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Wyman series offers cultural diversity opportunities for students

September 28, 2007

Every year, UW-River Falls presents a fine arts series which allows students to experience talent and diversity from across the nation. This year the talent ranges from dance to music to a speaker on race relations.

Sponsored by the Student Entertainment and Arts Committee (SEAC) and the Diversity Awareness Committee (DAC), the Wyman series are events chosen for students, by students.

“Anyone can be on the committees,” Student Events Manager Tanya Hartwig said.

You don’t have to be a member of either committee to make a recommendation, either, Hartwig said.

The inspiration for the events can come from anywhere, Dr. Milne, professor of Saxophone/Jazz studies and chair of the music department is a member of the Ancia Saxophone Quartet scheduled to perform this semester.

Buckets and Tap Shoes — a dance and rhythm group — was recommended by a student who was a member of SEAC last year, while the Twin Cities Gospel Chorus has been a campus favorite.

“We like to mix it up and not have too many repeating events, but like to bring things back that students enjoy,” Hartwig said.

The events this semester include the Chicago Cuatro Orquestra, which played Sept. 21 in Abbott Concert Hall.

Buckets and Tap Shoes are scheduled to perform at 8 p.m., Oct. 24 in North Hall Auditorium. Stomp-like, they mix drumming on plastic tubs metal cans, and found objects with tap dance routines set to a live band.

The performance group of Buckets and Tap Shoes, 10 foot 5, started with two brothers, Andy and Rick Ausland, started with impromptu street performing. Eventually heir group grew to five and became a full-time gig. They’ve toured all over the country and even as far as Finland.

The company also offers dance lessons in the Twin Cities for any level of dancer.

“They are part dance company and part band, but all rhythm,” according to their promotional material.

Different from the other fine arts acts being presented, damali ayo will lecture at 8 p.m., Nov. 14 in North Hall Auditorium. ayo is the author of the book, How to Rent a Negro, which focuses on contemporary race relations.

The final event of the semester is the Ancia Saxophone Quartet, scheduled for this semester at 3 p.m., Dec. 9, in the Abbott Concert Hall. This group has performed in the United States, Canada and Europe and has made frequent appearances on Minnesota Public Radio, according to their promotional material.

The events are open to the entire community, but free for UWRF students. One purpose of these events is to try to connect the community with the campus, Hartwig said.

Next semester, students will be able to look for the Twin Cities Gospel Choir as well as an acrobatic act, more musical groups and Unity in the Community.