UAB arts faculty: working, playing around the world this summer

Here’s a round-up of what UAB’s talented Music, Theatre and Art and Art History faculty are doing in Alabama and across the globe while on break from classes.

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) performance and visual arts faculty are teaching, traveling, working and performing around the world this summer.

UAB Department of Music

Assistant Professor of Voice Won Cho, D.M.A., will teach and perform in four Asian countries in July. He will give a lecture recital for the K-Classic Festival Concert Series, sponsored by The World Bridge of Culture Korea, Korean Art Critics’ Association and the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Seoul, Korea. He will perform a recital and teach a master’s class at Mahdol University in Bangkok, Thailand, as well as at Royal University of Arts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. At Yanbian University in Yanji, China, he will perform a recital and teach in a two-week summer teaching residency.

Douglas Baulos at the Historic Penland School of CraftsDouglas Baulos at the Historic Penland School of CraftsAssociate Professor of Clarinet Denise Gainey, D.M.A., and Associate Professor of Voice and Opera Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk will perform a recital in late July of clarinet music and soprano together at the International Clarinet Association Conference, ClarinetFest, in Assisi, Italy. Gainey is also performing in two other recitals at the conference – as a guest on a solo recital and as part of the United States University Clarinet Professors Clarinet Choir. Hurst-Wajszczuk presented a workshop at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Intern Program on June 15. She was an intern there seven years ago and was selected to return and present as a teacher.

Professor of Piano Yakov Kasman, D.M.A., is a faculty member at Kiev (Ukraine) International Summer Music Academy, where he will teach for two weeks beginning June 28. Kasman is also a faculty member and guest artist at the Busan (South Korea) International Music Academy, where he will perform and teach for a week, starting July 21.

Associate Chair and Associate Professor of Voice Paul Mosteller, D.M.A., will present a paper, “Give Your Students the Gift of Vocal Independence,” in July at the Eighth International Congress of Voice Teachers in Brisbane, Australia.

Assistant Professor of Music William Price, D.M.A., was named a finalist for the professional division in The American Prize in Chamber Music Composition on June 10. Price’s work, “Hook, Line, and Sinker,” was selected from scores of applications reviewed this year from across the United States. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit competitions, unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States.  The announcement regarding the winners will be issued later this summer. Price’s work for solo trumpet “Sans Titre VII” was performed at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., on June 14, and his latest electroacoustic composition, “WOOSH,” will be included on a CD released by Ablaze Records later this summer.

Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Steven Roberts, D.M.A., presented a paper, “Listening and Singing: Factors that Influence Participatory Listening in Religious Services” on June 22 for the International Listening Association Convention in Montreal, Canada.

Cathleen Cummings in IndiaCathleen Cummings in IndiaInstructor of Music and UAB Gospel Choir Director Kevin Turner, D.D., is working on the final touches on a new course to be offered in the fall semester, the Study of American Gospel Music.

Assistant Professor of Trumpet James Zingara, D.M.A., acting president of the newly formed Alabama Trumpet Guild, coordinated the commission of two new compositions for trumpet ensemble by composers Joseph Landers and Jason Bahr, which premiered at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich. The works were performed by the Alabama Trumpet Guild Ensemble, made up of trumpet professors from UAB, the University of Alabama, Troy University, the University of South Alabama and the University of Montevallo. Zingara will return to Michigan in July to teach and perform at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, where he will conduct daily master’s classes and sectionals and perform in the Blue Lake Festival Orchestra, Festival Band and Faculty Brass Quintet. A highlight of the session will be a world premiere of a work for brass quintet by Jeremy Ribando, sponsored by Zingara.

UAB Department of Theatre

Associate Professor Marlene Johnson, M.F.A., who teaches performance classes including voice and speech, completed certification requirements in the Alexander Technique in May, through Alexander Technique International. The Alexander Technique is a psychophysical reeducation method that addresses proprioception, balance, coordination, ease, breathing and shifting one’s habitual responses to stimuli. In July, she will teach an Alexander Technique workshop, “Shoulders and Hips,” for the Voice and Speech Trainers in Minneapolis. In May, she attended a workshop with Peter Nobes of London’s Southbank Alexander Centre, as well as the Voice Foundation Symposium in Philadelphia with laryngologists and speech pathologists. She will train in Knight-Thompson Speechwork, a new method of teaching speech and accents to actors, in Irvine, Calif., this August.

Professor Karla Koskinen, M.F.A., who teaches directing and acting, is directing “Our Town” in Phoenix, Ariz., this summer and co-authored a book review of Kim Soga’s “Violence Against Women in Early Modern Performance: Invisible Acts.”

Associate Professor June Mack, M.F.A., director of the individually designed film major and interdisciplinary film minor, will direct “South Pacific” with the Springville Community Theatre August 1-4.

Assistant Professor Amy Page, M.F.A., who teaches costume technology, will teach stage makeup and puppet construction in South Carolina at Winthrop University’s Special Talents in the ARTS summer program for 250 public school students in grades six through eight. Sponsored by the School of Visual and Performing Arts and the Clover, Fort Mill, Lancaster and York school districts, this program provides a three-week experience in the visual and performing arts for artistically gifted and talented students. The faculty consists of regional and national artists, master teachers and college faculty. The students audition and attend the camp free of charge if selected.

Doug Barrett's designs for REV BirminghamDoug Barrett's designs for REV BirminghamAssistant Professor Lee Shackleford, M.F.A., who teaches playwriting and screenwriting, participated in the annual conference of the International Communication Association in London June 18-21. The conference brought together hundreds of artists and scientists from around the world to explore ways to use storytelling media for social good. As a direct result, Shackleford was invited to offer a playwriting workshop at the Media Rise Festival, a weeklong series of events this September that celebrates how storytelling, design, art and media can contribute to a peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Associate Professor Cliff Simon, M.F.A., who teaches scenic design, painting and Photoshop rendering, wrote a chapter on scenic painting in the book “Inspired Teaching, Essays on Theatre Design and Technology Education,” published by USITT in conjunction with Broadway Press. He is working on set designs for three regional shows this summer. “One Night with Janis Joplin,” which is being built now at Zach Theatre in Austin, Texas, opens in several weeks and will then go on tour. Also for Zack Theatre, he is designing the set for “Les Miserables”, directed by Matt Lenz, the original associate director of both “Hairspray” and “Catch Me If You Can” on Broadway. The show will open in September. Simon is designing the set for “Miss Saigon” at the Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Fla. The set is being built now for the show’s opening in January 2014.

Assistant Professor Vessela Warner, Ph.D., who teaches theater history, dramatic literature and special topics in theater, attended the third International Congress in Bulgarian Studies May 23-26. More than 500 scholars from 30 countries gathered at Sofia University in Bulgaria. It was dedicated to the 125th anniversary of Sofia University, the oldest institution for higher education in Bulgaria, and was organized under the patronage of the president of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevenliev. Many participants, representing academies and universities in Bulgaria, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Greece, Russia, Canada, the U.S. and other countries, are members of the Bulgarian Studies Association, of which Warner is president. Her paper, “Universal Dissidence: Political and Existential Exiles in Georgi Markov’s Drama,” focused on the Bulgarian playwright Georgi Markov, one of the most famous political dissidents during the Cold War.

Department of Art and Art History

Assistant Professor of Drawing and Bookbinding Douglas Baulos, M.F.A., just returned from the Wilbur Hoke Currier and Sally Jones Craft Center in Black Mountain, N.C., where he was an artist in residence.  He also taught the first session at the Historic Penland School of Crafts in Penland, N.C., and his work will be featured in its Annual Auction later this summer. In his class, Sewing Books: The Threads that Bind, he taught students how to use thread to bind, draw, and create unique images and objects, as well as explore a variety of soft- and hard-cover forms.

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Doug Barrett, M.F.A., designed and produced vinyl window signs and new marketing and merchandizing artwork for REV Birmingham’s Urban Food Project, as it unveiled its first farm-to-corner store prototype at City Meats in Woodlawn.

Professor Gary Chapman, M.F.A., who teaches painting and drawing, is teaching a painting workshop June 24-28 at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Tennessee. His works are on show at two galleries in north Alabama.

Cliff Simon paintingCliff Simon paintingAssistant Professor of Art and Art History Cathleen Cummings, Ph.D., will leave for India on June 28 after being accepted into a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute that will take place for four weeks this summer in Delhi, Varanasi and Agra, India.  The theme of the Institute, which features prestigious scholars, film directors, diplomats and others, is “India’s Past and the Making of the Present.” On July 27, Cummings will be joined by her colleague, Associate Professor of English Cynthia Ryan, Ph.D., for two weeks of travel and research as they work together on an article for a special edition of the Journal of Poverty.

Assistant Professor of Time Based Media Christopher Lowther, M.F.A., is working on a solo exhibition to be held at the Alexandre Hogue Gallery at the University of Tulsa, which will run Oct. 3-31. He is recreating scenes from some of Irwin Allen’s most famous disaster movies: “The Poseidon Adventure,” “Towering Inferno,” “Airport” and “Earthquake.” He is creating his own background sets and photographing models in 1970s costumes and attire. The photographs and content he creates will be presented in old clocks, which will be illuminated.

Professor of Art History Heather McPherson, Ph.D., received a Dean’s Grant from the UAB College of Arts and Sciences. She will travel to Paris in July to carry out archival research on artists’ studios, as well as 19th century paintings, prints and other materials.

Assistant Professor of Sculpture John Powers, M.F.A., is one of five artists in residence in June at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, La.

Professor Erin Wright, M.F.A., who teaches graphic design, is organizing the “Posters Without Borders” exhibition on immigration at Space One Eleven with Antonio Castro of Texas and Eric Boelts of Colorado. The exhibition will open in September. Poster designers from Denmark, Finland, Canada, Bolivia, Mexico, China and the United States will participate. Wright is also designing a poster for the exhibition.