Broadway & Opera Gala talents shine
Sep11

Broadway & Opera Gala talents shine

Where can you go in the small town of Belton to see a Broadway show? Usually nowhere. But last weekend the university made an exception by creating a night filled with great music and talented musicians. The Opera and Theatre program presented a variety of music from Broadway shows as well as arias and other pieces from famous operas. The show was performed in Presser Hall from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. “My favorite piece that I performed is a musical theater piece called ‘Home’ from Beauty and the Beast,” senior vocal performance major Madaline Garcia said. “I love this song because it is a beautiful arrangement with meaningful lyrics.” Senior vocal performance major Samuel Davis II also enjoyed the number he performed. “My favorite song is my aria (‘Bella sicome un angelo’) from the opera Don Pasquale because I get to be expressive and have fun with a comic role,” he said. Other pieces performed were “Something’s Coming” and “Tonight” from West Side Story, “Libiamo” from La Traviata, and “Best of All Possible Worlds” from Candide. Other numbers were included from Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte and Don Giovanni. Junior vocal performance major Josiah Davis finds the meaning behind his aria “Donne Mie La Fate a Tanti” from Cosi Fan Tutte interesting. “It’s my favorite piece that I performed. Guglielmo sings this piece after his wife had given up her constancy and cheated on him with his supposed best friend, Ferrando. The irony is that he had already successfully seduced Ferrando’s wife without a second thought. The piece talks about how women are all alike, and despite gestures of help and friendship still ‘cheat on every single one of us.’” Davis is grateful that he and the older members already knew the songs. “A number of the pieces we have learned and performed at prior dates, but we did have a large incoming freshman class that we had to get up to speed on the group numbers,” he said. Although time was short, music professors George and Penny Hogan, along with accompanist Nelda Milligan, made it possible to put the show together. “George Hogan, and his wife, Penny Hogan, are the architects of the great productions that come out of this small school,” Davis said. Garcia is also grateful for her mentors. “They’ve helped us, not only with the technical aspects of the song, but also with finding the meaning behind what we are singing to help bring the music to life.” Junior nursing major Kaylynn Armstrong enjoyed the show immensely. “I recognized some of the Broadway songs, and the singers definitely did the songs justice. Everyone was so talented...

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Proponent of military support crowned
Nov15

Proponent of military support crowned

A manifestation of beauty. An expression of talent. A reflection of character. These simple words were the essential theme of the Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor pageant this year. The weekend of Nov. 4-5 showcased 23 women whose talents, platforms and personalities were as different as night and day. The contestant who shone the brightest and won was junior education major Lauren Rodriguez, who represented Burt Hall. Rodriguez performed a storytelling-type talent from the book Skippy Jon Jones, a story about a kitten who imagines itself to be a crime-fighting chihuahua. Rodriguez’s talent brought plenty of laughs from the audience. “Storytelling has such a special place in my heart,” Rodriguez said. “My dad’s in the military, and when I was little and he had to leave, he would place a children’s book and a tape recording of his voice reading the book to me under my pillow.” It was not only Rodriguez’s talent, but her platform as well that made her stand out. Her platform is supporting military families because so many students who attend the university have military backgrounds. She realizes the disconnect between campus and Fort Hood and hopes to bridge that gap. “There’s such a need for those kids whose parents are deployed. I hope I can encourage my fellow Crusaders to get involved,” she said. Senior international business major Stacy Hillin also competed in pageant this year and was thoroughly impressed by Rodriguez’s ideas. “Her platform was really good. Her personal experience with her dad being deployed definitely helped. I know Lauren has such a heart for children, and she is going to do great things as Miss MHB.” Rodriguez has had pageant blood in her from the beginning. Her aunt was an RA in Burt, just like her, and was not only in pageant for two years but was a director as well. Hearing about it and seeing the women on stage last year led Rodriguez to figure out it was something she wanted to do. “Throughout this process, I’ve grown so much.” She said. “I can’t give (director) Landra Davidson enough credit. She did such a beautiful job.  There was not really a theme this year; it was more of a concept. Landra used mirrors as a symbol that each girl was a reflection of Christ and had their own personal ‘theme.’” One of the most amazing things about Rodriguez’s story is her surprise visit from her mother. Her parents and siblings live in Japan because of her dad’s job, so it was unlikely that they would be able to attend. After the pageant banquet on Thursday, the night before pageant began, Rodriguez got a...

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Nursing department recognized in museum

In recognition of the new nursing building on campus, the UMHB Musick Alumni Center and Museum is displaying a new exhibit. Upstairs in the collection is a room devoted to the history of the nursing program and the impact it has had on the campus. The building also provides alumni the opportunity to revisit historical memories, current students to learn about their past, and prospective students to further consider the university as their future home. Museum Curator Betty Sue Beebe has worked for 30 years as part of the Alumni Association. She was director of Alumni Relations for 22 years and worked with Alumni Development. “I was going to retire in 2009, but then Dr. O’Rear became the new president, and since he had a family, he needed to live somewhere else. He approached me and asked if I would be the curator of the new UMHB museum. Since it would also be parttime for me, I agreed.” Beebe started formulating museum ideas right away with help from current Director of  Alumni Relations Rebecca O’Banion and the Director of the Bell County Museum, Stephanie Turnham. She also gathered an alumni committee. Planning began in  June 2009 until the museum opened in May 2010. “I love museums,” Beebe said. “I had several ideas at first. I wasn’t shopping for just anything. I was looking for things that would portray certain topics and would show what is most significant about our history. When the university was giving away furniture in the past, I asked them to save it. And now that furniture is our show dorm room.” Before this center, the collection was located in two rooms in Wells Hall. Alumni started collecting memorabilia in the mid-`40s because they wanted to have some kind of historical display. This lasted until the `60s when the museum rooms were needed for classrooms. Everything was packed and stored until there was an opening at the Mabee Center in the `70s. In 1993, everything was packed up again so there could be expansion. When the new center opened in 2010, things were bigger than ever. Beebe said no day is ever the same working at the      museum. “Usually the first thing I do is walk through the rooms to make sure everything looks good. Then after that, it all depends. I look up history facts, like someone’s great-grandmother who went here, for alumni or look up sources for students doing an independent study or research projects.  I’m always looking for information on inventory items, visiting with alumni, and of course, giving tours. And I’m always looking for more     stories,” Beebe said. The Alumni Center hires...

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Crowder band says goodbyes

Millions of fans were disappointed to hear that the Grammy nominated and Dove award-winning David Crowder Band was disbanding after playing more than a decade together.  The group began in 1995. Lead vocalist David Crowder realized that many Baylor students were not attending church, so he and fellow band member Chris Seay started the University Baptist Church in Waco. The band’s song “Rise Up” became Baylor’s theme song for football games. As the church grew, Crowder began writing songs to include in the worship service, and eventually the church released an independent CD called Pour Over Me and many more followed.  Soon the band became extremely popular, earning spots on the Billboard 200 and the iTunes top downloads. Their albums became a mix of bluegrass, folk, alternative and worship, woven together with electronic undertones. They began winning awards and released a total of six albums. It was early May of this year that band members decided to call it quits for a number of reasons. After finishing their sixth album, they couldn’t really see what would follow next. Some members wanted to spend more time with their families, start writing, go back to school, pursue ministry opportunities or work on other music. In the end, it was unanimous among the group to retire. Fans were surprised but understanding about the band’s decision.  Junior youth ministry major James Griffith said, “They weren’t a band I would say I followed, although one I greatly respected, so I was only a bit grieved when I heard they weren’t going to make any more albums together. I certainly don’t think they will soon be forgotten.”  Students agreed they will miss the band but their music would live on. Sophomore nursing major Kaylynn Armstrong said, “I wasn’t too heartbroken, but they have made some great music through the years, and I will be sad to see them go.” College students have been listening to David Crowder since they were in middle school.  Junior psychology and communication major Jasper Gates said, “I got interested in David Crowder Band when we used to play a lot of their stuff during worship, and my mom got me a CD of theirs, so I started listening to them. It was Illuminate, a good album. And so, during junior high, I started listening and following them a lot.” The band will soon be giving a three-month national tour to say their goodbyes to fans. It is called The 7 Tour and has been highly anticipated.  They will perform with other Christian artists such as Gungor, Chris August and John Mark McMillan. According to their web site, the shows will...

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Crusaders take Homecoming win
Oct04

Crusaders take Homecoming win

One of the most important things about Homecoming is the big football game. This past weekend, UMHB faced off against its nationally nineteenth  ranked opponent, Louisiana College. To most people’s excitement, the Cru rolled to a 36-10 victory. Senior business major Stacy Hillin was excited about the outcome.  “It was a really close call, but they did really well. When I arrived at the game, they were losing 10-0, so I was a little scared, but we were able to stop Louisiana after the first quarter. I’m so proud of our team.” So far this season, UMHB is 4-0 overall and has a 3-0 mark in the American Southwest Conference. Not only does the team lead the all-time series 11-0, but the Cru has won 23 consecutive regular season home games. Junior exercise and sport science major offensive lineman Rudy Nerio said, “We’ve done really well overall. But, with the talent we have, I know we can do even better.”  The games have been pretty close so far, but senior sport management major and linebacker Javicz Jones said, “We’ve had a lot of close ball games which I think makes us play much better as a team.”   Compared to last season, the team is considerably different. Leadership roles have passed on to others since the 2010-2011 seniors graduated.  Junior exercise and sport science major and wide receiver Geoffrey Myles said, “This season we have a lot more athletes and multiple weapons on both sides of the ball. The team is definitely improving every day.” To get the players motivated and prepared, Head Coach Pete Fredenburg and his three assistant coaches and two coordinators run the team through a variety of practices. Fredenburg said, “Daily practice is very demanding, and we practice with great tempo and effort so that our players will look forward to the games because they have been prepared so well.”  The team describes practice as “hot”, “intense” and “fast.” Myles said, “A daily football practice consists of stretching, special teams, individual drills by position, hitting drills and offense against defense.” Practice usually lasts three hours Tuesday through Thursday. Not only does the team spend hours practicing and running drills, but they watch videos as well. They are used so players can study what they’re doing wrong or what they need to work on. Nerio said, “We watch film so we can critique what we do and see how we can fix things. The coaches are perfectionists, which is a good thing. Every detail is captured in the film so we can study it. They don’t want us to be just average, but to reach our full...

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