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November 1, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU students share 'heart and soul'

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Slippery Rock University season of senior student recitals and art exhibits begins today with a musical performance on trumpet and horn. More than 20 music, art and theatre recitals and exhibits will be presented through December, giving students opportunity to share their talent and, as one said, pour out their heart and soul.

William Redd and Natalie DelVecchio, music majors from Marianna and Oakmont, are the first presenters. The brass musicians will perform romantic, classical, 20th Century and modern music at 7:30 p.m., today, in Swope Music Hall.

Student recitals and shows enable humanities majors to present a body of work that encapsulates their SRU education. Students do all of the advance work. Art majors, for instance, schedule an exhibit, set it up, write an artistic statement and couple their show with on online portfolio.

"It is important for student musicians to present their talent because we work so hard during our four years here at Slippery Rock," DelVecchio said. "Recitals are a great way to showcase the hard work that goes into being a musician. Also, performing is simply fun. Performing is a very personal experience, and it's fun to share your love for music with the audience."

Chad Winkler, SRU instructor of music, said solo performances offer great experience and factor into final grades.

"Students will all perform one piece and have been working diligently this semester in preparation," he said. "As musicians, we rarely are performing by ourselves - it's almost always with another performer or with a large group of other musicians, so there is a different dynamic to a performance, for their peers, with an accompanist, as opposed to a practice room all alone with no audience."

"This recital is important to me because it gives me a chance to show everyone the strides that I have made here at SRU, as a musician and as a person," said A.J. Pagano, a music education major from Nanty Glow who will offer a vocal performance Nov. 9.

While it is not mandatory for music education majors to schedule a recital, Pagano said he chose to perform.

"A typical recital is usually comprised of classical music, but for my recital, I chose to take the nontraditional route," he said. "My recital will be half classical music, with composers such as Schubert, Handel and Liszt, and half 'fun' and new selections, which will include duets with some of my closest friends."

The SRU Chamber Singers will sing one piece. Pagano said he would sing a piece that he commissioned Stephen Barr, SRU associate professor of music, to write.

Pagano said he plans to continue his education to the doctorate level and wants to become a public school band or choir director somewhere on the East Coast.

Pagano credited professors with helping him develop as a vocalist, saying, "I would never been where I am right now, and I will always be thankful for each and every one of them."

Some students find inspiration in unlikely places.

Chelsea Grubbs, an art major from Chicora, said the gills formed under the top of mushrooms inspired her exhibit "Gills." She will showcase her work Dec. 9-13 in the art gallery.

"The subject, materials and inspiration of my art are all formed around the realization that things of this world, such as nature, are temporal," Grubbs said. "I'm excited to present my work and show what I have been pouring my heart and soul into over for the past couple of months. It is important for all artists to show their work, because you're showing your work," she said. "We are not just sharing something we created; we are sharing our talent, creativity, thoughts, opinions, and a part of who we are."

Grubbs said she would be student teaching in the spring and job searching.

"My plan is to teach art at either the elementary or high school level and to continue creating art around the realization that 'things' of this world are not intended to last," she said. "I do not think I'll ever stop creating art; it is part of who I am."

Molly O'Donnell, an art major from Monroeville, will present an exhibit Dec. 9-13.

"The focus of my show is relationships between friends, family or a significant other and demonstrating how relationships are predictable and constantly changing over time," she said. "This whole semester, I have been working with printmaking and in particular the intaglio process. On each zinc plate, I create a portrait of someone in my life by engraving with a needle and using acid to etch."

O'Donnell, who hopes to become an art teacher, said presenting is extremely important.

"After the first time my work was exhibited, I gained a ton of confidence and really developed as an artist. I saw how the viewer responded to my work and immediately started thinking of different ways to improve it for the next time I exhibited."

Larry Gamble, an art major from Farrell, will present an exhibit Dec. 9-13. He said his work is meant to tell a cohesive story about his life and his progress up until this point, with "a kind of tease" to where it could go in the years to come.

"It is important for artists to explore their progression, whether it be through their works or their lives, because it gives a solid validation of whether or not you are truly advancing and excelling within your craft," he said. "This is something that all artists should strive to do in my opinion."

Musical performances scheduled include:

• Nov. 1

William Redd, music major from Marianna, trumpet

Natalie DelVecchio, music major from Oakmont, horn

7:30 p.m. Swope

• Nov. 2

J. Pat McGill, music major from East Washington, voice

7:30 p.m., Swope

• Nov. 9

A.J. Pagano, music major from Nanty Glo, voice

7:30 p.m., Swope

• Nov. 10

Joseph Joyce, music major from Pittsburgh, trumpet

Jessica Henry, music major from North Huntingdon, trumpet

7:30 p.m. Swope

• Nov. 16

Kaylyn Shearer, music major from Grove City, oboe

4 p.m., Swope

• Nov. 16

Shawna Mitchell, music major from Grove City, horn

Alicia Cutchall, music major from Pittsburgh, horn

7:30 p.m., Swope

• Nov. 24

Kevin Adamik, music major from Tarentum, voice

7:30 p.m., Swope

Art student senior shows at Martha Gault are:

• Dec. 2-6

Adam Wagerman, an art major from Sandy Lake

Brooke Keith, an art major from Portersville

Kelsey Kuitunen, an art major from Mars

• Dec 9-13

Molly O'Donnell, an art major from Monroeville

Chelsea Grubbs, an art major from Chicora

Larry Gamble, an art major from Farrell

Theatre shows are:

• Nov. 24-25

Alex Barhart will present "Procrastinate"

7:30 p.m., Sheehy Theater

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.