OU Hosts Atlanta Chamber Music Festival

OU's Dr. Runnels Leads a Trio

OU’s Dr. Brent Runnels leads a trio.

The Atlanta Chamber Music Festival is a three-day seminar for middle and high school musicians—and this year, Oglethorpe is hosting the event!

This intensive workshop allows budding musicians musicians to hone their craft with the help and coaching of renowned professional musicians from the Atlanta area, including OU artist-in-residence Dr. Brent Runnels. Students have the opportunity to play together in chamber and orchestral ensembles and to perform with more advanced musicians.ACMF 032 The faculty also perform in a chamber recital open to all students. And, the the grand finale is a student recital on Saturday evening, followed by a reception for all.

Founders Katie Holland, Jonathan Wright, and Jessica Sherer founded the program after they noticed a lack of education for young musicians interested in chamber music selections, especially outside of the classroom. The music festival strives to encourage and educate students who have a passion for chamber music or simply want to diversify their skill set.

Young violinists at work

Young violinists at work

Eager to share their love and knowledge of music, students get a glimpse into the daily life of a working musician. Participants are taught pieces of music, given little time to rehearse, and then showcase their hard work in front of a live audience.  These pressures and time constraints provide a real-life experience for the students as well as a “testing of the waters” of their possible future profession.

Only in its second year of existence, the festival is making major strides in the lives of young and promising musicians. We are excited to support and to be a part of the festival’s promising beginnings!

Josh Harris ’10: Making a Living by Making Laughs

Josh Harris '10

Josh Harris ’10

After being featured in the Carillon magazine last winter, Josh Harris ’10 has made major strides in his career as a comedian. He launched his own website and shares his love of comedy by teaching stand-up comedy classes at yourACT Acting Studios in Decatur, Ga.

While continuing to do live stand-up, Josh has shifted from being on stage to being on screen. This transition came after Josh realized that writing and producing are equally important components of comedy as performing. As a result, he’s created a series of comedy videos to test his new interests.

One video was taped on the Oglethorpe campus in the Dorough gym. The video is based on “The Brand Expanders,” one of Josh’s regular sketch comedy routines that centers around a pair of marketing men who pitch crazy ideas to famous figures. In the video shot on campus, Darth Vader is promoting his own sports drink called Vaderade. Check out the video to see what happens!

Josh attributes the success of the video shoot to the numerous students and alumni who came out to volunteer as extras and to support his endeavor. This connection with students (along with a sweet alumni deal offered by OU’s special events department to use the space!) made for a rewarding and progressive experience in Josh’s career. His comedy videos are now showcased at Sketchworks in Decatur where they’re some of the most requested sketches at the theater.

The OU community can support Josh Harris by attending one of his many stand-up performances or by taking his stand-up comedy class at yourACT. Even if you aren’t a comedian, Josh says that the experience of being on stage also improves public speaking skills and boosts confidence. Now who wouldn’t want that?

“I really love not only performing stand-up, but there’s something about having your own vision and putting it on paper. Just having a crazy concept and then seeing it, bringing it to life…now that’s really something I enjoy doing.”  

OU Museum of Art Joins Blue Star Program, Offers Free Admission to Members of the Military & Their Families

Oglethorpe University Museum of Art has joined the ranks of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and a record-breaking 2,000 museums across America.

The Blue Star Museums program provides free admission for the nation’s active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve, and their families to any of the participating museums from Memorial Day (Monday, May 27, 2013) through Labor Day (Monday, September 2, 2013). These military families have an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and, in some instances, to learn more about their new communities after completing a military move.

The Blue Star Families organization is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve. Blue Star is dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering military families. Working in concert with fellow nonprofits, community advocates, and public officials, they raise awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and work to make military life more sustainable.

“Oglethorpe University was named as one of the 2013 Top Military Friendly Schools and a Yellow Ribbon institution, with a focus on welcoming returning servicemen and women as they transition to civilian and academic life, “ said Elizabeth Peterson, director of the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. “Joining the ranks of Blue Star Museums to offer complimentary access to our museum is one small way in which we can continue to assist in that transition and to honor military personnel and their families.”

Oglethorpe has a long history of supporting members of the military and their families. Most recently, in fall 2012, Oglethorpe, together with the on-campus OU Veterans’ Club, devoted a week to honoring our veterans. “Our Country, Our Voices: Oglethorpe Honors Our Veterans” offered lectures, a clothing drive, and forums about such topics as what it means to be an American. OUMA hosted many of these events, with its then-exhibition “Burden of Proof: National Identity and the Legacy of War” as a fitting back drop.

Currently, the OU Museum of Art is exhibiting “Jiki to Hanga: Japanese Porcelain and Prints,” on view through August 25, 2013.