Happenings on the Hill

Dance On Ballet Star

Dancer and choreographer Silas Farley, who retired from New York City Ballet (NYCB) in May after eight years with the company, will be the Armstrong Visiting Artist-in-Residence in Ballet at Meadows School of the Arts for the 2020-21 school year.

While with NYCB from 2012 until 2020, the national dance star performed principal roles in the works of George Balanchine and Christopher Wheeldon and originating roles in ballets by Wheeldon, Lauren Lovette, and Justin Peck. Internationally acclaimed violinists Alexander Sitkovetsky and Chad Hoopes will join the SMU Meadows School of the Arts faculty this fall.

Welcome Renowned Violinists

Chad Hoopes

Internationally acclaimed violinists Alexander Sitkovetsky and Chad Hoopes will join the SMU Meadows School of the Arts faculty this fall.

Sitkovetsky, a concert and recording artist who has performed as a guest soloist with dozens of major orchestras worldwide, including the Royal Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, and Moscow Symphony, will serve as artist-in-residence. 

Hoopes, who won first prize at the 2008 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition and has performed with leading ensembles across the globe, will serve as professor of practice.

‘America at Its Best’

The quarterly digital publication The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the George W. Bush Institute honors “America at Its Best,” everyday heroes committed to kindness and courage in crisis.

It includes contributions from President George W. Bush, Laura Bush; Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Major League Baseball pitcher Clayton Kershaw; author Bob Goff; InspireMore CEO Robert Neely, Jr.; and Presidential Leadership Scholar Jay Bhatt.

“Empathy and simple kindness are essential, powerful tools of national recovery,” the former president said. “Even at an appropriate social distance, we can find ways to be present in the lives of others – to ease their anxiety and share their burdens.”

Know Shakespeare, Will Travel

Blake Hackler. (Photo by Jordan Fraker)

A Fulbright Scholars grant will send actor, director and playwright Blake Hackler, associate professor of theatre, to Romania for four months.

Tentatively beginning in the spring of 2021, depending on COVID-19, his project, “Embodying Shakespeare: A 21st Century Approach to Classical Acting,” will include teaching Shakespeare at the University of Craiova and observing and working with actors at the National Theatre-Marin Sorescu.

Couldn’t Decide Who’s Better

The Los Angeles-based Viano String Quartet and London-based Marmen Quartet, which tied last year as first-place winners of the renowned Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC) in Canada, will serve as the Peak Fellowship Ensembles-in-Residence at SMU Meadows School of the Arts, beginning this fall.

Keep on Shuttling

Dallas Area Rapid Transit and SMU agreed to continue the SMU Express shuttle service for another year.

The shuttle, connecting, the campus with SMU/Mockingbird Station and nearby apartments, operates Monday through Friday, plus Saturday during the school year.

SMU Express draws 871 riders a day, making it one of DART’s highest shuttle ridership performers.


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