This week marks one of the busiest of the fall term when it comes to significant events on the Lawrence campus, beginning with a Sunday music performance on the Main Hall Green and ending with a four-day film festival.
We couldn’t hit them all (check the calendar at lawrence.edu for a full listing of events), but here are seven Lawrence University events — all with free admission — packed into one glorious seven-day stretch.
1. Birds celebrated with music on Main Hall Green
Visitors will experience “Ten Thousand Birds” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams on Lawrence’s main lawn at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13. The Lawrence University New Music Ensemble, under the direction of Michael Clayville and Erin Lesser, will transform the outdoor space with music based on the songs of birds that are native to, or migrate through, the Midwest.
During the 90-minute performance, musicians and audience can move freely around the space. In that way, “Ten Thousand Birds” is analogous to a walk in which you discover bird and other natural sounds — bird songs become music and the open setting becomes an artistic space, blurring the lines between human creativity and natural phenomena.
This performance will be repeated at 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Green Bay Botanical Gardens.
2. “Family and friends” a theme for Sunday night performance
A recital to be held Sunday, Oct. 13 in Lawrence University’s Harper Hall will carry a theme focused on the bonds of family and friends.
Matthew Michelic, an associate professor of music in the Lawrence Conservatory, will lead the performance, titled “Music for Family and Friends.” It will feature music written for close friends or family either of the composers or the performers. It begins at 7 p.m.
Each piece in the program has a story that will be related during the recital.
The composers represented include three current or former Lawrence faculty: Stephen McCardell is a teacher of music theory, Keith Dom Powell is a teacher of horn for the Academy of Music and has instructed in Lawrence’s Freshman Studies program, and Thom Ritter George served as interim conductor of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra.
The program begins with a work that W.A. Mozart wrote to help a friend in need, and ends with the famous Sonatina by Antonin Dvorak, written for and dedicated to his children.
The performers include faculty pianists Anthony Padilla and Michael Mizrahi, trombone faculty Tim Albright, and adjunct faculty members Emily Dupere on violin and Leslie Outland Michelic on English horn.
3. Indigenous People’s Day features Oneida dancers
Lawrence University Native Americans (LUNA) will host a celebration of Indigenous People’s Day at 5 p.m. Monday in the Warch Campus Center.
The event celebrates and honors the lives and cultures of Indigenous People across the Americas.
Oneida pow wow dancers will provide a demonstration, and an emcee will talk about the importance of regalia, dance, and song. LUNA will serve indigenous foods that are central to a couple of Native American tribes, and provide information about the importance of each food and the tribe from which it comes.
4. Music for All concert series is back
The first installment of Lawrence’s Music for All concert series will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Riverview Gardens Community Center, marking the beginning of the fourth season of the series.
Tuesday’s concert will include performances by professors Erin Lesser (flute), Michael Mizrahi (piano), Dane Richeson (percussion) and Mark Urness (bass), as well as performances by other students and faculty. Each piece will be introduced before it is performed, providing context and suggestions for what the audience should listen for, thus creating a more immersive and interactive experience.
This series was founded by Mizrahi and Lesser as part of Lawrence’s partnership with Riverview Gardens, a nonprofit focused on addressing homelessness and poverty in the Fox Cities. Mizrahi and Lesser modeled the program off of their work in Decoda, a dynamic musical group that tries to achieve a social impact through performances.
The Stone Arch Brewpub will provide light refreshments during the reception.
Future concerts in the series are set for Nov. 18, Jan. 20, Feb. 23, April 21, and May 18.
5. Latin American and Spanish Film Festival returns
The eighth annual Lawrence University Latin American and Spanish Film Festival is set for Oct. 16–19, featuring seven of the top Spanish-language films of 2018, in the Warch Campus Center Cinema. The festival will begin at 5 p.m. each night and will include films from Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Spain and Colombia.
The festival will open on Wednesday night with two comedies from Mexico and Chile, Perfect Strangers and Broken Panties, respectively. The films on Thursday and Friday night will take on a more dramatic tone with three dramas and one thriller: Birds of Passage (Colombia), The Angel (Argentina), The Chambermaid (Mexico) and Journey to a Mother’s Room (Spain). Saturday night will begin with a showing of Chilean drama, Damn Kids, and will be followed with a special audience Q&A with the film’s director, Gonzalo Justiniano. After the Q&A, guests are welcome to attend the 7:45 p.m. reception in the Esch-Hurvis Room, located within the Warch Campus Center.
Professors Cecilia Herrera and Rosa Tapia of the Spanish Department organized this year’s event.
“The Latin American and Spanish Film Festival has become a cherished and unique event in our state,” Tapia stated. “It brings our diverse community together and it reminds us of our shared humanity and common love for the arts.”
More information on the festival can be found at go.lawrence.edu/lasf.
6. Indian classical dancer to open dance series
Renowned Indian classical dancer Anindita Neogy Anaam will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the Warch Campus Center, marking the beginning of this year’s ongoing dance series.
Anaam, who is based in Wisconsin, is one of the leading figures in Kathak, a form of Indian classical dance. As a dancer, instructor and choreographer, Anaam has garnered praise and worldwide recognition, such as being awarded the Indian Raga Fellowship, an award that few North American dancers have received. She has performed as a soloist in India, Germany and the U.S.
Future performances of the dance series include Set Go on Jan. 17, Michelle Ellsworth on April 8, and Rythea Lee on April 27.
7. Pianist McDonald to be in concert in Chapel
Soloist and chamber musician Robert McDonald, a music instructor at the Juilliard School and a 1973 Lawrence University graduate, will perform a guest piano recital in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17.
Along with receiving his bachelor’s degree from Lawrence, McDonald has earned degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. He has been recognized internationally with various prestigious awards, including the Deutsche Schallplatten Critics Award and the gold medal at the Busoni International Piano Competition, among others.
Although McDonald is a faculty member at both Juilliard (since 1999) and the Curtis Institute of Music (since 2007), he continues to tour throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America.
McDonald also will be teaching a master class at 4 p.m. Saturday in Harper Hall. (It was moved back one hour from the planned 3 p.m. start because of a scheduling conflict.)