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Art in the Park

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UPDATE: Lecture presentation at Anna Maria College, Academic Symposium April 17, 2018, 10am. This program is related to the Art in the Park, Worcester at Anna Maria College, sculpture exhibition.

MODULE, Joe Chirchirillo, Elizabeth Keithline, James Kitchen, Michael Yefko, Artist Discussion, moderated by Darrell Matsumoto, Director of Art Programs and Gallery.

Module: a self-contained part or independent unit that can be used to construct a more complex structure. Consider the module as an object and metaphorical building block for complex thought and discussion.

Moderated by Darrell Matsumoto, the artists will present and discuss their art practice.


Art in the Park, Worcester at Anna Maria College

The Department of Art & Design at Anna Maria College announces a new outdoor exhibition: Art in the Park, Worcester at Anna Maria College. The exhibition features four sculptures on display from September 15, 2017 – May 13, 2018. The exhibiting artists hail from Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Their works are viewed in the following order when entering the Paxton, MA campus: Joe Chirchirillo, Spinning Wheel; James Kitchen, Stumbling Blocks; Elizabeth Keithline, Two Boats, One for You, One for Me; and Michael Yefko, Suburban Slip No. 3.

This collaborative effort between Art in the Park of Worcester and Anna Maria College introduces public art to the college campus. A spacious venue known for its natural beauty, the display becomes a highlight of the visual landscape. This biennial exhibit proposes to explore the diverse use materials and duplication of forms that build the individual work. Each sculpture has distinctive characteristics that lend to the seasonal calendar of Central Massachusetts: on snowy surfaces, in rusty fall colors, and throughout verdant spring, morning mist and lively sunshine mark the intervals and testament of their quotidian presence.

The Worcester Cultural Council, under the direction and leadership of Gloria Hall, began Art in the Park in 2008. Ms. Hall, currently the Executive Director of Art in the Park, with the Department of Visual Arts at Anna Maria College, initiated this partnership to provide the campus and community with occasions to interact more intimately with the work, enriching daily life and deepening the beholders’ relationship to the art and surrounding space.

The public, students, and staff are invited to explore and enjoy these sculptures throughout the academic year. Join Anna Maria College as various programs, and sculpture walks celebrate this new partnership. Materials and information about the sculptures are available by visiting the Office of Admissions or the Art Center in Miriam Hall.


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The Washington Center Internship Program Fundraiser Gala

TWC Gala 2017

Pictured from left to right:  Timothy Ray, Class of 2014; Thanasi Christoforu, Class of 2014; Charles (Tony) Valenti, Class of 2014; Tori Fabiano, class of 2017; Prof. Dianne White, (also a Washington Center alumnus); Eric Kanavos (current intern) class of 2018; Victor Sambola, Class of 2015.

On evening of October 2nd, Professor Dianne White had the pleasure of hosting the Anna Maria alumni of the program at the Washington Center gala event in Washington, D.C.. And as a Washington Center alumnus herself, she was especially delighted to do so.  Those in attendance were:  Thanasi Christoforou, INTERPOL; Tori Fabiano, currently applying to law school; Timothy Ray, Montgomery County Government, Department of Police, State of Maryland; and Victor Sambola, Department of Homeland Security.  Also in attendance was our student who is currently interning with the U.S. Marshals Service, Eric Kanavos and Charles (Tony) Valenti, an AMC alumnus who also works for Montgomery County Government, Department of Police.  

There were so many noteworthy moments during the evening, but the greatest maybe the immense pride and happiness Professor White felt simply being in the company of our graduated Criminal Justice and Law and Society students who not only distinguished themselves during their time in D.C. as interns, but currently in their positions at several esteemed state and federal governmental agencies.  All of our alumni in attendance were effusive in their praise of The Washington Center Internship Program.  They described the experience as the primary impetus in bringing them back to the Metropolitan D.C. area and in securing their current positions in law enforcement.  They were also effusive in their praise of their professors at AMC, some of whom they described as “making it possible for me to be here.”  Our alumni of the program gave a special shout out, as it were, to the former Washington Center liaison for the college, Prof. Michael McCartney, with whom many stay in touch.  Also noteworthy is the generosity all of our alumni at the gala (as well as several who could not attend) who have regularly offered the liaisons and our interns in the program.  For example, within ten minutes of meeting Eric Kanavos, Tim Ray asked him if he would be interested in a ride along.  Tim then turned to me and said, “If there is anything I can do for you and your students, I’d be happy to.”  It was a night of celebration, indeed!


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Best Horror Film Themes

Spooky House


Throughout history, music has been used as a medium to elevate the spirit in a liturgical setting, served as entertainment, as well as medicinal therapy. Music has also had a deep connection with inciting fear to the masses. Audiences and composers understand the power that music has over the psyche of the listener. In the spirit of Halloween, we will look at music’s role in film.

During the Middle Ages, use of the tritone, often referred to as “the devil’s interval,” was banned in liturgical music. Unlike the misleading name, the tritone consists of only two notes but is separated by three whole steps in music. Some speculate that it is a mocking of the Holy Trinity. When you hear both notes together, this particular interval causes uneasiness and discomfort to the listener. It is no surprise then that many films heavily use this interval within a composition to move the audience to feel unbalanced. Some people even allege they hear the interval playing in a drone, trance-like manner throughout the entirety of a movie to cause an hour and half of utter fright.

Regarding the tonality of a horror film score, composers use dissonance to their advantage. Dissonant chords cause the audience to feel unstable and need to resolve harmonically. Throughout music history, every great composer utilized dissonance to take the listener on a musical journey.  It was how they took the audience to the resolution that separated the good composers from the great composers. The general concept behind dissonance is that it elicits a feeling that something is wrong – a concept prevalent in every horror film.

The juxtaposition of volume is a musical device always employed in cinema. Often times, the audience will jump at the sudden rush of musical notes. The famous shower scene in the film “Psycho” had audiences reeling in fear due in large part to this very musical device.

As music continues to progress, instruments are being created to give us different timbres. Relevant composers will even make use of untraditional instruments or untraditional playing methods. Composer Krysztof Penderecki’s famous song “Threnody” was used in the popular film “The Shining.”

My top six horror film pics using these fear-inducing musical schemes are:

  1. Insidious – This particular film begins with perhaps the most memorable and frightening opening credits. The music during the opening credits is directly responsible for this reason.
  2. Halloween – The simple Michael Myers melody that we all know is perhaps the most recognizable theme song for any antagonist in a horror film genre. Darth Vader’s “Imperial March” is probably the only song that better associates a character with a theme song.
  3. The Wizard of Oz “The Witches’ Theme” – Before horror film fanatics throw a fit, what other children’s film allows a beloved main character to be ripped to shreds? Having produced, directed, choreographed and music directed the stage production many times, the dissonant chords used for the Wicked Witch caused tremendous fear in the four-year-olds that were sure to attend this production.
  4. The Shining – During this film, the use of the devil’s interval, dissonance, and Threnody is absolutely masterful.
  5. Jaws – The use of rests in this two-note theme is absolutely incredible. This song continues to instill great panic to beach-goers’ worldwide.
  6. Psycho – Already mentioned earlier, no musical score employs the musical devices mentioned earlier better than this film. It continues to set the standard for film writing. Be sure to thank Bernard Hermann for composing the greatest horror film soundtrack ever written!

Happy Halloween!

Reagan Paras
Director of Music
Anna Maria College

*Originally appeared in Worcester Magazine in October 2016

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Memorial for Professor Andrew McCarthy

Andrew McCarthy Memorial Tree


To honor the life of Andrew McCarthy, a beloved Theology and Humanities Associate Professor at Anna Maria College, a ceremony was held on Wednesday, October 4. The ceremony took place at the front commons, in front of the eastern redbud tree planted there in his memory. Professor McCarthy was known for his joyous spirit, devout spirituality and volunteerism.  Professor McCarthy was a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and earned is M.A. in Theology from Spring Hill College, and Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies from Catholic University of America.  He was a prolific scholar, publishing works in the fields of theology and teaching science, and authored the book “Francis of Assisi as Artist of the Spiritual Life.”  Everyone who met Professor McCarthy saw what a tremendous human being he was and the Anna Maria College community misses him dearly. We encourage those who knew him to visit the redbud tree to reflect on your memories of Professor McCarthy.

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Frank Poor, From the Road

Frank Poor Poster web


Frank Poor, From the Road

The Art Center Gallery at Anna Maria College presents Frank Poor, From the Road, October 25 – December 22, 2017.  Originally from Woodstock, Georgia, Frank Poor settled in industrial Cranston, Rhode Island after graduating from RISD.  Poor fabricates architectural structures, photographs, and prints related to Southern vernacular architecture.  Krakow Witkin Gallery of Boston represents Poor.  He exhibits nationally and has received numerous honors, grants, and awards. Poor blends and juxtaposes elements of sculpture and photography, where photos are sometimes printed on glass or panel, and other times mounted directly to the wall. The sculptural elements represent buildings he photographs in the South. Witnessing the light, shadow, and reflection of the sculptures is to the viewer as the photographs are to Poor’s experience while photographing. The Anna Maria College exhibit of Frank Poor, From the Road considers the artist’s investigation of experience, and proposes to explore the discontinuity between memory and reality, subjects which drive the work.

An accompanying catalog further explores the artist’s work and will be available for sale at the Opening. The public, students, staff, and classes are invited to attend the Opening Reception on Wednesday, October 25 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm, featuring a discussion between Poor and Gallery Director Darrell Matsumoto.

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