Thursday, December 2, 2010

Saint Mary’s choirs to present ‘Lessons & Carols’

The Saint Mary’s University Concert Choir, Chamber Singers and Women’s Choir will present their annual holiday tribute, “Lessons and Carols,” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11. The concert will also feature the Saint Mary's Chamber Orchestra.

The performance — a celebration of Advent and the Nativity through song and spoken word — will be held at Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels, located at Wabasha and Vila streets.

Music will include familiar carols, as well as selections by a variety of composers from the Renaissance to the present.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors 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

Dance Repertory Company presents The Nutcracker

The Department of Theatre and Dance and the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will present the Dance Repertory Company in The Nutcracker, tonight through Sunday, Dec. 3-5.

The production will take place in Page Theatre.

This year marks the company’s sixth biennial production of the piece and features a special choral performance by MCA’s Winona Area Youth Singers at the conclusion of Act I in the Land of Snow.

The cast includes 80 members, comprised of students from Saint Mary’s, Winona State and children and community members from Winona and the surrounding areas.

Through this ballet the beauty of the pure, young heart shines bright in a world of dancing dolls, angels, and of course, the wonderful, magical Nutcracker Prince. In the dreams of a child named Clara, a battle wages between a band of mice and a company of toy soldiers. With Clara’s assistance, the toy soldiers are victorious and grateful. A Nutcracker Prince welcomes her to the Land of Snow where they dance with the angels, and to the Kingdom of the Sweets hosted by the Sugar Plum Fairy, where she sees a beautiful array of ethnic dances such as Spanish Coffee, Chinese Tea and Russian Baba.

The Nutcracker will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, and Saturday, Dec. 4, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5. Page Theatre admits children ages 3 and older to this family event.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. To order tickets, call the Box Office, Ext. 1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or visit

Jazz, percussion groups to perform Dec. 10

WINONA, Minn. — The 18-piece Saint Mary’s University Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo I and World Drum Ensemble will combine for an evening of hot jazz to melt away the chill of the season 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, in SMU’s Page Theatre.

Both jazz groups are directed by professor of music Dr. John Paulson, and the World Drum Ensemble is directed by SMU alumnus and adjunct music instructor Denny McGuire. The featured guest soloist for the concert will be guitarist Chris White from Appleton, Wis. The big band will play a swing-oriented set and a Latin set, along with players from the World Drum Ensemble.

The first set will include the great standard “Old Devil Moon,” arranged by Dave Wolpe; Jerome Richardson’s “Groove Merchant,” featuring the sax section; “Passion Flower” by Billy Strayhorn, with Tommy Quinn of Cannon Falls featured on alto sax; and “Blues ’n More” by Mike Steinel, which includes a small combo within the big band playing some super fast bebop blues. Also planned for the first set is a world premiere of a new arrangement by Paulson, which is a medley of three previous compositions “Cloud Theory,” “Sum Blues,” and “Cafe Renoir.”

Highlights from the Latin set will include John Coltrane’s “Naima,” arranged by Craig Skeffington, done in a Latin style; Dizzy Gillespie’s hit “Manteca;” a new chart by Mike Carubia called “Hablemos;” “Maputo,” a smooth jazz-groove tune by Marcus Miller; and the well-know hit from Woodstock by Carlos Santana “Soul Sacrifice,” arranged by Michael Phillip Mossman which will showcase the skills of White on guitar and combine the jazz ensemble with support from the World Drum Ensemble.

The jazz ensemble will also be selling their first CD release “Staycation” at the performance.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at For more information, contact Dr. John Paulson at (507) 457-1596 or

Cardinal Corner closing for semester today, Dec. 3

The Cardinal Corner will be closing for the semester at 2 p.m. today, Friday, Dec. 3. Hurry on down to get Christmas gear for your family!

High School Challenge participants compete Saturday

The High School Challenge preliminary season finished Saturday, Nov. 20, with Round 1C. High School Challenge is the longest-running, locally produced television program showcasing Eastern Minnesota, Western Wisconsin, and Northeast Iowa high school students in an educational forum.

The following schools competed in October and November and are moving onto the Consolation Championship on Dec. 4: Cotter Blue, Cotter White, West Salem III, Bangor Black, Logan White, Regis White, Onalaska and Regis White. Moving onto the Super Challenge in spring are: Logan Red, LaCrescent, Lewiston-Altura, Osseo-Fairchild, Regis Green, Winona Senior High, Holmen I and Holmen III.

During the first rounds of competition, teams that win their afternoon game return for the Consolation Championship games. Teams that win their morning and afternoon games return for the Super Challenge Championship in spring. The final eight games of the tournament are taped at SMU and televised on Fox 25 La Crosse and Fox 48 Eau Claire.

The participating high schools receive $2,000 scholarships to Saint Mary’s for participating in High School Challenge. These scholarships are for any member of the senior class with a B or above average.

For more information, contact Nicole Witt Gerdes, High School Challenge coordinator, at Ext. 1761 or

Employee campaign reception today

The 2010-2011 Employee Campaign has come to a close. In celebration of our shared success, a reception will be hosted today, Friday, Dec. 3, from 10-11 a.m. in the Common Room. Light refreshments will be served. Final numbers from the campaign, including participation percentage and total gifts and pledges secured will be announced at 10:15 a.m. Please make plans to attend to learn the results of our combined efforts!

Special thanks to this year's campaign volunteers: Bob Biebel, Phil Cochran, Paul Fox, Laurie Haase, Neil Leibundguth, Megan Radke, Joe Sweeney, Lance Thompson, Rachel Thomas, Brendan Dolan and Nancy Wiltgen.

Book signing by Kowles Wednesday at library

A book signing of the latest book written by Dr. Richard Kowles will take place in the McEnery Center addition of Fitzgerald Library at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 8. Unlike his previous two textbooks, this recently released publication is a trade book titled “The Wonder of Genetics. The Creepy, the Curious, and the Commonplace.” It was published by Prometheus Books and will be made available by a representative of the SMU Bookstore in the library at that time.

Dr. Kowles will make a few brief comments and answer questions, followed by a book signing. The library will host the event and also provide refreshments.

Dr. Kowles points out that the 37 short chapters systematically relate the presence of genetic concepts to numerous activities and everyday experiences of people, showing that genetic twists can truly be found everywhere.

Jazz notes

Swing, Inc. performs 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. every Friday until Christmas Eve at Signature’s Restaurant. The John Paulson Jazz Quartet performs Dec. 4 at the Starlite Lounge in La Crosse, Wis.

Free chamber music recital is Saturday

Four student ensembles will perform at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, in Figliulo Recital Hall. Ensembles include the SMU Chamber Orchestra, the Wind Ensemble, Brass Choir, and Clarinet Choir. Music faculty members Dr. Ned Kirk, Eric Heukeshoven and Dr. Janet Heukeshoven coach these ensembles throughout the semester. This recital is free and open to the public.

Undergraduate art show now open

The 2010 All Campus Undergraduate Student Art Exhibition opened Thursday, Nov. 18, in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries.

All undergraduate students were invited to participate in a campus wide call for entries, and this exhibition highlights the variety and diversity of our students. On display are student artworks from more than 14 majors, including Chemistry, Journalism, Theology, English, Theatre, Marketing, Biology, Electronic Publishing, Art Studio, Graphic Design, and others.

Alum featured on MPR

Dan Piscitiello, a 2005 alum and son of Tony Piscitiello, vice president for admission, recently completed a Lego-mosaic portrait of Luke Bucklin, the Sierra Bravo (now The Nerdery) co-founder who was killed in a plane crash last month.

Piscitiello works for The Nerdery and did the mosaic as a tribute, and MPR news picked up the story.

Learn more at

Learn about employee SOUL trips next week

There are two opportunities to learn about the Staff/Faculty/Administration SOUL trips and hear the stories of past participants:

• Wednesday, Dec. 8, 4 to 5 p.m., wine and cheese reception, Common Room. Derrick Carter ’96, a south-side Chicago native and first-generation student advocate, will speak.

• Friday, Dec. 10, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., coffee and donuts, Toner Student Center Room B

Learn how the Lasallian mission is being lived out through the San Miguel SOUL trips to Chicago. Last May, staff and and faculty went on the first SOUL trip of this kind. Employees are invited to consider participating one of the two trips planned for this year or simply learn about the initiative by attending a session. The first trip is Jan. 12-14 and the second trip is May 16-18.

Mid-year graduates to be honored Dec. 9

The Offices of Student Life and Academic Affairs will host a special evening to honor all senior students, with special recognition for mid-year graduates of the College, on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Michael H. Toner Student Center Lounge. Beverages and hors d’ oeuvres will be served.

SMU participates in MPCC blog

The MPCC LearnMoreMN blog is up and running. Learnmore is an initiative to inspire and foster new solutions to ensure that more Minnesota children succeed in school and move on to college.

Learnmore began in 2005 as an effort initiated by the Minnesota Private College Council, and it is the result of an informal alliance of more than 100 individuals representing business, education, service groups and others who are concerned about our state’s future.

Rebecca Hopkins, dean of the graduate school of education, is the most recent contributor to the blog. Go to

Students raise money, collect goods for food shelf

Volunteers with the Student Activities Committee went door to door to all the halls on campus and got donations for the 10 Days of Giving. They collected 268 pounds of food and $255.31 in cash and change to give to the Volunteer Services food shelf.

Sympathy to Croft family

Kenneth R. Croft, father of Pat Christensen (associate director of M.Ed) and grandfather of Angie Frank (Christensen), class of 2007, died Monday, Nov. 29, 2010.

Notes of condolence can be sent it to:

Pat and Steve Christensen
W5593 Innsbruck Road
West Salem, WI 54669

Or Campus P.O. Box 76

The Saint Mary’s University community extends its sympathy to the Croft family.