When people think of Central Connecticut State University, they think of the athletic department and teaching majors. They think of business and engineering and how “lit” our Spring Concerts are. However, students and staff know very little in the rise of the arts. What’s wonderful about Central, is that most on-campus, art-related events are FREE.
Yup, that’s right. Free. Why would students not want to make the most of these free opportunities to see what our fellow peers are involved in? From concerts to galleries to plays, students and staff have the chance to enrich their minds on music, art and theatre culture.
Since the first day of classes in 1849, CCSU has been offering music courses and ensembles. The Department of Music was founded in the 1940’s, and the music major in education was founded in the early 1970’s. From jazz bands to choir ensembles, the Music Department has prepared their students for all music challenges.
Beyond the required music courses are clubs and opportunities that help students express their music creativity and practice their craft. A cappella is music without instrumental accompaniment. CCSU is known for several student-run a cappella groups, including the all female group ACABellas.
On Wednesday May 3rd, the Bellas, known in blue, performed their last concert in Torp Theatre. Singing since 2005, the ACABellas is a group of talented ladies attending brought together by a deep love of music. Their goal is to share their passion across campus and within their community while forming lasting bonds of friendship.
Throughout their concert, they sang top hits from artists including The Beatles, Sia, Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Katy Perry. Their intermission featured a special performance by Surround Sound, the only co-ed a cappella group at Stonehill College in Massachusetts.
Arielle Hall, Director of the ACABellas, said that the 2016-2017 semester has been their most successful semester.
“We were on the Today Show recently,” Hall gushed, “and our EP album, Wherever You Will Go, is now available on iTunes and Apple Music!”
The ACABellas were also extremely busy with several fundraisers and benefits.
“Our annual benefit concert for the CT Children’s Medical Center was absolutely wonderful and we had really good fundraisers at Flight and Stop’n’Shop this year,” said Hall.
With the end of their spring concert, the Bellas look forward to the 2017-2018 season.
Alongside the Music Department, the Art Department is making advancing strides in providing the best experience for future artists. Since 2002, the Art Department has hosted three different art galleries a semester. On Thursday May 4th, the Capstone 2017 gallery was available to the public’s viewing for free.
The Central Connecticut State University Art Galleries are first and foremost educational galleries. At the end of the spring semester, studio art majors exhibit their work for the Capstone 2017 gallery. This semesters gallery included many different types of paintings and pottery.
“It was a lot of fun working on this project,” said Garcia, “I’ve always been fascinated controversial celebrities and wanted to take an artistic approach on them.”
Hanging on the walls is Amy Sciongay’s Capstone project Wall Hanging Pods.
Martha Luciano used lots of clay to create statues and pieces for her Capstone project.
Luciano’s biggest piece was the heads of two different statues and in between was a little temple with a little candlelight in it.
I personally was attracted Tricia Sunderland-Drezek’s piece Rose Bouquet. I liked the beautiful composition of the different colors of paint.
Another interesting piece in the exhibit was Jamie Gray’s Delicate Balance.
Other pieces from the exhibit include:
Clay Towers, created by Erika Novak.
I believe that CCSU students should make the most of the free opportunities to view the Maloney Hall art galleries. It’s incredible to see the creativity our fellow peers put into the work they are passionate about. One can’t see any other art in the world like the ones created by CCSU students.
Besides art created by students, so are plays. Every semester, the CCSU Theatre Department hosts several different student-produced works. The pieces can be written and directed by students, or sample scenes from already published plays.
On Friday May 5th in the Marcus White Living Room, theatre students performed their student-produced work entitled “Broken Pieces.” Written by theatre major Anna Anthony and directed by Azario Mastrangelo, “Broken Pieces” was presented to the public for free. With themes of weed, sex and betrayal, “Broken Pieces” was an interesting piece that college students could relate to.
With no budget for props and costumes, the cast and crew designed everything from scratch. By using their own personal pieces of property for the show, it made everything seem more real and natural. Overall, I thought the show was very interesting and the lines written were extremely crafty and clever.
From Wednesday to Friday, Central offered several art-related events to students and staff for free. I don’t think people realize how fortunate we are to have a campus that presents us with such a close-knit community. From main stage shows to student recitals to different featured art galleries, I believe that students and staff should make the most of all the free opportunities there are on campus.
In the wise words of a painter Ken Danby, “Art is a necessity –an essential part in our enlightenment process. We cannot, as a civilized society, regard ourselves as being enlightened without the arts.”