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April 13, 2015

SVSU choirs to perform Handel’s ‘Messiah’

The choirs of Saginaw Valley State University will sing George Friedrich Handel’s classic work  “Messiah” Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. in SVSU’s Rhea Miller Recital Hall.  

Kevin Simons, SVSU assistant professor of music, will conduct the concert.  

“I chose to do ‘Messiah’ this year since our students need an opportunity to sing one of the great masterworks of Western music,” Simons said.  “They have learned a great deal in preparing to sing such a large piece.”

Famous choruses include “For Unto Us a Child is Born,” “Worthy is the Lamb” and “Hallelujah.”

Cheryl Cheger-Timm will accompany the choirs, Cardinal Singers and the SVSU concert choir,  on the university's new Hauptwerk Virtual Organ.

In a departure from the traditional practice of singing “Messiah,” 12 soloists drawn from members of the SVSU student body will sing the arias and duets and the piece will be sung by two choirs, sometimes together and sometimes in alternation.  

“We have terrific singers at SVSU,” Simons said, “both music majors and non-majors, and I thought it would be interesting to have our students learn the solos and duets rather than hiring professionals.”   

The concert is open to the public; admission is free of charge. For more information, visit call (989) 964-4159 or visit

April 13, 2015

SVSU Percussion Ensemble to perform in concert

The Saginaw Valley State University Percussion Ensemble will perform in concert Monday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the university's Rhea Miller Recital Hall.

The SVSU Percussion Ensemble consists of 16 students under the direction of Brandon Haskett, SVSU assistant professor of music. They will perform various music pieces including "Kuka Illimoku" by Christopher Rouse, "After Thought" by Katie Jessop, and multiple pieces by Nathan Daughtrey.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information on this concert or the many other events hosted by SVSU's music department, visit

April 13, 2015

SVSU Steel Band in concert Tuesday

The Saginaw Valley State University musical group Valley Steel will perform in concert Tuesday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. in SVSU's Rhea Miller Recital Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

Valley Steel is a steel band, which plays steel drums and other steel percussion instruments. The band contains a student and an adult community ensemble, both under the direction of Brandon Haskett, SVSU assistant professor of music.  

The adult ensemble will perform songs including "Louie, Louie" by Richard Berry, "St. Thomas" by Sonny Rollins, and "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys. The student ensemble will perform songs including "Don't Stop Til' You Get Enough" and "Will You Be There" by Michael Jackson, and "Smooth" by Rob Thomas.

For more information on the concert, visit SVSU's Department of Music online at

April 13, 2015

Retired President of North Central College to Address SVSU Graduates

Students participating in May Commencement exercises at Saginaw Valley State University will hear from a highly regarded college president who is a friend and mentor of SVSU’s current president. Harold “Hal” R. Wilde, who served as president of North Central College from 1991 to 2012, will speak to SVSU graduates at both ceremonies.

Commencement exercises for graduates in the colleges of Business & Management, and Health & Human Services will be held Friday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. Students completing degrees in the colleges of Arts & Behavioral Sciences, Education, and Science, Engineering & Technology will take part in a ceremony scheduled for Saturday, May 9 at 11 a.m. Both ceremonies will be held in SVSU’s Ryder Center.

As is tradition, SVSU President Donald Bachand will congratulate each graduate in both ceremonies as he or she crosses the stage.

The graduating class consists of 1,112 students who have applied to graduate, including 978 who have indicated that they intend to don regalia and march in their respective ceremonies. In all, 455 students plan to participate in the Friday ceremony. The Saturday ceremony will feature an expected 523 graduates.  

A total of 941 students are expected to complete bachelor's degree requirements, and another 171 students are expected to complete master's and advanced degrees.
Bachand invited Wilde to deliver the Commencement address. As a doctoral student at Harvard, Wilde studied the operations of the Detroit Police Department. During that time, Wilde met a bright-eyed police cadet named Don Bachand.

During Wilde's nearly 22-year tenure, North Central College saw a tenfold increase in its endowment, continuous balanced budgets, 100 percent growth in full-time undergraduate enrollments, and the largest individual, corporate and foundation gifts and bequests in the College’s history. These gifts made possible 13 endowed faculty chairs and six Ruge Fellows, a 500 percent rise in scholarship support, 15 major construction projects and significant campus expansion.

Under Wilde’s leadership the College implemented its first comprehensive new curriculum in 30 years and broadened its commitment to international programming, service-learning, interdisciplinary studies and sustainability initiatives.

Wilde received his undergraduate degree with high honors from Amherst College and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University.

A native of Wisconsin, Wilde served several years in Wisconsin state government, including four as insurance commissioner. He was special assistant to the president of the University of Wisconsin System and vice president for external relations at Beloit College, where he served before being named North Central College's president.

April 9, 2015

SVSU hires Frank Hall as Dean of Science, Engineering, Technology

Saginaw Valley State University has hired Frank R. Hall to serve as dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. He will play a leading role in advancing STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math) at SVSU and in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

“Frank is passionate about STEM education and has demonstrated a strong dedication to students and their success. These attributes really came through during his interviews and helped him emerge from a very deep candidate pool,” said Deb Huntley, SVSU provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“He is eager to enhance research opportunities for students and faculty, and through his experience working on STEM initiatives in Massachusetts, I am confident in his ability to effectively build relationships with external constituencies. He is the natural choice for our institution at this time.”

Hall comes to SVSU from Worcester State University in Massachusetts, where he has been a professor since 2012, including a one-year term as dean.  He also has been a visiting scholar at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Hall replaces Huntley, who was promoted to SVSU’s provost last year. Andrew Chubb, SVSU professor of chemistry, has been serving as interim dean.

Prior to this, Hall held a variety of academic, government and public policy appointments.  After eight years on the faculty at the University of New Orleans, he joined the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies of Science in Washington, D.C. in 2006. That was followed by stints with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Center for Environment, Commerce and Energy.

“I was attracted to SVSU and its vision of the future, and during my visit, I was impressed by the outstanding faculty, and the university's commitment and dedication to quality education for its students,” Hall said.  “The positive attitudes of everyone I met demonstrated that SVSU embraces diversity and the well-being of all students, while supporting faculty research initiatives and outreach to the Great Lakes Bay Region.”

In the past two years, SVSU has received major gifts from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, and the Dow Corning Foundation to improve students’ performance in STEM disciplines at the middle school, high school and University levels.

“With my diverse background to advance STEM research, education, and policy,” Hall said, “I am confident the faculty and I will further enhance the vision, mission, and goals of an already strong college. I am excited to join SVSU in June.”

Respected in his field, Hall currently serves the United Nations Oceans Assessment Program as a consulting expert.  He also has been serving on Massachusetts’ STEM Advisory Council. For his professional activities, Hall was nominated as an Outstanding African-American in STEM for the Black Engineers of the Year Awards in 2014.

Hall completed a Ph.D. in geological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. He also holds a master’s degree from Lehigh University and a bachelor’s degree from Kean University.

Hall will begin his duties at SVSU on June 1.

April 7, 2015

SVSU to Introduce Local Children to Foreign Cultures

Five area grade schools will participate in the annual “Passport to the World” Wednesday, April 15 at Saginaw Valley State University. Three schools from Saginaw Public Schools – Jessie Loomis, Kempton, and Zilwaukee – and two parochial schools from Reese – Trinity Lutheran and St. Elizabeth's will participate in this year’s event, put on by SVSU's English Language Program.

SVSU international students plan activities that are designed to give children a global glimpse of knowledge and culture from many different countries. Each year, the program changes to keep it fresh and interesting.  This year, elementary children will visit six stations that teach about currency, art, language, literacy through hands-on activities. Participants will receive a box lunch, a photo "passport", and their art projects.

Most activities will be held in Groening Commons at SVSU. Children also will receive a tour of the Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum, along with a sculpting activity.

SVSU has hosted Passport to the World for more than ten years.  For more information about this year’s event, contact Colette Urian, ESL specialist at SVSU, at (989)430-1811 or

April 6, 2015

SVSU Theatre presents musical 'How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying'

A Pulitzer Prize-winning piece is the latest musical presented by Saginaw Valley State University's theatre department.

Audiences can enjoy "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" at 7:30 p.m. from Wednesday to Saturday, April 8-11, in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. A Sunday, April 12 matinee is scheduled for 3 p.m.

The musical satire about big business - and all it holds sacred - follows the rise of J. Pierrepont Finch (played by Steven Wood, a theatre major from Durand), who uses a handbook to climb the corporate ladder from window washer to high-powered executive. The play features music, wit, comedy and romance.

Ric Roberts, SVSU professor of theatre, will direct the SVSU production.

The play is based on Shepherd Mead's 1952 book, which won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. That text has been adapted into a Broadway musical and a 1967 Hollywood movie.

Tickets are $16 for the general public, $13 for senior and $10 for students. For more information or to order tickets, contact the Box Office at (989) 964-4261 or visit

April 6, 2015

Author Éireann Lorsung to present at SVSU for reading series

Writer Éireann Lorsung will speak at Saginaw Valley State University as part of the school's "Voices in the Valley" reading series Wednesday, April 15 at 7 p.m. in SVSU's Founders Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

Lorsung is a published author and poet, with her most notable works being "Music for Landing Planes By," "Her book," and "Sweetbriar," which are all poetry collections. She is currently working on a fiction novel about the effects a Japanese earthquake had on an archivist.

As for other endeavors, Lorsung is the coordinator for the Dickinson House, a bed and breakfast where writers and artists can explore their creativity in Belgium. She also runs MIEL, a micropress, and is editor for their journal 1110.

Lorsung earned her bachelor's degree in English and Japanese, and her master's degree in creative writing from the University of Minnesota before completing her Ph.D. in critical theory at the University of Nottingham.

April 6, 2015

SVSU Welcomes ‘One of the Hottest Young Trios’ in Music for Concert

Saginaw Valley State University will feature a concert by the Chicago-based Lincoln Trio as part of the Rhea Miller Concert Series Saturday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall.

Hailed by FANFARE magazine as “one of the hottest young trios in the business,” the group includes Desirée Ruhstrat, violin, David Cunliffe, cello, and Marta Aznavoorian, piano. Each is an artist of international renown.

Ruhstrat has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe, appearing at the White House and performing on a live radio broadcast heard around the world with the Berlin Radio Orchestra. Cunliffe has performed with the BBC and Royal Scottish orchestras, and as a member of the Balanescu Quartet. Aznavoorian has appeared with the Chicago Symphony and has performed at the Kennedy Center and the Sydney Opera House.

Formed in 2003, the Lincoln Trio takes its name from their home, the heartland of the United States, the land of Lincoln. The group has been praised for its polished presentations of well-known chamber works and its ability to forge new paths with contemporary repertoire. Internationally the trio has performed in Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and South America.

Winners of the 2008 Master Players International Competition in Venice, Italy, the trio also received prestigious Young Performers Career Advancement Award in 2011. Staunch proponents of music education, the Lincoln Trio has had residencies at the Music Institute of Chicago as well as San Francisco State University, University of Wisconsin Madison, and SUNY-Fredonia.

The Rhea Miller Concert Series is made possible by a generous gift from Rhea E. Miller, a longtime friend of SVSU. Her gift, administered by the Miller Trust for Music Education, has provided the university with the opportunity to offer outstanding performances by nationally and internationally acclaimed musical artists at no cost to the audience since 1993. For more information, call (989) 964-4159 or email

April 6, 2015

SVSU Concert Band to perform

The Saginaw Valley State University Concert Band will perform in concert Wednesday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. in SVSU’s Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. This event is free and open to the public.

The SVSU Concert Band is an ensemble consisting of 59 students under the direction of Bill Wollner, SVSU associate professor of music. Featured instruments include the clarinet, trumpet, euphonium and trombone, among others.

The band will perform various music pieces including "Adagio and Tarentella" by Ernesto Cavallini, and "Mock Morris" by Percy Aldridge Grainger.

For more information on this concert or the many other events hosted by SVSU's music department, visit

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