October 2020
In this issue:  
  • The Path Forward:  CVPA's New Strategic Plan
  • Music, Race, and Social Justice
  • Full Stream Ahead: Fall Dances 
  • Photography Scholarship Established
  • Alumni, Faculty, and Staff News & Notes
Dean bruce d. mcclung

From the Dean's Desk

My father was a firm believer in the Rand McNally Road Atlas. Having taught US Army Air Corps pilots weather tracking and map reading during World War II, he remained steadfast in his trust of this atlas. Well into his eighties, he would fly across the country with it spread across his lap keeping track of where the plane was and the route the pilot was taking. He taught my sister and me map reading skills as children, and to this day, my sister ensures that I have the current Rand McNally in the car.  Despite the helpful disembodied voice of GPS, I value knowing the route I'm taking and the direction of the journey.

I think of this College's strategic plan as our road atlas. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19 and an unstable economy, our strategic plan enables us to know the route we are on and the direction of our journey. It outlines not only where we envision ourselves to be, but the strategic objectives that will enable us to reach that destination. When faced with choices over how best to support our students, it clarifies which route to take based on our shared values. With a copy on my desk, the strategic plan enables me to know where we are headed.

CVPA has spent the previous year developing a new strategic plan. It began with a 10.5-hour listening tour last fall. At each stop, I asked faculty members, "What does your program do well?," "What is your program doing that it could do better?," and "What is your program not doing that it should be?" This past winter we distributed a survey to all of our constituencies: students, staff, faculty, alumni, and donors. Project consultant Dave Mineo and Assistant Dean Brigette Pfister spent over 100 hours identifying the themes in the listening tour transcripts and survey responses for our new strategic plan.

Titled The Path Forward, CVPA's 2020-2025 strategic plan challenges our College to lead the local and regional community by embracing change, fostering diversity, developing new forms of visual and performing arts, and creating culturally responsive curricula that will prepare our students to create the arts of the future. With four clearly defined strategic objectives of increasing student success, embracing diversity and a common identify, transforming -- and being transformed by -- our community, and creating an infrastructure to support our mission, our "atlas" charts the path forward.

Our strategic plan is available on the CVPA website where you can peruse the stated objectives in detail. What hasn't changed are our shared values of excellence and innovation, access and inclusivity, equity and ethics, and community and place. Our fundamental character as a College remains the same, but collectively we have defined where we want to be in five years' time. I'll be posting annual updates on our progress, so stay tuned. Like the Rand McNally, The Path Forward has set the course of where we are headed and the direction of our route together. I hope you'll join us for the journey!


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

From left:  Dr. William Lake, Jr. ('18 DMA Instrumental Conducting), Associate Director of Bands at the Crane School of Music, 
SUNY-Potsdam; Andre Dowell, Chief of Artist Engagement for the Sphinx Organization; and Dr. Albert Lee, Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Nevada-Reno

Music, Race, and Social Justice

The School of Music is opening wide its virtual doors to offer students the opportunity to interact with top experts around the country about "Music, Race, and Social Justice."

The series of panel discussions was created by Dr. Kevin Geraldi, Associate Professor of Conducting and Director of Instrumental Ensembles, and Dr. Jonathan Caldwell, Assistant Director of Instrumental Ensembles, as they looked for ways to enrich the hybrid instruction model with which the School's bands and orchestras are operating this semester.

Geraldi says that in addition to exploring topics pertaining to music programs, current events necessitated a discussion about social justice:

"We hope that our students gain a deep understanding of these issues in the broad context of our society as well as within the field of music through these discussions. Students in the bands and orchestras are also continuing to talk about each session in online discussion boards in order to carry the ideas forward. In the end, we hope everyone will have a clear sense of our shared responsibility to take action as individuals and as a collective to make our community and our profession more equitable, inclusive, and diverse."

The first part of the series, held on August 27th, was a discussion of how music, race, and social justice intersect. Dr. William Lake, Jr. ('18 DMA Instrumental Conducting), Associate Director of Bands at the Crane School of Music, SUNY-Potsdam, is the moderator of the series.  Lake says the time is ripe for these conversations:

"I've termed this period of time 'a caesura,' metaphorically connecting to the musical term meaning, 'a pause.' As a result of public health restrictions and many jobs moving from work to home paradigms, the suspension of life per usual provided the perfect acoustic environment for the cries of underrepresented populations to saturate our social soundscape. While major issues of police reform, paired with the Black Lives Matter movement, serve as a prelude for discussion, the broad conversation has expanded to many major social institutions concerning diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility."

Lake was joined by panelists Andre Dowell, Chief of Artist Engagement for the Sphinx Organization, and Dr. Albert Lee, Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Nevada-Reno. The three shared powerful stories with the 240 attendees who Lake said came to the webinar ready to discuss:

"In preparation for the panel, students were invited to submit questions that they would like to be featured/answered by various guests who are Black, indigenous, people of color, or arts community activists. This enquiry resulted in 11 pages of questions. There's no better evidence for how much the conversation was needed and at the forefront of the student population's mind. Our conversation extended beyond our projected time with not one student leaving the webinar. It is very clear that our students are concerned about these topics and are invested in their education, understanding, and active allyship in this area."

School of Music Director Dr. Dennis AsKew says these webinars are part of ongoing work CVPA is doing with regard to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion:

"Working to decolonize a curriculum is a recognition (and hopefully a correction) of the fact that one, and for many only one, style and background of music is what is studied and deemed 'acceptable.'  By going through this process, it's not that we necessarily will abandon or 'blow up' the entire Western classical canon, but will seek to understand and include the music of so many other cultures from across the world alongside the tradition of Western European musical art form written by composers of a much more wide and varied background."

Lake adds: "These conversations are so taboo in our society paired with the few voices to speak on racism and injustice as experienced in society and in our institutions. I hope that students from our School of Music realize that they don't have to accept the ills of our society as a norm. I'm hoping faculty will reflect on recruitment practices, audition procedures, and academic support. I hope that students and faculty realize that we must be actively committed to changing racist policies, ideals, and biases through our art, pedagogy, social networks, voting, and voices. We all have to commit to seeing a better world and our music can be an active protest for change."

The second part of "Music, Race, and Social Justice" (October 6th) centers on the award-winning work Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, and the panelists are the composer of that piece, Joel Thompson, and conductor Dr. Eugene Rogers. The third and final session (November 18th) will focus on putting ideas into action with panelists Damien Crutcher, founder of Crescendo Detroit, an organization that brings classical music to underserved communities, Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin, Director of Bands at Penn State University, and UNCG alumna Bethany Uhler ('20 DMA Cello, '17 MM Performance Cello) founder of the Chatham County, NC Youth Detention Center String Program.

The live Zoom webinars are open to members of the UNCG School of Music community. Video recordings of the sessions will be posted for the public on the School of Music website following each discussion. 

To view Part One of "Music, Race, and Social Justice" visit 
 BFA Dance Senior Daria (Toni) Clarke performs Wildflower, a solo choreographed by School of Dance Director Janet Lilly 
Full Stream Ahead:  Fall Dances Pivots 

"How do we reconcile that this most physical of art forms, which takes place in space and the space between bodies, now takes place physically distanced with nobody touching each other?"
That is a question that School of Dance Director Janet Lilly has been pondering for months as she and faculty, staff, and students plan for this year's Fall Dances.  Lilly says the list of questions about performance during a pandemic is staggering:
"Will the dancers need to be masked on stage, and if so will the mask become part of their costume?  If two dancers are roommates or involved in a romantic relationship, can they touch, and if so how do we note it in the program so that the audience doesn't get nervous?  How do we keep everyone safe backstage and in the dressing rooms?  Are the days of dancers helping each other with makeup and braiding each other's hair gone for good?"
Questions aside, Lilly says the show must go on:
"When we were planning for the fall semester, we grappled with how to maintain as full a performance experience as possible for Dance majors involved in repertory courses.  We want our students to have a fully produced theater experience, which includes spacing and lighting rehearsals, technical run-throughs, a dress rehearsal, and a performance, which their peers, friends, and family could see."
Those spacing, sound, and lighting rehearsals are managed by Christopher Fleming, the school's Technical Coordinator and Head of Production Management and Lighting Design.  He says: "In terms of safety, the list of what we are doing goes on and on.  Every precaution is being taken."
Business Services Coordinator Amy Masters is also involved with helping keep the production schedule on track and in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions:
"We're taking what is normally one full week of tech rehearsals and turning it into four mini-techs. Instead of running through the entire show for lighting and blocking with the crew, performers, and choreographers, each choreographer gets three nights to themselves -- one to block, one for a dress rehearsal, and one for the performance. This is keeping everyone socially distanced and helping to meet capacity restrictions for the theatre while still providing a full production experience for the students." 
Masters says while there have been challenges, there have also been opportunities to add production elements that will give the audience a behind-the-scenes look and an enhanced way to do artist talkbacks:

"From the streaming side, everything about this Fall Dances is different. We're mixing pre-recorded and live elements into the stream to help maintain social distancing standards, adding in a talkback option with the choreographer, allowing for audience participation through YouTube's chat function, and streaming on different dates. In order to make all of this happen, we're adding multiple camera views, a new switcher, and a whole lot of trial and error!"

Fall Dances will stream in two parts.  On November 14th viewers will see Wildflower, a new solo choreographed by Janet Lilly and performed by BFA Dance Senior Daria (Toni) Clarke.  It is inspired by Malia Wollan's essay titled "How to Make a Wildflower Bomb," which, according to Lilly, "asserts a message of hope that each of us can make a change in our ecosystems by fostering something wild and beautiful."   The second work for that evening will be Why You Follow, a group piece for Dance BA and BFA Seniors by the acclaimed Contemporary Dance choreographer Ron Brown and re-staged by Assistant Professor of Dance Clarice Young.  

Young says Why You Follow was created as a statement as opposed to a question. "The idea is that there is purpose in why we find ourselves following someone's vision or path. The dance uses contemporary technique as well as traditional movement from West Africa, Cuba, and Haiti to create a physical story.  Ultimately, we follow what brings us happiness. To be truly happy, we must know the range of emotions and be connected to a world view."

The second part of Fall Dances will be on November 21st and features a new screen work by Associate Professor Robin Gee who is also a filmmaker and says the concepts of both work well together:

"I make dances. I make films. Both necessitate a bit of technical acumen. The challenges of technology are my jam. To be an artist is to interrogate space, time, ideas, politics, and everything in between. I believe we are meeting this moment head on, evolving in our work and our processes, and creating in new and meaningful ways."

Gee's work will be paired with the premiere of a new work for Sophomore and Junior Dance Majors by Full-Time Lecturer of Dance Maurice Watson:

"Jazz Notes and Blue Melodies is a suite of vignettes surrounding the various stages of love. From flirtatious encounters, to first dates, into lonely nights and heartbreaks, each episode is its own little story. Driven by a sultry female jazz vocalist and paired with vernacular jazz movements spanning back to the '20s, this piece explores the African and African American roots of jazz dance."

Watson says creating his piece has been an interesting experience:  "Social distance, no contact, and limited space is not something we as dancers are used to. Usually we partner each other, we fly, we soar, we dive, and we roll -- not this time, but we've created something equally entertaining and a little comedic."
Want to watch?
Fall Dances:  Part One // November 14, 2020 @ 8:00 PM
Fall Dances:  Part Two // November 21, 2020 @ 8:00 PM
Both streams are free and open to the public, and each will run approximately 40 minutes. 
   Calendar Check-In

   John Roth Art Exhibition 
   October 11-November 28, 2020 // M-Th 8:00 AM-4:00 PM 
   Gatewood Gallery, Maude Gatewood Studio Arts Building

   Marisol by José Rivera (PG-13 for mature content)
   Oct. 15-17, 2020 // Anytime
   On-demand streaming; for tickets, call the Theatre Office Box Office at
   336-334-4392 or visit www.uncgtheatre.com

   Irna Priore Music and Culture Lecture Series:
   Jessica Swanston Baker, "Armed with Sound: Noisy Women
   and the Beginning of the West Indies Labor Movement"
   October 16, 2020 // 4:00 PM
   Live streamed at www.vpa.uncg.edu/music

   New Music Greensboro Presents: Red Clay Saxophone Quartet
   Faculty and Guest Artist Recital
   October 16, 2020 // 7:30 PM
   Music Building, Tew Recital Hall
   Limited Seating; for tickets, call 336-256-8618
   Live streamed at www.vpa.uncg.edu/music

   Call of the Wild: Exhibition by Sidney Stretz
   November 3-14, 2020 // M-F 11:00 AM-5:00 PM
   Greensboro Project Space, 111 E. February One Pl.

   Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau (PG-13 for mature content)
   November 5-7, 2020 // On-demand streaming; for tickets, call the Theatre   
   Box Office at 336-334-4392 or visit www.uncgtheatre.com

   Hear Our Voices: An Inclusive Celebration of New Musical Theatre
   November 12-14, 2020 // On-demand streaming; for tickets, call the Theatre 
   Box Office at 336-334-4392 or visit www.uncgtheatre.com
George Dimock, Professor Emeritus
of Art
George Dimock's Farewell Lecture

On October 29th, Professor Emeritus George Dimock will reflect on twenty-five years of teaching art history and the history of photography at UNC Greensboro in a virtual event from the Weatherspoon Art Museum.

George Dimock's Farewell Lecture 
(Take 2 - The Long Goodbye)
October 29, 2020 @ 6:00 PM
Photography Scholarship Established

Maggie Triplette recently modified her endowment to establish the Robert Eugene Triplette Endowed Scholarship in Photography. Her intention in making this gift is to honor her late husband Robert Eugene "Gene" Triplette and his incredible passion for photography by providing scholarship support for students majoring in photography.

In 2010 Maggie established the Maggie and Gene Triplette Program Fund at UNCG to provide opportunities for a broad base of North Carolina students to explore the world of photography. Understanding the urgency for scholarship support, Maggie has decided to redirect the purpose of the fund from program support to scholarship support while still honoring Gene's passion.

For more information about how to establish an endowment and other ways to support the College of Visual and Performing Arts, contact Director of Development David Huskins at 336-256-0166 or drhuskin@uncg.edu.

Erika Boysen (Assistant Professor of Flute) and Annie Jeng (Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy) released the album World Map with their quintet, Four Corners Ensemble, on September 25th. The Parma Recording album features a collection of chamber concertos composed by Shuying Li. The album can be purchased through Amazon and Navona Records.

Hannah Grannemann (Assistant Professor and Director of Arts Administration) is writing a series about arts audiences during the pandemic as a guest writer on the blog artsjournal. Read her posts here.

Dan Hale (Visiting Assistant Professor of Animation) had two of his films selected for the Raleigh Film and Art Festival October 2-4, 2020.  The Tooth Fairy directed by Margaret Wages was in the Best Student Film category,  and The Boy Who Cried directed by Eric Patterson and Dan Hale was in the Best Animated Film category. 

 Dr. Elizabeth Perrill (Associate Professor of Art History) has published "The Arch Meets the Line: Geometries of Innovation and Conveyance" in the South African art history journal de Arte. The article delves into the nuances of artistic innovation, marketing, and mathematical process in contemporary Zulu, South Sotho, and Venda ceramic practices in both individual studio and workshop settings. Read the article here. 

Faculty/Staff News & Notes are compiled from self-submissions 
and from the University's news clip service. 

Stacy Ray ('78 BA Theatre) is the Head of Acting and Directing and a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Hawai'i, Mānoa.

Michael Hall ('00 DMA Viola) recently completed and performed his first streamed solo recital -- the culminating concert of the Baroque on Beaver Island Music Festival where he's been principal viola for the past seven years. Listen here.

Amanda Cook ('08 BA Dance, Minor in Communications Studies) has started a nonprofit organization to support teachers. It is called The Teacher's Edge, and it hosts virtual, monthly meetings to support and promote the profession of teaching.  Check out the site here.

Ali Bayless ('09 BFA Theatre) is working as a film industry makeup artist in Los Angeles and was recently featured in Voyage LA magazine. Read the article here.

Dr. Ian Passmore ('09 BA Music) was awarded 2nd Place in the 2019-20 American Prize in Orchestral Conducting. Read more here.

Marilyn "MG" Barr ('11 BA Studio Arts) is exhibiting with Alamance Arts at its Captain James and Emma Hold White House in Graham, NC."The First Shoe Collection" runs through October 10th. Read more here.

Linda Sabo ('11 MFA Dance) has published the book Musical Theatre Choreography: Reflections of My Artistic Process for Staging Musicalswhich draws on her 48-year career as a performer and educator. Read more here.

Lauren Holt ('13 BFA Studio Art) was one of three new comedians added to the cast of Saturday Night Live on O
ctober 3rd. The late-night comedy show is in its 46th season on NBC. Read more here.

Marya Fancey (DMA '19 Organ) presented the lecture-recital "A Case of Mistaken Identity: The Marian Mass de Domina from the Tablature of Johannes of Lublin (1537-1548)" at the American Musicological Society Southeast Chapter's Virtual Fall Meeting, October 2-3, 2020.

Alumni News & Notes are compiled from self-submissions 
and from the University's news clip service. 

Closing Spotlight:

On a rainy afternoon, members of the Trumpet Studio musically practice social distancing in the McIver Parking Deck
The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) e-Newsletter is published eight times a year in September, October, November, December, February, March, April, and May.  

The e-Newsletter is emailed to CVPA alumni, faculty, staff, students, patrons, and donors.  Please feel free to forward your copy, and anyone who would like their name to be added to our distribution list can contact us via uncgarts@uncg.edu.

The e-Newsletter is edited by Terri Relos, Director of Marketing and Alumni Outreach. Archived issues can be found in the "News" section of the CVPA website.  To submit Alumni News & Notes, please use this form.  For Faculty/Staff News & Notes, use this form.