Fiona Riley

Piano festival, national radio show hosted at Texas State

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Musicians from around the world gathered in San Marcos June 1-9 to both perform and learn about their art as part of the Texas State International Piano Festival.

The festival was sponsored by KMFA and TPR, classical radio stations located in Austin and San Antonio respectively, said Jason Kwak, associate professor in the School of Music.

“This is a way to attract really great talent from around the world,” Kwak said. “Recruiting was a part of starting this event, but more than that we wanted something really big and eventful for the culture and community of San Marcos.”

Texas State graduates work with children at Austin Bat Cave

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Two Texas State alumnae have made it their job to help improve children’s writing skills, whether that means going to juvenile detention centers, classrooms or halfway houses. 

A year ago, alumnae Katie Angermeier and Sarah Morrison began working for Austin Bat Cave—Angermeier as volunteer coordinator and Morrison as program director. The program focuses on helping children from ages 6 to 18 better their writing skills, teaching them to write college entrance essays as well as focusing on expository and creative forms of writing.

Austin Bat Cave was founded in 2007, a year before Angermeier and Morrison initially volunteered in 2008.

Austin Bat Cave depends on volunteers and has anywhere between 40 and 150 volunteers working for them at any given time.

Dance and choral ensembles combine for performance

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Texas State students, staff and alumni will collaborate for a unique combination of performances in an upcoming weekend event.  

The ensemble will feature live music by the Texas State Chorale and dancing by the university’s Merge Dance Company, as well as the The Shay Ishii Dance Company.

Shay Ishii, coordinator of theatre and dance publicity, is the choreographer for both dance companies and designed their costumes.

In several pieces, dancers will be moving in and out of the choir with both groups on stage.

Concert series aims to keep San Marcos beautiful

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Children, families and elderly couples filled San Marcos Plaza Park with laughter, conversations and relaxation Thursday night during the second of five concerts in the Keep San Marcos Beautiful Spring Concert Series.

The evening kicked off at 6:30 p.m. with catering services provided by Whole Foods, selling chicken tacos, buffalo wraps and more. Other vendors sold incense, stoneware and other merchandise.

Among jewelry vendors was The Imperfect Bones, selling necklaces made with chicken and rat skulls and raccoon jaws as pendants, and a jewelry stand made out of a chicken’s scaly leg. All items were handmade by Hannah Parks.

Songs, dance flow together in new musical about bathrooms

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In a dystopian future city, the rich and poor are divided by one bizarre law—everyone must pay to use the restroom, and there are no private bathrooms.

This is the premise of “Urinetown,” the latest play to be performed by the Department of Theatre and Dance, opening Tuesday.

Incorporating both politics and humor, “Urinetown” is a satire about what happens when water becomes a scarce resource, making using the restroom an expensive activity. 

“It’s also a challenge to the audience of ‘Who’s really evil, who’s really right, who’s really wrong?’ because the people have one point of view, and the rich have another,” said Betty Muessig, musical theatre junior. “It definitely challenges the audience.”

Q&A with Rachel Reinert, vocalist for country band Gloriana

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The country band Gloriana will be playing April 18 at Riverfest, a large music festival put on by the Student Association for Campus Activities. The band is comprised of guitarists Tom Gossin and Mike Gossin, mandolin player Cheyenne Kimball and lead vocalist Rachel Reinert.

The University Star spoke with Reinert about the band and its upcoming performance. 

FR: What songs will you be playing at Riverfest?

RR: You know, I don’t really know yet. Usually we just choose our set list the day of, and it depends on what the venue’s like and what we’re feeling. But we’ll definitely be playing a lot of covers, a lot of songs from the new record and some songs from our first record as well.

Local coffee roasters raise funds for storefront

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When a stay-at-home father began brewing his own coffee, friends and family asked where they could find it for sale, prompting him to become an entrepreneur.

Austin Van Zant started his own business, Redbud Roasters, with his wife Mary Van Zant. They started selling their coffee at a local farmer’s market—but have since expanded to The Quad. Now they’re using Indiegogo, a crowd-funding platform, to raise money for a storefront. So far, they’ve raised approximately $3,500 of the $30,000 they need by the deadline, which is in 25 days.

“The store should be at the old OST liquor store, at the corner of MLK and LBJ,” Austin Van Zant said.

Festival brings cultural dance experience to campus

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Dancers moved across the stage with fluidity, then stopped suddenly to stare intensely into each other’s eyes. Rehearsal of their up-close-and-personal choreography was in full swing in preparation for the Sans Souci Festival.

Texas State dance students will be performing live March 7 at the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema. They will perform a modern dance called Pueblo-Mujeres, composed by Cecilia and Yseye Appleton during their artistic residency at Texas State.

“It’s about women in Mexico who have to struggle to create a community for themselves while their men are gone,” said Eileene Vicencio, anthropology senior.

“Hoosiers” actor recalls Texas State memories

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Movies, television, voice-overs and plays—Texas State alumnus Chelcie Ross has done them all multiple times in his career as an actor. 

Ross has spent 40 years in his profession, but he did not initially plan on pursuing an acting career.

Ross was undecided on his future career upon arrival at the university, known then as Southwest Texas State.

It was only when a class required him to do something in the arts he auditioned for the play “Noah,” written by Andre Obey and directed by Gresdna Doty, who taught at the university. Ross was cast in the leading role. “Noah” was his first play.

Festival brings cultural dance experience to campus

By: 

Dancers moved across the stage with fluidity, then stopped suddenly to stare intensely into each other’s eyes. Rehearsal of their up-close-and-personal choreography was in full swing in preparation for the Sans Souci Festival.

Texas State dance students will be performing live March 7 at the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema. They will perform a modern dance called Pueblo-Mujeres, composed by Cecilia and Yseye Appleton during their artistic residency at Texas State.

“It’s about women in Mexico who have to struggle to create a community for themselves while their men are gone,” said Eileene Vicencio, anthropology senior.

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