State of the Arts

NKU School of the Arts - Oct. 5, 2021

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Mitchell A. Schnure Endowed Scholarship in Piano Performance

Help us increase the number of students who are able to pursue their dreams by supporting this wonderful ImpactNKU project!

On Oct. 1, 2011, Mitchell Schnure, a Music Major at NKU, lost his battle with mental illness. After his passing, the Mitchell A. Schnure Endowed Scholarship in Piano Performance was established to support future NKU students pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance or Education with a focus on piano.

In honor of the 10th anniversary of Mitchell's passing, we invite you to contribute to the endowment and help us raise $10,000. The endowment currently supports two students a year with a $1000 scholarship each. By reaching this goal, additional NKU SOTA students will be able to follow their dreams with reduced financial barriers to their educations.

Torch Song continues this weekend

Torch Song resumes this week from Oct. 6-9, 2021 at NKU’s Stauss Theatre. Tickets are available at

The League of Cincinnati Theatres writes: "This NKU production is rich with strong acting and compelling scenes. Center stage is Jayvon Shack’s portrayal of Arnold Beckhoff. Shack does a great job at portraying Arnold’s neediness in Act I and his struggle to forge a new life in Act II. Shack can channel Arnold’s diva tendencies to great effect and is also good at physical comedy."

Froghole? presents outdoor multimedia performance

Multimedia performance group Froghole? will present a three-act performance entitled "Cemento Mori" on Oct. 8, 6:30-8 p.m. Each act corresponds with a location near the School of the Arts building. Audio, visual, and physically performative elements combined with constructed instruments will result in immersive, resonant, and spontaneous soundscapes aimed to make viewers reconsider the environment the performance takes place in.

Farcical comedy "Noises Off" runs Oct. 14-24

Michael Frayn's hilarious and classically comic play Noises Off comes to NKU's Corbett Theatre Oct. 14-24, 2021. Tickets available at

Noises Off has been called "the funniest farce ever written" and takes a fond look at the follies of theatre folk. This play-within-a-play captures a manic menagerie of itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called "Nothing's On."

Karrick navigated cancer through music, inspires future teachers

Brant Karrick, Director of Bands, was recently featured on WCPO 9's "Positively Cincinnati" covering his recent health odyssey. Karrick was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and MDS and was forced into a new world of chemo and treatments. Through the process he leaned on music to both comfort him and build him up, composing new pieces throughout his treatments.

MacKenzie-Thurley to perform in France

Congratulations to Kelly MacKenzie-Thurley, director of the NKU Vocal Jazz Ensemble, who has been asked to be a jazz ambassador in Nancy, France, as part of a sister-city cultural exchange with Cincinnati. Approached by Laura Gentry, President of Jazz Alive and Board Member of the Cincinnati-Nancy France Sister City Association, she and pianist Phil DeGreg will present masterclasses in jazz performance and history and perform at the Nancy Jazz Pulsations Festival.

Visual arts student working at DIY

Jazima Robinhawk is currently working part time with printmakers at DIY Printing. Located just inside local artist hub Essex Art Studios in Walnut Hills, Cincinnati, DIY Printing is a full-service screen-printing shop and art studio. DIY provides awareness, outreach, and education for the community.

Dance and science meet

Recently dance students combined with environmental sciences to explore invasions species, recycling, water conservation and urban island heat effects. This was all done through dance and presented how to make these larger ideas visible and understandable in non-linear ways.

Plowman's collage works featured in Moncler

Randel Plowman, lecturer in printmaking, sold the rights to use two of his collage works to Moncler. Moncler will be using the designs created by Plowman for its 2022 Fall / Winter collection. Moncler is an Italian luxury fashion brand mostly known for its skiwear. Founded in 1952 by René Ramillon and André Vincent.

Haas recognized for years of service

Congratulations to Jacqui G. Haas in Theatre & Dance for her recognition from Mercy Health - Cincinnati Mercy Health in the new Cincinnati Ballet building for her 30 years of service to the dance community in Greater Cincinnati. The plaque reads "Her commitment in establishing healthcare norms for the dance community and helped bridge the gap from art to athlete."

Culligan on WGUC

Amy Gillingham Culligan was recently featured on WGUC's "New at Noon" as part of a recording project featuring women musicians. It’s a classic piece, but a new arrangement that the musicians made collaboratively.

Aura 2021 – Delibes, Lakme: Flower Duet

Mary Southworth Shaffer; Catherine Fishlock; Julie Spangler; Heidi Yenney; Amy Gillingham Culligan

Alumni Update - Arianna Ranieri

After graduating from NKU, Arianna Ranieri (BM Performance, 2017) moved to Glasgow, Scotland, to pursue a Masters's Degree in music performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she graduated in July 2021. While there, she joined a Scottish folk band called Sandy and the Sunflowers, a branch off the original locally infamous Glasgow band, The Vagabonds. She also performed in various orchestral projects, mixed ensembles and with her string quartet, Blythswood Quartet, a group formed of all postgraduate students last year.

Arianna began her own teaching studio in Glasgow and took up teaching positions across west Scotland teaching upper strings, and completed studies and modules in pedagogy and teaching during postgraduate studies. She recently accepted a tenured position as an Upper Strings Instructor for Fife Council, teaching across the region along the East coast, from Kirkcaldy all the way up to Anstruther near Crail and St. Andrews. In addition, Arianna is still performing recitals and doing recording projects and performing in an RCS alumnae recital in November.

SOTA In The News

Kay Casey can't play a note, but she followed the steps to found Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame

(Cincinnati Business Courier) 10/1/2021

Jazz Coordinator William Brian Hogg is mentioned

Northern Kentucky University Hosts Engaging Dance Workshop

( 09/30/2021

TORCH SONG Kicks Off NKU's Theatre & Dance Season

( 09/29/2021

KSO’s 30th Anniversary Season — 5 concerts in 4 cities in 3 counties; be sure to join in

(Northern Kentucky Tribune) 09/26/2021
KSO will perform at Greaves Concert Hall in January

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Send your stories and updates to Rick Endres, SOTA Publicity Manager, at If you graduated from any SOTA program, submit an Alumni Update, and you may be featured on our website and other publications!