A letter from the Dean
Faculty of Arts Dean Peter Goodall
The Faculty of Arts is in a strong position in 2012, despite an anxiety in the regional university sector with the removal of enrolment caps. Our enrolments have increased by an average of 15% over last year's figures, and all programs across the Faculty have benefited from this.
The strongest growth points are in Human Services and in Communications, although there have been increased enrolments in Creative Arts and in the Bachelor of Arts as well. Our offerings at the Springfield campus are steadily increasing: the Applied Media program continues to be a flagship of the campus, but we are now teaching Human Services, History and English Literature as well, and enrolments show every indication of increasing. Several new members of academic staff have been appointed in the last two or three years, again across all areas of the Faculty. They are making their mark in several ways: in renewing courses and programs, in producing research, and in public performance in the Creative Arts. Productions by Artsworx continue to be one of the key parts of the University's engagement with its communities and they make conspicuous the talents of the staff.
Amongst many examples are the "Duelling Divas" concert as part of the Twilight Series, which featured music staff Melissa Forbes and Alison Riethmuller, but also the lovely voice of Melinda van der Meulen, an alumnus of the Faculty who has had a prominent international career as a soprano. This year's productions will climax with Shakespeare in the Park - the play this year is Richard III - but from this year onwards the production will take place in the University's grounds. This will be an ideal opportunity to refresh your connections with the University, with fellow students and former teachers, and to see the lovely University grounds again.
Students shine at local Eisteddfod
Michelle Bell making waves in Stage Management
L to R Kent Tonscheck, Lyllie Mills and Jessica Berwick
Music students from USQ's School of Creative Arts recently scooped the pool in the open contemporary singing sections at the Toowoomba Eisteddfod.
The talented vocalists took out first, second and third places in both the Modern/Jazz Ballad and the Contemporary Vocal Solo sections, as well as placing in the top three or receiving High Commendation in other sections.
Music teaching at USQ is being revolutionised by a new team-teaching approach.
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Michelle Bell, second from right at the Festival Village. (Source: Photo Supplied by Solomon Times)
Michelle Bell, one of our Stage Management graduates is making waves in the industry. She has written about her recent involvement in the Pacific Arts Festival.
To my absolute delight, I've landed in Honiara, Solomon Islands in a volunteering arts management role for the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts. The 14 day festival takes place every four years and unites artists and cultural leaders from over 20 countries and territories across the Pacific, showcasing the region's cultural heritage and diversity.
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Vale Dr Marilyn Meier-Kapavale
Recording cultural heritage for future generations
Staff and students of the Faculty were very saddened to hear of the death of Dr Marilyn Meier-Kapavale, lecturer in piano, on 22 June 2012. Marilyn was a wonderful pianist - one of the finest Australian musicians of her generation - and a dedicated and inspiring teacher.
She had been unwell for some time, but her death came rapidly in the end and in the most untimely way: Marilyn was only forty-eight years old.
As her name suggests, Marilyn was of mixed German and Tongan heritage. She excelled in playing difficult nineteenth-century classical music, especially Chopin and Liszt. Few who heard her play the concert grand piano in the Arts Theatre will forget the experience. She also took part in a vibrant celebration of Tongan music in 2010, when she was joined on stage by her family and by members of the Tongan community in south-east Queensland. She received many awards, including high honours from the Royal Family of Tonga.
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A project is currently underway to comprehensively map more than 20 kilometres of stone arrangements at one of the largest ceremonial sites in Australia. Located at Mine Island, the arrangements of looping and u-shaped stones, midden sites and an ochre quarry are of deep significance to the Juru/Birri peoples.
Funded through grants from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, a Commonwealth Indigenous Heritage Program and the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering, the project involves members of the Juru/Birri Aboriginal communities, students and staff from the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Engineering and Surveying including Professor Bryce Barker, Dr Lara Lamb and Glenn Campbell, Head of Surveying.
Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize
Embrace creativity with Artsworx
The University of Southern Queensland's (USQ) Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize is currently open for submissions. The annual prize of $1500 is endowed from a gift to the University by one of Australia's most acclaimed poets,Bruce Dawe.
Bruce taught literature in the Faculty of Arts at USQ for many years. He established the award on his retirement so as to promote the study of literature and encourage the art of poetry throughout Australia.
Entries are still being received for the 2012 competition which closes on 31 July 2012.
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It's a busy time in Artsworx, with plenty of exciting music, theatre, visual and creative experiences on offer over the coming months.
Rehearsals are underway for some of the season's most exciting projects - including the annual Shakespeare in the Park Festival - this year featuring a stunning mainstage season of Richard III, the return of the popular To Glee or Not to Glee project, and a film night celebrating Shakespeare on the big screen.
Why not drop into the Arts Gallery and view the current exhibition or make a booking to see a concert or show sometime soon at USQ?
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