Monthly Archives: September 2011
Master drum maker Rich Spirit of Cincinnati, Ohio along with Wacoans Isabel Torres and Sandi Horton are assembling local drummers to provide a ceremony honoring the finale of the Stickworks sculpture located in Cameron Park’s Pecan Bottoms beginning at 5 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2011. Cultural Arts of Waco President Doreen Ravenscroft is sharing a few words about the process and significance of the event. Marc Mormino is organizing A Cappella singers from Stonhenj to present a few selections before the ceremony concludes at 6 pm. The event is open to the public.
The impressive ‘Stickworks’ structure was completed last October by internationally acclaimed artist Patrick Dougherty assisted by dozens of local volunteers using willow saplings found in the Waco wetlands. The project was funded by the Waco Cultural Arts Fest and a matching grant from the National Endowment of the Arts.
Unfortunately, the severely hot weather in Waco this summer followed by a recent wind and rain storm has destroyed the integrity of the art work. Tens of thousands of Central Texans and tourists have enjoyed this amazing art work during its year long life. The temporary sculpture was planned to be disassembled when the natural materials naturally decomposed. The damaged structure will be removed this week.
After the ceremony concludes at 6 pm, community members are invited to join the drum circle. Rich Spirit will provide handmade Ashiko drums for all who wish to participate. Drumming experience is not necessary to attend the free drum circle/workshop.
The FREE Waco Cultural Arts Fest 2011 starts in just 9 days at Indian Spring Park.
Three Waco dance studios will bring their best performers to the Indian Spring Amphitheater on Sat. Sept. 17 between 2 – 4 pm.
All That Jazz Dance Academy will kick off the dance performances at 2 pm with 18 dancers, ages 9-25. They will perform jazz, modern, and hip hop dances for the festival using the music of artists Alanis Morisette, Aerosmith, Frou Frou, Johnny Kemp, and more.
Regina Nix is the owner, director and the main instructor for the All That Jazz dancers. They compete at Starbound National Talent Competition, Dance Educators of America, Cathy Roe Productions, and I Love Dance. They also perform at local events such as the HOT Fair, Race for the Cure, Hip Hop to Health, local nursing homes, Deck The Halls, and weddings.
Dancers from All That Jazz Dance Academy have also performed on several Carnival Cruise ships, at Walt Disney World, in New York on Fuse TV, at New York Visitors Center, and in Hawaii at the Ala Moana Mall and the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Regina Nix is assisted by teachers Stacia Barrett, Christi Holt, Casey Jessup, Cassie Commerford and Blaine Peters at All That Jazz.
At 2:30 pm, Joy’s School of Dance students will take the stage with their 26 member dance company of dancers ages 12 – 18. They will perform pieces from their 2011 spring recital with a theme of ‘Circus’ using ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop dances.
JSOD performs at many community events throughout the year including HOT Fair and Rodeo, Deck the Halls, JSOD Holiday Show, Waco Children’s Symphony, Zoo Tunes, Hooray for Families Expo, Various School Carnivals, National Night Out, National Dance Day, Movies in the Park, JSOD Spring Recital, and TATD Floor Show.
Natalie George is the owner and artistic director of JSOD assisted by Lydia Spano and Sam Adair.
The Expressions Dance Company from the Jenni Holley Dance Studio will perform at 3:00 pm. Approximately 20 dancers between the ages of 12-18 will perform ballet, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop using world music, pop, and rock selections.
The Expressions Dance Company competes at New York City Dance Alliance, Co. Dance, The Pulse by Broadway Dance Center, Tremaine, Cathy Roe Ultimate Dance, Starlight, Showstoppers, Celebrity, Starpower, and Artists Simply Human.
In addition to the WCAF, the EDC has also performed at the Heart of Texas Fair, State Fair of Texas, Deck the Halls, Junior League Mother-Daughter Tea, and Waco Kidz Expo.
Jenni Holley is the director and lead instructor of the Dance Company assisted by Shiree King. Other instructors at the Jenni Holley Dance Studio are Liz Rogers, Michelle Godin, and Molly McGrew.
Rich Spirit Borthwick will be returning to lead his Ashiko drum construction workshops. Rich has been making drums for 13 years and teaching workshops for 10 years.
An Ashiko is an African drum that originated in Nigeria. It is also popular in Central and South America and Cuba especially in drum circles, parades or during carnivals. The Ashiko is characterized by a truncated cone shape. It is usually played with bare hands in a slapping manner.
Workshops to make an Ashiko drum will be located near the suspension bridge on Sat. and Sun. Sept. 17-18. Be prepared to use ‘hands on’ craft skills such as gluing, using wood working tools, and knot tying. You’ll also need some strength to tighten your drum head to achieve the quality of sound you like. This workshop will develop a love of drumming and appreciation for the drum you build.
Borthwick will also give instructions to help participants play the Ashiko drums.
The FREE Waco Cultural Arts Fest 2011 starts in just 13 days at Indian Spring Park.
One of the headliner groups for the WCAF is Mahenwahdose, Native American performers of song, dance, and story from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company features a full-blood Muscogee Indian storyteller Nagonagogee OniYah, also known as Will Hill. Hill learned the traditions and ancestry of his tribe by the tribal elders. He uses language, traditional flute, drum, and humor to share his stories. Hill is joined by native American Jehnean Washington, a professional performer who graduated from AMDA (American Music and Dance Academy) in New York City.
Mahenwahdose was the first company to perform at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian before it opened in Washington, D.C. in 2004. They have performed at Disney’s Epcot Center and throughout the United States. Their original song, The Trail of Tears was nominated for a Grammy in 2008.
Mahhenwahdose will perform two shows at South Waco Elementary School on Fri. Sept. 16. On Sat. Sept. 17 the group will perform at Indian Spring Park at 6 pm and again at Indian Spring Park on Sun. Sept. 18 at 4 pm.
A unique percussion ensemble composed of 12 Baylor music students will present a composition written in 2009 by Alaskan composer John Luther Adams entitled Inuksuit on Sun. Sept. 18, 2011 at the WCAF. The percussionists will not perform on the stage. They will be dispersed throughout the park playing for about an hour starting at 12:30 pm. It is an interactive performance.
Inuksuit is intended to be played outdoors, designed to heighten our awareness of the sights and sounds that surround us every day and to energize our experience of our own environment. It is written for an incredible array of percussion instruments—conch shells, airhorns, sirens, gongs, maracas, drums, cymbals, and glockenspiels— and may use 9-99 musicians in its performance.
This summer the Baylor Percussion Group traveled to New York to participate in a 99-person performance ensemble of Inuksuit in Morningside Park in Manhattan.
Inuksuit was first performed in the forests of Banff, Canada and has only been performed a handful of times in the United States. The title Inuksuit refers to a type of stone marker used by Inuit and other native peoples to orient themselves in Arctic spaces. In a program note, the composer writes, “This work is haunted by the vision of the melting of the polar ice, the rising of the seas, and what may remain of humanity’s presence after the waters recede.”
Baylor Percussion Professor Todd Meehan,D.M.A., is the director of the Baylor Percussion Group. He tells us more about what to expect at the performance in Waco.
“Listeners should be ready to hear an ever-evolving piece of music. Starting with barely audible sounds of wind, the piece slowly develops through different ‘stages’ of sound, reaching a climactic peak in the middle of the piece and then receding into the audible distance. The stages are as follows: ‘Breathing/Wind’ (rubbed stones, maracas, whirly tubes), ‘Calls’ (conch and trumpet blasts), ‘Waves’ (blaring sirens, thunderous drums, and soaring cymbal sounds), ‘Clangs’ (bell tones), and finally another stage of ‘Wind/Birdsongs’ (triangles, cymbals, glockenspiels, toy piano). The work ends with sporadic birdsongs played by four of the performers. Because the piece has been performed once before in Texas, the composer was able to provide us with specific musical notation for Central Texas birds. Audiences will hear the songs of the Cardinal, the Purple Martin, and the Tufted Titmouse, in this particular performance.
The percussionists ‘travel’ during the piece, moving to different stations set up throughout the park. The audience should feel absolutely free to walk around the performance area and experience the sounds from different vantage points. As the composer states, there is no ‘best seat in the house’. Walk amongst the musicians and take in the music you are hearing as you would take in the sounds of nature.”
Waco musician Classie Ballou and the Family Band will entertain us again this year at the WCAF on Sat. Sept. 17 from 7-8 pm. Classie is not only well known in Waco but throughout the US and around the world. He is well received every time he plays at the New Orleans Heritage Jazz Festival. Fans in Holland and France love his shows, too.
Classie’s music is a unique blend of swamp blues, zydeco, swamp pop, R & B, mambo, rock ‘n roll, and a little Latin flavor from over 50 years of performances. He plays with passion, style, and lots of talent. His music will warm your soul.
Classie has opened for many famous musicians over the years including Ike and Tina Turner, Lou Rawls, Diana Ross, BB King, Etta James. Chuck Berry, T-Bone Walker, and others.
Bring your lawn chair or blanket to Indian Spring Park Amphitheatre to enjoy Classie’s Family Band on the hillside in downtown Waco on Sept. 17, 2011.