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SHSU Update for Week of February 4

Heard Of Adolph Hitler? Bubbles Sills?

Anyone asking Beverly Sills to autograph her new "Three Queens" compact disc set during her Feb. 21 appearance at Sam Houston State University may prompt an extra special smile from the opera star known as "Bubbles."

Beverly Sills "These are the documents of my career," she told the Associated Press last week. "I really care about these. I would like them to sell well...but if not, we're going to have dinner tonight."

So at 71, now chairwoman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and known as America's leading spokesperson for the arts, she still has a sense of humor. (About her age: "I wish I was born in Beirut or someplace. If I was born in some obscure place, no one would know.")

Sills will speak at 8 p.m. at the Beto Criminal Justice Center Killinger Auditorium, with a 7:15 to 7:45 p.m. autograph session beforehand and a reception following. Anyone who would like an autograph may bring a compact disk or one of her books.

The topic of her presentation will be "A Conversation With Beverly Sills."

While admission to the speech is free, those who buy the boxed seven-disc "Three Queens" set released in December will not be so lucky. It was selling this week on the Internet for about $73. Other CDs will also be on sale by the Barnes & Noble university bookstore.

The "Three Queens" title refers to Sills' roles in Donizetti's Tudor Trilogy--"Anna Bolena," "Maria Stuarda" and "Roberto Devereaux."

In October 1970 Sills sang the Queen Elizabeth part in "Roberto Devereaux," with Placido Domingo. Roles as Anne Boleyn and Mary Queen of Scots followed, and she performed all three in a single week at the New York City Opera. Those roles are considered instrumental in her growth from an opera star to an international celebrity.

And while she has graced the covers of national and international issues of Time and Newsweek, she is aware that many in the United States today do not know who the "Three Queens" were, or who Beverly Sills was and still is.

"In the back of my head," she told the Associated Press, "I'm aware that there's a whole generation of people that don't know who Adolph Hitler was. Why should they know Beverly Sills?"

Russian Pianist to Perform

Russian born pianist Zoya Shuhatovich, who has performed as a soloist and with orchestras in the former Soviet Union, Poland and Germany, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday (Feb. 5) in the Recital Hall at Sam Houston State University.

Zoya Shuhatovich Shuhatovich, who received her Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from the Gorky State Conservatory in 1983, will perform works by Bach/Busoni, Beethoven and Prokofiev.

Shuhatovich's teacher was Ilia Fridman, a pupil of the famed pianist and pedagogue Henry Neuhaus. Her talent was apparent, and she was appointed to the faculty of the Gorky State Conservatory immediately after graduation.

"Since then she has made several highly successful tours across the former Soviet Union, Poland and Germany both as soloist with orchestras as well as in recitals and chamber music concerts," said Clive Swansbourne, a concert pianist and coordinator of piano studies at SHSU. "She was also frequently featured in radio and television broadcasts."

"Parallel to her outstanding career as a performer, Ms. Shuhatovich continued her dedicated and assiduous work as a professor of piano and chamber music with excellent results," said Swansbourne. "Many of her students have won top awards in national competitions, and several of them are currently conservatory professors.

Shuhatovich immigrated to the United States in 1993. The following year she was appointed to the faculty of the prestigious Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. Here, in the United States, she has been very active as a soloist and chamber musician, performing with internationally recognized artists such as Yair Kless, Laszlo Varga, Boris Garlitsky, Emmanuel Borok and others. Her recitals are frequently transmitted on National Public Radio.

In addition, Shuhatovich has participated in the following major music festivals: Warsaw Autumn, Texas Music Festival, Shostakovich Festival and Bravo! Festival. She made her New York debut in October of 1998, when she was invited to open the Chopin Festival with a solo recital.

Her program will include Beethoven's lyrical sonata in E flat (op. 31), three Bach chorale prelude transcriptions by Busoni and Prokofiev's own transcriptions of scenes from his ballet "Romeo and Juliet."

The concert is part of a series of guest pianist concerts sponsored by the Hunstville Arts Commission. Admission is free.

Students Do 'Showhouse' Design

Senior design students at Sam Houston State University have completed their third Conroe Designer Showhouse project.

This year's showhouse was built by Jim Winkler, and is located on Lake Conroe at 16043 Walden Road. The home is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays from Feb. 10-25. The $10 per person fee to tour the house benefits the Montgomery Performing Art Society.

The Sam Houston students, under the direction of Laura Burleson, designed the morning room, kitchen, and utility room in the 6,500 square foot showhouse. Burleson said its California architectural style was complemented inside in what she called "contemporary sophistication" using California wine colors.

"The color scheme incorporates a contemporary blend of burgundy, sage green, and golden amber," said Burleson.

"In the morning room the beauty of the fabric colors are enhanced with an elegant swirling pattern used on the table skirt and windows," she said. "A circular window design by Cheryl Thomas carries this contemporary idea into the kitchen.

"Custom ceramic, glass and metallic accessories compliment the modern yet chic appearance of the space. The utility room has a rag faux effect on the walls and continuation of the metal and glass accessories that enhances the contemporary, elegant feel of the house."

design students
Students assisting Burleson (far right) in this year's project, were, top row from left, Carol Lumpkin, Christine Lewis, Ronna Hanson, Meredith Reinke, Nicole Johnson, Lori Bray, Heather Plut, Summer West, Tracey Miller, Amy Dirzanowski, Katie Ori and Lizzy Lynn.

'The Old Boy' Is Next Theatre Effort

A choice between honesty and a political future is the problem in Sam Houston State University's Department of Theatre and Dance presentation of "The Old Boy" Feb. 14-17 in the Showcase Theatre.

Performances are at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Tickets are $8.

In "The Old Boy," Sam (Lee Trull) returns to his former prep school to dedicate a building to Perry (Brian Upchurch), a recently deceased lifelong friend. Secrets about Perry and the circumstances of his death are uncovered, and a crisis arises when Perry's private life is revealed. Sam is forced to examine his values, and to choose between honesty and his future as a political leader.

"The Old Boy" is directed by senior theatre major Trey Huguley. The cast includes junior theatre majors Jayson Rivera, Jeremy Sutton, and Tracilyn Jones, senior theatre major Melissa Miller, junior musical theatre major Lee Trull, and sophomore theatre major Brian Upchurch.

Sophomore theatre major Kevin Swanlund is stage manager, with set designed by senior theatre major Shannon Seaton, lighting design by senior theatre major Crystal Lee Hart, and costumes by senior theatre major Krystal Davis.

The production includes adult language and situations. For tickets or information, call 936.294.1339.

Students Honored by Theatre Group

Sam Houston State University Department of Theatre and Dance students Amanda Bauer and Shannon Seaton were recently honored by the Texas Educational Theatre Association at the group's annual state convention in Austin.

Clive Bauer and Seaton Bauer, a junior theatre major from Cameron, competed in the association's Designfest 2001, and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Design for her model and renderings for "The Nerd" and "Agamemnon."

Bauer's academic emphasis is in scenic design. She has assisted in such SHSU productions as "The Nutcracker" in 1999 and last spring's musical, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."

Seaton, a senior theatre major from Mineola, was awarded the association's 2001 Founder's Scholarship in Education. The $1,000 award is given to assist student teachers in promoting and achieving their educational goals.

Seaton's emphasis is in theatre education. He has been in SHSU productions of "The Scarlet Letter, "Hamlet," and "The Merchant of Venice." He was assistant set designer for "The Tempest" and is currently scenic designer for "The Old Boy."

He is currently doing his student teaching at Huntsville High School, and plans to graduate this spring.

Eastman Exhibit Opens

"Retrospective," a display of works by art professor Gene Eastman, will open Feb. 5 in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery.

A reception will be held in the Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 8.

Approximately 50 art pieces will be in the show. (Click here for a preview). The exhibit will feature examples of Eastman's work during his career at Sam Houston State, which began in 1958.

"Most of the works on display will be oils, watercolors and drawings, with a few etchings," said Eastman. Some pieces may be available for sale. The exhibit runs through March 1.

Eastman has taught drawing and painting classes at Sam Houston, and for the past 20 years he has specialized in life drawings.

Community Chorus Invites New Members

Allen R. Hightower, director of choral studies in the Sam Houston State University School of Music, has announced that interested and experienced choral singers are invited to join the Huntsville Community Chorus.

The community choral group will join the university's symphonic choir and symphonic orchestra on April 20 for a performance of Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" and Morten Lauridsen's "Lux Aeterna."

The community chorus rehearses Monday evenings from 7-9:15 p.m. in room 202 of the SHSU music building. For more information, contact Hightower at 936.294.1391.

Jumbo Hot Dog Night

The ever-popular 25 Cent Jumbo Hot Dog Night at Johnson Coliseum returns Thursday (Feb. 8), if only briefly.

The promotion begun by coliseum manager Ed Chatal two years ago will be used only once this year, due to the lack of Thursday night basketball double-headers.

This Thursday both men and women teams play the Lamar Cardinals. Tip off is 5:30 p.m. for the women and about 7:45 p.m. for the men.

- END -

SHSU Media Contacts: Frank Krystyniak, Julia May
Feb. 4, 2001
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