Arts News

Every Friday morning, Randy Stewart talks with artists, performers, directors and administrators from the area visual and performing arts scene, and presents a comprehensive calendar of arts events.

(Photo courtesy Gary Ellison)

The 11th Jazz Service at First and Calvary Presbyterian Church, 800 E. Cherry at Hammons Parkway, will take place in the church sanctuary on Sunday June 25th at 11:00am, functioning as the regular worship service for this Sunday.  That’s not only a new date for this annual service, as it usually takes place in February around Mardi Gras, but also a location within the church.  Howerver, the musicians remain the same—Dave Gravatt and the Creole Jazz Band with Gary Ellison playing piano and telling the stories of the great gospel songs in lieu of a sermon.

(Still courtesy Moxie Cinema)

Local artist and actor Andie Bottrell has directed, written, produced, edited and stars in "Seek Help," a ten-episode dramedy web series that was shot here in Springfield.  She’ll screen the entire first season, binge-style—each episode is only 5 to 10 minutes in length, so all together it comes out to an hour and 12 minutes, roughly feature-film length—at the Moxie Cinema, 305 S. Campbell Suite 101, Sunday June 25th at 6:30pm.

(Photo courtesy Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts)

Coming next week to the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts: the multi-platinum international music sensation Celtic Woman will present their new national touring show "Voices of Angels", Thursday June 15 at 7:00pm.  "Voices of Angels" showcases the voices of Susan McFadden, Máiréad Carlin, Éabha McMahon and introduces their newest member, Celtic violinist Tara McNeill, accompanied by a group of equally talented musicians and dancers whose skill and high energy bring a fresh fusion to centuries of musical and cultural tradition.

(Photo courtesy Rock House Center for the Arts)

Rock House Center for the Arts in Reeds Spring, MO presents the 13th Annual Rock House Outdoor Music Festival Saturday June 3rd starting at 2:00pm at Flavie Field, 22601 Main Street in Reeds Spring. Gates open at 1:30—“11:00pm is when the city shuts us down,” says Jeannette Baird of Rock House.  She says the soccer field is about two blocks—“walking distance”—from the Rock House.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Regional Opera)

March 11th and 12th Springfield Regional Opera presents an opera you can’t refuse! It’s an updated version of Donizetti’s comic masterpiece “Don Pasquale.” “The Don” is a wealthy older man who decides to teach his lecherous nephew a lesson, but is then tricked by his friend into unwittingly agreeing to marry Norina, who is also the love of his nephew’s life AND the sister of Pasquale's friend. Hijinks ensue as the sham marriage is embraced and everyone turns “The Don’s” Italian restaurant, and life, upside down to teach him a lesson.

(Photo courtesy www.missouristate.edu)

Missouri State University is collaborating with Springfield-Greene County Library, University Heights Baptist Church, and the Springfield Art Museum to present "500 Years of Reformations." The Reformations of the sixteenth century radically changed the churches of Western Europe, and later shaped the religious landscape of the Ozarks as well. This series of local events marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses through an exploration of the history, books, visual arts, and music of the various movements — Protestant and Catholic — that emerged. 

(Logo courtesy A Sporting Chance)

Waverly House Gifts and Gallery, 2031 S. Waverly, has been in operation for 29 years, and for 20 of those years has hosted annual events to raise funds for area charities.  Waverly House will  host their annual benefit for A Sporting Chance on Thursday evening, November 3rd from 5-8 p.m.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Dance Alliance)

Springfield Dance Alliance, a non-profit organization founded in 2012, is a collective of movement artists in the Springfield area dedicated to creating a dynamic dance community, with performance and education opportunities for dancers and open a dialog exploring the role of dance in everyday life. 

(Photo courtesy Eli Vega)

The artist community in Eureka Springs, Arkansas has a new inhabitant. Born to poor migrant parents of Mexican/Spanish descent in a railroad boxcar in Wyoming, Eli Vega grew up in West Texas, eventually attending Texas Tech University and studying art. Today he calls himself a “photo artist,” although it was some 20 years after his college days before he bought his first 35-mm SLR camera.  In his three years of art studies, he studied, in depth, concepts such as composition, design, and color theory.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Even the flops and failures of a fine musical-theatre composer will contain gems that deserve to take on a life of their own, alongside the big hits from the composer's catalog.  The musical revue "Jerry's Girls," featuring the music and lyrics of award-winning Broadway composer Jerry Herman, “was the show that marked my Broadway debut...

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

While the Landers Theatre is dark through the summer months, local theater-lovers can watch live stage performances at MSU Tent Theatre, and in the intimate "so close you might get some on you" venue of Center Stage at Wilhoit Plaza, home of Springfield Contemporary Theatre.  Opening tonight (July 8) and running through July 24 is Paul Osborn's charming 1939 slice of middle-Americana, Morning's at Seven.

(Poster design courtesy Missouri Choral Artists)

The Missouri Choral Artists is a brand-new Springfield-based group of professional choral singers founded earlier this year by Kelly Garrison and Matthew Felts.  When Matt Felts calls the group "professional," he defines them as "all either former music majors, current teachers, some former teachers--kind of all ages.  I just moved to Springfield to actually help get this project off the ground about a month ago."  The group will perform Arvo Pärt's Berliner Messe (Berlin Mass) for chorus and string orchestra, and other works by Baltic composers, in a concert Sunday June 26th at 4:

(photo courtesy Missouri State University)

The Missouri Fine Arts Academy at Missouri State University is currently in its 21st year.  It’s a three-week summer program for high school students interested in the visual arts, performing arts, and creative writing. They come from all over Missouri (and this year, outside the state—read on) for an intensive schedule of classes and activities.

Photo: Corinna Van Hamlin for Taneycomo Festival Orchestra

Larkin Sanders is a Branson native who has just completed her Doctor of Music degree in clarinet performance from Florida State University.  She is also a noted composer and arranger.  And she's the founder, Executive and Artistic Director, and resident clarinetist, of the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra, a non-profit organization that presents a FREE two-week concert series of classical music in the Branson every June. It's now in it's fifth season, and Larkin says she was inspired to create the Festival while still in graduate school at Michigan State University.

(Logo courtesy Messiah Project)

Messiah Project, the local Christian organization whose mission is to “present our Judeo-Christian heritage through the visual and performing arts,” will tour Austria and visit Krakow, Poland during a two-week performing and sightseeing trip later this month.  Some twenty members of the group’s Credo Chamber Choir, directed by Heather Nelson, will make the trip, along with frequent Messiah Project collaborator, Arkansas-based concert organist Jonathan Story, and soprano Kara Story.  They’ll give Springfield a preview of their concert-tour repertoire at a concert Sunday June 5th at 7:00pm a

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