Tag Archives: Kayla Dimick

SC4 Symphonic Band sets audience’s toes a tappin’

Kayla Dimick

Staff Writer

   The SC4 Symphonic Band took audience members on a ride in a musical time machine as they presented their “Moments in Time” concert this Saturday.

   Old and young flooded into the McMorran Place Auditorium to hear seven pieces from significant eras in American history, ranging from the Roarin’ Twenties, to the attack on Pearl Harbor to the Blues Brothers.

   Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Tahiti Trot” featured the familiar “Tea for Two” melody and literally got audience member’s toes tapping.

   According to the “Moments in Time” program, “Tahiti Trot” was published in 1926 and written in just 45 minutes.

   The concert also featured two pieces from composer John Williams, who is responsible for composing movie scores from such films as “Star Wars,” “Superman” and “Indiana Jones.”

   Williams’ pieces, “The March from 1941” and “Midway March,” gave off a very patriotic feel.

   Donning sunglasses, the SC4 Symphonic Band played “The Blues Brothers Revue” for their final number. It included a medley of songs such as “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” “Soul Man,” “Soul Finger” and “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love.”

   The Blues Brothers were originally founded as a “Saturday Night Live” sketch by comedians John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, and eventually evolved into a blues and soul revivalist band.

   Concert attendee and SC4 student, Erilee Lowe of Marine City, seemed to enjoy herself.

   “The last song was very entertaining,” she said. “Overall, it was a good concert.”

   According to the “Moments in Time” program, before the founding of the SC4 Symphonic Band, Port Huron had its own symphonic band, running from 1847 to 1958. With help from a grant from the Gannett Foundation and SC4’s Friends of the Arts program, the band was restarted in 1978.

   The SC4 Symphonic Band is under the direction of Carl Gippert and made up of around 50 college students, community musicians and advanced high school students.

   Also in attendance was Marysville resident Kim Madis, SC4 alumnus and original member of the 1978 group.

   “The concert was great. They played some very challenging pieces; not your average ‘band’ material. Very professional sounding,” she said.

   In case you missed “Moments in Time,” you can catch the SC4 Symphonic Band at the Pre-Commencement Concert Friday, May 7 at 7 p.m. in the McMorran Place Main Arena or the “Summer Twilight” Concert Series, beginning Saturday, June 26 at 7 p.m. in the Port Huron Northern Performing Arts Center.

Keepin’ it real

Mallorie Krul as Annie and Owen McIntyre as Henry, on stage in SC4 Theatre Discipline’s production of “The Real Thing.” Photo by Kaya Dimick
Mallorie Krul as Annie and Owen McIntyre as Henry, on stage in SC4 Theatre Discipline’s production of “The Real Thing.” Photo by Kaya Dimick

Kayla Dimick

Staff Writer

    The stage lights weren’t the only things that shone brightly as the SC4 Theatre Discipline presented their latest show, “The Real Thing.”

   Students, friends and family members packed into the Fine Arts Building Theatre the weekend of Friday, March 26 to see the comedic, yet serious take on “real life.”

   Written by Tom Stoppard, “The Real Thing” spins an intricate web involving love, infidelity, art and politics.

   Set in London in the 1980’s, the play examines the lives of Henry, a playwright, played by Owen McIntyre; Annie, an actress and activist, played by Mallorie Krul; Max, an actor, played by Dan Williams; Charlotte, an actress, played by Ashley Szymanski; Billy, an actor, played by A.J. Rank; Debbie, Charlotte and Henry’s daughter, played by Kami Misch; and Brodie, an imprisoned Scottish soldier, played by Jeremy Antilla.

   Stoppard provides an interesting view on life, paralleling what the audience sees as truth and what is the actual truth, using the “play-within-a-play” mentality.

   For example, the first scene is what the audience believes to be an argument about infidelity between characters Charlotte and Max, only to discover later they were actually performing in a play written by Henry. 

   While “the Real Thing” challenged the audience’s perception on reality, it also seemed to please.

   “I thought it was a great show,” SC4 freshman Zach Parkhurst said. “Many of the characters were very well done.”

   Although the actors may have made it look easy, portraying someone vastly different from oneself can prove to be quite challenging, according to director and adjunct instructor Tom Kephart.

   “A big challenge for any actor is getting familiar with their character, a task that’s made especially difficult when there are age and life experience differences. This was true of nearly all the characters in ‘The Real Thing’,” Kephart said. “It wasn’t easy, but the cast was up to the challenge and was wiling to work hard and stretch themselves as actors to make their characters believable, even if not always likeable.”

   Stepping up to “The Real Thing’s” challenge was SC4 sophomore and general education major Mallorie Krul, who played Annie.

   “‘The Real Thing’ was probably the hardest play I’ve ever been in. Annie was very different than any of the roles I’ve had,” Krul said. “Most of the roles I’ve had are people my age or maybe younger.”

   In order to cope with the differences, Krul said she had some help from Kephart, as well as tried to get to know her character inside and out.

   “I just tried to put myself in Annie’s shoes and tried to do things the way I thought she would do them,” Krul said.

   If you missed the Real Thing, you can catch the SC4 Theatre Disipline’s next production, “Young King Arthur” by Clive Endersby at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 15 in the SC4 Fine Arts Theatre.

Laughter really proves to be ‘best medicine’

Kayla Dimick

Staff Writer

“Ha ha ha ha!” was the sound resonating out of North Building room 107.

The “Health Benefits of Laughter” seminar was held Tuesday afternoon for SC4 students and staff alike. The SC4 Wellness Committee sponsored the free event.

Heading the event was Michigan Education Special Services Assocation (MESSA) health promotion consultant Mona Tropf.

Tropf started her career as a nurse, and has continued her profession for 18 years. She has been traveling around to different schools around the area for 5 years teaching about stress management, the science of weight loss and obesity, as well as the health benefits of laughter.

One thing Tropf made clear: the seminar would not be a lecture. The event was formatted like a workshop, with lots of interaction between Tropf and the participants.

The workshop focused on gelotology, which is the study of laughter. The subject is said to be centuries old, but there is still new information being researched and discovered at places like Texas A&M University and the University of Maryland.

As discussed in the workshop, laughter has many benefits to human’s physical and psychological health. It has been proven to relieve stress by suppressing stress hormones such as cortisol. Laughter has also been proven to trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s “feel good” hormone.

Laughter also stimulates many parts of the brain, one of them being the frontal lobe. This can play into slowing or even stopping the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

It was also revealed that hospitals are starting to use Humor Therapy for cancer patients and burn victims, using the concept of “mind over matter.”

While the mind can benefit immensely from laughter, so can the body. It has been proven that a good “belly laugh” does the same for your body as a 10 minute aerobic workout.

Laughing can also make you feel better as a whole, bring you out of a better mood and even help you find balance in life.

“With so much oppressing news out there it’s easy to get overwhelmed,” Tropf said. “If you can laugh, it puts things in perspective.”

Tropf stressed that making humor apart of daily life is essential. The key to this, Tropf said, is to set yourself up to be in a positive place. When you are in a positive mood, humor comes easily.

Chuck Meeker, an SC4 psychology instructor, took a lot of good information away from the seminar.

“You have to make and take time to laugh. She stressed that you have to make it part of your life,” Meeker said.

The main thing about laughter, Tropf said, is who you are with while laughing.

“Laughter is about relationships rather than the actual joke. Think about it, when do you have your best laughs? When you are with other people, loved ones, friends,” she said.

Shutter Island makes audiences shudder

Kayla Dimick

Staff Writer

   “Don’t you get it? You’re a rat in a maze.”

   Since its release date of February 19, the new psychological thriller “Shutter Island” has had audiences quaking in their boots.

   The film, set in 1954, is directed by academy award-winner Martin Scorsese and follows the story of U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio).

   Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) are investigating the whereabouts of an escaped murderess and patient.

   The story takes place at Ashecliffe Hospital, an institution for the “criminally insane,” which is located on the remote Shutter Island near Boston.

   After the institute’s refusal of important documents that are crucial to the case and their vague answers to important questions, Daniels begins to question what his actual purpose is on the island.

   “Shutter Island” is based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane.

   “Shutter Island” takes viewers on an emotional roller coaster, ranging from scared, to angry, to sad, to just downright disturbed. Plus, it has something for everyone.

   For the sentimental, it has a heart-breaking back-story.  For the thrill-seekers, it has unexpected surprises that’ll make you jump. For the mystery lovers, it contains boatloads of plot twists.

   Combine this with two parts stellar acting, and for the ladies, good looks by DiCaprio; two parts innovative direction by Scorsese; two parts of the unexpected-yet-well done casting of Ruffalo, who usually frequents chick-flicks and a dash of the intriguing plot originally from the mind of Lehane. Mix until frothy.

   According to the Motion Picture Association of America, “Shutter Island” is rated “R” for disturbing violent content, language and some nudity.

   If you do see “Shutter Island”, which is highly, highly recommended, don’t go alone. Bring a friend. Or two. Or three.

Historic Passion for Fashion

Kayla Dimick

Staff Writer

   What do you think of when you hear the words “modern fashion?” Do you think ripped skinny jeans, pencil skirts and flannel shirts? You may not know it, but most of the hottest looks of today were also the hottest looks of yesterday.

   “‘Modern fashion’ is somewhat of an oxymoron,” said Molly Noonan, beauty and fashion writer for “DailyCandy Chicago.” According to Noonan, fashion has always been and will be rooted in history.

   Noonan said what we see on the pages of popular fashion magazines such as Vogue or Vanity Fair is most likely an evolution of some fashion trend of the past along with the overall mood of the nation.               “After all,” Noonan said, “style is a direct reflection of cultural, political and socioeconomic events.” 

   According to Noonan it is through fashion that we can draw parallels between past and present. As the old adage goes, “history repeats itself.”

   If you can believe it, every decade, from the 1920’s to the 1990’s is present in the looks of today.

   Tick, tock goes the cloche.

   One of the major fashion trends that was ever popular in the 1920’s and is recently emerging from the past is the cloche (pronounced kl-osh) hat.

   Cloche hats are most often identified with flappers, who were young and trendy girls of the era. According to fashionera.com, cloches generally took the form of a bell-shape and had a low brim that skimmed the eyebrow.

   The word “cloche” is a French word, which literally translates into “bell.” The cloches of the ‘20’s were often embellished with sequins and adorned with feathers, commonly worn to parties.

   However, the cloches of today take a more simplistic approach with simple colors and fabrics. You can find cloches in such places like J.Crew or even Target for those with a lesser budget.

   Mute becomes the new cute.

   The prosperity and partying of the 1920’s soon fell to the Great Depression in the 1930’s. When the unemployment rate was 25 percent nationwide, people didn’t have extra money to spend on extravagant clothes. Instead, they opted for a more muted color palette and simpler style.  

   According to fashionera.com, a new fabric called rayon was introduced in this era. Rayon could be used to make several different garments, therefore saving money. Chanel started using cotton, and soon its image was changed from cheap fabric for work clothes to haute couture.   

   Noonan said that at the beginning of the recent recession, the fashion industry saw a resurgence of muted color palettes and minimalist styles reminiscent of those in the 1930’s.

   Also, there has been a recent increase in the use of cotton in fashion, much thanks to the recent “the touch, the feel, the fabric of our lives” ad campaigns.

   Not only is cotton cheap, it is also Earth-friendly; both major concerns in modern times.

   Enlist.

   As the United States began to pull itself out of the Great Depression, it found itself in the middle of a world war. Everybody had to pull together for the war effort. Men went overseas, children collected scrap metal and newspapers, and women joined the work force. Everything was rationed.

   According to an article titled “Why 1940’s fashions are relevant today” on helium.com, people focused more on providing for their family than buying the latest fashions, so they wore what they had out of the back of their closet.

   Because of the recent economic crisis, the people of today are taking similar actions, reusing and remaking their clothes to produce new ones.

   Also, patriotism was at its highest, and was reflected in the fashion of the period. Similarly, now, the United States finds itself in the midst of a war in the Middle East and militant styles have come back on trend this season.

   Military jackets, pea coats and bomber jackets have been seen on the runway as well as on the street. Since they are so popular, you can find these coats almost anywhere from Kmart to Macy’s.

   In a cinch.

   When World War II ended, the American people needed and wanted stability. People started moving to the suburbs, having children (later known as the Baby Boomers) and establishing a prosperous middle class.

   According to the educational movie Happy Daze, materialism and conformity became the norm in suburban middle class. With this conformity eventually came rebellion.

   Rebellion came in many forms, but one of the most popular was rock ‘n’ roll, which had a heavy influence on fashion. Some of the most defining looks of the time are still popular today.

   For example, blue jeans went from work clothes to a symbol of rebellion. Now, blue jeans are an everyday staple, and everyone wears them, not just the rebellious.

   Another look that was popular among Greasers was the leather jacket. Leather jackets have recently remerged and stars such as Rihanna and Beyonce have been seen wearing them. Among greaser women, cinch belts were popular. Originally, cinch belts were only available in elastic, but as their popularity zoomed, they were made out of many different materials such as leather.

   Now, cinch belts can be found in any color, fabric and size. They can be in found stores such as Forever 21 and Mod Cloth.

   Mad, mad men.

   The conformity of the 1950’s was soon left behind by the tumult of the 1960’s. The nation was in the midst of the Cold War, and the nation broke many traditions of the social norm with movements such as Civil Rights.

   People of the decade were influenced by First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s glamorous sense of style: her French manicures; pillbox hats and simple geometric dresses.

   Thanks to the popular TV show Mad Men, set in a 1960s advertising agency, fashion has seen a recent increase in glamour.

   Increasing in popularity are cocktail sheaths, pencil skirts and draped blouses, all of which have been seen on Mad Men.

   “Add this to matte red lips, black liquid eye liner and a neck full of pearls and this season’s evening look seems to have taken a page from the Eisenhower era,” Noonan said.

   Robin Jones Kerr, 15, an avid Mad Men viewer, said that the show has influenced her hair and makeup choices. “I started straitening my hair and wearing more eyeliner,” she said.

   Her mother, Michelle Jones, 48 and also a diehard of the show, said, “My favorite dress is a Mad Men inspired black dress with a little jacket a la red.”

   When I say, “jump”, you better jump.

   The glamour of the early 1960’s soon transformed into the gritty, androgynous hippie look of the late 1960’s and 1970’s.

   The textbook “A People and a Nation Vol. 2.8” states that in this time, Americans experienced another economic recession, marking the end of post-war prosperity and governmental betrayal with the Watergate scandal, along with tensions from the Vietnam War.  

   Bellbottoms, platform shoes and miniskirts were popular. One trend that was popular then and is popular now is the idea of jumpsuits.

   In the 70s, jumpsuits were made with large floral prints and bell-bottoms.

   Although jumpsuits have recently come back on trend, they are some that are modified slightly from the 1970s version. They can be found in solid colors with more tailored leg lines, which is the more recent version, or exactly like those of the 70s, floral and all.

   Celebrities such as Tyra Banks and Selma Blair have been seen sporting the jumpsuit and can be found at JC Penney and Saks 5th Avenue.

   Punk isn’t dead.

   Leaders of the 1980’s were determined to end the tumult and rebellion of the 60’s and 70’s with a new conservative coalition and Reganomics. However, just as we saw in the 1950’s, an increase in conservatism almost always leads to rebellion.

   One major form of rebellion in the 1980’s was punk rock and its fashion. Originally, punk rock started out in the underground scene in the 1970s, but gained momentum and popularity in the 1980s. Popular looks of punks were studded leather, Mohawks and fishnets.

   But, according to Noonan, punk is far from over.

   Noonan said, “Still going strong is the power trip-punk fusion of 1980’s “street wear.” Acid washed skinny jeans, metallic mini skirts, studded biker jackets, ankle boots and shoulder pads simultaneously page homage to 21 Jumpstreet and Dynasty.”

   Just as the punk rock look has seen a reawakening, so has the “power dressing” of the 1980s made popular by the TV show Dynasty.

   Fashionera.com states that women of this era felt as if they could finally become anyone they wanted to be, and as a result, power dressing became popular.

   Women needed to dress for their corporate jobs and wanted to not only look sexy, but look ultra-confident. Shoulder pads and structured jackets became popular as a result. Jackets, blouses and dresses with shoulder pads can be found on the runway as well as on the street.

   Smells like teen spirit.

   The 1990’s marked the end of the 20th century with the idea that less is more. Fashion-era.com reports that as people started working from home and business’ dress codes relaxed, people of the ’90’s enjoyed the idea of dressing down.

   The supply of retail goods was high, but sales were sluggish due to a minimalist fashion approach.

   An underground music genre popular among teens, called Grunge, soon became mainstream and gained widespread popularity. One of the genre’s biggest bands was Nirvana with their number one single “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

   Grunge fashion consisted of baggy flannel shirts and blue jeans. Overall, it was meant to portray a, once again, androgynous and unkempt look. 

   Now, we are seeing flannel shirts everywhere in this season’s looks. The only difference is that today’s flannel is more fitted than that of the Grunge era.

   Fitted flannel shirts can be found at any department store or even the supermarket due to their heightened popularity.

   In the year 3000…

   Believe it or not, the future is here. As we approach the dawning of a new decade, the catwalk and the sidewalk have been seeing futuristic trends. The most obvious futuristic trend present today is the use of metallics. Anything from handbags, to heels, to eye shadow has been seen in metallic shades lately.

   One person taking this trend to heart is singer Lady Gaga.

   Gaga has been seen wearing extreme geometric lines, over the top and embellished shoulder pads, and even went as far as wearing a dress completely made out of plastic bubbles in her appearance on Saturday Night Live.

   In the words of Lady Gaga herself, “Baby, we could make a home in the stars. Baby, in a galaxy somewhere far. Oh, you’re my future love.”

Hackstock is music to student’s ears

Famous poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Music is the universal language of mankind.”
Living proof of this quotation is SC4’s new Music Appreciation and piano instructor, Mary Hackstock.
In 2004, Hackstock, 29, broke language barriers and studied piano abroad in Trapani, Italy. There, she studied under Salvatore Spano, an accomplished pianist.
According to Hackstock, Spano not only taught her many things about teaching and music, he also helped her get adjusted to the Italian culture and language.
Hackstock summed up her learning experience in Italy in one word: wonderful.
Before studying in Italy, Hackstock went to Eastern Michigan University for a year, then transferred to Wayne State University in 2004 and earned a Bachelors degree in Music and Piano performance.
After attending Wayne State, Hackstock earned a Masters degree in Piano Performance from the University of South Florida.
Hackstock’s extensive education has paid off, according to SC4 student Kenneth C. Grim, a 34 year-old music major from Ann Arbor.
“She’s been very helpful. She brings a fresh approach to the music program,” Grim said. “I actually look forward to going to class. She meets you half way and makes learning really fun.”
“I try to make class interesting,” Hackstock said. “I try not to teach only out of the book and add extra other things because I know students hate it when teachers only teach out of the book.”
Tom Weidig, a general/transfer student at SC4 and a student in Hackstock’s Music Appreciation class, had very good things to say about the new instructor.
“Music Appreciation is a really fun class. The music we listen to is really interesting. And Ms. Hackstock is a righteous dude,” Weidig said.
In addition to playing piano, Hackstock plays organ and sings. She also teaches private piano and organ lessons.
Hackstock first got interested in music when she was young, but dropped out at the age of eight. When she was 13, Hackstock picked up lessons again with the goal of going into music.
“I don’t know why, but something just made me want to go back,” she said.
Hackstock has performed on stage many times, but her favorite was this November when she and several other pianists played all of David Del Tredici works in New York.
“Only some of his works are recorded, and some the pieces we played weren’t even published yet. So it was really cool just being able to put that music out there.”
Hackstock was born in Mt. Clemens to Ann and Tom Hackstock. She lived in New Baltimore until the age of 10, and then moved to Richmond. She attended grade school in St. Clair, and then was home schooled in high school.
“I hated home schooling at the time. Looking back, I think it was probably a good thing.”
When Hackstock isn’t playing piano, she enjoys tap dancing and hanging out with her dog, Oscar. Oscar is a Pekepoo, which is a Pekingese and Poodle hybrid.
In the future, Hackstock hopes to still be teaching but more in college and less in private lessons.
“And, of course, performing a lot too,” she said.

Late-night Debacle: Who will prevail?

A heated debate has been taking place over the last few weeks.
This debate doesn’t involve powerful world leaders or state politicians; it involves two late night TV heavyweights: Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien.
According to CNN.com, it all started Sunday, January 9 when NBC announced that “The Jay Leno Show” would be removed from its 10pm time slot effective February 11th due to poor ratings.
Chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment Jeff Gaspin came up with a plan in which Leno could host another new, half-hour show at 11:35, pushing “The Tonight Show” with Conan O’Brien to 12:05, and pushing “Late Night” with Jimmy Fallon to 1 am.
But, O’Brien wasn’t having it.
After a few days of NBC trying to negotiate with both parties, O’Brien released a statement on Tuesday, January 11.
He said, “My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of ‘The Tonight Show’. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is destruction,” O’Brien said. “Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.”
In his statement, O’Brien explained that bumping the time forward into the next day would damage the franchise and that it would be unfair to Jimmy Fallon, the new host of “Late Night”, to make his show start at 1 am.
O’Brien also went on to dispel any rumors of him moving to another network.
In a recent poll conducted by TMZ entitled “Who is the Bad Guy?” the numbers reveal that most people are on O’Brien’s side with only 25% of the vote. Leno got 26%, and President of NBC Entertainment Jeff Zucker was voted the “bad guy” with 49%.
SC4 students seem to be on O’Brien’s side, as well.
“I love Conan and I think what NBC is doing to him is completely wrong,” freshman Brittany Detloff said. “Jay had his time.”
SC4 student Alex Meyer agreed, saying, “I think Jay Leno is a guy who was bored not having a show. He didn’t need the money; he was just bored. And since he has so much celebrity weight, all he had to do was say, ‘Hey, I want my show/time back.’ And the networks were like ‘Yeah! Alright! LOL!’”
To decide what side you are on, you can catch the Jay Leno show weeknights at 10pm and “The Tonight Show” with Conan O’Brien at 11:35 pm on NBC.