Upstream, a composition for electric violin and jazz band by Charles Nichols, an assistant professor in the School of Performing Arts, received its premiere on December 1. The work, along with Nichols’s piece Chicken and Grits, was performed by the Washington and Jefferson Jazz Ensemble at the Olin Fine Arts Center at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Paul Steger, a professor of theatre and director of the School of Performing Arts, was elected to the Board of Trustees of the National Theatre Conference. The National Theatre Conference is composed of distinguished members of the American Theatre Community who represent both professional and academic theatre institutions as well as independent artists.

Ivica Ico Bukvic, an associate professor in the School of Performing Arts/music, and Greg Earle, Electrical and Computer Engineering, were awarded funding from the National Science Foundation for the project titled “Spatial Audio Data Immersive Experience (SADIE)” in order to pursue research to investigate how immersive sound can be used to develop a better understanding of complex systems. The project will use the 129-loudspeaker spatially distributed immersive sound system in the Cube in the Moss Arts Center.

Or Be Forever Fallen, a composition for amplified string quartet, computer, and video by Charles Nichols, an assistant professor in the School of Performing Arts, with video artist Zach Duer, received its premiere on November 16. The work was performed by the Beo String Quartet in the Moss Arts Center.

Members of the Virginia Tech Percussion Ensemble, directed by Annie Stevens, an assistant professor in the School of Performing Arts, won the University Chamber Percussion Ensemble Competition, which took place November 14–17 at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. The all-undergraduate ensemble competed against groups, including graduate student ensembles, from 14 other universities across the country.

Pianist Richard Masters, a professor in the School of Performing Arts, performed works by Heinrich Biber, Philip Glass, and Johannes Brahms with violinist Emily Ondracek-Peterson at Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado, on October 27.

Stephen Prince, a professor in the School of Performing Arts, published A Dream of Resistance: The Cinema of Kobayashi Masaki (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2017).

Annie Stevens, an assistant professor in the School of Performing Arts, presented an outreach concert with her percussion duo, Escape Ten, and Ivan Trevino in San Antonio, Texas, as part of the College Music Society’s National Conference. The duo commissioned Trevino to compose a piece influenced by his Tejano heritage, which led to a storytelling concert with the audience about Trevino’s experiences growing up as a Mexican American.

School of Performing Arts faculty members John Irrera, Nicole Paglialonga, Brian Thorsett, and Alan Weinstein presented the world premiere of “Two Campion Songs” by Brian Holmes as well as works by Strozzi, Buxtehude, Muhly, and Vaughan Williams at the Music on Mondays concert on September 11.

David McKee,  a senior instructor in the School of Performing Arts, was the recipient of the Shenandoah University 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award for Lifetime Achievement. McKee has served as director of the Marching Virginians for 32 years; he also conducts the University Symphony Band and teaches aural skills. The award was presented to McKee on October 13 at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.

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