One of the United States' hottest young singers will perform excerpts in Huntsville Tuesday from a work by a man who was once one of Europe's hottest young composers.

The university/community Symphonic Chorus and Symphonic Chorus Orchestra, under the direction of Peter Jermihov, director of choral activities at Sam Houston State University, will present the program at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the First Baptist Church.

Eric Owens will be guest soloist for the performance of approximately 70 minutes of excerpts from the two and one-half hour oratorio "Elijah" by Felix Mendelssohn.

The Chancel Choir of the First Presbyterian Church in Bryan will also participate in the event, which is the 23rd Annual Spring Concert of the Huntsville Community Choral Society and the SHSU Department of Music.

Owens has performed with the Houston Grand Opera, the Baltimore Opera, the Opera Festival of New Jersey, and is scheduled to perform with the Portland Opera, the Los Angeles Music Center Opera, and the Washington Opera.

Since the 1994-95 season he has also appeared four times at Carnegie Hall, with the Opera Orchestra of New York and the Oratorio Society of New York, the Palm Beach Opera, Baltimore Opera, Wolf Trap Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

His recent awards include the 1996 Placido Domingo Competition, the 1996 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the 1995 Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition.

Other soloists include SHSU faculty members Barbara Corbin and Julianne Best.

The performance of Mendelssohn's "Elijah" is particularly appropriate as 1997 marks the 150th anniversary of his death. Born in Hamburg, Germany, he died in Leipzig, Germany, at the age of 38. "Elijah" was his last major effort, and is considered his greatest.

Tutored in piano from the age of three, at the age of 12, in one year, he produced several symphonies, fugues for string quartets, two operas and many smaller works.

One of his lifetime goals was to call attention to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, which was largely ignored after Bach's death in Leipzig in 1750. Mendelssohn's presentation of Bach's "Passion According to St. Matthew" in Berlin in 1829 is considered the turning point in the revival of interest in Bach.

Tuesday evening's performance is free, with donations accepted on behalf of the Huntsville Community Choral Society.


Former art professor and artist Joseph Polley Paine will return to Sam Houston State University May 3-9 for an exhibit and sale of his works. Proceeds will benefit SHSU art students.

During the retrospective exhibition, entitled "Autobiography in Paint," the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery in the Art Complex will be filled with drawings, prints, paintings and painted china from the studio of Paine, who now lives in San Antonio.

An opening reception is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday. Paine will speak about his lengthy career in art at 3:30 p.m. The public and especially Paine's many friends in the Huntsville area are invited. Admission is free.

Paine will also be present in the Geeslin Gallery during all hours of the exhibition--2 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The exhibition will include Paine's earliest pieces, created from the time of his service in World War II, his work at SHSU during the '60s and '70s, and his more recent painting on fine porcelain.

Before Paine retired in 1976, he established a painting scholarship--the Polley Art Scholarship--named for his maternal lineage. SHSU students who demonstrate exceptional painting talent are recipients of the award each year.

Paine has announced that he intends to add to the size of the scholarship endowment by returning all profits from the sale of his artwork to the endowment fund.


Don K. Clark, an FBI agent who has been involved in many of the nation's and world's top crime events of the past few years, will speak at Sam Houston State University at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Clark's presentation is scheduled for the Blackwood Room of the Beto Criminal Justice Center. While primarily for students planning to enter the law enforcement field, the presentation is open to others who may be interested. Admission is free.

Clark, who has been in charge of the Houston Division of the FBI since July, 1996, will discuss his experiences and the preparation necessary to qualify for federal law enforcement jobs.

Clark began his FBI service in 1976, and has served in the Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Newark, and San Antonio field offices as well as FBI headquarters.

He has had a number of assignments as an investigative agent and manager in the FBI's foreign counterintelligence, counterterrorism, violent crimes and organized crime/drug programs.

Events in which he has been involved include the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the Achille Lauro attack, the Iran-Contra Affair, the World Trade Center Bombing and the Freemen crisis in Montana.

Clark has been awarded two Bronze Stars for bravery while serving in Vietnam and the FBI Medal for Meritorious Achievement.


Rajender S. Varma, research faculty member in the chemistry department and a project manager for the Texas Regional Institute for Environmental Studies (TRIES), made two presentations recently at the 213th American Chemical Society national meeting in San Francisco.

Varma joined experts there from throughout the world who are seeking to promote harmony between new chemical process technologies, regulations concerning their use, and the environment.

Varma is also scheduled to make a presentation on his work relating to the same concerns at the 1997 Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference June 23-25 in Washington.

In addition, he has been invited to participate in the Gordon Conference on Environmentally Benign Organic Synthesis Aug. 17-22 at Queen's College, Oxford University, in Great Britain.


"Women: The Gateway to Opportunity , Progress and Success" was the theme for a recent one-day workshop held at Sam Houston State University.

Co-sponsored by the American Association of University Women, the Upsilon Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, the Region VI Education Service Center Vocational Equity Project, and the Sam Houston Council of Women School Executives, the workshop was held at the Teacher Education Center.

Huntsville residents making presentations at the event, which had 70 participants, included Gordon Brown, former superintendent of the Katy school district; Joan Prouty, associate professor in curriculum and instruction at SHSU; Suzette B. Beckham, education specialist for the Region VI Education Service Center; and Beth Williamson, foreign languages lecturer and past president of the American Association of University Women Delta Kappa Gamma chapter.

Patricia Musik, a graduate mid-management student, was the conference coordinator. Conference planners included Beckham; Genevieve Brown, who chairs the SHSU educational leadership and counseling department and is the current Delta Kappa Gamma president; Cindy Carpenter-Gratz, assistant professor of dance at SHSU; Gretchen Hundley, graduate assistant at SHSU; Beverly Irby, associate professor in educational leadership and counseling; Carol Smith, who teaches at Huntsville High School, and Williamson.


The SHSU dance program will present Dance Spectrum in Concert Thursday through Saturday in the University Theatre Center Mainstage Theatre.

Performances are at 8 p.m., with an additional performance at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Choreographers include Margaret Barnett, Jonathan Charles, Mei-Ling Chen, Cindy Gratz, Kodee Lind, Dana Nicolay, Keith Pinkston and Chelly Uyeno.

Tickets are $7 each, or $5 with SHSU identification.

Call (409) 294-1329 for information.


Sam Houston State University's Texas Omicron chapter of Alpha Chi, national honor society, was one of 27 Star Chapters of the organization honored at the society's national convention this month in Philadelphia.

The Star Chapters had such activities as registering new inductees, sending faculty and students to regional and national conventions, having students on the convention's scholarly program, nominating students for national scholarships or fellowships, sponsoring on-campus programs promoting academics, and filing chapter reports.

Patricia Williams is faculty adviser for the SHSU chapter.


The College of Criminal Justice's annual Sundial Ceremony is slated for 12:30 p.m. Thursday in front of the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center.

The event honors Criminal Justice alumni serving throughout the world and memorializes those who have died in this service.

For more information, call Julia May at (409) 294-1632.


Retirement receptions for Nelson L. Thornton, professor of marketing, and George Hobbs, professor of education, have been scheduled for the coming weeks.

The reception for Thornton will be held from 3-5 p.m. Monday in Austin Hall. Contact Roger Abshire at (409) 294-1256 for more information.

The reception for Hobbs is scheduled for 3-5 p.m. May 5 in Austin Hall. Contact Marsha J. Harman at (409) 294-3875 for information on that event.


Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak

April 27, 1997