News

Celebrate the arts of the 20th and 21st centuries during the 10th anniversary celebration of Modfest at Vassar College, January 18 - February 4, 2012.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—In its 10th year, Modfest is Vassar College’s exploration of the arts of the 20th and 21st centuries. This year’s program will celebrate the visual arts, dance, drama, film, prose and poetry, as well as music in a series of events that will take place across the Vassar campus from January 18 through February 4, 2012.  Participants in Modfest ’12 include Vassar students, faculty, alumnae/i, and guest artists as well as students from the Poughkeepsie area schools. All events are free and open to the public, except as noted.

Vassar students and faculty are joined by guest artists in the various fields of creative accomplishment. Among the many highlights of Modfest this year will be a performance by the exciting young JACK Quartet, which will offer a program of modernist works. Alex Ross writing in the New Yorker has hailed JACK’s performance of Iannis Xenakis' complete string quartets as being “exceptional” and “beautifully harsh.” In their Modfest concert, the members of JACK—violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland—will perform works by Xenakis, Scelsi, and Ligeti (1/21).

Mezzo-soprano Mary Nessinger will appear with Akiva Cahn-Lipman, cello, and Judith Gordon, piano, in award-winning Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino’s avant-garde chamber opera Vanitas (1/29). A member of the music faculty, Nessinger has been praised by the New York Times for her “remarkable fluidity and beauty of tone.”

Vassar’s prestigious W. K. Rose Fellowship in the Creative Arts will, for the third year, be the focus of an event in which four past winners will be on hand to share and discuss their recent work. Participants will include composer Alexandra Gardner ’90, whose works have been featured at festivals and venues throughout the United States and internationally; photographer Serge J-F Levy ’95, a member of the faculty at the International Center of Photography, whose photos have been exhibited in galleries and museums in the U.S. and Japan; as well as writers Carol Ann Davis ’92, the author of two poetry collections, Atlas Hour and Psalm, and Andrew Porter ’94 (1/23), author of the short story collection, The Theory of Light and Matter, which was awarded the 2007 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction.

In addition, Paula Vogel’s The Baltimore Waltz will receive a reading (1/30) by drama students under the direction of Shona Tucker, a member of the drama faculty. Another popular event that will be reprised this year is a program devoted to poetry in translation, featuring readings in nine languages followed in each case by newly-created translations by Vassar students (1/25).

New events this year will include a reading of a new play to be presented by Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater (1/21); a cabaret evening devoted to the Great American Songbook that will highlight songs by Gershwin, Kern, Porter, Berlin, Rodgers, Sondheim, and others (1/27); as well as a program of short films by current students (1/31).

About Modfest

Modfest was the idea of Vassar alumna Adene Wilson ’69 who founded it with her husband Richard Wilson in 2003 in order to foster a better coordination among the many artistic activities on the Vassar campus, placing special emphasis on contemporary arts. Adene Wilson continues to serve as Modfest coordinator. 

The programming for Modfest is designed each year to showcase various departments of the college and the interrelationships between music, dance, film, prose and poetry, and visual arts in the 20th and 21st centuries.

“Each year we find that Modfest provides a special opportunity for students in each of the disciplines to share their work with one another,” noted Adene Wilson.

This year Modfest 2012 is organized by the the Vassar College Department of Music in collaboration with the Departments of Art, Chinese and Japanese, Dance, Drama, English, Film, French and Francophone Studies, German Studies, Hispanic Studies, Russian Studies, and the programs in Africana Studies, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, and the Vassar College Bookstore.

A campus-wide celebration, Modfest events will be held at the Chicago Hall, Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Kenyon Hall, Main Building, James W. Palmer III Gallery, Rockefeller Hall, Skinner Hall of Music, and the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film. [A detailed schedule is available below.] 

People with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

MODFEST 2012
Schedule of Events
January 18 – February 4, 2012

The 10th annual festival of the contemporary arts at Vassar College will celebrate art, dance, drama, film, literature, prose and poetry, and music of the 20th and 21st centuries.

All events are free and open to the public without charge (unless noted). No reservations are necessary, unless otherwise noted. All seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Note that all events are subject to change.

For additional information, call (845) 437-5370 or visit http://arts.vassar.edu.

JANUARY 18, WEDNESDAY

Thompson Library Exhibition.
Exhibition of Artists’ Books from the Women’s Studio Workshop. On view through March 9. On February 1, art professor Lisa G. Collins discusses WSW at 5:30pm in the Class of 1951 Reading Room.
Thompson Memorial Library 

JANUARY 19, THURSDAY
9:00am-5:00pm
Music Library Display.
The Vassar College Music Library presents a display highlighting Modfest activities and musicians, curated by Sarah Canino, music librarian. On view through February 4. Open daily.Skinner Hall of Music, 1st floor 

5:00pm and 7:00pm
James W. Palmer Gallery Exhibition and Presentation.
Teen Visions ’12, Words, Dance, and Sounds. Opening reception of an exhibit of original artwork, followed by performances at 7:00pm of music, dance, and original poetry by high school students from the Mill Street Loft’s Art Institute and girls empowerment programs, as well as the Stringendo ensemble, the Cappella Festiva Treble Choir, and dancers from the New York Academy of Ballet (with music by Joseph Bertolozzi ’81). The exhibition features a wide variety of paintings, drawings, mixed-media, photography and sculpture by students of The Art Institute of Mill Street Loft and is on view through February 9. Exhibition: James W. Palmer III Gallery Performance: Villard Room, Main Building,
College Center 

5:00pm – 9:00pm
Late Night at the Lehman Loeb.
Presentation of work by Vassar W.K. Rose Fellow, photographer Serge J-F.Levy ’95. Enjoy extended gallery hours in an enlivened atmosphere, with creative happenings every week. Late Night at the Lehman Loeb is made possible by the generous support of the Jane W. Nuhn Charitable Trust.
Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center 

JANUARY 20, FRIDAY

5:30pm
Exhibition Opening Lecture and Reception.
Marco Maggi: Lentissimo is an exhibition of 14 colorful new works made expressly for this occasion. Lecture by Linda Weintraub, educator, author, artist, curator: “Gently Subversive – The Artistry of Marco Maggi.” Reception to follow in Art Center Atrium. On view through April 1.
Taylor Hall Room 203 and the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center 

9:00pm
Concert.
Vassar Jazz Combos and the Body Electric Afrofunk Band. The ensembles showcase a colorful variety of sub-genres of jazz and rock music. James Osborn, director for the jazz groups, and Luke Leavitt ‘12, band leader.Villard Room, Main Building, College Center 

JANUARY 21, SATURDAY
10:00am-1:00pm
Music Workshop.
Basic Instruction in Sibelius Music Notation Software, beginner to low intermediate. Presented by Thomas E. Rudolph, music education technology pioneer. Participants must bring their own laptops but do not need to own Sibelius software. Space is limited. Reservations are required and may be made by contacting adene.s.wilson@gmail.com.
Kenyon Hall, Room 216  

1:30pm-4:30pm
Music Workshop.
Basic Instruction in Sibelius Music Notation Software, intermediate to advanced. For description, see 10:00am-1:00pm listing above.
Kenyon Hall, Room 216 

5:30pm
Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater Reading.
A reading of a new play to help beat the mid-winter blues. Informal reception to follow. For information email powerhouse@vassar.edu.
Martel Theater, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film 

8:00pm
Concert.
JACK String Quartet. One of the most vibrant young groups on the New York new music scene performs hard-core modernism by Xenakis, Scelsi, and Ligeti.
Skinner Hall of Music 

JANUARY 22, SUNDAY
4:00pm
Concert.
Vassar Faculty Composers. Music of Jonathan Chenette, Peter McCulloch, Harold Meltzer, and Richard Wilson. Performed by music faculty members Thomas Sauer and Peter McCulloch, as well as guest artists Paul Appleby, Moran Katz, Sooyun Kim, and James Austin Smith.
Skinner Hall of Music 

JANUARY 23, MONDAY
5:00pm
Alumnae/i Music, Art, and Writing.
Features the work of W. K. Rose Fellowship winners: composer Alexandra Gardner ’90; photographer Serge J-F. Levy ’95; and writers Carol Ann Davis ’92 and Andrew Porter ‘94. This combined concert, reading, discussion, and presentation of artwork spotlights past winners of the W.K. Rose Fellowship, awarded annually to a Vassar graduate in the creative arts since 1970.
Villard Room, Main Building 

JANUARY 24, TUESDAY
8:00pm
Foreign Film Screening.
Singapore GaGa (2005), Tan Pin Pin, director. This documentary celebrates the vibrant soundscapes of Singapore. Presented with commentary by Sophia Siddique Harvey, assistant professor of film.
Foreign Language Resource Center, Chicago Hall 

JANUARY 25, WEDNESDAY

5:00pm
Readings: Translation As An Art.
Readings of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish poems in their original tongue and of their translations by Vassar students. Translations and performances have been prepared with the help of the language fellows from the participating departments. Includes performance of music by the Mahagonny Choral Ensemble, a student-run contemporary group, Naomi Dubin, ‘12, conductor. Presented by the departments and programs of foreign language study at Vassar.
Villard Room, Main Building 

JANUARY 26, THURSDAY
5:00pm – 9:00pm
Late Night at the Lehman Loeb.
Enjoy extended gallery hours in an enlivened atmosphere with creative happenings every week. Late Night at the Lehman Loeb is made possible by the generous support of the Jane W. Nuhn Charitable Trust.
6:00pm
Presentation.
Chamber music and readings of original fairy tales by Vassar students from classes of Eduardo Navega, lecturer in music and director of the Chamber Music Program, and Nancy Willard, lecturer in English.
Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center 

JANUARY 27, FRIDAY
5:00pm, 6:30pm, 8:00pm
Cabaret Night.
A sampling of the Great American Songbook--Gershwin, Kern, Porter, Berlin, Rodgers, Sondheim, and others. Featuring singers from the Vassar College choirs as well as the music department. At the piano is David Alpher, Vassar music department staff accompanist. A fundraiser in support of the Vassar College Choral Ensembles’ spring 2012 tour to England and France. Performances will begin at 5:00pm, 6:30pm, and 8:00pm. Tickets may be purchased in advance by emailing vassarcollegechoir@gmail.com, or by visiting the College Center North Atrium, Main Building, at lunchtime beginning January 18th. Students: $5 in advance, or $7 at the door; adults: $10 in advance, or $15 at the door. Food and beverages will be provided by the Vassar College choral ensembles.
Aula, Ely Hall 

JANUARY 28, SATURDAY
11:00am
Open Rehearsal.
Mahagonny Ensemble. Alumnus composer Evan James ’07 coaches the student-run contemporary group in the preparation of his new work, You’re Unreal. Following the rehearsal, there is a lunch with an opportunity to speak with the composer.
Skinner Hall of Music 

8:00pm
Concert.
Orchestral and Chamber Ensembles. The Vassar College Orchestra and Mahagonny Ensembles perform works by Arvo Pärt, Gerald Finzi, and Almeida Prado in addition to You’re Unreal by Evan James ’07. Conducted by Eduardo Navega, director of the Chamber Music Program, William Healy ’12, and Naomi Dubin ’12.
Skinner Hall of Music 

JANUARY 29, SUNDAY
3:00pm
Concert.
Mezzo-soprano Mary Nessinger, music faculty member, with Akiva Cahn-Lipman, cello, and Judith Gordon, piano, in a presentation of Salvatore Sciarrino’s avant-garde chamber opera Vanitas.
Skinner Hall of Music 

JANUARY 30, MONDAY
7:00pm
Dramatic Reading.
The Baltimore Waltz. This play by Paula Vogel, is “a crazy-quilt patchwork of hyperventilating language, erotic jokes, movie kitsch and medical nightmare…that spins before the audience in Viennese waltz time, replete with a dizzying fall.” (New York Times) Presented by the Vassar Drama Department’s Experimental Theater, Shona Tucker, assistant professor of drama and adviser to the Experimental Theater. Seating is very limited and reservations are required in advance. Contact the Box Office at boxoffice@vassar.edu or (845) 437-5599.
Streep Acting Studio, Room 110, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film 

JANUARY 31, TUESDAY
5:00pm
Vassar Bookstore Author Series.
Professor Emeritus of English Frank Bergon discusses his recent novel, Jesse’s Ghost, and how he turned a true story into a novel.
Vassar College Bookstore, Main Building, College Center 

8:00pm
Film Screening.
Original Shorts. Vassar Filmmakers Club and the Film Majors’ Committee present a selection of student short films from the Vassar film community. Student filmmakers are present for Q&A afterward. Hosted by Patty Cruz ’12, vice-president, Filmmakers Club; Eric Schuman ’12, co-president, Filmmakers Club; Tim O’Connor ’12, co-president, Filmmakers Club; Cassie Gomes ’12, co-chair, Film Major’s Committee.
Rockefeller Hall, Room 200 

FEBRUARY 1, WEDNESDAY
3:30pm
Presentation.
Art, Dance, Music, and Words. Presentation of chamber music, dance, art, and original poetry and prose by students of the music, dance, art, and English departments. Hosted by Jonathan Chenette, dean of the faculty and professor of music.
Villard Room, Main Building 

8:00pm
Film Screening.
Russian film Igla/The Needle (1988), Rashid Nugmanov, director. The founding text of the Kazakh New Wave movement, The Needle is an experimental visual kaleidoscope of genres, joining together elements of a stylized mob drama, a sea-side love story, and an anti-drug film set to the soundtrack of late Soviet post-punk. The Needle was one of the highest grossing Soviet blockbusters, winning a special jury prize at the 1988 Golden Duke Film Festival in Odessa as well as first prize at the 1990 Nuremberg Film Festival. Presented with commentary by Rita Safariants, visiting instructor in the Russian Studies Department.
Rockefeller Hall, Room 200 

FEBRUARY 2, THURSDAY

5:00pm – 9:00pm
Late Night at the Lehman Loeb.
Fifth Anniversary of Late Night. Celebrate five years of enjoying extended gallery hours in an enlivened atmosphere with creative happenings every week. Late Night at the Lehman Loeb is made possible by the generous support of the Jane W. Nuhn Charitable Trust.
Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center 

7:30pm
Performance. Poetry and Dance.
“Grandmother Talks, Grandmother Dances.” A collaborative piece weaving dance and poetry, this performance narrates Indigenous continuance through bloodlines, resistance, and creativity. Molly S. McGlennen, assistant professor of English and Native American Studies, and Kathy Wildberger, senior lecturer in the departments of Dance and Drama.
Aula, Ely Hall 

FEBRUARY 3, FRIDAY
8:00pm
Dance Performance.
Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre performs works selected from their current repertoire. This performance is presented under the auspices of the Department of Dance. For Modfest tickets please write to dancetix@vassar.edu; put Modfest in the subject window. For information please call the Dance Office at (845) 437-7470.
Frances Daly Fergusson Dance Theater, Kenyon Hall 

8:00pm
Performance.
Dramatic reading of a Senior Project. The Inheritance of Nightdreams, a new play by Isabella Batts, ’12, is a dramatic comedy about the panic and joy of being completely lost. The story follows the middle-aged parents and young adult children of the Peel family as they navigate love, death, distance, and the secret landscapes of each other’s dreams. Seating is very limited and reservations are required in advance. Contact the Box Office at boxoffice@vassar.edu or (845) 437-5599.
Streep Acting Studio, Room 110, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film 

FEBRUARY 4, SATURDAY

11:00am
Open Rehearsal. Mahagonny Ensemble.
Features new works by student composers Connor Mulhern ’14, and Jeremy Bloom ’12. William Healy ’12, conductor. Following the rehearsal, there is a lunch with an opportunity to speak with the composer.
Thekla Hall, Skinner Hall of Music

Posted by Office of Communications Thursday, January 5, 2012