Hearst Center preview



The Hearst Center for the Arts is located at 304 W. Seerly Boulevard several blocks away from campus. Several holiday concerts will occur here ranging from jazz to more traditional styles.

CLINTON OLSASKY, Executive Editor | [email protected]

It’s that special time of year again. The ground will soon be littered with snow; families and loved ones will be reunited at last and holiday music will once again make a triumphant return.

The Hearst Center for the Arts, located at 304 W. Seerley Boulevard, will be taking part in the holiday festivities with three free concerts and a four-part film series in December.

The first of the three concerts is the Hearst Center’s annual holiday concert, featuring Bel Canto Cedar Valley.

“Bel Canto Cedar Valley’s coming back,” said Martin Arthur, cultural program supervisor for the City of Cedar Falls and Hearst Center supervisor. “They were here last year for a holiday concert, and they’re returning. It’s a choral group and a pianist. And they’re going to sing seasonal holiday music.”

The Bel Canto Cedar Valley concert will be on Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. According to Arthur, there will be refreshments afterwards.

“The holiday concert is just one where if you want some warm, fuzzy feelings, that’s a good one to go to,” said Olivia Randolph, education coordinator at the Hearst Center.

Next, the Hearst Center will host Jazz with Steph and Tom, a jazz duo consisting of vocalist Stephanie Althof and pianist Thomas Tritle, on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. According to Arthur, the jazz duo regularly performs around town, and this will be the last of four concerts they will perform at the Hearst Center this semester. The upcoming concert on Dec. 8 will exclusively feature music about New York City.

“That’s kind of a new initiative because we’ve been trying to have more music at the Hearst Center, and a lot of it tended to kind of be of the same genre,” Randolph said. “So we’re introducing jazz on Thursday nights […] With Jazz with Steph and Tom, they’re a really unique duo. They’re really talented, and they make it seem so easy.”

“Usually, Tom talks about the music,” Arthur said. “So, not only are you listening to classic music from the golden age of American song, but you’re also hearing stories about how the music came into being […] It makes it more interesting than just hearing a bunch of songs back to back. It’s educational. And you know, education can be fun.”

Lastly, the Hearst Center will host a lunchtime concert featuring Matt and Olivia, a marimba and clarinet duo, on Dec. 9 at 12 p.m.

Randolph, who graduated from UNI with a music degree with an emphasis in performance arts management in May 2014, will be playing clarinet in the duo. She will be playing alongside her boyfriend for the first time in a formal setting.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” Randolph said. “Marimba and clarinet duos – they’re not as hard to find as you think, but they’re not super common […] But the sound is really cool when you play them together and you play them correctly.”

Randolph went on to say that after the concert, which will likely last about an hour, those in attendance will have the opportunity to play the marimba, a percussion instrument that visually resembles a wooden xylophone.

In addition, those who attend the lunchtime concert will have the option to give a freewill donation, all the proceeds of which will go towards the UNI School of Music.

Throughout the month, the Hearst Center will also be hosting free screenings of a classic MGM musical every Tuesday at 7 p.m. The four films are: An American in Paris (Dec. 6), The Wizard of Oz (Dec. 13), Meet Me in St. Louis (Dec. 20) and Singin’ in the Rain (Dec. 27).

“These are four of the greatest MGM musicals,” Arthur said. “And I just thought musicals would be nice for the holidays.”

“Even if you’ve seen the films before, it’s pretty neat to see it on a larger screen,” Randolph said. “It’s a nice time if you just want to be able to watch a cool movie and just kind of chill out on a Tuesday night.”