Home » Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture

Images: Piano Music of Claude Debussy

Grinnell College will host “Images: Piano Music of Claude Debussy,” at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, in the Faulconer Gallery in conjunction with the "Archipenko: A Modern Legacy" exhibition, which runs through Dec. 11.

The performance, which will feature Associate Professor of Music Eugene Gaub, is free and open to the public. It will take place in the Faulconer Gallery in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

Gaub, a pianist who also teaches courses in music history and music theory, joined the faculty in 1995. As a pianist, his solo repertoire comprises works by composers ranging from Bach and Scarlatti to György Ligeti and John Adams. He made his New York City debut with the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center, and has played with orchestras in Vienna and Salzburg, Austria. He also has given solo recitals in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, among others.

Although French composer Debussy and sculptor Archipenko apparently never met, they both lived in Paris during the years 1908-18, each taking part in the modernist revolution.

Debussy, an innovator who embraced nontraditional scales and tonal structures, is considered the founder of musical impressionism and one of the most highly regarded composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The traveling exhibition highlights Archipenko’s vision as an innovator with the human, and especially the female, figure, abstracting and altering the forms and using modern materials in unexpected ways. “Archipenko: A Modern Legacy” includes works from major museum and private collections as well as never-before exhibited examples from Archipenko's archives.

International Arts and Artists in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally, organized the exhibition in collaboration with the Archipenko Foundation.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, and admission is free. The Archipenko exhibition concludes on Sunday, Dec. 11.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from Conference Operations and Events.

Important: The College welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases the College expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of College personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

'Hallelujah' Chorus Sing/Play-Along

Grinnell College will celebrate the last day of classes of the fall semester with the 12th annual sing/play-along performance of the popular "Hallelujah" chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

Local singers and instrumentalists are invited to join students, faculty and staff in the informal performance starting at noon on Friday, Dec. 9, in the rotunda of the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell. The event, which is expected to last about 15 minutes, is free and open to the public.

Blanche Johnson Professor of Music John Rommereim will direct the singers and instrumentalists. Music will be provided for all participants, along with chairs and music stands.

All instruments are welcome. Anyone who wishes to play is asked to email Jennifer Brown in advance to find a part that works for his or her particular instrument.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

The College also welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases the College expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of college personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

‘Take It Easy’ with the Jazz Ensemble

The College's Jazz Ensemble, directed by Assistant Professor of Music Mark Laver, offers a chance to "Take It Easy' during the hectic holiday season.

The ensemble's "Take It Easy" concert, which is free and open to the public, will start at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, in Sebring-Lewis Hall, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell.

Members of the jazz ensemble work together to develop their program for each concert. Instrumentalists contribute song ideas and they all work on arrangements together in rehearsal. Their program for “Take it Easy” includes their own arrangements of:

  • “Feel Like Funkin’ It Up” by Rebirth Brass Band
  • “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” by Charles Mingus (lyric by Joni Mitchell)
  • “Take It Easy My Brother Charles” by Jorge Ben Jor
  • “Is It a Crime” by Sade
  • “Freedom” by Rebirth Brass Band

The ensemble is made up of instrumentalists of all class years who are interested in the study and performance of jazz. The group, which performs twice a semester, plays music from a wide variety of jazz-related styles, and frequently performs works by both veteran and contemporary jazz composers. While the ensemble focuses primarily on traditional jazz ensemble literature, the group occasionally embarks upon large-scale musical performances of a nontraditional nature.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from Conference Operations and Events.

The College welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases the College expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of College personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

Handel's Messiah with the Grinnell Oratorio Society and the Grinnell Singers

The Grinnell Oratorio Society, together with the Grinnell Singers, will present Handel’s Messiah on December 4, at 2 p.m. in Herrick Chapel under the direction of John Rommereim, Blanche Johnson Professor of Music.

The choir of 100 voices will include members of the Grinnell community as well as singers from nearby Newton and students, faculty, and staff of the College.

The orchestra will consist of players from various professional orchestras across the state. The soloists are drawn from the music faculty of Iowa’s universities:

  • Rachel Joselson, an associate professor of music at the University of Iowa, and an opera singer and recitalist who has performed across Europe, will sing the soprano solos.
  • The alto soloist will be Katherine Osborne, a faculty member at the University of Northern Iowa, and a versatile performer of operatic roles and concert works from the Baroque era to the 21st century.
  • Jeffrey Brich, a sought-after soloist with orchestras and opera houses, also from UNI, will sing the tenor solos.
  • Nicholas Miguel, who has developed a thriving voice studio at Grinnell College, and who the Grinnell audience will remember for his admirable performance in Handel’s Esther with the Lyra Baroque Orchestra and the Grinnell Singers in 2015, will sing the bass solos.

The concert will include the first part of Handel’s masterpiece (which climaxes with the “Hallelujah” chorus) in its entirety. Portions of parts two and three will also be performed, and the concert will conclude with the elaborate “Amen” that serves as such a resplendent finale to this beloved work.​

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from Conference Operations and Events.

Important: The College welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases the College expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of College personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

Artist and Adventurer Nina Elder Comes to Campus

Faulconer Gallery will host artist and adventurer Nina Elder for a week-long residency, which includes a narrative presentation of her work, “Nonlinear Creative Research: From Piles of Rocks to Polar Bears,“ made possible through the gallery's Artists@Grinnell program.

The presentation is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the Faulconer Gallery, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts. The event is free and open to the public.

Elder travels to some of the most environmentally impacted, geographically distant, and economically important places on the globe. She explored Alaska and the Western Arctic, researching how the natural environment is changing through human-centered activities, gathering more stories, images, ideas and correlations than can be translated into traditional two-dimensional art work.

The result is an evolving narrative presentation that art critic and author Lucy Lippard called "Something that embodies a social energy not yet defined as art."

The presentation is equal parts travelogue, artist talk, poetic narrative and a scrutiny of assumptions about the North. It weaves together unlikely associations between piles of rocks, Elder's father's untold military history, climate change, Native cultures, obsolete communication technology and the need for curiosity.

Great Voices Singing H. T. Burleigh

Randye Jones​Soprano, researcher, and Grinnell College Library staff member, Randye Jones will present, "Great Voices Singing H. T. Burleigh," sharing a century of recordings of Negro Spirituals by some of the world's greatest vocalists on the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth.  The free, public event begins at 4:15 p.m. Thursday Dec. 1, 2016, in the Burling Library Lounge.

The program draws from the music collection at Grinnell College's Burling Library and from Jones' private collection of rare recordings. Singers represented include:

  • Burleigh, 
  • Nellie Melba, 
  • Marian Anderson, 
  • Paul Robeson,
  • Ezio Pinza,
  • Martina Arroyo,
  • Sherrill Milnes, and
  • Barbara Hendricks.

"Since Burleigh published 'Deep River,' the first Negro Spiritual set for solo voice and piano, in 1916, his settings have become standard repertoire for untold numbers of developing and professional singers," Jones says. "The composer used some of the most powerful folk music ever produced. Combined with the performances by these wondrous singers, the music created can not help but move the souls of most of its listeners."

Jones, media collections coordinator, earned her bachelor's in music education from Bennett College, and her master's from Florida State University. She is currently a doctoral student in vocal literature at the University of Iowa.

She has gained recognition for her research of and published writings on African-American vocalists and composers, in addition to being a performer and lecturer herself. Frequently presenting lecture-recitals, Jones has been a panelist for events such as the Research, Education, and Activism and Performance National Conference on Spirituals, and the National Association of Negro Musicians conference.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 641-821-0188.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from Conference Operations and Events.

Important: The College welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases the College expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of College personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

WindSync in Concert

WindSync, a modern and energetic wind quintet, will perform in a free, public concert as part of the College’s Public Events Series.

Members of the quintet, described by the Houston Chronicle as “revolutionary chamber musicians,” have been internationally recognized for their dramatic and engaging interpretations of classical music.

The concernt will start at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, in Herrick Chapel. While tickets are free, they must be picked up in advance at the box office in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts. Tickets for this performance will be available from noon to 5 p.m. on weekdays starting Friday, Oct. 28.

WindSync consists of five virtuoso players who perform exclusively from memory and specialize in creative performance. They are:

  • Garrett Hudson, flute
  • Emily Tsai, oboe
  • Julian Hernandez, clarinet
  • Anni Hochhalter, horn
  • Kara LaMoure, bassoon.

This dynamic ensemble focuses on building a connection with audiences through adventurous programming and charismatic stage presence. Critics and audiences alike rave about programs that expand the wind quintet repertoire with newly commissioned works written for WindSync as well as a wide array of original arrangements of classical masterworks.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors, WindSync was awarded the gold medal in the National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. The quintet also won the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh International Competition.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Request accommodations from Conference Operations, 641-269-3235.

Minors under age 18 need to be accompanied by an adult. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

Don Giovanni, Live in HD

Grinnell College will stream Mozart's Don Giovanni at noon Saturday, Oct. 22, in the Harris Center Cinema. as part of the .

Don Giovanni is the second broadcast in the Metropolitan Opera's 10-opera Live in HD movie theatre transmissions program  for 2016-17.

Randye Jones, Burling Media Room supervisor and a doctoral student in vocal literature at the University of Iowa, will present the opera talk at 11:30 a.m.

Don Giovanni follows the title character and his servant, Leporello, through dangerous duels, flirtations, and encounters with the afterlife. Mozart's take on the Don Juan myth balances tragedy and comedy, resulting in a lighthearted and ironic yet elegant work of art.

Fabio Luisi conducts, and Simon Keenlyside and Adam Plachetka star as Don Giovanni and Leporello, respectively.

The final broadcast of the fall season will be Kaija Saariaho’s 2000 opera L’Amour de Loin on Dec. 10, preceded by an opera talk by Gene Gaub, associate professor of music.

Refreshments will be available for sale in the lobby of the cinema before each opera and during intermission.

Tickets are available at the Pioneer Bookshop and at the door on the day of the show. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, children, and Met Opera members.

The Office of the President has generously funded tickets for Grinnell College faculty, staff, and students, and tickets are available for free at all locations. Family members not employed by the College are required to purchase tickets.

Minors under age 18 need to be accompanied by an adult. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations, 641-269-3235.

Tristan und Isolde, Live in HD

This academic year, Grinnell will stream ten Metropolitan operas as part of the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD movie theater transmissions program. The first in the series, Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, will be streamed at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 8, at Harris Center Cinema. Kelly Maynard, associate professor of history, will deliver the opera talk at 10:30 a.m.

Tristan und Isolde is a tragic story that follows an Irish princess, Isolde, who has been captured and taken to Cornwall aboard Tristan’s ship. Tristan’s uncle, King Marke, plans to marry Isolde, but she resolves to poison herself before he can. When the poison gets switched with a love potion, Isolde and Tristan begin their heartbreaking love affair.

Sir Simon Rattle conducts, and the show stars seasoned Wagnerians Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton as Isolde and Tristan, respectively.

Tristan und Isolde is the first in a series of 10 operas to be broadcast at the Harris Center. All performances begin at noon, unless otherwise noted. Opera talks take place a half-hour before the broadcast. The remaining operas this season are:

  • Oct. 22: Mozart’s Don Giovanni with an opera talk by Randye Jones, supervisor of the Burling Media Room.
  • Dec. 10: Saariaho’s l’Amour de loin with an opera talk by Gene Gaub, associate professor of music.
  • Jan. 7, 2017: Verdi’s Nabucco with an opera talk by Don Smith, professor emeritus of history.
  • Jan. 21: Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with an opera talk by Kelly Maynard, associate professor of history.
  • Feb. 25: Dvorak’s Rusalka with an opera talk by Jennifer Brown, associate professor of music.
  • March 11: Verdi’s La Traviata with an opera talk by Jennifer Brown, associate professor of music.
  • March 25: Mozart’s Idomeneo. There will be no opera talk before this performance.
  • April 22: Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin with an opera talk by Kelly Herold, associate professor of Russian.
  • May 13, 11:30 a.m.: Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. There will be no opera talk before this performance.

Refreshments will be available for sale in the lobby of the cinema before each opera and during intermission.

Tickets are available at the Pioneer Bookshop and at the door on the day of the show. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, children, and Met Opera members.

The Office of the President has generously funded tickets for Grinnell College faculty, staff, and students, and tickets are available for free at all locations. Family members not employed by the College are required to purchase tickets.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations, 641-269-3235.

International Day of Peace: He Named Me Malala

In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly declared September 21 The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day"), celebrated around the world. It is devoted to "commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples." Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace.

He Named Me Malala posterThe Grinnell College Peace and Conflict Studies Program invites all members of our campus and city community to take part in this Day of Peace by attending a free showing of the award winning film He Named Me Malala, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.

The film provides an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan's Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls' education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girl's education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund.

Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman) shows us how Malala, her father Zia, and her family are committed to fighting for education for all girls worldwide. The film gives us an inside glimpse into this extraordinary young girl's life — from her close relationship with her father who inspired her love for education, to her impassioned speeches at the UN, to her everyday life with her parents and brothers.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations, 641-269-3235.