure to visit the Mountís website and navigate to the Fine Arts page to see updated schedules and see if anything new has been added!

This month, we have two very unique performances coming to the Mount. They say laughter is the best medicine, so any post-summer blues will surely be cured as we start off the year with The Comedy Pigs on September 3rd at 8:00pm in the Horning Theater. This improv group has been featured on Comedy Central and they regularly perform at the Maryland Ensemble Theater in Frederick.

Later in the month, G.K. Chesterton will take the stage in the Horning Theater. On September 12th at 7:00pm, history will be brought to life when Dr. John "Chuck" Chalberg brings this masterpiece from England, yet makes it his own. He offers his personal views on "the virtues of things small, whether they be families or pubs, to the evils of things large, whether they be imperialist schemes or socialist."

On October 6th at 7:30pm, the Ensemble Gaudior will grace us with a return performance in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. This renowned early music instrumental ensemble will no doubt be a great way to begin a new month, and the act to follow will surely be a great way to end it!

On October 28th at 7:30pm in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, the Dagilelis Boys Choir will perform. The group has come all the way from Lithuania to tour the mid-Atlantic. They are a virtuoso choral singing group that will provide us with not only a great performance, but also a look into another culture and a way for us to broaden our own artistic visions as we are introduced to those of other people around the world.

In November, we are lucky enough to have a faculty recital where Mark Carlson will play the trombone and Victor Fields will play the organ. This recital will tentatively take place on November 2nd at 7:30pm in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.

On the first day of December, my Art Department gave to meÖone great performance! Soprano Kathleen Rosenfeld and Pianist John Wickelgren will be having a recital of works by Jewish composers from the first part of the twentieth century. Some of these composers include Mahler, Korngold, and Weill. The recital will be entitled "Resilience and Survival: 50 Years of Jewish Composers." It will take place on December 1st at 7:30pm in the Horning Theater.

After that nice long winter break, the performances continue into the new year and start it off with some wonderful talent. The American Shakespeare Center will present Midsummer Nightís Dream and Winterís Tale. This is an internationally acclaimed theater company that gives its audience an authentic and entertaining experience of Shakespeareís works. The performance will take place on January 29th and February 1st in the Horning Theater. There is limited seating for this event, so if you are interested in attending, be sure to visit the Mount website for information about seating and upcoming admission.

In addition to all of these performances, the Mount will be showcasing the many talents of its very own students throughout the fall and spring. As a Fine Arts student myself, I can say that I have seen an incredible amount of artistic talent at Mount Saint Maryís. And better yet, each studentís talents are unique. Whether it be the Acoustic Battle, the Senior Shows, the theater performances, or just witnessing the everyday skill in the classroom, it is clear that showcasing these talents will not only benefit the artists themselves, but also the Mount and its surrounding community. The arts give students the ability to express themselves, and when we are introduced to different kinds of art, we are able to have a well-rounded perspective of art and the world around us.

Starting off the Mount Theatre Mainstage Productions of this year is Urinetown. In this hilarious tale of corruption, greed, love, and revolution, a 20-year drought "leaves the Urine Good Company with a stranglehold on the public's ability to relieve a most basic need." It will no doubt be entertaining, and a performance you do not want to miss! The production will take place from November 10th to the 12th and again from the 17th to the 19th at 8:00pm in the Horning Theater.

Some other productions have yet to be announced, but there are several performances lined up! Again, check out the Mount website for updates.

The Mount Instrumental Ensembles Fall and Spring Concerts are events that will truly leave you in awe at the amount of talent here at the Mount. The Wind Ensemble, the Lab Band and the String Ensemble will perform at this concert under the direction of Dr. Mark Carlson. The fall performance will take place on December 11th at 4:00pm in the Knott Auditorium. The spring performance will take place on May 6th at 4:00pm, also in the Knott Auditorium.

The Mount Chorale will take the stage for their fall concert on December 4th at 4:00pm. The location is to be announced at a later date. It will be an Advent Candlelight Program where the Mount Chamber Choir and Womenís Choir present their "programs of choral masterworks" under the direction of Dr. Andrew Rosenfeld. The spring program will be held on April 29th at 4:00pm in the Seton Basilica.

As I said before, there are so many talented students and faculty here at the Mount. We not only have the pleasure of seeing their performances in our newly renovated building, but we also are able to witness the talent of some national acts. This music and theatre schedule is one that will keep us entertained all year long. It is one that will take us through history, make us laugh, and most importantly, make us appreciate the hard work and skill it takes to make these performances so remarkable. So whether you are a Mount student or faculty member, a citizen from the surrounding community, or just someone interested in the performing arts, come to one, a few, or all of these performances and you will get a true taste of artistic talent.

Read other articles on the local arts scene by Kathryn Franke