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Annual Report 2022: Setting the Stage

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Setting the Stage

A Musical Legacy


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Jeff Holmes joins student performers and guest artists in applauding Dr. Frederick Tillis.

The Department of Music and Dance presented a musical tribute to Dr. Frederick C. Tillis (1930 –2020), one of the foremost architects of the music program as it exists today. The concert, entitled Celebrating the Musical Legacy of Frederick Tillis, took place in the recently dedicated Frederick C. Tillis Performance Hall in the Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts.

The concert featured performances by student ensembles, including Jazz Ensemble I, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Choir, and Graduate String Quartet, along with several guest artists. Faculty members also performed, most notably two of Dr. Tillis’ longtime colleagues Jeffrey Holmes and Salvatore Macchia. Both played as members in Dr. Tillis’s Tradewinds jazz ensemble. The program included a variety of jazz, classical, and sacred works composed by Dr. Tillis, including For the Victims and Survivors of September 11th, narrated by Amilcar Shabazz, professor in the W. E. B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies.

On the Fringe

One Festival, Dozens of Theater Pieces to View

Fringe Fest ’22 showcased everything from outrageous experimental work to shining new voices to expertly rendered productions of classic scenes. The festival was anchored by the UMass New Play Lab, a graduate student-driven project that explores various facets of new play development. This year, a collective of graduate students from various theater disciplines collaborated to cultivate brand-new work through a nimble and flexible process that responded to the needs of each individual project.

Top: J. R. Moreno ‘23 performing in The Other America, a production in the theater department’s Fringe Festival.

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