Commons Knowledge: Your weekly Brodie update

Ever been interested in the School of the Arts, but never knew how to get involved? There's no better time than the beginning of a new semester.

Brodie Hall is not merely a building for the "artsy kids" to take classes; it's a dynamic community that holds some of the most popular student organizations on campus.

The School of the Arts is home to theater clubs, vocal performance groups and dance ensembles, as well as instrumental organizations.

The theater department holds open auditions each year for its main stage musical production, put on through the club Vocal Miscellany. These productions, overseen by club director Alan Case, range from operas to musicals to classical concert performances.

In addition to these main shows, the student-directed Musical Theater Club also performs a musical revue each semester. The MTC shows are so popular that they often pack the Alice Austin Theater every time they perform. The productions provide opportunities in acting, singing, dancing, directing, conducting and even staging.

If you're interested in theater, but intimidated by the audition process for MTC or Vocal Miscellany, then Cothurnus, Geneseo's theater club, is for you. It's intended for students interested in all aspects of theater. The club is responsible for putting on student-directed shows throughout the year, as well as bringing in speakers, holding workshops and scheduling trips to see shows outside of Geneseo.

If dancing is your forte, there is the Orchesis student dance group. All different styles of dance are explored in at least two performances each year. Orchesis provides opportunities to both choreograph and perform, and welcomes dancers of all skill levels.

Vocal performance groups have a prominent presence on campus as well. While all of these groups require auditions for admission, everyone can enjoy their skillful performances. The groups include the refined Chamber Singers, the all-female Carol Choristers and the ever-popular Festival Chorus, all directed by professor Gerard Floriano.

A cappella is also a popular way for vocally talented students to get involved. Geneseo currently has four a cappella groups: the South Side Boys, Hips N' Harmony, Exit 8 and the newly-formed Between the Lines.

Students wishing to display their talent through an instrument also have numerous opportunities to join ensembles according to their interests. For the classical enthusiasts, there is the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra and the Wind Ensemble, both directed by professor James Walker. The orchestra holds about 70 students while the Wind Ensemble consists of about 45.

The Jazz Ensembles play more modern music, performing works from the big-band era to contemporary-jazz fusion. There are two groups, both directed by professors Jonathan Kruger and David Gibson, and they often travel and perform at clubs.

The Student Music Association brings guest musicians, organizes events and houses all the musical performing groups.

The Student Art Association is available for those more interested in visual arts. SAA's primary focus is setting up shows in the Opus Gallery in the Union, coordinating trips to off-campus galleries, sponsoring speakers and guest artists, and designing and painting campus murals.

There are plenty of outlets to get involved in the School of the Arts, and it's a great way to spice up your experience as a Geneseo student. For more information about the organizations and clubs, visit the Web site,

Upcoming Events:

9/11Pam Kurau, Soprano8 p.m. Wadsworth Auditorium

9/29 - 10/4 Ms. Warren's Profession 8 p.m. (Sunday 2 p.m.) Black Box