Thursday, March 6, 2008

Country singer Josh Gracin to perform at SMU March 13

Josh Gracin

The Roosters

Country music singer Josh Gracin will headline a public concert Thursday, March 13, in Saint Mary’s gymnasium.

Gracin’s self-titled debuted album is edging in on platinum status. With the No. 1 hit “Nothin’ to Lose” and other hits, “I Want to Live” and “Stay with Me (Brass Bed),” Gracin has established himself as a leading country singer since gaining his fame from the hit reality series “American Idol,” where he finished fourth during the show’s second season. In 2003, Gracin also contributed the song “Working for the Weekend” to the Herbie: Fully Loaded soundtrack, and he also sang on “When I See an Elephant Fly” on the Jim Brickman album, The Disney Songbook. Gracin, a former U.S. Marine and Michigan native, entertains his audiences with energetic stage performances and rocking country music.

Opening for Gracin is The Roosters, a Minnesota country band whose single “Sorry Bout the Mess,” released in April 2007, has been gaining popularity on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. No food or drinks are allowed in the gymnasium. SMU’s Student Activities Committee is sponsoring the concert.

Tickets are free for SMU students with ID, $10 for an SMU guest, and $15 for the general public. Tickets are available by calling the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, online at, or are available for purchase at the door.

Page Series to present San Jose Taiko March 10

Saint Mary’s University’s Page Series will host the powerful, spellbinding and propulsive sounds of San Jose Taiko 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 10.

Taiko — the Japanese drum — is an instrument that embodies the spiritual essence and the heartbeat of Japan and its people. Priests used taiko to chase evil spirits and the insects from the rice fields; samurai used taiko to bolster their courage and to instill fear in the enemy; villagers used taiko to pray for rain, to enliven festivals and to give thanks for bountiful harvests.

San Jose Taiko has adopted these traditional values and infused the art of taiko with the vitality and freshness of their American spirit to create a dynamic and compelling Asian-American art form. The music of San Jose Taiko weaves traditional Japanese sounds with the beat of world rhythms.

Tickets for the Page Theatre performance are $20, $14 for seniors, $12 for students, and are available by calling the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at

Saint Mary’s Concert Band to perform on March 30

The Saint Mary’s University Concert Band will present their spring concert at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 30, in Page Theatre.

Directed by Dr. Janet Heukeshoven, the 65-member band will entertain audiences with a varied selection of Repertoire including “Sea Songs” by Vaughan Williams; “American Hymn Tune Sketches” by Prescott; “Amazing Grace,” arranged by Tichel; “Albanian Dance” by Shelly Hanson, “Geometric Dances” by Cichy; “In Heaven's Air” by Hazo; and “Africa: Ceremony, Song & Ritual,” by Smith.

This concert continues the theme of “Song and Dance,” which the ensemble is using this season to explore the rich band repertoire — both new and old — which originates from the folk song or hymn traditions, as well as dance-inspired music.

Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students and seniors and are available by calling the Box Office, Ext. 1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at

World-class jazz musician to share talents with SMU

Internationally recognized jazz saxophonist Marc Bernstein will travel from his home in Denmark to Saint Mary’s March 24-26 to give a public performance and to work with members of the SMU Concert Band, as well as additional SMU music students.

Bernstein has been chosen as this year’s Kaplan Commissioning Project composer.

The SMU Concert Band commissioned Bernstein’s piece through the Helen and Sam Kaplan Foundation Commissioning Project. The Helen and Sam Kaplan Foundation supports performances and activities led by Jewish artists and scholars that are designed to increase cultural and religious understanding at Saint Mary’s. His visit is funded in part through the Danish government to promote artistic-educational partnership activities in the world. Bernstein is SMU’s fifth Kaplan composer.

The SMU Concert Band will present the world premiere performance of Bernstein’s piece next September, during SMU’s Inauguration/Family Weekend.

During his visit, Bernstein — along with local and regional musicians — will also present a public recital at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, at Figliulo Recital Hall. The recital is free and open to the public, courtesy of the Sam and Helen Kaplan Foundation

Bernstein, born in Brooklyn, N.Y., graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 1984. Inspired by great saxophonists and jazz artists, Bernstein pursued a career in music. He recorded his first CD in 1985, and was a regular performer in New York City. He began playing overseas, and gained notoriety in Denmark, where he was offered a spot with Kl├╝vers Big Band. Bernstein relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark; he left the band in 1996 to go solo, and has since released six CDs.

Group photo show on display through March 29 at SMU

Rus Hurt is one of five photographers displaying in "Tempus Fugit" Feb. 28-March 29.

Five area photographers will display assorted nature and documentary work through March 29 at Saint Mary’s University.

The exhibit, titled “Tempus Fugit” or “Time Flies,” will be on display at the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries, and will include work by Wade Britzius, Rus Hurt, Kathy Greden, Ron Reimer and Jim Risser.

Admission is free and open to the public, and gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information, call Ext. 1652.

Next ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ is hotdish extravaganza

Mark your calendars for the next Let’s Do Lunch, March 13. The Office of Admission will host “Minnesota Hot Dishes.” Proceeds continue to benefit SMU faculty and staff who were affected by the August flood.

Kowles to give next biology seminar March 13

On Thursday, March 13, Dr. Richard Kowles, professor of biology, will present, “Maternal Effect - The Importance of Mama” at 4 p.m. in Room 112 of Hoffman Hall.

Faculty invited to share talents in faculty revue March 27

Hey faculty! Do you play a musical instrument, dance, write poetry, or any other artistic skill? The junior class is looking for participants for this year’s faculty revue, to be held 7 p.m. March 27 in the Common Room. Contact Russell Mollo ( or Neil Leibundguth at ( if you have any questions or if you would like to participate.

Pattee elected to Collaboration Board of Directors

Dr. Steve Pattee (Interdisciplinary Studies) has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Collaboration for the Advancement of College Teaching & Learning. The Collaboration is an alliance of colleges and universities that supports and promotes outstanding college teaching and learning. Saint Mary's is one of the organization's charter members.

Biebel joins Lasallian council; presentation on Rome nears

Bob Biebel, director of the ‘M’ Club and associate director of The Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership, is the newest member of the Winona division of the University Council for Lasallian Formation and Mission. Brother Louis, acting on the recommendation of council members, has appointed Bob to fill the position vacated by Dr. Mary Fox. Sister Judith Schaefer has been named the new coordinator of the Winona division.

A presentation about the council's recent experience of Lasallian formation in Rome will be given 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, in the President’s Room. Refreshments will be served. Mark your calendars! (A similar presentation by the SGPP division of the council will be held in Minneapolis.)

Jazz events

John Paulson and the Miles Johnston Quartet will perform 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. today, March 7, at the Canadian Honker in Rochester.

The John Paulson Trio will perform 7 to 10 p.m. March 8 at Michael’s Restaurant in Rochester.

Reminder: Next week last ‘Campus Notes’ before break

Next week is the last ‘Campus Notes’ before Easter break. Look ahead on your calendars. Submissions are due Wednesday, March 12, for the March 14 issue. The next edition will come out Friday, March 28.