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Members of the Green Bay Youth Symphony Orchestra’s string ensemble take the stage.

Film Festival, Youth Symphony, NextStage All New on Campus

Beginning this summer, community initiatives newly headquartered at St. Norbert College will increase the regional focus on the college as a center for the performing arts. The impetus follows decisions by three local organizations to make their homes on campus.

The Green Bay Film Festival plans to base its sixth and future seasons at St. Norbert, taking advantage of the studio-quality film projection units found in the Walter Theatre and Birder Hall on campus. Beginning with the March 4-6, 2016, event, the festival will bring dozens of filmmakers and their work into the community, showing numerous genres and offering discussions, seminars, awards and parties to festival-goers. Film lovers among the college community will benefit from more than the events themselves: Festival organizers will be seeking help with the previewing of movies for possible screening, as well as with the small army of volunteers necessary to make the big weekend itself a success.

The Green Bay Youth Symphony Orchestra is to be headquartered at St. Norbert from June 1 this year, making use of “the college’s facilities, resources and expertise,” notes program director Audrey Nowak. The youth symphony offers area youth ages 8-21 the opportunity to be a part of a highly successful orchestra program. 

Next Stage is a brand new, college-level music-theatre experience for current high school students looking for a developmental opportunity close to home – one offered at no cost to them. Local actors, singers, dancers, orchestra members or backstage crew members are eligible to audition for Next Stage’s inaugural production, George Gershwin’s “Crazy for You.” The production is scheduled for four performances this August. To prepare, students will participate in an intensive, summer-long program, under the auspices of Michael Rosewall (Academic Affairs, Music) who is advising on pit orchestra and vocals, and Sarah Parks (Music) who is advising on acting. The company is working under the direction of Teresa Schmidt ’75, former choral director at Green Bay’s Notre Dame Academy. Auditions will take place May 30-June 2. 

St. Norbert has always been an area leader in the production and promotion of arts-related programs and events. Numerous local arts organizations book college facilities for their productions. The partnership with these three new programs will draw even greater audiences to campus, says Rosewall:

“The new initiatives that are now headquartered at St. Norbert reflect our continued commitment to offering high quality music programs to the SNC campus, as well as to our surrounding community. We now offer over 250 music and theatre events every school year; these events promote the arts to our students, enhance St. Norbert’s reputation as a cultural center in our region of the state, and bring new audiences and new relationships to our campus.”

April 7, 2015