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April Creative Highlights at Salem State University

By Felicia Hayden ’16    

It’s April, and you know what that means: Salem State University’s spring arts events are in full bloom! 


On April 14, at 7:30 pm, we welcome to our Recital Hall the acclaimed, Grammy-nominated musician Sirojiddin Juraev, dutar virtuoso for a world music concert. Juarev is known widely as the most virtuosic dutar player in Central Asia, and will be accompanied by Abbos Kosimov on the doira. Together, they will share with us the beauty of Shashmaqam music in a musical collaboration that you don’t want to miss. 

Preceding the concert, Harvard professor Dr. Richard Wolf will offer a pre-concert lecture to discuss the cultural significance of Central Asian music. Dr. Wolf ‘s presentation begins at 7 pm in the Recital Hall (Central Campus, 71 Loring Ave.) 

It’s such a thrill to welcome guest artists and lecturers to campus but it is equally exciting to host the performances and exhibits by our student artists. You can have your pick this month! 

In April, we showcase the talents of four student music ensembles. Our ensemble concerts are all free, however, donations at the door are welcome to help support music scholarships. All music ensemble concerts begin at 7:30 and take place in the Recital Hall. 

To kick off our ensemble showcase, on Thursday, April 21 the University Chamber Orchestra will be performing an evening of Spanish-inspired music under the direction of Dr. Mary-Jo Grenfell.  Senior music major and Beverly native Evan Terzakis is the featured soloist on classical guitar in a concerto by Rodrigo. 

A few days later, on Monday, April 25 the University Band will celebrate the film music of John Williams. Led by Dr. Amy McGlothlin, the program includes selections from Star Wars, SupermanAmistad, and Harry Potter

On Wednesday, April 27 the Women’s Chorale and Handbell Ensemble take the stage. This concert will feature the mastery of nine diverse compositions—all due to the hard work, talent, and dedication of twenty singers, five instrumentalists, and one conductor. 

The musical wrap-up of the month takes place on Thursday, April 28 when the University Chorus and Chamber Singers offer their end of semester concert with a program that features music from the Renaissance through the 21st century.

But wait: there’s more! Our musical events for the month of April may end on April 28, but our other creative departments are here to entertain. 

Adapted by Robinson Jeffers and directed by David Allen George, the theatre department’s spring production, Medea by Euripides, opens on April 21 at 7:30 pm in the Callan Studio Theatre. 

The story unfolds on the final day before Medea is to be exiled from Corinth by King Creon. Jason has married the king’s daughter and denies his sworn union with Medea. With their two sons in the balance Jason fails to keep Medea from practicing her ancient black arts. In a horrific series of on-stage actions of vengeance and premeditated murder Medea extracts her methodical revenge at the cost of everything she holds dear. Her final act of “justice”, the murder of her two sons, assures the destruction of Jason’s immortality.

Euripides’ choice to focus on the psychology of this story and the ordinary emotions of pride, jealousy and anger was a radical one in 431 B.C. but it is for exactly this reason, Medea’s story still resonates today.

Medea runs April 21-23, 7:30 pm; Sunday, April 24, 2 pm; April 28-30, 7:30pm; Sunday, May 1, 2pm. 

A pre-show conversation will be held on April 28, at 6:30 pm.  “A Director’s Perspective of Medea” features Catherine Bertrand ’06 director of Salem Theatre’s March production of Medea and Salem State director David Allen George.  

Purchase tickets online: salemstatetickets.com, or by phone: 978.542.6365. 

The month of April also means it’s time for the annual Art + Design Student Awards Exhibition in the Winfisky Gallery. 

The students featured in this exhibition are selected by the art + design faculty for their exceptional work. The selections on display will range from commercially-oriented media, such as graphic design, multimedia design, and photography to fine arts media such as painting, sculpture and printmaking. Stop by the Winfisky Gallery to check out these new artists through April 27. The Winfisky Gallery is located in the Ellison Campus Center. 

The month of April concludes with the Salem Dance Ensemble performance of Exhale Joy! in the Twohig Gymnasium (O’Keefe Complex, 225 Canal Street). Their performance will celebrate spring and revel in the promise of new beginnings. Dance faculty and students present their original choreography that explores letting go of old baggage and old habits, while finding transformation in new forms. Add a lightness to your step. Inhale the beauty. Exhale the JOY! April 30 at 7:30 pm/May 1 at 2 pm. $10 suggested donation at the door.

We hope to see you on campus often this month! Need more information? Check out salemstate.edu/arts or give us a call at 978.542.6365. 

Learn more and stay tuned to all the creative things happening at Salem State University Center for Creative and Performing Arts on Instagram, Web and Facebook!

AND HERE IS A HANDY DANDY CAMPUS MAP! Attend a Salem State University Creative Happening today! 


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