Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Southeast faculty member works to launch ‘Saturday Serenades’ music series at Arts Council of Southeast Missouri

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A Southeast Missouri State University faculty member is helping bring a new installment of music to the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri.

Dr. Gabrielle Baffoni, assistant professor of single reeds at Southeast and board member at the council, is working with the gallery to promote a “Saturday Serenades” series at 2 p.m. on Saturdays at the Arts Council..

Baffoni began her involvement at the Arts Council in 2013 through special programming for music, and she said she’s always wanted to put music in the Arts Council gallery space.

“I’ve been to concerts and played in concerts in galleries, and I think that especially new music in a place where new art is being showcased, it’s a good pairing,” Baffoni said.

Director of the Arts Council Sarah Stephens said they want to be able to provide more recitals and music series.

"Arts Council does a lot of visual -- we’ve got that down under our belt; next we want to work on more performing arts, so music is our next ticket,” Stephens said. “That’s where we came up with the Saturday Serenades.”

The Arts Council recently moved to a new space on Spanish Street in Cape Girardeau, which is much more open than the previous space.

“It was crying out for a concert,” Baffoni said.

Baffoni began the series with a small force: her clarinet and electronics. One of her pieces was an unnamed work as part of her project to create repertoire for only the left hand. Another was a piece on her bucket list, “New York Counterpoint” by Steve Reich, which consists of a recording of several other clarinets playing at once.

Baffoni said she’s been excited about branching out for a long time.

“I think it’s great to have all the arts interacting at once,” she said.

She also says it’s a great chance to showcase young musicians and professionals in the area.

Stephens said they are testing 2 p.m. on Saturdays for a permanent time, and it takes a lot of work to make a series happen.

“When we started Red Light Nights, which was our lecture series, that started in the fall of 2015,” Stephens said. "Back then, it was just a handful of people. Now it’s grown to a full house.”

Stephens said they’re planning on having events to fill the series four times a year, with two programs a semester. Their next performance will take place in November and will showcase marimba-player, Chris Wilson.

Though they are still in their planning stages, Baffoni said they’re looking at potentially putting on a Southeast student composer showcase as part of the series next semester, along with a pre-college student showcase.

Stephens said they like to include involvement from both Southeast and the community.

“I think a little of both.” She said. “Why say no to any of them if anyone’s willing to work with us on something? That’s what we’re here for. We want to be a resource for everybody whether it’s the community, our school [or] the region.”