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items tagged with Galvin Fine Arts Center

At the Intersection of Bluegrass and Brazil: Quad City Arts Visiting Artists Matuto, September 21 at the Galvin Fine Arts Center
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-09-10 18:50:00

Matuto, photographed by Vincent SoyezDepending on the source, the English-language equivalent of the Brazilian slang term “matuto” appears to be “country boy” or “bumpkin” or “hillbilly.” What it absolutely isn’t is “critically lauded ensemble selected as American Musical Ambassadors for the U.S. State Department.”

Yet that is indeed a fitting description for the capitalized Matuto, the sextet of touring musicians appearing locally as Quad City Arts’ latest Visiting Artists. After a week spent conducting workshops and performing for area students, these dynamic, adventurous artists and educators will present a September 21 concert at St. Ambrose University’s Galvin Fine Arts Center, where they hope to excite many more listeners with the infectious thrill of Brazilian bluegrass.

That’s right: Brazilian bluegrass. Don’t feel embarrassed if you’ve never heard of it.


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Playwright at Your Side: St. Ambrose Student Aaron Randolph III Authors Two Wintertime Productions
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2011-11-21 12:00:00

Cody E. Johnson, Stacy Phipps, and Tim Stompanato in Dakota Jones & the Search for AtlantisEvery year, St. Ambrose University’s theatre department produces four mainstage shows over the nine months that school is in session. It’s somewhat surprising, then, that given the myriad authors to choose from, the university opted to reserve half of the slots in its 2011-12 season for works by a single playwright.

Yet what’s more surprising is that the author in question isn’t one of the usual theatrical suspects – Shakespeare or Williams or O’Neill. Rather, it’s St. Ambrose student Aaron Randolph III, a 32-year-old pursuing additional degrees after graduating in 2002 from the school’s music department. His family musical Dakota Jones & the Search for Atlantis will be staged in the university’s Galvin Fine Arts Center December 3 and 4, and his comedy The Plagiarists runs February 24 through 26.


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Out of His Own Way: William Campbell, April 28 at St. Paul Lutheran Church
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2011-03-23 14:09:54

William Campbell. Photo by Renee Meyer-Ernst.

William Campbell can’t recall why he became a composer, but he does remember his piano lessons as a youth in Tucson, Arizona.

In an interview last week, Campbell recounted the questions he asked of his Julliard-trained teacher: “‘Why didn’t Beethoven do this?’ And I’d play a little something. And he’d be like, ‘Well, that’s not what this piece is. Did you learn this passage?’ And I’d play the passage, and I’d say, ‘Yes, but why didn’t he do this?’ ... I’d ask about motives and things.”

That instructor was good at many things, Campbell said – “He instilled in me a sense of how to emote on the instrument ... , technique, and also to try your best no matter what” – but he didn’t do much to encourage his pupil’s creativity. The student brought in a piece that he’d composed, and his mentor played a Rachmaninoff prelude as a response.

The 41-year-old Campbell said that he never presented another original composition to that teacher, but three decades later, he is certainly getting more affirmation. An associate professor of music theory and composition at St. Ambrose University, he’s releasing his first solo-piano album, Piano Songs – an event that will be marked by a March 26 concert at the Galvin Fine Arts Center. On April 28, he’ll debut his Piano Quintet with the Maia String Quartet at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport. And in its 2011-12 season, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra will perform Campbell’s Coyote Dances in one of its Masterworks concerts.


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Past, Present, and Posters: “Hatch Show Prints,” Through November 19 at the Catich Gallery
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Art

Category: Reviews

2010-11-03 15:53:47

In the Hatch Show Prints exhibit in St. Ambrose University’s Catich Gallery, the past and present intermingle through design. Art, design, and culture don’t move forward in a linear way; instead, they diverge, change, and return as new but still familiar styles. Typefaces from almost a century ago manage to look fresh in the hands of a modern designer, and a poster from the 1950s can seem almost prophetic in its similarity to today’s graphics. By presenting designs of the past alongside new designs with a retro bent, Hatch Show Prints reveals the connections between history, culture, and design, and their relationships to music and performance.


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Exit, Stage Left: Michael Kennedy Concludes His 40-Year St. Ambrose Tenure with "Sweeney Todd"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-04-14 12:00:00

Michael KennedySt. Ambrose University instructor Michael Kennedy, who has directed more than 75 collegiate theatre productions over the past 40 years, remembers the first - and, to his recollection, only - public complaint lodged against one of his shows, which appeared in the Diocese of Davenport's weekly newspaper The Catholic Messenger.


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