Fine Arts department presents Season of Loves

St. Thomas University’s Fine Arts department hosted Season of Loves, a Fine Arts showcase, on April 9.

The showcase was a collaboration between different performance classes in the Fine Arts department, such as STU singers and dance technique.

The idea for the performance came about when the professors of these courses realized their students were enrolled in multiple courses, and there would be difficulty scheduling the end of term shows separately.

“When we discovered that we had students in both classes and that the presentation would be on the same day but in different locations, we thought that rather than make this difficult for the students, why don’t we combine efforts and do a combined performance?” said Ross Simonds, instructor of STU singers.

Ross Simonds, instructor of STU Singers, said that the professors of the Fine Arts department put their heads together to come up with a unique show. (William Cumming/AQ)

The collaboration between the classes allowed the professors to bring new aspects to their traditional end-of-term performances.

“We put our minds together and started to think of what are other kinds of things we could do in the performance itself,” said Simonds.

The performance included contributions from STU’s musical theatre class, and it’s chamber ensemble class.

Martin Kutnowski, director of Fine Arts, said the ensemble show is representative of the university’s Fine Arts program.

“Our Fine Arts program is different from other environments where students study the kinds of things we offer in the sense that it is a lot more integrated,” said Kutnowski. “You can go to a school and do visual arts, or you can go study music in a conservatory. But even if you study music in a conservatory, you will have the class of the composers, the performers and the conductors. You have these highly specialized compartments.”

The concert brought together students from multiple fine arts classes, such as STU singers and Chamber Music. (William Cumming/AQ)

“Our program functions in exactly in the opposite way. Many of the students in [chamber music] are also in STU singers, and many of the students in both of those classes are also doing musical theatre. I think it’s a wonderful thing that exists in the context of a liberal arts university. The concert is a little bit of a showcase of that.”

Another twist on the show is that it put many of its performers in positions they are novices at. Kutnowski played the bass during the show, an instrument he considers himself a beginner at, while STU student Celeste Wikkerink conducted Sakura, one of the songs performed by STU singers. Wikkerink said she has only conducted once before at the chamber ensemble’s concert in December.

“It was a steep learning curve for me to learn how to conduct several musicians, but it was a very rewarding experience,” said Wikkerink.


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