Music, art, poetry collide at showcase


The College of Arts and Letters hosted a free and open collaborative event in the Gallery of Art and Design on April 6, An Evening of Music, Art and Poetry.

Associate Director of the School of Music Nicholas Ciraldo and other College of Arts and Letters members helped organize the event.

“[We] had the idea to put together several arts programs in one night,” Ciraldo said. “First and foremost, we wanted to showcase the Annual Student Show.”

Students from the School of Music, the Department of English and the Department of Art and Design prepared pieces to perform based on art pieces in the Annual Student Show.

The student show featured works of art from studio courses in drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture and graphic design.

“An Evening of Art, Music and Poetry is not only a celebration of the closing exhibition but a celebration of USM’s dedication to excellence in the arts,” the University of Southern Miss’ website says.

Faculty from the departments of English, music and art and design worked to bring together music, poetry and visual art in a single unique performance. Music students performed pieces they had chosen to represent particular pieces from the Annual Student Show. English students responded to the visual pieces with original poems and additionally recited poems they picked to represent the visual pieces.

Music students Caroline Kirsch, Tanner Crabtree, Jessica Garner, Kaitlin Walley and Jonathan Parr performed an instrumental rendition of Karel Husa’s “Five Poems for Wind Quintet: I” in response to Danyelle Toombs’ piece “Paradox of Progress.”

Deena Potts read Charlee Meiners’ poem “Gray Portal.”

Responding to Payton Reedy’s sculpture “Man Eater,” bass trombonist Spencer Hudson performed a piece called “Spain.”

“My project was centered around a word: paradoxical,” Reedy said. “From there, I started thinking of oxymorons like beautiful beast and beautiful disaster. Thinking along those lines, I started thinking about paradoxes in nature, like carnivorous plants. After that, all my ideas fell into place, and I created my idea of a beautiful beast.”

Jessica Ramer read the poem “Women with Blanket” in response to the painting of the same name.

“Ultra Light Beam #6” by Taylor LeBlanc inspired violinist Luis Alfaro to perform “Partita No. 2, BWV 1004” by
Johann Sebastian Bach.

Chad Foret read his poem “Receded Figure,” which was inspired by Alex Townsend’s “Seated Figure.”

More information can be found at