State Champs. West Texas A&M’s speech team took the state title for the third year in a row at the Texas State Tournament, bringing home top team and debate honors as well as several individual sweepstakes. It’s been an amazing year for the team, beating out many Division I schools for the top honors. The group is busy preparing for national competition later this spring.
National Stage. West Texas A&M University student Kyle Davis is one of five students selected from across the country to conduct at the National Conference of the College Orchestra Conductors Association at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Davis, a senior music major from Midland, and four other students were chosen to conduct the Brigham Young Chamber Orchestra and the Brigham Young Symphony in a variety of music at the national conference.
Record Appearance. The WTAMU Symphonic Band has every right to blow its horn, especially after its performance at the 2008 Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) annual convention. The band’s appearance marks the 12th time the band has been selected from a blind audition to perform at the TMEA event. It also puts the band in a league of its own as the only University band in the state of Texas to make a record number of TMEA appearances.
Another Winner. WTAMU continued its winning streak by taking the regional crown for the 10th consecutive year at the National Broadcasting Society (NBS) Region 4 Convention. The group brought home more than 40 regional awards along with the right to advance to national NBS competition this spring.
Chad Holliday, our glass blower, recently took students to the Czech Republic and has an upcoming student trip to study the glassmaking industry in Istanbul, Turkey. Chad also produced a solo exhibition in an Amarillo gallery and is preparing for the upcoming "Night Blow" exhibition on September 27th.
Amy VonLintel and Jon Revett conducted a twelve-day travel course to Santa Fe and Taos, NM visiting museums and the studio of internationally known sculptor, Larry Bell. Following their travels an exhibition was mounted of their experiences at the WT student gallery at Sunset Center. Jon has also been involved with the restoration of the earthwork of the late sculptor Robert Smithson, entitled "Amarillo Ramp", and organized the 2013 WT Alumni Art Show
WTAMU Graphic Design Program has received close to 75 local and regional Addy awards over the last 5 years including "Best of Show" the last 4 years.
In April 2014 the WTAMU Theatre Program received national accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST). The accreditation process required five years of self-study, consultation, visitation, changes in curriculum and the addition of new faculty. WTAMU Theatre is the tenth collegiate theatre program in Texas and the only theatre program in the Texas A&M University System to receive national accreditation.
WTAMU Theatre’s production of Legally Blonde, The Musical involved over 80 WTAMU students and it played to sold out audiences and featured Guest Artist and Music Director, Kyle Norris. Mr. Norris had previously served as the Music Director for the National Broadway Tour of Legally Blonde, The Musical.
WTAMU Theatre’s production of Iphigenia 2.0 participated in the American College Theatre Festival competition and was one of six productions selected to perform at the regional festival. A high honor given the six-state field of sixty-six productions from Division I and II schools. While at the regional festival, the production’s director, Stephen Crandall, garnered the region’s Award of Merit for his achievements in directing. Additionally, eight WTAMU students received regional recognition for their achievements as actors and Sandra Lopez received a National ACTF Achievement Award for her work with properties.
Over the past year, WTAMU Theatre retained 98% of its majors, graduated all seniors, and for 2013-2014 is welcoming nearly 50 new students. Accordingly, enrollment in the WTAMU Theatre Program will be at an all-time high.
Professor Truitt has a current repeat invitation to present choreography and guest teach at the International Festival of Contemporary Dance, Open Look in St. Petersburg Russia, July 2014
The Dance Program continues to work with the Lone Star Ballet and Texas to provide opportunities to students in the program.
Dr. Andy Reynolds led a study abroad to Costa Rica
Dr. Jeff Doty led a study abroad to London
Dr. David Hart spent a one-month fellowship at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas studying the relationship between great philosophers and gambling
The Spanish Program holds weekly lunchtime conversational Spanish sessions where anyone can come and practice speaking
The English Program hosts a monthly "Great Books Series" at the Southwest Branch of the Amarillo Public Library
There are three student organizations in the department. POEM (Professional Organization of English Majors), Sigma Tau Delta (National English Honors Society) and LEGACY, the student run publication of original writings and photography.
The Spanish Program has instituted a biennial study abroad immersion program. The summer before last we had a highly successful four-week trip to Costa Rica and in the summer of 2014 we will spend four weeks in Cuzco, Peru.
During the past couple of years the Spanish Program has hosted prominent guitarist Maestro Soler and celebrated Chicana writer Ana Castillo.
The Spanish Program is excited to announce a new faculty member to our program, Professor Oscar Santos-Sopena. A recent graduate of University of Maryland, Dr. Santos-Sopena specializes in Golden Age Spanish literature and technology and teaching.
Our program is also host to the successful Panhandle Hispanic Leadership and Culture Lecture Series. Each semester we invite hispanic artists, poets and business leaders from the area to discuss issues related to identity, culture and languages.
Students have the opportunity to present at conferences and two students presented at the West Texas Historical Association meeting and three presented at the Pop Culture Conference in Albuquerque.
Dr. Tim Bowman presented at the Agricultural History Society Conference in Banff, Canada.
Dr. Bruce Brasington spent part of the summer lecturing in Dresden, Germany, and attended the Leeds International Medieval Congress in Leeds, UK.
Dr. Elizabeth Clark received a Fulbright-Hays Group Abroad Project Award to study in Siberia during the summer of 2013. She returned safely.
Dr. Paul Clark made a research trip to Japan at the end of the Spring semester.
Dr. Byron Pearson is working on a publication for the US Forest Service about the Forest Service in World War I. He is also working on an article about Thomas Jefferson as the first US environmentalist.
Dr. Jean Stuntz was elected President-Elect of H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online and will serve as President for a second time in 2014. She began a term on the Board of Directors for the Texas State Historical Association.
Jessica Burton accepted into graduate Opera Direction program at UT (very competitive)
Jesse Melson participated in the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria and won Frist Place in the Men's Graduate Division at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Texhoma Region
Blanca Trujillo performed at the Redwoods Opera Workshop in Mendocino, CA
Job Najera also performed at the Redwoods Opera Workshop in Mendocino, CA
Jesus Diaz won the Clara Freshour Nelson Scholarship, Texas Assoc. of Schools of Music
The Jazz Band invited renowned guitarist Jeff Coffin (saxophone for Dave Mathews Band) to do clinics with musicians and perform in a concert with WT students.
Dr. Mark Bartley Conducted the North Czech Philharmonic in Templice, Czech Republic
Dr. Robert Hansen Lecture/Recital for International Congress of Voice Teachers-Australia
Dr. Robert Krause summer artist faculty at Interlochen Arts Academy
Ms. Helen Blackburn principal flute at Breckenridge Music Festival- Colorado
Mr. Nick Scales principal bass for the Utah Summer opera festival, Logan, UT
Dr. Cloyce Kuhnert musical director and performer in “Texas”
Dr. Rai Morales presented the WTAMU Trombone Ensemble at TMEA, San Antonio
Dr. William Takacs presented the trumpet ensemble in Washington, DC
Dr. Jeremy Lewis presented the Tuba/Euphonium ensemble at the regional meeting