Displaying items by tag: UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020! 

Your journey to this moment was herculean even before the pandemic, and that you made it to the finish line in spite of this life-changing reality makes you our heroes.
So, don your capes, turn up your volume, and enjoy this special graduation address from Dean John W. Scheib.  

Below it, you’ll find even more to celebrate, including a list of our students who are graduating with honors degrees, acknowledgement of our retiring and emeritus faculty members, and announcement of our esteemed Faculty and Staff Excellence Award recipients and a University of Utah Distinguished Teaching Award.

To each and every one of you: thank you for all you bring to the University of Utah College of Fine Arts. And congratulations to our graduates!

Honors degrees 

The Honors College is celebrating another record-breaking academic year in terms of number of students graduating with an Honors Bachelor degree. Below are the College of Fine Arts students receiving honors degrees who contributed to the overall success:

Abigail Bowe

Department of Film & Media Arts
Tehua Clark

Department of Film & Media Arts
Morgan Cox

Department of Film & Media Arts, Entertainment Arts & Engineering 
Tony Elison
School of Music
Roxanne Fitzwilliam

Department of Film & Media Arts 

Erin Jackson
Department of Art & Art History
Sydney Porter Williams
Department of Art & Art History
Severin Sargent-Catterton
School of Dance
Michal Tvrdik
School of Music
Bryce Wallace

Department of Film & Media Arts, Entertainment Arts & Engineering 

Retiring and Emeritus Faculty

Ellen Bromberg
School of Dance

Distinguished Professor Ellen Bromberg is a choreographer, filmmaker, mediadesigner, curator and educator. A former dancer and choreographer with Utah’s Repertory Dance Theater, she has received numerous awards for her work including a Guggenheim Fellowship, three Bay Area Isadora Duncan Dance Awards, a Bonnie Bird American Choreographer Award, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the George Soros Foundation, among others. She has also been honored with a Pew National Dance/Media Fellowship, a UC Berkeley Townsend Humanities Fellowship, and two UC Davis Granada Artist-in-Residence Awards. Ellen’s screen works havebeen presented on public television stations, online channels, and at numerous national and international dance film festivals including Lincoln Center’s Dance on Camera Festival,Cinedans Amsterdam, VideoDanza, Buenos Aires, and Dance Camera West, Los Angeles, to name a few. Recent work focuses on the integration of media in performance and she has designed video for stage and installations in her own work and in collaboration with other choreographers including Della Davidson, Zvi Gotheiner, Pat Graney, Deborah Hay, Stephen Koester, Victoria Marks, Douglas Rosenberg, Doug Varone among others. Ellen is a recipient of a 2012 Distinguished Innovation and Impact Award and is the founding director of the Universityof Utah International Screendance Festival, which began in 1999. Ellen has also designed the first Graduate Certificate in Screendance, in collaboration with the Department of Film & Media Arts, which is now in its seventh year.

Kathy Pope
School of Music 

Professor Kathy Pope has been active musically in the Salt Lake area for many years as a teacher, clinician, adjudicator, and performer. Professor Pope was the Principal Clarinetist for Ballet West and also performed frequently with the Utah Symphony. She has played with the Opus Chamber Orchestra, Utah Chamber Artists, and has been a soloist with the Salt Lake Symphony. She is the National Clarinet Repertoire Consultant for the Music Teachers National Association. Her compact disc recordings, "From Bach to Gershwin," "Clarinet Kaleidoscope," and "A French Soirée" have all received critical acclaim. The American Record Guide cited her most recent CD, "A French Soirée," as “absolute perfection” and The Clarinet said, “this recording is very worthy of anyclarinetist’s library.” Ms. Pope has been very active in the International Clarinet Association including soloing at theconventions in Stockholm, Salt Lake City and Washington D.C. She was the conference coordinator for the 2003 Clarinet Association convention at the University of Utah. She has served as coordinator for the Orchestral Audition and High School Competitions, and is the Utah State Chair. Ms. Pope is an artist-clinician for both Buffet Crampon USA and Rico International.

Steve Roens

School of Music 

Dr. Steve Roens holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from Swarthmore College, a Master of Fine Arts degree in music theory and composition from Brandeis University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from Columbia University. He studied composition with Seymour Shifrin, Martin Boykan, Arthur Berger, Chou Wen-Chung, Jack Beeson, and Mario Davidovsky. He is the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Composers' Conference, and a former visiting assistant professor at Wellesley College. Roens's writing is freely atonal, rhythmically fluid, and spare. It has been called by one critic, neo-Webernian. Primarily for chamber groups of varying sizes and soloists, pieces have been commissioned by the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, the Nova Chamber Music Series, the Intermezzo Chamber Music Series, and pianists Jason Hardink, and Rebecca La Brecque. His music is published by the Association for the Promotion of New Music and is available on the Centaur label. As a teacher of composition, while his background and practice are informed by the literature of atonal music, Roens’s approach to teaching helps students find their own voices and originality in whatever direction their stylistic predilections evolve. In addition to teaching music theory andcomposition, during his 30 year career at the University of Utah Dr. Roens took on a variety of administrative positions, serving at different times as Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts, as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, as Director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, and as Head of the School of Music Composition Area. Roens enjoyed dividing his time between teaching and his administrative duties and believes that these differenta ctivities can support each other in a variety of ways.He is also an avid photographer, amateur astronomer, and hiker.


CFA Faculty Excellence Awards 2020

Faculty Excellence in Research 

Jane Hatter
School of Music 

"Since her research transcends the field of Music and crosses over into Art and Culture, Dr. Hatter has an excellent record of engagement with scholars in the field of musicology as well as scholars in other research areas of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. In 2019 she presented her work at the Medieval-Renaissance Music Conference in Switzerland, the 25th Annual Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Medieval Association of the Pacific Joint Conference, and at an International Symposium at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.  In past years she also presented at conferences that are more broadly aimed at medieval and renaissance scholars, such as the conference of the Renaissance Society of America (in 2017 and 2018), and at the Medieval Association of the Pacific 50th Annual Conference (2016). She also has presented her work at important musicology conferences, such as the North American British Musical Studies Association (2018), and the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society (2018), which is the most prestigious U.S. annual meeting for musicologists."
- Faculty nominator 

Faculty Excellence in Teaching 

Carol Sogard 
Department of Art & Art History 

"Professor Sogard offers students a space to explore design in ways that they’ve yet been able to imagine, and helps them find the independence they need to become confident designers...Carol makes a point to teach her students that their work has an impact on the world around them. Her approach in the classroom is focused on connection and community building, and she makes a point to educate her students about important issues in or society, while also giving us the tools that allow us to use our design practice to create discussion and positive change. Her passion for sustainable design has been inspiring, and her efforts have helped my classmates and myself educate not only ourselves, but those around us."
Graphic Design student nominator 

Staff Excellence Award 

Penny Caywood
Artistic Director, University of Utah Youth Theatre 
Department of Theatre 

"Penny Caywood's years of service to the College of Fine Arts via her leadership of Youth Theatre at the U has inspired thousands of young people and families via the unique and robust educational programming and performance opportunities she directs year-round. Mrs. Caywood’s positive energy, genuine approach to teaching and directing K-16 as well as her ability to adapt theatre teaching core content to meet the needs of diverse learners and students is truly remarkable. Her ability to sustain and create new community engaged partnerships across the college, campus, and state is impressive. She is an amazing asset to the college for providing high quality arts experiences for young people, which in turn creates a direct recruiting pipeline for the college and university as a whole."
- Nominator 

University of Utah Distinguished Teaching Award 

Beth Krensky 
Department of Art & Art History 

"Dr. Krensky has shown deep, enduring commitment to the development and implementation of cutting edge arts education curricula that pushes our arts teaching students to think inclusively and globally in an effort to forward the field of arts education. Presently, the community-based arts education research she is conducting is providing opportunities for select undergraduate and graduate students to experience the simultaneous ability to empower communities through art-making collaboration and partnership. These student researchers, through Dr. Krensky’s mentorship, are making important contributions to the field as they investigate global issues via art education, art-making, and community engagement. Dr. Krensky’s classes empower our arts teaching students to work authentically alongside young people and to utilize the community’s experiences as the inspiration for the creative work."
- Nominator 

Make sure you check out all our other Convocation 2020 virtual content:

Videos from our student convocation speakers, Jae Weit and Sydney May here
 CFA's Outstanding Seniors and Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher
 Don't miss out on an opportunity to share your memories, photos, and thank you's at our online message board!
We'll be cheering for you. Stay connected at @uofucfaalumni! 

Published in Finer Points Blog

We are about to graduate a class of brilliant, creative and remarkably resilient students during a global pandemic. This is a first. And it’s not without sincere disappointment and loss. While this moment presents unique challenges, as artists, we are no strangers to creative thinking, and the leadership of the College of Fine Arts is undeterred in our drive to celebrate the momentous achievements of the graduating class of 2020!   

What will make these celebration powerful is if you participate — as students, faculty, family and friends.
We will be rolling out a full week of celebrations starting on 4/27 on our blog, our social media, and via email.  

To our graduating class, if you haven’t already, please send us a photo or video of your favorite moment, people, or place at the U.
Upload your memory to this UBox or send to this email address by Monday, 4/20 to be included in the virtual celebrations.
Click 'Join Folder' on the top menu bar to access the 'Upload' feature.
Please include a brief description of your memory when you upload your file. Descriptions can be added under “File Properties” section on the righthand side of the window once your file is uploaded.

You have been making us proud for years now, and we can’t wait to see how you continue to shine.

Published in Finer Points Blog

In concert with President Ruth Watkins’ announcement about changes to academic and performance schedules at the University of Utah, the College of Fine Arts' performances, screenings, exhibitions, events and shows for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester will not take place (graduations and convocations are yet to be determined). Students, please connect with your home department/school to learn about next steps. Ticketholders, please check with the box/ticket office for more information.  

While our top priority is the safety of our students, faculty and staff, we recognize the unique challenges presented by online learning in many of our disciplines. However, perhaps no group is better suited to creatively problem solve, and especially when our commitment to our mission is as strong as ever. 

You may have many questions, and we want to help address them. We recommend you start at the University of Utah COVID-19 Central @theU and to reach out directly to your instructors for specific information about your courses.

Published in Finer Points Blog
Tagged under

Listen up!

The School of Music’s Red Hot! Performers are expanding in hopes of bringing more live classical and jazz music to events all over the U’s campus and in the wider Salt Lake City community.

Founded in 2012, the music student soloists and ensembles that make up the Red Hots! have enlivened many U of U advancement events by providing dynamic background accompaniment. Last year, in collaboration with the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, jazz students performed four live concerts at Lassonde Studios, bringing music directly to students an out of traditional concert venues.

And they are not stopping there.

Under new leadership of music graduate student Alison Saporta, and with the support from Fine Arts Fees, the number of Red Hots! appearances you will see will continue to rise. Now in partnership with the Olpin University Union, and the Marriott Library in addition to  Lassonde, you may see drum circles in the Union food court, holiday favorites in the Neeleman Hanger at Lassonde, and early music in the Marriott Library.

Program Coordinator Alison Saporta describes, “Another goal for this upcoming year is to get our Red Hots! Performers to explore performing with all types of artists. For example, if there are dancers that want to perform, perhaps they can perform with vocalists and/or instrumentalists. I think it is important that as musicians and students, we learn how to collaborate with all performers as it brings people together while enhancing artistry and performances.”

They are also available for hire.
So don’t hesitate to add music to your event and jazz it up.

The Red Hots! Program not only exposes new audiences to live music but develops students’ professional skills in the meantime. About the coming year, Saporta says, “Music and art brings everyone together, and with the amazing performers we have at the U, I have no doubt that this will spark a better engagement in the community.”

For more information, visit https://music.utah.edu/community/redhots.php

Published in Finer Points Blog

They experienced, snapped and won! Thank you to everyone who entered our Spring 2019 Arts Pass contest! We had an incredible group of engaged students use their Arts Pass to enjoy the arts on campus. 

Our first place winner is @Sophiauhlhorn who used her Arts Pass to attend two art events on campus, Department of Theatre's production of The Rivals and the Modern Dance Student Concert. Our second place winner is Mellisa Manzano who also enjoyed the Department of Theatre's prodcut of The Rivals. Third place goes to Katie Williams who attended the School of Music event with Minetti Quartett Win. Congratulations you three!

Arts Pass is open to all fee-paying University of Utah students and includes screenings, performances, concerts, and exhibitions by our students and faculty, and also provides free or discounted access to the professional arts organizations on campus: UtahPresents, Pioneer Theatre Company, and the Utah Museum of Fine Art. 

Why do we make arts so accessible?

Because more and more research is showing the positive impacts of the arts on education. The findings are significant: exposure to the arts is linked with better critical thinking skills, greater social tolerance, a greater likelihood of seeking out art and culture in the future, and better workforce opportunities.  

Published in Finer Points Blog

The University of Utah campus is full of incredible arts events, some of which are FREE to U of U students with their ARTS PASS (Ucard). We know how over whelming it can be to fit anything other than homework into your busy schedule, so we have put a highlight list of free arts events on campus that you do NOT want to miss out on. Take a look and enjoy the arts on campus this Spring!


School of Dance
La Fille Mal Gardée
Feb 7 – Feb 16
The School of Dance proudly presents "La Fille Mal Gardée," a full length comedic ballet gracing the Marriott Center for Dance Stage February 7th – 16th. The School will present a new interpretation of the classic French ballet created by Bruce Marks, former Artistic Director of Ballet West, whose choreography breathes new life into the classic story.

Film & Media Arts Department
Spring Showcase
May 4
Join the Film & Media Arts Department for a free screening of handpicked student films, filmmaker Q&As, panel discussions, displays of amazing media arts projects, installations, animations, experimental films, and more!

School of Music
Lyric Opera Ensemble: Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites with the Utah Philharmonia
April 19 - 20
Set during the French Revolution, Dialogues des Carmélites explores religious devotion and self-sacrifice through the harrowing story of Blanche de la Force, a shy, young aristocratic woman who joins the Carmelite Order to escape the violence of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. With a gorgeous score, Poulenc’s opera is one of the most significant works of the 20th century. This dramatic and powerful tour-de-force, based on a true story, explores faith and redemption, fate and sacrifice.

Department of Theatre
February 15 - March 3
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by George Furth, originally produced and directed on Broadway by Harold Prince. Centering on Bobby, a confirmed bachelor celebrating his 35th birthday with his 10 closest friends (who also happen to be five couples), Company culminates in Bobby’s transformation from unattached swinger to tentative monogamist. Company, Stephen Sondheim’s groundbreaking modern musical, is a mature, intelligent, and wildly funny look at relationships, vulnerability, and “being alive.” The original production was nominated for a record-setting fourteen Tony Awards and won six.


Feb 15 – Mar 2
This Sundance film-turned-Broadway-hit is about the romance between an Irish street musician and the young Czech woman, also a musician, he meets on the streets of Dublin. A tender story between two people who fall in love over a shared passion for music, Once features unforgettable songs which garnered both Tony and Academy awards; come see a talented cast who will sing and play all the musical instruments in the show, on stage! Contains strong language.


Valentine’s Evening at UMFA
February 14
Choose UMFA as your romantic getaway and make art a part of your evening together. Enjoy libations and hors d’oeuvres, peruse the galleries, and listen to a sultry selection of music from the Univeristy of Utah Red Hots in the G.W. Anderson Family Great Hall. For an additional fee, you may tour the galleries with award-winning curator of European, American, and regional art Leslie Anderson for “Conscious Coupling: Scenes of Romance in the UMFA’s Collection,” beginning at 6:30 pm. Please select the tour option when purchasing tickets to secure your spot; tour is limited to 30 guests. 


Complexions Contemporary Ballet From Bach to Bowie
April 5
Combining technical precision, power, and passion, Complexions Contemporary Ballet transcends tradition in a groundbreaking mix of styles ranging from ballet to hip hop. Founded by former members of Alvin Ailey, Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden, the company has been featured several times on the hit show So You Think You Can Dance. This season, the company performs an exhilarating program full of glitter and glam featuring Star Dust, an “utterly transfixing” tribute to the life and music of David Bowie.


Want more free or nearly free access to arts events? Stay in the know by following our Arts Pass social media outlets and never miss an arts event again! Instgram, Facebook and Twitter


Published in Finer Points Blog

The College of Fine Arts is here to cultivate and expand your creative juices and 2019 will be flowing with an adundance of art opportunites. Some of the areas within the College require special auditions, luckily for you we have the inside scoop. Our performing arts academic units, the School of Dance, School of Music and the Department of Theatre are getting ready for potential students with their 2019 audition dates. Not sure what each area requires? Take a look by visiting each of the links below to see what auditions are happening and when. Have questions? Contact us!


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Ballet Audition Information

Modern Dance Audition Information


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Audition Information


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Audition Information

Published in Finer Points Blog

On Wednesday, Aug. 29 from 11A - 2P, the arts at the University of Utah are taking over the Marriott Library Plaza for the 2018 Arts Pass. We’re talking live performances on a massive stage, interactive art, free food, free T-shirts, free swag, and all the info you could ever want on the different ways to experience the arts on campus.

Hold on,  you know about Arts Pass, right? It’s the one-of-a-kind program that makes it so you can use your UCard to get free or deeply discounted tickets to literally hundreds of arts experiences on campus each year. So you can attend dance performances, concerts, plays, exhibitions, film screenings, and more on the super cheap — and it even includes special student access to the Utah Museum of Fine ArtsUtahPresents and Pioneer Theatre Company.   

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Why? Because more and more research is showing the positive impacts of the arts on education. The findings are significant: exposure to the arts is linked with better critical thinking skills, greater social tolerance, a greater likelihood of seeking out art and culture in the future and better workforce opportunities. (Maybe that's why we issue tens of thousands of tickets to students every year.) 

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But, back to the Bash: First things first, pick up a passport from any of the booths, visit other booths to collect stamps, and when your passport is full, visit the Info booth to redeem it for a super soft mint green Arts Pass t-shirt that you can take to get your choice of design screen printed on it right in front of your eyes. Then you’ll grab some food and catch a couple acts on stage.


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We’re so excited to have all five academic units in the College of Fine Arts there to let you know what non-major classes you can take to spice up your class load, how to major in the arts, and give you the scoop-diddy-whoop about what experiences they’re providing throughout the year for all U students, faculty, and staff.


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Plus, we’ll have all three professional arts organizations (UMFA, UtahPresents and Pioneer Theatre Company) there along with our friends from ArtsForce, Arts Teaching, the Marriott Library’s Creative & Innovation Services, ASUU, Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, and the Union Programming Council.

And we’re stoked to welcome to the main stage:
• A proper bash kick-off from the U’s new Associate Vice President for the Arts and Dean of the College of Fine Arts, John Scheib
• The Department of Theatre’s musical theatre program will perform numbers from their season opener “CHESS” directed and choreographed by Denny Berry
• Ballet grad student James Wallace will take the stage for a stunning performance
• The School of Music’s Percussion Ensemble will host a not-to-be-missed drum circle
• And the modern dance freshman class will do its famous improv jam on the plaza (fan favorite every year!)

Not to mention, we have a couple surprises up our sleeves…

So, come. Experience. And start thinking differently.

(For more informaiton on this event please visit here.)

Published in Finer Points Blog

University of Utah Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Ruth Watkins announced that John W. Scheib, director of the School of Music at University of Kentucky, has accepted the offer to serve as the next dean of the College of Fine Arts.

Following the completion of the appointment approval process, Scheib will begin on July 1, 2017. 

“We are delighted to welcome professor Scheib to this key leadership role at the U,” said Watkins. “His record of achievement as a scholar, educator, leader and champion of the arts is remarkable.” 

After earning his master’s and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in music education, Scheib began his academic career at Ball State University where he held a number of leadership positions, including director of the School of Music. For the past three years, he has served as the director of the School of Music at the University of Kentucky. In that role, Scheib has implemented several well-regarded budget and personnel initiatives. He has significant experience with capital campaigns and has developed programming aimed at improving student and faculty success, as well as enhancing access to the arts. He is recognized for his talent as a keen listener who works with his team, including community members, to build and enact vision and strategy to advance the arts.

Scheib’s research in music education is rooted in his experience as a music teacher in the Wisconsin public schools for nine years. He focuses on, among other things, the beliefs and practices of music teachers and their students and music education reform. His work has appeared in numerous journals, including the Journal of Research in Music Education and the Journal of Music Teacher Education.

“I am excited to be joining a college and university with such a strong commitment to the development of creative and innovative leaders and citizens,” said Scheib. “Our roles as artists, arts scholars and arts educators are vital as we provide key opportunities for students to develop the wide range of intelligences and skills necessary for 21st century success."

The search for the replacement of esteemed Raymond Tymas-Jones, who served as dean for 12 years and who will remain as the U’s associate vice president for the arts, began in fall 2016. The committee, led by College of Humanities Dean Dianne Harris and School of Music associate professor Jessica Nápoles, included members of the college’s faculty, staff, students and Advisory Board, as well as members of the community and professional arts affiliates on campus.

Published in Finer Points Blog

By Emerging Leaders Ambassador and Guest Writer, Rachel Luebbert

The notes of the saxophone flood the air, quivering like a butterfly’s wings. Then, the piano paints the space in a melodic portrait. The percussion pulses the room with rhythmic vibrations. The music is soft and tender, but at the same time driving and powerful. It demands all of your attention, all of your presence. Suddenly, the trumpet calls out, dancing with new, spontaneous notes and the other instruments follow this line of improvisation as they embark on a new journey. This is jazz music.

On Thursday 2/16 at 7:30PM this jazz music will flood the walls of Libby Gardner Hall during the Jazz Spotlight Concert. Denson Angulo will conduct three different groups; the Jazz Ensemble, a large band of 17 musicians, the Red Hot Jazz Quintet, and the Jazz Repertory with 10 musicians. Each of these students auditioned to be a part of these bands at the beginning of the school year.

John Kim, a fourth year student studying Jazz Bass Performance will be performing with the Jazz Repertory Band on Thursday. Kim explained that this is his first year performing with a larger group, “A big band is a very different experience and my role as a bass player is to be rock solid in time and feel.” The Repertory Band will be performing arrangements created by Kris Johnson, which are standard selections with an added twist of metric modulation and his own flair. The show will also feature exciting sections of improvisation. The Repertory Band, for instance, will transition between order and spontaneity where the improvised sections will be predetermined in length and instrument, yet there will still be a freeness and a sense of play as the musicians create new strands of notes in the moment.

Jazz music runs deep through the veins of the United States. Christopher Kaukali a senior studying Jazz Guitar Performance describes jazz as “the Great American art form”. This music was not adopted from another country but was born on our very soil. John Kim explains a common misconception, “Often people group jazz and classical music into one lump of ‘historical music’. However, jazz music is the music of our past as Americans. It is a never-ending protest. More than ever, it is important to not forget what this music is saying.” So come to the Jazz Spotlight Concert, to play an active role in keeping Jazz alive and continuing the never-ending protest for social justice and individual expression.

Date: 2/16 at 7:30PM
Location: Libby Gardner Hall
Tickets: UofU Students tickers are free with ArtsPass (Ucard), Other Students are $3, General Admission is $9, UofU Faculty, Staff, and Seniors are $3.

Published in Finer Points Blog
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