University College at Fairfield University offers a stimulating array of summer courses


University College at Fairfield University has something for all ages this summer, from middle school to 50-plus. Some of Fairfield's most dynamic professors turn up the heat with a Jazz Workshop, a series of visits to New York City's art treasures and courses on the International Short Story, A History of Ireland and The Sacred and the Profane - music, that is.

The 2009 Summer Jazz Workshop offers middle school and high school student instrumentalists and vocalists an intensive five or ten-day summer jazz program. Summer Jazz Workshop combines jazz instruction, improvisation and theory. Students will perform in jazz ensembles and attend classes and workshops in jazz improvisation, theory, rhythm and world music, history of jazz and jazz arranging and composition. The first session is July 6-10; the second session is July 13-17; students may take both sessions. Brian Torff, renowned bassist and composer is the founder and director of the Fairfield University Jazz Workshop, and Music Program Director at Fairfield University. Participants must have at least two years' instrument or vocal experience and have a basic music reading ability. Registration deadline is June 15.

For an intense five-day experience June 1-5, here are three diverse courses in one package ($212):

The International Short Story focuses on one classic writer each day. From Nikolai Gogol to Bernard Malamud, Aaron Perkus, associate dean of University College and assistant professor of English, leads participants through the short story structure - the character, setting and theme - and weaves into the discussion what paths different schools of literary theory might take to approach each story.

A History of Ireland focuses on the 19th and 20th centuries. Beginning with its Celtic, Viking and Norman background, William Abbott, associate professor history, leads the discussion through the 16th and 17th century-British conquests of Ireland, the beginnings of Irish independence and the rise of Fenianism and the Home Rule movement; the War of Independence forces the gradual separation of the Irish Free State from Britain under the Cosgrave and De Valera administrations and finally, the present-day situation is addressed, illuminating the problems in Northern Ireland as well as the many social changes that have taken place in the Irish Republic since 1959.

The Sacred and the Profane overlap in this intriguing study of music of the Romantic Era. During this time, opera was at its apogee and at the same time, composers were writing large-scale concert works on sacred text. Michael Ciavaglia, adjunct professor of music, presents these seemingly exclusive sides of music and through discussion and listening, uncovers the worldly in sacred Latin text, the holy in the opera house and everything in between. Composers and works include: Rossini's "Barber of Seville" and "Stabat Mater"; Berlioz's "Romeo and Juliet" and "Requiem"' Verdi's "Otello" and "Requiem"; and Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin" and "Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysotom."

Contemporary Art in New York offers one day a week for five weeks, June 4 through July 2, with artist and writer John Mendelsohn who leads an exploration of the contemporary art scene in New York City and nearby neighborhoods. Enjoy a rich landscape for learning about the art viewed at galleries, museum exhibitions and artists' studios. With a focus on the role of the artist, gallerist, critic and curator, the exhibition visits are enhanced by the opportunity to meet with art critics and gallery and museum curators. These professionals provide an understanding of art in the larger context. Comfortable shoes are a must.

For more information, visit the website at fairfield.edu/uc or call (203) 254-4110.

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Posted on May 19, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 342