Thursday, March 13, 2014

Musical comedy ‘Urinetown’ set for March 20-23

Bailey Steinke (Little Sally) and Alex Green (Officer Lockstock) enact a scene from the upcoming Saint Mary's University production of "Urinetown."

Zach Hillman (Caldwell B. Cladwell), Gabe Verges (Boby Strong), Alex Green (Officer Lockstock) and Katie Sapper (Hope Cladwell) rehearse a tense moment from the upcoming show "Urinetown."

Water is scarce, but corruption flows freely in the Saint Mary’s University musical comedy production of “Urinetown,” March 20-23.

In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. Water is worth its weight in gold. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. A hero plunges forward, deciding he’s had enough, and he plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom!

Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, “Urinetown” is an irreverently humorous satire in which no one is safe from scrutiny. For added fun, the show spoofs well-known musicals and itself. Director Dr. Gary Diomandes and musical director Judy Myers are flushed with excitement about bringing the hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution to life.

Books and lyrics for “Urinetown” are by Greg Kotis; music and lyrics are by Mark Hollmann.

The show will run 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 20-22, and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 23, in Page Theatre.

Tickets are $10 for adults or $5 for students and seniors and are available at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at

Taylor Richmond benefit assists former benefit organizer

Saint Mary’s will present the 14th annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance from 8:30 p.m. to midnight Saturday, March 15.

The beneficiary of this year’s formal dance — open to the public — is Jason Richter.

Richter is well-known to the Saint Mary’s community as he worked from 1998 to 2010 in Student Activities and was responsible for overseeing this same benefit event. Richter, who currently lives in Davenport, Iowa, is formerly of Rollingstone, where he served with the volunteer fire department and was an active community member.

Prior to being diagnosed with multiple myeloma last summer, Richter had pain in his lower back that turned out to be a mass. This is a disease that is more commonly found in people around the age of 60; because of his young age, he has responded well to treatments. He has undergone 10 radiation sessions, as well as recent bone and stem cell transplants. On top of that, the Richter family lives an hour away from the hospital Jason is receiving treatment at in Iowa City.

Although now in remission, Richter is still undergoing chemotherapy treatments. This year’s proceeds will assist his family, which includes three young sons, with their medical expenses and travel costs.

The benefit has become an annual student tradition since its start in 2001 in honor of Taylor Richmond, son of SMU staff member Nikki Richmond and Nick Richmond. Each year this event benefits someone in need who has ties to the SMU community. Although Taylor passed away this past October, his memory lives on at Saint Mary’s.
The dance, featuring music by the Johnny Holm Band, will be held in the gymnasium. Ticket prices are $15 per person or $30 per couple. To purchase tickets or receive more information, contact Lance Thompson at Ext. 1686. Dance tickets will also be available at the door.

In combination with the dance, a silent auction will be held on campus from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today March 14. A variety of homemade goods, gift baskets and specialty items will be on display in the game room, located in the Toner Student Center. The public is welcome to bid.

Faculty, staff and alumni are invited to a reception at 6:30 p.m. in the Toner Student Center lounge; the Richter family will be there to see everyone!

To make a donation, send checks — payable to the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance — to Lance Thompson, Box 1528.

Minnesota printmaker features new works in SMU art show March 13-April 6

'For Want of the Inferno' by Emily Gray Koehler

White Bear Lake printmaker Emily Gray Koehler will present 27 new works in “Burning the Old Growth” March 13 through April 6 at Saint Mary’s University.

Gray Koehler’s reduction woodblock prints are nature scenes informed by a childhood split between the farm and the forest. In this particular series, her work depicts the beauty of nature, depleted by man’s influence.

“Since its earliest beginnings, humanity has manipulated nature in the pursuit of prosperity,” she writes. “Without these alterations to the environment, our existence in this world would certainly be dubious. However, after millennia of digging, burning, harvesting, and draining we now find ourselves at a crossroads where all possible routes forward have significant obstacles and potent repercussions.”

The Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. All gallery shows are free and open to the public.

For more information about Gray Kohler’s work, go to

SMU band, wind ensemble concert March 30 celebrates ‘Music in our Schools Month’

The Concert Band and Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Janet Heukeshoven, will present a concert Sunday, March 30, in celebration of “Music in our Schools Month.” The performance will begin at 3 p.m. in Page Theatre.

The featured violin soloist is Saint Mary’s Dr. David Leung, in a rare pairing with winds and percussion. The Concertino (1998) by Evzen Zámecnik is written in a modern jazz style combined with traditional classical violin techniques. Dr. Leung is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and is a frequent soloist and chamber music performer around the world. In his second year at Saint Mary’s, Dr. Leung teaches violin and viola, as well as ear-training courses, and he directs the SMU Chamber Orchestra.

Other performances will include: Bernstein’s delightful overture A Musical Toast, Eric Whitacre’s hauntingly beautiful October, Grainger’s Children’s March, and a recently published piece by Valerie Coleman, founder of the “Imani Winds,” Umoja.  Richard Strauss’s moving Allerseelen and Bencriscutto’s Lindbergh Jubilee round out the program.

Tickets are $10 for adults or $5 for students and seniors may be reserved at the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at Tickets are also available one hour before the concert.

The SMU Concert Band is made up of SMU students and community musicians from the Winona area. The ensemble presents two performances each semester on the SMU campus. For additional information, contact Heukeshoven at Ext. 1675 or

News from Nairobi

By James Chege
Maryknoll Institute of African Studies

Class representative Lawrence Ofunja of the course: Contemporary Political and Economic Realities in Kenya hands in the week’s field research reports and draft copies of the students’ research paper to the lecturer, Prof Edward Oyugi.
MIASMU draft research papers handed in 

Students are required to hand in a draft of their course papers to their respective lecturers for review in the seventh week of the semester program. These drafts are most important as they facilitate the process by which the students begin to organize and analyze the knowledge gained from classroom lectures and especially from their weekly field work. The drafts also help the lecturers guide their students as they progress in writing the final draft of their papers. Writing a draft of the course paper, together with writing reflections on cultural themes and domains and field research reports, are an integral part of the MIASMU educational method.

This part of the method is based on the principle that whenever you write down something you are essentially having a conversation with yourself as you interact and dialogue with the graphic presentation of your thoughts and ideas. This process facilitates a deeper understanding of the structures of the subject matter under consideration. Also, all the writing required by the MIASMU programs helps students and field assistants, through the very graphic meditation that they have created, to begin to internalize their classroom and field research experiences. This internalization is an essential component in gaining fluency in a host culture and well as one’s own.

Prof. Michael Kirwen asks a question during the M.A. thesis presentation by Joseph Oindo.

Second M.A. thesis defense 

On Friday, March 17, Joseph Oindo became the second student in 2014 to successfully defend his M.A. thesis at the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies. The title of his thesis is “Health and Healing in Luo Culture and its Interaction with the Catholic Church’s Pastoral Program for Health and Healing in Homa bay Diocese Kenya.” The panel for the colloquium included the chair and thesis advisor, Prof. Laurenti Magesa, the thesis reader Prof. Mary Getui and the program director Prof. Michael Kirwen.

Joseph Oindo’s thesis reveals that among the Luo, when an individual is sick, the whole family is sick and thereby affecting the whole community at large. Therefore healing becomes a communal agenda as opposed to just focusing on the ailing individual. Furthermore, healing among the Luo takes a holistic dimension taking care not only of the physical well being but also the spiritual and emotional well being of the affected persons. Finally, health and healing in the Luo community has an intrinsic relationship with the moral character of the individual and that of the entire community.

MIASMU visitors from Germany are hosted to lunch at the faculty lounge. 

Special one-day course for MIASMU visitors

Visitors from the University of Münster of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany and from Missio  Aachen, one of the largest Catholic aid organizations in Germany, were welcomed and briefed on the nature and value of the MIASMU educational method. This method enables students to begin the process of  learning, understanding, and celebrating African cultural knowledge and domains.

The visitors from the University of Münster came to Nairobi specifically to prepare an exposure-to-Africa program for 15-20 German theological students for March next year. And, In order to understand and appreciate the value of the MIASMU three-day one-credit courses, the visitors participated in a special one-day course on March 11.  All found the day to be most challenging, and it gave them insights in how a three-day program for the coming theological students could be a most fitting way to begin their African safari.

Tribute concert to Victor Jara is March 27 at Saint Mary’s

A tribute concert Thursday, March 27, will celebrate the life of Victor Jara, the Chilean singer-songwriter, political activist and playwright assassinated during the Chilean military coup in 1973.

On the 40th anniversary of his death, the Stearns County Pachanga Society will perform Jara’s songs, with the lyrics projected in both Spanish and English. The contrast between the themes of his songs, on love, peace and social justice — and the brutal way in which he was murdered — transformed Jara into a symbol of struggle for human rights and justice worldwide. Based in St. Cloud, the Stearns County Pachanga Society is an ever-evolving, ever-growing organic musical experiment that aims to combine the musical spirit of Cuban Cabildos, Brazilian Samba clubs, and Spanish Charangas with danceable rhythms from all over the globe.

The event, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., will be held in Figliulo Recital Hall. The public is welcome to attend, free of charge. Co-sponsors include the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, the Intercultural Awareness Association and the Student Activities Committee of Saint Mary’s.

Music Department to showcase original faculty compositions March 15

Original compositions by faculty composers Dr. Patrick O’Shea and A. Eric Heukeshoven will be featured at a recital Saturday, March 15. The biennial “Composers Recital,” which will begin at 6:30 p.m., will include world premieres of two works, music with poetry, and a wide variety of contemporary compositions.

New music by Dr. Patrick O’Shea, director of choral music, includes the premiere of Vezzosi augelli, written in 2012. SMU alumni Brigid Ryan ’06 and Lindsy O’Shea ’05 will be featured on this vocal duet. O’Shea’s Sonata Piccola for violin and piano will feature the talent of Dr. David Leung on violin with Jan Matson on piano. Originally composed as a single movement work, O’Shea has written an opening movement for the sonata to be premiered at this event. Poltergeist, the newest work to be performed, will feature Dr. Janet Heukeshoven on flute and percussionist Jeremy Johnston, a 2009 alumnus.

A. Eric Heukeshoven will present both choral and instrumental works. Just Believe, a work commissioned for the La Crosse Chamber Chorale’s Words to Music series, will be performed by members of the chorale, joined by students from SMU’s Chamber Singers. Dr. Janet Heukeshoven and Amanda Moburg will be featured in selections from the composer’s 24 Duets for Two Flutes. Ted Haaland, founder of Great River Shakespeare Festival’s Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest, will introduce the duets with an original poem he composed for each of the selections.

The event — free and open to the public — will be held in Figliulo Recital Hall.

Next Cineclub movie is March 24

The Department of Modern and Classical Languages announces the dates for Cineclub for spring 2014. All showings will be on Mondays at 7 p.m. in the student lounge of St. Edward’s Hall. Contact Dr. Kyle Black at for more information.

“Bolivia” (Argentina, 2001), directed by Adrián Caetano, is about a Bolivian immigrant working illegally as a cook in a small restaurant in Buenos Aires who suffers abuse and discrimination from its customers. The drama stars Freddy Flores and Rosa Sánchez.

One of the main objectives of Cineclub is to provide an opportunity for the Saint Mary’s and Winona communities to enjoy some films in Spanish and Portuguese that may not typically be shown in local theaters. All films will have English subtitles. In addition to viewing the films, participants will be invited exchange ideas related to the films and their underlying socio-cultural contexts.

SMU hosts DeTemps Antan today at Marine Art Museum

Today, Friday, March 14, DeTemps Antan will perform Celtic-inspired, French-steeped and Canadian-styled music as part of Saint Mary’s Off The Page series.

The trio will take the stage beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.

Since 2003, Éric Beaudry, André Brunet and Pierre-Luc Dupuis have been exploring and performing time-honored melodies from the stomping grounds of Quebec’s musical past. Using fiddle, accordion, harmonica, guitar, bouzouki and a number of other instruments, these three virtuosos blend boundless energy with the unmistakable joie de vivre found only in traditional Quebec music. Former members of famed La Bottine Souriante, this trio presents music that will have you reveling in the music of the past, infused by their original contemporary songs.

Tickets are $18 and $16 and are available at the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at

Page in History event

Join members of De Temps Antan in celebration of their heritage as they discuss how they infuse traditional music with the music of today. The presentation begins at 12:05 p.m. Friday, March 14, at the Winona County History Center, 160 Johnson St. The event is free and open to the public.

Chat, Chow & Web 2.0

The next Chat, Chow & Web 2.0, hosted by the Fitzgerald Library, Information Technology, and Instructional Technology, will be held noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 26. Faculty and staff are invited to meet in the main lounge of the McEnery Center. Lunch will be provided and RSVPs are appreciated to

“You Gotta Get Up and Try, Try, Try!” will include presentations by Nathan Lien (Chemistry) who has been trying out a flipped classroom technique, and Rose Beal (Theology) who is trying to use  Google Docs as a replacement for the ubiquitous Power Point.  Find out how it has been working for them and how it might also work for you.

SMU students to promote state grant program March 27 at Day at the Capitol

One of the biggest ways that students and campus communities can have a major impact on supporting the Minnesota State Grant program is to participate in the Minnesota Private College Council’s Day at the Capitol.

On Thursday, March 27, Saint Mary’s students will have the opportunity to travel to the Capitol and tell legislators and the governor how important the Minnesota State Grant program is to them, their school and the state.

This grant program provides critical support, helping make higher education possible for one out of three Minnesota college students from low- and middle-income families. The state invested $120 million in aid in the most recent academic year, helping more than 88,000 students.

After meeting with state legislators, students will have an opportunity for a Q&A discussion with Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau, a 2003 SMU undergrad alumna and 2006 master’s alum, and Don Winger, program director of the B.S. in Police Science program on the Twin Cities campus.

Students interested in attending are asked to register online at SMU hopes to send 50 students and employees to the Capitol this year.

For more information, contact Ann Merchlewitz at

Vote on study abroad photo contest winners

Everyone is invited to stop by the Study Abroad Office, Saint Mary’s Hall, Room 132, to cast a vote (only one) for your top three choices in the study abroad photo contest. All students, faculty and staff may participate.

Photos were submitted by students who studied overseas spring, summer and fall 2013. Voting will end today, Friday, March 14, at 4 p.m. The photos are posted at

Leung performs in New York

Dr. David Leung, Music Department, was in upstate New York recently for a three-day residency invited by guest artist-teacher Maureen Yuen (violin faculty of State University of New York, Fredonia), who taught and performed with our students in Winona last month.

During his residency, March 2-4, Dr. Leung gave violin and chamber music masterclasses to string students at SUNY Fredonia and performed an all-Russian recital (in honor of the anniversary of the death of Soviet composer Sergei Prokofiev) with Fredonia music faculty violinist Maureen Yuen and pianist Stijn De Cock.

SMU in the news

Here are just a few ways SMU is “making the news”:

• The Winona Daily News featured SMU’s student solar panel initiative in a story March 1:

• Catholic New York, America’s largest Catholic newspaper, ran an article about the recent honorary degrees Brother William presented to five Christian Brothers:

• Gary Diomandes was featured in Monday’s Winona Daily News article titled, “SMU professor celebrates a lifetime in theater that began almost by accident”:

• Students participating in a SOUL trip to Indiana at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College were featured in the Tribune Star Thursday, March 6:

Employee Giving Campaign kicks off

The 2014 One University One Mission Community Campaign kicked off with a bang and will end April 2.

The Office of Development is trying to beat last year’s record by raising $82,000 with 62 percent of employees participating.

Each year employees demonstrate a remarkable spirit of community by participating in the Employee Giving campaign. Every investment, whatever the amount, blesses a life in a very significant way.

Giving is easy:

A. Decide on an amount you’re comfortable with. To see what your gift was last year, log into Webtools and click “payroll data.”

B. Decide who receives the benefit: Is it the Saint Mary’s Fund, faculty/staff scholarship, or something else?

C.  Complete the online giving form at or request a paper form by e-mailing

Give by the end of today, March 14, and get entered to win a popcorn cart with all the supplies for your department for a day. You’ll also be registered for the drawing for an extra day off. Receive an extra entry by increasing your gift or making a new gift.

Common Threads clothing drive is March 19-21

The Peace and Justice Club will once again be conducting the Common Threads clothing drive. Look for donation bins in the residence halls; today is the last day to donate.

All the clothes that get donated will then be sold at Saint Mary’s very own “thrift shop.” Any clothes that do not sell will get donated.

The sale will be noon to 4 p.m. March 19-21 in Room B of the Toner Student Center.

Congratulations to Lunde family

Layla, former Music Department adjunct instructor, and Matt Lunde, prospect management director with the Development Office, had a son, Philip David, March 1. The Saint Mary’s  community extends its congratulations to the Lunde family.

Happy belated birthday

Brother Finbar McMullen celebrated his 90th birthday Tuesday, March 4. Be sure to wish him a belated birthday.