Logo

MTSU on WGNS: MTSU Arts, political polling and social work

MTSU faculty and staff took to WGNS Radio recently to share information about an upcoming theatrical production at Tucker Theatre, the future of political polling and growth in the field of social work.

The details were shared during the Nov. 21 “Action Line” program with host Bart Walker. The live program was broadcast on FM 100.5, 101.9 and AM 1450 from the WGNS studio in downtown Murfreesboro. If you missed it, you can listen to a podcast of the show here.

Guests and their topics included:WGNS new logo 2015_web crop

• Meredith Kerr, development director for the College of Liberal Arts, Justin Reed, production manager at Tucker Theatre, and theatre student Skylar Grieco, one of the performance directors, discussed the recent “Joys of the Season” showcase held Dec. 1 at Tucker Theatre.

Meredith Kerr

Meredith Kerr

MTSU Arts proudly presented “Joys of the Season,” a collection of holiday performances and artwork from the MTSU performing and fine arts departments that will entertain and delight people and children of all ages.

First held last year, the event is a showcase of music, art, theater and dance. Presenting sponsor for this production was Ascend Federal Credit Union and the media sponsor was WGNS Radio.

Learn more at www.mtsuarts.com.

• Drs. Ken Blake and Jason Reineke, director and associate director of the MTSU Poll, discussed the MTSU Poll and the future polling in the wake of the surprising presidential election.

Dr. Ken Blake

Dr. Ken Blake

Dr. Jason Reineke

Dr. Jason Reineke

For over a decade, the MTSU Poll has been providing independent, non-partisan, unbiased, scientifically valid public opinion data regarding major social, political, and ethical issues affecting Tennessee. The poll began in 1998 as a measure of public opinion in the 39 counties comprising Middle Tennessee and began measuring public opinion statewide in 2001.

The future of polling has been under intense scrutiny following the surprise election of Republican Donald Trump, in spite of the fact that many polls gave the edge to Democratic contender Hillary Clinton. In recent months, Trump frequently lambasted the polls as inaccurate and not reflective of his overall support. Many professional pollsters have been analyzing the results to find out what went wrong.

Learn more at http://mtsupoll.org.

• Dr. Angela Pharris, assistant professor in the Department of Social Work and coordinator of the Master of Social Work program, discussed the growth of MTSU’s social work program.

Dr. Angela Pharris

Dr. Angela Pharris

With 330 plus students enrolled, the MTSU Department of Social Work boasts the largest undergraduate program in Tennessee and continues to build an innovative master’s program that shares resources with Austin Peay State and Tennessee State universities.

Social Work is a growing profession with a 19 percent faster than average growth rate in the United States. Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. One group of social workers, clinical social workers, also diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.

Learn more at http://mtsu.edu/socialwork/index.php.

Students, faculty and staff who are interested in guesting on WGNS to promote their MTSU-related activities should contact Jimmy Hart, director of news and media relations, at 615-898-5131 or via email at jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu.

Adams creates archive of Appalachian images at Baldwin Gallery

Award-winning environmental portrait photographer Shelby Lee Adams will create a special archive at Middle Tennessee State University of his works that explore rural Appalachian family life.

Adams, whose friendship with MTSU professor Tom Jimison led to the creation of the archive, will provide a significant portion of his photographic collection to the Baldwin Photographic Gallery in the university’s College of Media and Entertainment. A selection of Adams’ work can be found at a special exhibit in the Baldwin Gallery that opened Oct. 24 and will run through Jan. 19.

Tom Jimison

Tom Jimison

Shelby Lee Adams

Shelby Lee Adams

Adams will discuss the gift during his appearance on the MTSU campus at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, for a lecture on his career and works.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Room 221 of the Ned McWherter Learning Resources Center, located at 1558 Military Memorial.

The Eastern Kentucky native will allow MTSU to keep part of the proceeds from sales of prints of his compelling portfolio of powerful images created from more than four decades of visiting, photographing and collaborating with families in Appalachia.

“An artist of the magnitude of Shelby Lee Adams will raise the stature of the Baldwin Gallery and raise the consciousness of students and scholars looking to understand the conditions and quality of life in Appalachia,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee.

“The Cock Fighter” is among Shelby Lee Adams’ portfolio of powerful images created from more than four decades of visiting, photographing and collaborating with families in Appalachia. (Courtesy of Shelby Lee Adams)

“The Cock Fighter” is among Shelby Lee Adams’ portfolio of powerful images created from more than four decades of visiting, photographing and collaborating with families in Appalachia. (Courtesy of Shelby Lee Adams)

“We are honored that Mr. Adams has entrusted our university to ensure the legacy of his work and allow it to educate and inform our students and our communities.”

Adams met Jimison in 1980, when Jimison asked the photographer to exhibit his work at the University of Dayton, where Jimison was teaching.

“It was my first one-person exhibition,” Adams recalled. “We became fast friends and we have continued our relationship.”

It also made sense for MTSU to house the archive, Adams said, because of the “proximity of MTSU to the people in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky I have photographed and the fact the people I have photographed will receive a portion of the print sales.Baldwin Gallery logo web

“They will also be able to come to the archive and enjoy the photographs — and receive digital photocopies of my work.”

The gallery, located on the second floor of the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building, is free and open to the public. Check baldwinphotogallery.com for hours.

A Kirkus review of a book of Adams’ 1993 work, “Appalachian Portraits,” described his photographs as “frank, unsentimental but often affectionate.” His photographs, the review said, show the effects of poverty but also “a resilience and grace….

“These black-and-white photographs of families gathered on the porches or in the crowded rooms of their hardscrabble, venerable homes show a remarkable crispness of detail.”

Adams, 66, graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1974 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, then earned a master’s degree in photography from the University of Iowa in 1975 and a Master of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of the Arts in 1989.

He was one of seven photographers selected in 1978 by the National Endowment for the Arts to collectively make images in Kentucky for a publication, “Appalachia: A Self-Portrait.” He received an NEA fellowship in 1992.

In 1989, Adams was selected for the Massachusetts Artist Fellowship Program and from 1989 to 1992 earned artist support grants from Polaroid Corp. He received the Guggenheim Photography Fellowship in 2010.

Adams said his perspective was shaped by growing up in Appalachia during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” program.

“Many of the media representations of the people of the mountains of Eastern Kentucky were disappointing or embarrassing,” he said. “I decided then to dedicate my life to photographing the people of the mountains in a way that was both honest and accepted by the subjects.”

MTSU will offer a special limited-edition print of the photograph “The Brothers Praying” (1993) for sale to initiate the archive’s funding. The negative will be permanently retired after this printing of 12 images.

Dr. Harold Baldwin, an MTSU mass communication professor emeritus, displays one of the masterpieces in the university gallery collection that bears his name. The Ansel Adams print of "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico," now has a new home inside the Bragg Mass Communication Building on campus. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Harold Baldwin, an MTSU professor emeritus. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

The Baldwin Gallery, part of the Department of Electronic Media Communication, is named for Professor Emeritus Harold Baldwin, who established MTSU’s photography program in 1959 and established the gallery five years later to expose the university community to work by leading photographers. Jimison has curated the gallery since 1991.

The gallery, renamed in 1996 to honor Baldwin, grew from a hallway in the MTSU Ned McWherter Learning Resource Center to a 1,300-square-foot facility in 2014 with museum-quality lighting in the Bragg building, thanks to a $100,000 gift from Baldwin to enhance the facility.

For off-campus visitors interested in the Adams lecture and/or visiting the gallery, a searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Those visiting the Baldwin Gallery during normal business hours should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

The College of Media and Entertainment, first established as a department in 1972, then elevated to school and then college status by 1989, has focused on preparing students to perform every facet of communicating news and information within their specialties: journalism, electronic media and the recording industry.

For more information about the college, visit www.mtsu.edu/media.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)

Accounting, auditing, tax and ethics among topics for Accounting CPE Day

Register now to earn continuing education credits at the upcoming eighth annual Department of Accounting CPE Day at Middle Tennessee State University.

The event will be held Thursday, Dec. 1, from 8 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. at the Miller Education Center, 503 Bell St.

Seminars during the conference include presentations on accounting and financial reporting, auditing, taxation and ethics. Participants can earn up to eight hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit. The cost is $175, which includes all seminars, materials, and lunch.

The sessions include:Accounting seminar graphic-July2016

  • “FASB Update,” Dr. Stan Clark, MTSU associate professor of accounting
  • “Revenue Recognition,” Dr. Jeannie Harrington, MTSU interim chair and associate professor of accounting
  • “Behavioral Finance,” James Bertram, Nuveen Investments
  • “Uber: Will Classifying Workers as Independent Contractors Succeed,” Sandy Benson, MTSU associate professor, and Master of Accountancy students
  • “Q&A on Significant Legal Cases,” Aubrey B. Harwell Jr., Neal and Harwell, and Dr. James Burton, MTSU professor of accounting
  • “Tennessee-Specific Ethics,” Don Mills, Tennessee State Board of Accountancy investigator
  • “Protecting Client Retirement Assets,” Robert Labadini, John Hancock Investments
  • “Market Intelligence,” Robert Labadini, John Hancock Investments
  • “Audit Update,” John Wermert, MTSU associate professor and director of the Accounting Graduate Program
  • “Tax Update,” Dr. Tim Koski, MTSU professor of accounting
  • “Are You Positioned for Your Future,” Marshall Marin, Petra Coaching

To register or get more information, visit the Jones College of Business’ Department of Accounting website at http://www.mtsu.edu/accounting or call the department at 615-898-5306.

Also, the 26th annual Department of Accounting Alumni CPE Day at MTSU will be held on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

Michael Brown Sr. to address youth-police interactions Thursday

The father of a young man whose death sparked a national conversation about police treatment of African-American men will speak at MTSU.

Michael Brown Sr. will deliver an address, “Chosen for Change,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in the Student Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

Michael Brown Sr.

Michael Brown Sr.

“Chosen for Change” is a nonprofit organization whose mission is “saving lives one day at a time through empowering youth, strengthening families and giving back,” according to its Facebook page at  www.facebook.com/MichaelBrownFoundationCFC.

The foundation, which is based in Florrisant, Missouri, grew out of the April 9, 2014, shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr., by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The incident inspired protests that lasted for more than a week.

chosen-for-change-logoAn investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded that the officer fired in self-defense, and a grand jury declined to indict the officer.

A hearing on a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Brown family against the officer, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson and the City of Ferguson is scheduled for May 2017.

MTSU’s Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs and Student Programming & Raider Entertainment are presenting Brown’s talk.

For off-campus visitors attending the event, a printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

For more information, contact the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs at 615-898-5812 or ida@mtsu.edu.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Attorney/Native American activist discusses pipeline dispute Thursday

The ongoing demonstration by Native Americans against a pipeline construction project that would cross a reservation in North and South Dakota will be discussed Thursday, Nov. 17, at MTSU.

Attorney Albert Bender, a Cherokee activist from Antioch, Tennessee, will discuss what he has witnessed at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 17 in Room N119 of the Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building. Bender’s talk is open to the public, but seating is limited.

Albert Bender

Albert Bender

A printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Off-campus visitors attending the daytime events should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

The Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which spans parts of both North and South Dakota, is the scene of demonstrations against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, an oil pipeline that stretches from northwestern North Dakota to southern Illinois and crosses land that reservation residents consider significant to their history, culture and religion.

The opponents also assert that the pipeline would pose a threat to the reservation’s sole water supply, the Missouri River.

The Hunkpapa Lakota and Yanktonai Dakota people, collectively called the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, are the primary residents of the Standing Rock reservation. The Hunkpapa people of Standing Rock live predominantly on the South Dakota portion of the reservation, while the Yanktonai live on the North Dakota side.

Bender will share information from his visit to protest camps located outside the pipeline site earlier this year. He also will shed light on the lawsuit filed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in hopes of stopping the pipeline.

For more information, contact the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs at 615-898-5812 or ida@mtsu.edu.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline project demonstrate outside the offices of the law firm Fredrikson and Byron, which represents pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners, in Bismarck, North Dakota, Aug. 29. Tennessee attorney/activist Albert Bender will discuss the issue Thursday, Nov. 17, at MTSU. (Photo courtesy of Melanie Bender/People’s World)

Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline project demonstrate outside the offices of the law firm Fredrikson and Byron, which represents pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners, in Bismarck, North Dakota, Aug. 29. Tennessee attorney/activist Albert Bender will discuss the issue Thursday, Nov. 17, at MTSU. (Photo courtesy of Melanie Bender/People’s World)

Harmonica great Charlie McCoy set for Nov. 14 MTSU talk, concert

The multitalented harmonica player who’s left his inimitable stamp on decades of country and rock recordings will visit MTSU Monday, Nov. 14, to discuss his amazing career and perform in a free public event.

Charlie McCoy poster webCharlie McCoy will sit down at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Tennessee Room inside MTSU’s James Union Building with West Virginia University’s Dr. Travis Stimeling, a leading authority on Nashville’s classic era of recording, to discuss McCoy’s adventures as one of the original “Nashville Cats” session musicians and as a recording artist in his own right.

McCoy, 75, will follow the discussion with a performance with his band of Nashville pros.

MTSU’s Center for Popular Music is presenting the event. A printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

McCoy, a native of Oak Hill, West Virginia, who was raised in Miami, Florida, began his musical career on a 50-cent harmonica at age 8.

His talents ultimately led him to Nashville, where he played drums, guitar and bass in bands and cut his own single before Chet Atkins first hired him as a session musician in 1961. Ann-Margret’s “I Just Don’t Understand” and Roy Orbison’s “Candy Man” were the first of hundreds to include McCoy’s harmonica.

new-CPM-logo-webBy the mid-’60s, McCoy was a fixture on Elvis Presley’s records and movie soundtracks, and after a chance meeting in New York City in 1965, he collaborated regularly with Bob Dylan on classics that included the “Highway 61 Revisited,” “Blonde on Blonde,” “John Wesley Harding” and “Nashville Skyline” albums.

His work with Dylan led to sessions with other rock and folk artists, including Joan Baez, Paul Simon, Ringo Starr, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Johnny Cash.

McCoy, who also plays keyboards and several wind and brass instruments, has contributed to thousands of records in the last 50-plus years, including Dolly Parton’s “My Tennessee Mountain Home” and George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

He’s released more than two dozen of his own albums, including the Grammy-winning “The Real McCoy” and the No. 1 “Good Time Charlie,” served as music director for the “Hee Haw” TV show for 19 years and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

You can learn more about McCoy at his website, http://charliemccoy.com.

The Center for Popular Music, part of MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, is one of the nation’s largest and richest repositories of research materials related to American vernacular music.

For more information on MTSU’s Center for Popular Music and its projects and special events, visit www.mtsu.edu/popmusic.

UCLA scholar discusses ‘Understanding Putin’ at MTSU Nov. 7

A U.S. scholar will explain how America must understand economic policy and political motivations to understand Russian President Vladimir Putin in a free public lecture set Monday, Nov. 7, at MTSU.

Strickland Lecture 2016 poster webDr. J. Arch Getty, Distinguished Professor of History at UCLA, will deliver the 2016 Strickland Visiting Scholar Lecture in History Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 160 of MTSU’s College of Education Building.

Getty’s free lecture, “Understanding Putin,” is open to the public. A campus map with parking notes is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Dr. J. Arch Getty

Dr. J. Arch Getty

Getty, whose specialty is Russia’s Stalin period and the history of the Soviet Communist Party, also will meet with Department of History students and faculty during his visit to MTSU, which is coordinated by the College of Liberal Arts.

The Strickland Visiting Scholar program allows students to meet with renowned scholars whose expertise spans a variety of historical issues.

The Strickland family established the program in memory of Dr. Roscoe Lee Strickland Jr., a longtime professor of European history at MTSU and the first president of the university’s Faculty Senate.

Getty is a former Guggenheim Fellow and a Research Fellow of the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow as well as Senior Visiting Scholar at the Russian Academy of Sciences. His books include “Origin of the Great Purges: The Soviet Communist Party Reconsidered, 1933-1938” and his most recent work, “Practicing Stalinism: Bolsheviks, Boyars, and the Persistence of Tradition.”

The Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fulbright Foundation, among others, support Getty’s research.

A reception and refreshments are planned for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 7, before Getty’s lecture.

For more information about this Strickland Visiting Scholar Lecture, please contact MTSU’s Department of History at 615-898-5798.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Singer/songwriter Jonatha Brooke set to visit MTSU Nov. 3

Multitalented singer/songwriter Jonatha Brooke will visit MTSU Thursday, Nov. 3, for a day of events capped by a public interview with insights about songwriting, studio production and performing.

Jonatha Brooke

Jonatha Brooke

Brooke, whose distinctive voice has been on records, radio and TV and film soundtracks for more than 20 years and who released her ninth solo album, “Midnight Hallelujah,” earlier this month, will first demonstrate studio recording techniques to MTSU students with her co-producer, MTSU recording industry alumnus Mark Hornsby.

Then, at 7 p.m. Nov. 3, Brooke will sit down with Beverly Keel, chair of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, in the Keathley University Center Theater to discuss her songwriting, performances and placing her songs in various media.

The interview, a “Writers in the Round” event, is open to the public. A searchable, printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Brooke began performing in the late 1980s with her fellow Amherst College student, Jennifer Kimball, and the pair soon became known as “The Story.” Their folk-rock teamwork led to two albums and a popular single, “So Much Mine,” before the women embarked on independent careers.

Frustrated after losing her recording contract in the middle of a concert tour, Brooke created her own label, Bad Dog Records, in 1999 for her albums. She branched out into other vocal work, too, turning up in the Goodyear Tire commercial jingle, “Serious Freedom,” and in two songs, “I’ll Try” and “Second Star to the Right,” on Disney’s “Return to Never Land” soundtrack.

Formal RIM logo

Brooke also created and performed an acclaimed one-woman off-Broadway play in 2014, “My Mother Has Four Noses,” capturing her relationship with her mother, who had dementia. She continues to shares her abilities through songwriting forums and live performances.

new-CPM-logo-webBrooke’s visit to MTSU is sponsored by the Tom T. Hall Writers Series, the Center for Popular Music at MTSU and the Department of Recording Industry, all part of the university’s College of Media and Entertainment.

The Hall Writers Series celebrates songwriters, authors, poets and screenwriters and the campus community a chance to learn more about the creative process as well as the business end of success. Previous Hall Writers Series guests have included country superstar Vince Gill, acclaimed songwriter John Hiatt, bluegrass impresario Ricky Skaggs, renowned folk music scholar Stephen Wade and famed “Ya-Ya Sisterhood” trilogy author Rebecca Wells.

The Center for Popular Music is one of the nation’s largest and richest repositories of research materials related to American vernacular music.

For more information about Brooke’s visit, contact MTSU professor Daniel Pfeifer at dan.pfeifer@mtsu.edu.

To learn more about Brooke, visit her website, www.jonathabrooke.com. For more information on MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment and its programs and events, visit www.mtsu.edu/media.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Girls find career options during 20th STEM event at MTSU [+VIDEO]

Keynote speaker Dr. Rhea Seddon did not realize it at the time, but her words were directly aimed at Zeina Ahmad and probably dozens more girls attending the 20th annual Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science Conference at MTSU.

“I want to be an astronaut when I grow up,” Ahmad said with a smile some 45 minutes after Seddon, a Murfreesboro native and retired hall of fame astronaut, finished her talk and question-and-answer session with the 320-plus girls attending the event Saturday (Oct. 22) in the Science Building and other campus venues.

Expanding Your Horizons, or EYH, at MTSU is held for girls and young women from across Middle Tennessee to investigate potential careers in math, science and the other STEM fields; to talk with and listen to women in science and math; and attend math and science workshops and participate in hands-on activities with girls also interested in these fields. To learn more, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/wistem/eyh.

Middle School workshops included “Smile! The Science of Photography,” “Follow Your Genes,” “Worm Races,” “Those Menacing Microbes” and more. High school workshops included “Magnificent Mechatronics,” “Drones and Droids. The World Is Not What It Seems” and more.

Ahmad, a sixth-grader at Northfield Elementary School in Murfreesboro, provided brief answers when first asked about EYH and the “Computer Autopsy” workshop led by Melissa Flowers. But she lit up like a light bulb when asked about Seddon sharing about her career and all the education and determination it took to eventually become an astronaut flying millions of miles in space.

When asked what she recalled from Seddon’s remarks, Ahmad said, “That she had a hard time going to college because she was girl.” When asked what, if anything, she’s doing to create a pathway to achieving her goal of being an astronaut, she said flying — one of many avenues Seddon pursued along with college, medical school and eventually applying for and becoming a NASA astronaut.

Retired hall of fame NASA astronaut Rhea Seddon addresses a crowd of more than 300 girls attending the 20th annual Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science Conference Oct. 20 in a large Ned McWherter Learning Resoures Center classroom. (MTSU photo by Kimi Conro)

Retired hall of fame NASA astronaut Rhea Seddon addresses a crowd of more than 300 girls attending the 20th annual Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science Conference Oct. 20 in a large Ned McWherter Learning Resoures Center classroom. (MTSU photos by Kimi Conro)

“Always dream big, but have a backup plan,” said Seddon, who is married to Robert “Hoot” Gibson, who was in her class of 35 wanting to become astronauts. “Learn from your mistakes. Have perseverance. When you get interested enough in something, that’s called a passion. Have faith in yourself and you can succeed.”

“You are here today,” Seddon added. “You have many years to study. The whole world is waiting for you to make your decision.”

By the numbers, the middle school and high school girls consumed 125 large pizzas (75 cheese and 50 pepperoni) or 1,250 individual slices, 768 bottles of water and 15 gallons of chocolate mile and 5 gallons of white milk from the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience dairy in Lascassas, Tennessee, and milk-processing plant on campus.

The volunteers included 150 student group leaders, workshop leaders and others.

On Oct. 21 in the Science Building’s Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium, EYH organizers gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event. Special recognition went to Nissan North America (accepted by MTSU alumnus Brent Gill and Lisa Smith); Schneider Electric (accepted by alumnae Bobbie Jo Meredith); the Nashville Section of the American Chemical Society (accepted by Jennifer McKenzie); Texas Instruments (accepted by Tammy Jones); and Dr. Bud Fischer, dean for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.

Along with MTSU students, faculty colleagues and industry partners in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), chemistry professor Judith Iriarte-Gross began EYH at MTSU for girls in 1997 (Seddon was the first keynote).

During the Oct. 21 celebration, EYH committee members presented Iriarte-Gross with a quilt featuring 17 of the 20 T-shirts given to students and volunteers during the past 20 years. Iriarte-Gross is also director of the MTSU Women in STEM Center.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Dr. Rhea Seddon, second from left, talks about her astronaut career with high school girls attending the 20th annual Expanding Your Horizons conference at MTSU Oct. 22 in the Ned McWherter Learning Resources Center. Attendees include Ashira Gibbs, 15, left, a homeschooled student from Brentwood, Tenn.; Megan Manning, 17, of Murfreesboro, a Riverdale High senior; and Abigail Sorrell, 16, of Murfreesboro, a Blackman High senior.

Dr. Rhea Seddon, second from left, talks about her astronaut career with high school girls attending the 20th annual Expanding Your Horizons conference at MTSU Oct. 22 in the Ned McWherter Learning Resources Center. Attendees include Ashira Gibbs, 15, left, a homeschooled student from Brentwood, Tenn.; Megan Manning, 17, of Murfreesboro, a Riverdale High senior; and Abigail Sorrell, 16, of Murfreesboro, a Blackman High senior.

Murfreesboro native and retired NASA astronaut Rhea Seddon tells the Oct. 22 Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science Conference middle school and high school attendees about Sputnik, the 1957 Russian spacecraft shown in the background. (MTSU photo by Kimi Conro)

Murfreesboro native and retired NASA astronaut Rhea Seddon tells the Oct. 22 Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science Conference middle school and high school attendees about Sputnik, the 1957 Russian spacecraft shown in the background.

Wind Ensemble welcomes guest composer Maslanka

The MTSU Wind Ensemble’s reputation for excellence has attracted one of America’s most influential composers to campus for a week that will feature master classes with students and public pre-recording rehearsals of his pieces created especially for wind orchestras.

David Maslanka

David Maslanka

David Maslanka, a Massachusetts native renowned for his music for winds, is the university’s latest composer-in-residence, drawn by hearing the work of MTSU’s premier performing group for wind, brass and percussion students.

“They contacted us,” Dr. Reed Thomas, director of bands at MTSU, said of Maslanka and his team. “They’d been listening to our CDs and asked if we’d be interested in doing some recording of a few of his projects. We of course said we’d be honored to.”

Maslanka, who now lives in Montana, has taught at the State University of New York at Geneseo, Sarah Lawrence College, New York University and Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York.

He’s been a freelance composer since 1990 and has published nearly 100 pieces, including nine symphonies. Many of his works, including “A Child’s Garden of Dreams” and “Rollo Takes a Walk,” have become standards for bands.

The Wind Ensemble’s free public rehearsals for performances of Maslanka’s works will be held in Hinton Music Hall in the University’s Wright Music Building. The rehearsal schedule includes:

  • 2:05-4:05 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, for an open Wind Ensemble rehearsal.
  • 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, for a rehearsal of Maslanka’s “California” and “Alex and The Phantom Band.”
  • 2:05-4:05 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, for an open Wind Ensemble rehearsal.

Along with “California” and “Alex,” the MTSU Wind Ensemble will be recording Maslanka’s “Saint Francis: Two Studies for Wind Ensemble” and “Angel of Mercy” during his campus visit. Composition students will be attending a master class with the composer at midday Monday, Oct. 24.

Dr. Reed Thomas

Dr. Reed Thomas

School of Music new logo web“The students are very excited about this opportunity,” Thomas said. “They were quite nervous when they first heard, because some of the compositions are more challenging than they may be accustomed to. They started practicing and put a lot of pressure on themselves to be perfect, but now they’re feeling more comfortable. I know they’re going to do great!”

The recordings will become part of the ensemble’s fourth CD for Naxos of America, the Franklin, Tennessee, U.S. headquarters for the Hong Kong-based Naxos classical music group.

MTSU’s Wind Ensemble released “Angels in the Architecture,” featuring works by composer Frank Ticheli and two of his mentors, Pulitzer Prize winner Leslie Bassett and 2007 Musical America Composer of the Year William Bolcom, in 2011. They followed that successful release in 2014 with “Earthrise,” which included works by British composers Nigel Clarke and Kit Turnbull and Spanish composer Jesús Santandreu, who earned his master’s degree from the MTSU School of Music.

“Our third CD is in production right now; it’s exclusively Nigel Clarke compositions,” Thomas said.

Clarke is a previous composer-in-residence at MTSU and collaborated last year with Danish writer Malene Sheppard Skærved on “A Richer Dust,” his first symphony for a speaker and symphonic wind orchestra. Thomas and the Wind Ensemble commissioned Clarke to create the piece and premiered it in Hinton Hall in April 2015.

You can learn more about Maslanka and hear his compositions at his website, www.davidmaslanka.com. You can learn more about the MTSU Wind Ensemble, plus listen to one of its performances in streaming audio, here.

For more MTSU School of Music concert information, call 615-898-2493 or visit the MTSU School of Music “Concert Calendar” link.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Dr. Reed Thomas, center, conducts the MTSU Wind Ensemble inside Hinton Hall in the Wright Music Building in this file photo. The orchestra is welcoming composer David Maslanka to campus Oct. 24-28 as composer-in-residence.

Dr. Reed Thomas, center, conducts the MTSU Wind Ensemble inside Hinton Hall in the Wright Music Building in this file photo. The orchestra is welcoming composer David Maslanka to campus Oct. 24-28 as composer-in-residence.

Secured By miniOrange