Fox Theater and UWSP Partner to Market Site
Fox Theater and UWSP partner to market site
Sari Lesk, Stevens Point Journal Media 9:12 p.m. CDT October 2, 2014
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A six-image panorama by John Hartman, stitched into one photo, shows University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point students who are working on the Fox on Main’s marketing campaign. (Photo: JOHN HARTMAN/CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY )
STEVENS POINT – Leaders in charge of reviving the historic Fox on Main theater say the project is shifting from an investigative phase into a design phase, and it is doing so with some new star power and help from students.
Greg Wright, president of the Fox on Main board of directors, said the board is finishing up its business plan and determining how to build a sustainable business model for the site and is looking to hire an architect to design a rehab plan.
He said recent announcements in the city by businesses planning to hire hundreds of new employees, such as Skyward and Berkshire Hathaway, are encouraging for the theater's future. He said the theater will serve as a source of entertainment that will attract young professionals to the area.
"We recognize for Stevens Point to sustain that employment level, it needs entertainment," Wright said.
The board also is beginning presentations at local service organizations to spread its message and share its research. Wright said the main purpose of the presentations is not for fundraising at this point, although contributions are appreciated.
He said a capital campaign will begin when the board has more information about renovation costs.
The board also has forged a new partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to help with marketing for the project. Local photographer John Hartman said the board's marketing team is working with a university graphic design class, taught by Jillian Noble, to help develop a plan to promote the theater.
Hartman said the students are working on signs, business cards, a website and more to help define the theater's identity.
"It's really nice to have these young people who are going to be out in the world doing this in a few months," he said. "It's nice for them to have a real world project."
Noble said the project gives her students an opportunity to experience a client-directed project.
"There are a lot of practical business practices that go with being a professional graphic designer," Noble said. "They practice what they're learning at that same time they're learning it."
One of the first marketing steps — one that seems sure to generate buzz — is a video the board created in which locally born celebrities explain why they think the Fox deserves to be reborn. The video features comedian Tim Bedore, actress Kathy Kinney (Mimi of "The Drew Carey Show" fame), attorney Terry Kawles, musician Dan Myers, director Peggy Rajski and architect Nick Wallin, who serve on the Fox on Main advisory board.
Bedore, who grew up in Stevens Point and now lives in the Twin Cities when he is not on the road with his "Vague But True" comedy tour, said he's found through his work that that most of the happiest people in the country are in small towns, which share the commonality of having a theater downtown.
"It just kind of makes for some character for the town," he said.
Bedore said he had nothing but fond memories growing up in the area and that the theater presents opportunities for young people interested in performing or creating. He said he wanted to contribute his time to revive a theater where he may one day get to perform.
Sari Lesk can be reached at 715-345-2257. Follow her on Twitter as @Sari_Lesk.
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Margery Aber's Continuing Legacy - American Suzuki Journal article

by Iain Macpherson

"I found myself in an environment full of high standards, engaging lessons, creative projects, fun activities, talented students, and rich experiences of every kind."

Click to read full article

Aber Suzuki Center open house in Marshfield

Learn about opportunities for instrument instruction in violin, viola, cello and harp at the Aber Suzuki Center-Marshfield open house in June.
Held Saturday, June 21, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the First Presbyterian Church, 200 S. Lincoln Ave., Marshfield, the event offers information about a Marshfield satellite program of the Aber Suzuki Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The Marshfield program will be adding viola, cello and harp lessons this fall.
The open house offers children an instrument “petting zoo,” where they may try the violin, viola, cello and harp. Families also may attend a mini-concert and short presentation about the Suzuki philosophy.
Those who register at the open house will receive a $50 tuition rebate towards the first regular semester of lessons. Students may also sign up for four 20-minute lessons for $99.
For further information, see the Aber Suzuki Center website at or call the office at 715-346-3033.
UW-Stevens Point partners to create new youth symphony orchestra program

A new youth symphony orchestra program will serve Central Wisconsin, with support from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and area music educators.
The Central Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra Program will offer a full symphony orchestra, Philharmonia (string orchestra) and junior wind ensemble as well as partnerships with UW-Stevens Point Music Department faculty, the Aber Suzuki Center and UW-Stevens Point Continuing Education. Kurt Van Tiem, a director of the Concert Band and string program at P.J. Jacobs High School in Stevens Point, is the program’s founding music director.
“I have this vision of creating an opportunity for central Wisconsin youth to perform standard orchestral repertoire,” said Van Tiem. “I also want to help bridge the gap of less personal instruction time at school with more access to higher-level instruction and music literature by focusing on great classical orchestral music with our region's outstanding young musicians.”
Members of all ensembles have the opportunity to receive coaching from UW-Stevens Point and Aber Suzuki music faculty.
“Young musicians would have to travel to Madison or Fox Valley to be involved at this level of study and performance,” said Van Tiem, “and now they can travel to the beautiful facilities at the UW-Stevens Point Noel Fine Arts Center.”
Van Tiem will direct the Symphony Orchestra, which will perform at the advanced high school level. It will tour every three to four years.
Van Tiem previously conducted the Wausau Symphony, the Symphony and Symphonic Band at UW Marshfield and the Wind Ensemble and Youth Wind Ensemble at the University of Massachusetts. He served as principal horn of the Central Wisconsin Symphony and the American Wind Symphony. He holds degrees in music education and horn performance from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
The Philharmonia, directed by Ginger Marten, will perform string orchestra literature from standard middle school to high school level. Marten teaches sixth through 12th grade orchestra programs in Wisconsin Rapids and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Lawrence Conservatory of Music and UW-Stevens Point. She was awarded a Kohl Fellowship for Teaching in 2010 and performs in the band Tilly’s Village.
The Junior Wind Ensemble, directed by Jeanne Olson, will perform wind band literature from standard middle school to high school level. Olsen teaches instrumental music at Wisconsin Rapids East Junior High School. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from UW-Stevens Point and plays in the flute and piccolo section with the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra and the Wisconsin Rapids City Band.
Student musicians are encouraged to register early for auditions to the program. Rehearsals will begin this fall, and a concert will conclude each semester. Information and registration materials are available through UW-Stevens Point Continuing Education at by calling 715-346-3838.
The Central Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra Program is a non-profit organization. Donations may be made to a fund at the UWSP Foundation. For more information, call 715-346-3812 or email
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