Tuesday, February 22, 2000

The Ethos Percussion Group Appears at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The Ethos Percussion Group will perform music from around the globe at their Feb. 27 concert at Washington College. The 4 p.m. Sunday matinee performance at the Tawes Theatre is open to the public. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $5 for people 18 and under.
Hailed by The New York Times for "expert togetherness, sensitivity and zest," the group has performed together since 1990. Their programming highlights vibrant musicianship using an extensive, unique collection of instruments. The group has performed at Merkin Concert Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and at conservatories, universities, and schools across the country. They have offered master classes at The Julliard School, Clemson University and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, as well as for Percussive Arts Society events in New York, Indiana, and New Jersey. The Ethos Percussion Group has presented their educational program, Bing ! Bang! Boom!, in more than 14 states for thousands of children.

Irish Yeats Scholar To Speak at Washington College

Chestertown, MD —Colbert Kearney from Ireland's University College, Cork, will talk on poet William Butler Yeats, Thurs. March 2, at 4 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room in Miller Library on the College campus. His lecture, titled "Yeats: The Present Imperfect" will take into consideration the poems "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," "No Second Troy," "September 1913," "Adam's Curse," and "In Memory of Major Robert Gregory."
Kearney also will be available to answer questions from students interested in attending University College, Cork, through Washington College's newly established exchange program with the Irish university.
Kearney's talk is free and open to the public.

Illustrated Lecture Brings Chinese Geisha Life To Light

Chestertown, MD — The lives and accomplishments of Ming dynasty geishas will be the subject of an illustrated talk by Victoria C. Cass, associate professor of Chinese at the University of Colorado, Boulder, at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday Feb. 29 in the Sophie Kerr Room, Miller Library at Washington College.
"Brilliant Outcasts: On Being a Chinese Geisha in the Ming" features slides of paintings by geishas, portraits of geishas, maps, and other images of the dynasty. The Ming, which flourished from 1368 to 1644, marked a period of native Chinese rule between eras of Mongol and Manchu dominance. The dynasty extended the Chinese empire into Korea, Mongolia, Turkistan, Vietnam, and Myanmar (Burma). Before its overthrow in the 17th century, the Ming marked a time of lush prosperity, autocratic rule, and unprecedented stability.
Cass, a noted expert on women in Chinese literature and Chinese language, recently published Dangerous Women: Warriors, Grannies and Geishas of the Ming (Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, Md., 1999). Her talk, sponsored by the Julian Emory Fund, The O'Neill Literary House, and the Gender Studies Program, is free and open to the public.

Author of Emily Dickinson Study Speaks at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — John Cody, M.D., whose book "After Great Pain" explores the inner life of Emily Dickinson, will speak about the poet and her work at 8 p.m., Weds. March 1 in the Sophie Kerr Room of Miller Library on the campus of Washington College. The talk is free and open to the public.
In addition to his book, Dr. Cody has written journal articles about and reviewed others' interpretations of Dickinson's poetry. Unique, however, is the background that Cody brings to his study of Dickinson. After working as a medical and scientific illustrator for six years, he went on to earn an M.D., then worked as a psychiatrist until he resigned to paint in 1986. He is a world-renowned artist who specializes in painting saturniid moths, many of which he raises himself, and who speaks out strongly on environmental issues.
Dr. Cody's lecture is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee and the Washington College Psychology Department.

Tuesday, February 8, 2000

Chicago's Kuumba Theatre Founder Performs at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — In celebration of African American History Month, Washington College presents "My Soul Is A Witness," a one-woman show chronicling the African American experience. Performed by Val Gray-Ward, actor, director, producer, and founder of Kuumba Theatre in Chicago, the show takes place at 8 p.m., Wednesday Feb. 16 in the Norman James Theatre in William Smith Hall on the College campus.
In this dramatic production in three acts, Gray-Ward uses popular songs, blues, traditional spirituals and spirituals born of the civil-rights movement, poetry, prose, and original compositions to bring African American experience to life.
Gray-Ward, an accomplished actor, portrays 17 different characters, dramatizing the work of such writers as Gwendolyn Brooks, Richard, Wright, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and James Weldon Johnson, and composers such as W. C. Handy and Leadbelly, as well as works less well known but deserving of wider recognition.
Gray-Ward was born and reared in Mound Bayou, Miss., the oldest all-black town in America. Located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, the area is rich in black history and culture.
"My Soul Is A Witness" and the reception in 110 William Smith Hall following the show are free and open to the public.

Chief Judge of Maryland's Highest Court Speaks at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The Honorable Robert Mack Bell, the first African American to head Maryland's highest court and an active advocate of court reform, will speak at Washington College at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday Feb. 15 in the Casey Academic Forum.
Chief Judge Bell is the only active judge in the state of Maryland to have served at least four years on each judicial level, District Court, Circuit Court, Appellate Circuit, and Court of Appeals. As head of the Court of Appeals, Judge Bell adjudicates cases, manages more than 3,000 employees, and determines the annual budget.
Chief Judge Bell also heads the Maryland Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission, which has just released its final report on implementing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the state. The Commission has received national praise for its groundbreaking work in using ADR to effect social change inside and outside the courtroom.
Born in Rocky Mount, N.C., Chief Judge Bell moved to Baltimore as a child. He attended Dunbar High School in Baltimore and graduated from Morgan State College there. In 1969, he received his law degree from Harvard University. He was admitted to the Maryland bar that year.
Prior to his evening speech, Judge Bell will talk with students at Kent High School then meet with minority, pre-law, and political science majors at Washington College. His talk is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, February 2, 2000

Lasers Light Up Atmospheric Knowledge

Chestertown, MD — How light detection and ranging, known as Lidar, is changing scientific knowledge of Earth’s atmosphere will be the subject of a talk by Thomas D. Wilkerson, Utah State University physics professor. His talk "Laser Atmospheric Remote Sensing," will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8 in Litrenta Lecture Hall on the campus of Washington College. It is free and open to the public.
Wilkerson will describe lidar research and development programs in middle atmosphere measurements and tropospheric cloud tracking. His talk, sponsored by the Washington College Department of Physics and the College chapter of Sigma Xi, is free and open to the public. For directions and information, please call 410-778-7111.

Guggenheim Film Fest at WC Begins with Academy Award Winner

Chestertown, MD — A Time for Justice, Charles Guggenheim’s Academy Award-winning film about the civil-rights movement, will be the first of four Guggenheim films shown during Washington College’s February Guggenfest. A Time for Justice shows firsthand the movement’s most dramatic moments, and the extraordinary courage and sacrifices of its participants. It screens at 4:30 p.m., Weds., Feb. 9 at the Casey Academic Center Forum.
On Thurs., Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m., Clear Pictures airs at the O’Neill Literary House. The film chronicles the life and work of Reynolds Price, distinguished American novelist and professor at Duke University. Based on Price’s memoir, the movie looks at his life through the people who shaped him in small town North Carolina where, with the exception of a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford, he has spent his entire life. It touches upon the life-threatening illness that left Price a paraplegic and the faith that sustains him.
The First Freedom, Guggenheim’s latest release, will be screened at 7:30 p.m., Weds., Feb. 16 at the Casey Academic Center Forum. Called "an extraordinary work" by Washington Post critic Desson Howe, the film shows "the inevitable tension between the government and a free press, from the earliest days of the republic to the present, by way of Civil Rights, Watergate, the Vietnam War, and Monica Lewinsky."
The final film of the fest, D-Day Remembered, will be shown at 2:30 p.m., Fri., Feb. 18 in the Casey Academic Center Forum. Guggenheim has said of this film, "I owe an enormous debt to those who didn’t survive . . . having been in a World War II division that was badly torn up. I was in the hospital when so many of my colleagues were killed. I doubt I would have survived if I had been with them."
Charles Guggenheim will be honored, as will Placido Domingo, at the Winter Convocation of Washington College on Saturday, Feb. 19.
Guggenheim will attend the screening of "D-Day," and will be available for questions after the film.

Guggenheim and Domingo to be honored at Convocation

Chestertown, MD — Opera tenor Placido Domingo and four-time Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Charles Guggenheim will be honored at Washington College on Feb. 19 at the College’s Winter Convocation.
Domingo, who receives an honorary Doctor of Music, is a powerful force in the world of opera. Artistic director of the Washington Opera and co-founder and artistic adviser of the Los Angeles Music Center Opera, he has appeared in 114 different operatic roles, more than any other tenor in the annals of music. His broad repertoire includes Mozart, Verdi, Berlioz, Puccini, Wagner and Ginastera.
He has sung in every important opera house in the world, has made 93 recordings of full-length operas and more than 100 recordings overall, and has received eight Grammy Awards. As a conductor, he has led opera performances in such important opera theaters as the Metropolitan, London’s Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, the Los Angeles Music Center Opera, and the Bastille Opera in Paris. He has also directed purely symphonic concerts. In an effort to support young singers, Domingo launched a vocal competition in 1993 that rewards winners with financial prizes and assures them of his personal involvement in furthering their careers.
Charles Guggenheim receives an Award of Excellence, given in recognition of his singular accomplishments in the field of documentary film. He made his first public film in 1954 and has gone on to produce more than 80. Guggenheim won Oscars for Nine From Little Rock (1964), about 1957 school integration there; Robert Kennedy Remembered (1968), shown at the 1968 Democratic National Convention; The Johnstown Flood (1989), commemorating the 100th anniversary of the disaster; and A Time for Justice (1995), documenting the civil-rights movement. In a recent interview with The Washingtonian, Guggenheim recalled the making of Monument to the Dream, his film about the building of the St. Louis Gateway Arch. "On Sundays I’d go down to the construction site with my family and say, ‘Look at that. I’m making a movie about it.’
Next to us would be a laborer with his family saying, ‘Look at that. We’re building this thing.’ " The film won the Venice Film Festival’s Gold Mercury Award, the first time the award was given to an American.
Guggenheim’s latest release, The First Freedom, features journalists’ personal recollections of the times they’ve put their lives and reputations on the line in the quest for truth. Writing in the Washington Post, movie critic Desson Howe called it "an extraordinary work which shows the inevitable tension between government and a free press . . . superbly edited and visually spirited."
The Convocation ceremony takes place in the Gibson Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19. A reception follows.

Tuesday, February 1, 2000

Modern Astronomer Illuminates Ancient Meanings of Stars

Chestertown, MD — How Venus, love goddess in the West, regulated warfare and ritual sacrifice in Mayan Central America will be among the discoveries illuminated by John B. Carlson, Director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy, on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Casey Academic Center Forum on the campus of Washington College.
In his talk "America’s Ancient Skywatchers," Carlson will draw on his extensive studies of astronomical practices, celestial lore, religions and world-views of ancient North and Central American civilizations. A noted public speaker, Carlson specializes in studies of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, especially Mayan and Highland Mexican civilizations. His work has appeared in National Geographic and Archaeology magazines. He has also appeared in seven archaeological documentaries on Arts & Entertainment, The Learning Channel, and the Discovery Channel.
The talk, sponsored by the Anthropology Department, is free and open to the public.