Thursday, January 19, 2012

Flamenco dance highlights next ‘Off the Page’ Series

Experience the excitement and beauty of authentic flamenco dance with Deborah Elias Danza Española Friday, Feb. 3, through Saint Mary’s University’s “Off the Page” Series. The show — which energetically blends together dance, guitar and song — will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St.

Lead dancer Deborah Elias’ rhythmic footwork, graceful arm and hand movements, and hand clapping will be accompanied by the powerful strumming and soulful chords of the guitar to express a wide variety of styles, or palos, from the most serious cante jondo, to the light-hearted cante chico.

Elias is a member of the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Juried Arts in Education Roster of Artists. She has taught at Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre and School, the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, and the University of Minnesota. She also performs and choreographs with Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre. She recently presented, in conjunction with the Winona Public Library, “The Moon’s Desire,” a collaboration that revolved around the work of Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorça.

Special guest singer Vicente Griego “is striking for his deep, sonorous wails that seem to come from a cavern, someplace deep within his soul” (Anna Poplawska, “Chicago Artist’s News”). Coming from New Mexico, Griego has devoted his life to the study of cante flamenco, the art of flamenco singing. He has toured the U.S., Canada and Latin America with the Jose Greco II Flamenco Dance Company.

This is the third Saint Mary’s “Off The Page” event — a showcase of Minnesota artists featured in venues around town.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for seniors and students and are available at the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at

Page Series welcomes Yuval Ron Ensemble Jan. 24

The Yuval Ron Ensemble will enlighten audiences with a mystical, spiritual and inspiring musical celebration Tuesday, Jan. 24, at Saint Mary’s University. This Page Series event is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the SMU Performance Center.

The ensemble endeavors to alleviate national, racial, religious and cultural divides by uniting the music and dance of the opposing people of the Middle East. Throughout the program — “Seeker Of Truth” — the ensemble will perform the ecstatic music of the mystical Sufi traditions of the Middle East and Pakistan with the Whirling Dervish Aziz.

These Jewish and Arabic musicians, as well as Christian Armenian artists, have been actively involved in creating musical bridges between people of various faiths and ethnic groups worldwide. Led by Oscar-winning composer Yuval Ron (who composed music for “West Bank Story,” the Oscar-winning musical-parody of “West Side Story”) the ensemble features the oud, harmonium and woodwinds.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students and are available online at or by calling the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Additionally, members of the ensemble will present a lecture and demonstration about the history of their instruments, including the oud, from 9th Century Bagdad to Andalusia. Several songs will be performed. This event – free and open to the public – will be held 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, at the Winona County History Center, 160 Johnson St. These “Page in History” events are made possible through funding from the Xcel Energy Foundation and Winona Community Foundation.

Faculty to display diverse art through March 18

Seven faculty members from the Department of Art & Design will exhibit their work through March 18 at SMU’s Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries.

The show, “Verisimilitude,” includes work by Tony Calabrese, Charlie Campbell, Preston Lawing, Rob McColl, Brother Roderick Robertson, Lisa Truax and John Whelan.

The exhibit — free and open to the public — will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

SMU 10K events planned for Jan. 29 and Feb. 19

This year the SMU 10K cross-country ski race will be held twice — on Sunday, Jan. 29, and Sunday, Feb. 19, at Saint Mary’s University. Details of the Feb. 19 event will be announced at a later date.

On Jan. 29, the public is invited to the classic-style citizens’ ski event at 10 a.m., and a skate race will begin at 1 p.m.

Both races wind through the beautiful and challenging bluffs and valleys surrounding the Saint Mary’s campus. Tickets are $10 for one race or $20 for both races. Medals will be awarded for men and women in open and recreational classes.

For more information or to receive a registration form, call Gary Borash at Ext. 8740 or e-mail

Next Chat & Chow topic is tweeting

The next “Chat, Chow & Web 2.0” event will be held Friday, Jan. 20, from noon to 1 p.m. in the McEnergy Center. These events are hosted by the Fitz, IT and Instructional Technology.

Lunch is provided. An RSVP to Jason Spartz,, is appreciated, but not necessary. Everyone is welcome!

As the world discovered during the “Arab Spring,” one of the most important ways to get the real news was in a tweet. Can educators get in on that trend? Find out how Brett Bodsgard and Dean Beckman are using Twitter in their classrooms. If we can’t “addict” our students to learning, at least we can keep them engaged.

Chili cookoff, jewelry exchange to raise money for CTIE

Just in time for the Super Bowl, enjoy a super bowl of chili during the annual SMU chili cookoff Thursday, Feb. 2, in the Common Room. No beans about it, the Volunteer Committee believes this is a great fundraiser!

Test your award-winning chili in the annual faculty/staff chili cookoff. The competition’s getting hot! Prizes will be awarded to the top three entries.

Please let Deb Nahrgang (Ext. 6966 or know if you plan to enter the contest, so we can be sure we have enough to go around! Then, just bring your “unmarked” crockpot to the Common Room by 11 to 11:15 a.m.

Everyone is invited to eat chili between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. You do not need to compete to enjoy!

Additionally, with the overwhelming success of a jewelry exchange a couple of years ago, the SMU community will have another opportunity to buy and recycle some bling this February.

Donate any good, usable jewelry, belts, purses and scarves to the Business Office by Monday, Feb. 6.

Then, come shopping for a good cause. The sale will be held at the first floor of Saint Mary’s Hall from 8 to 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 10.

Proceeds from both events will benefit CTIE in Nairobi. Donations are accepted.

SMU alum to speak about E/V Nautilus Jan. 26

The first Biology Seminar of the new year will be given by Martin Momsen ’97, a high school biology teacher at Cochrane-Fountain City School. The title of his talk is “Research on the E/V Nautilus.” The E/V Nautilus traveled during the summer and fall months of 2011 through the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Black, Aegean, and Mediterranean Seas. On board the Exploration Vessel, scientists studied underwater life forms, examined ship wrecks and surveyed the sea floor as part of their many research activities. Come and hear how Momsen participated in this exciting voyage.

The seminar will take place on Thursday, Jan. 26, beginning at 4 p.m. in Room 112 of Hoffman Hall.

United Way, SMU join efforts to help with free tax preparation

The United Way of the Greater Winona Area is offering free tax preparation assistance to anyone with low to moderate income. Saint Mary’s University has donated used computers for this service and is considered a sponsor in this program, which will be held 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1., at Winona Health’s Sarnia Square building, 420 E. Sarnia St. Participants should use the back entrance.

For more information, call United Way of the Greater Winona Area at (507) 452-4524, visit the website at, or e-mail

Winterfest volunteers needed

The Intramural Department will kick off WinterFest 2012 Feb. 5-11. Organizers hope to revive the fun and exciting atmosphere of the Winter Carnival of days past.

Faculty and staff are being asked to volunteer to help run each event. The activities that are still available are: tray sled races, human bowling, and the tug-of-war. 

Contact Jenna Freudenberg at or Andrea Moore at to volunteer or for more information.

Kowles to speak at U of M-Rochester

Dr. Dick Kowles, professor emeritus in Biology, will give a talk at the University of Minnesota-Rochester on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 24. Kowles will present “The Fountain of Youth - possible or not?” The presentation is part of the university’s Outreach Program that includes students, along with being open to the public. The theme for the Outreach Program in January is focused on healthcare. The talk fits into this theme since the possibility of increasing the life span in humans would certainly have an effect on healthcare.

Alliance Publications offers Heukeshoven choral works

Four compositions for choir by SMU music instructor A. Eric Heukeshoven have recently been added to the “New Choral Works Series “by Alliance Publications, Inc. 

• Beloved Son — An original Gospel tune composed for the baptism of Heukeshoven’s son Max based on Mark 1:1-12. 

• Pathway of Life — A 2006 commission based on a poem dedicated to April Larson, former La Crosse Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). 

• Preghiera Semplice (Simple Prayer) — Heukeshoven’s worked based on The Prayer of Saint Francis premiered by the SMU Chamber Singers at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome in March 2011. 

• Just Believe — A work commissioned for the La Crosse Chamber Chorale’s Words to Music program – premiered in November 2011. 

Heukeshoven will be the featured guest composer at Alliance’s exhibit during the Wisconsin Association of Choral Directors (WACDA) conference in Madison, Wis., in February.

Jazz notes

Swing Inc. will perform today, Friday, Jan. 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Signature’s Restaurant.

Severe weather policy reminder for faculty, staff

Severe weather conditions may occur this winter that necessitate the official cancellation of classes or create conditions that make traveling unsafe, even if the university remains open. Saint Mary’s is reluctant to close the Winona campus because so many of its students are in residence. However, weather conditions may occasionally prevent individual faculty members and other staff from traveling safely to campus.

A determination to declare a snow day will be made in consultation with other administrators by 6:30 a.m. A snow day means that classes are canceled and offices are closed.

In the event classes are canceled for an entire day, the following area radio and TV stations will announce this:

Winona: (KWNO FM99.3 and AM1230)
KAGE (FM95.3 and AM1380)
KHME (FM101)
La Crosse: WIZM (FM93)
Rochester: KROC (FM106.9 and AM1340)

If a cancellation takes place right before or after a break period, the following will be notified:

Twin Cities:WCCO Radio/TV (AM830/Channel 4)
Chicago: WBBM-AM, WGN-AM (radio stations)
WBBM, WFLD, WGN, WLS, WMAQ (TV stations)

When calling the Emergency Closing Center, 1-312-222-1669, enter SMU’s main telephone number (507) 452-4430 when prompted to do so, and you will receive an automated message. You may also check online at

As with any class cancellation, you may refer to the main bulletin board in Saint Mary’s Hall or call the Class Info Line (Ext. 7878 or 457-7878 from off campus).