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Q&A with Dr. Alyssa Cossey about the UCC webinar series

The Fred Fox School of Music’s University Community Chorus launched an interactive, eight-part virtual Webinar Series earlier this fall. Led by Dr. Alyssa Cossey, this series aims to maintain community, allow people to make music together in a safe manner, introduce new types of music and genres, and more importantly highlight underperformed and underappreciated choral music.

Photo of Alyssa CosseyWhat was your inspiration behind the webinar series?

As a Community Chorus, a lot of our singers are at a higher risk due to their age, so I was focused on allowing our members to create music and remain a community without meeting in- person. In addition, a lot of events happened over the summer, in particularly our country’s reckoning with racial inequity. Choir, in particularly, claims to be a space for everybody, yet we still tend to program and prioritize Western classics. I felt that this was an opportunity to bridge these aspects and to create a meaningful series for the community.

How have the webinars been going?

It is going really well; we are intermixing webinars with online rehearsals to allow us to still create music together. The great thing about these webinars is that so many people can attend, and since it’s free, it has become accessible to a lot of people. The problem, however, is that the panels can be particularly isolating as we can’t see any of the attendees. It’s difficult for me as a conductor as I’m so used to being in a rehearsal space with over 100 singers responding, so I make sure to ask many questions on the webinar to create that line of communication. So far, the webinars have been well received and I’m very excited for the upcoming ones.

What is the planning process behind the series?

It was really important that the series itself was diverse, not only from diverse genres and representation, but having different types of webinars. We offer sing-alongs, which are more participatory, as well as panels and presentations; it was crucial in finding the correct balance. In terms of the planning process, I wrote down a list of ideas that I personally wanted to cover and evaluated if they would be a good fit and, more importantly, interest people.

What insights can you give about the remaining series?

I’m honestly excited about all the webinars! I’m definitely looking forward to the upcoming “Gospel Choir Night” on Oct. 13, as we have two fantastic experts coming in that we can learn so much from. I’m also super excited about the “Sacred Harp/Shape-Note Sing-along” on Nov. 24. It’s actually an American tradition that has an active chapter in Tucson, but it is not super well-known. The series finale, “Messiah Sing-along,” on Dec. 9 will also be great, it’s a collaboration between the University of Arizona and my alma mater, Michigan State University. I am excited to work alongside my mentor, Dr. David Rayl, for that special event.

Is there anything you would like to say to prospective attendees?

I know that is really hard right now to try new things and if anyone thinks that it’s not for them, I would just tell them to attend one and try it out! I know we are all missing making music in our traditional way but there is still a lot to be learnt from these experiences and many cool collaborations to come out from this. I want to encourage anybody and everybody to come to a session!

REMAINING SCHEDULE

“Gospel Choir Night”

Oct. 13, 2020 – 6p MT. Register Now.

Celebrate the rich traditions of gospel music in America. Led by Jason Thompson and Chase Moore, learn the diverse history of this music and participate in our first-ever Gospel Choir Sing-along.

“This Is What Democracy Looks Like”

Oct. 27, 2020 – 6p MT. Register Now.

A pre-election special, featuring music directly related to the democratic process. Plus, composer Andrea Ramsey will answer questions about her newly completed “Suffrage Cantata,” which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment.

“Music of Hawaii”

Nov. 10, 2020 – 6p MT. Register Now.

Guest presenter Dr. Jace Saplan, a native Hawaiian, will introduce us to the diverse and complex history of Hawaiian choral music with an interactive discussion about the decolonization of choral music in the 21st century.

“Sacred Harp/Shape-Note Sing-along”

Nov. 24, 2020 – 6p MT. Register Now.

Abigail Sorg and other guests will share a brief history of Shape-Note Singing, as well as a tutorial, and lead a virtual sing-along.

“Messiah Sing-along (Special Night)”

Dec. 9, 2020 – 6p MT. Register Now.

Join us for a National Messiah Sing-along co-hosted by Dr. David Rayl from Michigan State University! This exciting holiday event will include a “pre-concert” lecture, performances by guest soloists, and a sing-along concluding with Handel’s “Hallelujah” Chorus. A PDF doc of the choral score will be provided to all registrants.

The webinar series is open to the public. For more detailed information about the series or questions about how to register, please contact Dr. Alyssa Cossey at ajcossey@arizona.edu.

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2 days ago
Arizona Arts

Congrats Sadie Shaw (BFA, 2019, Art & Visual Culture Education).

We are proud of you. Good luck with your new role.

Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona
University of Arizona School of Art
Arizona Alumni🌟 Please join us in welcoming Sadie Shaw to the Arts Foundation team as the Community Design Manager!

Sadie will lead SaludArte, a new private public partnership between Pima County Health Department (PCHD) and the Arts Foundation.

Sadie is an artist, art educator, oral historian, community organizer and Governing Board Member of the Tucson Unified School District.

To learn more about Sadie and her new role as the Community Design Manager, click the link below!

artsfoundtucson.org/welcome-to-the-team-sadie-shaw/
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Congrats Sadie Shaw (BFA, 2019,  Art & Visual Culture Education). 

We are proud of you. Good luck with your new role.

Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona
University of Arizona School of Art
Arizona Alumni
2 days ago
Arizona Arts

The world premiere of LUTE, an inspiring documentary of the legendary The University of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson, is this Friday at 5:30p at Centennial Hall.

Relive the 1997 NCAA title run on its 25th anniversary!

Directed by UA School of Theatre, Film & Television alumnus Brett Rapkin (BA 2000).

azart.fyi/LUTEtix

Presented by Podium Pictures, in association with CBS Sports, this definitive documentary by Emmy Award-winning Director Brett Rapkin celebrates the legendary Coach Lute Olson on the 25th Anniversary of the 1997 National Championship.

“Not long after I showed up in Tucson as a 17-year-old freshman, I got to witness Lute lead the 1997 Cats to the promised land: a National Championship,” said Rapkin, who studied film at TFTV. “It is truly an honor to have the chance to help tell this story.”

“I’m thrilled to be a member of the team making a film celebrating Coach O’s life and legacy,” said Jason Terry, executive producer and member of the 1997 championship team. “This is also a special opportunity to allow the coaches, fans, players and families that he inspired along the way to tell their own stories.”

#lute #BearDown #RiseWithUs

Arizona Men's Basketball | Arizona Alumni | Arizona Athletics | Arizona A-Club Letterwinners | AZ Desert Swarm | Arizona Arts Live
... See MoreSee Less

The world premiere of LUTE, an inspiring documentary of the legendary The University of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson, is this Friday at 5:30p at Centennial Hall.

Relive the 1997 NCAA title run on its 25th anniversary!

Directed by UA School of Theatre, Film & Television alumnus Brett Rapkin (BA 2000).
 
https://azart.fyi/LUTEtix
 
Presented by Podium Pictures, in association with CBS Sports, this definitive documentary by Emmy Award-winning Director Brett Rapkin celebrates the legendary Coach Lute Olson on the 25th Anniversary of the 1997 National Championship.
 
“Not long after I showed up in Tucson as a 17-year-old freshman, I got to witness Lute lead the 1997 Cats to the promised land: a National Championship,” said Rapkin, who studied film at TFTV. “It is truly an honor to have the chance to help tell this story.”
 
“I’m thrilled to be a member of the team making a film celebrating Coach O’s life and legacy,” said Jason Terry, executive producer and member of the 1997 championship team. “This is also a special opportunity to allow the coaches, fans, players and families that he inspired along the way to tell their own stories.”

#lute #BearDown #RiseWithUs

Arizona Mens Basketball | Arizona Alumni | Arizona Athletics | Arizona A-Club Letterwinners | AZ Desert Swarm | Arizona Arts Live

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Miss you Lute 💙

3 days ago
Arizona Arts

Five students were selected as the inaugural JustArts Fellows, an Arizona Arts equity initiative to advance diversity and inclusion in the arts by asking student leaders to identify challenges and propose creative solutions.

🔗 azart.fyi/JustArts22

The inaugural cohort includes:

Dylan Crites
>> UA School of Theatre, Film & Television
Carlos Garcia Ramirez
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
Dorthea Stephenson
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
Ariana Aquino
>> The University of Arizona School of Dance
Joshua Barbre
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
... See MoreSee Less

Five students were selected as the inaugural JustArts Fellows, an Arizona Arts equity initiative to advance diversity and inclusion in the arts by asking student leaders to identify challenges and propose creative solutions. 

🔗 https://azart.fyi/JustArts22

The inaugural cohort includes: 

Dylan Crites
>> UA School of Theatre, Film & Television
Carlos Garcia Ramirez
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
Dorthea Stephenson
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
Ariana Aquino
>> The University of Arizona School of Dance
Joshua Barbre
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
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