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SHSU Update for Week of April 2

On the Way to the Forum

"Something familiar, something peculiar, something for everyone, a comedy tonight!"

Sam Houston State University's Department of Theatre and Dance will present Stephen Sondheim's "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" on Wednesday (April 5) through Saturday (April 8) in the Mainstage Theatre. There will also be a matinee on Saturday.

Latin comedy and vaudeville are joined as Pseudolus (Brent McBeth), a roguish slave to a Roman family, schemes to win his freedom. His young master, Hero (Tyler Jones), promises to grant his freedom only if Pseudolus can arrange his union with the beautiful, innocent Philia (Leanne Hill), whom he spotted from his bedroom window.

The comedy also includes delightfully obnoxious characters, a confused father with a domineering wife, neighbors, strangers, and the Roman army.

The great Latin playwright Plautus inspired the authors, and the jumbled situations that kept the Romans laughing were moved to the contemporary stage. Time Magazine called the comedy "a good, clean, dirty show (that) brings back belly laughs."

The show dominated the Tony Awards in 1997, winning awards for Best Book and Best Musical.

The show is directed by SHSU theatre chairperson James Miller, with John Ross as conductor. Jonathan Charles choreographed the show, while LouAnn Miles, executive secretary for SHSU Career Services, is the musical director.

Appearing in other major roles are senior musical theatre majors Heather Hodnett and Patrick Pearson, senior theatre major Daoud Heidami, freshman theatre major Matthew Logan and freshman musical theatre major Spencer Plachy.

Senior theatre major George Curry is stage manager, with set design by senior theatre major Todd Porter, with theatre faculty members Jerry Hooker designing the lighting and Kristina Hanssen costumes.

Tickets are $12, or $10 for SHSU students and seniors. Evening performances are at 8, with the 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. For more information call the University Theatre Center Box Office at 936.294.1339.

Pianists to Gather for Chopin Festival

Pianists from throughout the region will gather at Sam Houston State University Friday and Saturday (April 7 and 8) for a Chopin Festival.

"The festival is the first of a projected series of annual events," said Clive Swansbourne, coordinator of piano studies at SHSU. "The activities will include recitals, master-classes, open discussions, lectures and demonstrations.

"High school, junior high and undergraduate piano students are invited to play at and/or attend the master classes. Participants will be invited to perform in the closing Saturday evening concert."

Swansbourne said the idea behind the festival is "to get people to take notice of the Sam Houston State music department." He selected Chopin as the focus for the first festival, he said, because "lots of people play Chopin and he is a much-loved and important composer."

"Everyone needs to know Chopin," he said.

The festival opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday with a recital by Swansbourne, who will perform nocturnes, mazurkas, and waltzes, Chopin's third sonata, and his Barcarolle. Admission is $5.

From 8:30 to noon Saturday Swansbourne will conduct master classes, with a recital by SHSU alumni at 1 p.m. and recital by guest students and SHSU students at 7:30 p.m., both in the Recital Hall.

In addition to these events, the festival will include a session in the dance department on how to dance the mazurka, a Chopin quiz show, and other activities. For more information, contact Swansbourne at 936.294.1385

International Performer to Present Concert

A prize-winning pianist who has performed throughout the world will feature music by Mozart, Brahms, Chopin and Prokofiev in a guest recital scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (April 5) in the Recital Hall at Sam Houston State University.

Steven Glaser, who has performed in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, in Orchestra Hall in Chicago and Merkin Hall in New York City, has also performed widely in Canada, Europe, Israel, Poland and Taiwan. Recent performances in this country include appearances with the symphony orchestras of Lubbock and Columbus and Mansfield, Ohio.

He is a very active performer of chamber music, collaborating with clarinetist and SHSU Department of Music Chairman Robert Walzel in the "Con Fuoco (With Fire) Duo."

From over 200 applicants, the duo was selected for the United States Information Agency's 1997 Artistic Ambassador Program and toured west and central Africa, including Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, and Benin, performing for diplomats, government officials, schools and universities.

They have toured England and Belgium and this past July were given the honor of the opening concert of the International Clarinetfest held in Oostend, Belgium. Their compact disc--"Con Fuoco--Duos for Piano and Clarinet," has been well received by the public and critics.

Glaser holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Julliard School, where he was a scholarship student. He has served on the faculties of Penn State University and Texas Tech, and is now on the faculty of the School of Music at Ohio State University.

Cable 7 to Carry Astros

It's a new season for the Houston Astros, with a new playing field, and Sam Houston State University's Cable Channel 7 will be bringing Huntsville fans plenty of the action beginning Monday (April 3).

A total of 139 regular season Astros games are scheduled to be televised. This week's games on Channel 7 include the Astros at Pittsburgh at 6 p.m. Monday and 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

"We're delighted to be carrying the Astros," said Maryjo Cochran, coordinator of the radio-television program. "The broadcasts will help introduce new folks to the programming we do on Channel 7."

Anyone who would like a schedule of the Channel 7 broadcasts can stop by Cox Communications, 1620 Normal Park, and pick one up.

Alpha Chi Chapter Is Winner

Eight members of the Sam Houston State University chapter of Alpha Chi participated recently in the organization's regional convention in San Antonio, and accepted the region's Outstanding Chapter Award.

Tannie Shannon also received the Joseph E. Pryor Fellowship, a $1,000 regional award that he will apply toward graduate school tuition and fees. To win the award, he submitted his original short story, "Above the Bar," to two panels of judges and read it during the conference.

Presenting papers were Natalie Burns, Richard Davis, Julie Jackson, Cathy Horn, Constance Plant and Clara Medina.

The SHSU chapter (Texas Omicron) will compete with nine other chapters for the national organization's President's Cup, signifying the nation's outstanding chapter, which will be awarded in March 2001. The SHSU chapter won the award in 1993.

Alpha Chi is a national college honor scholarship society with 325 chapters and 280,388 members. Patricia Williams, sponsor of the SHSU chapter, is also serving as the National Council president.

Flourescent Crystals

The result of research by Sam Houston State University geology professor, relating to clues in finding such useful energy sources as petroleum and uranium, will be reported at a regional professional meeting this week in Arkansas.

Brian Cooper will present "Flourescent Gypsum Crystals from Houston County Texas: A Preliminary Report." The presentation is scheduled during a meeting of the South-Central Section of the Geological Society of America Monday and Tuesday (April 3 and 4) at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Cooper's interest in flourescent gypsum crystals began in 1985, but only intensified four years ago. Two years ago he began analyzing crystals he had collected in the Crockett area.

"The primary use of any findings from this study will be to provide further information about sedimentary environments and sediment source regions," said Cooper. "If the flourescent agent is organic, then it would serve as an indicator of petroleum. If it is something else like uranium, then one could back track to the source region in hopes of finding higher concentrations of that element."

Nominations Sought for Distinguished Alumni

The Office of Alumni Relations at Sam Houston State University is accepting nominations for this year's Distinguished Alumni awards, the highest honor the Association and SHSU can bestow upon alumni.

"This honor is awarded to graduates or former students who have distinguished themselves through personal and professional achievements and who have made significant contributions to SHSU and/or society, and thus have brought honor and distinction to our university," said Theresa Bledsoe, director of alumni relations.

April 14 is the last day nominations will be accepted for this year; however, nominations are kept on file for three years to be reviewed by the Distinguished Alumni Awards Committee. Honorees will be recognized on Friday, Oct. 27, during homecoming weekend.

For a nomination form or more information, call 936.294.1841.

Staff Excellence Award Nominations

Nominations for the Staff Excellence Award at Sam Houston State University are being sought through Friday (April 7).

Each year SHSU honors three employees who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence. The recipients, who include one exempt (salaried) and two non-exempt (hourly) staff employees, receive a financial stipend of $1,000 and are recognized at the beginning of the fall semester during the annual general staff meeting.

Nominees must be full-time, non-temporary staff members with a minimum of two years service. They must also show meritorious performance, display proven commitment to excellence in service, excel in his or her job, demonstrate outstanding abilities, innovative ideas, efficient operations, and a high level of motivation, and be respected by the university community.

Any full-time member of the faculty or staff may make nominations.

Nomination forms have been distributed to all departmental offices on campus. Additional forms are available through the Human Resources Department.

Alumni Schedules Hockey Night

The Sam Houston State University Alumni Association invites all Bearkats to join in the fun on Tuesday, April 11, at Griff's Shenanigans Caf» and Bar in Houston, from 5 to 7 p.m. Following pre-game hors d'oeuvres and drinks at Griff's, the Bearkats will head to the Compaq Center for great Houston hockey action as the Aeros take on Kansas City.

Anyone wishing to go with the SHSU alumni group to the hockey game must purchase tickets no later than Monday (April 3). Call the Alumni Office at 1.800.283.7478 or 936.294.1841 with credit card information (Visa/MasterCard). Tickets (lower sides in the red section) will be reserved when full payment is received.

Aeros tickets for Alumni Association members are $19; non-members are $24. Transportation will not be provided.

Continuing Education Classes, Programs

The Office of Continuing Education at Sam Houston State University is offering several computer courses beginning April 17.

Introduction to Computers begins April 17 and runs through June 2, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m. Microsoft Word will be taught April 18-June 8, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-8 p.m.

Microsoft Excel is scheduled June 19-August 7, Mondays and Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m., Microsoft Access June 20-August 15, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8 p.m., and Beginning Keyboarding April 27-June 29, Thursdays from 6-9 p.m.

Dance classes are ongoing. For groups of seven or more, classes will be customized by times taught and dances covered.

The Office of Continuing Education also offers a variety of certificate programs that lead to a particular certification or prepare students for a career change or advancement. Training is offered in timely career areas such as the allied health care field, chemical dependency counselor basic education courses, paralegal, computer literacy, and languages.

Continuing Education also offers training in the areas of play therapy, women and leadership, and creating peaceful schools and communities.

For more information, call the Office of Continuing Education at 936.294.3701.

Brass Quintet to Perform

Chris Hazell's "Four Brass Cats" (Kraken, Black Sam, Borage and Mr. Jums) will close Monday's (April 3) Sam Houston Brass Quintet concert.

Featuring Randy Adams and Stephen Warkentin on trumpet, Peggy DeMers on horn, Henry Howey on trombone and Robert Daniels on tuba, the concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall. Admission is $5.

Also scheduled are works by Giovanni Battista Buonamente, translated by Howey, Edward Gregson, Collier Jones and John Cheetham.

Buyer's Group Still Collecting

As this week's Walker County Fair and Rodeo sales approach, the Sam Houston State University Buyer's Group is still accepting donations. The group will be buying plants and baked goods as well as animals, and are seeking to increase last year's donations of just over $4,000.

For more information or to make donations, contact Cathy Moak at 936.294.3619.

"Donations will go toward the purchase of livestock from youth interested in attending SHSU," Moak said, "making these donations not just a gift, but an investment."

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SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
April 2, 2000
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