Mahaney Center for the Arts
Accessibility in the Arts
Till Fellner, piano; 10/09/2010
View a slideshow of images showing the many faces of the Mahaney Center for the Arts.
Allison Coyne Carroll (staff, MCFA) spends her free time advocating for simpler immigration and taxation policies for foreign national visiting artists. Allison attended Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in March 2009, and met with Senator Leahy (who is also Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations) to champion for improved visa processing, and ensure Middlebury can continue to present premiere performers from around the globe. (Picture here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrsmaple/3796111640/ )
Radio Arts Middlebury is a completely student-written and -produced radio program dedicated to reporting the events, people, and ideas that comprise the arts community at the College. In the fall of 2008, the show sprang fully-formed from the mind of Colin Foss ('10, LITS). Foss hosted RAM until the spring of 2009, when John Patrick Allen ('11, PSCI) took over during Foss's time abroad. RAM has interviewed Middlebury professors, visiting artists (including Girl Talk and Anaîs Mitchell), students, and staff -- people who find themselves creating or promoting art on campus. RAM's "Middlebury Story" is one of finding other stories.
Peter Hamlin, Class of 1973 and chair of the Music Department at Middlebury, served as on-air host and interviewer for live television broadcasts of the Quad City Symphony and Dubuque Symphony on Iowa Public Television (fall, 2008).
Hamilin also was the emcee for the Vermont Symphony's youth concerts, performing in five different school locations throughout the state (spring 2009). The program included three movements from an orchestra piece of Hamlin's called Green Mountain Variations.
Hamlin's electronic music ensemble Data Stream, with Scot Schwestka, Sandy Nordahl, and Hamlin, created and performed music for a CD last summer. The CD, Flow, was released in March 2009.
Also, Hamlin composed "Grand Theft Flauto" for fellow music faculty member Su Tan. This is a piece for solo flute and live computer processing that was performed at Tufts University, Bennington and Middlebury (fall, 2009).
He has just completed a choral piece called "Chaoufarou," a setting of an excerpt from Samuel de Champlain's diary. The piece will be performed this summer, as part of the 400th anniversary celebration of Champlain's voyage, by a choir of students from France, Quebec and New England.
Larry Hamberlin had an essay included in a book of Schubert studies published by Ashgate Press in the fall.
In the spring, Hamberlin presented papers at the Experience Music Project's pop music conference in Seattle and at the conference Feminist Music and Theory in Greensboro, North Carolina.
He is active on the editorial board of the Journal of the Society for American Music, and he's on the program committee for the society's 2010 annual meeting, as well as chair of the selection committee for the society's award for the year's best book about American music.
Alison Maggart, Class of 2008, has been working as harpist with and assistant to the renowned Indian film composer A.R. Rahman. Rahman is known as the "John Williams of India" -- with "Slumdog Millionaire" just one of the recent films for which he has composed music. Maggart's duties include orchestrating, arranging and preparing Rahman's scores for his films.
The College Choir embarked on a highly successful tour of Connecticut, Boston and New York City over spring break, April 21-26, 2009. The tour included concerts at the phenomenal Trinity Church in the City of Boston, St. Michael's Church on 99th Street in Manhattan, and the New York Society for Ethical Culture on Central Park. The choir sang contemporary choral music, madrigals, and folk music, and a short choral drama featured several Middlebury student soloists. The trip also included a visit to an alum's high school chorus, and joint concerts with Saengerfest Men's Chorus in Boston, the United Nations International School Chamber Ensemble, and Philip Hamilton '82 and his a cappella project, Voices. The choir gave a home concert of the tour program on March 30 at Middlebury.
2008-2009 marks the successful establishment of two new Music Department ensembles, the Men's and Women's Glee Clubs. The men's group offers a department ensemble singing group for men to learn vocal technique and a variety of repertoire, as well as ensemble singing. The women's group grew to 15 members this year and performed selections from "Gloria" by the 17th century master Antonio Vivaldi, with chamber orchestra, as well as several modern pieces and adaptations of international folk music. The Women's Glee Club is conducted by Jessica Allen. With the addition of the Glees, the Middlebury Music Department now has more students singing in ensembles than in the past several years, mostly students who have little or no contact with the department outside of those ensembles.
In May the College Choir performed five Ukrainian Romani songs, with several Middlebury student soloists and a student guitarist. The songs arrangements are the result of field research by Director of Choral Activities Jeffrey Buettner, who returns to Ukraine in June to share the recordings of the College Choir with Romani musicians there. Also on the program were three songs for chorus and piano by Johannes Brahms.
The Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble completed its third full year under Dick Forman’s direction, and its second year as a Music Department performance ensemble. Twenty one students participated. The band offered five performances this year, including a town-gown dance at the Town Hall Theater in April.
Fifteen students performed in the Spring Jazz Showcase. Combos that formed in the Jazz Workshop performed regularly at the Grille, and occasionally at 51 Main.
The jazz program is growing. About 50 applicants for the Class of ’13 submitted jazz recordings with their applications. This is about a 30 percent increase from last year.
Seven graduating seniors in the Class of 2009 – Alex Benepe, Mary Chiles, Sonia Epstein, Pujan Gandhi, Kelsey Nelson, Ramona Richards, and Jennifer Yamane – recently concluded either their second or third year of participation in the Museum Assistants Program (MAP) at the Middlebury College Museum of Art.
As museum assistants, they volunteered for several hours a week, learning about behind-the-scenes operations of the museum, leading school tours, and assisting with family programs. In addition to their volunteer work, five of the assistants were museum interns and one worked as a museum receptionist. We hope that each of them will take skills that they learned from teaching in the galleries and working in the office to new opportunities.
Professor Cynthia Packert reports:
Zmira Zilkha, Class of 2009 and a February graduate, is an intern now at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy. http://www.guggenheim-venice.it/inglese/default.html
And Nicole Macmillan, also 2009, has been awarded an intership at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. http://www.phillipscollection.org/
Pujan Gandhi, Class of 2009, recently served as the Reiff Intern at the Middlebury College Museum of Art. While there, he researched Enrique Chagoya, Robert Gober, and Glenn Ligon, and and contributed to the publication that accompanied the exhibition "Confronting History: Contemporary Artists Envision the Past," which was on view February 13 through April 29, 2009.
During her semester abroad in Bali, Indonesia, Abby Hoeschler introduced three elementary schools to the Visual Thinking Strategies method of viewing art that she learned through her involvement with the Museum Assistant Program (MAP) at Middlebury. Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a research-based innovative approach used to introduce young viewers to works of art. Curator of Education Sandi Olivo employs the VTS method, which asks (rather than tells) viewers about art, in our student-led school tours at the Middlebury Museum. In Bali, I led VTS-based tours to three different elementary schools at a small fine arts museum focused on Indonesian painting.
Since 2001, Bettina Matthias (German) has worked with German students, from first-semester to graduating senior, in Middlebury's German Theater Group. What started as an alternative to the typical final paper in late 2001 has grown into a very successful staple in the German Department and on campus, a steady group with at least 10 members at any given time, that has won the German Theater Competition at Mt. Holyoke College five times and has performed nine full-length plays in German. In fall, we will celebrate our tenth production together.