UA in the News: September 21, 2012
September 21, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
University of Alabama music therapists head to Russia
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – Sept. 20
Several years ago, Russian musicians visited the University of Alabama’s Rise Program at the Stallings Center at the University of Alabama. This week, program members will travel to Russia. They’ll show educators there how music therapy helps children who have difficulty learning. Music therapy is an essential tool at the Rise Program. Dawn Sandell has been a music instructor there for seven years. “The kids don’t necessarily know they’re working because they’re having fun. In the fun they’re having and music they’re making, they are working on a lot of skills,” she said. Sandell believes it improves kids’ social and speech skills among others. She’s one of a dozen from here who’ll travel to St. Petersburg, Russia to develop music therapy programs at a center for disabled children. “You’ve got to change attitudes. We’re not about changing children. We’re talking about changing attitudes of people and expectations,” said Martha Cook, longtime director of Rise. She tells FOX6 News that a family once brought an adopted child to the Rise Program for help. Cook says the child seemed nearly autistic from the lack of interaction he had with others. “We saw exactly what happened to children who grow up in cribs that are never nurtured and are pretty much caged. So we said anything we can do to change that, we will do,” Cook said. That change starts Friday as Cook, Sandell and others board a plane for a nearly week long trip to Russia to share their work with music therapy with others.
NBC 12 (Montgomery) – Sept. 20
Million Dollar Band celebrates 100th anniversary
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Sept. 20
The University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band is celebrating 100 years. Current members as well as alumni are getting together this weekend for a centennial celebration. The sounds of “Yay Alabama” by the University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band can be heard for miles but band director Dr. Ken Ozzello says this wasn’t always the case. Initially, bands were used to help train troops and they were actually used to move troops from one point to the next. Then of course as technology advanced the bands moved into more of an entertainment and ceremonial functions which is where they are now.
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – Sept. 20
NBC 13 (Birmingham) – Sept. 20
Program boosts young entrepreneurs
Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 21
A new program designed to get middle and high school students interested in entrepreneurship is being started at the University of Alabama in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. Known as the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, the program will teach students to take their ideas and develop them into a business. “We are excited to be able to advance the business education of middle and high school students through this innovative new program,” said Jim Page, the chamber’s president and CEO, in a statement. “We are urging local businesses, both large and small, to become involved and act as mentors by volunteering as field trip hosts or being guest lecturers.” The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is open to students in grades 6-12. Students will meet from 4-7 p.m. on Mondays from November through May at UA’s AIME Building. Tuition is $395, which will include books and supplies. Some scholarships based on need and merit will be available. Students in the program will meet with local industry leaders, community members and educators and learn to develop ideas and objectives, write business plans, make pitches to potential investors, obtain funds, register with governmental agencies and develop their brand’s identity.
Midland’s Soldan thrilled with her Paralympics experience in London
Midland Daily News (Mich.) – Sept. 20
Midland’s Mackenzie Soldan wasn’t particularly satisfied with her performance on the tennis courts during the Paralympic Games in London recently. But she sure wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. “I think it was definitely all that it was cracked up to be and even more,” said Soldan, 20, who competed in wheelchair tennis. “The experience as a whole was incredible, and I’ll never forget it. “There were certain times during the experience, like after a loss, that hurt a lot, more than I expected it would,” she added. “But after having time to look back on it, it was worth it. I’ll have that experience forever.” Soldan was left paralyzed from the waist down following surgery to remove a tumor on her spine when she was 2 years old. She was introduced to wheelchair tennis at a young age and eventually won gold medals in both singles and doubles at last year’s Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. That performance qualified her for this year’s Paralympics, which ran from late August through early September. Soldan, who is in her junior year at the University of Alabama and also plays wheelchair basketball for the Crimson Tide, said the Opening Ceremony was her favorite part of the Paralympics. “The moment when we were under the (main) stadium, just before we entered, you could hear 80,000 people cheering. I had never been part of something like that before,” she noted. “That moment when we went out into the stadium for the first time and looked around and everyone was cheering for us, and there were lights and people everywhere — that was the coolest part (of the entire experience).”
‘Fools’ opens UA theater department’s season
Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 21
Half fairy tale and half comedy, Neil Simon’s “Fools” will open at the University of Alabama’s Allen Bales Theatre Monday. Directed by John Nara, “Fools” will mark the beginning of the UA Department of Theatre and Dance 2012-2013 season. “ ‘Fools’ is not done as frequently as Neil Simon’s other works, but it’s very funny; a parody on community and intelligence,” said Christopher M. Montpetit, director of the theatre management program. “It is a fun production for us to open up the season with.” Set in 19th Century Russia, “Fools” features an eager young Russian schoolteacher, Leon Tolchinsky, going to teach in a small village for his first job. Tolchinsky arrives in the village only to find out the villagers have “chronic stupidity.” The source of this stupidity is a 200-year-old curse. “Fools” quickly becomes a tale of love when Tolchinsky falls for one of his pupils, Sophia. The only way Tolchinsky can win Sophia’s heart and marry her is to break the curse — in one day. “The script has a very universal theme on one hand,” Montpetit said. “Dealing with teachers going into new environments trying to find ways to teach is a very universal concept. When the teacher falls in love, ‘Fools’ becomes a love story. It is a comedy, but also very heartwarming.”
Area housing market sees gains in August
Anniston Star – Sept. 21
According to the Alabama Center for Real Estate, Calhoun County home sales and prices jumped significantly in August. And some experts say the growth is part of an overall trend of sustained recovery in the state housing market… Alabama Center for Real Estate statistics show state home sales were 6.5 percent higher in August compared to the same month last year. The year-to-date sales through August were up 7.6 percent compared to last year. Also, the statewide median sales price was in August was $127,383 — a 3.2 percent increase from last August and the sixth increase in the last 11 months. Calhoun County numbers showed similar growth, with 103 homes sold in August compared to 93 sales for the same month last year. The county’s median sales price in August was $110,000 compared to $89,900 in August last year.
Duo to show classical music, improv blend
Arizona Daily Star – Sept. 20
We don’t normally associate classical music with improv, but on Sunday, the Baroque duo Corde à vide will show us how it’s done. Corde à vide – harpsichordist Lorna Peters and violinist Jubal Fulks – will open the Arizona Early Music Society’s 2012-13 season with “The Spirit of Improvisation.”…Peters and Fulks have been collaborating since 2008 with the goal of making Baroque music more accessible for contemporary audiences. Peters teaches at the University of California at Sacramento and maintains a vigorous performance schedule, including regular appearances at the Salzburg Music Festival. Fulks is on staff at the University of Alabama School of Music and is a regular at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.