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Spring heats up with Sac State arts events


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The chill of winter will soon give way to warmer temperatures, and Sacramento State is ready to celebrate with a full lineup of exhibits, theater productions and music and dance concerts throughout the spring semester.

The showpiece of the new season is Sacramento State’s annual Festival of the Arts, April 14-21.

The Festival’s official run begins with selected performances during the April 14 Second Saturday in Midtown. That evening at 6:30, noted international filmmaker, writer and composer Trinh T. Minh-ha will screen one of her films and take questions in Riverside Hall Room 1015.

During its run, the Festival of the Arts will also include performances of the musical Zoot Suit; the Gypsy jazz music of the Hot Club of San Francisco; exhibits of student, faculty and staff art and photography; student films and theater productions; and a sampling of local professional dance companies.

More details will be available in coming months at

Sacramento State will launch a new event sure to become a mainstay on the city’s art scene. U-Nite, for University Night, has its inaugural celebration April 12 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Crocker Art Museum. U-Nite is a collaboration between about 40 full-time faculty members from the College of Arts and Letters and the Crocker Art Museum. The event, part of the museum’s “Thursdays ‘til 9” series, will be a first-ever faculty arts showcase, featuring live performances, readings and presentations, as well as student participation. The event will also serve as the kickoff celebration for this year's Festival.

And Sac State serves up arts and entertainment events all the way to Commencement ceremonies, offering the best in drama, comedy, dance, music, art and design.


Theatre and Dance

Sacramento Black Art of Dance kick-starts the Theatre and Dance season by marking a milestone with “20th Anniversary Concert: Past, Present and Future.” Founded by Linda Goodrich, chair of the Theatre and Dance Department, S/BAD showcases diverse Black concert dance forms such as West African, Brazilian and modern jazz. Performances are Feb. 16-19 and 22-26 in Solano Hall Dancespace.

The musical Zoot Suit will be performed on the University Theatre main stage April 6-8, 12-15 and 19-22. Written by Luis Valdez, with music and lyrics by Daniel Valdez and Lalo Guerrero, Sac State’s presentation is directed by Professor Manuel Jose Pickett. The play is based on the real-life events of the Sleepy Lagoon murder trial, when a group of young Mexican Americans was wrongfully charged with murder in 1940s Los Angeles.

The focus shifts back to dance for a Sacramento Dance Sampler, offering a taste of styles and approaches from local dance companies and choreographers such as the CORE Dance Collective, Linda Bair Dance Company, S/BAD, Philip Flickinger, Red Bucket Dance Theatre, E:motion Dance Ensemble and Lorelei Bayne Projects. Performances are 8 p.m. April 19-21 in Solano Hall Dancespace.

Students take their turns at staging their own theatrical productions during a series of one-act plays April 24-28 and May1-5 in the Studio Theatre, on campus between the University Library and Capistrano Hall. The students cast, direct, and design the set, lights and costumes of their individual projects.

Graduating dance majors take their final exam on stage, auditioning, choreographing and providing lighting and costuming for the annual Senior Dance Concert. Each piece is the culminating experience for these talented Sac State students. Directed by Professor Lorelei Bayne, the production runs May 2-6 in Solano Hall Dancespace.

Tickets for Zoot Suit range from $7 to $15. Sacramento Dance Sampler tickets are $10. All other productions have tickets from $5 to $12. Tickets are available at the University Ticket Office, (916) 278-4323 or

For more details on the spring Theatre and Dance season, visit or call (916) 278-6368. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs Office at (916) 278-6156.



The New Millennium Music Series returns this spring, starting off with the critically acclaimed L.A. Piano Quartet on Monday, Feb. 13. This is a rare Northern California appearance by the group whose expertise extends from the Classical Era to present day. The concert will feature works by Mozart, Steven Stucky and Gabriel Fauré.

The series’ Faculty and Friends Gala is Tuesday, March 27. The Sun Quartet – Ian Swensen, Anna Presler, Anna Kruger and Andrew Luchansky – will perform the music of Dmitri Shostakovich. They’ll be joined by saxophonist Keith Bohm, pianists John Cozza and Eric Zivian, French-horn player Pete Nowlen and clarinetist Deborah Pittman.

Gypsy jazz from The Hot Club of San Francisco will be performed Wednesday, April 18. The group is renowned for celebrating the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli as well as performing its own, original compositions.

The series concludes April 27 with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and guitarist Eliot Fisk. The award-winning instrumentalists capture the flavors and folk melodies of Europe and America with works ranging from Bach and Bartok to Steve Reich and Robert Beaser.

All of the New Millennium concerts are at 7:30 p.m. in Capistrano Hall’s Music Recital Hall. Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 seniors and $5 for students for most performances. Faculty concert tickets are $15 general, $10 seniors and $5 for students. A ticket package for the entire series is $60.


The Piano Series continues with pianist Natasha Paremski performing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14. Paremski won the top prize in the Young Artists in Carnegie Hall 2000 International Piano Festival, and received the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year award in 2010. The concert is in Capistrano Hall’s Music Recital Hall. Tickets are $20 general and $15 for students and seniors.


A series of guest artists will be featured throughout the semester. Flautist John Bailey will perform at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3. The principal flautist with the Lincoln Symphony, Bailey will perform Bach’s Sonata in E minor, Hindemith’s Sonata for Flute and Piano, and Ruth Seeger’s Diaphonic Suite for solo flute, among others.

Cellist Sarah Fiene will be featured at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8. Fiene is the former principal cellist of the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, has performed with the Empyrean Ensemble and San Francisco Ballet, and is the founder and artistic director of the Ensemble Phoenix. Her concert will include works by Janacek, Stravinsky and Mark O’Connor.

Cellist Paul Cohen and pianist Robert Merfeld perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15. Cohen has led a class of cellists at Amherst College and been guest artist at the aspen Music Festival. Critics describe his music as “radiant” and “especially eloquent.” Merfeld has a master’s degree from the Juilliard School, was a founding member of the Apple Hill Chamber Players and has performed as a soloist with the national orchestras of Costa Rica, Bolivia and the orchestras of Brandeis, Harvard and Boston universities.

All of the concerts will be held in Capistrano Hall Room 151. Tickets are $10 general, $7 seniors and $5 students.

And there’s more.

Sac State’s Jazz Ensembles welcome special guest bassist Rick Shaw to their Thursday, March 8 concert. They’ll perform again on Thursday, April 19. The Jazz Singers take the stage Friday, May 4.

The University’s choral program presents Choralfest on Saturday, March 10, featuring The Sac State Chamber Choir, Women’s Chorus and guest choirs from Antelope High School and the Weimar Adventist Academy. The final concert of the academic year on Saturday, May 12, will feature the University Chorus, Chamber Choir and Women’s Chorus. Both concerts are at Sacred Heart Church.

World Music returns with its series of concerts tentatively scheduled for Feb. 7 and 19, March 17, and April 7 and 11.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble performs Feb. 22 and April 4. The Concert Band plays March 14 and joins forces with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble for a May 9 concert.

The Symphony Orchestra performs March 13 and May 8.

Mozart’s “La finta Giardiniera” will be presented on April 26 and 28 by the department’s Opera Theatre.

Faculty recitals will be offered by soprano Robin Fisher on Friday, Jan. 27, and bassoonist David Wells on Tuesday, April 17.

Baroque music fills the air when Camerata Capistrano performs Sunday, May 13. The String Project, featuring some of the city’s youngest violinists, cellists and bass players, holds its annual spring concert Monday, May 14.

As if all that wasn’t enough, there will be plenty of free music provided by the department’s talented students in solo and small group performances.

For more details on this exciting season, visit Tickets for performances are available from the University Ticket Office, (916) 278-4323 or For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs Office at (916) 278-6156.


Fine Art and Design

There’s still time to catch “Afterglow: Rethinking California Light and Space Art,” which runs through Saturday, Feb. 25 in the University Library Gallery. The exhibit examines a 40-year-old West Coast art movement that is still reflected in works by today’s artists.

That will be followed by an ambitious multi-media presentation of visual arts, performing arts and the written word celebrating the talents of Sacramento State’s faculty and staff. “Sac State Has Talent” runs March 15-May 18 with an opening reception 5-8 p.m. Friday, March 16.

Spearheaded by Gallery Director Phil Hitchcock, “Sac State Has Talent” was created to showcase the artistic endeavors of University employees. Hitchcock has recruited faculty and staff who paint, sculpt, quilt, shoot movies, make jewelry, play musical instruments, perform in bands or write poetry.

The exhibit space will include the Library’s main and annex galleries with performances scheduled on the premises at various times throughout the show’s run.

The gallery will also host the Friends of the Library’s Author Lecture Series. The spring lineup features Belva Davis, Tuesday, Feb. 7; Kim Nalder, Tuesday, March 13; and Michael Krasny, Wednesday, April 11. All lectures are free and begin at 3 p.m.

Library Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday.


The best of Sacramento State’s student artwork will be on display Feb. 6-23 in Kadema Hall’s Else Gallery. The annual Student Award Show presents art in a variety of media by students competing for scholarships. Formats include two- and three-dimensional works such as digital images, sculpture, painting, and interactive works.

Professor Jenny Stark, who recently displayed her photographs at the Crocker Art Gallery, presents In-Between Place: Jenny Stark’s Central California, a show of photos and videos for the Else beginning Tuesday, March 6. The exhibit runs through Thursday, March 29, and Stark will give a lecture about her work from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, in Kadema 145.

Intriguing sand sculptures appear in the gallery for “Making Merit for Southeast Asian New Year: Offering of the Sand Stupas,” April 9-20. Curated by Professor Pat Chirapravati, the exhibit is presented in collaboration with the Anthropology Department, Music Department and Asian Studies Program. The presentation includes performances of Southeast Asian music and dance in Kadema Hall’s courtyard at 5 p.m. Friday, April 20, as part of the Festival of the Arts.

The season closes out with the annual Senior Art Show, April 30-May 17.


Kadema Hall’s Witt Gallery will host guest artists Lampuii Sailo and Pooja Tripathi for “Through Our Lenses: Mother and Daughter.” Sailo is from Mizoram, in northeastern India. Tripathi is a 10th-grader at Davis Senior High School. The exhibition runs Feb. 20-24.

The remainder of the semester will feature works by Art Department students.

The season closes out with the annual Master’s Art Show, April 30-May 17. (A second Master’s Art Show will be held in the Library Gallery Annex May 4-31).

Else and Witt hours are noon-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.


The Professions of Art lecture series continues on Tuesday evenings with three more guest speakers discussing their work and career paths. Liv Moe, director of the Verge Center for the Arts; Lial Jones, director of the Crocker Art Museum; and Craig Watson, director of the California Council for the Arts, will give lectures on March 13, April 10 and May 8, respectively. All lectures begin at 6:30 p.m. in Kadema Hall Room 145.


The Design Department is in the process of working out details for the 10th anniversary of its annual Spring Design Show. Three guest lectures are also planned for the new semester.


And what would the end of the Spring Semester be without the annual Art Ball? The ball spans the campus, offering a multitude of exhibits of visual arts along with music and a few surprises throughout the evening event. This year’s celebration is 5-8 p.m. Friday, May 11.


More information on Art and Design events is at, and For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs Office at (916) 278-6156.


– Craig Koscho