This semester, the University’s music and film departments will host an exciting array of events this spring. As the weather gets warmer, take a study break and enjoy any one of these engaging events on campus.


As we head into the spring semester, the University’s music department has a slate of eye-catching events that should not be missed.

On Sunday, Feb. 26, the West End String Quartet will perform in “This Is It! 2.0: The Complete Chamber Music of Neely Bruce, Part III” in the Crowell Concert Hall at 3:00 p.m. This free concert will include the world premiere of An Album for String Sextet and a performance of “Songs for Suzy,” a piece Bruce wrote to honor Suzy Taraba upon her retirement. The quartet—which consists of Wesleyan Chamber Music Ensemble Director John Biatowas on the viola, Marianne Vogel and Sarah Washburn on violin, and Anne Berry on cello—will be joined by Adjunct Associate Professor of Music Nadya Potemkina on viola and Alex Waterman ’03 on cello. 

Emanuele Arciuli, a classically trained Italian pianist, will be making his Wesleyan debut in a performance on Friday, March 3 at 4:30 p.m. in Crowell Concert Hall. A versatile musician whose recordings span both classical and jazz, Arciuli will be performing a selection of “Geographical Preludes” by John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Neely Bruce, as well as 36 variations of “The People United Will Never Be Defeated” (1975) by Frederic Rzewski. The event is also free of charge.

Later that evening, the Ad Hoc Bach Collective—which consists of students, faculty, staff, and alumni—will perform in “For the Love of Bach” Vol. 11 at 8:00 p.m. in the Memorial Chapel. The free concert will feature singers Jennifer Ferrand, Corey Shotwell, and Jermaine Woodard Jr., who will perform Bach’s cantatas under the direction of conductor and Adjunct Associate Professor of Music Nadya Potemkina.

On Saturday, March 4, the Wesleyan University Orchestra will put on its tenth-annual children’s concert at 3:00 p.m. in Crowell Concert Hall. The event will focus on music from beloved childhood fairy tales, featuring selections from “Aladdin” by Carl Nielsen, “Waltz from Sleeping Beauty” by Tchaikovsky, and “Mother Goose Suite” by Ravel. Visiting Professor of Music Britney Ella Alcine is set to conduct. The event is free of charge.

Other exciting music events are on the horizon later in the spring. On Friday, April 28, the Wesleyan Jazz Ensemble, led by Director Noah Baerman, will perform at 8:00 p.m. in Crowell Concert Hall. The next day, on Saturday, April 29, internationally acclaimed composer, cellist, conductor, and educator Akua Dixon will perform alongside her Grammy-winning string quartet, Quartette Indigo, at 8:00 p.m. Dixon has been at the forefront of improvisational string players since 1973, with her own string arrangements featured in the iconic album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Tickets will cost $15 for the public, $12 for senior citizens and Wesleyan staff and alumni, and $8 for Wesleyan students and people under 18.

Information for future music department events can be found on the Center for the Arts website. In addition, make sure to go out and support Wesleyan’s student music groups like Black Raspberry and attend events such as Mic Check and those organized by The Shed. Happy listening!!!


Ben Togut can be reached at



Currently, The Wesleyan Film Series is finishing out its third lineup of films with upcoming screenings of classics, such as “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Boogie Nights” showing on Fridays Feb. 24 and March 3 respectively. The final selections of The Sixteenth Annual Ring Family Israeli Film Festival, “Fire Dance” and “Karaoke,” will be shown on Wednesdays Feb. 22 and March 1 respectively. Finally, “Daughters of the Dust” on March 4 will round out the series for Black History Month. It will be interesting to see where the program goes from here and what films The Film Board will choose for the spring’s final Film Series calendar.

“The Film Board has been looking at a lot of fun, end-of-the-year programming,” Associate Professor of the Practice of Film Studies Marc Longenecker said. “[There’s] even more documentary events… [we] should have a really solid doc program in the second half of the semester.”

Lined up for the second half of the semester following spring break are more guest speakers. Though Longenecker did not specify who, he mentioned that the department is hoping to hold more film department events for the school, even for students who aren’t film majors.

As with the second half of every academic year, the end of the spring semester brings the long-awaited premiere of completed short film theses from graduating seniors. These are expected to be shown in the Goldsmith Family Cinema in April or May, as they have been in previous years. Although last year featured the department’s highest number of production theses yet, the sheer amount of them led faculty to decrease the amount of allowed productions in order to spread out resources more efficiently. Additionally, Longenecker emphasized the importance of using winter break to take a chance to relax from a thesis. 

“Time spent away from your movie is often as important as time spent on it,” Longenecker said. “[Students] come back to the material they shot in the fall.”

Having a break between production and post-production allows for a viewing of one’s thesis with a fresh set of eyes upon returning in the spring. While much emphasis goes towards production theses, Longnecker also looks forward to the presentations of the written forms of film theses.

“The students who have written TV and/or screenplay theses…get to present on their work,” Longnecker said. “I find that very fascinating, because they talk very candidly… about their process. These more individual product theses lead to some really fascinating presentations.”

In addition to senior theses, the 2022–2023 year introduced the option for a single semester capstone course for senior film majors.

“This is the first year that we are piloting a single semester capstone course” Longenecker went on, “It’s something that we’re trying to offer more of… it helps to redistribute some of the resources in a more sustainable way. Each time period has its own benefits and challenges when it comes to shooting.”

With so many events to look forward to, the film department and all the students working on theses have an exciting semester ahead.

Nicole Lee contributed reporting.

Nate Wheeler can be reached at

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