Valencia works to encourage bilingual literacy

Fernando Valencia is hard at work in North West Arkansas attempting to fill the gap between Spanish at home and formal academic study giving Latino students a better shot at attending collage.  Valencia, an  Instructor with the Department of Music at the University of Arkansas, was featured in an article by The Arkansas Traveler.  To see more information on this program please follow THIS LINK to read the full article.

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Ben Rector makes good!

Former U of A student, Ben Rector was recently featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live performing a song from his new album “The Walking In Between”.

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He was also recently featured in an article by the Walton Business School that I highly recommend reading.  Lets all show some Woo Pig Sooie pride and support for Mr Rector!!

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And the Emmy Goes To….

Greeson with EmmyYou heard right, AN EMMY!  We at the University of Arkansas Department of Music are very proud to announce that Dr. James Greeson has received an Emmy.  Nominated for not one but two of his compositions, Dr. Greeson left the stage with the statuette for Musical Composition/Arrangement for the documentary Up Among the Hills by Writer and Producer Larry Foley, narrated by former President Bill Clinton.  This was Dr. Greeson’s second Emmy, the first being for his music in the film soundtrack,  The Buffalo Flows in 2009.

When asked about Dr. Greeson’s contribution to the film, Mr. Foley said, “Jim’s music for Up Among the Hills was brilliant –

among the hills

some of his best ever work.  I’m so happy he received an Emmy for this musical score, and I’m not one bit surprised.  Jim is like a fine wine – he gets better with time.  And I’m proud to call on him whenever I have a project worthy of his immense talent.”

An Emmy Award is given to recognize excellence in the television industry.  The Emmy Awards were begun in Los Angeles by the Academy of Television Arts & Science in 1949.  The statuette, depicting a winged woman holding an atom, weighs six pounds and is made of copper, nickel, silver and gold.  A little known fact is that the Emmy Statuette must always appear facing left when presented or photographed.

We are very happy to give our congratulations to Dr. James Greeson for being recognized once again for his musical contributions!

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Caldwell to Present at NCCO Conference

caldwell_rdax_145x178 Stephen Caldwell, Director of Choral Activities in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, has been invited to present research to the National Collegiate Choral Organization at their Biennial conference in Charleston, SC. Dr. Caldwell’s lecture, “Music, Art, Poetry, and Absinthe in the choral works of Ernest Chausson,” will be on Thursday Oct 31, and is one of the headlining events of the conference.

Caldwell will explore five of Chausson’s great choral works, from small part songs set to Dante’s verse, to massive choral/orchestral works with texts from the darkest pages of the Rig Veda.

Caldwell is an experienced conductor who has rehearsed and conducted all of Chausson’s choral music. He has extensively researched each piece, and he has edited his own scholarly performing editions of Chausson’s works from the manuscripts held in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, France. His editions have of Chausson’s music have been featured at concerts at Temple University, Lehigh University, Rutgers University, Florida State University, Millersville University, Wellesley College, and the University of Miami.

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Educators from Arkansas and surrounding states come to U of A for Orff Workshop

Orff Workshop Graduates

Dr. Dale Misenhelter, associate professor of music and coordinator of the music education program is hosting educators from fives states for a two-week Orff Training Workshop.

What is Orff? Orff’s approach, developed for children but latterly used also with adults, was based on his belief that the easiest method of teaching music is to draw out the student’s inherent affinities for rhythm and melody and allow these to develop in natural ways,leading the child by his or her intuition from primitive to more sophisticated expression through stages parallel to western music’s evolution. Orff accomplishes this by means of a carefully planned program, beginning with speech patterns, rhythmic movement, and two-note tunes, then moving logically into pentatonic melody. Adult pressure and mechanical drill are discouraged. Improvisation is encouraged. Major and minor melody are introduced as the final stage of the program.

Orff singing

Orff workshop participants involved in a creative movement exercise.

Orff designed a special group of instruments, including glockenspiels, xylophones, metallophones, drums, and other percussion instruments to fulfill the requirements of the Schulwerk courses.

Check out this link to our University of Arkansas Newswire for more on this wonderful program.

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Guest Artist, Dr. Svetlana Belsky to preform Wednesday, May 1st

Dr. Svetlana Belsky is scheduled to play Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall on Wednesday, May 1st at 8:00 pm.  We are honored to host the pianist who has been described as “a passionate pianist and scholar.”  Dr. Belsky was born in the Soviet Union but was trained primarily in the United States with teachers such as Chicago’s Emilio Del Rosario.  She received both her Bachelor of Music and Master Degrees from the Peabody conservatory of Music and her Doctorate in Performance at the Manhattan School of Music.  Dr. Belsky is currently the Coordinator of Piano Studies at the University of Chicago.

Please don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to see this pianist extraordinaire.

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And the Award Goes to…..

Dr. Martin Nedbal to receive The William Holmes/Frank D’Accone Endowment Award

Martin Nedbal

Dr. Martin Nedbal

Eligible applicants submitted a statement of up to 1,000 words describing the research topic, a research plan, projected itinerary, and institutions where research would occur.  Dr. Nedbal will be taking a archival-research trip to Vienna this June to study the manuscript sources associated with early nineteenth-century German-language productions of Mozart’s Da Ponte operas at the Viennese Court-Theater.

The endowment is named for two music historians of the early modern period from the University of California.    William Holmes, a scholar of 17th-century music, edited and wrote about operas by Cesti and Scarlatti before turning to the works of Verdi.  Frank A. D’Accone served as chair of the Departments of Music and Musicology at UCLA.  He has published extensively on Renaissance music in Tuscany and had edited and written about Scarlatti’s first opera.  The endowment was established by Frank D’Accone in memory of Bill Holmes. For more information about this award, you may visit

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Guest Artist Highlight

Alissa Margulis

Alissa Margulis is an enthusiastic chamber music player and collaborates with artists such as Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, Julian Steckel, Ivry Gitlis, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, Lilya Zilberstein, Paul Badura-Skoda and Polina Leschenko.

She further appeared at Festivals as the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival, the Wiener Festwochen, Lockenhaus, the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, in Davos, Tours, Schleswig-Holstein, Verbier or the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, among others. Every year since 2005 Alissa Margulis has been invited to perform at Martha Argerich’s “Progetto” in Lugano.

During the 2012/2013 season Alissa Margulis will play concerts at the Philharmonie Essen, in Tokyo or in Guebwiller, appear with the World Youth Orchestra in Rome, Orchestre Philharmonique de Lorraine, the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in South Africa. Further Alissa Margulis will be touring in Japan with her brother Jury Margulis and in Sweden with the Camerata Nordica in February 2013 as well as give her debut at the Enescu Festival in Bucharest in September. She will perform chambermusic at Lars Vogt’s “Spannungen” Festival in Heimbach as well as appear with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana Lugano performing the Violin Concert of Alexander Glazunov under the baton of Alexander Verdernikov, which will be recorded as well for CD (Avanti Classics).

Alissa Margulis will be performing this evening with her brother, our very own, Jura Margulis.  The concert will be held in Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall at 8:00 pm. 

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Guest Artist Amy Porter to perform on March 4th, 2013

 The University of Arkansas Department of Music is proud to host Ms. Amy Porter, March 4th, 2013 at 7:30 pm in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall.

Flutist Amy Porter captivates audiences with her stunning virtuosity combined with heartfelt lyricism and interpretive sensitivity. Acclaimed by the New York Times as “a particularly strong performer, technically robust and musically forceful”, and echoed by American Record Guide as “a charismatic and highly skilled performer”, she has established herself as one of the leading artists of today through her innovative solo concerts and notable collaborations with the world’s top composers.

Popular among flutists around the world, Ms. Porter has appeared with orchestras across the U.S. and abroad, and has been acclaimed for her compelling and energetic performances. Currently, reviewers rave about her moving interpretation of Michael Daugherty’s Trail of Tears Concerto writing,” as played by the charismatic soloist Amy Porter (with whom Daugherty collaborated in writing ‘Trail of Tears’), no instrument could conceivably sound more lively or richly expressive.” (Mississippi News). Regarding her Carnegie Hall performance, Allan Kozinn of the NY Times wrote, “Amy Porter played with graceful poise.”Ms. Porter has appeared notably at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Taipei’s National Theater Concert Hall, Muramatsu Hall in Osaka, Japan and in recital on National Public Radio. She was highlighted on PBS Live From Lincoln Center and featured on the magazine covers of Flute Talk Magazine in the USA, The Flute Magazine in Japan and Muramatsu Flute Magazine in Japan.


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Alumni News

It’s time to take a peek into the life of one of our own. 

Today we are proud to highlight Patrick Moore.  Since his graduation in 2009, Mr. Moore has accomplished a great deal.  After receiving his undergraduate in music at the U of A, Mr. Moore went on to Texas Tech University to complete his Masters in Percussion Performance.  He has gained endorsements with several percussion companies including, Vic Firth Artist and Vic Firth Educational Team, Marching Percussion Specialist Team (MPS), Majestic Marimba Artist, and Mapex Drums.  Mr. Moore is now the Director of Bands and Instrumental Ensembles as well as Department Chair at Eastern Oklahoma State College.

Mr. Moore has also published 4 pieces for percussion with Alfred Publishing Co. :
Dreaming with a Broken Heart – Steel Band
Separate Ways – Percussion Ensemble
Any Way You Want It – Steel Drum
Europa – Steel Drum

We are so excited to see our graduates succeed in such exemplary ways!  Let’s all give a big Woo Pig Sooie for Patrick Moore!

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