BY DEANNA KUNS
The sound of music permeates the lesson room. If her room is ever quiet, it is certain she is absent, because otherwise the sounds of students playing piano or singing are heard all down the music hallway. Donna Axton’s students are learning to express themselves in a healthy and creative way while in her presence. She is the director of the Music program at Sierra Nevada College, and several classes including piano, voice, music history, and even psychology due to her Masters in Piano and Psychology.
“An accomplishment I’ve made is all the classes I teach, and I really love working with the students here. I think they are open minded and very caring people,” Axton said.
Axton has been teaching at SNC for as long as she can remember. However, she has experienced and accomplished much more than just teaching a decent selection of classes at SNC. Axton was married to singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton for years, and she joined his band at 16 as his piano player. Hoyt wrote one hit wonders for rock n’ roll artists such as “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog” by Elvis Presley. He also wrote the song “Joy to the World” and made a few country hits as well. Hoyt also played in the movie “Gremlins” as the father, and they both appeared on quite a bit of television.
Open mic is an outlet, it allows those with things to share, and get off their chest, a place to do that.
The new and vibrant Holman Arts & Media Center building is a representation of an expanding art department filled with ambition. With only two semesters of academia the Holman Arts & Media Center encourages a new era of creative, intellectual thinking with grand long term intentions of inspiring interdisciplinary programs and large communal goals. While the former David Hall building could not support the expanding art department and demand, the Holman building was set in place to achieve this growing need.
“We were basically at capacity with what we could do with the other building, the oldest building on campus. It had a lot of limitations with it. Getting this building and really maximizing the way we flow from one discipline to the other has enabled us to take the next step, which is to develop an MFA (Master of Fine Arts),” Professor Russell Dudley said.
The building was made possible by a generous gift from Robin and Robert Holman, and opened its doors to students in the spring semester of 2014.
“We envision that this center will be the new artistic and intellectual hub not just for Sierra Nevada College but for Incline Village and the Lake Tahoe basin. We looked around and saw the exciting things that are happening at Sierra Nevada College and we knew we wanted to partner with SNC to make change happen,” SNC Board of Trustees member and donor Robin Holman said.
The central ideas inspiring the design of the building were to create an academic flow within the space that also invites the public and the community into the academic practices, according to Dudley.
When entering the the Holman Arts & Media Center building, one can observe students working cohesively in all ranges of art. Students have the space to work on computers, photography, create sculptures and drawings. Art history lectures echo around the building. The new art building allows artists of all genres to share an inviting, inventive space.
“It’s nice to have an art building that is surrounded by all art students and the same creative process,” Senior Claire Bagg said.
The faculty and administration worked tirelessly for two years toward their unified vision of the Holman Arts building, according to Rick Parsons, associate professor of art.
The Devil Makes Three has been playing rowdy American music to eager crowds for over a decade. The three piece string band tours hard and fast, with their most recent campaign passing through South Lake Tahoe on Feb. 8. After hundreds of high energy, sold out concerts and exponentially increasing popularity, one might worry the DM3 is getting close to jumping the shark. Did Devil Makes Three jump the shark? No way.
Friday, Feb. 14
9 p.m. – “Valentine’s Day 80’s and 90’s Dance Party” at the Crystal Bay Club and Casino. After party with Coup Da Loop and SubDocta, tickets $15
5p.m.-8p.m. – Full Moon Snowshoe Adventure offered by Tahoe Adventure Company, $65- includes snowshoes, poles, snacks, drinks, guides, and history.
Fish Taco Fridays at Caliente’s in Kings Beach, drink and food specials.
If you’re going to be in Tahoe for winter break then it is time to make plans for New Years if you haven’t already. There are plenty of things going on to ring in 2014, but the biggest event is Snowglobe, a music festival in its 3rd year, that takes place in South Lake Tahoe from December 29th-31st.
YouTube videos of amateur musicians garner millions of hits and concert-goers drop $20 for a cover charge, but if you want to see raw talent for free then hit up one of the open mics at Sierra Nevada College on upcoming Wednesdays.
Last March, I met with both Katie Zanto and Rosie Hackett to discuss some ideas I had for my service learning project. I figured I would do something with ski coaching, or volunteering for an outdoor leadership program. Both Katie the Interdisciplinary Studies chair, and Rosie, Outdoor Adventure Leadership program director, kindly and respectfully shut me down.
Five hundred music-loving and green-minded spectators and 12 incredible bands will come together on Sept. 20-22 at the Johnsville Ski Bowl for a Leave-No-Trace-style music festival thanks to the hard work of Sierra Nevada College students Drew Fisher, Rachael Blum, Cody Wilkins and many other volunteers and organizations.