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SMU Meadows Faculty and Students Present Concerts And Lectures at Soluna International Music and Arts Festival In Dallas

Festival founded by Dallas Symphony Orchestra features local and international artists

Music Brain

Meadows faculty and students will showcase their talents in four events that are part of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Nancy A. Nasher and David. J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival, taking place at venues throughout the city April 4-28.

Now in its fifth year, SOLUNA presents performances and installations by an expansive range of contemporary artists working across multiple mediums. The festival continues a compelling collaboration with the Dallas arts community, engaging both local and international talent to present singular and unique programming for all audiences.

“Over the course of several weeks, the festival will highlight the richness of the Dallas arts scene and pair great music with artists, dancers and performers to create a hub of cross-disciplinary thinking,” said DSO President and CEO Kim Noltemy. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is proud to have founded SOLUNA.”

Lectures and performances by Meadows faculty and music ensembles are on the roster. Their events are as follows:

Thursday, April 4 at 8 p.m.: Meadows at the Winspear

Winspear Opera House – 2403 Flora St., Dallas 75201

$25 for adults, $20 for seniors, $17 for students, faculty & staff ($10 discount available for subscribers)

To kick off the celebration of the school’s 50th anniversary, SMU Meadows will showcase the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Paul Phillips, and the Meadows Dance Ensemble performing three world premieres by internationally acclaimed choreographers. Former Paul Taylor dancer Takehiro Ueyama will create a new work, Heroes, set to The Chairman Dances by noted American composer John Adams. Featuring powerful athleticism, as well as delicate gestures drawn from his Japanese heritage, Ueyama’s repertoire has been inspired by the beauty in nature, the duality of darkness and light in the universal human condition and the humanity and compassion in day-to-day living. Alex Sanchez, known for his musical theater work on and off Broadway, will create a new dance work to George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, with a story line inspired by the hope and determination of the immigrant experience in 1920s New York. Sanchez has been praised by critics for works that are “whimsical,” “spectacular” and “wildly ingenious.” Dwight Rhoden, co-founder and co-artistic director of the New York City-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet, will close out the program with Stellar Matter, a new work choreographed to an orchestral suite from Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Rhoden has established a wide-ranging professional career, earning distinction from The New York Times as one of the most sought-out choreographers of the day. Proceeds from the event provide scholarships for the Meadows Scholars Program, aimed at recruiting the brightest and most talented students to SMU and Dallas.

Tickets are available at or by calling 214.871.5000. For more information visit

Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m.: Music and the Brain

Moody Performance Hall – 2520 Flora St., Dallas 75201

$20 with promo code MATB20

Hosted by Dallas Symphony Association and UT Southwestern Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute

Dr. Zachary Wallmark, assistant professor of music and director of SMU Meadows’ MuSci Lab, is a featured speaker at the symposium, which brings together world-renowned brain scientists and clinicians to discuss interaction, improvisation and cross-cultural communication through music. Audience members will discover the power of music across the world through the lens of neuroscience. Dr. Wallmark will discuss the connection between music listening and empathy, based on his research that received national attention last year. Joining Dr. Wallmark will be SMU students Jay Appaji and Varsha Appaji, who will be performing a duet of South Indian music on mrindigam (an Indian drum) and vocals, respectively. Jay Appaji is involved in music/brain research and, during a summer assistantship at Stanford last year, learned how to use electroencephalography (EEG) to explore how the brain tracks unfamiliar rhythmic patterns.

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Friday, April 19 at 9 p.m.: Meadows Point Ensemble with Lonnie Holley and Dave Eggar – “American Landscapes”

Dallas Museum of Art – Horchow Auditorium

1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas 75201

$5-20 (This event is part of the DMA “Late Nights”; ticket prices vary depending on whether exhibition admission is included.)

The Meadows Point Ensemble, led by Kim Corbet, will join renowned artist and performer Lonnie Holley and cellist Dave Eggar for an improvisational performance in which Holley meditates on American history and his native Deep South heritage. An artist Q&A moderated by Matt Arnett precedes the performance. Holley is a visual artist, musician, educator and filmmaker who has been making art for 40 years. His visual art is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, and he has released three critically acclaimed albums. His first film, I Snuck Off the Slave Ship, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The Point Ensemble is Meadows’ premier interdisciplinary improvisational performing ensemble and explores a collaborative oneness of experience and instincts without regard for media or genre. Members are encouraged and expected to go beyond their training and fully engage the universe between.

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Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Meadows World Music Ensemble at Klyde Warren Park – “Passport to the Park”

Klyde Warren Park
2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway
Dallas, TX 75201


“Passport to the Park” is an interactive and family-friendly day of free, culturally diverse performances and activities at Klyde Warren Park. Featured performers include the Meadows World Music Ensemble, under the direction of Jamal Mohamed, which explores music from cultures and continents around the globe. The group combines traditional instruments from Africa, Asia and Latin America with standard western orchestral instruments to create unique interpretations of traditional folk melodies as well as original compositions. Other performers include Banda Magda, Booker T. Washington HSPVA Mariachi Pegaso, Bruce Wood Dance, Exhale Spa, the Texas Instruments Jazz Band, and Helping Hand Drums.

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