African concert rocks Hughes
Oct18

African concert rocks Hughes

By Katie Maze One Voice Choir performed for a full house Oct. 13 in Hughes Recital Hall. The performance provided the audience with diverse entertainment from the African culture and the opportunity to experience it firsthand. “I thought it was lovely,” said freshman pre-med biology major Kendrell Jackson. “I’m a big music person, so I love all the harmonies and drums. I like that I was able to get to see something new and different.” Accompanied by professor of performing and visual arts Dr. Stephen Crawford, the choir performed traditional songs and chants from various countries in Africa. Use of authentic instruments added to the ambiance inside the tiny theater. Singers stood semi-circle around Crawford as he played the kpanlogo drum, originally used by people in Ghana to communicate over long distances. He delivered a solo on the marimba, a wooden instrument prevalent in Africa. All music was created by African percussion instruments, most of which belong to Crawford’s personal collection. Both he and conductor Matt Crosby dressed in formal African robes called dashiki, normally worn by men on special occasions in Nigeria. “It was difficult to play one beat while singing along with another, but we wanted to use instruments and things that were authentic,” Crosby said. He encouraged audience members to stand and sing along with the choir, an element unique to this particular African installation. He said he wanted to take the listeners out of their comfort zone so that they could truly experience the music. “I didn’t want the  audience to just watch a formal concert. This is something that really has to be experienced outside the box in order to truly embrace the spirit of  African music,” Crosby said. Freshman music education major Amber Como, who attended the performance as a lab  requirement, said, “I like the originality and the fact that it incorporated the audience with the performance. That was my favorite part. This definitely didn’t feel like homework.” Crosby said he was inspired to celebrate African culture because of a few weeks he spent in Nigeria in 2005 teaching at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary. He and Crawford joined forces last spring and began research on Africa’s music and culture. They worked together to combine the nature of freedom with modern Western elements to pay homage to the music’s colorful culture. “The rhythm and freedom they have really inspired me …. The spirit of the Nigerians is wonderful, and I really wanted to capture that. We’ve never done African music before, so it was time we experimented with it.” Crosby explained the impact studying African music has had on the members of...

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Edgar Allen Poe: topic of festival for poetry lovers

By Terryn Kelly For those who find delight in food, Edgar Allen Poe and Halloween costumes, this event is the perfect match. A Poe Fest, sponsored by the Sigma Tau Delta society will be held Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.  in the amphitheater on the corner of King Street and 9th. Assistant Professor and English Department Chair Dr. Jacky Dumas has been a part of the event since he came to the university. There is a learning factor behind the motivation for the bash.  “One of the goals of the Sigma Tau Delta society is to help promote literacy and a love of literature on campus. Although Poe’s birthday is later in the year, his style of writing fits Halloween really well. Traditionally, what we do are readings of Poe’s work, particularly The Raven, because that’s probably the most well known,” Dumas said. There will be some   changes added to the celebration. “This year we are going to have a literary contest and an art contest for poetry and artwork that is inspired by Poe’s writing. People will submit those selections to me; the deadline for that is Wednesday 26th. The Sigma groups will … pick the top two or three in each category. We will read those at the party,” he said. For students who like dressing up for Halloween, attending the Poe Fest should be fun. “We will also do a costume contest to fit with the Halloween theme, and it doesn’t have to be Poe related,” Dumas said. “Just come dressed as whatever you want to be dressed as. We also do a prize for best costume. Having the Poe Fest is a different way to get a major figure in literature out there but also celebrate the season in the same fashion.” Senior English major Lindsay Prater was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta last year. She enjoys helping with the event and putting the final, eerie touches on the Halloween decorations in the outdoor ampitheater. “We each come ensuring that we are spookily dressed, usually literary themed. Last year, I was the Phantom of the Opera. We decorate the amphitheater with dark décor and play spooky background music. The whole event is just a fun time to hang out in costume and be a bit of a literature nerd,” she said. Sophomore nursing major Linda Rubio had not heard of the Poe Fest until recently. She was surprised to learn that anyone interested in the event was welcome to attend. Not only can attendees learn about the famous writings of Poe, but there is also the potential to meet new people with whom they may...

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Footloose bursts back on the big screen with fans unsure of change

By Lauren Jones After hearing that the 1984 Footloose was remade, many refused to see it because some movies shouldn’t be touched. However, those who hadn’t seen the original were pleasantly surprised. The film, starring Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough and Dennis Quaid, is a feel-good movie, and many who have seen it agree that those not wanting to see it should give it a chance. Footloose is the story of Ren McCormack (Wormald), a teen rebel from Boston who moves to the small town of Bomont to live with his aunt and uncle after his mother’s death. He quickly learns of the town’s strict laws; playing loud music and dancing is forbidden. The laws were established by Bomont city councilman and Reverend Shaw Moore (Quaid), whose son and four other teenagers were killed in a car accident after a night of drinking, playing loud music and dancing. Ren is frustrated by these rules but learns that he isn’t alone after meeting the reverend’s daughter. Ariel (Hough) is a troubled teen whose only dream is to leave Bomont. With the help of his friends Willard (Miles Teller) and Rusty (Ziah Colon), Ren challenges the laws and moves that the  prohibiting of public dancing be abolished. The acting is good and the movie is nearly identical to the original except for a few major parts (the scene where Ariel stands between two cars driving down a highway was cut), but many who have seen the first Footloose would agree that it just isn’t the same. It’s hard to judge characters in the new film without comparing them to the original actors. And while Wormald does a good job portraying Ren, most would agree he’s no Kevin Bacon. The dancing was choreographed well, although the style has been adapted for this generation and may not appeal to those who love the original. If you’ve never seen the 1984 Footloose, you may like the new version. Sophomore education major Niata Owens said, “I liked the storyline of it, and I liked the ending. It wasn’t what I expected, but it was still a really good movie.” Sophomore communication major Kent Franze was skeptical about seeing the film. “I went in thinking it wasn’t going to be good and that it was going to be corny and shame the original, but I left with a positive outlook,” he said. “I was happy with the movie overall.” After noting remakes that have been made this year, it seems the movie industry is running out of ideas. However, it’s no reason to write off a movie that may be better than you think.  Owens said, “Even if...

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Mentor program provides inside edge for young workforce

By Katie Maze The Belton Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the university’s Career Services and Student Life departments to create Belton Apprentice, a unique program created to give students real-life training for the area they wish to major in.  Originally Austin Apprentice, the chamber of commerce caught wind of this new idea and brought it home to Belton. More than just job shadowing, Apprentice Belton is a structured mentorship that will team students with local businesses related to their field of study, allowing them to learn firsthand about the job world and build connections that will be valuable after graduation. Career Services Director Don Owens says he couldn’t be more excited about the program.  “Our desire is to align students with a professional that has either had the same major … or in a profession that a student would like to consider for their life’s work.” Apprentice Belton is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors of all majors and involves a simple application process that requires a professional letter of reference explaining why the student would be a solid candidate for Apprentice Belton.  The deadline for applications is Oct. 4th, but Owens is positive about accepting late forms. Students can pick up forms in the Career Services office, located in Mabee 230. Once accepted into the program, students will be assigned a mentor who will walk with them through a four-month period beginning in January 2012. Facilitators hope that the mentors will offer valuable information about their own professional journeys that the students can use when deciding which field they want to dedicate their lives to before finishing their majors. “The numbers are incredibly high of people who don’t have a job or a plan to go to graduate school after graduation….We’ve got to do a better job of helping students find their calling, and I get excited about that,” said Vice President for Student Life Dr. Byron Weathersbee. He expressed concern for students who don’t know which step to take next as the real world of the workforce approaches. However, he feels confident that the implementation of Apprentice Belton will not only provide a sense of security and knowledge for students, but also help them determine their skills and find their calling through this hands-on experience. Out of the university’s 3,100 students, ten will be selected to participate in the first cohort this spring. The exclusivity of the program is important in insuring that the mentors selected will be the cream of Belton’s crop and that the students chosen can be matched appropriately and receive the personal attention needed for success. Programs Director for the Belton Chamber...

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Culture emphasizes fashion

Picture yourself sitting in class wearing your favorite pair of TOMs, dressed in freshly-washed skinny jeans and an awesome new shirt found on sale at Target. Suddenly you look up to see the student who sits next to you walk into class. You are caught off guard and feel a twinge of desire creep up inside your gut when you notice that she is wearing a trendy new blouse. You want one. You need one. Or do you? Everyone has experienced a variation of this scenario. American culture tries to teach that outward appearance is everything. Sure, personality does come into play when getting to know someone, but what a person is wearing inevitably attracts others to them or pushes them away. Society tells this generation they can always use more stylish outfits. Instead of garments being for protection or for basic human needs, they have become about fitting in. This is not to say that dressing nicely is wrong or that people cannot use clothes as a way to express themselves. Rather, this should not become the main focus. There is nothing inappropriate about having plenty of nice clothing in the closet. The dilemma is that through the media and advertising, people are told they need more. The yearning to have the newest trends filling their closets eats at Americans. Eventually we find ourselves in a vicious cycle of never being content with what we have and constantly wanting more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women spend an hour a day shopping, seven hours a week 365 hours a year. This adds up to an average of three years of a woman’s life spent on shopping. Imagine how much money is squandered within this period on things that will be outdated in just a few months. Imagine the other ways women could be investing their time and money. Would the world not be a better place if three years’ worth of time, energy and money went toward an organization that helped others? Outward appearances are not everything. People must choose to be satisfied with what they have. We have to decide not to judge others based on attire and stop using it as a way to define ourselves. Seeking a way to refocus energy and resources toward others not only helps those in need, but it causes people to stop spotlighting themselves. Next time you hear that nagging voice in your head saying, “You need that new dress,” think about whether you actually do before you become just another shocking...

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