UNCP launches major in musical theatre
Three years in the making, the University’s musical theatre program is playing to rave reviews and hoping for a lengthy engagement.
The new Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre program passed its final hurdle when the UNC Board of Governors gave its approval in January. The program was approved by the National Association of Schools of Music.
Travis Stockley, a veteran of stage and higher education, is in his third year at UNCP and has several well-received productions under his belt, including “Music Man,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”
“This is great news for us,” Stockley said. “We’re in our third year, and we believe we have the kinks worked out.”
“We have three major goals for the future – recruitment of students, production development and job placement,” he said. “Job placement is the thing we all worry about the most because when you’ve got the degree, you want something to do with it.”
The musical theatre program falls under the Music Department and Chair Dr. Janita Byars said the program draws upon the talents and resources of several areas within the University.
“Musical theatre is a bridge between music and theatre programs,” Dr. Byars said. “It enhances the options for theatrically inclined students and increases performing opportunities for both music and theatre majors.”
The program requirements are demanding with 91 hours of music, theatre and stage courses. Courses in the program are offered by the departments of Music, Theatre and Physical Education (dance) and in collaboration with the Art Department for set design and scenic painting and the technical staff of the Givens Performing Arts Center.
David Crow, who will be one of the first graduates in 2006, said the curriculum is very challenging
“There is a lot of traditional class work, and a lot of hours outside of class rehearsing for productions,” Crow said. “The good thing about the production of ‘Music Man’ was how we involved music and theatre majors and the community.”
Crow said there are more opportunities for participating in productions than there is time. Sophomore Felicia Mangum agrees.
“I was able to be in the cast of the ‘Kiss Me Kate’ production of the Cape Fear Regional Theatre,” Mangum said. “They brought in Broadway talent for the leading roles.”
Mangum had a solo in that show. She said it was a valuable learning experience.
“Musical theatre is all I’ve ever done,” she said. “It’s what makes me smile. I did ‘Achoo is Blue’ in kindergarten and I was hooked.”
Mangum is from the Raleigh-Durham area and the kind of talent Stockley is hoping to attract to the new program.
“Our graduates will have substantial exposure of musical theatre and great resumes,” Stockley said. “We need more students, but recruiting is looking up. Nine (high school) students auditioned in January, the most ever.”
UNCP is the only college in North Carolina offering the Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre, although several others offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts. But Stockley is a bundle of optimism and energy.
“Travis brings a lot of professional stage experience,” Dr. Byars said. “He has had exposure to New York and Chicago theatre and higher education too.”
Stockley earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Illinois Wesleyan and his Master of Fine Arts from Northwestern University. He was a member of the East Carolina University faculty before coming to the University.
Stockley won the Outer Critics Award for the best Off-Broadway musical production and the Joseph Jefferson Award for best director of a musical. He has directed over 100 productions.
The Musical Theatre program is busy this spring producing its annual musical “Babes in Arms.” The show will be staged in Moore Hall on April 1 – 2. It is a concert version revival by award winning playwright John Guare. The original show was written for Broadway by Richard Rogers and Larry Hart.
For questions about the Musical Theatre program, please call (910) 521- 6230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scholar to speak at GPAC on Feb. 16
Dr. Margaret Andersen will deliver a lecture Wednesday, February 16, 10 a.m. in GPAC.
Dr. Andersen is an internationally recognized scholar on race, class and gender and is the recipient of the 2004-05 Feminist Lecturer Award by the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS).
Dr. Andersen’s lecture is co-sponsored by the Office of Multicultural
Professor Andersen's interests are the sociology of race and gender. She co-authored “Thinking About Women: Sociological Perspectives on Sex and Gender; Race, Class, and Gender” (5th edition); “Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society” (3rd edition); “Sociology: The Essentials” (3rd edition); “Understanding Society: Readings in Sociology” (2nd edition); and “Social Problems.”
Dr. Andersen is the former president of the Eastern Sociological Society and served as the editor of Gender & Society. She is the recipient of the University of Delaware's Excellence in Teaching Award and received a grant from the Hewlett Foundation to transform undergraduate education through the development of new introductory level courses across the curriculum.
She served as dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Delaware, where she is also the former vice provost for academic affairs. Dr. Andersen currently serves as chair of the National Advisory Board at the Stanford University Center for Comparative Study in Race and Ethnicity.
American Indian Studies conference set for April 14-15
Proposals are invited for papers and panels, which address American Indian studies in the Southeast. Topics may include: prehistory, history, socio-cultural issues, religion, literature, art, identity, sovereignty or other matters.
Proposals are welcome from academic scholars, graduate students and community leaders. Paper presenters should plan for a 20-minute presentation. Panels of two to four presenters will be scheduled for 90-minute periods.
Proposals and abstracts should be submitted by February 28 to Dr. Jay Vest, American Indian Studies Department. For more information, you may contact Dr. Vest at (910) 521-6895 or email@example.com.
The public is welcome to attend the conference.
2005 is World Year of Physics
Commentary by Dr. Jose D’Arruda
The year 2005 has been designated as the World Year of Physics, in celebration of the 100 years since Albert Einstein had his incredible year. A century ago, in 1905, he published three papers that would forever change human lives and the way we view the universe.
In the first of his three seminal papers, Einstein examined the phenomenon discovered by Max Planck, according to which electromagnetic energy seemed to be emitted from radiating objects in quantities that were ultimately discrete (photons). Thomas Kuhn has argued that it is not to Planck in 1900 but to Einstein in 1905 that we owe the origins of quantum theory. This paper on the Photoelectric effect won him the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics. In the second 1905 paper, entitled "The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies," Einstein presented the special theory of relativity. In this paper he proposed that no material can travel faster than the speed of light and the equivalence of mass and energy, expressed by the famous equation E= MC². The third 1905 paper concerned statistical mechanics. Einstein’s calculations were able to account for Brownian motion, the apparently erratic movement of pollen in fluids, which had been noted by the British botanist Robert Brown.
This celebration year provides us the opportunity to celebrate the genius of Einstein and to reflect on how effective we are in teaching and promoting physics to the general public and to our students.
Why do we need to possess a better understanding of physics and how is physics important to us? To answer these questions, we must know what is included in the discipline of physics. Physics is the study of the laws of nature and how those laws affect the activities within the universe. Human comprehension of how these laws work enable us to invent technological devices that make our lives more livable and enjoyable. All technological inventions are based on physics. Our knowledge of physics has led to the development of x-rays, ultrasound, MRI, fiber optics, laser, television, computers, and much more. Because we understand the laws of physics, we can build planes, rockets and roller coasters. We can travel to the moon, put robots on Mars, and telescopes in orbit around our planet. We can develop programs and technology to assist us in predicting hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.
But physics is more than inventions of technological tools—it is the study of the fabric of space itself. It is an activity of our mind, supported by experimental evidence that gives us clues to creation itself. From the big bang to quarks to black holes, physics is in the forefront. And with the beauty and logic of mathematics, which helps us order and model the structure of our universe, we achieve an understanding of how the rules work and get a glimpse into the mind of the creator. It is a creative activity in which to explain experiments we invent particles— and then we discover these particles. When our rules or laws do not explain experiments, we create new laws, which explain the new results, but are also able to explain the older results.
Through physics, we see a basic beauty behind all these rules, a symmetry in nature and this symmetry is expressed in the laws themselves. However, we are not doing a very good job at promoting physics. A report to the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics (NTFUP) by Charles R. Payne recently found that "Over the past 10 years, the number of physics majors in university physics departments has been steadily declining. During this period, the fraction of physics degrees awarded thus fell from 0.5 percent of total bachelors’ degrees to 0.3 percent. Although there is perhaps evidence of a small up-tick in the data for the past year or two, it is not clear that this represented a trend and even less clear that it can be sustained to reverse the decline of the past decade."
Some good news is that at the high school level, which of course plays an important role in introducing physics to the public and in preparing the next generation of physics majors, the fraction of students taking physics has been gradually increasing over the past decade, from a level of about 20 percent in 1990 to almost 30 percent in 2002. Even more noteworthy, high school physics now has a gender balance of 50:50 males and females.
The world we live in grows more complex every day. The need to provide new technology to match this pace is evident, not only to make our lives more enjoyable, but also to defend us against terror attacks by developing more sophisticated explosive detection systems. The challenges are more difficult and urgent then ever before. We need to find new ways in which to curb the declining interest in science and technology and to encourage our students to appreciate and study physics. The very existence of homo sapiens may well depend on it. An ideal time to begin is with the World Year of Physics, with Albert Einstein as our inspiration.
To learn more about the WYP2005, check out the web site www.wyp2005.org/
Staff Council to survey its membership
The Staff Council will survey its membership in February to gain insight on its future direction.
“We are looking for some new ideas to invigorate the council,” said Chair Tony Chavis.
The Staff Council represents University staff members to University administration and to the UNC Office of the President. It also programs events like the Employee Bash and Employee of the Quarter.
The council established an endowed scholarship targeted for staff members. It is currently working on an agreement with Chancellor Meadors to permanently fund in-range pay adjustments.
“We’ve been very active, and very successful,” Chavis said. “However, we’ve had difficulty getting Staff Council members to attend meetings.”
Part of the survey will ask staff members how the council can better serve the University, and another part asks interested staffers to run for office or volunteer in other ways.
“We have a great mission, and we need your support,” Chavis said.
SIFE team scores well in national tournament
School of Business’ SIFE team (Students in Free Enterprise) finished third in a national contest held January 28-30. The team is advised by Prof. Cammie Hunt (Business).
Because of the team’s past success in region and national competitions, UNCP was one of six universities in the mid-Atlantic region invited for a special, all-expenses paid, competition at the College of William and Mary in the area of finance. Four members of the team, Angela Canon, Christy Blue, Justin Hadley and Lee Nejberger, left January 28 with Prof. Hunt to receive their case study Thursday evening, prepare a response on Friday and present the response to a panel of business executives on Saturday.
Emory University finished first; The College of Charleston was second and UNCP third. UNCP was one of the few teams without graduate students.
The universities that finished behind UNCP included Regent University, the University of Maryland at College Park and James Madison University. UNCP’s third place netted $1,500 that will help fund future SIFE activities.
Professor Hunt said, "I was very proud of our team, and the judges who sat with us at lunch said they were very impressed with our team and their presentation of the case study."
SIFE is an international organization that is active on more than 1,500 college campuses in 37 countries. SIFE teams work to improve the quality of life and standard of living for millions of people around the world.
For more information on SIFE, please contact Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free income tax assistance on campus
The income tax filing deadline is coming up soon, and the School of Business wants to take the pain out of filing.
Students and faculty will assist in filling out income tax forms for free. This service is for students, staff, faculty, townsfolk and administrators.
For simple returns (i.e., no rental properties, farms, trusts, estates, etc.), the group is willing to prepare your tax returns for free. For an appointment, please call Dr. Stephen Bukowy (Business) at extension 6668.
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