PittCulture

  • Arts center concert a crowd pleaser

    | Charles A. Ault reporter |

    PSU Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble’s first concert in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts was a fanfare of music composition and position, last Thursday, Feb. 19.
    Trumpeters trumpeted from one balcony of the concert hall, trombonists tromboned from the other and the percussionists got to know the audience by setting up right in the midst of them.
    The Symphonic Band opened the evening’s performances with a five-song set, which included the piece “Duke of Marlborough Fanfare,” and was the reason sections of the band were positioned throughout the concert hall.
    “I liked the prelude at the beginning where they had the trumpets up here and they had the trombones over there and the percussion in the middle,” said Macy Gerken, sophomore in vocal music education. “It had a really nice sort of surround-sound feeling.”
    The Symphonic Band concert, which is open to all PSU students, was directed by Douglas Whitten, professor of music.
    The band’s rendition of “Provenance,” a combination of cultural styles, was a big hit with many in the audience, such as Cheyenne Yoakum-Moore.
    “I really liked ‘Provenance,’” Yoakum-Moore, freshman in psychology, said. “I liked how it almost reminded me of a score from a movie and that was pretty cool.”
    Others favored the band’s last piece “Rumble on the High Plains,” which featured a duel of sorts between percussionists on opposite sides of the stage.
    “The last one was my favorite,” said Devin Fitzgerald, sophomore in chemistry. “The competition between the percussions was very nice, they harmonized between the brass and the woodwind and the percussion very well.”
    After the band’s set and a brief intermission, the PSU Wind Ensemble took the stage for its half of the concert.
    The ensemble opened with “A Festival Prelude” under the direction of Jennifer Whyte, graduate student in music. Craig Fuchs, professor of music, directed the concert’s remaining pieces.
    “It was a really good environment and it was really cool to have so many people come out and support the concert and the band,” said Haley Mona, junior in psychology.
    Mona added the performance hall was filled with a much larger number of people than previous performances have attracted.
    One of the pieces performed by the ensemble was “Armenian Dances,” a work that holds significance for Fuchs.
    “The song was originally written as a tribute to Dr. Harry Begian who was band director at the University of Illinois,” Fuchs said. “When I was a senior in high school, I was selected to play in the Missouri all-state band. Our conductor that year was Harry Begian and we performed this song.”
    Tom Lawlor, senior in music education and trumpet player, says the concert’s closing piece “Ride!!!” was loud, fast and a crowd pleaser.
    “All the songs were a blast,” Lawlor said. “But ‘Ride!!!’ was my favorite one, it was so much fun.”
    Lawlor says performing in the arts center was also a blast.
    “I can’t wait to perform here again,” he said. “We got to rehearse out here for a couple of weeks before the concert, but there’s nothing like having a crowd out here.”

  • Look of the Week

    Playing dress-up

    When I came to pick out an outfit from the Career Closet I was amazed at how much inventory there was to choose from.

    Abraham Lovell, junior in fashion merchandising

    Abraham Lovell, junior in fashion merchandising


    I am actually not a fashion merchandising major; I am a general studies major, but I am very interested in the fashion industry. I never even knew about the Career Closet until I was told about it this semester.
    I had one of my close friends, Abraham Lovell, come with me and act as my model. As soon as we walked into the closet we knew the exact outfit that we were going to choose. We chose a tan fitted suit with a light pink fitted button-down shirt and a paisley-printed tie to pull the look together.
    I really had fun playing dress-up and I think that the Closet is an excellent resource for our university. 
    Each of the looks featured in this article are available in the Career Clothes Closet, located on the second floor of Horace Mann.  All clothing in the Career Clothes Closet is free to all students.  The Look of the Week is brought to you by the partnership between the Office of Career Services, the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Fashion Merchandising program and the Collegio.   

    Brittany Birchmeier is a senior in general studies
    Abraham Lovell is a junior in fashion merchandising

  • One more conversation

    | Audrey Dighans copy editor |

    PSU Theater takes talking to a new level

    Pitt State Theater will present its first production in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, “Eurydice,” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26.
    “This play is aesthetically gorgeous; it’s just beautiful,” said Taylor Patterson-Elliot, senior in communication.
    Patterson-Elliot plays “Big Stone” in the play and is one of three stones.
    “We’re these not very nice, but not very smart, guardians of the underworld,” Patterson-Elliot said.
    “Eurydice,” pronounced ‘yer-rid-isi,’ is a modern retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus, who travels to the underworld to save his wife, Eurydice. This version of the tale is told from the perspective of Eurydice, who has willingly traveled to the underworld to have one last conversation with her late father.
    “My favorite scene is when Eurydice’s father builds her a room made out of string,” said Patterson-Elliot. “It is so beautiful and Megan McCoy composed original music that is perfect for the scene.
    “This play is about talking with loved ones whom we’ve lost.”
    Logan Qualls agrees about the beauty in the meaning behind the play.
    “The play’s author, Sarah Ruhl, lost her father at a young age and wrote this in his memory,” said Qualls, senior in communication. “Having conversations with lost ones and self discovery are some of the themes that evolve throughout the production.”
    Qualls added that Ruhl was a poet before becoming a playwright, and the experience of her previous profession shows.
    “The way she wrote it is just so good at providing imagery,” Qualls said.
    Qualls is tasked with playing the “nasty, interesting man/lord of the underworld.”
    “I really have two manifestations as this character,” Qualls said. “I’m smooth and suave with this aura of danger and creepy, and then suddenly I am this bratty obnoxious kid who happens to be the lord of the underworld.”
    Qualls says his favorite aspect of his character is the fact that there has been no point where he has gone “too big.”
    He adds that he hopes students will come see the play and the arts center.
    “Everyone needs to come; you are missing out on a great story and a chance to experience live theater,” Qualls said. “I mean, holy cow. We have such a nice space and students should take advantage of their investment in this building.”
    Leading the small yet charismatic cast is Cynthia Allan, chair of the Department of Communication, who agrees with Qualls.
    “It is great to be able to put big, massive sets up now; it could have never been like this in the studio theater in Grubbs,” Allan said.
    She added that the students being able to work in a real, professional space is a huge deal.
    “The studio is really more of a learning space,” Allan said. “This is a real performance hall.”
    In addition to the opening night, “Eurydice” will have showings at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1.
    Tickets are $11 for the general public, $6 for children and senior citizens and free to PSU students, faculty and staff with valid ID.

  • Look of the Week

    ‘Smart look’ can let your style show

    A unique style can still look professional when done right.
    For this Look of the Week, my model definitely has a style all her own. When I entered the Career Closet I knew I wanted something in a bright color that would stand out and fit my model’s personality. I tried a few pairs of brightly colored pants and a yellow sleeveless shirt, which looked good, but not appropriate for a job interview; more like something you would wear once you got the job.

    Mallory Cibulka, junior in fashion merchandising

    Mallory Cibulka, junior in fashion merchandising


    I settled on a classic white button-up that can be paired with many different pieces of clothing and dressed up or down. I found a turquoise pencil skirt that I thought added a nice color and was an appropriate professional length. Paired with the right jewelry and heels or dressy flats, it would make a perfect interview or office outfit. Simple, while still allowing your personality to stand out.
    When dressing for an interview make sure you look professional. Don’t wear a skirt or dress that is too short. If wearing a sleeveless shirt, cover it with a blazer or jacket. Make sure your clothing fits you. Don’t wear something baggy or too tight. Lastly, know your audience. Some jobs might not want you to dress flashy, while others want to see that you are unique.
    I’m Emily Bever, junior in fashion merchandising and art. I originally started school having no idea what I wanted to do but settled on fashion merchandising because I have always had an interest in fashion. I’m not sure what I want to do with my degree but I know I want to create things.
    Each of the looks featured in this article are available in the Career Clothes Closet, located on the second floor of Horace Mann.  All clothing in the Career Clothes Closet is free to all students.  The Look of the Week is brought to you by a partnership between the Office of Career Services, the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Fashion Merchandising program, and the Collegio

  • Taking the Plunge

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    Kelsie Hendryx says she was surprised by the pool’s cold temperature when she submerged herself in the water during the ninth annual Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday, Feb. 14, at the Crimson Villas.
    “It was a little chilly,” said Hendryx, sophomore in elementary education. “I thought it was going to be a lot warmer because of the weather.”
    A plunger, Kirsten Farley, sophomore in psychology, agreed.
    “You hit the water and your body just tenses up,” she said.
    The Polar Bear Plunge is a community-wide fundraiser benefiting Special Olympics. Those who “take the plunge” are required to raise $75 (per participant if plunging in a group) and as a reward are given the chance to dive into the Crimson Villas’ pool … in Kansas in winter. Participants also receive a commemorative sweatshirt to help dry off.
    This year’s plunge began at noon with the Frontenac Fire Department continuing its tradition of jumping in first. Department members stripped down to T-shirts, shorts and firefighter hats. This year before the firefighters jumped, their fire chief turned a hose on them “in case anyone needed an incentive to jump.”
    After the firefighters’ plunge, the participants continued to be men of service by dumping two large coolers of ice into the water, effectively changing the temperature from 31 degrees to 28.
    “The ice in a way helps insulate the water and keep it cold,” said John Lair, director of the Pittsburg Polar Plunge.
    Twenty-six teams and eight individuals were registered for this year’s event in which nearly $40,000 was raised. Costumes this year included hippies, a man dressed in an American flag helmet, suspenders, socks, shoes, cape and speedo and campus sororities wearing event-made T-shirts.
    Lair says much of the planning for the Polar Bear Plunge is done throughout the year, based on the previous year’s attendance and conditions, such as weather.
    “About two weeks before the Plunge, we start looking into what the weather could be like,” he said. “You never know what Kansas weather could be like.”
    The weather was the most anti-climatic in Polar Bear Plunge history, with a pleasantly warm February day, compared to a few years ago when it was barely eight degrees outside. Lair says in the earlier years of the plunge the pool filters were not kept running year-long as they now are, and that year a full foot of ice was on top of the water.
    “It took us about 12 hours to be able to chip out only half of the pool so it could be used,” Lair said.

  • ‘Fifty Shades’ lures some, repels others

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    Traditionally, Friday the 13th is known for bad luck and with “Fifty Shades of Grey” opening in Pittsburg that same day, some students see it as a sign. Others don’t.
    Nikki Stone, senior in communication, says she is excited about the film and plans to see it this weekend.
    “I am super excited about the movie but I also read all the books,” she said. “I don’t think it will be as good as the books but I still have high hopes for good movie quality.”
    Cheyenne Yoakum-Moore, freshman undeclared, has a different perspective.
    “I won’t be seeing ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ because it glorifies abusive relationships,” she said.
    Yoakum-Moore says the film tells women that it is OK to be in an abusive relationship and that this should be socially acceptable.
    “As a feminist, I disapprove of the movie and the book and I don’t see why someone might find it appealing. I mean, come on, it’s based on Twilight fan-fiction,” Yoakum-Moore said.
    “Fifty Shades of Grey” is based on E.L. James’ bestseller of the same name. The film is co-produced by Universal Pictures and Focus Features, with Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele. In the film, Anastasia is sent to interview wealthy, handsome entrepreneur Christian Grey and the attraction between them is immediate. However, Christian is interested in pursuing their relationship only if Anastasia can consent to his terms. As the film progresses, Anastasia begins to explore her own desires for the first time in her life.
    Seth Carrithers, junior in marketing, is also against the film and agrees with Yoakum-Moore.
    “It glorifies an entirely abusive relationship between two adults where one holds all the power over the other, regardless of consent or equality of importance,” he said. “It’s detrimental to an already misogynist society and puts women into the role of objects for men, rather than equals. Nothing positive can come of this film, not that I’m biased.”
    Other students such as Matthew Polak say that “Fifty Shades of Grey” will bring about a new media, media that could be detrimental to people.
    “I believe that ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ will bring porn into a social norm, making people believe that watching porn is a normal thing to do nowadays and that people will just go along with it because it’s the social norm,” said Polak, junior in graphic design.
    Polak added that by watching the film now, people are not thinking of long-term effects that will bother them later in life.
    “If it wasn’t a bad thing, why do most people hide it from their outer circle?” he asked. “Why do people feel guilty after this type of thing? Maybe because it’s really ruining us. There’s been several studies that show porn lowers overall dopamine production; meaning more likely to have low self-esteem, social anxiety, and even bringing people to severe cases of depression.“
    On the other hand, some students are just interested to see the differences between the film and the books.
    “I’ve read the books so I guess I’m curious to see how close they can get it without being porn,” said Kayla Engen, junior in technology.
    Whether you’re against it or anticipating it, this weekend box offices across the nation are predicting record-breaking sales and the only way to really tell what the world thinks of “Fifty Shades of Grey” will be in the number of zeros following this: $.

  • Look of the Week

    | From office to date night? No problem |

    For this week’s Look of the Week, we wanted to show you the ease of choosing interview wear that can be transitioned into date-night wear. With the female outfit, we picked something that was easily transitional. It is the perfect outfit for an interview because of the high neckline on the shirt and the long skirt length. After your interview you can pair the top with some dark skinny jeans, boots, and a turquoise or red cardigan for your Valentine’s date. The dark turquoise skirt started the whole outfit because it is not a color that is as popular right now. The top paired nicely with its tan and black color base. This top could also work for other interviews with a pair of nice black slacks or a plain black pencil skirt. The dark turquoise skirt could also be paired with other items for interviews like a simple drape-neck top or a staple button-down. Every person should have a few staple items like these in his/her closet that s/he can easily use for multiple outfit pairings.

    Look of the Week

    Look of the Week


    With the male outfit we decided to do a pair of traditional tan trousers with a striped button-down shirt. This outfit is versatile in a way that you can take it from dressy interview to casual date. The trouser is a typical staple item that every man should have and can pair with just about any color of button-down or polo. The striped button-down gives the look a little texture without adding a tie. This button-down can easily be turned from interview to date night, including Valentine’s, by pairing it with slacks or casual jeans with a beautiful bouquet of red roses for your date.
    Kelsey Admire, senior, fashion merchandising (model)
    Katelyn Bach, junior, fashion merchandising
    D’Juan Thomas, senior, geography (model)

  • Talent Tuesday in Dellinger Underground

    | Charles A. Ault reporter |

    Student Activities Council (SAC) hosted a “Talent Tuesday,” a re-branding of “Open Mic Nights,” Tuesday, Feb. 10.
    The friendly competition encouraged students to show their talents for a chance to win $75. Second place was awarded with $25.
    Previously, SAC held this event in Overman Student Center, but moved to the Dellinger Underground for Tuesday’s event.
    “With the construction and the ballroom being gone this semester we’re trying it out in Dellinger Underground,” said Bobby Gill, junior in graphic communications and event coordinator for SAC. “Hopefully we’ll get some good attendance. Today is kind of a trial run, we’re going to see what happens. I’m hoping this will take off later.”

    Christina Metzger, sophomore in music education, performs a song she wrote during the talent show at Dellinger Underground on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

    Christina Metzger, sophomore in music education, performs a song she wrote during the talent show at Dellinger Underground on Tuesday, Feb. 10.


    Unfortunately, attendance for Talent Tuesday was lower than the previous “Open Mic Nights,” but SAC attributes this largely to the change of venue.
    “We used to do it in the U club and we’d have five or six people come down and participate and a couple people watching It’s been a struggle with all the construction trying to get people to show up to different locations all the time and just a lack of being able to get ahold of students,” Gill said.
    Three acts presented during Talent Tuesday. The first was Christina Metzger with a song of her own writing accompanied by her playing the guitar.
    Metzger’s song was entitled “Disconnected.”
    “The song is about a lot of stuff,” Metzger, sophomore in music, said. “I wrote it when I was on a long run. I came up with the chorus and then I came back and put some chords to it. It’s a mixture of stuff that’s been going on in life. It’s about life and running and friends and all that. Back home I was in a group called ‘The Orange Juice Incident.’ We were a rock band and we played throughout high schools and the summers.”
    Next to perform was Colby Kromminga, sophomore in elementary education. He performed on the guitar.
    “I just like playing guitar and playing music,” he said. “It helps me relax. What I performed is an original piece, I just don’t have any words for it yet.”
    The final performance of the night was a poetry reading by Jalen Lewis, sophomore in psychology, titled “Corruption of the Faceless”.
    While Lewis recited the poem, Anthony Yeats, junior in accounting, sat behind Lewis wearing a monster mask and plucking at a small harp.
    “I made up the poem as I went,” Lewis said. “To me it’s not about the results, it’s about the performance, it’s about art.”
    Yeats added that he and Lewis enjoy doing stuff that is out of the box.
    The judges deliberated for a few moments after the three performances and crowned Metzger the winner. Kromming received second.
    The next Talent Tuesday will be Tuesday, March 10, in the Dellinger Underground. Prizes will be awarded to the top two acts.

  • Look of the Week

    Business attire doesn’t have to be boring

    My name is Korchi Yang and I’m a junior studying fashion merchandising and business management.

    Korchi Yang, junior in fashion merchendising and buisness managment

    Korchi Yang, junior in fashion merchendising and buisness managment


    Being a fashion major and having an interest in fashion, it’s hard for me to not want to have fun with what I wear. Even for business attire, I like to have fun with it and be stylishly creative.
    A lot of times people feel that the traditional jacket and bottom matching suit is best. However, I feel that is boring and dull. I like to add bright solid colors to a base color like black or white. In the business attire that I found at the Career Closet, I paired a black pencil skirt that was fitted nicely from the waist to the knees, with a bold bright hot pink suit jacket that I wore over a plain white blouse with a nice big collar that popped out nicely over the jacket.
    I wore this with my black pointed-toe pumps and could have also incorporated a nice short simple black beaded necklace. This business attire is bright, bold and very fun, which will definitely attract the attention of others and leave a professionally fashionable impression of you on your interviewers. You can find this attire at the Career Closet in the Career Services Office.
          The Career Closet provides some great business clothes for PSU students. These are clothes that have been donated by others, but have been kept in good shape. There are also some name brand clothes such as Ann Taylor, The Gap, Liz Claiborne, The Limited, Express, and many others. There are a lot of options and potential at the Career Closet if you give it a chance.
    Each of the looks featured in this article are available in the Career Clothes Closet, located on the second floor of Horace Mann.  All clothing in the Career Clothes Closet are free to all students.  The Look of the Week is brought to you by a partnership of the Office of Career Services, the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Fashion Merchandising program, and the Collegio. 

  • Club turning a new page

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    A handful of students are reading for fun across the campus of Pittsburg State University, and not just their textbooks.
    The PSU Book Club only has seven members so far, but they meet every month to choose a new genre and book and discuss the previous month’s selection.
    Matt Turner and a friend began discussing how much they loved books and, with the help of the PSU out-reach librarian, began to set up the basics of the club.
    “We encourage everyone to give their viewpoint of what they thought of the book,” said Turner, sophomore in psychology. “We discuss among the members what book we’re going to do.”
    Currently, the group is reading the novel “Romeo and Juliet and Vampires,” but chose the novel “Wicked” for the previous month.
    “I actually had a hard time reading ‘Wicked,’” said Turner. “I am more of a non-fiction reader, so it was difficult for me to read.”
    Anna Lacy, junior in psychology, said that overall, there are no closed minds when it comes to the different genres and the group is lax.
    “We are very open to people’s suggestions; everyone gets a chance to read their favorite genre,” Lacy said. “We pick a genre and throw out book ideas and see who agrees and disagrees on the ideas collectively.”
    Turner said that with Valentine’s Day, the genre for February was fairly easy.
    “If we come up with a book, we’ll talk about it,” said Turner. “If the group likes it, we go with that selection. That’s the way that it has been for the last few meetings. If someone disagrees, we’ll continue searching for a new book.”
    Turner said some of the books that had been discussed were “Fahrenheit 451”, “The Outsiders” and “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy”.
    Lacy said that the book club is refreshing for her.
    “I love being a part of book club,” she said. “People don’t see the value in reading anymore and spend all their time reading posts and statuses instead. It’s sad because reading stimulates the mind.”
    Turner said that he enjoys the experience of reading different genres of books. He also said that during the last meeting there was quite a bit of diversity in the people who joined, varying from different states to international students.
    “My favorite part is that everyone has their own opinions,” Turner said, “so it’s cool to see the different view points.”
    Lacy says there is a Facebook page for the group and whoever might want to join. The group usually meets in the Axe library on campus.
    Turner says he hopes to see some non-fiction books become the book of the month as well as classic stories that students should know.
    Lacy says that she hopes the club will eventually read a series and watch the corresponding movie and compare the two.
    “I am currently reading the ‘Maze Runner’ series on the side,” she said. “I think it would be fun to read and then watch the movie and compare and contrast. I feel like it has potential to attract more members as well.”

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