Category: music

Concert on the Lawn, Oct. 17

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The Concert on the Lawn has become a fall tradition on North campus, and the Hodgson Wind Ensemble will present the fifth installment this Friday, Oct. 17 at 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy an hour of good fellowship and fun at this free concert by the Hodgson Wind Ensemble and director of bands Cynthia Johnston Turner!

Begun in 2010, the program includes light classics, patriotic numbers, and beloved marches in the style of old-fashioned band concerts in the park. This year's repertoire includes Glinka's overture to Ruslan & Ludmilla; American classics such as Whistler and His Dog, The Stars & Stripes Forever, 76 Trombones, Circus Bee March, and America, the Beautiful; John WIlliam's famous Olympic Fanfare; Slava! by Leonard Bernstein; and medlies Disney at the Movies, Broadway Spectacular, andSelections from "The Wiz."

The event is free and open to the public—bring your blanket or lawn chair and a picnic lunch!

So much fun - and if you don't believe it, here's a video we made from the 2011 concert. Bring a chair and see you there.

 

 

Hispanic Heritage Month

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choco.jpgAppreciation of the Hispanic culture that comprises such a great and growing part of the American fabric can certainly be an everyday ocurrence. But a monthlong celebration of rich cultural elements informing our campus and community is also in process, with events highlighting Hispanic Heritage Month:

The nationally recognized celebration is observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and honors the many contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the U.S. while highlighting the diverse heritage and cultures of Latin America.

The theme for this year's observance is "A Legacy of History, a Present of Action and a Future of Success." Unless otherwise noted, the following events are open free to the public:

Sept. 30-"Ask Me About..." Students for Latin@ Empowerment will give away Mexican candy and have information about their organization available from noon to 2 p.m. on the Tate Student Center Plaza.

Oct. 1-Hispanic Scholarship Fund Celebration. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar Chapter celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month by highlighting some of the many HSF alumni who are making their mark on history. The program will be held at 6 p.m. in Room 350 of the Miller Learning Center.

Oct. 4-Fiesta. The Athens-Clarke County Library hosts stories, music, a Don Quixote skit, crafts and more from 2-4 p.m.

Oct. 7 and 9-Film Screening: Chocó by Jhonny Hendrix Hinestoza. The film tells the story of a young Colombian woman who raises her children alone by working in a gold mine. A question-and-answer session with the director will follow. Admission is $9.75 or $7.50 for students. Oct. 7 screening will be at 8 p.m. at Ciné. The Oct. 9 screening will be at 6 p.m. at the Georgia Museum of Art.

Oct. 8-Film Screening: Cesar Chavez. The film looks at the American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association. The screening will be held at 7 p.m. in the Tate Student Center Theatre.

Oct. 11-ALCES Open House. The Athens Latino Center for Education and Services showcases the various services offered to the Hispanic population in North Georgia. There will be food, music and door prizes from
1:30-4 p.m. at ALCES, which is located at 445 Huntington Road.

Oct. 11-Pueblos Originarios: Un Festival Artesanal. Arts and crafts inspired by the indigenous peoples of the Americas as well as food and music from all over Latin America will be showcased from 1-5 p.m. at the Pinewoods Library and Learning Center, 465 U.S. Highway 29 North.

Oct. 12-Book Fiesta With Lucha Libre. Share stories and make a luchador mask from 3-4 p.m. at the Athens-Clarke County Library.

More events at the the link. Franklin's LACSI and the romance languages department lead the way in planning these important celebrations and we are fortunate to have these vibrant organizations that both draw great students and faculty to campus and broaden the academic environment to more accurately reflect American values. Come out and enjoy some of these events, which cross into music, language, art, literature, food and film just like Hispanic culture does in real life. Voila, no boundaries at all.

Hodgson Wind Ensemble - selections from West Side Story

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WestSide.jpgThe Hodgson Wind Ensemble presents a special Second Thursday Scholarship Series concert on Oct. 9, with a program featuring selections from "West Side Story."

The concert also marks the Second Thursday debut of new director of bands in the Hodgson School of Music, Cynthia Johnston-Turner, with a program of music written entirely by American composers.:

 Selections include Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, No. 2, John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine, Slava!, and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, both compositions by Leonard Bernstein.

“Jazz is America’s music, and the work of Bernstein and Adams tap into that genre,” said Turner, who began her position at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music this fall. “It’s exciting, gritty music with artistic value that appeals to this country’s aesthetic, and their inclusion makes for an uplifting, fun performance.”

The performance also features graduate conducting students Tyler Ehrlich and Jack Eaddy, Jr., as well as special guest soloist Pamela Mia Paul for the Georgia premiere of Steven Bryant’s Concerto for Piano.

The renaming of the University of Georgia Wind Ensemble to the Hodgson Wind Ensemble represents the new direction and vision Turner has for the group. In addition to this rebranding, Johnston Turner has changed the ensemble’s structure, reducing the number of performers to one-per-part.

“Excellence has its place,” said Turner. “These are the finest wind musicians here, and reducing the instrumentation encourages more ownership and responsibility, in addition to pushing students to be more sensitive musicians. It’s structured like a chamber ensemble—though that doesn’t mean we still can’t get quite loud when appropriate.”

Get your tickets today to enjoy a fantastic evening of music and welcome Dr. Johnston-Turner to the Second Thursday tradition. Bravo, Hodgson School.

GMOA Museum Mix features Pylon, Athens cultural scene exhibits

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Museum_Mix_DJ_Michael_Lachowski_in_1983.jpg

A late-night art party at the Georgia Museum of Art this Thursday night from 8- midnight will harken back to the 1970s and 1980s music and art scene here in Athens and is surely not to be missed.  Known as Museum Mix, this free event will feature snacks and refreshments, access to all of the museum’s galleries until midnight and a DJ set by Michael Lachowski, co-founder of and bass player for the seminal athens band Pylon.

The summer Museum Mix is inspired by the exhibition "Shapes That Talk to Me: The Athens Scene, 1975-85." The DJ will be Michael Lachowski, co-founder of and bass player for the seminal Athens band Pylon. Lachowski will play records that Pylon members and others listened to during the early years of the Athens music scene, including music by Pere Ubu, The Ramones, Public Image Ltd, Talking Heads, Cabaret Voltaire, Elvis Costello, Suicide, Kraftwerk and many more.

Lachowski, who also handles public relations for the museum and helped organize "Shapes That Talk to Me," said, "The social scene that the early Athens music scene came out of was based around art students, art faculty and visual art itself-but our parties were also fueled by new music from outside Athens. Because access to new music was always a challenge, the communal sharing of new acquisitions in social contexts was taken seriously. While we were dancing and cavorting, we were absorbing an education in music-the influences that shaped Pylon and other bands-and that's the music I want to revisit at this hot summer Museum Mix."

The “Shapes That Talk to Me” exhibit and the Museum Mix event are being held in conjunction with Art Rocks Athens, a festival exploring the works of art and music that established Athens as a cultural center.  Art Rocks Athens and the accompanying exhibits and events is continuing the tradition of UGA and the Athens cultural scene influencing each other. Through December, venues across Athens are taking part in the collaborative celebration with exhibitions, films, lectures and more.  View more about Art Rocks Athens here.

Art Rocks Athens

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SeansArt2.jpgAthens and the University of Georgia enjoy a world-renown that far outstrips the dimensions of the Northeast Georgia town itself or even a major American university. Why is that? How is it possible that this local symbiosis produces acknowledgement and acclaim from every corner on the globe? Artists ansd supporters have been unpacking this question in a series of arts shows that continues through July 26.

Athfest 2014

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woman outside, with stageOne of the many great things about UGA is its symbiotic relationship with its hometown of Athens, Ga. The great intermingling between town and gown creates a constant fecund season for creative collaboration in arts, entertainment, education and all the related enterprises that group up around these activities. One of those is Athfest, and our students, staff and faculty will be well-represented this weekend as spectators, organizers, volunteers and performers.

The Athfest Educates program also does a great job of supporting music and arts education for Athens-Clarke County children. Another terrific initiative that, while not a direct UGA collaboration, is born of the ingenuity of our community-inspired thinking and talent that flows to and from our campus. See you this weekend.

Alums We Love

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chris-bilheimerWe love all of our alums and play no favorites here - and we especially love when our graduates and their exploits find their way into the media, as is the case today with great friend of the blog, Chris Bilheimer:

For more than two decades Chris Bilheimer has designed album covers, concert posters, rock T-shirts and more as art director for R.E.M. and freelancer for other bands, notably Green Day, Widespread Panic and Neutral Milk Hotel. Now he’s entered the fashion realm as the creative force behind Helm Boots’ redesign. This spring, the Austin, Texas-based brand unveiled a new logo, website, packaging, store signage and point-of-sale materials. “The original look had a pretty heavy Americana feel to it, and part of the vision was to move away from beating you over the head that it’s made in America,” said Bilheimer, whose wife, Hillary, is Helm’s brand manager. “With what they plan to do in the future, I tried to give them an identity that has a more modern feel.” Bilheimer studied drawing and painting at University of Georgia in Athens...

It's short, you can read it all. The Lamar Dodd School of Art has brought many great people to Athens and UGA, acted as a petri dish for their talents, and loosened them upon a the wider populace to achieve great success. We're proud of Chris and so many others. The people who come here to live, study and work are what make our town and the university what they are.

Art Rox at LDSOA

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TwoWomenThreeQuilts.jpgBeginning May 23, 2014,  the Lamar Dodd School of Art will host a retrospective exhibition of art from the period 1975-85, presented by the Art Rocks Athens Foundation:

Athens, Georgia is well known for its vibrant music scene. What is less known, however, is that artists from the era of 1975-85 gave rise to the music, and then their music went on to influence the art. Art Rocks Athens Foundation, a non-profit organization, was formed to explore and document that time period, and to present a retrospective of the work of artists who were living and making art in the vortex of creativity that centered on Athens. Through the conservation of both artworks and music-related artifacts, Art Rocks Athens Foundation seeks to make a verifiable record of this history and its lasting importance to the town so many people love.

To bring in the wider world, he invited nationally known artists like Elaine de Kooning, and Phillip Guston who became artists in residence. They brought not just knowledge, but also a willingness to share their experiences, that only became more precious over time. When the Art Department began teeming with students, Lamar Dodd persuaded downtown business people to rent the empty spaces above their shops for use as artists’ studios. Thus, town united with gown, and from this atmosphere where innovation and collaboration were the order of the day, the Athens artists gave form and substance to the Athens music scene.

Many campus entities - the Special Collections Librairies, Willson Center, many Franklin College departments and individual faculty members - have been doing yoeman work to re-assemble many of the principles and tell the stories of the Athens music scene. As this picture takes shape, we re-affirm what's been obvious all along - that the art scene and the music scene continue to be mutially informing, supporting and essential to each other and the wonderful musical and visual art that gives this little town its flavor. This exhibition at Lamar Dodd should be great. Support the Art Rocks Athens. And don't forget to enjoy the show.

Image: "Two Women Three Quilts," 1975, 66" X 88", Oil on canvas, Neill Slaughter.

Spring Commencement 2014

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stadium_commence.jpgIt's a great week on campus. The 2014 Spring Undergraduate Commencement exercise will be held on Friday, May 9, 2014 at 7 p.m. inside Sanford Stadium. Athens is beginning to flow with excited and proud parents, family members as well as the graduates themselves. An exciting time for all involved, and the reason at the center of all activity at the university.

Commencement itself then is a spectacle equal to grandeur of the occasion. And in that spirit, this year will also feature a special musical premiere:

The University of Georgia Wind Ensemble will present the world premiere of "Declarations," a new composition for wind band, during the university's spring undergraduate Commencement on May 9. The piece, composed by past Hugh Hodgson School of Music professor Steve Dancz, will commemorate the final performance of departing director of bands John P. Lynch.

"Steve and I thought it would be particularly meaningful to mark this occasion with a new commission," Lynch said. "We were aiming for something akin to American composer Aaron Copland's ‘Lincoln Portrait': regal, epic and concise, for maximum impact."

So true. 5, 374 students are eligible to walk this spring, and we wish every single one of them the very best in their future endeavors. And as we bid Lynch farewell along with this spring's graduates, the premiere takes on that much more significance. Here's to a great night, to be christened with beautiful new music played by our students.

Image:  Commencement 2010, when UGA moved the Spring Commencement ceremony to an evening event, culminating with a fireworks celebration. Courtesy UGA Photographic services.

 

Athens Music Project Symposium April 17

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Pylon-40Watt-1979Besides providing a gratuitous opportunity to post this phot of Pylon from 1979 (wow), the Athens Music Project, a Willson Center Research Cluster featuring Franklin faculty, is presenting the community with signifciant cultural dividends:

The Athens Music Project will hold its first symposium April 17 from 4-8 p.m. in the auditorium of the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries at the University of Georgia.

The AMP is a Faculty Research Cluster of the UGA Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and is co-directed by Susan Thomas, an associate professor of music and women's studies, and Jean Ngoya Kidula, associate professor of music and African studies. The event is co-sponsored by the Willson Center and the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

The AMP provides a platform for research, creative development and shared expertise in, about and for Athens' diverse musical communities. 

...

Michael Lachowski, a member of the Athens band Pylon and currently the public relations coordinator at the Georgia Museum of Art, will give a keynote talk on "How Art Turned Into Music: The ‘Athens Music Scene.'" The talk will be followed by a roundtable on "Hearing the Past and Seeing the Future: The 40 Watt" that will feature Lachowski, 40 Watt Club owner Barrie Buck and Velena Vego, the club's talent buyer. Christopher Lawton, director of the Georgia Virtual History Project, will moderate the discussion.

To find out more about other parts on the program, see here. But I highlight the keynote as a point of emphasis: the Athens music scene enjoys a kind of mystique that flows from and into its world renown. But the mystique is difficult to quanitfy so hasn't been to any great extent. So good for Kidula and Thomas for presenting a platform to delve into these mysteries further - may the best parts remain shrouded, but let us enjoy the discussion and perhaps further celebrate this catalyst for the rich pageant that surrounds us.

Image: Pylon plays at the original non-commercial location of the 40 Watt Club (Myers Building, third floor, 171 College Ave.) in 1979.