November 2019

Dean bruce d. mcclung

From the Dean's Desk

At the Asheville alumni gathering at Buxton Hall Barbeque, the earliest alumnus to arrive was David Ostergaard (BFA '02 Theatre) with his wife, Tina. After discussing the restaurant's signature cocktail made with North Carolina Cheerwine, they mentioned the CVPA scholarship that they have established and plan to endow over the next couple of years. Following graduation from UNC Greensboro in 2002, David created an international touring theatre company, Bright Star Touring Theatre. Today the Ostergaards are actively working to make theatre available to as many people as possible with scholarships at the universities from which they graduated. Their plan for the "David and Tina Ostergaard Endowed Scholarship in Theatre" is to help the career path of a junior in the School of Theatre. It is wonderful to see alumni like David and Tina who in their thirties are already putting plans in place to support the next generation of theater professionals.

With her gift alumna Denise Descouzis (BS '77 Speech Pathology) has created the "Paul and Denise Descouzis Community Arts Endowment."  She created this endowment after a thirty-five-year career as an audiologist to honor the legacy of her hard-working parents: her father, Professor Paul M. Descouzis, was an internationally known writer and scholar of Cervantes who taught in UNC Greensboro's Romance Languages Department for nearly fifteen years. Her mother, Gabrielle F. Descouzis, was an astute businesswoman who volunteered often and enjoyed being a faculty spouse in Greensboro. Denise's endowment honors her parents and supports CVPA's community-engaged work, especially those programs that offer art, dance, music, and theatre to underserved children in both out-of-school and in-school sites in Greensboro. Denise's gift thus benefits both CVPA and the community.

And this past month, Doug Risner (BFA '88 and MFA '90 Dance,  PhD '01  Communication and Teaching) and his husband, Jon Anderson (MM '00 Music), have declared their intention to establish the "Doug Risner Professor of Dance Award" with a testamentary gift. This award will be used to enhance and support the work of the School of Dance faculty, increasing their visibility nationally and internationally. Dr. Risner is Distinguished Faculty Fellow and Professor of Dance at Wayne State University, where he is Program Director for the Master of Arts in Theatre and Dance Teaching Artistry -- the first program of its kind in the nation. Dr. Risner has published over 200 journal articles, conference papers, and book chapters, and is the author of six books. With an illustrious career and having received UNC Greensboro's CVPA Distinguished Alumni Award,  Dr. Risner and his Professor of Dance Award are helping to raise the profile of the School of Dance.

During this month of giving thanks, I am grateful for alumni and donors such as David and Tina Ostergaard, Denise Descouzis, and Doug Risner and Jon Anderson, and for the opportunities that their different gifts will create for students, faculty, and the Greensboro community.


bruce d. mcclung, Dean
College of Visual and Performing Arts

Why They Give

While they may have different reasons for giving, there is no doubt that all donors make a difference in the lives of the students, faculty, and staff of the College.

We can never say "thank you" enough, and if you ask our donors many will say their gifts are actually "thank yous" to CVPA. 

Doug Risner's gift is a "thank you" for a decades-long relationship with the School of Dance and is meant to enhance the work of faculty.

David Ostergaard's gift is in appreciation for the impact that the School of Theatre has had on his successful career in the arts, and the scholarship that he and his wife, Tina, set up is intended to help a current student realize their dream.

Denise Descouzis is thankful that her life has been filled with art, and her gift is given to help make the arts accessible to the Greensboro community.

Read more about why they give.

If you would like to make a gift now, visit our secure giving site.
For more information about giving, contact David Huskins, Director of Development, at
CVPA Names 2019 Distinguished Alumni

The College of Visual and Performing Arts will induct its seventh class of Distinguished Alumni.  The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni for their achievements in artistic performance, research and education.

Five recipients will be recognized during a ceremony in the UNCG Alumni House on November 7th.  During the day, they will spend time with current students doing 
talk-backs and master classes.

Read more about this year's honorees here.

Sharif Bey '00

Kathleen Kelley '05
BFA Dance

 Louisa Muller '05
MM Music

Marian Wilson Kimber '03
BA Music

Ed Simpson '80
MFA Theatre

Carla Gannis, '92 BFA Painting, is an  Industry Professor of Integrated Digital Media New York University's Tandon School of Engineering at New York University.

David Blalock, '09 BA Music, made his Metropolitan Opera solo debut this month as Pong in Puccini's Turandot. He previously appeared at the Met as a member of the chorus in a 2013 production of Wagner's Parsifal.

Sidney Dixon, '09 BM Vocal Performance, is the Production Associate/Score Consultant at The Metropolitan Opera, assisting with the streaming of the Met HD performances.

Yun Emily Wang, '10 MM Music, recently won the Charles Seeger Prize from t he Society for Ethnomusicology  (SEM) for her paper "Shopping and Chopping: Sound, Diasporic Intimacy, and Everyday Movements in Chinese Toronto." SEM awards the Seeger Prize annually to recognize the most distinguished student paper presented at the previous year's Annual Meeting. Wang is now a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of Music at  Columbia University .

Carmen Neely, '16 MFA Studio Art, '12 BFA Painting, has been appointed Assistant Visiting Professor of Drawing and Painting at Oklahoma State University.

Catherine Burns, '15 Art History, is on staff at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where she is primarily responsible for coordinating acquisitions for the department. She also works closely with the curators and collections management staff on departmental loans and special exhibitions. 

David N. Vance, '15 DMA Performance and Certificate in Jazz Studies, was recently hired as Director of Music and Instructor at the University of Saint Mary  in Leavenworth, Kansas.

Samantha Frenduto,  '17 BM Clarinet Performance, recently received a position with  The United States Army Band , "Pershing's Own." 

A lumni News & Notes are compiled from self-submissions 
and from the university's news clip service. 

Matt Nolte
Animation Art Director to Visit This Month
Matt Nolte, art director at Pixar Animation Studios, will be on the UNC Greensboro campus for a free, public talk on November 11 at 6:00 pm in room 250 of the Eberhardt Building, and the next day as a guest artist the next day in Dr. Heather Holian's class "The Art of Disney and Pixar" (ARH 210).
Nolte is a Pixar art director who works both in the art department as a character designer and in the animation department as an animation sketch artist.   He earned his BFA in Character Animation from California Institute of Arts in Los Angeles. His first experience at Pixar was during the summer of 2004 when he served as an a nimation intern on the film Cars. Later that year, he joined the studio permanently. Nolte's animation credits include the short film Your Friend the Rat (2007, 2-D animator), Ratatouille (2007) and Cars (2006). He also has Art Department credits for Incredibles (2018, character art director), The Good Dinosaur (2015, character art director) and the Academy Award-winning Brave (2012, character art director).
During the public talk at UNCG, Nolte will speak about his creative process and how he designs meaningful, relatable characters at Pixar. He was invited to Greensboro by CVPA Art Historian Dr. Heather Holian who says she is very excited about his visit:
"Not only is Matt an amazingly talented artist, but he has an incredibly thoughtful and engaging way of speaking about his own work and artistic practice, including what inspires him. I know the audience will be in for a real treat."
When Nolte visits the classroom, he and Dr. Holian will have a conversation, during which he will share his artistic background, training, and path to Pixar, followed by a Q&A session with students.  Dr. Holian says:
"This is such a wonderful opportunity for our students to not only ask questions, but personally interact with a successful artist, working at the pinnacle of the animation industry.   In fact, I imagine Matt's entire visit being especially inspiring to our studio art students, many of whom are interested in animation as a career path."
Nolte's visit to UNCG will be the eighth by a Pixar artist, brought here through Dr. Holian's research and more than a decade-long relationship with the studio and its artists. Dr. Holian is currently finishing a book that investigates the collaborative process and creative role of the individual artists at Pixar Animation Studios. The book will be published in 2021 by Disney Editions.
Aaron Allen, Director of the Environment and Sustainability Program and Associate Professor of Musicology, recently received the 2018 Ellen Koskoff Edited Volume Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology for the book
Current Directions in Ecomusicology: Music, Culture, and Nature.

Duane Cyrus, Professor of Dance, was in England in October to attend the 20th Anniversary of Disney's The Lion King in London's West End. Professor Cyrus and fellow cast members from the past 20 years celebrated a special performance with Director Julie Taymor, Choreographer Garth Fagan, and composer Lebo M.
Cyrus is coordinating a faculty-led study abroad on the Creative Process (DCE 338/638) for summer 2020 that will bring together an interdisciplinary group of students to work together on creativity through cultural exploration and study.

Hannah Grannemann, Director of the Arts Administration Program, has been appointed as a research affiliate for the 
Strategic National Arts Alumni Project.
She has also been invited to co-author a paper for the journal Cultural Management.

Donald Hartman, Professor of Voice, performed the role of the Mikado in Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado with Opera Grand Rapids in Michigan this month.

Mark Engebretson, Professor of Composition, brought the trio F-Plus to campus for a performance of works by Roger Zare, MarĂ­a Lihuen Sirvent, Treya Nash, Sage Bronson, and Suzanne Polak. Formed in 2016 at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, F-Plus has has commissioned over 20 new works and has performed all over the country, from Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in New York to the Art Institute of Chicago and the New Music Gathering in Boston.

Elizabeth Perrill, Professor of Art History, will have her article "Vessels and Conveyance: Zulu Continuities and Self-Definition" as well as a biography she wrote on the artist Jabulile Nala appear in the 448-page volume African Ceramics: A Different Perspective. This catalog and its accompanying exhibition commemorate the donation of over 250 African ceramic artworks to Die Neue Sammlung/The Design Museum, Munich by Duke Franz of Bavaria. The catalog brings together 20 scholars from across the globe and is one of the most substantive publications on African ceramic arts to date.

Jennifer Reis, Assistant Professor of Arts Administration, won the Best Workshop Award at last month's Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education (SAEE) Conference. The SAEE Best Workshop Award recognizes arts entrepreneurship educators who develop dynamic workshops to share modules, exercises, lessons, and pedagogical ideas that can be utilized by other arts entrepreneurship educators.

Neil Shepherd, Business Officer for the School of Music, will direct his second musical production, Maltby & Shire's Closer Than Ever, for Lexington Live at the Edward C. Smith Civic Center in Lexington. Neil helped found the fledgling Community Theatre group this past February by directing their first production, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Closer Than Ever will be presented on November 15th and 16th.

Clarice Young, Professor of Dance, has had her choreographic work re(belle) selected by the North Carolina Dance Festival (NCDF) for the 2019-2020 season. The Clarice Young Project performed in Durham at The Fruit October 19th and will perform in Greensboro at the Van Dyke Performance Space November 9th. The six professional dancers are all recent alumni of the School of Dance.
Faculty and Staff News & Notes are compiled from self-submissions
 and  from the university news clips service.  


There's always a good reason to come to campus.  
Here are some highlights for November:

Daniel Ericourt Artist Residency: Craig Sheppard, piano
November 5 @ 7:30 9:00 pm  
Tew Recital Hall, Music Building

The Normal Heart
November 7 & 8 @ 7:30 -  10:00 pm, November 9 @ 2:00 - 4:30 pm
Sprinkle Theatre, Brown Building

Fall Dances
November 8 & 9 @ 8:00 - 10:00 pm, November 9 @ 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Dance Theatre, Coleman Building

Jazz Ensembles II
November 11 @ 7:30 - 9:30 pm
Tew Recital Hall

November 13 @ 7:30 - 9:30 pm
Tew Recital Hall

Irna Priore Music and Culture Lecture Series:
"Sound, Sociality, and the Making of Mountain Skies"
November 15 @ 4:00 -  5:00 pm
Collins Lecture Hall, Music Building

Jewels:  An Exhibition of Distinguished Alumni from the School of Art
November 7 - December 5, with Opening Reception November 16 @ 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Gatewood Gallery, Gatewood Studio Arts Building

Harvest Home - Choral Ensembles
November 24 @ 5:00 7:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church

That should get you started!   
For the full listing of CVPA events,  visit our website.
Closing Spotlight

Captain Dedona (far right) and members of the UNCG Police Department rocking the
Musical Instrument Petting Zoo, organized by Music Education Students for Homecoming 2019.  
The "zoo" was a big hit, as was the Art Truck and the interactive activities about "finding your way home," designed by staffer Alexandra Littaker.