Get to Know the Boys of SMO

SMO PictureTheir signature green jackets, heavenly voices and impromptu performances around campus; the Singing Men of Ohio, or SMO, are surely recognizable on campus considering their well-known reputation, but do you truly know the 66 men who comprise the chorale ensemble?

Come Halloween, They’re a Scary Sight

Ever gotten frightened at Halloweekends by the terrifying monsters? The face behind the mask could have been one of our very own of Singing Men of Ohio. Since the group does all of its own fundraising, every year the boys pack up and head to Cedar Point for two entire weekends to work as midway monsters as their biggest fundraiser of the year. Decked out in full costume, the boys spook, dance and entertain park patrons during Halloweekends.

Spring Break Doesn’t Consist of Lounging on the Beach

Every year for spring break the boys pack up and head out on their spring tour. In the past they’ve traveled to Boston, New York City, Pittsburg, Chicago and Nashville to perform. As of now, Hilton Head Island,  Savannah, Georgia and Nashville are all on the radar for potential stops. The boys perform at local churches, schools and community centers.

“I wouldn’t still be at Ohio University if it wasn’t for SMO”

Halfway through freshmen year Singing Men of Ohio President Ray Wolfe had already been accepted and ready to transfer to Ohio State. Being three hours from home, Wolfe didn’t really have a good feel for Ohio University and the students. However, all that changed after he went on tour with SMO and changed his mind, deciding Ohio University was where he truly belonged.

“SMO is the reason I’m still on campus, if it wouldn’t have been for SMO then I can’t imagine me going elsewhere and transferring, especially somewhere like Columbus,” said Wolfe. “I’m glad I started in SMO my freshmen year or else I probably wouldn’t still be here.”

16 Make up Section 8

Apart from regular weekly SMO practices, sixteen guys pack on four hours’ worth of weekly practices as a part of Section 8. The acapela group was formed to go where SMO doesn’t fit; if an event can’t hold all 66 members or if the occasion calls for a different genre Section 8 gets to shine. The group of sixteen guys are auditioned out of SMO and usually performs more contemporary, popular music.

They’re More Than Just Acquaintances

From spending hours on end together on tour to practicing up near four hours per week, the boys become more than just good acquaintances.

“I don’t think people realize how close we all get, especially when we go on tour. When you’re on a bus with fifty guys for hours at a time, the craziest stuff happens,” said Wolfe.  The close connection that is formed definitely shines through at the performances.

“When we go onstage we gel as a group and are able to really make music not just because we’re good musicians but because we know each other well and are able to sing through each other,” said Wolfe.

For more information and upcoming events visit

-Ashleigh Mavros, Events Publicity Assistant


Aesthetic Technologies Lab Provides for Creative Inquiry

The College of Fine Arts is home to faculty and students who are encouraged to collaborate creatively and innovatively on projects. The Aesthetic Technologies Lab is available to provide the tools and resources necessary to continue that creative inquiry through the combination technology development and fine arts practice.

The Aesthetic Technologies Lab, abbreviated as “@Lab,” established in late 2004, is equipped and staffed to enable students and faculty’s artistic process and outcome. According to the @Lab’s mission statement, “The mission of the Aesthetic Technologies Lab is to provide the tools and resources to promote creative inquiry at the intersection of technology development and fine arts practice.” The @Lab provides four different studios, the @Lab Studio, The Main Room, The Printing Room and the @Lab Alt. These studios contain equipment, such as video gear, computers with cutting-edge software, printing machines and performance space, that can be used for many interdisciplinary projects across the College of Fine Arts. Helping to utilize these resources, support within the lab or hands on teachings are available throughout the year.

Each term the @Lab offers workshops, lectures, and events lead by experts from inside and outside the College. This semester the lab is offering two workshops, a website creation tutorial for WordPress and Tumblr and a Final Cut Pro video editing tutorial. Past events include Adobe After Effects and DJ workshops. These types of workshops are offered to ensure that faculty and students are learning the most recent technologies in order to ensure innovation and make use of the @Lab.

The @Lab is located in Putnam Hall on the second floor and is open 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. It is also available for faculty and students within the College of Fine Arts or anyone taking a class within the College.

-Ryan Judy, Communications & Marketing Assistant

A Glimpse of What to Expect at Senior Dance Concert

Senior Dance Concert Requires Open Mind


Don’t expect your typical jazz, tap and ballet combos at the upcoming Senior Dance Concert; the modern performances of the six seniors will make you work to open up your mind and think about the meaning behind each performance.

“The audience knows the story behind the Nutcracker because there’s a very specific story that goes along with it and they know it’s the same thing every time they go,” said Kelsey Lynn Maiolo, one of the six seniors performing this week. “With this concert, you never know what you’re going to get.”

This Thursday, Friday and Saturday the six BFA dance majors will finally be able to showcase their four years at Ohio University. All of the hard work they’ve put into this semester preparing for the concert has been part of their senior capstone project. 

Between the six, they were in charge of organizing and planning the lighting, sound, costumes and publicity for the concert. Outside of class the dancers put in 6-10 hours per week solely on rehearsing and choreographing their pieces. Halfway through the semester they met with professors to receive feedback on their pieces.

“The concert is to show what we have learned; what you have taken from this program, and how are you going to apply it to your own style,” said Kelsey.

All of the pieces have a unique motivation behind them and portray a story for the audience to interpret. For Kelseys piece, “Who Knew Lakes Had Waves?” she drew from a recent mission trip to Cleveland as a college advisor for a high school youth group in her hometown of Monroe, Connecticut. She bounced between different worksites such as food banks, men’s shelters and local churches.

“It was a huge emotional roller coaster for me. I took data every day in a journal and wrote down who I was with, what I was doing, who I met, what kind of job I was doing and how I was feeling,” said Kelsey.

Her piece is based off of the day-by-day layout of her trip. She focused around the “give and take” concept as she had to give up her time over the summer but simultaneously took something away from the trip.

“Our concert has a variety of different kinds of works with some of them being light and happy and some of them being dark and dramatic,” said Michael O’Neill, one of the six seniors. “I hope our audience is engaged in every piece and leave feeling like they have seen or learned something new.”

Plan on making it to one of the six different performances of the concert this week and make sure you’re ready to think.

“People should come to this with an open mind about dance,” said Kelsey. “There’s no right or wrong answer, just whatever you’re thinking or whatever you get from it is perfectly fine. Make your own interpretations.”

Performances will be November 15, 16 and 17 with two shows each evening at 7:00 pm and 9:00pm at the Shirley Wimmer Theater in Putnam Hall. Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.  General Admission is $6 and is free for Ohio University students with a valid I.D.  The Box Office can be reached at (740) 593-1780.

For more information

-Ashleigh Mavros, Events Publicity Assistant

Second Year Graduate Student Art Exhibit Reflects Journey Together

There’s no denying the eclectic personality of Athens; from the University to the diversity of landscape and the ingenious students there’s always a new aspect to discover. Second year graduate students drew from this inspiration for their current exhibit, “Merges and Dissolves.” This annual group exhibit features work of second year graduate students and is located at the Ohio University Art Gallery, 536 Seigfred Hall and will run until Thursday November 1st.

Work from the departments of ceramics, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture is on display for the students’ second exhibition as a group. Graduate students have the opportunity to partake in the group exhibit in their first and second years in preparation for their solo thesis exhibition in their third year. “Merges and Dissolves” refers to a point in time, a moment at the crux of what came before and the unknown future. This is relatable in the sense that the students are coming together one last time before they embark onto their own solo paths.

“My colleagues are one of the best informed, intense, and critical audiences my work is likely to ever encounter and at the same time they are incredible resources,” said Joey Behrens, an exhibiting artist from the School of Art. “We were responsible for putting together all aspects of the show-from selecting a title to installing (and eventually uninstalling) the work. We quite literally had to work together to utilize each other’s skills to get it all done in the most effective way possible.”

Apart from the motivation the students received from their fellow colleagues, Athens has also played a vital part in helping the artists’ develop. For School of Art student and exhibitor Kathleen Elyse, the Ridges Asylum played a special part of her experience to date at Ohio University. When first entering grad school, Elyse’s work interpreted the many aspects of her mother’s medical and emotion journey through her nine months in which she was diagnosed with cancer and passed away from. Having access to research detailing procedures within the asylum provided an open door for Elyse to explore the medical world from a different viewpoint.

“The access to the Ridges and the ability to work with the location on an intimate level really expanded my work from an extremely personal body of work to a more accessible body of work for the viewers,” said Elyse.

Her piece currently on exhibit, “Dermis,” conveys this interest as themes such as Basil’s portrayal of life and death and the unknown grave tie into her piece with the unknown microbes within the body that can threaten healthy living.

Friday October 19th a discussion panel was held to dive deeper into the history of each piece on exhibit. The artists held an informal discussion of their ideas, research and processes used for each piece.

“The panel was an opportunity for us to have a conversation with viewers. Students and community members got to hear a bit more from the artists about what their intentions, influences, and motivations were in the process of making the pieces as well as make an comments or ask any questions they might have, be they about the artist’s methods, materials, or motivations,” said Behrens.

“Merges and Dissolves” is one of the most distinctive exhibits currently running and showcases what’s to come of these artists’ in their third year in the School of Art.

“I see the art work as a teaser to seeing what is the motivation or the thought process that these artists going through on a day to day basis with heavy research and their journey of processing that information and manifesting it into a physical piece of artwork,” said Elyse.

For more information visit

-Ashleigh Mavros, Events Publicity Assistant

Nutcracker, Jaws and Angry Birds for School of Music Hallowpalooza

Children, students and community members alike will be celebrating Halloween in a slightly different way with the School of Music on October 31st. The Symphony Orchestra and various ensembles from the School of Music will be performing “Hallowpalooza V-Something Wicked This Way Hums”. In the past this hour-long comedic performance has included takes on movie music spoofs, internet sensations, and some classical pieces; everything from Angry Birds to Willy Wonka. This won’t be your typical classical music performance; a conglomerate of different genres of music will have a modern take on the classics.

In the past the concert has included skits intertwined between the covers of popular songs and musicians dressed in costumes such as Harry Potter or bananas. Crowds of more than 1,000 have flooded into Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium to participate in the unique show.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our successful tradition of celebrating Halloween in Athens in an entertaining and safe way,” said Steven Huang, director of orchestras. “Using costumes and special effects together with live music, we hope to delight the community with our imagination and talent.”

Apart from the night performance, more than 1,000 elementary school children from around the area will get to experience Hallowpalooza at a special morning performance. As younger children are not regularly exposed to a wide array of musical performances, this event presents a unique opportunity.

Lauretta Werner, a junior who has participated in Hallowpalooza for the past three years as a part of the symphony is especially looking forward to the morning performance for the elementary school children.

“I think it’s awesome that the children get to see orchestras in a different way because I think a lot of them are not even around string instruments, especially in this community,” said Werner.

Apart from exposing children to the world of music in a creative way, the event is a prime opportunity for the symphony and ensembles to harness their creative spirit in a more non-traditional way to bring together university and community.

“It really ties us with the community; Hallowpalooza is a good reason to bring the community and Ohio University together to become involved with Halloween,” said Werner.

The comedic performance will take place in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Wednesday October 31st. Tickets are $5 and free for students with an OU ID and children under 12. All proceeds from the event will go to support the School of Music.

For more information visit

-Ashleigh Mavros, Events Publicity Assistant

Upcoming Noon Talks Bring Life to Exhibits

Dr. Judith Grant presents “Second Wave Feminism” in conjunction with Women Artists II at the first Noon Talk of the semester.

After three years Kennedy Museum will continue its Noon Talks with three upcoming events centered on two exhibits, Women Artists II and Contemplative Cameras. The talks focus around a certain exhibit and feature a speaker related to the art work. The first half of the talk is upstairs in the museum while visitors mingle and grab a bite to eat while the second half is spent in front of the pieces with the speaker moderating a casual discussion. The group is usually around 25 participants and they range from students, community members and faculty from around the area.

“They provide a wonderful opportunity to know more about the artist’s process and the context in which they are working,” said art school graduate Haylee Ebersole on the Kennedy Museum Noon Talks. “I have learned more about the breadth of work the artists have made and have been able to engage in more conversation.”

One of the most unique factors of these talks is the merging of the university and community, faculty and students, all coming together for the sake of art. “It’s a nice cross-section of our both our university and our local community. A forum can bring that type of group together in a really informal way,” said Sally Delgado, Curator of Education at the Kennedy Museum of Art.

When started, the purpose of the talks was for friends of the Kennedy museum to come together to, “get a little lunch, get a little art, all in the span of fifty minutes,” explained Delgado.  The talks really took off when they featured the School of Art Faculty Show, which brought in a number of artists in a single show to come and elaborate on their work.

“The talks extend the content, it extends the interpretation, it gives more context to the objects that you see for the most part static objects. Overall it just brings more life to the exhibition,” said Delgado.

Upcoming talks:

Wednesday October 17th Terry Eiler, Director, School of Visuam Communication: “From Reality to Gestalt Abstraction” in conjunction with Contemplative Cameras

Wednesday October 31st Bill Schneider, Associate Professor, School of Visual Communication: “Influences on the Photographs of Schreiber, Meek, and Kawano” in conjunction with Contemplative Cameras

Wednesday November 14th Alana Bowman Kidder and Barbara Jewell, Student Curators “Feminist Egg Over Athens: the Local Connections” in conjunction with Women Artists II

*All noon talks will begin on the 2nd floor from 12:10-12:50PM

For more information please visit

-Ashleigh Mavros, Events Publicity Assistant