Jazz concert based on board game concepts

“Do Not Pass Go” is based on the concept of the Monopoly man. This may seem strange for a jazz concert, but it makes a statement that this ensemble means business. Director of the university’s jazz ensemble Nils Landsberg wants people to attend the concert Nov. 19 because “we take what we do seriously.” Sophomore psychology major Brandon Rodriguez, who plays the trumpet, said, “What’s different about this concert compared to one in the past is that what we’re playing is harder. We’re being more musically challenged than last year.” The songs will come from a wide spectrum ranging from blues, ballads, shuffle charts, modern funk and many others. There will be songs from 1931 as well as tunes from 2003. Landsberg said, “Jazz is an ensemble that has truly been an American art form since it was born in America. It creates music for the sake of art.” Because it is such a diverse  genre, jazz brings students from all walks of life together. Rodriguez said, “Everyone brings something different to the table. We all come from different musical backgrounds like rock, funk, classical. One of the girls, Sabrina Ozio, is even making her own country album now.” The ensemble practices Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour and a half. Each of the 20 members is also responsible for a 30-minute sectional outside of rehearsal. Landsberg said, “I make them (practice) so the students can have more ownership of the group. They can get involved, give me ideas and ask questions.” After their upcoming concert, the ensemble will not perform again until March 4 when they go on tour to Memphis where they will sing in  churches and high schools. This is used as a recruiting tool to get the name of UMHB out there. Trombone player and junior music education major Andrea Mercer said, “It’s really neat to see how far we come musically in a few short days while we’re on tour.” The concert is Nov. 19  at 7:30 p.m. at Hughes Recital Hall. The director encourages “people on campus to hear what we have. This concert is going to be really good, and I’ll be completely surprised if no one likes it,” he said. Landsberg thinks very highly of the opening number  for the “Do Not Pass Go” performance. He said,  “Not only are we featuring one of our faculty, Stephen Crawford, but our opening tune is basically going to punch the audience in the jaw. It’s going to have a big...

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Music with a twist
Nov02

Music with a twist

Dark Chocolate. White Chocolate. Cookies & Cream. Sprinkles. Hott Chocolate. Milk Chocolate. Whipped Cream. What do these things have in common? They are all associated with desserts, but in this case  are also the names of the popular new rap group at UMHB: Ready 7. Originally called The Chocolates, Ready 7 is composed of six singers/rappers, their manager Kevan Mullins, and their essential “DJ” Dee Jay Bow who creates their beats and records their music. The group of freshmen met during Welcome Week through roommates and other acquaintances. The original four consisted of Jiovanni Jones, Jared Cash, James Allen and Kitrick Bell. The remaining three, Ryan Hull, Ross Nesselrode and Mullins joined soon after school started. Freshman communication major Kitrick Bell, aka Dark Chocolate, said, “We don’t really know how it started, exactly. We decided to write songs to mess around and have fun. Then it turned into something real.” There’s no determined leader of the group as each has his own role to play. Members of the band sing, rap, play instruments and write songs. Freshman business major Jiovanni Jones, aka Hott Chocolate said, “We’re like brothers. We hang out all the time, and we encourage each other.” Ready 7’s past and present experiences have given birth to songs such as “Perfect Girl,” “Wall Around Her Heart,” and “Problem.”  The band’s motto is “Treat all girls like princesses.” Freshman business major Jared Cash, aka White Chocolate, describes their music as “clean, wholesome music that any age group can enjoy, we’re an R&B group, but that’s not really our genre. Ready 7 is our genre.” The band records late at night, which can conflict with other activities since Bell and Allen play basketball for the Cru. However, freshmen business major James Allen, aka Milk Chocolate said, “Although it’s been stressful, it’s absolutely worth it.” The band already has almost 400 fans on Facebook along with posters, shirts and Youtube videos. Freshmen biology major Ryan Hull, aka Cookies and Cream said, “We’re not worried about how many fans we have; we appreciate those who support us.” Ready 7 even has its own symbol. Freshman business major Kevan Mullins, aka Sprinkles said, “If you turn your left hand upside down, it makes a seven. It just represents us.” The band has been known to serenade random people in Hardy or McLane.  After hearing them sing, junior nursing major Haley Ratliff said, “I’m impressed on how they can harmonize on the spot and do a really good job. It was really fun to hear.” Not all comments about Ready 7 have been positive. People on Twitter have commented that the band members should...

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Soccer’s prospects for ASC tournament; set high hopes
Nov02

Soccer’s prospects for ASC tournament; set high hopes

The Halloween weekend of Oct. 29-30 proved to be an intense sports- filled weekend for the university. Not only did CRU win their football game against Howard Payne, but the men and women’s soccer competed against Schreiner University and Texas Lutheran University Friday and Saturday at the Cru Sports Plex. This season, both soccer teams have done well. Recently, the men’s team was ranked in the Top 25 in the country in a pair of national polls. The Cru holds down the #23 spot in the nation. They’re also ranked third in the West Region in the NCAA Regional Rankings. Sophomore Christian studies major Neiko Camp said, “The difference between this season and last is our work ethic and our unity as a team. We’ve all become best friends.” Head coach of men’s soccer Brad Bankhead said, “What’s unique about our team is that no particular person is the best. Everyone’s just really good.” The women’s soccer team has won four games with a record of 4-1. They are tied for sixth out of 14 teams. Head Coach Meg Brown said, “We’ve been jumping hurdles all season long. It hasn’t been an easy season however, everyone’s learned about themselves.” Sophomore nursing major Sam Thomas said, “Most of us do this for fun and we’re lucky to have a coach who’s very encouraging and makes sure we still have time to make good grades.” Both teams have tough practices to prepare for upcoming games. Camp said, “We warm up for ten, fifteen minutes, practice technical work, and then progress into a bigger and bigger game. We’re always running, even if it’s just getting water. We definitely like to keep the intensity high.” Bankhead added, “We try to get their mind out of the classroom and any stresses in their life.” Women’s soccer practices are just like the guys. “We usually do a couple drills, practice what need to work on, and do a scrimmage,” Thomas said. There have been two games that have essentially stood out to both teams. Camp said, “The game I most remember is the one against Hardin-Simmons. Everything started out when the Hardin-Simmons coach stood on our side wearing the (American Southwest Conference) tournament shirt. He made some smart comments and then walked off. This started out the emotional filled game. We kept pressing, and pressing and it was close to a fight. We lost in overtime but we said to ourselves, that’s the last time we’re losing. And the next game we played Howard Payne and we dominated. So that Hardin-Simmons game didn’t discourage us. It only made us stronger.” Thomas said, “A game that...

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Golf teams continue to stay focused, practice hard for future tournaments
Oct19

Golf teams continue to stay focused, practice hard for future tournaments

UMHB men and women’s golf teams finish strong by placing first, second, third, and fourth in their fall tournaments. Sophomore physical therapy major Alex Taylor is optimistic about this year. “I really think the team will have a good shot at the conference championship and be able to go to Nationals in Florida.” he said. Women’s golf started out strong by winning first place in their starting tournament.  After struggling during the first round, the Lady Cru brought their game back by the second round leading them to victory. Since then they have competed well and have been able to make the top four in other tournaments. Head coach for the women, Darla Kirby said, “At this point, we’re definitely doing better than last year. All the freshmen have played exceptionally well, the sophomores are maturing in their skills, and the only senior on the team Allison Williams essentially leads the team.” The men’s team had a strong showing at the Texas Lutheran University Tournament with second and third place finishes. Sophomore communication and Spanish major Spencer Turner    expressed how well the team works together. “We’re all very competitive, so we feed off each other. Everyone gets along and we grow together as a team.” Each has its own way of getting ready for tournaments and qualifying. Taylor said “On Monday, Wednesday, Fridays we just have normal practice where we will rotate to different stations that concentrate on chipping, putting, approach shots and long game. On Tuesday and Thursdays we will usually play 18 holes for qualifying, Cru games, or just to practice and get to know the holes better.” Turner said that the men’s team practices “Monday, Wednesday, Friday playing 18 holes a day trying to qualify. We see who makes the traveling squad which is the top five players based on scores, wherever the tournament may be. Tuesday and Thursday is short day practice, putting and hitting. When you practice, it’s all about you, the little golf ball, playing against old man par.” If the men’s golf team wins their conference, they go to nationals. They placed second place last year but are expected to go further this year. Kirby said, “I’m excited about this last tournament. Everyone is going even if they’re not in the top...

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Unique craftsmanship captures audience
Oct19

Unique craftsmanship captures audience

Kira Enriquez, a 32-year-old native of Mexico and ceramics professor at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, bases her artwork on emotion. Her pieces are on display   until Nov. 5 in the Townsend Library. The works are passion driven and given titles such as “Frustration,” “Harmony” and “Nautilus.” Enriquez has been making ceramics since she was a young girl. “I have been interested in art since I can  remember. I would always draw and make figures with what I could find such as dirt, dough  or oil-based clay, using almost anything that I was allowed to safely use,” she said. Enriquez isn’t your average ceramicist. Many art lovers, professors and students are captivated by the uniqueness of her craftsmanship. Sophomore art major Kate Winchell said, “The work of Kira Enriquez inspires me. It is so simple yet so moving.The way she works with the clay seems free flowing, and although fired and made into a sculpture, each piece seems to have its own movement and flow,” she said. Enriquez designs her work by taking pre-made pieces of pots and then welds, cuts and forms them while they’re still wet clay to create a new form. Chairman and Professor of the art department Hershall Seals said, “Her craftsmanship is exquisite – especially how the fragments are joined so perfectly.” The pieces are inspired by basic humanity. She connects her work with the notion of the functional vessel, a life-affirming symbol, an idea deeply rooted in the history of ceramics and aspects of the human body. Enriquez said, “The purpose of my art is to create an awareness of the importance of the ceramic object in our lives and how that object has contributed and remains relevant to the richness of human experience and development.” Her work has been selected for Texas National five consecutive years, Texas Craft 2010, and many other museums and art galleries in Nacogdoches, Dallas, Houston and Chihuahua, Mexico. For future pieces she is trying to integrate different elements. “I am exploring how to incorporate metal and clay into my work. I am constantly finding ways to learn how to use new materials, especially metal, which I really enjoy working with,” she said. “I want to take this to the next level and see where this takes me.” Enriquez truly enjoys pursing her passion for art through teaching. She said, “Thanks to my wonderful family, mother, husband and the support from my mentor, Piero Fenci, I am able to live and pursue my dreams of making, teaching and living art every...

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