Gustavo Aguilar (Assistant Professor of Experimental Performance, Theater, Music and Art)
DMA, University of California San Diego
MFA, California Institute of the Arts
MM, The University of Akron
BA, Corpus Christi State University
Gustavo Aguilar is an experimental performer/composer/improviser, whose interdisciplinary approach to art making cooperatively combines present-composed (improvised) and past-composed (fully notated) musical elements with the use of new technologies and an active research interest in cultural/critical studies. As an art practitioner whose work has been called “beautiful, introspective and passionate,” “thought-provoking and thoroughly fresh” Gustavo has built an extensive history of collaboration with dancers, filmmakers, poets, painters, dramaturges, and sound installation artists, his awareness and engagement with new and innovative forms of art operate and encompass a wide range of traditions and media that help him to blur the boundaries betwixt composer/performer and between music, art, theatre, dance and film. A Brownsville, Texas native, Gustavo has performed at major festivals throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific, and has given lectures and master classes at universities and symposia across the United States and abroad. Gustavo continues to hold the position of Music Director with GroundWorks Dancetheater of Cleveland, Ohio, and recently joined the Department of Sound, Performance, and Visual Inquiry at the University of Maine, Farmington as Assistant Professor of Experimental Performance.
Krisanne Baker (Art Instructor)
MFA in Visual Arts Vermont College of Fine Arts
BFA in Painting Rhode Island School of Design
Water is our lifeblood.
Krisanne Baker is an ecological art activist whose multi-media sculptures, paintings and digital video explore themes of regeneration; or how we might reverse the energy in an entropic situation into one of renewal or sustainable growth; she calls this new term ‘regenerentropic’. Based on scientific water quality research, her work conceptualizes concern for humanities’ unsustainable practices and the vulnerability of water — from the local to the global. Baker says, “We are drawn to its danger and of great necessity to sustain our lives. We are seduced by waters’ beauty; mesmerized and awed by its’ power or soothing meditative qualities, and have taken it for granted for far too long. Faced with environmental uncertainties, we need to rethink assumptions concerning conditions within reach of and beyond our own experiences. It’s necessary to remember the limits of the give and take system between this planet and its inhabitants–that person-by-person, it is possible to turn the tide of our current failing environment and humanity.”
Today, the water crises are complicated and are often governed by myriad politics, population, and privatization of waters. In ‘Commonwealth’, Hardt and Negri encapsulate Baker’s desires by saying ‘The notion of the common does not position humanity separate from nature, as either its exploiter or its custodian, but focuses rather on the practices of interaction, care and cohabitation in a common world, promoting the beneficial and limiting the detrimental forms of the common.” Baker exhibits her work nationally and internationally. She currently teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of Maine at Farmington.
Philip Carlsen (Professor of Music)
Philip Carlsen studied composition at the University of Washington, Brooklyn College, and the CUNY Graduate Center. He has received commissions from the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Bossov Ballet Theater, Bates College Gamelan, and the Sebago/Long Lake Region Chamber Music Festival. In his time at UMF, he has written a variety of works for the orchestra and chorus, as well as two pieces for automobile orchestra: Car Life and Car Afterlife. Beyond Maine’s borders, his music has been performed at several New York venues, including the Museum of Modern Art and Town Hall, at the Kennedy Center, national conferences of the College Music Society and the Society of Composers, the Ernest Bloch Music Festival Composers Symposium, and many other locations. He has received fellowships from the Maine Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. A member of the UMF faculty since 1982, Carlsen conducted the orchestra for many years, and currently teaches theory, composition, history of jazz, and music in film. He has two grown children and lives with his wife Ellen on a wooded hill in Readfield.
Jayne Decker (Theater Instructor and Director of the Emery Community Arts Center)
Jayne Decker, Artistic Director for The Sandy River Players and Instructor of Theatre, is an award winning playwright who has directed numerous productions at UMF Alumni Theatre. Some of her most recent directing work includes the musicals Fiddler on the Roof and Oliver! and productions of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Lawrence and Lee’s Inherit the Wind. Jayne has also presented workshop productions of her original plays Stars Falling (winner of the 2002 Maine Playwriting Award), Jelly Moonshine, and a touring play about the Iraq War, Songbird. Her most recent script, Cracked Shells, a play about domestic violence, was commissioned by Franklin County Health Network’s Peace in Our Families. Jayne teaches courses including Introduction to Theatre, Social and Political Theatre, Creative Dramatics and Writing for the Stage and Screen.
Tom Higgins (Professor of Art, Painting)
M.F.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A. cum laude, Maryville College
Tom Higgins teaches painting and drawing courses with a commitment to help his students to develop their perceptual skills and consciousness of a visual language. He encourages each student to have a dialog with the visual world, with art history as well as contemporary art, and to discover an honest, personal voice. A professionally active landscape painter, Tom brings his creative passion to his teaching and openly shares his experience with his students. His work is currently exhibited in galleries in Maine and on Long Island, New York, and has been shown across the U.S. as well as in Hungary and France. Greenhut Galleries describes his place in Maine Art:
A plein air painter of the first degree. Tom Higgins balances both art and nature – the act of painting and the subject of his painting – in equal measure at the tip of his brush. His enthusiasm for his subject – usually a respectful view of a solitary Maine prospect – and his interest in technique, applying paint quickly before the moment passes, has propelled him to the front ranks of contemporary Maine landscape painters.
An avid hiker, Tom is fully committed to experiential learning through the direct stimulation of the senses. To that end, he is intrigued by opportunities to collaborate with faculty in other disciplines to immerse students in the process of personally engaging with the natural world.
Anita Jerosch (Director of the UMF Concert Band)
Anita Jerosch, director of the UMF Concert Band is a versatile bass trombonist and euphonium player, is a member of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and directs the Edith Jones Project-a modern, big band jazz group. She has performed with the Portland Symphony Orchestra and Maine State Music Theater and has played for Carol Channing, Rita Moreno, Barry Manilow, The Manhattan Transfer and performed at both inaugural balls for President Clinton.
Christopher Lavery (Assistant Professor of Art, Sculpture)
MFA University of Colorado at Boulder
BA State University of New York at Fredonia
Christopher M. Lavery is an artist and teacher who puts into practice visual art as a philosophical way of living. He has developed a dialogue with the art world both in the public realm and the insular art culture through sculpture, performance, video, sound and installation. He is a practitioner of a profession that is able to ask questions as a basis for its objective reality. The following quotes are from his artist statement:
“Art practice in the postmodern era is questionable and undeniably dysfunctional due to the nature of equal sensibilities developed towards undefined or lost humanitarianism.”
“Postmodern society is one of crisis; disdain affected by uncertainty and doubt. A postmodern society is one that is affected by everything that has come before.”
“Postmodernism is a pause in the history of art and exists to give us perspective on understanding that the “life=art” statement is currently evolving.”
Christopher M. Lavery has exhibited his work nationally at CIIS in San Francisco, Marxhausen Gallery at Concordia University in Nebraska, Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Denver Art Museum, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Arvada Center for the Arts as well as internationally in Mexico, Peru, Palestine, Israel, France, Columbia and the Czech Republic. In addition, he has been the finalist for several public art commissions and awarded an the 2008 Emerging Public Artist Project grant from the Colorado Percent for the Arts at Denver International Airport for his project entitled Cloudscape. Christopher often researches his work by visiting the site or place that the artwork will be exhibited and is informed by the nature of a space—site, place and culture often influences his works.
Sarah Maline (Associate Professor of Art History)
Paul McGovern (Director of the UMF Community Chorus)
Paul McGovern, director of the UMF Community Chorus has extensive experience as a choir director and music educator. Currently, he is a full-time music teacher at Portland High School where he directs ensembles and teaches piano, guitar and general music classes. He has taught and directed choirs at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, The Crane School of Music at SUNY-Potsdam, and Georgia Southern University. McGovern also serves as music director for the Granite State Choral Society in Rochester, N.H. In the summer, he serves as chorus master for the Portland Opera Repertory Theatre. McGovern received his undergraduate degree from Queens College/CUNY and his master’s and doctoral degrees in choral conducting from Indiana University. He has studied conducting with Robert Porco, Jan Harrington and Thomas Dunn. Before graduate school, McGovern taught music for six years in public schools in the Philadelphia, Penn. area.
Bruce McInnes (Conductor of the UMF Community Chorus)
Bruce McInnes, conductor of the UMF Community Chorus also directs the Mastersingers USA, a men’s chorus of alumni from Amherst College, Yale University, Pacific University and University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, as well as from his choirs at Grace Church in New York. McInnes has also conducted choirs at Harvard University, Sarah Lawrence College, Rutgers University and Columbia University. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the Université de Paris where he studied with Nadia Boulanger, Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Cochereau and Darius Milhaud. He holds an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and completed his graduate studies at Yale University. He has been a professor at Amherst College, Pacific University, University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and Sarah Lawrence College, and more recently served as dean of the conservatory at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In addition to conducting the UMF Community Chorus, McInnes also serves as choir director at the Old South Church in Farmington.
Dawn Nye (Assistant Professor of Art, New Media)
BA University of Missouri at Saint Louis
MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art
Dawn Nye grew up in the Midwestern United States, received her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri at St. Louis and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Although she began her practice as a printmaker, she has been working with digital media since the mid 90′s, and currently focuses on video and animation.
Using the mundane, the exotic, the tragic and the humorous as interchangeable parts, the narratives in her work deal with desires that are often nullified by their own contemplation. This structure allows the focus to turn to the human complexities that lie between those two impulses.
Ms. Nye has shown all over the United States in both gallery exhibitions and film festivals. Her work is influenced by graphic design, film, animation, history, politics, music, literature and the history of art. She currently teaches new media at the University of Maine at Farmington.
Steven Pane (Professor of Music)
Ph.D., University of Maine
M.M., Westminster Choir College
B.A., Manhattan School of Music
In the Classroom: Engaging Students — Setting High Academic Expectations
Steven Pane says the Music program, under which students can come in as Music/Arts, Arts Administration-music, or an Individualized major involving music, not only connects students to the performance aspect of music, but also in other areas: music and writing, music and history, even music and biology.
Steven does two major things in his Music/Arts classes: first, he works hard early on to help students identify where their music passion is and then he helps his students learn about the music field.
Exploring the Other 98 Percent of the Music Industry Steven points out there are many music schools in the country and many other schools with large music programs, and that both of these groups of institutions turn out many wonderful music performers — but those students will compete to work in only 2 percent of the jobs in the music field. There does not seem to be a large number of schools, however, that focus on the other 98 percent of the jobs in the music industry, things like writing about music (music reviewers), music management, music producing, research on music and the brain, etc.
Steven believes these are areas Farmington can help address by incorporating students’ love of music with interdisciplinary fields such as Business Economics, Psychology, Creative Writing, Computer Science, and more. For example, he offers a class, Music Research and Writing, where students work to develop skills in music research and writing. The course is intended to help students learn to write about music.
He also says there are a number of wonderful performance opportunities at Farmington — not just training for professional performance careers. In fact, students at UMF will have greater access to the more advanced ensembles because they are not competing with 40 or more voice majors.
At Farmington, It’s About Contemporary Music Steven also believes that contemporary music (particularly boundaries between classical, rock, jazz, experimental, etc.,) is a focus of the music program at Farmington. In fact it has proven to be a wonderful way to get students interested in music. He offers courses such as Reich to Radiohead (blending contemporary classical and rock traditions), Electro-Acoustic Music, as well as courses in Bach and Beethoven — a wide and diverse area that allows students to investigate a wide spectrum of the contemporary field. This has also helped Steven become more “in tune” with the contemporary music his students listen to!
A particularly interesting in-the-classroom assignment Steven assigns is to let students pick a piece of music they recognize or find intriguing and then he requires them to become an expert on that piece for the entire semester. His students are asked to become even more familiar with the piece and will research all aspects of the work: The composer, the historical period during which it was composed, and more. At the end of the semester, the students give a presentation to the class — giving their findings and their perspectives about the piece.
Outside the Classroom:
Innovation and Excitement — Putting Theory into Practice Outside the classroom, Steven encourages students to produce assignments in ways that are meaningful to their learning; that this is how students actually retain what they’ve learned and it excites and encourages them to learn more. Students may, for instance, produce a radio show, or create a Web site, or produce a film, or write a Blog, or develop a business presentation about a piece of music or about a music concept. All of this helps students to define what is important to them, which in turn helps them to better connect with music — even music they may not have particularly cared for going into the project.
Steven has students write about music (including Blogs) to introduce their own perspectives to the piece, for instance a history major may write about the Napoleon era in Europe and how that era influenced the music being written and performed at the time; similarly a psychology major may write about how Freud impacted music in Germany. The students get to know the subject matter in a way that is relevant to them while also providing ample opportunity to write about music without actually “writing music,” per se. It helps them to develop strong writing skills at both the academic and reviewer level. This also allows the students to add their own voice, their own academic background, to the classroom discussion.
From Stravinski to Slipknot — Concert-going as Classwork To further expose his students to music performance, Steven often takes his students to concerts both on-campus and off. In addition to encouraging his students to attend classical music concerts on campus, he also encourages them to take in other kinds of music being performed on campus: folk, jazz, blues, Celtic, etc. He has accompanied students on class trips to concerts in Portland: Joshua Bell (classical violin) at Merrill Auditorium in Portland; Sigur Rós at the State Theater in Portland; and Man Man at the Space Gallery in Portland. He also typically does class trips to concerts at the Maine Center for the Arts in Orono, the Rockport Opera House, and out of state in New York, Boston and Quebec.
In fact, one of these field trips outside of Maine was quite memorable to Steven as well as his students. While accompanying students to the College Music Society Conference in Quebec City (a discussion and performance of mostly classical works) Steven’s students introduced him to a new form of music one night — taking him to a heavy metal concert by Slipknot, The Unearthed, and As I Lay Dying (according to Steven, Slipknot was the loudest!). Fortunately, Steven had earplugs, but says he enjoyed the show.
Now, this “classical professor who enjoys metal” notion isn’t as unusual as it first may seem. Steven integrates all kinds of music (Radiohead, Tool, Beethoven, Bach, Sigur Rós, Man Man, etc.) into his in-class and outside the classroom music projects. Whether it’s analyzing the rhythms of Slipknot, the colors created by Sigur Rós, or the emotional program of Beethoven, it’s all relevant to Steven, and to his students.
He has an intense musical curiosity and is always interested in his students’ playlists — and his students quickly learn “their” music is “his” music, too. In fact, if you visit him in his office, you’re just as likely to find Steven listening to Radiohead as Rachmaninov on his iTunes.
A True Academic —
Areas of Special Interest Steven said he is infinitely curious about music, even in areas outside of his field. Although his areas of expertise are imbedded in classical music and music history, Steven said he likes to approach the classes very much like a student would. For instance, he has begun to explore the music of Radiohead — a favorite Alt. Rock band of many of his students. Steven said he finds this band surprisingly interesting and it allows his students to also see that he takes “their” music seriously. His genuine display of musical curiosity and respect for “their music” is something many of his students comment on — in a positive way — in and outside the classroom.
Steven’s areas of special academic interest are in performing and music history. He gives approximately ten performances per year, either as a pianist or as a conductor. Steven has performed with the UMF Community Chorus, the UMF Chamber Choir (concerts on campus and in Quebec and New York City), with Percussiano (concerts in Maine and Minnesota), with his wife, Lily Funahashi, in the Pane-Funahashi Duo (the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga, N.Y., and at universities across the U.S.), and for eight years he was the associate conductor for the Boys Choir of Harlem in New York.
He has performed at Portland’s Merrill Auditorium with the Choral Arts Society and with the University of Southern Maine Orchestra. Steven has also conducted The UMF Community Chorus, the nineteenth-Century Singers, the Camerata Choir, the Nordica Men’s Chorus, and the Nordica Women’s choruses, which often rehearse and perform at UMF’s Nordica Auditorium.
Steven’s other area of expertise is in music history, particularly focusing on Italian music history.
Respected in the Field — Noteworthy Accomplishments Steven received grants to develop an exciting new electro-acoustic lab at UMF. It includes music workstations with Apple iMac G5s, and M- Audio 88 key full hammer keyboards; synthesizers and midi equipment including: Korg: Kaoss Pad, Rhythm Synthesizers, Analog Synthesizer, Sampler, and Roland: Juno 2; CD turntable setup with mixer (Pioneer CD turntables and Behringer mixer); digital multitracking, and sound emulation.
The goal of the new electro-acoustic creative lab is to help students to compose and record music. This new equipment has also launched an electro-acoustic class at UMF, which studies music by artists and composers such as Stockhausen, Cage, Brian Eno, The Books, Mars Volta, and Aphex Twin. Soon a student ensemble will form, using the electro-acoustic equipment to create compositions and use in performances on campus.
Outside of Academia —
Personal Interests and Activities Outside of work at UMF, Steven concentrates on his family and performing. He and his wife, noted pianist Lily Funahashi who also teaches music at UMF, reside in Wilton, Maine with their two sons. Steven is currently learning Italian and for enjoyment is taking a literature class on James Joyce, taught by UMF Professor of English Dan Gunn. He also enjoys traveling and has recently visited Boston, Quebec City.
Katrazyna Randall (Assistant Professor of Art, Combined Media)
BFA Southern Oregon University
MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art
Katrazyna Randall was born in New York City and raised in New Hampshire. She has travelled extensively in Southeast Asia, and spent three years teaching art on the Micronesian island of Rota. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Oregon, and her Masters Degree from Cranbrook Academy
Her work is an investigation of the effect of consumerism on our perception of nature, on concepts of beauty and on the essence of desire. The process can be seen as a circular journey wherein she sets out to investigate the original model, and in turn, its absence. Art, design and consumerism have this same symbiotic relationship as they construct and deconstruct meaning simultaneously. She believes that consumer driven aesthetics manipulate nature beyond recognition; exchange the transcendental power of beauty for the spectacle and dazzle of pretty; and ultimately homogenize desire.
Ms. Randall has shown all over the United States, as well as in Micronesia. She is a combined media artist who uses traditional media as well as new media to explore her subjects. Her work is influenced by philosophy, social criticism, design, politics and the history of art. She currently teaches at the University of Maine at Farmington.
Trond Saeverud (Director of the UMF Community Orchestra)
Trond Saeverud, director of the UMF Community Orchestra and instructor of violin, has performed as violin soloist with major orchestras in Europe and in the US, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center in New York City. He has produced solo CDs on the Simax, Grappa and BIS labels as soloist with Danish and Norwegian orchestras. His recital CD “HIKA” was chosen as “Strad Selection” in the May 2002 issue of Strad Magazine. Saeverud has built and conducted several community orchestras in Scandinavia, led annual chamber music workshops in Colorado and Missouri, and created his own school outreach program in Maine. Currently, he is concertmaster of the Bangor Symphony, first violin in the Nor’easter String Quartet, artistic director of the Harald Saeverud Chamber Music Program and founder and conductor of the new Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra with musicians from Canada and the U.S.
Peter Simmel (Associate Professor of Theater)
Peter Simmel, Associate Professor of Theatre, has been teaching at UMF since 1999 but has been teaching, directing and acting for over 35 years. He has directed over 70 productions at Northwest College, the School of Drama-University of Oklahoma and their Summer Repertory Theatre, Keene State College, University of New Hampshire and was Director of the Zama Theatre in Zama, Japan. He has also acted and directed for the Sandy River Players here at Farmington. His recent directing credit was for Anatomy of Gray this past Fall. His other directing credits include Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind and Buried Child, Euripides- Medea, John Pielmeier’s Agnes of God, Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man and musicals such as The Fantastics and The Wizard of OZ. His acting credits include roles in Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, Marat/Sade, Death of a Salesman and Looney Rooney in Songbird, by Jayne Decker. Peter received a B.S. in Secondary Education with a duel major in English and Theatre form Keene State Collge and a M.F.A degree in Directing from the University of Oklahoma.