Summer Music Camp

The Department of Music and the Community Music Center at Union University held their ninth annual Summer Music Camp this week. This camp for children grades 1-8 provides performance opportunities with expert clinicians, exposure to a wide variety of musical experiences, and a week of fun with friends.

All students sing in either the 1-5 grade or 6-8 grade choir, rehearsing several times during each day of camp. In addition, the younger students have a myriad of musical experiences with xylophones, handbells, piano, world drumming and beginning strings. Older students also participate in a variety of musical experiences in small groups including handbells, guitar, and technology.

Below are some photos of the many activities that camp participants enjoy throughout the week.

Union University Players to Present Little Women Musical

The Union University Players will present a musical by Allan Knee based on the classic American novel “Little Women” March 23–28.

Read more about this production in our news release.

The following photos are from dress rehearsal earlier this week. We hope to see you in the audience! Purchase tickets online or at the door.


Photos by Kristi Woody

Make Yourself Make: An Art Student’s Reflection

Post by Mary Scarlett Greenway, senior art major

In January I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Europe with a great group of students – including fellow members of the art department. During our 11-day trip, we visited many great artistic and historical sites in Paris, Venice, Florence, Pisa and Rome.

As an art student seeking Art History credit, this was a dream. Getting to graduate on time by visiting practically the art capitals of the world seemed like cheating…and I wasn’t going to waste the opportunity. I wanted to remember every second and soak in each unique city as much as I could in such a short time.

In every city that I visited, I created a typography piece with the name of the city and held it up in front of an iconic landmark or scene (or at least, I did my best to do that – it really is hard to stop and take a picture of your journal when your leader moves at about 40 miles an hour and will leave you behind).


A project like this was incredibly fun and challenging – trying to capture the personality of a city in letter forms (without smudging anything on a rattling train).

In addition to my typography pieces, two other art students (Kayli Sommers and Josh Smith) and I agreed to make a conscious effort to sit down and sketch something in each city. So we did. We sketched the Arc de Triomphe, the courtyard of statues in the Louvre, Michelangelo’s statue of David in Florence, the Trevi Fountain in Rome and many others.

As an art student, the discipline of sketching things you see is often a hard one to hold yourself to – it’s at once a desire and a chore. But I cannot overstate how important and fulfilling it is to make it an instinct.

Despite all the little mistakes, I captured my experience in my journal in a way that I never could have with my camera. I remember every little side stop and place we got lost and times I almost cried (sometimes because of hunger but usually out of excitement and awe). I remember every bridge we crossed and alley we took and staircase we climbed (the stairs, the STAIRS). I remember all the shops – the little old print maker and the woman who made pigments and the aggressive leather salesmen in the streets.

Though I loved seeing every landmark and museum and cathedral, one of my favorite aspects of this trip was simply exploring the cities in our free time. My favorite city to explore was Venice by far. Never in my life have I seen such a cinematic city. Every back alley, every uneven street, every clothes line, every stretch of ivy, every hole-in-the-wall cannoli shop – they seemed so accidentally and authentically beautiful. I wanted to take all of it with me.

Hands down, I have never been on such an inspiring, exhausting, creatively stimulating trip in my life. Even if you aren’t an art student, I encourage you to draw something. Write something. Anything. Take down what you see and what you find interesting or funny or odd – no matter how trifling it seems. Don’t rely on Instagram or Facebook to keep your memories for you. Life reminds you how rare and beautiful it is when you don’t just look, but see. To my fellow art students, keep making.


Follow Mary Scarlett on Instagram for more images of her impressive work: @mary.scarlett


Habakkuk’s Balm Art Project

Friday marked the one year anniversary of the art department’s piece, Habakkuk’s Wound, that was created to encourage the Union community to pray for one year for the martyrs in the ongoing terrorist crisis, specifically the college students who were martyred last year. As planned, the name has now been changed to declare that we do not live in vain and four trees have been planted over the red sand trench.   


 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.

            Habakkuk 3:17-19

These trees mark the spot where Union’s art department created the piece Habakkuk’s Wound to call the university to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters overseas during the terrorist genocide that marks much of the beginning of the 21st century.  

Story by Lee Benson, photos by Kristi Woody.

To learn more about this project, read our news release about Habakkuk’s Wound.


Blank Slate Improv group hosts “The Dub Show” Friday Night

Blank Slate Improv is a team of students that puts on improv shows throughout each year. The shows often have guests, and when tickets for Friday night’s “The Dub Show” went on sale, they sold out within two days. You can probably guess who was featured in “The Dub Show,” and it was a smashing success! On Friday night the W.D. Powell Theatre was packed full of students, employees and guests excited to see the president try his hand at improv. Of course, he did a great job, and the cast had the audience laughing all night! The next show will be May 2nd, and will feature Jared Dauenhauer, assistant director of student leadership and engagement, as guest host.

Follow Blank Slate Improv on Facebook and Twitter

Click on any photo to see larger version

Department of Music Hosts Children’s Summer Camp


For the past several years, the Department of Music has hosted a popular summer camp for children in grades 1-8. The department has worked with over 140 students this past week for the 2014 camp. Each year the children are divided into groups based on their ages, and they participate in choir as well as learn a variety of instruments. Activities and lessons included music technology, xylophone, handbells, piano, movement, recorder, beginning strings and guitar. This is a great summer activity to get children excited about music and the arts! Keep an eye on our Summers page next spring in order to sign up for camp early. Spots tend to fill quickly.











Campers enjoy a little outdoor activity and fun each day.



Barefoots Joe Summer Playlist on Spotify

Our on-campus coffee shop is known for serving excellent coffee, providing an inviting environment and constantly improving the experience of its customers. Another thing many people note about Barefoots Joe is the exceptional background music played each day, which adds to the aforementioned environment. Thanks to the online service Spotify, you can have your own Barefoots Joe playlist! They’ve just released their summer 2014 selections, and you can listen for free here:


Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 10.40.30 AM

11th Annual Student Film Festival


The annual Student Film Festival took place recently, marking its 11th year. Students who create films in the long-form, short-film and documentary categories submit their work each year for judging. The first evening of the festival includes a screening and directors’ talk, and the second evening includes a screening and awards. The event is a lot of fun for both the filmmakers and the audience!






Congratulations to all of the 2014 winners!

  • Long-form film: “Paradigm” by Gabe Farmer and Caleb Shore
  • Short-form film: “Hunter” by Josh Stephans
  • Documentary: “Sound On Film” by Ben Wright featuring Ivan & Alyosha’s All the Times We Had

Unique Set Design Contributes to ‘Hamlet’ Production


The Union University Players bring a new perspective to William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, running until March 25 in the W. D. Powell Theatre.

David Burke, professor of theatre and director of the play, said Hamlet not only engages audiences through its unique set design but also surprises them with storytelling twists.

Burke said the set was designed by John Klonowski, visiting assistant professor of theatre. Klonowski created the set to be flexible for the multiple scenes and moods of the play, incorporating various stage levels, special lighting and contrasting textiles into the design.


Klonowski and Burke began building the set in January alongside four student workers, Burke said. The team applied the finishing touches to the set March 18 – two days before the opening night.

“The set is a very unique piece of scenery – it’s almost like a giant piece of art,” Burke said. “I think it’s magical.”


But the stage design is not the only point of interest, Burke noted, as the Union University Players have personalized the tragic tale in order to find their own voice in the play. While the story continues to be set in Denmark, Burke avoided linking the play to a certain time in history. Performers also wear contemporary clothing instead of traditional Shakespearean garb.

“Our version of Hamlet doesn’t come across the way people normally think about it,” Burke said. “It forces you to think about the story from a different point of view.”

For more information about the performance, visit