With renowned musicians on the faculty, new opportunities to participate in student-led music groups, and a beautiful new home for the department in O’Neill Hall, it is an exciting time for piano students at Notre Dame. The program is full of extremely students who possess not only exceptional performance skills but also outstanding intellectual ability and a strong desire to pursue the balanced blend of performance and scholarship that makes the Notre Dame music major distinctive.
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Christine Swanson ’94 has written and directed multiple award-winning films. Her husband, Michael Swanson ’93, is an Emmy-winning producer and studio executive who has worked on hit Universal Television shows. The married Department of Film, Television, and Theatre alumni also make movies together through their Los Angeles-based production company, Faith Filmworks. Grounded in their Notre Dame liberal arts education and inspired by their deep Christian faith, the Swansons use their skills to tell the type of uplifting stories they feel are missing from big Hollywood studios.
The Department of Film, Television, and Theatre is broadening the scope of its theatre program with two new faculty members — Tarryn Chun and La Donna Forsgren. Chun specializes in the modern and contemporary periods in Chinese theatre, as well as the intersection between technology and the arts. Forsgren focuses on African American theatre and performance, dramaturgy, and black feminist theories.
Crystal Avila's senior documentary, Beneath the Trees (Debjao de los árboles), recounts her grandfather's journey from his small village in Mexico to the United States border and his time in Yuma, Ariz., where he got a job picking cotton for 35 cents a day. The film premiered in February at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, where it was one of 10 films selected for the fest's Oscar-qualifying competition. It will screen this weekend at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, where it is nominated for best short documentary film and Avila is up for the best female filmmaker award.
It started two years ago with a handful of Notre Dame undergraduates and a desire to share their love of music. Today, that passion has resulted in two thriving student groups — the Classical Music Club and the Composers’ Consortium — with more than 200 members.
Anne García-Romero is associate professor of film, television, and theatre and a faculty fellow in the Institute for Latino Studies. She is a professional playwright as well as a scholar focusing on Latina playwriting.
Erika Doss, a Notre Dame professor of American studies, has been named to the first-ever Society of Fellows for the Norman Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies. Established to bring leading thinkers to the study of nearly 200 years of American illustration art, the group hopes to more fully develop the language and discourse of an academic discipline devoted to published art.
When the city of South Bend needed ideas for a new community technology center, it turned to Ann-Marie Conrado’s design research practices class at the University of Notre Dame for help. Part of the collaborative innovation minor in the Department of Art, Art History and Design, the class brings together students from multiple disciplines, from design and engineering to business and anthropology, to solve complex design problems. In this case, the city wanted to create what it called an “inclusive technology resource center” to help residents on the wrong side of the digital divide take advantage of technology for personal and professional growth.
Pamela Robertson Wojcik is a professor of film, television, and theatre and concurrent faculty in American studies and gender studies. Her research focuses on American film, with particular emphasis on issues of gender, performance, genre, and space.
Growing up in South Bend, Carly Murphy ’01 always admired Marc Chagall’s Le Grand Cirque when she saw it in the Snite Museum of Art at Notre Dame. This piece of art sparked a love of French culture in Murphy, who went on to major in French and art history in the College of Arts and Letters. Now vice president of global client development at Sotheby’s international art auction house, Murphy returned to campus last semester to speak to a gathering of students, reflecting on her Notre Dame education and offering advice on entering the art world.
John Liberatore is captivated by the glass harmonica, an archaic 18th-century instrument invented by Benjamin Franklin. And he is fascinated by how the latest technological innovations are changing music composition and performance. The juxtaposition of the two is at the heart of his next composition — titled “In White Spaces” — which has been commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University. He is one of just 12 composers to receive the prestigious commission this year.
Soprano Kiera Duffy, recently appointed as head of undergraduate voice studies in Notre Dame's Department of Music, will make her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in late January 2018 in Ravel's opera L'enfant et les sortilegès. The Berlin Philharmonic is consistently rated among the preeminent orchestras in the world.
Longtime philanthropists in the greater South Bend community — Ernestine Raclin and her daughter and son-in-law Carmen and Chris Murphy — have made a lead gift to the University of Notre Dame for the construction of a new community asset, the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at Notre Dame.
Notre Dame junior Alex Mansour admits he's not much of a sports fan. Yet, when confronted with a crunch-time challenge, he came through with a prime-time performance befitting any Irish athlete making a game-winning play. Mansour's assignment? Create the musical score for the 80-second video that would be shown on the Notre Dame Stadium video board just before the Irish team took the field. Three days before the 2017 Irish season opener against Temple, the video remained incomplete — and Mansour was on the spot.
The University of Notre Dame’s Robinson Community Learning Center hosted a celebration Thursday, October 26, commemorating the Robinson Shakespeare Company’s summer trip to England where members had the opportunity to study the renowned playwright and his works in his place of birth.
Informally, the 175-seat LaBar Family Recital Hall inside Notre Dame’s O’Neill Hall is known as the “jewel box” because of its elegant, classic design and intimate size. But in fact, all of O’Neill Hall is a jewel box — expertly and beautifully designed as a home to the students and faculty, the artists and instruments in the University’s Department of Music and Sacred Music at Notre Dame (SMND) program. The 100,000-square-foot, seven-story building on the south side of Notre Dame Stadium was made possible by a gift to the University from Helen Schwab and her husband Charles, in honor of her brother, Notre Dame alumnus and trustee Joseph I. O’Neill III.
“People think that if you are given a problem, that you can have a successful outcome. However, what if you were solving the wrong problem?” asked Scott Shim, professor of industrial design at the University of Notre Dame. Shim’s research is in contextual application of design thinking, examining all the components of a specific problem by conducting in-depth studies of users, environments, and circumstances. His primary method of research is “co-creation,” where end users are directly engaged in the design process. Shim will invite participants to build with Legos or re-enact certain scenarios in order to develop new ideas.
Alexis Belis ’00 arrived at Notre Dame with a plan. Following in her father’s footsteps, she was ready to major in physics, tackle the requirements for medical school, and become a doctor. She nearly missed her true calling. Today, she curates ancient art at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) announces four productions for its 2017-18 theatre season, with two comedies, including the beloved The Importance of Being Earnest; an absurdist classic relevant to the current political climate; and the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening.
The University of Notre Dame will premiere Sorin: A Notre Dame Story, a one-person play about the life and work of the University’s founder, Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., on Aug. 30 (Wed.) at 6:42 p.m. in the Patricia George Decio Theatre of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. This production celebrates the 175th anniversary of the University through the collaborative creative work of four notable alumni of Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters: director Patrick Vassel '07, playwright Christina Telesca Gorman '91, performer Matthew Goodrich '09, and projection designer Ryan Belock '11.
Enlightening. Enriching. Challenging. Sacred. Through the arts, you can find inspiration. Broaden understanding. Build community. And make a difference in the world. Notre Dame is home to a vibrant arts community with world-class facilities, internationally renowned faculty and visiting artists, and remarkable student engagement.
The largest construction project in the 175-year history of the University of Notre Dame – an 800,000-square-foot integration of world-class space for teaching, research, performances, faith, multimedia, student life and athletics – is nearing completion, with several components now open or opening over the next two weeks and most of the other facilities ready for occupancy in January. The buildings include the new homes of the Deparment of Anthropology, Department of Psychology, Department of Music, and Sacred Music at Notre Dame.
The University of Notre Dame has received a $1.6 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support the Sacred Music at Notre Dame (SMND) program and its transformative work with graduate students and the community. This is the program’s second grant from the Lilly Endowment — a private, philanthropic foundation that supports the causes of religion, education, and community development — following a $1.9 million grant in 2012 that helped launch SMND.
Erin Rice ’17 has been named one of the top five graduating industrial design students in the nation by the Industrial Designers Society of America. Rice is the seventh student in the last 10 years from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters to win the Student Merit Award at IDSA’s Midwest District Design Conference.
One of the most innovative and new pieces of popular culture emerged in 1914 when Winsor McCay, a famous cartoonist and vaudeville performer, incorporated an animated cartoon called Gertie into his act. Despite its popularity at the time, the original film and the paper drawings for it have all but been forgotten over the past 100 years. But now, faculty members in Notre Dame's Department of Film, Television, and Theatre are working to change that by collaborating internationally to restore the film and to research the history surrounding its cultural impact.
Brian Edlefson, a Notre Dame assistant professor of visual communication design, has won a prestigious international award for his design work showing how people can adjust their office furniture to shape their work environments. Edlefson won an iF Design Award for user adjustment information he created for furniture maker Herman Miller. Edelfson’s design was selected by a 58-member jury of the iF International Forum Design in Hannover, Germany, from more than 5,500 entries submitted from 59 countries.
The first Notre Dame App Challenge concluded with presentations by each of the four final teams to the judging committee and the public in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium on campus. South Bend City Connect, an app aimed at reducing the additional cost of poverty for South Bend residents, took the top prize of $7,500. The idea for the app was created by graduate students Miriam Moore and Robbin Forsyth, who are both pursuing Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in design.
Kiera Duffy, associate professor of the practice in Notre Dame’s Department of Music, recently received the 2017 Hunt Family Award for Emerging Artists from New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The award honors the soprano’s outstanding artistry and promising future. “Lincoln Center has such meaning in my life — as it does for every classical musician. It is the cultural hub of North America,” she said. “So for Lincoln Center to honor what I’m doing is very humbling and a lovely validation.”
Notre Dame associate professor Heather Hyde Minor specializes in the history of European art and architecture from 1600 to 1800. Her current research project examines the life of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, an 18th-century German art historian and archaeologist whom many consider to be the founder of the modern discipline of art history.
Peter Holland, the College of Arts and Letters’ associate dean for the arts and the McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies, has been named chair of the International Shakespeare Association. Holland, a professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, was selected by the association’s executive committee from candidates nominated worldwide for the prestigious position. The association, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the birthplace of Shakespeare, seeks to further the study of the playwright’s life and to connect Shakespeareans and Shakespeare societies around the world.