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MCC unveils fall 2016 arts season

Mesa Community College has announced its fall 2016 arts season. (Courtesy of MCC)

Mesa Community College (MCC) has announced its fall 2016 arts season. Performances and exhibitions feature up-and-coming student artists and renowned craft masters.

Performances and exhibitions are presented in masterfully designed venues on MCC’s Southern and Dobson campus (1833 W. Southern Ave.). The Performing Arts Center delivers exceptional acoustics and visibility for musical, instrumental and dance performances. Boasting theatrical modernizations, MCC Theatre delivers an intimate experience to stage performances and the recently opened Art Gallery embraces the dynamic and multidisciplinary nature of today’s visual culture.

The season kicks off in September with the Biennial Art Faculty & Staff Exhibition,” which presents the work of artists who currently teach or work at Mesa Community College in art history, 2-D and 3-D design, ceramics, drawing, graphic art and design, painting and photography. This Art Gallery exhibition features a wide range of visual practices, spanning multiple genres and media. The exhibit goes through Oct. 7 with an opening reception Sept. 28.

In September and December, jazz big band lovers won’t want to miss the MCC Performing Arts Jazz Ensemble (MPJE) Concerts featuring artistic director and pianist Nick Manson; saxophonists Paul Brewer, Bryon Ruth, Mary Petrich, Hugh Lovelady, Chris Campbell and Emily Blair Wolf; bones with Matt Lennex, Bill Foy, Michael Lake, John Wise; trumpeters  Dave Coolidge, Danny Doyle, Andrew Smith and Rob Hunter; and Nick Mason, John Lewis and Mario Mendivil in the rhythm section. Performances on Sept. 27 and Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.

In October, MCC’s Theatre and Film Arts Department presents All in the Timing,” written by David Ives and directed by MCC faculty Kevin Dressler. The play will feature six diverse and equally hilarious one-act comedies that focus on wordplay, existentialist perspectives and the complications of human interactions. Play runs Oct. 7 – 15 with matinees Oct. 8 and 15. Adult themes and content.

Also October brings the Desert Echoes Flute Project featuring professional flutists, music educators, college students and community musicians. Performance Oct. 7 at 7:30 pm. Featuring professional musician and educator, Hugh Lovelady on alto saxophone.

For vocal music lovers, Grammy winner and MCC instructor Craig Peterson, Ph.D., and Joseph Johnston will direct various groups during a Choir Concert Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

November features the Fall Formal Dance Production, an evening of dance performed and choreographed by accomplished students and guests. Artists come from many different backgrounds, allowing the production to highlight diverse styles, originality and excitement. Performances Nov. 17 and 18 at 7:30 pm.

The month of November ends on a musical note with a Jazz Concert by the Mesa Community College Jazz Band. Under the direction of MCC alum Paul Brewer, this group leaves a long wake of acclaimed success and sets the standard for jazz ensembles in Arizona. Performance Nov. 30 at 7 pm.

Good ‘N’ Plenty,” written by Jeffrey Hatcher and directed by Ron May of the Stray Cat Theatre (Tempe), will be presented in December. A very hip, new social studies teacher returns to his high school and diverges from the curriculum to introduce his students to the justice system using role play in a social experiment. The process devolves until almost everyone ends up in “jail.” The play runs Dec. 2-10, with matinees Dec. 3 and 10. Adult themes and content.

December brings a Guitar Concert presented by the MCC Guitar Music Class (Dec. 9), plus a DJ Concert starring students from the MCC Music Business class (Dec. 14).

Seats may be reserved online at mesacc.edu/arts, by calling the MCC Box Office at 480-461-7172 or at the door. Prices vary, typically ranging from $7 to $18. Art Gallery exhibitions and some instrumental performances are free of charge.

Patrons should use the Solar Way entrance east of Dobson Road for easy access to the MCC Theatre and Art Gallery. The Longmore Way entrance west of Longmore Street is nearest to  the Performing Arts Center.

Those who are interested in a glimpse behind the scenes during the development of the shows are encouraged to follow progress on social media: MesaCC Facebook, MesaCC Twitter  and MesaCC Instagram.

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