Since 1996, Friends University’s composer- or conductor-in-residence program has brought fresh and powerful talent to the stage in Wichita. This year will be no different as Larry Clark, renowned band composer and conductor leads the Friends University Concert Band in a performance of his own compositions at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Riney Fine Arts Center’s Sebits Auditorium.
The Sebits Auditorium will be alive in celebration of Franz Liszt’s 200th birthday at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 in the Riney Fine Arts Center.
Dr. James Knight, Friends University professor of piano, will perform in honor of Liszt – the Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor and teacher – who was born Oct. 22, 1811. In fact, musicians all over the world are programming Liszt’s works in honor of the occasion; and even the Budapest Ferihegy International Airport has been renamed the Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport.
Be prepared to witness the dark side of dance when students take the stage in “Nicest Kids in Town” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28-29 in the Riney Fine Arts Center’s Sebits Auditorium.
The third annual student-led showcase has “a dark-to-light theme,” said Cherie Sullivan, senior Music Theatre major. “The first act has a more dark and creepy feeling to it. ‘Is It Scary’ is a Michael Jackson dance with a little Halloween theme to it. And the second act is more light and fun with hopeful songs.”
Lawrence, Kan., artist Elizabeth Rowley is on a continuous quest to find and showcase the reality of the world.
“I try to truly see – not just look – at the spaces I am in every day. And then I translate this visual information to the spaces I create,” said Rowley. “I can only hope that this search for the real will be a constant reminder of why I continually search and strive for these real experiences.”
The Friends University Jazz Department will present Casado Jazz Night at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 in Friends University’s Casado Campus Center. The guest artist will be Dr. Ron McCurdy, trumpet player and director of Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California.
Admission is free and the performance is staged in a relaxed coffeehouse atmosphere. All four Friends University Jazz Combos will be featured. The combos are directed by Friends University faculty Lisa Hittle, Beau Jarvis, Jeff Gordon and Randy Zellers.
Audiences will walk the plank into the perilous hilarity of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan’s ocean of comedic opera, as those peerlessly predacious “Pirates of Penzance” take the stage at Friends University.
An unruly band of pirates, giggling girls, blundering policemen, a “very model of a modern Major-General,” and – of course – a dashing protagonist will take the stage in this charming and ridiculous performance of this Gilbert and Sullivan classic.
The Friends University Jazz Department is proud to present “A Night of Kansas City Swingin’ Jazz” with legendary Hammond B-3 organist Everette DeVan, and the Friends University Jazz Ensemble I. This concert will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Riney Fine Arts Center’s Sebits Auditorium on the Friends University campus.
Tickets cost $8 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students. Call 316-295-5677 for tickets or more information. For more information on Everette DeVan, please go to www.everettedevan.com.
The Friends University ballet department will present its annual Fall Ballet performance at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7-8 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 9 in the Riney Fine Arts Center’s Sebits Auditorium at Friends University.
The ballet will feature two guest artists: Misty Rascon-Smith of Los Angeles, and James Wallace, artistic director of David Taylor Dance Theatre.
Susan Mayo, adjunct professor, will present a recital at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at The Fisch Haus, 524 S. Commerce Street in Wichita. This recital will have an interesting twist, combining cello, power tools, and dance.