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Late jazz faculty member to be celebrated with special concert Feb. 20

UT students and faculty members will honor jazz pianist Tad Weed with a special concert.

“Tad Remembered” will be held Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Weed

Weed, associate professor of music, lost his battle with cancer Aug. 22. He was 61. He joined the UT faculty as an assistant professor of jazz piano in 2011 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2017. Weed taught jazz piano, arranging and improvisation, and was co-director of Vocalstra, a vocal jazz ensemble founded by legendary singer Jon Hendricks.

Leonard Feather acknowledged Weed’s career in “The Encyclopedia of Jazz.” Feather wrote, “…pianist Weed displays a very rare ability to cross over from dashing bop lines to rich impressions, he has all of the bases covered from funky blues to the border of the avant-garde.”

Weed’s discography contains more than 30 recordings that feature his playing, arrangements and compositions. He toured with Anita O’Day and Carmen McRae; for more than a decade, he was the music director for Paul Anka. The list of artists he performed with included Chaka Khan, Jack Jones, Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Frank Morgan and David (Fathead) Newman.

The concert will feature a host of performers: the UT Student Jazz Combo and UT music alumni, including Matt and Atla DeChamplain, Will Bennett, the group Talking Ear, Estar Cohen, Travis Aukerman, Ben Maloney and Dan Palmer.

UT music faculty also will perform: Norm Damschroder, Ellie Martin, Dr. Olman E. Piedra and Jay Weik.

An added treat will be a special video encore of Weed performing with UT music student Isabella Weik.

Songs to be performed include “The Road Leads,” music by Weed with lyrics by Cohen; “Cowboy Poetry Life” by Weed; “Just One of Those Things” by Cole Porter; and “When You Wish Upon a Star” by Cliff Edwards.

This performance is the 2019 Art Tatum Memorial Scholarship Concert. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the scholarship program.

Tickets are $15 for general admission; $10 for UT employees, alumni, senior citizens, and veterans and members of the military; and $5 for students and children. Tickets are available at the door, but purchasing them in advance is recommended. They are available on the School of Visual and Performing Arts website, or by calling the Center for Performing Arts Box Office at 419.530.ARTS (2787).

During the concert, parking is free in the lot across from the Center for Performing Arts.

Health Science Campus Artist Showcase to open Feb. 18

The 14th annual Health Science Campus Artist Showcase will take place from Monday, Feb. 18, through Wednesday, April 10, on the fourth floor of Mulford Library.

This year’s exhibit features work from more than 30 artists who are students, faculty and staff in the health sciences from Health Science and Main campuses, as well as UT Medical Center.

On exhibit will be a variety of 2-D and 3-D artwork, including paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture and mixed media.

An artist reception will be held Friday, Feb. 22, from 4 to 6 p.m. on the fourth floor of Mulford Library.

Dr. Paul Brand, UT associate professor emeritus of physiology and pharmacology, will speak at 4:30 p.m. at the reception. His talk is titled “Create Your Own World.”

“I paint and draw first for the simple pleasure of putting color on paper, and then to create paintings that stand out because they fuse realistic images and strong abstract designs,” Brand said.

A longstanding participant in the Health Science Campus Artist Showcase, Brand paints diverse subjects, most often landscapes, but also still-life and abstracts, using watercolors, acrylics, pastels or charcoal. He has four works in this year’s exhibit.

“I love watercolors for their luminous, fresh appearance, acrylics for their immediacy and simplicity, pastels for their intense colors and ease of application, and charcoal for the range of values and richness,” he said.

For the past two decades, paintings by the award-winning artist have been featured at several juried shows. In addition, Brand has taught art classes at the Toledo Botanical Gardens, Toledo Museum of Art and Art Supply Depo.

Like the exhibit, the reception and lecture are free and open to the public. Visitors can view the artwork during regular library hours: Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to midnight; Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight.

For more information, visit the University Libraries website or contact Jodi Jameson, assistant professor and nursing librarian at Mulford Library, and member of the artist showcase committee, at 419.383.5152 or jodi.jameson@utoledo.edu.

Transgender pianist to visit campus for evening of conversation and music Feb. 19

Pianist Sara Davis Buechner is coming to town to perform with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23. Before that, she will stop at the UT Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall to chat with students, faculty and community fans Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m.

At this event — co-sponsored by the UT Department of Music, the UT Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra — Buechner will share her experiences as a musician and the inspiring story of how her gender transformation impacted her career. A Steinway also will be on hand in case she feels moved to give a concert preview.

Buechner

Buechner also will present a master class for students Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 3 p.m., in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Admission to the talk and the master class is free.

Noted for her musical command, cosmopolitan artistry and visionary independence, Buechner is lauded for her “intelligence, integrity and all-encompassing technical prowess” (The New York Times), “thoughtful artistry in the full service of music” (The Washington Post), and “astounding virtuosity” (The Philippine Star). Japan’s InTune Magazine summed up: “Buechner has no superior.”

Buechner has performed in every state and province of North America — as recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with top orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra; and in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl. She has toured throughout Latin and South America and Europe; and she has a special following in Asia, where she has been a featured soloist with the Sydney Symphony, New Zealand Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic and Shanghai Philharmonic, among others.

Buechner has released numerous acclaimed recordings of rare piano music by composers such as Rudolf Friml (“a revelation” — The New York Times), Dana Suesse, Joseph Lamb, Joaquín Turina, Miklós Rózsa and Ferruccio Busoni. Stereophile magazine selected her Gershwin CD as Recording of the Month, and her interpretation of Hollywood piano concertos won Germany’s coveted Deutsches Schauplatten Preis. Most recently, her recorded traversal of the score to Carl Dreiser’s 1925 silent movie classic, “Master of the House,” is available on Criterion Collection DVD.

She joined the faculty of Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance in 2016, after previously teaching at the Manhattan School of Music, New York University and the University of British Columbia. She has presented master classes and workshops at major pedagogic venues worldwide, adjudicated international piano competitions, and is a contributing editor for Dover Publications International.

As a proud transgender woman, Buechner appears as a speaker and performer at LGBTQ events and has contributed interviews and articles about her experience to numerous media outlets worldwide.

Pianist, baritone to perform Schubert work

The University of Toledo Dorothy MacKenzie Price Piano Series will feature guest pianist Dr. Gabriel Dobner and baritone Kevin McMillan to perform Franz Schubert’s “Die Schöne Müllerin” (“The Miller’s Daughter”).

The free concert will be held Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Dobner and McMillan also will present a free master class Saturday, Feb. 9, at 10 a.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

The recital program will be “Die Schöne Müllerin op. 25, D. 795” by Franz Schubert. Also known as “The Miller’s Daughter,” the work is based on poems by Wilhelm Müller that tell the story of a young man who pursues to the bitter end his love for a miller’s daughter.

Both Dobner and McMillan are on faculty members in the School of Music at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.

A professor of piano, Dobner joined the faculty at James Madison University in 2001. Previously, he taught at Indiana University and the Nürnberg/Augsburg Hochschule für Musik in Germany. He received his bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University. Dobner then went on to Indiana University in Bloomington and earned master’s and doctoral degrees.

Dobner has recorded and performed nationally and internationally. He performs regularly with pianist Lori Piitz as part of a piano duo. These musical collaborations have led to concerts in many major venues throughout the United States — including an appearance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. — as well as in Europe and Japan.

After preliminary schooling at the Universities of Guelph and Western Ontario in Canada, McMillan studied at the Britten-Pears School in England and earned a master’s degree at the Juilliard School in New York. His primary focus has always been the oratorio and orchestral repertoire, and his vocal flexibility and scholarly musicianship have afforded him a broad range of styles and periods — from Monteverdi and Bach to Britten and Penderecki. McMillan joined the faculty of James Madison University in 2009.

Critics have praised McMillan’s “elegant lyric baritone voice” and “singularly remarkable interpretive skills” in appearances with virtually every major North American orchestra, including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony.

He also has established a presence in Europe, with appearances in London, Berlin, Barcelona, Paris and Prague.

For more information, contact Dr. Michael Boyd, UT professor of music, at michael.boyd@utoledo.edu or 419.530.2183.

Timeless art: Pair of UT fine arts students incorporate old clock tower hands into mural at Carlson Library

A few years ago, The University of Toledo’s Carlson Library took delivery of a special piece of campus history — a set of hands from the University Hall clock tower.

Now those brass hands are the focal point of a two-sided mural being painted near the library’s circulation desk by two students in UT’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Program as part of the library’s experiential learning initiative.

Rose Mansel-Pleydell, left, and Tara Yarzand are painting the clock mural in Carlson Library. The painting incorporates a set of brass hands from University Hall’s clock tower.

“We always wanted to display the hands somewhere in the library. With the recent renovations, we thought the time was right,” said David Remaklus, director of operations for University Libraries. “Experiential learning is great for the library because we get to showcase student work, and we get to tap the expertise that’s available on campus.”

At the recommendation of Barbara Miner, professor and chair of art, the library invited Rose Mansel-Pleydell and Tara Yarzand to conceive a motif for the project.

The women, both juniors in the program, quickly came up with the idea to incorporate a clock face featuring UT’s signature stonework set between a pair of panels featuring abstract hues of blue and gold. Mansel-Pleydell said her panel represents the converging paths bringing people to the University, while Yarzand said hers is a shattered sky design that represents the future while paying a nod to both the UT Rockets and Toledo’s reputation as the Glass City.

But they both say they want people to find their own meaning in the art.

“It really is sort of open-ended. There’s no correct way to interpret it, but based on those things we came up with, we think it’s a pretty solid design,” Mansel-Pleydell said. “We didn’t want to do something that wasn’t clearly The University of Toledo. We wanted to use the school colors and pay homage to the Gothic architecture because it’s a gorgeous university.”

Because the hands are mounted on a thin dividing wall, the artists are able to use the rear side for a three-dimensional collage featuring a mixture of wood and metal gears meant to look like the innerworkings of a clock. Both the gears and hands will be static.

The clock mural incorporates the names of UT programs in the mortar.

There’s also a bit of a hidden element in the mural. Painted in the mortar are the names of programs at UT.

“I think there’s something like 500 different majors and career tracks,” Yarzand said. “People will stand here and try to find their own majors. It’s fun to watch.”

Yarzand and Mansel-Pleydell both earned degrees in other disciplines before coming to UT to study art. They each had high praise for the program and said they were grateful to have their artwork so prominently displayed.

“I love UT and I don’t just say that. I’ve been to four different universities now, and I honestly love it here,” Mansel-Pleydell said. “The fact that I’ve had opportunities like this come up has just been out of this world. I can’t believe I actually get paid to do art every day as a junior in college. I’m really thankful they let us do this.”

“I am happy to be enrolled in The University of Toledo as a fine arts student and very thankful that I got this opportunity in my second semester. To me, it represents a step that I wanted to take for a long time: to be a professional artist,” Yarzand said. “We hope that this mural can stand as our tribute to the University and its iconic clock tower.”

Remaklus said he’s been impressed by both the talent of the artists and how much recognition the work is getting.

“It is a really beautiful mural, but it’s also like performance art. People enjoy coming in, watching them paint, and seeing the progress they’re making,” he said. “Tara and Rose have done a fantastic job.”

African-American films to screen at UT for Black History Month

The first UT African-American Film Festival will be held this month at The University of Toledo.

Screenings will take place Thursdays, Feb. 7, 14 and 21, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts.

The inaugural event is co-sponsored by the UT Black Student Union, the UT Department of Theatre and Film, and the UT Office of Multicultural Student Success.

Films showcased during February spotlight contemporary African-American stories as told by some of today’s best African-American filmmakers.

Kicking off Thursday, Feb. 7, the festival will open with the 2016 Academy Awarding-winning best picture “Moonlight,” directed by filmmaking phenom Barry Jenkins.

The following week, Thursday, Feb. 14, Jordan Peele’s contemporary horror masterpiece “Get Out” will provide entertainment on Valentine’s Day.

“Pariah,” a quiet yet beautifully crafted indie film directed by Dee Rees, will conclude the festival Thursday, Feb. 21.

“Moonlight” and “Pariah” will screen in the Center for Performing Arts Room 1039; “Get Out” will be shown in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre.

“I appreciate Holly Hey [UT professor and head of the Film Program] and the Theatre and Film Department for their support of black art,” Isis Walker, president of the UT Black Student Union, said. “There are a lot of aspiring black artists across all the colleges and departments on our campus, and I believe showcasing successful black artists will inspire these students to continue their craft. I want black artists on our campus to feel supported by both the Black Student Union and the Department of Theatre and Film. I hope we are able to continue this event.”

Doors will open at 7:20 p.m. for the free, public screenings.

For more information, contact Hey at holly.hey@utoledo.edu.

Theatre department to present ‘The Pillowman’

The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film will present Martin McDonagh’s Tony Award-winning play titled “The Pillowman” Friday through Sunday, Feb. 1-3 and 8-10, in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre.

Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday shows are at 2 p.m.

In “The Pillowman,” Katurian, a fiction writer abused as a child, churns out bizarre novels with violent plot twists that raise the suspicions of the police when his stories align a little too closely with a recent string of child murders. During his interrogation, Katurian reveals the horrid childhood experiences that informed his craft.

Quincy Joyner, assistant lecturer of theatre, is directing the production.

“There are brutal moments in this play. That’s how Martin McDonagh writes. But he dares us to look past the surface of the story’s characters,” Joyner said. “There are moments of humor and intellect in the writer who writes about horrific things, in the police officers who want the world to be a safer place, in the younger brother who has a childhood filled with dreadful experiences. It is a play that challenges the audience as much as it entertains.”

The cast features Hanna Gerlica, a junior majoring in pharmacy, as Mother; Bryan Harkins, a senior majoring in theatre, as Tupolski; Becca Lustic, a junior majoring in theatre, as Michal; Abbey Mulinix, a student at Wildwood Environmental Academy, as Little Jesus Girl; Grace Mulinix, a freshman majoring in theatre, as Katurian; Faith Murphy, a junior majoring in theatre, as Ariel; Justin Petty, a sophomore majoring in theatre, as Father; and Christian Soto, a freshman majoring in theatre, as Pillow Boy/Brother.

Members of the design team are Dr. Edmund Lingan, professor and chair of theatre and film, producer; Scott Hunt, UT alumnus and faculty member, composer; Kristin Ellert, set designer; Daniel Thobias, associate professor of theatre, costume designer; Stephen Sakowski, assistant professor of theatre, lighting designer; Ryan Peters-Hieber, a senior majoring in theatre design technology, sound designer; Kevin Upham, a senior majoring in theatre, stage manager; and Logan Fleming, a sophomore majoring in theatre, assistant stage manager.

Tickets are $10 for students; $12 for UT faculty, staff and alumni, and military members and seniors; and $18 for the general public. Call 419.530.ARTS (2787) or go to the School of Visual and Performing Arts’ website. Tickets also will be available at the door.

UT Department of Art students’ work appears on area electronic billboards

The creations of University art students are on display throughout the Toledo area for the next several weeks, appearing on electronic billboards as part of an annual exhibition.

Each fall, Barry Whittaker, UT associate professor of art, organizes the exhibition of juried student work. The digital billboard space was donated by Lamar of Toledo.

“While studying art, it is important to see how images can move beyond classroom and gallery walls to interact with the city where you live,” Whittaker said. “Lamar has been a great partner in this project by providing students with the opportunity to see their work illuminated and at a large scale in many locations around the city of Toledo.”

A total of 19 works from 14 artists are featured in the exhibition.

The digital billboard locations are at Reynolds Road at Airport Highway, Glendale Avenue at Byrne Road, Tremainsville Road at Laskey Road, Washington Street at Huron Street, Woodville Road at East Broadway Street, the Anthony Wayne Trail at Western Avenue, I-75 at Berdan Avenue, and I-75 at Monroe Street.

Works on the billboards were created by 14 student artists: Austin Baker, Donna Beauregard, Taylor Carey, Colin Chalmers, Jason Chappuies, Alaina Coote, McKenzie Dunwald, Chen Gao, Lindsay Haynes, Alexa McLaughlin, Tyler Saner, Ashley Simmons, Valerie White and Lydia Yant.

Art exhibit reflects on ownership of self images

This January The University of Toledo Department of Art is hosting an exhibition of the work of guest artist Rowan Renee, a genderqueer artist self-identifying as they.

“No Honor No Heart” will be on display from Monday, Jan. 14, through Thursday, Feb. 14, in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery on UT’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus.

“Together but Separate” is part of Rowan Renee’s exhibit titled “No Honor No Heart,” which is on display through Thursday, Feb. 14, in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery on UT’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus.

Renee’s work includes images of their nude body that have been reclaimed and altered.

“In 2013, I was in a legal dispute with a former partner and collaborator, a copyright lawyer, over ownership and access to nude images of my own body that we co-authored,” Renee said. “[This] is an installation that reclaims these lost images, asserting the transformative power of artistic labor for experiences of sexual abjection.”

A free lecture will be held Friday, Feb. 1, at 6 p.m. in the Toledo Museum of Art Little Theater. An opening reception for “No Honor No Heart” will follow from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery.

“I use photography to interrogate how sexual bodies are gendered, victimized, policed and punished,” Renee said. “Through photographic, printmaking and sculptural techniques, I produce and appropriate images that intervene on issues of authorship, the representation of queer and feminine bodies within the art-historical canon, and the intersection of homophobia and misogyny in sex law and copyright law.

“Abjection, as a queer concept and aesthetic framework, informs my manipulation of images. Through jouissance, the hard-won pleasure found in the labor of making, I see a means to construct transformative meaning from experiences of violence, persecution and erasure that threaten queer and feminine subjects.”

Renee currently works between Brooklyn, N.Y., and Ann Arbor, Mich. Their career began as a street artist in 2006, when they joined the Miss Rockaway Armada, a collaborative flotilla of junk rafts founded by the artist Swoon.

In the past, Renee traveled across 10,000 miles of the United States taking tintype portraits of people living off the grid, worked to rebuild a Sandy-flooded bungalow in the Rockaways as a live-work artist space, and founded a small photography business called Brooklyn Tintype.

Recently, they have received awards from the Aaron Siskind Foundation, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and the Anchorage Museum of Art, as well as fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the McColl Center for Visual Art and Ossian Arts at the Jain Family Institute. In 2018, Renee weas named an Elsie Choy Lee Scholar by the University of Michigan.

Their work has been profiled on NPR, in The New York Times, VICE, Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, American Photo Magazine and Guernica, among other publications.

The free, public exhibition can be seen Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information, contact contact Brian Carpenter, UT lecturer of art and gallery director, at brian.carpenter@utoledo.edu.

Composer/conductor to discuss music Dec. 13

Former Toledo resident Robert Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and of the Aspen Music Festival and School, will visit the University for an evening of discussion with UT music students and faculty.

The talk will be moderated by Dr. Matthew Forte, UT director of orchestral studies, and held Thursday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Spano

A reception will follow the discussion.

Tickets are $10 to $15 and are available in advance from the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office by calling 419.530.2787 or visiting the School of Visual and Performing Arts website.

Spano is a conductor, pianist, composer and teacher known for the intensity of his artistry and distinctive communicative abilities, creating a sense of inclusion and warmth among musicians and audiences. Beginning his 18th season as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, this imaginative conductor is an approachable artist with the innate ability to share his enthusiasm for music with an entire community and concert hall.

A fervent mentor to rising artists, Spano is responsible for nurturing the careers of numerous celebrated composers, conductors, and performers. As music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2011, he oversees the programming of more than 300 events and educational programs for 630 students and artists.

Highlights of the 2018-19 season include Spano’s Metropolitan Opera debut, leading the U.S. premiere of “Marnie,” the second opera by American composer Nico Muhly, with Isabel Leonard, Janis Kelly, Denyce Graves, Iestyn Davies and Christopher Maltman.

Spano’s recent concert highlights have included several world premiere performances, including “Voy a Dormir” by prolific composer Bryce Dessner at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor; the Tuba Concerto by Atlanta School of Composers alumna Jennifer Higdon, performed by Craig Knox and the Pittsburgh Symphony; “Melodia for Piano and Orchestra” by Canadian composer Matthew Ricketts at the Aspen Music Festival; and “Miserere” by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra bassist Michael Kurth.

He has led Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Ravinia, Ojai, and Savannah music festivals. Guest engagements have included the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; the San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Oregon, Utah and Kansas City symphonies; and the Cleveland, Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras.

Internationally, Spano has led the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, BBC Symphony, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira, Orquestra Sinfonica Estado Sao Paulo, the Melbourne Symphony in Australia, and the Saito Kinen Orchestra in Japan.

With a discography of critically acclaimed recordings for Telarc, Deutsche Grammophon and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Media, Spano has won six Grammy Awards with the Atlanta Symphony. Spano is on faculty at Oberlin Conservatory and has received honorary doctorates from Bowling Green State University, the Curtis Institute of Music, Emory University, and Oberlin. He is one of two classical musicians inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and makes his home in Atlanta.