Courtney Clancy

Recent Posts

We will reign: Melanie George

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Oct 13, 2017 12:49:17 PM

 

Since graduating from Western Michigan University's Department of Dance in 1994, Melanie George has forged a multifaceted career as a jazz dancer, choreographer, educator, scholar and advocate. From our Q&A conversation with Melanie, it is clear that these roles do not just overlap. Rather, they are deeply intertwined and synergistic. According to Melanie in her artist statement, "my scholarship purposely and strategically informs my choreography and pedagogy. I have great interest in upsetting traditional hierarchies in dance on the stage and the page."

For the past week, we have been lucky to have had Melanie back on campus bringing her wide-ranging expertise and perspective to our students. Last Friday, Melanie served as a celebrity judge for the annual Dancing with the WMU/Kazoo Stars competition and scholarship fundraiser, offering thoughtful praise, critique and commentary on the evening's performances. Over the past several days, Melanie has also worked in the studio, teaching jazz dance classes and staging new choreography on first-year students. And later this afternoon, in recognition of her years of research, education, innovation and excellence in the world of dance, Melanie will be presented with the 2017 College of Fine Arts Distinguished Alumni Award for the Department of Dance.

Get to know more about Distinguished Alumna Melanie George in her interview with the Fine Print:

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Topics: Department of Dance, Dance, Careers in the Arts, Alumni, We Will Reign

We will reign: Palmer Jankens

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Oct 10, 2017 3:44:02 PM

 

Meet Palmer Jankens, a self-proclaimed entertainment sound nerd and this year's Distinguished Alumni Award honoree for the Department of Theatre. From designing for prestigious theatre companies and productions throughout Chicago to mixing shows around the world, Palmer has built a career doing what he loves. And by the sounds of it, the experiences he was afforded during his time in the Department of Theatre's design and technical production program had a lot to do with his success. Hear all about it here:

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Topics: Careers in the Arts, Department of Theatre, Alumni, We Will Reign

We will reign: Alex Jokipii

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Oct 6, 2017 5:31:25 PM

 

2017 School of Music Distinguished Alumnus Alex Jokipii has held the position of Principal Trumpet with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for nearly two decades. In addition, he has appeared as a soloist on countless occasions, and he has performed as a guest Principal Trumpet with numerous world-class symphonies and orchestras. But according to Alex, his success was far from instant.

In our interview with Alex, he touches on the struggles of totally reinventing the way he played trumpet when he arrived at WMU in 1988. He also talks about learning harsh lessons of time management and hard work, and he discusses how persistence played a part in breaking through as a professional (Mary Brodbeck, 2017 Frostic School of Art Distinguished Alumna, also asserts that persistence is the key to success as an artist. We're noticing a theme here...).

Learn what - and who - contributed to Alex's great success as a musician in his responses below.

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Topics: School of Music, Careers in the Arts, Alumni, We Will Reign

We will reign: Mary Brodbeck

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Oct 4, 2017 4:51:40 PM

 

Each fall, the Western Michigan University College of Fine Arts recognizes four alumni who have put their stamp on their field. 2017 Frostic School of Art Distinguished Alumna Mary Brodbeck has done just that. Mary's artwork, which employs traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking methods to transfer ink to paper, has received critical acclaim in both Japan and the United States. With a portfolio of celebrated work, a series of prints housed in the Detroit Institute of Arts' permanent collection, and an extensive career of teaching, visual storytelling and printmaking, Mary continues to share her art and expertise with the world. Today, Mary's sharing even more with us.

Read Mary's essay below to learn about not only the time-honored art of woodblock printing, but also about the turning points in Mary's career and the traits that allowed her to succeed.

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Topics: Frostic School of Art, Alumni, We Will Reign

Frostic School of Art students collaborate with Audiotree Music Festival

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Sep 18, 2017 11:16:23 AM

 

Next weekend, Audiotree Music Festival will return to Arcadia Creek Festival Place, once again bringing "music and community together" in downtown Kalamazoo. But this year, the artists on stage aren't the only ones sharing their talent with audiences; the work of Gwen Frostic School of Art students will also be on display for concertgoers to enjoy.

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Topics: Frostic School of Art, The Student Experience, Kalamazoo

The Cecily Shives story part I: To be a ballerina

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Sep 7, 2017 12:21:09 PM

 

Ask any young child what they want to be when they grow up, and ballerina often makes the list of ideal occupations. But how many of these dance dreams actually come true?

For Cecily Shives, a 2017 BFA graduate of the Department of Dance, the dream of becoming a ballerina has remained alive throughout her life. As a toddler, Cecily was already dancing around her family’s home in pointe shoes, and then in eighth grade, she was voted “most likely to become a ballerina” by her peers.

Well, her classmates had it right. This fall, Cecily will pirouette into the professional world as a company member with Ballet San Antonio.

Through a series of three installments, we’ll be profiling Cecily and the many steps – and turns, spins and leaps – she’s made in her journey to become a professional ballerina. We’ll open with the early days.

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Topics: Department of Dance, Dance, Careers in the Arts, Alumni

Staff spotlight: Nick Gauthier

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Aug 9, 2017 4:38:34 PM

 

He is often a newcomer's first point of contact with the Gwen Frostic School of Art as they tour the facilities and register for their first semester of classes. He's also a key resource for graduating seniors as they check off their degree requirements and transition into the "real world." From start to finsh, academic advisor Nick Gauthier is invaluable in a Frostic School of Art student's journey. 

Learn more about Nick -  including the best part of his job and his love of theatre - in his responses below.

 

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Topics: Frostic School of Art, Staff Spotlight

CFA gets social: Meeting our newest class of fine arts Broncos

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Aug 1, 2017 5:02:13 PM

 

More than 300 new art, dance, music and theatre students will be joining us on campus this fall, but we just couldn’t wait any longer to welcome them to the College of Fine Arts community. Earlier this week, we mailed these fine arts Broncos their official welcome packet, including some CFA swag and a message to engage with us on social media.

 

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Topics: Admissions, Student Experience

Staff spotlight: Natalie Faculak

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Jul 20, 2017 3:18:14 PM

 

Whether at a college fair, in your high school art classroom, or here on campus during orientation, if you're a student in the College of Fine Arts, chances are you've met Natalie Faculak. Or, if you haven't had the pleasure of meeting her in person, you probably recognize her name from your email inbox or our blog, as Natalie frequently contributes tips and guidance for students during their college decision process and beyond.

As manager of recruitment and outreach for the College of Fine Arts, Natalie's job is to be a resource for prospective students, answering questions and providing information regarding the admissions process, our top-notch programs and the offerings of the university as a whole. Seeing that she's a two-time graduate of Western Michigan University, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better representative to speak with.

Get to know Natalie - from her daily duties to how she'd spend her dream day - in her responses below:

 

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Topics: Staff Spotlight

Staff spotlight: Laura Cornish

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Jul 5, 2017 11:44:43 AM

 

Laura Cornish can usually be found behind the lightboard, but today we're shining the spotlight on her.

As supervisor of dance production, Laura splits her time between designing lighting for dance concerts and presentations, teaching and mentoring aspiring lighting designers, and managing various marketing duties for the Department of Dance. Learn more about Laura -  including what her farm upbringing taught her and where she finds the best prime rib in Kalamazoo - in her responses below.

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Topics: Department of Dance, Dance, Staff Spotlight

About the Fine Print

The Official Blog of the WMU College of Fine Arts

Western Michigan University's College of Fine Arts is a place where passion meets practice, and The Fine Print is your lens into the lives of our students, faculty and community.

From behind-the-scenes looks at our performances and exhibits to tips and resources for prospective students, The Fine Print is rich with content that is both interesting and valuable. Subscribe below to read The Fine Print and stay in-the-know.

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