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Lilly Hall
Jordan College of the Arts

News from the JCA Dean

Check here for JCA news and announcements, updated monthly!

February

All-JCA SJD Convening

On January 24, we held our first all-College SJD Convening—all JCA classes and rehearsals were cancelled in order for us to gather as a college to dialogue and learn from each other, with assistance from Dr. Gina Forrest from our Diversity Center. Close to 400 faculty, staff, and students gathered at Shelton Auditorium to listen to Gina help us start to develop a common vocabulary for our social justice work. We then broke into 18 dialogue groups to share and learn from each other. We are now in the process of forming ongoing dialogue groups, based on the training several of our faculty and staff received from the Sustained Dialogue Institute (Washington DC).

Show your JCA pride!

Priced at $25 (includes shipping) for JCA alumni and families, you can display your JCA pride while also raising money for the college by ordering one of these super-cool JCA scarves.

JCA Signature Series

The JCA Signature Series is a high-impact artist residency program for student enrichment and community enjoyment. On March 25, we will welcome the Q Brothers, who will present their award-winning, internationally acclaimed production of Othello: The Remix, a musical, hip hop “add-RAP-tation” of the Shakespeare’s classic. A free public performance of scenes workshopped with the Q Brothers will be presented by Butler Theatre students on March 26.  

Beethoven @ Butler 2020

The year 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). This semester, the School of Music will join in the international year-long celebration of this musical giant by presenting the complete cello sonatas in two recitals (February 25 and March 31). And this year’s Wayne C. Wentzel Lecture Series will feature Dr. Scott Burnham from CUNY speaking about “Extreme Beethoven: From the Hammerklavier Sonata to the Grosse Fuge.”on March 20. Visit Beethoven @ Butler for complete details.

Jazz Ensemble Tour to New Orleans

During spring break, our Jazz Ensemble will go on tour to St. Louis and New Orleans. The group will present two public performances in New Orleans; on Tuesday, March 10, the ensemble will perform at 2:00 PM at the Old US Mint in New Orleans Jazz National Park. The following day (Wednesday, March 11), the Jazz Ensemble will perform at 10:00 AM at Washington Artillery Park. If you’re in the region, please stop by to help support our outstanding jazz musicians!

Upcoming Student Performances

Lots going on in March! Senior Dance Productions will take place March 5–6, while Sandbox Student Productions (our theatre student production group) will present No More Silence on March 21. Our student art exhibit, Art Now, will run from March 24–April 19, with a reception on March 31. And finally, from the School of Music, we’ll present the Wind Ensemble on March 1, and our Jazz Combos on March 26. Visit ButlerArtsCenter.org for complete details.

January

JCA SJD Task Force

JCA has created a Social Justice and Diversity (SJD) Task Force of faculty, staff, and students to address issues of diversity and inclusion. Various committees of the task force are working to thoughtfully examine everything we do, from our admission procedures and requirements to our curriculum, from our mission statement to our website and marketing materials. Look for more details as our action plan takes shape. We will hold our first all-College SJD Convening on January 24, when all JCA classes and auditions are cancelled in order to gather as a college to dialogue and learn from each other, with assistance from our Diversity Center.

Show your JCA pride!

Priced at $25 (includes shipping) for JCA alumni and families, you can display your JCA pride while also raising money for the college by ordering one of these super-cool JCA scarves.

Beethoven @ Butler 2020

The year 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). The School of Music will participate in the international year-long celebration of this musical giant by presenting the complete piano, violin, and cello sonatas, as well as the string trios of opus 9; the Butler Symphony Orchestra and the Wind Ensemble will join in as well. And this year’s Wayne C. Wentzel Lecture Series will feature Dr. Scott Burnham from CUNY speaking about “Extreme Beethoven: From the Hammerklavier Sonata to the Grosse Fuge.” Visit Beethoven @ Butler for complete details.

JCA Signature Series

The JCA Signature Series is a high-impact artist residency program for student enrichment and community enjoyment. Art historian Frances Jacobus-Parker will present a free lecture on February 26: Revisions: Contemporary Native Art. And we are especially delighted to feature a world premiere when Butler Ballet presents their annual Midwinter Dances February 5–9, featuring a newly commissioned work with our wind ensemble composed by Hollywood film composer Michael Abels (Get Out and Us), choreographed by Patrick de Bana.    

Upcoming Student Performances

February is a busy production month in our college! In addition to our Midwinter Dances, the Department of Theatre will present Seussical™, which runs February 19–March 1 in the Lilly Hall Studio Theatre. The School of Music will present their annual Black History Month concert on February 7, as well as the JCA Composers Orchestra (February 20), the Butler University Choirs (February 21), the Butler University Percussion Ensemble (February 27), and the Butler Symphony Orchestra (February 29). Visit ButlerArtsCenter.org for complete details.

December

Beethoven @ Butler 2020

The year 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827). The School of Music will participate in the international year-long celebration of this musical giant by presenting the complete piano, violin, and cello sonatas; in addition, the Butler Symphony Orchestra and the Wind Ensemble will join in as well. Visit Beethoven @ Butler for complete details.

Indiana Music Educators Association Annual Conference

The annual IMEA conference will take place January 16–18, 2020 in Fort Wayne, IN. The Butler University Jazz Ensemble will perform, and a number of our music faculty will present sessions and clinics.

Arts Administration Alumni!

Join us in the celebration of Susan Zurbuchen’s 31 years at Butler University. She will be “graduating” (her preferred way of describing retirement!) in May and we’re celebrating her remarkable work in establishing and growing the Arts Administration program.

Please save the dates for Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2. We’ll have a cocktail reception Friday afternoon/evening and a RSVP-only lunch on Saturday—watch your mail for more details. We also invite you to donate to the Susan Zurbuchen Scholarship Fund. Our goal is to fully endow the fund by the end of this academic year, and we need $9,000 to make that happen. Give today and designate your gift to the Susan Zurbuchen Scholarship Fund.

JCA Signature Series

The JCA Signature Series is a high-impact artist residency program for student enrichment and community enjoyment. We are delighted to welcome the Louisville Ballet to campus January 29–31, 2020; their residency culminates with a public performance in Clowes Memorial Hall on Friday, January 31.

November

Butler Ballet Achieves National Recognition

For the second time, the Butler University Department of Dance has been invited to perform in Bratislava, Slovakia as part of the International Concert of Dance Schools. This international gala is in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Dance Conservatory of Eva Jacz, and for the second time, Butler is the only dance program from the United States to be invited. Meanwhile, College Magazine ranked Butler’s program No. 3 in the country for 2019, behind Juilliard and New York University.

December is always a busy month in JCA!

On December 3, join us in the Schrott Center for the Arts for the opening reception for Art Now, our art student exhibit (which runs November 20-January 20). Butler Theatre’s production of Enemy of the People runs from December 4–8 in the Lilly Hall Studio Theatre, while next door in Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler Ballet presents its annual Nutcracker, accompanied by the Butler Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Richard Auldon Clark. The semester culminates on December 13–14 with Rejoice!, our annual School of Music holiday performance, which features our choral ensembles accompanied by the wind ensemble. Visit ButlerArtsCenter.org for more information.

Alumni Accomplishments

JCA alumna Michele McConnell (BM Music Education, 1993, with minors in theatre and speech communication) was the recipient of the Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award during Homecoming this fall. Among her many accomplishments is Michelle’s record-breaking six years starring as Carlotta on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera.

Baritone Jeremiah Sanders (MM Vocal Performance, 2017) is this year’s first place winner in Opera Ebony’s Benjamin Matthews Vocal Competition in New York City.

Faculty News

Dr. Eric Stark, Director of Choral Activities, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for the spring 2020 semester to conduct and study at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where he’ll be teaching in Portuguese!

Gautam Rao, Associate Professor of Art, recently published a new children’s book, The Children’s Book of Jeeves & Wooster (Elson Court Press).

JCA Signature Series

The JCA Signature Series is a high-impact artist residency program for student enrichment and community enjoyment. We are delighted to welcome the world-renowned Canadian Brass to campus on November 18–19; their residency culminates with an appearance with the Butler University Wind Ensemble under the direction of Michael Colburn in Clowes Memorial Hall on November 19.

October

We welcome two new faces to JCA!

David Ingram joins the JCA faculty as Assistant Professor of Dance. A Butler alum, David danced with the Louisville Ballet and North Carolina Dance Theatre (now Charlotte Ballet), and was a member of the faculty at East Carolina University prior to joining us here at Butler.

Deborah Jo Barrett is our new JCA Production/Stage Manager. In this role, she will work with our dance, theatre, and opera programs, in addition to teaching a stage management course for theatre majors. Deborah Jo has worked as both a production manager and stage manager for numerous arts organizations, including Indianapolis Opera, Great Lakes theatre Festival, and Charlottesville Opera.

Save the Dates!

In May 2020, two legendary figures from our faculty will retire.

James Mulholland, professor of music, will retire from Butler after completing his 57th year of teaching here! We will honor Professor Mulholland on Sunday, April 19.

Calling all arts administration alumni!

Plan to be on campus May 1–2 to honor Professor Susan Zurbuchen as she retires from Butler.

Check the JCA website for details about both of these celebrations!

Butler Bands Centennial

2019–20 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Butler Bands, and we will celebrate all year long! Highlights include a reception at this year’s Homecoming weekend, a wind ensemble performance featuring the Canadian Brass, and world-premiere performances of a newly commissioned work by Hollywood composer Michael Abels for wind ensemble and Butler Ballet that will be performed during February’s Midwinter Dance Festival. The celebration concludes with a special weekend in April.

JCA Signature Series

The JCA Signature Series is a high-impact artist residency program for student enrichment and community enjoyment. Highlights in October include theatre master classes and workshops focusing on stage intimacy and stage combat presented by Alexis Black. JCA is also honored to welcome 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship winner and tabla master Sandeep Das to Butler. In addition to performing with the Butler University Percussion Ensemble on Thursday, October 24, Mr. Das will present Tabla Maestro Sandeep Das: Taal Raag Mudra. An evening of classical Indian rhythm, melody, and dance on October 23, when he will be joined by Rajib Karmakar, sitar, and Antara Bhardwaj, Kathak dancer.