Two WOU Ensembles Named Finalists for Prestigious Awards

Western Oregon Chamber Singers pose in front of a large sign that reads "WOU" in red font. The 25 members are wearing black dresses or black dress shirts with red ties. They are standing outside, and there are multiple trees with bright green leaves in the background.
The above photograph is of Western Oregon University Chamber Singers.  Western Oregon University is home to many talented musicians. With 14 different ensembles, WOU is bursting with musical performers from many different backgrounds, all showcasing their unique talents. Recently, two of these ensembles were awarded as finalists in prestigious categories: Western Oregon University Chamber Singers [more…]

Grad Profile: Kayli Smith

Kayli Smith is an art major with a concentration in ceramics, as well as a minor in art history. Her hometown is Dallas, Ore. As a 2020 graduate, we interviewed Smith about her experience at WOU and her future plans.   Why did you choose WOU?  Ceramics has always been a class that I felt [more…]

Grad Profile: Eva Batenhorst

WOU student Eva Batenhorst poses for a photograph outside, against a weathered white wall. She is wearing a cream colored sweater.
Eva Batenhorst will be graduating this spring, with a double major in Biology and Dance, and a minor in Physical Science. Eva is from Eugene, Oregon, and has participated in many extracurriculars during her time at WOU, including the Honors program, RHA, and PLUS team. Are you an honors student? What has your experience been [more…]

Grad Profile: Sean Tellvik

Sean Tellvik is a graduating English major, with a concentration in Writing and a minor in Humanities. He is from Hillsboro, Ore., and has served an active part of our community through clubs, sub-communities, and working as a tutor at the Writing Center. We interviewed him on his most notable experiences from his years here [more…]

Peter Sears Poetry Prize Winners Announced

An open notebook with "poetry" written on the corner of a page
To close out National Poetry Month with a celebration, winners of the 4th annual Peter Sears Poetry Prize were announced today. Congratulations to the these student winners: First Prize: To Bear Arms by Cylinda Neidenbach Second Prize: a spell for revenge by Cheyan Swan Third Prize: Flower Crowns by Katherine Sutton The poems (included below) will be [more…]

Poetry Provides Perspective for WOU students

Words about poetry
For Western Oregon University students Katherine Sutton, Alexander O’Brien, Amber Jahn and Nova Kohnke, a poem is more than the elements used to create it such as alliteration, rhymes, rhythms or metaphors. Although they each have their own unique writing style, they all view poetry as a window for others to view their perspective of [more…]

Poetry, a Language of Its Own

Keys of a typewriter
Western Oregon University linguistics Professor David Hargreaves has noticed every known culture has a specialized language that is distinct from our everyday language.  Hargreaves said this language is used in songs, folktales, stories, myths, mystic rituals, funeral laments and magic spells. “At the heart of this specialized language is the attention to language itself, rhythm, [more…]

Art for Innovation

Painting of Mt. Hood
The late Alfred “Fred” Maurice’s curiosity and desire to see students succeed inspired him to establish a challenge for Western Oregon University students. A WOU benefactor and honorary faculty member (pictured below), he created the J. Dolores and Alfred P. Maurice Initiative, a challenge for undergraduates who complete a year-long project in quest for a [more…]

Lessons in the lessons: English and General Education

Sundial next to pink flowers
There are lessons within the lessons taught in biology to literature to philosophy classes at Western Oregon University. And each lesson can provide us with guidance, insight and knowledge during this uncertain time. Today at WOU asked faculty to share with students and employees some perspective from their subject matter to help us navigate our [more…]

Lessons in the Lessons: Music and Psychology

Music is the answer
There are lessons within the lessons taught in biology to literature to philosophy classes at Western Oregon University. And each lesson can provide us with guidance, insight and knowledge during this uncertain time. Today at WOU asked faculty to share with students and employees some perspective from their subject matter to help us navigate our [more…]

WOU’s Art and Wine Walk Benefits Students

Painting of Mt. Hood
The late Alfred “Fred” Maurice was known to challenge people to move beyond their comfort zone to learn something new. His legacy continues to provide students at Western Oregon University with the opportunity to do just that. A WOU benefactor and honorary faculty member, Maurice created the J. Dolores and Alfred P. Maurice Endowed Challenge [more…]

Western Oregon University Choirs Are Belgium-Bound

Musical notes
Dr. James Reddan does more than ask his Western Oregon University choir students to shoot for the stars. Reddan, as an assistant music professor and director of choral activities, makes certain every student has the skills and knowledge to confidently reach the destination. “I have high expectations for my students, but they are always achievable [more…]

WOU Honors the Work and Vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Western Oregon University’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration serves both as a tradition and a reminder. “It’s a tradition of celebrating and bringing the WOU community together to focus an incredible civil rights leader and activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Malissa Larson. Patrick Moser, assistant vice [more…]

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

Two men in suits stand on a stage and speak into a microphone
Experience the behind-the-scene escapades of a 1946 radio broadcast by attending the Western Oregon University Theatre Department’s presentation of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play on Nov. 14-16 and Nov. 20-23. WOU Theatre Professor and Director Kent Neely said the live radio play is a great start to the holiday season for anyone who [more…]

Author Advice: From Writers for Writers

Street view of the large Hamersly Library, a three-story building with many windows.
To celebrate National Author’s Day on November 1, we sought advice from campus authors (fiction, poetry, academic work, etc.) to feature, in order to highlight writers’ accomplishments and passions, as well as stoke the interest of newer writers. Here is what they had to offer. Plotting Advice: “Make an outline first – then add by [more…]

Hamlet performed on campus in outdoor production

Several actors in costume of n an outdoor stage.
Looking for something fun to do over summer weekends? You’re in luck! The Valley Shakespeare Company (VSC) is performing their rendition of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet during the last weekend of July and the first weekend of August. The VSC’s goal is to “[encourage] students, families and community members, young and old, to join in the [more…]

WOU in the News: Slippery Nature of ‘Sensual Fish’

“It’s kind of a slippery topic,” Henry Hughes told me Tuesday, in a conversation about his upcoming lecture “The Sensual Fish.” At its heart, the April 2 lecture is about fish. It’s part of the Montana State University Library Trout and Salmonid Lecture Series. But it’s also about sex. “The wet, dark, mysterious, fishy and primal [more…]

ONE: A Spring Dance Concert Piece

The American Flag with some flowers
As a human, every day can bring up a different experience, but deciding on the voice in their narrative is up to the individual. ONE, a piece by student choreographer Tunya Dhevahpalin, is undertaking the issue between how we feel and the way people perceive us. Though a lot has changed, a lot more still [more…]

Last Light: A Spring Dance Concert Piece

Andrew De La Paz jumping in front of some graphiti
Inspiration comes from anywhere, for the piece the Last Light, by student choreographer Andrew De La Paz explained he had two muses: the way light refracts through different mediums and the poem by Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night. By incorporating these two vastly different influences, De La Paz hoped to [more…]

The Best Little Auditorium in Monmouth

Scene shop workers, working hard on "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" two story set
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas was not a place of fiction, it indeed existed under the name of Chicken Ranch. The prostitution started in the great depression as a way for the farm to survive, trading services for goods, eventually leading to the excess of chickens thus giving the 12 acre farm its name. [more…]

English Faculty Garner Literary Award, Recognition

Bellamy Hall
Two members of Western Oregon University’s English department faculty have recently earned national recognition from prestigious literary journals. Professor Henry Hughes won the 2017 Oberon Poetry Prize from the journal Oberon Poetry. The New York-based journal runs the annual contest to highlight the best unpublished poem from among hundreds of submissions. Hughes’ winning poem, Fish [more…]

Theatre Department to Stage The Watson Intelligence

Two actors from The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence
The time-jumping play The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence by Madeleine George will come to Western Oregon University’s Black Box Studio stage Feb. 8-10. The piece, which was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, will be directed by student Matthew Miller ’18. The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence takes a [more…]

iLumiDance Tour Melds Dance, Computer Science to Benefit Children

Western Oregon University Dance Professor Darryl Thomas’ latest touring project, in addition to his well-known Rainbow Dance Theatre, has an innovative and ambitious mission: inspiring young children to explore computer coding. Since 2013, Thomas and a troupe have been presenting iLumiDance to schoolchildren visiting WOU. The program focuses on dancers who are wearing black suits [more…]

One night only – “Blindside”

Stephanie Morin-Roberts posing for a picture with her left eye closed
The Incidental Fees Committee does a large variety of things around campus including bringing in a guest artist once a year. This year they have brought in the magnificent Stephanie Morin-Robert to perform her show Blindside. Due to a type cancer called retinoblastoma, she lost her left eye when she was only two years of [more…]

WOU in the News: Outdoor Showings of ‘Much Ado’ Cost Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing
At its core, “Much Ado About Nothing” is a story about how one person disrupts the lives of all around him. The troublemaker, Don John — better recognized as the villain in William Shakespeare’s oft-produced play — is the one who has to instigate the action. In the Valley Shakespeare Company’s upcoming production, Western Oregon student [more…]

Feature: WOU Adjunct’s Adaptation of Arabian Nights Showcases Talent of Local Children

Koko Le and Melody Allen play the peacock and peahen in Arabian Nights
The Apple Box Children’s Theater production of Arabian Nights makes its debut tonight in the amphitheater near Rice Auditorium, when more than local 40 children will bring to life playwright Maren Bradley Anderson’s magical vision. Anderson, an adjunct writing and English instructor at Western Oregon University, based the play on the classic tale One Thousand [more…]

Play Combines Self-Determination with Slight Hint of Magic

"This Girl Laughs, This Girls Cries, This Girl Does Nothing" cast
The Western Oregon University Theatre’s final production of the academic year will be This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing, and although the play by Finegan Kruckemeyer is often described as being “fairy tale-like,” guest director Jen Rowe is quick to indicate her preference for “fable.” “I try not to go down [more…]

Cesar E. Chavez Leadership Conference brings Hispanic youths to campus

On March 3, Western Oregon University welcomed about 2,200 students, school staff and chaperones for the 27th annual César E. Chávez Leadership Conference (CECLC), an all-day event meant to inspire Hispanic students to seek leadership roles. The day’s events started with a welcome and keynote address in the New P.E. building, where the bleachers overflowed [more…]

“Shakespeare in Hollywood” melds the Bard with a bad movie

Plenty of theatrical works involve a play within a play, but “Shakespeare in Hollywood” takes the concept to a new, hilarious level. Not only is there a movie within a play, but there also are characters from a Shakespearean comedy thrust into roles in a 1930s film. Confused? Don’t worry, said director Ted deChatelet. Just [more…]

“All in the Timing” – a series of wacky events

All in the Timing
Director Kent Neely describes All in the Timing simply as a “ridiculous comedy.” The title, which comprises six short plays, doesn’t lean toward social commentary, parody or satire. It’s just pure fun with a heavy focus on wordplay, absurdity and the examination of personal relationships, all set in a comedy club-type atmosphere. “The interactions and [more…]

Free concerts to enjoy through the term

black and white picture of an old style microphone
If you are finding it hard to relax as the end of the term approaches and need an evening of escape, no worries WOU’s Music Department understands. Here are the free upcoming concerts from now until the end of the term to help you unwind. Nov. 14 – 7:30 p.m. – Smith Music Hall 121 [more…]

Fall theatre production: “Machinal” by Sophie Treadwell

The Machinal Set being built, large metalic beems framing the stage, very indurstiral looking
On November 10, the WOU Theatre Department will be putting on Machinal, a play written by Sophie Treadwell and directed by theater professor Michael Phillips. This play seems like a hollowing echo of the struggle of women through the decades to be more than just a household necessity and instead their own person. The story of Machinal is [more…]

WOU in the news: Gut wrenching images: Rick Bartow’s ‘Things You Know But Cannot Explain’ exhibition

Rick Bartow
Rick Bartow walked onto his spirit journey on April 2, 2016 due to congestive heart disease. He had suffered two strokes, the last in August 2013. According to the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, this life-changing event affected his work and we see it in the collection as “exciting examples of Bartow’s production since [more…]

Summer Heatwave Concert Series

The top of the Summer Heatwave advertisement specifying the name, location, and time.
Staying around Monmouth this summer with nothing to do? Don’t worry, Western Oregon University is having a Summer Heatwave Concert Series. This open to all ages concert series is sponsored by Student Leadership and Activities. It starts this week and runs every Wednesday until the end of July. The concerts run from noon until the party [more…]

Delmer Dewey Award: John Goldsmith

John Goldsmith
Some students find comfort in classes, some in sports, some in extracurricular activities, while others are happiest with a mix of involvement during their college career. John Goldsmith, this year’s Delmer Dewey award recipient for outstanding senior male, took advantage of as many academic and leadership opportunities as his time and interest afforded. On the [more…]

Grad profile: Joleen Braasch

WOU grad Joleen Braasch
Joleen Braasch is a student from Salem, Ore. who will be graduating from Western Oregon University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. She decided to come to WOU because it is close to home, she liked the idea of small class sizes, and at the time, she was interested in becoming a [more…]

WOU in the news: Native American artist Rick Bartow turns pain into art

Rick Bartow art
Despite battling post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism spawned by serving as a soldier during the Vietnam War, Rick Bartow was not afraid to use his artistic talents to address painful aspects of life. It’s a sentiment art enthusiasts may see as they view the Native American man’s art, which is on display through July 13 [more…]

¡La Nuestra Fiesta Latina fue increíble!

On Friday, May 20, Western Oregon University’s Multicultural Student Union hosted Nuestra Fiesta Latina, and word on the street is that this 14 hour party was quite a success! Starting at 11 a.m. there were tons of free activities for the campus community. Events like face painting, airbrush tattoos, and a jalapeño eating contest made this afternoon [more…]

23rd Annual Powwow

Native American men dancing the grass dance in traditional clothing.
The sounds of the host drums boomed off the walls and reverberated in the hearts of all who were present at this year’s Powwow. The Powwow is put on by Multicultural Student Union (MSU) and includes so much more than just the campus community. The Powwow is free and open to all ages and walks [more…]

Western Hemisphere Orchestra Spring Tour

Last week the Western Hemisphere Orchestra toured in San Francisco, CA as part of their annual spring tour. The group, directed by Dr. Keller Coker, consists of instrumentalists and vocalists, totaling roughly twenty WOU students. The band plays a variety of styles, including jazz, rock, blues, soul, Brazilian, and pop music.  While in San Francisco, [more…]

Preview: Sara Gazarek with the American Metropole Orchestra

On Friday, April 8, 2016, jazz vocalist Sara Gazarek will be performing with the American Metropole Orchestra at 7:30 pm in Rice Auditorium. The American Metropole Orchestra is a professional group of local musicians that includes WOU faculty and students. The concert will feature music from Gazarek’s album Blossom and Bee, as well as music [more…]

WOU Music Department Concerts – Bossa Nova to the Beatles!

The WOU Music Department will be putting on six concerts from March 6-11 featuring everything from bossa nova to the Beatles! Tonight Orquestra Brasil presents “Mostly Bossa Nova” and tomorrow the WOU Concert Choir and Chamber Singers will present “From the Heart/Love and Devotion.” If you like the Beatles, then you’ll definitely want to see [more…]

Preview: Misfortune County

The film studio Body in the Window Seat will be presenting their feature film “Misfortune County” Friday January 29 at 6:15 pm in Hamersly Library, room 107. The film studio is based out of Central Oregon, and was co-founded by WOU students Nathaniel Dunaway, Burke De Boer and Darien Campo. Filmed in Oregon, Misfortune County is [more…]

Tips for NaNoWriMo

Maren Bradley Anderson
“What does it all mean?” Each November, hundreds of thousands of crazy people (325,000 in 2014) get together online to participate in NaNoWriMo to try to write 50,000 words of the first draft of a novel in 30 days. That’s 1,667 words a day for those who are wondering. I have completed the 50K in 30 days challenge [more…]

Preview: WOU Music Department Concerts

The WOU Music Department will be hosting twelve concerts in the next few weeks, so be sure to make room in your schedule to sit back, relax, and enjoy some great music! All concerts begin at 7:30 pm* and are held on campus in either Smith Recital Hall or in Rice Auditorium. For orchestral music… [more…]

Fall Art Exhibits

Art
Do you love visiting art galleries? Interested in seeing what local artists in the Willamette Valley are creating? Then you’ll definitely want to check out the exciting art exhibits at WOU this fall. From posters dating from the 1930s to recent art by WOU professors, the campus has a diverse range of exhibits on display [more…]

Preview: Book of Days

On November 12 at 7:30 p.m., Western Oregon University’s Theatre and Dance Department’s fall production Book of Days, written by Lanford Wilson and directed by David Janoviak, opens at Rice Auditorium. When murder roars through a small Missouri town, Ruth Hoch begins her own quest to find truth and honesty amid small town jealousies, religion, greed and [more…]

Preview: Spanish Vocal Recital

Spanish Vocal Recital Poster
On Tuesday, November 10, the WOU Music Department will open its Guest Artist Series with Spanish Song Treasures at Smith Recital Hall at 7:30 pm. The recital will feature vocals by mezzo-soprano Dr. Karen Esquivel, who will be accompanied on piano by Dr. Gustavo Castro. Both Dr. Esquivel and Dr. Castro are faculty members at [more…]

Preview: Dmitri Matheny Show

Dmitri Matheny
On Wednesday, November 4, jazz musician Dmitri Matheny will be performing at Smith Recital Hall at 7:30 pm. General tickets are $8, student and senior tickets are $5, and WOU students attend for free with valid student I.D. Noted for his expressive improvising, Matheny is “one of the jazz world’s most talented horn players” (San Francisco [more…]

WOU in the news: Realism Brings Intimacy

Published by: Polk County Itemizer-Observer by: Emily Mentzer MONMOUTH — Even small-town America is subject to greed, political and religious corruption. The residents of Dublin, Mo., are finding that out as a suspicious death clashes with a cheese factory and community theater production. Thinking about that circumstance may induce a smile, but director of Western [more…]

WOU in the news: Drive By Press Visits WOU

Published by: Polk County I-O by: Emily Mentzer MONMOUTH — Taylor McClure carefully guides the teal T-shirt and wooden block under the massive roller on a press at Western Oregon University. The roller has to be completely level or the print won’t turn out right. He pauses, picking up a massive wrench fabricated specially for [more…]

WOU in the news: Oregon Poets: Henry Hughes packs poems with sound, story

Published by: Statesman Journal  by: Eleanor Berry, Special to the Statesman Journal   On an August evening this past summer, poet Henry Hughes captivated an audience at the Stayton Public Library as he performed poems with accompanying photographs projected beside him and, in the second half of the program, as he read poems on fishing. Hughes [more…]

2015-16 Smith Fine Arts Series

Interested in watching a concert? Want to engage in a community outreach program? Attend a picnic? Enjoy music and dance? The Smith Fine Arts Series provides all of that and more to the Monmouth community. The Smith Fine Arts Series brings world-class entertainment to Western Oregon University each year. Currently celebrating its 39th season, the [more…]

WOU in the news: A Fantastical Exhibition of Extraordinary Art and Ingenious Contraptions

Story published on WillametteLive.com What if the industrial revolution never really caught on?  Imagine a world where devices and technology were powered mainly by steam.  Imagine fashions based on Victorian clothing, but without the weight of strict Victorian social and gender roles.  Imagine a world which might include a bit of magic, where there are [more…]

WOU in the news: Why theater groups love the Shakespeare shakeup

As You Like It
Published in the Statesman Journal By Tom Mayhall Rastrelli How do you like your Shakespeare? Are you a purist, who prefers a traditional Elizabethan presentation of the Bard’s masterpieces, or do you like productions that mix things up by setting them in different time periods or outrageous settings? If you prefer your Shakespeare shaken not [more…]

WOU in the news: Concert band welcomes Pink Martini founder, Latin music

Kurleen Nowickas
Published in the Statesman Journal By Tom Mayhall Rastrelli Tickets go on sale Monday, July 20, for Salem Concert Band’s upcoming special-event concerts “Thomas Lauderdale Plays Gershwin” and “Pinots of the Caribbean.” ‘Thomas Lauderdale Plays Gershwin’ Lauderdale is the founder of the internationally renown band Pink Martini. He’ll join conductor John Skelton and the Salem Concert [more…]

WOU in the news: All But A Dream? ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to play on WOU’s outdoor stage

Applebox Theatre
Story published in the Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Emily Mentzer MONMOUTH — As the sun dips below the tree line at Western Oregon University, shade creeps across the lawn at the outdoor amphitheater. It’s still warm, but cooler there near the stage. Are you dreaming, or are fairies playing pranks on Athenians on stage? No, [more…]

WOU in the news: Salem business news: Redhawk winery, ‘Art in the Garden’

Salem Chamber of Commerce
Story published in the Statesman Journal Redhawk Vineyard & Winery celebrating 10 years with Pataccolis Redhawk Vineyard & Winery will celebrate its 10th anniversary with owners John and Betty Pataccoli. The celebration, which is open to the public, will be 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 24, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 25. [more…]

WOU in the news: ’80s rockers Quarterflash back in Bend, Oregonian band kicks off Alive After 5 series

Quarterflash
Story published in The Bulletin Most of the world remembers Quarterflash for their ’80s-era hit “Harden My Heart,” with its aching saxophone leads, and their ’80s style (particularly hairstyles — check out some recent TV interviews with the group). In this part of the country, the group — centered around husband-and-wife songwriter and singer team [more…]

Greg Poulin, art instructor and professional painter

Greg Poulin‘s office is home to both his profession and his hobby. Hanging on the walls and collected on the floor is an eclectic mix of paintings, some of them created for his own diversion and others as examples for his classes. From the model of a figure painting to the classic portrait of a [more…]

Janeanne Rockwell-Kincanon, librarian and singer

Janeanne Rockwell-Kincanon, public services librarian at Western Oregon University, has been a singer all her life, but she purposefully chose not to make music her career. Singing with the Willamette Master Chorus when her day at the library is finished allows her to pursue her hobby seriously, but not so seriously that it destroys her [more…]

Dr. Gavin Keulks, Honors Program Director and Father

Dr. Gavin Keulks is the director of the Honors Program and a professor of English literature at Western Oregon University. He brings a great deal of enthusiasm to his job, and while he could talk indefinitely about the Honors Program, the classes, and the activities, what he loves most is working with the students. Their [more…]

WOU in the news: Explore The Fantasy

MONMOUTH — Journey back to a time when the whole world was an oyster — and found deep within a toy box — at Western Oregon University’s spring play, “Frankie’s Flights of Fancy.” “Kids come up with the craziest, fun things,” said Belladina Starr, who plays Frankie in the devised play. “Putting myself in the [more…]

Spring Dance Concert To Inspire Movement

MONMOUTH — Jenni Bowker tried to stay true to herself as she choreographed, “Where the Wind Goes,” to be performed at Western Oregon University’s Spring Dance concert. The annual concert opens Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and runs through Saturday at Rice Auditorium. This is Bowker’s second time choreographing a piece for the show — something [more…]

Jose James to perform jazz, hip hop, funk, blues with orchestra

MONMOUTH — Singer-songwriter Jose James has always been on the quest for new musical horizons, constantly evolving and blurring the lines between genres in the process. James keeps his trademark soulful baritone at the forefront and adeptly weaves elements of indie rock, folk, funk, blues, hip hop and R&B into an experience journeying from desire [more…]

Legendary Jazz Organist To Perform In Monmouth

MONMOUTH — The master of the Hammond B-3 organ is coming to Monmouth. Dr. Lonnie Smith will let his fingers and feet do the talking when he and the Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio perform Friday night at Rice Auditorium as part of the Western Oregon University Smith Fine Arts Series. Smith, 72, is an unparalleled [more…]

Love Story Coming To WOU Stage

MONMOUTH — The road to love can be fast and simple, or it can be long and rocky. For Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley, love clicks in place as easily as puzzle pieces. But for Jane’s sister, Elizabeth, and Mr. Bingley’s friend, Mr. Darcy, things of the heart are more complicated. Jane, Elizabeth and their [more…]

WOU Students Develop Ideas To Market Area

MONMOUTH — Students at Western Oregon University have designed new logos for the Monmouth-Independence-WOU area, including creating some catchy mottos. “Combined efforts, shared triumphs,” was one student’s idea of what the three communities could use to market themselves as one unit. “Heart of the Willamette Valley,” was another. About 20 different students in Jen Bracy’s [more…]

War and activism clash in WOU exhibits

The diverse nature of conflict and rebellion is on display at two of Western Oregon University’s Hamersly Library art exhibit spaces for several weeks. The Boycott exhibit is housed in the second floor and the Great War display is on the third floor of the building. Jerrie Lee Parpart, the library’s archives and exhibits coordinator, [more…]

Multimedia-art exhibit at WOU through Feb. 6

“Work & More Work: Robert² / Fragments & Paper,” showcasing the mixed-media sculptures, drawings and installations of Robert Tomlinson and Robert Schlegel, is on exhibit through Feb. 6 at the Dan and Gail Cannon Gallery of Art at Western Oregon University, 345 N Monmouth Ave., Monmouth. The artists will speak about their work Friday, Jan. [more…]

Turtle Island Quartet integrates jazz & classical music

When David Balakrishnan was 13, he saw a picture that changed his life. The photo showed Jerry Goodman of the jazz-rock band The Flock playing violin. Goodman’s hair dangled down his back past his waistline. It was the ’60s. Balakrishnan had been playing classical violin for four years. Goodman was playing music from India on [more…]

World War I and social activism art exhibits at WOU

Two art exhibits will open Jan. 5 at Western Oregon University’s Hamersly Library, 345 N. Monmouth Ave., Monmouth. There will be a reception from 4:30-6 p.m. Jan. 14. “Reverberations of the Great War” is a traveling exhibit of posters and poetry presented by SirS, Inc. and the Library of Congress. It will be on exhibit [more…]

WOU Professor Master Of Fake Fighting

MONMOUTH — He’s the last guy you’d want on your side in a bar fight, but the first you’d call to make sure no one got hurt on stage. “I can make it look like I’m totally kicking your (butt), but it’ll be completely safe,” said Ted deChatelet, adjunct professor of theater at Western Oregon [more…]

Music legend returns to WOU

MONMOUTH — Legendary New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint visits Monmouth Saturday night for a return performance as part of the Western Oregon University Smith Fine Arts Series. Toussaint, who appeared in Monmouth in June 2011 during the SFAS, will be joined onstage this time by the 35-piece Western Hemisphere Orchestra for the 7:30 p.m. concert [more…]

A Shining Star On The Stage

MONMOUTH — JennyLynn Dutrich moves around the set of “Death by Design” like she owns the stage. One would never guess she is completely blind in her left eye. “I can’t see hardly anything,” she said. “In my right eye, I can see pretty good, but not enough to legally drive, darn it!” Dutrich, 40, [more…]

Death by Design: A New Comedy Classic

WOU Theater Company’s latest production, Death by Design, is a hilarious comedy act involving distinct characters, an intricate plot, and a mysterious murder. The play is set in the early 1930s in a country house in Cookham, England. Playwright Edward Bennett and his wife, actress Sorel Bennett, have fled London for the weekend after receiving [more…]

Witty Comedy Comes To WOU

MONMOUTH — What do you get when you mix eccentrics with a conservative politician, a liberal and a sleuthing Irish maid? “Death by Design,” a witty comedy whodunit by Rob Urbinati that takes audience members through two acts of mystery madness — a little heavier on the madness — as an English country house fills [more…]

Fight Wolves, Fight!

MONMOUTH — For the first time in roughly 44 years, Western Oregon University once again has lyrics to its fight song, thanks to the efforts of Ike Nail. The lyrics have been on paper but unapproved for a few years, said Nail, associate professor of music and the band and orchestra director at WOU. The [more…]

Oregon poet laureate reading at WOU

Peter Sears, Oregon’s seventh poet laureate, will read at Western Oregon University at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at Hamersly Library 107, Western Oregon University, 345 Monmouth Ave. N, Monmouth. He will be joined by special guest Dawn Diez Willis. One of Oregon’s most active poets, educators and literary advocates, Sears founded the Oregon Literary Coalition, [more…]

Let Us Entertain You

MONMOUTH — This year’s Edgar H. Smith Fine Arts Series promises another season of world-class performances in Monmouth at Western Oregon University. “Judging from the phone calls I have received, folks are very excited about our season,” said Sandy Newland, program manager. “We have patrons coming all the way from Newport, Corvallis, Albany, McMinnville, Portland, [more…]

Ancient Art Comes To Area

INDEPENDENCE — In the Central High School gym, students move together — well, nearly altogether — on command. One, two, three. They are following directions from a sixth-generation Chinese martial arts Shun- style master, Hu Fang. “I was born in a Wushu family,” Fang, 34, said. “I am sixth generation of the family style. Our [more…]

WOU professor’s art on exhibit in Monmouth

“Fabric(s) of Memory — New Works by Paula Portinga Booth,” sponsored by the Ash Creek Arts Center, is on exhibit through Oct. 4 at the ACAC Gallery at MaMere’s New Orleans Bed and Breakfast, 212 Knox St. N, Monmouth. There will be a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 18. Portinga Booth is a [more…]

All That Jazz

MONMOUTH — Rifts drift through the halls. Every nook and cranny is filled with musicians, young and old, jamming together, practicing, learning from each other. Campers are sleep deprived, living, breathing music all day, every day during the annual Mel Brown Jazz Camp at Western Oregon University. During vocalist warmups on Thursday morning, teacher Sherry [more…]

Play lightens serious topic

Enjoy a fly-on-the-wall peek into the lives of four developmentally disabled men and their social worker in Western Oregon’s summer production, “The Boys Next Door.” “It’s a light, fluffy play despite the serious topic,” said director David Janoviak with the WOU Department of Theatre and Dance. “It will be a dang fun night at the [more…]

Acclaimed trumpeter slated to perform Saturday at WOU

Polk-County Itemizer-Observer Staff Report June 3, 2014   MONMOUTH — Acclaimed American trumpet player Dave Douglas will perform Saturday at Western Oregon University as the 2013-14 Smith Fine Arts Series season draws to a close. Douglas, a prolific trumpeter, composer and music educator from New York City, will perform with the Western Hemisphere Orchestra during [more…]

Invasion of Wolves

Just a few weeks ago WOU’s freshman Honors Program theatre students were able to spend a night in Ashland. This small town in southern Oregon, just north of the border of California, experienced an invasion of WOU students all hyped up to see three plays performed by the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). With expenses [more…]

Pay attention to ‘Distracted’

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Emily Mentzer March 27, 2014   MONMOUTH — Tia Laulusa, 22, is too young to be the mother of a 9-year-old boy with attention deficit disorder, but she plays one in “Distracted,” the spring theater production at Western Oregon University. The play, written by American playwright Lisa Loomer, explores not only [more…]

Dance takes center stage

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Emily Mentzer May 06, 2014   MONMOUTH — Students move around the stage during a rehearsal of Rendezvous, choreographed by Professor Deborah Jones. “They’re always in search of a dance,” she said, as dancers couldn’t stand still, waiting for the light and sound crew to catch up. The dance is one [more…]

Touted U.S. jazz vocalist to perform Saturday night

Polk County Itemizer-Observer April 2, 2014   MONMOUTH — Grammy award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling brings his jazz sounds to Rice Auditorium on the Western Oregon University campus for a concert Saturday at 7:30 p.m. His performance is part of the 2013-14 WOU Smith Fine Arts Series. Elling is among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists, notes [more…]

Russian string orchestra to perform

Polk County Itemizer-Observer Staff Report March 4th, 2014 MONMOUTH — The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! But this invasion should prove to be music to your ears. Founder and music director Misha Rachlevsky brings some of Russian’s finest young string players to Monmouth this weekend, as the Chamber Orchestra of the Kremlin performs [more…]

Western students create logos for new arts center

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Emily Mentzer March 4th, 2014   MONMOUTH — Adam Fyffe walked around a room at MaMere’s Bed and Breakfast looking at submissions for Ash Creek Arts Center’s new logo. The Western Oregon University senior in visual communications design was a student in Jen Bracy’s graphic design: form and communication course. He [more…]

WOU play tackles discovery

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Emily Mentzer February 25th, 2014   MONMOUTH — Western Oregon University’s department of theater and dance will present “Spring Awakening,” a rock musical, opening Friday at 7:30 p.m. The show is not for the faint of heart or the easily offended — the show contains adult content. “It touches on ideas [more…]

Where are they now? Local students chase fame in NYC, L.A.

Statesman Journal By Barbara Curtin February 1st, 2014   Waiting for one’s big break can mean years of waiting tables, say some of the young performers who have left the Mid-Valley to seek fame. Western Oregon University alums Sam Benedict (2011) and Josiah Bania (2009) are trying to build their acting careers in New York [more…]

Pair of fiddlers bring spirited tunes to WOU

Statesman Journal By Carlee Wright January 23rd, 2014   There is an energy that resonates in the distinct sound of the fiddle; and tomorrow, you can experience an evening of spirited performances with notable musicians Andrea Beaton and Kevin Burke during Fiddler’s Night at Western Oregon University’s Rice Auditorium. Beaton, a fiddler, composer and step [more…]

California Honeydrops come to WOU

Statesman Journal By Carlee Wright January 9th, 2013   Five years ago, the California Honeydrops got their start in the subway stations of Oakland where they would set out a tip jar and play for people. As tribute to their street roots, they call their style of music “Street Corner Soul,” and they bring their [more…]

Is free verse free?

Willamette Live By Mike Shuler Remembered Words It is coming back to me now The song forgotten When part of me died And words were lost As I begin to sing I recall mid-winter frost Kiss as sweet as pear Touch of cheek Taste of breath shared Soft whisper and vow And love Crisp as [more…]

Drumline beats through WOU

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Emily Mentzer MONMOUTH — Equipment for a drumline sat at Western Oregon University unused for years until Ben Prothero, percussion major, decided to dust it off last year. “That’s my specialty, drumline,” he said. He and fellow student Ryan Chapman recruited about half a dozen others to get started. Now the [more…]

Western ready to stage classic satirical comedy

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Aaron Newton MONMOUTH — When Western Oregon University debuts the first production of fall term, “The Government Inspector,” Thursday at Rice Auditorium, it may seem surprising that the play was written almost 200 years ago. The satirical comedy, published by Nikolai Gogol in 1836, focuses on a small Russian town being [more…]

It’s a fine time for music

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Aaron Newton October 1st, 2013 MONMOUTH — The 2013-14 Western Oregon University Smith Fine Arts Series is a veritable who’s who in the world of acclaimed and celebrated musicians. Featuring the world-renowned Chamber Orchestra of the Kremlin, Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, esteemed Celtic fiddler Kevin Burke and venerated jazz [more…]

Art piece added to Western

  Photo by Aaron Newton // Los Angeles-based artist Jesse Small fits a panel of galvanized steel into place near Bellamy Hall on Western Oregon University’s campus Sept. 18. The installation was paid for by the Percent for Art program.   September 24th, 2013 Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Aaron Newton   MONMOUTH — With its [more…]

Hitting all the right notes

By Aaron Newton Polk County Itemizer-Observer MONMOUTH — Every August, some heavyweights in the world of jazz gather at Western Oregon University to impart their knowledge to the next generation of jazz musicians. The Mel Brown Jazz Camp, held at WOU for the last 10 years, has been grooming up-and-coming musicians for 20 years. Students [more…]

A week of jazz in Monmouth

  Polk County Itemizer-Observer MONMOUTH — A free jazz concert that will kick off the annual Mel Brown Summer Jazz Workshop at Western Oregon University takes place Sunday beginning at 5 p.m. at Main Street Park in Monmouth. Sponsored by WOU and the city of Monmouth, the concert will feature performances by Stan Bock’s New [more…]

Picnic, auction set for Smith Fine Arts

By Aaron Newton Polk County Itemizer-Observer MONMOUTH — The 13th annual Smith Fine Arts Series picnic and auction is grooving its way to the Western Oregon University campus Sunday. The “Summer of Love”-themed event is the prime fundraiser for the annual performance and music series at Western starting in October. Last year’s auction raised almost [more…]

Children’s theater will perform ‘Arthur and Guinevere’

By Justin Much StatesmanJournal.com The Mid-Valley Community Children’s Theater will perform “Arthur and Guinevere” at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at Western Oregon University’s outdoor stage at the Performing Arts Center, Knox and Jackson streets, Monmouth. Organizer Rob Harriman said the show, which carries on the tradition of its founder and former [more…]

Rainbow Dance Theatre lights up the WOU Spring Dance Concert

    Statesman Journal  By Barbara Curtin May 4th, 2013   MONMOUTH — When the lights go out, a new world opens for Rainbow Dance Theatre. Neon-traced owls flutter and seem to fly in the blackness of Rice Auditorium. Three serpents glide by, cobralike hoods flaring. Dancers vanish, reappear or change character in the blink of [more…]

Meet Quarterflash

Best Of Quarterflash, 1997 (Craig Allen photo) New Jersey 101.5  By Craig Allen April 20th, 2013 Quarterflash is a husband and wife band, from Portland Oregon, that formed in the late 1970′s. Rindy and Marv Ross first performed together in the 1970′s at Western Oregon University where they fell in love and got married. While [more…]

Touted jazz musician brings saxophone sounds to WOU

  Grammy award-winning saxophonist Joe Lavano will perform with the American Metropole Orchestra Saturday night as part of WOU’s Fine Arts Series. // Photo courtesy of JoeLavano.com Statesman Journal By Kurt Holland April 10, 2013 MONMOUTH — One of the world’s premiere tenor saxophone players will pay a visit to Monmouth this weekend as part [more…]

Several decades of Western Oregon alumni are represented in a new exhibit

Western Oregon University’s Hamersly Library is featuring ‘Alumni Art: Remembering Western’ as its Winter 2013 exhibit. / JUSTIN MUCH / Statesman Journal The Statesman Journal By Geoff Parks A diverse group of artists representing several decades of Western Oregon University graduating classes returned to the campus last week to reflect on, and revel in, their [more…]

WOU professor stages opera for love of music

Western Oregon University music professor Kevin Helppie gives some direction to the cast of “animals” at a rehearsal of “Noye’s Fludde” in Salem on Jan. 5. // Photos by Pete Strong Polk County Itemizer-Observer Tuning violins, cellos and a piano create an ominous cloud of sound as Kevin Helppie steps onto the podium at Our [more…]

Smith Fine Arts Series: That’s entertainment!

Polk County Itemizer-Observer Craig Coleman If variety is the spice of life, the schedule for the 2012-13 Smith Fine Arts Series indicates there won’t be a hotter place to be in the mid-Willamette Valley than Western Oregon University’s Rice Auditorium as far as performing arts go. Need an example? Vagabond Opera, a Portland-based ensemble, will [more…]

Kevin Walczyk of Western Oregon University wins major composition prize

By David Stabler The Oregonian Kevin Walczyk, professor of music at Western Oregon University, has won the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize. The competition, organized by the University of Connecticut’s School of Fine Arts, promotes composers and their music. The international award comes with $25,000 and presents public performances and  recordings. Walczyk was [more…]

Monday music medicine

  Albany Democrat Herald – The Entertainer Albany’s Mondays at Monteith series has traditionally served as a relaxing respite from work-week drudgery, and as always, perennial opener the Willamette Valley Concert Band offers cultural cures for the summertime blues. The 55-musician-strong ensemble launches the 2012 season, which runs weekly through Aug. 13, with a “Music for [more…]

Bringing life to theater: Kids’ troupe readies for play

By Justin Much Statesman Journal The weather was cooperating with sun-tempering clouds but no rain Saturday, June 24 as young thespians showed up near Knox and Powell streets in Monmouth, appearing energetic and prepared. Their enthusiastic arrival was good news for the directors, organizers and volunteer parents who also gathered outside Rice Auditorium on the [more…]

Willamette concert band presents annual concert

Lebanon Express The Willamette Valley Concert Band will present its annual free Christmas concert at 2 p.m. on Dec. 17 in the Russell Tripp Performance Center at Linn-Benton Community College, 6500 Pacific Blvd. SW, Albany. Donations will be accepted. The concert is sponsored by the LBCC Foundation. The approximately 75-minute performance will consist of traditional [more…]

West grads to perform at Eugene concert

Albany Democrat-Herald Little Rascalz, a vocal duo with 2010 West Albany High School graduates Trey Kenyon and Michael Shogren, will open Thursday evening for Andy Grammer and Eugene band Rootdown at the McDonald Theatre in Eugene. Little Rascalz takes the stage at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.47. The concert, presented by Eugene-Springfield FM radio station [more…]

Theater review: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is a glowing winner for theater’s sixth season

The Oregonian By Holly Johnson Coming-of-age tale, courtroom drama, memory piece mixing themes of racism and lost innocence. Harper Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer prize-winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” has it all, and the story, placed in the suffocating, yet verdant Deep South atmosphere of of 1935, resounds with meaning in our lives today. In a [more…]

His creative legacy

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Craig Coleman SALEM — In a room on the second floor of Oregon’s State Capitol, Dan Cannon relaxes in a high-backed chair of walnut and leather. “This looks very regal, doesn’t it?” Cannon asked. He’s sitting in the office of Gov. John Kitzhaber — in his chair to be precise. Adorning [more…]

Big catch was poetry in motion

Statesman Journal By Henry Miller If Henry Hughes could be allowed poetic license, he might say that he got to eat his words, and loved it.The English professor and poet who teaches at Western Oregon University is the editor of “The Art of Angling: Poems About Fishing.” And in the melding of his two great [more…]

Dan Cannon’s art featured at Governor’s Office

Statesman Journal By Justin Much The Oregon Arts Commission announced today an exhibition of paintings by Monmouth artist Dan Cannon is on display in the Governor’s Office in the State Capitol through September 20. The exhibition, “Then and Now,” reportedly represents Cannon’s artistic career of more than 50 years, including 22 years as a professor [more…]

Sunday Profile: Keller Coker

Statesman Journal By Barbara Curtin Like a surprising number of professional musicians in Oregon, Keller Coker had his life changed by a Salem-Keizer music teacher.In Keller’s case, the teacher was David Glazier at Judson Middle School in the late 1970s. Keller wandered into the band room and asked if he could play something. Glazier sent [more…]

Flutist will perform, teach at Uptown Music

Statesman Journal By Jillian Daley A Western Oregon University teacher will host a flute masterclass and concert on Aug. 9 at Uptown Music. A high-caliber music teacher usually leads a masterclass, which is a technically focused class, said Jim Nardi, Uptown Music owner. This class, held 6 to 8:30 p.m., is open to musicians of [more…]

‘Gentleman of Jazz’ coming to Monmouth soon

Statesman Journal By Justin Much The “Gentleman of Jazz” will make his annual Monmouth visit soon. Western Oregon University and the City of Monmouth are co-hosting a free evening of jazz in Main Street Park, beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 31. The music features Mel Brown and Friends, followed by the Monterey Jazz Festival [more…]

Thinking inside the box

Salem Weekly By Jodi Kerr Friendship is art, but for the three Salem artists, the art is collaboration and success. Destree Rudolph, Candace Coyle, and Shelby Koning bring “Boxed In,” an art show about collaboration and unique art. The show, is coined as a visual exploration of the labels, perceptions and relationships that organize but [more…]

‘Avian Art’: Poetry, video and engravings by a legendary birder part of show at WOU

Statesman Journal By Barbara Curtin MONMOUTH — Long before modern photographers could stop a hummingbird’s wing in mid-beat, John James Audubon’s engravings helped viewers appreciate the wonder of birds. Now a rare original copperplate engraving from the first edition of Audubon’s “Birds of America” (1827-39) is on display at Western Oregon University’s Hamersly Library. It’s [more…]

Sunday Profle: Matthew Moorehead

By Barbara Curtin Statesman Journal (link includes video) Matthew Moorehead stands in two worlds. There’s Matthew the opera singer, who has appeared not only at Western Oregon University, but at a summer festival in Rome. Then there’s Matthew the staff sergeant in the Oregon Army National Guard, veteran of two Iraq deployments, committed to the [more…]

World-renowned flamenco guitarist Adam Del Monte stops by Woodburn

By Lindsay Keefer Woodburn Independent WOODBURN — Students at Woodburn Arts and Communications Academy (WACA) were thrilled at the opportunity to have world-renowned flamenco guitarist Adam Del Monte perform specially for them. Del Monte, who hails from Spain but currently resides in Los Angeles, was in the area for Western Oregon University’s (WOU) Smith Fine [more…]

Flamenco guitarist to perform at WOU

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Craig Coleman MONMOUTH — Experience the passion and fire of Flamenco guitar as Western Oregon University hosts internationally renowned Adam del Monte for a performance Tuesday, Jan. 18. The concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in Rice Auditorium, is part of the 2010-11 Smith Fine Arts Series (see related story, Page [more…]

WOU group hits all the right notes

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Craig Coleman MONMOUTH — If you’re a musician, you know available space for rehearsal on the Western Oregon University campus can be a rarity on some days. So you improvise, said Josh Bedlion, who’s gathered with the rest of his a cappella group in a corner of the Werner Center. The [more…]

James Tyler, luntenist and master of early instruments, helped preserve music of ancient era

Washington Post By Emma Brown James Tyler, a maestro of the ancient lute who resuscitated centuries-old and largely forgotten European music through his work on recordings, concerts and television soundtracks, died Nov. 23 at a Los Angeles hospital of complications from heart disease. He was 70. Mr. Tyler was a versatile musician who played at [more…]

Renowned bluegrass group to perform Saturday at WOU

Polk County Itemizer-Observer By Craig Coleman MONMOUTH — What critics describe as one of the best bluegrass bands currently touring is coming to Monmouth this weekend. The Travelin’ McCourys will perform Saturday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Rice Auditorium on the Western Oregon University Campus, 345 N. Monmouth Ave. The concert is part of [more…]

Jazz singer, pianist to perform with WOU’s Metropole Orchestra

Statesman Journal By Barbara Curtin Tickets are on sale now for the Dec. 2 performance by the Western Hemisphere Orchestra with jazz singer Nancy King and pianist/composer Steve Christofferson. It will be at 7:30 p.m. in Rice Auditorium, Western Oregon University. The duo will perform arrangements written especially for King by the renowned Metropole Orchestra [more…]

High school choirs will tune up voices

Polk County Itemizer-Observer MONMOUTH — More than 600 high school vocalists from across Oregon and Southwest Washington, including Dallas High students, will invade Monmouth for a special concert early next week. The 15th annual WOU Choral Festival will take place Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 22-23, with morning and afternoon performances on both days at Rice [more…]

Dallas opera singer to perform benefit for VORP

Polk County Itemizer-Observer DALLAS — International opera singer Rebecca Fromherz, accompanied by pianist and Western Oregon University music instructor Jackie Morelli, will perform a Thanksgiving benefit concert and hymn sing-a-long to benefit the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program. The performance is set for Tuesday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. at First Christian Church, 1079 SE Jefferson [more…]