WMU News

Top young artists command spotlight at festival

May 9, 2005

KALAMAZOO--More than 1,000 young artists from across the state will display their talents Thursday through Saturday, May 12-14, during the 43rd annual Michigan Youth Arts Festival at Western Michigan University.

The three-day event will treat spectators to a wide range of artistic offerings, while honoring Michigan high school students gifted in the areas of dance, drama, instrumental and vocal music, visual arts, creative writing, and film and video.

Unique to Michigan, the festival began in 1963 as a simple talent screening of young musicians. Today, it is a comprehensive arts spectacular, culminating a nine-month search for the finest artistic talent in Michigan high schools.

More than 60,000 students become involved in the event's adjudication process, with some 1,000 being invited to participate during the Michigan Youth Arts Festival.

This is the 21st year WMU has served as host to the event, which is funded in part through the National Endowment for the Arts; Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs; Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo; National City Bank; Pfizer, Inc.; Irving S. Gilmore Foundation; Burdick-Thorne Foundation; the Arts Fund of Kalamazoo County/Kalamazoo Community Foundation; Psi Iota Xi, Eta Omicron Chapter; Howard Printing; and James & Springgate.

Robert McDonough, community relations manager for Pfizer Inc., is serving as honorary chairperson of the 2005 festival. McDonough also is an attorney and a certified public accountant as well as a native and former mayor of Three Rivers, Mich. He began his career with the Upjohn Co. in 1979 and has held senior positions with that firm and its successor organizations. He is a member of Pfizer's Kalamazoo Site Leadership Team and a member of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors.

McDonough has been an active in the areas of health care and education, working with the State of Michigan Advisory Committee on School Accreditation and serving as chairperson of both the Michigan Certificate of Need Commission and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce Health and Human Resources Committee. He also served on the Center for the Study of the Presidency's National Advisory Council from 1980 to 1999 and was honored as a center Fellow in 1975.

This year's artist-in-residence is actor-director Guy Sanville, artistic director of the Purple Rose Theatre Co. in Chelsea, Mich. Sanville is a member of several professional organizations and has directed highly-acclaimed world premiere productions of numerous plays, including several by Jeff Daniels. In May 2003, he made his off-Broadway directing debut with the New York premiere of "Rain Dance" at the Signature Theatre in New York City.

Sanville's acting credits include numerous roles at the Purple Rose as well as roles in feature films such as "Escanaba in da Moonlight" and "Mosquito." His resume also includes about 70 industrial films, commercials and voice-overs. He has worked as a writer on two films, "Escanaba in da Moonlight" and "Super Sucker," and has received the Detroit Free Press theatre award for best director three out of the past four years.

Students participating in the festival will share their talents with their peers and the public through performances and exhibitions. But a large part of their festival experience will involve attending educational workshops and clinics offered by Sanville and other professional artists.

During the festival, a total of 112 award-winning visual arts works will be on display, along with 30 works selected from VSA arts of Michigan, a statewide arts organization. This exhibition will be located in the Dalton Center and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 12 and 13, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14. It will include the 30 pieces in the Governor's Traveling Show and the top 18 pieces that are selected for special recognition.

On Friday, public performance events will take place from 1 to 10:30 p.m. at a variety of locations throughout the day. They will include theatre productions; band, orchestra and choral performances; poetry readings; and a film and video showcase. In addition, there were be an event honoring the 20 outstanding educators, administrators and schools for the arts that have been selected for recognition this year.

Saturday's public events will include a piano master class, performances by several dance companies and instrumental and vocal ensembles, and a film and video showcase. A grand finale will be presented from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Miller Auditorium with performances by the All-Michigan Honors Jazz Ensemble, Band, Choir, and Orchestra.

Festival passes for all public events are available for $15 at festival headquarters in the lobby of the Dalton Center. Single events tickets are $5 and will be on sale 30 minutes prior to each event in the lobby where the performance takes place. There is no admission charge to view the visual arts exhibit.

For more information, call Gayle Hoogstraten or Jennifer Reinstein with the Michigan Youth Arts Festival at (269) 342-1400.

Schedule of Public Performances and Events
Michigan Youth Arts Festival

Festival passes for all events are $15 and may be purchased at festival headquarters in the Dalton Center lobby. Individual event tickets are $5 and will be available 30 minutes prior to each event in the lobby of the building in which the performance will be held. There is no admission charge to view the Visual Arts Exhibit in the Dalton Center Multimedia Room.

Friday, May 13

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Visual Arts Exhibit, Dalton Center Multimedia Room. Free.

1 to 2 p.m., Theatre Performance, "The Winter's Tale," Bay City John Glen High School, Shaw Theatre.

1 to 4 p.m., Vocal Ensemble Performances, Dalton Center Recital Hall.

6:30 to 6:55 p.m., String Ensemble Performance, Miller Auditorium Grand Tier Lobby; Brass Ensemble, Miller Auditorium Stage; Woodwind Ensemble, Miller Auditorium Stage.

6:55 p.m. to 7 p.m., Brass Fanfare, Miller Auditorium.

7 to 9 p.m.. Gala Concert featuring selected choral performances, Teacher/Administrator-of-the-Year Recognition, Detroit Symphony Civic Philharmonia with Outstanding Soloists, Miller Auditorium.

9:15 to 10:15 p.m., Selected Poetry Readings, Shaw Theatre.

8:45 to 10:30 p.m., 2005 Michigan Student Film & Video Festival Showcase, Knauss Hall.

Saturday, May 14

9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Visual Arts Exhibit, Dalton Center Multimedia Room. Free.

10 to 11:30 a.m., Piano Master Class, Dalton Center Lecture Hall.

10:30 a.m. to noon, Dance Concert, Shaw Theatre.

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., MSBOA and MASTA Collage Performance, Dalton Center Recital Hall.

1 to 2 p.m., Theatre Performance, Shaw Theatre.

1 to 2:30 p.m., 2005 Michigan Student Film & Video Festival Showcase, Knauss Hall.

1:30 to 3 p.m., Vocal Soloists, Dalton Center Recital Hall.

2:30 to 4:30 p.m., All-Michigan Honors Jazz Ensemble, Band, Choir and Orchestra, Miller Auditorium.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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