“My long-term goal has been to go to med school, but I’ve also found a passion for music and piano performance here at Notre Dame, and the College of Arts and Letters pre-health supplementary major has really allowed me to explore both of those things,” says senior Will Sievern from Evansville, Indiana. Sievern is pursuing a major in piano performance while also majoring in Arts and Letters Pre-Health.
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Brock Switzer ’13, a film, television, and theatre (FTT) major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, began taking dance classes at neighboring Saint Mary’s College during his sophomore year. It was there that he learned of the influence of dancer and choreographer Martha Graham. Using Graham’s techniques, Switzer planned to choreograph a dance for his senior thesis project. With the help of an American Dream grant from Notre Dame’s Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, he attended the Summer Intensive program at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in 2013.
The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) announces the 25th Annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival, in the Browning Cinema, January 23 through 25, 2014. As in 2013, audience members will be invited to vote for their favorite film via text message. The Audience Choice Award will be presented to the student director(s) of the winning film before the final screening.
Fourteen Notre Dame students, along with two of their professors from the College of Arts and Letters, traveled to northern Spain over fall break to experience the Camino de Santiago—one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times. History Professor Olivia Remie Constable, the director of the University’s Medieval Institute, and Danielle Joyner, an assistant professor of medieval art history, say it was an academic adventure they won’t soon forget. And their students agree.
Christopher Chowrimootoo, an assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies, has been awarded the 2013 Kurt Weill Prize for outstanding article for his “Bourgeois Opera: Death in Venice and the Aesthetics of Sublimation.” The prize, which recognizes distinguished scholarship in music theatre, is awarded biennially by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music.
In a collaborative effort with Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, College of Engineering Professor Paul McGinn led a team that recently adapted a 3-D printer for ceramics projects in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design.
Joyelle McSweeney, associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of English recently won the inaugural Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Playwrights for her new play, Dead Youth, or, the Leaks.
The prevalence of HIV and AIDS in South Africa is an issue that continues to define the country and its citizens. It is estimated that more than six million South Africans live with HIV/AIDS. This is more cases than any other country in the world. In spring 2013, Robert Sedlack ’89, associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History, and Design, traveled with a team of 11 students to Johannesburg, South Africa to gain first-hand perspective on the problem and collaborate with South African community organizations.
“My liberal arts education has really been a blessing in many ways,” says Chris Down ’93. Down is vice president of design for Mattel, Inc., a toy manufacturing company headquartered in El Segundo, Calif. He feels that the design education he received from Notre Dame prepared him in a way that set him apart from other designers.
“As a singer, I spend all my time dealing with texts. I sing poetry, I sing theatre, I’m singing in different languages, and all my training at Notre Dame helped me immensely for that,” says Paul Appleby ’05.
The Shakespeare in Prisons Conference will be held on Friday, Nov. 15 and Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 at the University of Notre Dame. The conference, a nearly unprecedented international gathering which will include artists and educators who perform and help produce Shakespearean dramas in prisons worldwide, will explore and celebrate the existing and potential benefits of such programs on incarcerated people.
Cabaret, winner of the 1967 Tony award for best musical, is coming to Notre Dame November 13-17. Known for its outstanding music, edgy themes, and underlying social issues, the show will be the first full-scale musical the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) has produced in more than 20 years, says Associate Professor Kevin Dreyer.
Mary Celeste Kearney, whose work focuses on gender, youth and media culture, joins Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theater (FTT) this fall as associate professor. Michael Kackman, a cultural historian and media scholar, will also join FTT as special professional faculty. Kackman and Kearney, who often collaborate, previously taught at the University of Texas at Austin.
The Fischoff National Chamber Music Association, which hosts the nation’s largest chamber music competition, held annually on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, was awarded the 2014 Leighton Award for Nonprofit Excellence by the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County on August 28. Founded in 1999, the Leighton Award for Nonprofit Excellence provides a $100,000 endowment challenge grant to one winner each year. The award is designed to recognize and celebrate the achievement of a local nonprofit and provide resources to its winner to help sustain the nonprofit’s mission.
The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Africana Studies and Office of Community Relations are working together to present a yearlong community celebration of Africa and the African diaspora. The series of programs, lectures and events, called “The Africana World,” is a collaboration between local higher education institutes and community organizations.
“I liked the opportunity design gave me to be creative and to be a problem-solver and to think about problems logically,” says Brandon Keelean ‘13, a design major in Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History, and Design.
The voices of 40 children will be added to the University of Notre Dame’s internationally renowned choirs this fall.
Whether we’re driving down the highway, scrolling our Facebook newsfeeds, or flipping through television channels, various forms of animation bombard us constantly. “Even if you don’t watch television, you see these images on your phone, your iPad, even billboards when you drive down the road,” says Donald Crafton, the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Film, Television, and Theatre at Notre Dame.
“We study not only the pieces of music that these composers wrote but where they grew up, who they learned music from, and how previous composers influenced the type of music that they wrote,” says Samantha Osborn, a music major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. “You really can’t understand a piece of music until you understand the history, politics, art—all of the influences that helped create that piece of music.”
“Being a film major, I knew I wasn’t going to be constricted to one way of learning or one way or thinking or one way of performing,” says Zuri Eshun, a junior film, television, and theatre (FTT) major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. “You really get the opportunity to be your own person and to create your own education within that program. That’s why I chose FTT.”
Notre Dame senior Alisa Rantanen has been named the Midwest District Merit Award winner, ranking her one of the top five graduating industrial design students in the nation. Her work will be showcased at the Industrial Designers Society of America’s (IDSA) international conference in Chicago August 21-24.
Design students at Notre Dame now have a new place in which to learn, create, and collaborate. The recently refurbished West Lake Hall is now fitted with dynamic classroom spaces, computer labs, offices, and display areas for the graphic and industrial design programs in the College of Arts and Letters.
What role should government play in society? In religion? These enduring questions are at the heart of Opera Notre Dame’s upcoming performance of The Dialogues of the Carmelites, April 25-28 at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
The 2013-14 season of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theatre will feature four plays, beginning in October with On the Verge. The three remaining plays are Cabaret, November 13-17; Clybourne Park, February 20-March 2; and Blood Wedding, April 9-13, 2014.
Finding and publishing long-forgotten musical compositions by classical composers is usually a project reserved for Ph.D. and master’s students. But don’t tell Samantha Osborn that. Last summer the Notre Dame music and pre-med major spent two weeks in Rome at the Conservatory of Saint Cecilia, where she was able to locate and duplicate eight of Baroque composer Alessandro Scarlatti’s handwritten cantatas. She will perform one of them this spring as part of her senior thesis recital.
The University of Notre Dame will celebrate Valentine’s Day with the fourth annual SonnetFest—a communitywide public reading of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets as interpreted by members of the Notre Dame and Michiana communities. The event will be streamed live online for the first time this year at www.shakespeare.nd.edu.
The Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States has selected MurphyKate Montee as a Churchill Scholar for the academic year 2013-2014. Montee, a senior mathematics and music (voice) double major in the Glynn Family Honors Program, is one of just 14 students in the United States to receive this honor.
Thirteen design majors in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History & Design used their fall break to engage the local community with a “social design blitz.” In a single week, the students brainstormed, conceptualized, created, and exhibited three public, interactive art projects designed to help bridge the gap between downtown South Bend and the Notre Dame campus.
“It’s all I’ve ever dreamed about,” says Deborah Mayer. “I can’t think of any young, American, soprano who didn’t dream of singing at the Met. Now I can die happy.” Mayer, a vocal instructor for the Department of Music in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, will make her debut with the Metropolitan Opera this spring in the role of Gerhilde in Richard Wagner’s opera, Die Walküre; part of the Met’s revival of Wagner’s epic, four-part Ring cycle directed by Robert Lepage, and conducted by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi.
The 24th annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival, presented by the University’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, will take place January 24 to 26 (Thursday through Saturday) in the Browning Cinema at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.