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University of Great Falls showcases talents of Performing Arts faculty members on Friday

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For the first time in more than 20 years, tonight the University of Great Falls kicks off the new semester with “An evening of Art and Song” featuring works created by two current faculty members.

The UGF Performing Arts Department’s Meghan Wakeley and Barb Lassiter showcase their works together in what looks to become an annual event that will eventually, possibly, feature other staff members and faculty.  Lindsey Nussbaum will accompany Wakeley on piano, also. The theme of the show is “Bloom where you’re planted.”

Meghan Wakeley
Meghan Wakeley

The art viewing takes place from 7 to 8 p.m. inside the UGF Theater building, followed by the recital from 8 to 9 and a question-and-answer session from 9 to 10. All events are free to attend and open to the public.

With her art, Lassiter showcases an array of acrylic pieces created as the music was performed live in front of her. She said each piece represents what she was hearing at the time while her band, Analog Precipice, was playing and/or recording music.

“As an artist, you are continually influenced by the things around you, so each of these are a blip of what I’m picturing in my head at the time,” she said. “Some of them, what was kind of cool is as they were comprising a new song, I would be immediately reacting to what they’re playing and trying to stay a step ahead.”

Wakeley said for her contribution, she chose music that people just new to the classical genre would be familiar with but at the same time could also appeal to people who are intimately familiar with the style, also.

Barb Lassiter
Barb Lassiter

“I chose music that is a collection of things that students studying this music should be familiar with and also have been organizing it by time periods so people can hear the growth in the genre and hopefully that makes it more interesting. I’m also going to do what Sarah Raines and I did while we were doing Dolce Divas; instead of printing out the material we’ll talk about it so instead of having to look down at the program while performing, people are able to watch and react to us.”

Wakeley will be performing works by Purcell, Mozart, Schubert, Barber, and Gershwin, among others.

Both Wakeley and Lassiter said they’ve received some solid support for doing this show from both the new UGF president Dr. Anthony Artez and the vice president of student development, Sherrie Arey, along with Michael Gilboe, who is now the official head of the school’s Performing Arts Department.

“The new administration has made it clear that they don’t want us to just wither, they’ve been very open about letting us pursue things that we are passionate about, and this event is reflective of that,” Wakeley said.

“Plus, it’s always cool to get the opportunity to show students ‘Yeah, I’m not just a talking head that passes out tests, I’m also someone who creates things even though I’m focused on teaching about creating art,” Lassiter added.

The event is the first official UGF Performing Arts Department function for the new school year. Wakeley said this year they’re planning on having at least one event per month, something that will be challenging to pull off but something they’re all looking forward to doing.

For more information about the show, check out the event’s Facebook page online.

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