2019-2020 ARTS COME ALIVE! A Performing Arts Outreach Program


Thursday, October 3, 2019 – COLLECTIF9 – A Canadian String Band – Grades 3-12

Known for pushing the boundaries in their music, Montreal-based classical string band COLLECTIF9 has forged into uncharted territory. Formed in 2011, COLLECTIF9 is a nine-member group of classically-trained string players that show they aren’t shy about shaking things up. Their bold performance style is heavily influenced by popular music, combining a rock-inspired vitality with audio-visual elements such as lights and amplification.

(Student Matinee at noon; Ticketed public performance at 7:30 p.m. as part of 19-20 SOPAA Series.)

Friday, January 24, 2020 – The Morehead Percussion Ensemble – Grades K-12

Under the direction of Dr. Brian S. Mason, who has guided the ensemble since 2009, the group has toured Brazil, Spain, China, as well as toured nationally in the United States. The student matinee performance will feature MSU percussion program’s steel drum ensemble, MSU STEEL. This multi-cultural program utilizes the diverse and exciting characteristics of world percussion to present a musical journey that takes the audience through the sounds of Trinidad, the Caribbean, Brazil, and Africa. The program offers a variety of fun and interactive activities that provides the audience with an entertaining and educational experience. The evening performance will feature the full percussion ensemble in concert.

(Student Matinee at noon; Masterclass TBD; Ticketed public performance at 7:00 p.m.)

Friday, March 20, 2020 – The Q4 Guitar Ensemble – Grades 3-12

The Q4 Guitar Ensemble is made up of four guitarists: Dr. Julio Alves, Mason Anderson, Chase Mayo and Jonathan Thorne, faculty and graduates of the Marshall University School of Music. Under Alves’ direction, these players, acquired extensive performing experience throughout the region and abroad as members of the Marshall University Guitar Ensemble. Inspired by this collaborative musical work together over the years, Alves invited Anderson, Mayo, and Thorne to form the “Q4 Guitar Ensemble,” in order to continue making music together, and bring guitar ensemble concert music to the Tri-State community and other audiences.

(Student Matinee at noon; Masterclass TBD; Ticketed public performance at 7:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 – Bone & Fiddle Dance Collective – Grades 5-12

Bone & Fiddle Dance Collective is a group of professional dancers based in Portsmouth, Ohio. The Collective believes in enhancing and promoting culture through movement and dance. Founder Summer Logan delves into the experiential, social, political, and historic views of Appalachia. This particular performance falls on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and will explore the themes of the sacred day of remembrance through dance, music and literature.

(Student Matinee at noon; Masterclass TBD; Ticketed public performance at 7:00 p.m.)

Dear Principals and Teachers,
We at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts believe that the future of the arts begins with our young people. As the Director of the VRCFA, I am happy to announce the launching of a new outreach program here at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts – Arts Come Alive!  The program is comprised of four outreach concerts: all free, all at noon, and all at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. (In addition, there will be opportunities to attend after-school masterclasses with the artists, and a ticketed public performance in the evening.)

The Ohio Department of Education has set Fine Arts standards for the education of every student in Ohio. However, in this age of budget cuts, and emphasis on standardized testing, it has become increasingly difficult for school districts to provide this. The Vern Riffe Center for the Arts, wants to be a part of the solution!

Investing in music and performing arts education is important for our local students. Fine Arts study encourages students to build problem solving skills, which are applicable to all other content areas. Learning in areas of the Fine Arts also engages the language and reasoning areas of the brain, in addition to building the memory. Furthermore, membership in Fine Arts ensembles and projects requires students to work together and strive to meet goals as a team. All of these skills are applicable and essential to success in the 21st century.

Attending live performances enhances this experience for students, and furthers the benefits of learning through the Fine Arts. Students can see and hear the real world application of what they’ve learned in the classroom. They can see other performers who have spent hours practicing and rehearsing, and understand what it takes to present a final product. Also, students will be exposed to other ensembles and different styles of music and performing mediums, which expands their understanding of the art form. They can experience the Fine Arts from different historical periods, and songs, dances, and visual elements from many different parts of the world they would not otherwise experience. Additionally, attending performances allows students the opportunity to see real musicians, dancers and artists excelling in their craft. This is an authentic experience that students cannot have in any other way. Offering students opportunities to attend live performances benefits their understanding of many historical, literary and cultural connections within the Fine Arts discipline.

As mentioned before, we want to be a part of the solution in helping your students achieve the standards of the Ohio Department of Education, and most importantly, bring to them the incredible experience of the performing arts, here at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts!

For more information, or to make reservations for one, or several of the shows, contact me at the VRCFA, 740.351.3621 or sworkman@shawnee.edu, or my colleague, Casey Glenn at 740.351.3640, or cglenn@shawnee.edu,                                                                                                                 Dr. Stanley Workman, Jr.

What are some of the benefits of our students attending live performances at the VRCFA?

  • Critical and Creative Thinking: Students will combine and apply artistic and reasoning skills to understand works produced and performed by others.
  • Literacy: As consumers, critics, and creators, students evaluate and understand visual and performing artworks produced in the media forms of the day.
  • Cultural Significance: Recognize that examining the socio-cultural traditions and historical and political significance of music/drama/dance deepens personal understanding of students’ worlds.

Based on K-12 Ohio Fine Arts Content Standards

At appropriate developmental levels, students will…

  • Listen to and view wide variety of Fine Arts examples from multiple cultures focusing on the historical and cultural significance of the works.
  • Use historical information from the study of the Fine Arts to other art forms & disciplines outside the arts.
  • Demonstrate appropriate audience etiquette at live performances
  • Recognize the use of the Fine Arts for various purposes by performers & listeners in a variety of cultures.
  • Form opinions about the Fine Arts they hear in formal and informal live performances.
  • Identify and discriminate between sounds produced by various instruments and the human voice.
  • Identify and classify voices, musical instruments, roles and careers of musicians.
  • Identify careers in the Fine Arts, including composing, performing and conducting., dancing, painting, etc.
  • Identify non-performing careers in music, dance, and dramatic arts (i.e. lighting, set/theater architecture/design, instrument making/repair, costume design, directing, and etc…)
  • Develop criteria to evaluate solo and group performances of Fine Arts.
  • Apply multiple criteria to evaluate quality and effectiveness of Fine Arts performances and compositions and then identify areas for improvement/refinement.

After experiencing live performances at the VRCFA, with the expert guidance of their teachers, in the classroom, students will be able to…

  • Explain how the Fine Arts are used for a variety of purposes and occasions.
  • Discuss the Fine Arts in terms of the various composers, periods, cultures and contrasting styles.
  • Discuss how music, dance, and visual elements communicate feelings, moods, images and meaning.
  • Describe how Fine Arts communicates feelings, moods, images and meaning.
  • Communicate a response to music using dance, drama or visual art.
  • Connect concepts shared between music, dance, other art forms and other curricular subjects.
  • Form & express personal opinions about a performance & show respect for the opinions of others.
  • Discuss audience behavior appropriate for the context and style of music performed.
  • Describe themes, concepts and ideas from other content areas that are reflected in dances they view and music they hear.
  • Recognize and describe the role of the Fine Arts in their lives and in their communities.
  • Compare and contrast ways that the subject matter in musical selections relates to other disciplines.
  • Discuss use of technology and the media arts they heard/witnessed through research, composition, & performance.
  • Reflect on a variety of live or recorded music and dance performances, as well as visual exhibitions.
  • Communicate the importance of the Fine Arts in everyday life.
  • Compare and contrast subject matter common to the Fine Arts and other subject areas.
  • Describe the impact of technology and innovation in the development of Fine Arts careers.
  • Identify and describe non-performing careers in music, dance, and visual/dramatic arts (i.e. lighting, set design, instrument building/repair, costume design, directing, and etc…)


High School Musical Theatre Festival

Hosted by Shawnee State University Theatre Department

@ the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts
March 29th-31st

Join the Theatre and Dance Dept. at Shawnee State University for the very first High School Musical Theatre Festival!Open to any student 9th-12th grade. Participants can take dance, vocal, acting, and technology classes as well as perform on the main stage.
If you are interested in more information and how to register for the festival please email Summer Logan at slogan@shawnee.edu.


No Need To Wait Until Dark To See The Art

Vern Riffe After Dark is about three weeks away, but you can see some of the art that will be on display if you know where to look.

Thanks to the generosity of local businesses for hosting these works in advance of the show. Wander in and check ’em out.

by Josie Wickerham
Find it at Law Offices of William Dever, 1110 Gay Street


Stormy Lakefront by Ken Carlson
Find it at Trinity Business Group, 613 Chillicothe St
Butterfly Ascension by Sarah Minter
Find it at Market Street Café, 212 Market Street
Broken Heart by Dale Hall
Find it at Edward Jones Financial Advisors, 604 Second St.
Dutch Voyage by Nicko Savicz.
Find it at Stewart Supply, 681 Webster St., South Webster
The Preposterous Radical Bug by Drew Pierce
Find it at Castle Comics, 901 Gallia St, Portsmouth
Galaxy Bubble by Breanna Stewart
Find it at- Port City Cafe and Pub, 424 Chillicothe St, Portsmouth
Farm by starlight by Terry Noel
Find it at the NEW Sherman-Kricker Insurance Offices, 1033 Gallia St, Portsmouth

Kenny Endo Taiko Lecture-Demonstration

Hawaii based Kenny Endo and members of his taiko drumming ensemble followed a public performance with a lecture-demo for local students, giving them an up close experience with the explosive energy of this Japanese drumming style.

Thanks to the Southern Ohio Museum for teaching students about the Hawaiian tradition of lei making and helping them create lei for Kenny and his friends.

You can see photos from past workshops on the Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association webpage – http://sopaa.org/education-outreach/

Leis Made By Portsmouth STEM Academy

Terry Barber Vocal Master Class

We took some great photos at the voice master class counter tenor Terry Barber conducted with students on December 2.

It was pretty amazing. We got to see side of the students we don’t often get to see.

You can see photos from past workshops on the SOPAA webpage – http://sopaa.org/education-outreach/

Terry Barber Voice Workshop