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For Puerto Rico native Jay Rivera-Herrans, choosing a major he loved wasn’t easy. He turned that struggle into an original musical.

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, and Arts

Like the character he created, Jorge “Jay” Rivera-Herrans is exuberant and tenacious, but no one could mistake him for a cop out. A junior film, television, and theatre major, he has written the book, lyrics, and music for a new musical — Stupid Humans, which opens Thursday and runs through March 3 — and is also playing the leading role.

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Alumnus brings together music performance and theory to examine historical piano improvisation 

Author: Emily McConville

Categories: General News, Arts, and Alumni

Music theory and performance are often thought of as separate — you study the structures and history of music, or you master an instrument or your own voice. For Andrew White ’12, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago who studies how pianists practiced their instrument in the 19th century, putting the two together is “very intuitive.” White was able to make the two work in tandem as a Notre Dame undergraduate, where the Department of Music offers a unique blend of music performance and theory.

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Rita Moreno, legend of stage and screen, to discuss her career and issues facing Latinos in entertainment

Author: Institute for Latino Studies

Categories: General News, Centers and Institutes, and Arts

Rita Moreno will speak at 5 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Leighton Concert Hall  at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. The is a free but ticketed event and is open to the public. Moreno — an American actress, dancer and singer of Puerto Rican descent — is the first and only Latina to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (EGOT), and she will be the special guest of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies next month as part of its Transformative Latino Leadership Lecture Series.

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Notre Dame Film, Television, and Theatre presents the 30th annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival

Author: Stacey Stewart

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, and Arts

An annual launching pad for student filmmakers as they begin their careers in the film, television, and entertainment industries, the Notre Dame Student Film Festival screens films that were made by undergraduate students during the past year as class projects in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre.  

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‘Cultural maintenance’: 2017 art history alumna restores classic works at Vatican Museums

Author: Andy Fuller

Categories: Research, Internationalism, General News, Arts, and Alumni

Sophia Bevacqua ’17, an art history major now serving a five-year fellowship at the Vatican Museums, works with seven laboratories dedicated to preserving and restoring the site’s vast collections. She works with the laboratories to determine which works of art will be restored, which methods will be used to do the work, and how much each project will cost. She then works to match upcoming restoration projects with benefaction from the museums’ pool of approximately 2,400 donors.

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Notre Dame Children’s Choir to perform with Arturo Sandoval in Los Angeles, celebrating release of new Christmas album

Author: Arts and Letters

Categories: General News, Catholicism, and Arts

The University of Notre Dame Children’s Choir will perform with award-winning jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer Arturo Sandoval at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, Calif., in support of his new album, “Arturo Sandoval’s Christmas at Notre Dame.” The Notre Dame Children’s Choir is joined by Notre Dame students Emily Swope, a soprano and masters student in voice, and senior music major Alexander Mansour, a pianist and arranger of seven songs on Sandoval’s album. The ensemble is led by Mark Doerries, associate director of Sacred Music at Notre Dame.

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Sounds like home: Department of English alumna embraces music and songwriting in Dublin

Author: Colleen Wilcox

Categories: Internationalism, General News, Arts, and Alumni

Julia Steiner ’14 writes songs and plays them in a Chicago-based rock band called Ratboys. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, before attending Notre Dame, where she graduated  with a degree in English. During her third year at the University, Steiner studied abroad in Dublin and attended Trinity College. She returned in summer 2014 to intern in the sports department at RTÉ, Ireland’s National Broadcaster. Here, Steiner reflects on her time in Dublin and the influence it had on her music.

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Ph.D. and MFA alumna shortlisted for T.S. Eliot Prize in Poetry

Author: Mary Hendriksen

Categories: Internationalism, Graduate Students, General News, Centers and Institutes, Arts, and Alumni

Ailbhe Darcy’s new volume of poetry, Insistence, has been shortlisted for the prestigious T.S. Eliot Prize in Poetry. Darcy, who now lives in Wales, received an MFA in creative writing from Notre Dame in 2011 and a Ph.D. in English with an Irish studies graduate minor from the University in 2015. A poet, critic, and professor, she teaches contemporary Irish poetry and literature at Cardiff University.

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Snite Museum of Art appoints new director

Author: Gina Costa

Categories: General News and Arts

Joseph Antenucci Becherer, the founding director and curator of the sculpture program at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been appointed the new director of the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame. He will lead a staff of 16 responsible for exhibition development and educational programs that serve Notre Dame students and faculty as well as thousands of primary and secondary school students. He also will play a major role in helping design the University’s new Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at Notre Dame, scheduled to open in 2021.

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Grammy-winning jazz musician Arturo Sandoval records Christmas album with Notre Dame Children's Choir

Author: Arts and Letters

Categories: General News and Arts

An internationally acclaimed jazz and classical musician and composer, Arturo Sandoval has received 10 Grammy Awards, six Billboard Awards and an Emmy Award and is a 2013 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, this nation’s highest civilian honor. Sandoval will headline a festive Christmas in September event featuring the Notre Dame Children's Choir, Notre Dame Symphonic Winds, and the Notre Dame Jazz Ensemble. His album Arturo Sandoval's Christmas at Notre Dame, recorded last year in the Leighton Concert Hall, will be released Sept. 28.

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College of Arts and Letters launches new minor in musical theatre

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, Faculty News, and Arts

Notre Dame has launched an interdisciplinary minor in musical theatre — a collaboration between the Departments of Music and Film, Television, and Theatre — which can be customized for students interested in performing, songwriting, directing, conducting, or scholarship. The program begins at a time when dramatic, music-based performances are thriving on campus, including Opera Notre Dame’s recent productions of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and a world-premiere operatic version of As You Like It as well as FTT musicals such as Cabaret and Little Shop of Horrors.

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A legacy shared: Maria Irene Fornés, mother of Latinx theatre

Author: Lauren Melancon

Categories: General News, Centers and Institutes, and Arts

Honoring the legacy of Maria Irene Fornés, mother of Latinx theatre, the annual Fornés Playwriting Workshop aims to pass Fornés’ unique writing style on to a new generation of Latinx theatre artists. Conceived by Anne García-Romero, an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, this weeklong workshop in Chicago brings together 14 writers from across the country to work intensely with award-winning playwright and Fornés protégé Migdalia Cruz.

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Social design course challenges students from Notre Dame and India to use creativity to tackle a global problem

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, Internationalism, General News, Faculty News, and Arts

When Kacey Hengesbach began her undergraduate career at Notre Dame, she didn’t imagine that it would include traveling 8,000 miles to Ahmedabad, India. But thanks to a new course created by Neeta Verma, she had the chance to spend three weeks there last summer, working collaboratively with students from India’s National Institute of Design. Hengesbach and the other students in Verma’s Social Design course continued their partnership with the NID students throughout the fall semester, hosting them for a two-week visit to Notre Dame in September and communicating via Skype and email for the remainder of the course.

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Seven internships help political science and FTT senior decide what she wants — and doesn’t want — in a future career

Author: Teagan Dillon

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, and Arts

When Sydney DeVoe came to Notre Dame, she was convinced she would be pursuing a career in broadcast journalism. But after various, wide-ranging internships at 21st Century Fox — focused on production, editing, marketing, finance, and legal work — and a valuable experience working in London with a Member of Parliament her junior year, DeVoe is encountering a problem that many students may envy. She has too many career paths she could pursue after graduation.

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Video: Class of 2018 reflects on how an Arts and Letters education prepared them to succeed

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, Catholicism, Arts, and Alumni

Congratulations to the Class of 2018! This video, screened at the Arts and Letters Diploma Ceremony, features several seniors reflecting on their time at Notre Dame and in the College of Arts and Letters. In it, the new graduates discuss how a liberal arts education helped them develop skills, shaped their minds, and opened up a world of possibilities for their futures.

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Piano studies is ‘skyrocketing’ at Notre Dame with elite faculty, stellar students, and new facilities

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, Faculty News, and Arts

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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How Arts and Letters and FTT formed the foundation for husband-and-wife filmmaking duo’s Hollywood success

Author: Jack Rooney

Categories: General News, Arts, and Alumni

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.  

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FTT expands scholarly reach with new faculty studying African American and Asian theatre

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Research, Internationalism, General News, Faculty News, and Arts

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.

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With ambitious senior thesis film, FTT major preserves grandfather’s story of coming to America

Author: Emily McConville

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, General News, and Arts

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.

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American studies professor named to Norman Rockwell Center’s new Society of Fellows

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: Research, General News, Faculty News, and Arts

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.

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Design research students help South Bend visualize proposed technology center

Author: Erin Blasko

Categories: Undergraduate News, Graduate Students, General News, Faculty News, and Arts

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.

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How a passion for a French painter and a knowledge of violins prepared an art history major to work at Sotheby’s

Author: Teagan Dillon

Categories: General News, Arts, and Alumni

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. 

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Music professor John Liberatore to write composition for Harvard’s Fromm Music Foundation

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Research, General News, Faculty News, and Arts

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.

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Department of Music faculty soprano Kiera Duffy performs with the Berlin Philharmonic

Author: College of Arts and Letters

Categories: General News, Faculty News, and Arts

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.

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Music and FTT major comes through in the clutch to compose soundtrack for Notre Dame football introduction video

Author: John Heisler

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, and Arts

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.

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