“The Music Man” performed at new PAC
Apr24

“The Music Man” performed at new PAC

UMHB proudly performed its musical of the year with Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” in the Sue and Frank Mayborn Performing Arts center (PAC) on April 12-14. While other events, such as plays, orchestra ensembles and guest performances, have occurred in the PAC since its opening last year, “The Music Man”was the first Broadway musical to be performed in the center. Many people were involved with the making of this musical. The entire cast sang, danced and acted as though they were the actual residents of River City, Iowa, where the musical takes place. The cast featured many UMHB students as well as faculty, recent alumni and community members. Many of the extras and child roleswere filled by community members who take lessons at the UMHB Music Conservatory. Auditions were held in late November 2018, and students who received roles enrolled in the Opera/Musical Theatre class for the spring semester. Producer Dr. Jonathan Gary knew that there were a lot of non-music majors who had experience and love for theater in high school who would be interested in auditioning, and he encouraged them to participate. As a result, many students from other departments on campus joined the cast and crew. Faculty members such as UMHB’s Provost John Vassar and Alumni Relations Secretary Shelly Claybrook also played small parts in the musical. Art professor Hershall Seals and the Painting I class helped create the backdrops. UMHB brought in Natasha Tolleson, who is the head of Temple High School’s theater arts department, to be Artistic Director for the production. Tolleson had won many awards and directed her fair share of musicals before working with UMHB on “The Music Man.” “It was a large staff that put all of this together under Natisha Tolleson’s artistic direction and Dr. Gary’s producing,” Lisa Clement, UMHB voice professor and the musical’s Music Director, said. Even the new student body president, Sarah Fox, participated in the musical as Mrs. Squires. “It was such a blessing to be involved with the very beginning of a new start here with theater at UMHB,” Fox said. “I am so grateful for everyone who spent so many hours creating something incredible for the campus and the community. I’m so excited to see the future of this program.” The show itself was spectacular. Set designer Erik Vose and his building team did a great job making the movable and interactive sets. Not only were the sets well-designed, but the crew did a great job seamlessly transitioning between at least six different sets. The backdrops and props were cleverly made and vibrant that every detail stood out on stage. The cast did...

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Jeb Zolman: pitcher returns to the mound
Apr02

Jeb Zolman: pitcher returns to the mound

Junior pitcher and pre physical therapy major Jeb Zolman has made a comeback to the mound this baseball season after recovering from an elbow injury. His baseball career at UMHB wasn’t always planned—in fact, he didn’t originally plan on attending UMHB at all. Zolman started his first semester of college at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, but he quickly learned that this wasn’t the right choice for him. After six months there, he decided to return to his hometown of Humble and attend community college for the rest of the spring semester. “I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. I was at a loss,” Zolman said. “I started touring colleges again. I visited Southern Methodist University and UT Dallas, but on the way home from touring, we came through Belton.” A few years before this, Zolman’s older brother had toured UMHB. Remembering this, Zolman decided to take a tour himself. After he toured the school, he knew that UMHB would be his home. “I wasn’t even home yet on the drive back and I told my mom, ‘I think I want to go there.’ UMHB just felt like home,” Zolman said. Zolman was previously out of the game for almost a year due to a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), a devastating elbow injury that can take months to heal and typically requires surgery. He received this injury during the beginning of the 2018 season. He first realized that something was wrong during a game against LeTourneau University. He described how during the first inning of the game, his pitching ability began to suffer. “Through the first inning…I just knew something wasn’t feeling right,” Zolman said. After having surgery and going through rehab, Zolman made his first appearance at the mound this season during the game against Blackburn College on Wednesday, March 13. Having played baseball since he could crawl, being able to play for UMHB again was a relief. “It was pretty exciting to be back. You work for nine to 10 months just to do one little thing, and you know that in your mind, you worked your tail off to do that,” he said. Head coach Ben Shipp is excited to see Zolman back on the mound. “Jeb has been a big missing element for this team,” he said. “He had moved into the number one pitching slot for us, and his injury in 2018 was part of our downfall last year. When you lose a kid like Jeb…it was devastating.” Shipp said that when Zolman started attending UMHB, he approached the team himself about wanting to...

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“Dumbo” fails to take off
Apr02

“Dumbo” fails to take off

Disney’s newest attempt to bring back the good old days with the remake of the 1941 classic “Dumbo” started as a giant flop, and it does not look like it will soar. This one hour and 52-minute movie left me disappointed and wishing I could just watch the classic instead. The movie itself has received a lot of mixed reviews, and I personally give this movie a 5 out of 10 rating. It was okay, but there were so many things that didn’t make sense and so many things that could have been improved. Ultimately, these flaws made the movie suffer. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Dumbo’s character, and I have ever since I was a little girl. However, I found myself uncomfortably shifting in my seat as I watched the mistreatment of Dumbo and multiple other characters, including circus performers. The animation was nice but could have been better, especially for a Disneymovie. There were times where I was really impressed with the computer-generated imagery (CGI). However, therewere many scenes where you could tell they were using a green screen, or the animation was obviously fake andoverly saturated. One scene that I did like was at the very beginning when the animated train carts looked so worn down but still had the vibrant color that screams “Circus!” I also liked how they kept in the hallucinating dream from the original film but made it more kid-friendly by having it be a magic bubble show instead. This scene was very well done and impressive. The storyline was slow but was similar to the original movie at the beginning. About 45 minutes into the film, the plot goes in a different direction and the movie goes even further downhill. The movie set and props were good at the beginning, but as the plot changes, the set starts to cross over time periods, making the movie less reliable. In the original movie, the cast consists entirely of animals, but in the 2019 remake, the main cast is comprised of humans. I personally think this is what really harmed the movie. The characters were flat, boring and underdeveloped. It often felt forced when Holt Farrier, played by Colin Farrell, interacted with his children or implied love interest Collette, who is played by Eva Green. The lead villain V. A. Vandevere, played byMichael Keaton, was very plain and hadoverly basic motives. The film missesits overall message of embracing one’s flaws when Dumbo is born and everybody thinks he is hideous. They are so ashamed that they try to hide him from the public at all costs, and the only reason he...

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Nursing Student Association hosts chili cook-off
Mar20

Nursing Student Association hosts chili cook-off

UMHB’s Nursing Student Association (NSA) hosted their third annual chili cook-off just in time for the cold front on Monday, March 4. Students and faculty came together for a friendly competition to decide who makes the best chili and the best dessert. The event, which was held in the lobby of the Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center, had a successful turnout. Attendees gave five dollars to the NSA as a donation and received a bowl, sample cups and a dessert tray. If the chili they chose left them wanting more, attendees could refill their bowls for three dollars. The purpose of the student vs. faculty chili competition was to raise money for prizes, future events, NSA graduation cords and various other expenses that the organization has. Attendees could choose from vegetarian, beef, chicken, spicy or mild chili, as well as a variety of toppings and desserts. At the end of the line, students and faculty could cast their vote for who should win the awards for best chili and best dessert. The contestant with the most votes would receive a $25 gift card to Chili’s, while the runner-up would receive an Amazon gift card. The winner of the dessert contest would receive a Chick-fil-A gift card. Winners of the cook-off were Rebecca Starkey (who received first place for her white chili) and Cristy Simmons (who won second place for her spicy chili). The winner of the dessert contest was Amy Sanders, who made Reese’s cupcakes. Dr. Amy Mersiovsky, an assistant professor of nursing at UMHB, provided two pies for the events dessert competition and attended the event. “I think it was really good. This is a fun activity that is done every year; it’s a good way for us to have friendly competition between the students and the faculty.” Senior nursing major Brianna Turner attended the cook-off and was very pleased with the results. “It was freaking delicious…I got [chili] number one. It is unique because it had chicken in it instead,” Turner said. To find out more about NSA, visit the Student Organizations section on UMHB’s website and select “Nursing Student Association” from the list of all...

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“How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy conclusion conquers box office
Feb27

“How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy conclusion conquers box office

The “How to Train Your Dragon” (HTTYD) series has sadly come to an end with the release of the latest film “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” on Feb. 22. This hour and 44-minute movie neatly ties up all loose ends while enticing audiences with breathtaking animation, multi-dimensional characters and great story progression. The HTTYD franchise is successful, and all three movies have ratings above 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The newest film has a rating of 93 percent. This movie deserves the great rating. The animation is astoundingly beautiful. The animators took the time to animate the wind ruffling fur on cloaks, little nicks in the metal on armor and faded scars on the dragons. This attention to little details changes the whole dynamic of the movie. The scenery and background art is also beautifully animated. One of my favorite scenes is when the dragon riders are flying through the clouds over the ocean. You can see the clouds and wind sliding off the wings and equipment so smoothly, making you feel as if you are in the sky with them. Another aspect that makes this movie stand out is the characters and the natural development of the story. At this point, the characters all have a great dynamic and are consistent in their development as individuals and as a team. Additionally, the characters are truly interesting and humorous. There is no cheap comedy here, just well-written characters with humorous jokes that fit the timing and their personalities. The plot of the movie is established well and includes an interesting subplot featuring Toothless’ efforts to befriend another dragon of his kind. In my opinion, the subplot makes sense and is played out very well alongside the main plot. However, having two story lines sets this movie just a smidge below the first two because of the slightly divided attention. I recommend that audience members stay during the credits for a nostalgic look at clips from the first two movies. I have been a fan of the HTTYD series since the first movie’s release in 2010, and I have enjoyed watching the characters grow and develop over the three films. I think this movie is the perfect ending to a great franchise. While I am sad the series has ended, I am extremely satisfied with how the writers and directors told fans goodbye in this movie. I give “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” a 10/10 and a wave as the franchise is put to...

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