Fine Arts Department kicks of February with assemblage of musical artists, events

By Bre Lillie—

A tuneful week it is at Tarleton. The university has a cavalcade of music events planned for this first week of February. The near week-long series kicked off its musical fanfare Monday night with the “Faculty Recital” in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Theatre, featuring the vocal talents of baritone soloist Iwao Asakura, Assistant Professor, Fine Arts – Music Department, along with prize-winning pianist Masako Narikawa, and Tarleton Jazz Ensemble Director Greg Ball on the oboe.

Just prior to Monday night’s recital,  Ball said that although playing the oboe may be unusual and a challenge for him, he was looking forward to the recital, adding further that Asakura had a marvelous voice.

If the audience’s reaction is any indication, it must be that Ball was indeed correct. The theatre was abound with appreciative operatic devotees. The musical ensemble received acclamations throughout the evening, plus a standing ovation at the conclusion.

The music week continues tonight at 8 p.m., when Tarleton’s Ultra Club presents the Annual Scholarship “Big Band Dance.” It will be held in the Ballrooms of the Barry B. Thompson Student Center. Per the handbills posted throughout the campus, this year’s theme for the live music event is “famous couples.” Attendees are asked to come dressed up as their favorite couple and prizes will be awarded for the best costumes.

In addition to music and dancing, hors d’oeuvres will be served during the gala and couples can have their pictures made at the photo booth to commemorate their night out, according to the Tarleton website.

Dayle Cox, the administrative assistant of the Fine Arts Department, said that those involved, “…try to keep the Big Band type of music alive and to bring it to a new generation” and that “the basic purpose for the event is to raise scholarship funds for the Ultra Club, who can then do things for the kids in the department…we’re a group of band directors and other people in the community that just pick up a horn occasionally.”

Cox went on to say that members of the group, “come from various walks of life, including an optometrist and a funeral director, people that used to play this kind of music when they were in school and still get together to do the Big Band Dance once a year.”

Apart from the Big Band Dance, the groups also will perform more if neccesary for events or to raise scholarship funds for the Fine Arts Department.

“The band players receive no compensation. They just do it on their own, for the fun and enjoyment of music,” Cox said.

The week’s musical finale, Tarleton Brass Day, takes place Saturday in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center. Activities planned for the day-long event starts with an 8 a.m. with registration in the lobby of the center, followed by warmup classes with the Tarleton Faculty at 9 a.m., Morning Brass Ensemble Performances at 10 a.m., Master Classes with guest artists at 11 a.m., Tarleton and Guest Faculty Showcases at 2 p.m., and a question and answer session at 3:30 p.m. The event will end with an evening concert of guest artists at 5 p.m.

The brass ensemble features guest artists Wiff Rudd playing trumpet, Greg Hustis on horn, Jeremy Moeller playing trombone, and Ed Jones on tuba. It also features the Tarleton Brass Faculty with Brian Walker on trumpet, Kim Hagelstein playing horn, Jonathan Gill on trombone, and Trevor Culp playing tuba, according to the Tarleton website.

Tarleton Fine Arts Assistant Professor Brian Walker The event, “is designed to bring in international artists and pedagogues to the Tarleton campus for the benefit of college and high school students around the area and to have a whole day of just learning and enhancing some of the teaching that is done in the Tarleton Music Department, which is the goal of the department,” Tarleton Fine Arts Assistant Professor Brian Walker said, adding that, “the last concert of the day is a showoff concert of all the stuff that is going on.”

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(Photo courtesy of

The phone number to call for information or ticket purchases for any of the events is (254) 968-0744.

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