By Tiffany Martinez
When students or the Durant community think about Southeastern’s music department, the first thing that comes to mind might be the picture of the marching band and that’s it. However, the fine arts faculty has far more to offer to the Durant and Southeastern community.
For example, they offer the Musical Art Series, known as MAS. According to Dr. James Wintle, MAS director, this is a series of solo and chamber music concerts with international and national performers that is offered to students and the Durant community without charge.
MAS is a program designed to bring wonderful performances to the community, as a crucial part for music education, and it is the perfect chance to experience world class talent at a local level, said Dr. Stacy Weger, chair of the department of music.
The Musical Art Series was founded in 1973 by Wintle, and the series is able to offer free admission because it is supported by SOSU, Durant Independent School District, Oklahoma Arts Council, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Red River Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts and private donations.
MAS has been a big influence in Southeastern’s community, particularly for music education students. For instance, Charlie Gonzales said that MAS inspires him to practice, and Chance Carter said that MAS has influenced people to understand different cultures and new ways to appreciate art.
However, MAS is not only beneficial to musicians. “The purpose of MAS is to increase art exposure and participate in art education. Art is what makes us human,” said Gleny Beach, associate professor of art and president of Red River Arts Council. “We live in an area where art is limited.”
According to Wintle, MAS offers a high diversity of performances and a multi-cultural experience and gives the opportunity of a high quality experience in music, without the need of paying high-price tickets or having to travel long distances.
“There is something for everybody to enjoy,” said Weger.
D’Drum percussion ensemble – Nov. 8 in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.
Prism sax quartet – Nov. 18
Julianne Baird – soprano, Feb. 1
Murray Mclachlan – pianist, March 1
Step Afrika African and modern dance – March 8 in the Montgomery Auditorium
Cuarteto Latinoamericano string quartet with Daniel Binelli, bandoneon – April 4
All concerts are at 7:30 p.m. in Fine Arts Recital Hall (“Little Theatre”) unless noted otherwise. For more information, visit the MAS web site at www.se.edu/musical-arts-series.