Archive for the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ Category

Dominique Brown
The Montgazette Contributing Writer

Montgomery County Community College hosted its Spring Club Fair in Central Campus’ Parkhouse Hall.

Loud, crowded, and buzzing with energy; for any introvert or someone who suffers from anxiety, this is their worst nightmare. That was my first thought walking into this building. I used to stand in awe at how big the walkway use to be, how it was so spacious that I felt small in it. With the arrival of the Club Fair, the Hall never felt so small and tight, full of people, tables housing sweets, posters, and pamphlets to inform and promote the various clubs and activities. The atrium came alive in a terrifying new way that only the bravest of souls will survive. I wandered around and avoided eye contact at all costs trying to find just one table that didn’t seem completely intimidating.

As herds of college students young and old surrounded me, I began to lose myself in the bustle of a normal Wednesday afternoon combined with a social event that only happens once every semester. Finally, after bumping into a table and stumbling into strangers, I found an interesting small group talking quietly among themselves.

The poster said “Drama Club,” something that I will admit has been a past time for me, so with shaky legs and a rapid heartbeat, I cautiously approached the table, tensing up in preparation to be hounded, to take a pamphlet and sign my life away. The group smiled as they noticed me, warm and welcoming. I was approached by Jess Weligand, the Drama Club’s PR representative; she appeared shy, but I could tell she was putting forth an effort to be kind and helpful for her club. She asked me if I had ever been involved in theater before.

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Central Campus Club Fair — Photo by Dominique Brown

Of course I had, but I decided to see what kind of spiel she had in store. To my surprise, Jess began a simple conversation with me when she took note of my sweatshirt. We talked for some time about this and that finally, once we were both comfortable, I began to ask her  about the theater program and how the Drama Club is connected and works with the theater program.

Montco Drama Club has been around for only a short while but has put on over 40 plays!

Currently the Drama Club is preparing for their first ever short play festival, consisting of six different short plays directed by students. The theater program is behind the scenes, in a class offered to anyone but especially to theater majors in the Theater Production Workshop, or TPW, this is where the magic happens. The students build, light, design, and dress the set; along with making the costumes, managing stage sound and stage set the entire show! Everything you see is all by students; even the Drama Club helps out by raising the money for the productions and awareness that the play is happening. I was completely blown away by all that happens in such a small amount of time and that Jess Weligand, who was very much as timid and shy as myself, was here standing in front me telling all the amazing things she has accomplished with this club. As our conversation continued a new face joined us.

Kevin Sene is a small, high strung individual who can just melt your heart and instantly make you feel like his friend. He smiled a great big pearly white smile as he sashayed over eager to join the conversation. Jess introduced us and explained that the real reason she was so involved is because of Kevin. Kevin is more outgoing and free spirited than she. Everyone who meets Kevin instantly falls in love; he is a true leader and great friend.

After five minutes of chatting with him, I was shocked when I signed up to become more involved with the club. The Drama Club is a very inviting club, people of all sizes, shapes, and color come together and do something unique and creative that no other club does. They band together, get their hands dirty and produce plays for the whole community to enjoy. Everyone is very nice and encouraging, they are a team, even more so a family; they make sure they stress that there is no “drama” in the Drama Club. Everything down to what play they will do the following semester is all debated in a healthy discussion called “Reading Committee”, which meets every Monday at 4pm.

So, this introverted soul found a nice, peaceful table to hide out the storm of people and activities around her. I even made a few friends along the way. Club Fair actually wasn’t as terrifying as I originally thought. When you first enter the Fair, it seems to go on for miles, with all the bodies and tables that litter the walkway. It’s easy to feel small and lost in all the excitement. But as a great man once said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself!” so next Club Fair, I’ll be ready! With any luck I’ll be the one confidently approaching people asking if they have ever been involved in theater.

Montco Drama Club’s President Kevin Sene is the nicest most enthusiastic person I’ve ever met. He has a drive and a passion for theater that is unmatched by anyone!

The Drama Club meets every Wednesday 1pm -3pm. Feel free to stop by anytime for fun and games. All are welcome and all are encouraged to participate in upcoming events. See you there!

Kevin Sene Photo by Dominique Brown

Kevin Sene, Drama Club President — Photo by Dominique Brown

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Drama Club Table — Photo by Dominique Brown


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Fritz Petty
The Montgazette Contributing Writer

The Club Fair, an event held in Central Campus Parkhouse Hall’s atrium, was on Feb. 8. Many clubs, such as the Japanese Club, Montco Radio and the Chess Club, demonstrated some new skills that could help prospective students in their future.

The Japanese Club’s table at the Spring 2017 Club Fair was filled with fancy foods, paintings, antiques and unique anime books. Japanese culture is known for its versatility with producing amazing items.

The sight drew me in so I became interested in the origins of Japanese Club. My attentiveness led me to talk with a couple of its founding members, Kim and Shirley. Kim started the Japanese Club because she wanted to share her passion with other students and expose others to it’s sophistication. Kim didn’t find a club that kept her attention, which led her to making her own club.

Shirley also had a similar passion for Japanese Culture. She explained to me that she learned the Japanese language and can speak it fluently. She immersed herself in the culture by staying in Japan for a couple of days. Her experiences in Japan pushed her to join the Japanese club.

Overall, student clubs have a way of bringing out the best of an individual, which allows the members involved to grow, meet new people and make connections. The Club Fair taught me to get out of my own comfort zone and to be active in the community. When the next Club Fair comes around, I will join a club of my choosing.

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by Jack Wisniewski
The Montgazette Contributing Writer

Among the  Oscar Awards powerhouse and talk of the movie world  was “La La Land”, the latest critically acclaimed picture coming from young, yet established director, Damien Chazelle, who unsurprisingly won the coveted Achievement in Directing Academy Award. The film stars charming A-list actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone who encapsulate what it is to chase your dreams and live a wide-eyed life in the big city of Los Angeles.

Wonderful musical numbers throughout the movie show the feelings of these almost whimsical characters in a magical way as they fall in love while managing the chase for stardom. Kristen Walsh, a moviegoer, said, “ ‘La La Land’ is one of the best musical movies” she has ever seen.

The spontaneous songs and dances are the foundation for the film. The bright,  beautiful sets and production designs that earned the film an Oscar,  keeps  your eyes glued to the screen while songs of hope, love, and even disappointment fill your ears. The inspiring original score added another two Oscars to its collection. These elements of the film weave together perfectly to immerse you in the beauty and art on screen with a story that keeps you hooked.

Emma Stone, who plays the lead and half of the story’s love interest, pulled in her first Oscar win for Actress in a Leading Role by putting on a masterful performance as a down-on-her-luck aspiring  actress longing  to hit the big time. Emma Stone paired  well  with former Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling as they formed the relationship the story revolves around.

I found myself rooting for the blossoming couple through thick and thin throughout the whole film. These two were able to illicit connections with the audience  and anyone who has had or searched for love. Gosling’s talent on the piano and on the dance floor were impressive to say the least, while Stone showed acting range we have not seen from her in the past through her vocal cords and dancing prowess as well.

With so much going for “La La Land,” it was hard to find someone who did not like the film, but one moviegoer said that the theme of boy meets girl was not very original and that the musical numbers could have been more consistent throughout the movie.  Most moviegoers felt that the costume  design of bright dresses and dapper suits, combined with a throwback feel all set in present day L.A., create a totally unique film. The cinematography, which accepted the fourth of five Oscar wins, tells the story well through varied and innovative aesthetically pleasing visuals that help capture the emotions of the characters so that you, the audience, can interpret them accurately.

This film is fresh, entertaining, and inspiring. It deserves each Oscar nomination and win that it received. It was so good it was almost wrongly, but without question, accepted as the Best Picture winner during the infamous debacle at the Oscar Awards ceremony! I rate this film a strong 4 ¼ out of 5 stars.

lala land

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Sara Wilkerson
Montgazette Contributing Writer

On Feb. 8, Montgomery County Community College hosted its annual multi-media “Meet the Artists” reception featuring artwork from faculty and alumni at the college’s central campus Fine Arts Gallery. The reception was part of the Faculty and Alumni Art Exhibition that was on display from Feb. 1 – 24.
The purpose of the art exhibition is to display artwork from the talented artists among current MCCC faculty as well as alumni, current students and members of the community. Their artwork was reviewed by MCCC’s art gallery director Patrick Rodgers before being considered to be put on display.
Rodgers, although relatively new as art director, seemed excited about the process of inviting alumni to display their artwork.
“I put out calls for recommendations of ‘If you know of talented alumni, please send me their name.’ If they have a website, ‘I wanna view their work.’ There’s a ton of alumni that I don’t know, [but] I do want to tell them there’s always chances to exhibit here and I’m always open to a conversation.”
In addition to discussing the procedures of processing and reviewing alumni artwork for the art exhibition, Rodgers talked about the challenges of his new position. He explained that he started his position in late November of 2016 and that he oversees both of MCCC’s art galleries.
When it comes to displaying artwork, Rodgers said, “This gallery [the Central Campus gallery] is really strong in light, sometimes almost too strong in light and you have to be careful where [you place] some paper [so] you don’t fry them. Or wash out the color with too much light exposure. So all those little tricks and things that I’m still figuring out about the behavior of each gallery, what’s going to show best.”
Artists featured in the Faculty and Alumni Art Exhibition included some noted alumni and faculty artists like Eva Hozinez, Cas Sidoti, Victoria Rivers, Ronald Dorfman, Christopher M. Stanley and Jean Thobaben.
To find out more about upcoming art gallery events at MCCC, visit the Lively Arts page in mc3.edu or contact Patrick Rodgers at prodgers@mc3.edu.

Arnold Winkler_Attendee Examining Artwork_Feb 8th

Attendee examining artwork — Photo by Arnold Winkler

Arnold Winkler_Artwork Profile of Face_Feb 8th

Sculpture displayed in exhibit — Photo by Arnold Winkler

Arnold Winkler_MCCC Faculty Member Mike Conolly with son Julian_Feb. 8th

MCCC faculty member Mike Connelly with his son, Julian — Photo by Arnold Winkler

Arnold Winkler_Artist Proudly Looking at Work

Eunice Choy proudly gazes upon her hand-crafted pottery. — Photo by Arnold Winkler

Arnold Winkler_Artist Posing with her Artwork

Marlene Gaudio with her sculpture — Photo by Arnold Winkler

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Montco Drama Club’s President Kevin Sene is the nicest, most enthusiastic person. He has a drive and has a passion for theatre that is unmatched by anyone! The Drama Club meets every Wednesday 1 – 2 p.m. Stop by anytime for fun and games. All are welcome and encouraged to participate in upcoming events. See you there!

~Dominique Brown

Kevin Sene Photo by Dominique Brown

Keven Sene — Photo by Dominique Brown

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Sara Wilkerson
Montgazette Staff Writer

Awe-inspiring. Talented. Hilarious. Outspoken. Powerful. These are just a few words to describe critically acclaimed and award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson, who was featured as keynote speaker in Montgomery County Community College’s Eighth Annual Presidential Symposium in November.

Jacqueline Woodson is a prolific writer with over 30 published books that have made her a winner of over 500 literary awards, including the Poetry Foundation’s Young People’s Poet Laureate and the National Book Award. The book she presented at symposium, “Brown Girl Dreaming,” has won over 30 awards, including the Coretta Scott King Award.

At the start of her speech, Woodson discussed her journey into becoming a writer. Her interest in writing stemmed largely from her interest in reading at a young age. She said that as a child she read slowly, slower than most kids in her class, and repeatedly read the same books to understand how the authors made her feel while reading. Similarly, Woodson advises readers read her books slowly. “I took a long time to write these books. Don’t read them fast!” she said.

When she started writing “Brown Girl Dreaming,” Woodson recalled the story of how she started writing her free verse memoir. She said she was inspired to recount the memories of her childhood after the passing of her mother. Everyone in her family helped with retracing memories of their family’s past. Despite the challenge of traveling between Ohio and South Carolina to speak with family members, Woodson profusely thanked her family for their encouragement.

After reading excerpts from “Brown Girl Dreaming,” including her favorite poem titled “Tobacco,” Woodson answered questions from audience members. When asked about what lasting impression that she wanted to leave on her readers after they read “Brown Girl Dreaming,” she replied, “I would love to inspire them to tell their own stories.”

To find out more information about Jacqueline Woodson, her latest works and her awards, visit her website at jacquelinewoodson.com.



Photo by Sandi Yanisko: Woodson takes questions during the symposium about her book and how she was inspired to become a writer.



Photo by Sandi Yanisko: Award-winning Author, Jacqueline Woodson, reads an excerpt from “Brown Girl Dreaming” to attendees of the Eighth Annual MCCC Presidential Symposium.



Photo by Sandi Yanisko: Woodson smiles as she autographs a copy of “Brown Girl Dreaming” after the Presidential Symposium.




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Brad Sacchetti
Montgazette Contributing Writer

Have you ever wanted to be able to play your music in front of a live audience? At Montgomery County Community College there is a vibrant and diverse music scene that has many classes, clubs and activities to make that dream a reality. One of the activities students can do to help bring their music to the masses is an on campus event that is held twice a week called Live Music Mondays and Wednesdays.

During those two days, students from Associate Music Professor, Michael Kelly’s songwriting class set up their instruments in the main lobby of the Advanced Technology Center. They perform for anyone who wants to listen from 12:20 pm to 1:20 pm.

Montco’s Senior Producer and Technical Services Director, Matt Porter, laid out the schedule.  “Music Monday tends to be all Jazz music, smooth sounds to get you into the week.”

While Monday seemed to be catered more toward relaxing the students, Wednesday appears to be more of a mixed bag of genres. “We always try to focus on the talent of our Montco students and give them that opportunity to perform, as well as give the students who want to be able to produce those events the opportunity to do so. So it really is a diverse amount of music that you can get every Wednesday,” Porter added.

Michael Kelly talked about out how his song writing class helps impact Live Music Mondays and Wednesdays. “What students learn in my song writing class is that we learn about musical form, what goes into a song itself to make it interesting to the listener. On Wednesday, the song writing class has a few song writing projects that they do in collaboration together. They’re rehearsing now and on Music Wednesdays, they perform those songs publicly.”

In the preparation for Live Music Wednesdays, five students huddled around a computer and began to record a song. The group was recording music so that they would be able to perform it live in front of Montco students on any given Wednesday.

For any student who dreams of playing music in front of a crowd, Live Music Mondays and Wednesdays is the venue for you. To find out how you can become more involved with performing live music, contact Michael Kelly at mkelly@mc3.edu for more details.



Photo by Brad Sacchetti: MCCC professor Michael Kelly performing in a jazz duo on a Live Music Day.



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