VITA

Meadville VITA Program Completes Record Number of Tax Returns for Local Residents

Allegheny students help residents save $90,000 in income tax preparation fees

April 20, 2015 — The Meadville Volunteer Income Tax Program (VITA), which prepared free 2014 federal, state and local tax returns for area residents at the Meadville Public Library from Feb. 2 to April 11, is pleased to share that it prepared 900 tax returns this year, a 15 percent increase from the number of returns completed last year.

According to Dr. Stephanie Martin, Allegheny College associate professor of economics, the 900 federal income tax returns – prepared at no cost to local taxpayers – represented a savings of approximately $90,000 in income tax preparation fees for area residents. The program’s acceptance rate on e-filed returns continues to improve as well, with a rate of more than 96 percent this tax season.

The majority of returns are prepared by trained Allegheny College students, says Martin, who is in her sixth year overseeing the Meadville VITA program. (more…)

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Percussion Ensemble To Present Spring Concert, with Audience Seating on the Stage

April 20, 2015 – The Allegheny College Percussion Ensemble will perform their annual spring concert on Monday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. on the stage of Shafer Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public. Audience seating will be on the auditorium stage.

The ensemble’s repertoire includes blues, body percussion, classical, avant garde, African chant and contemporary. Performance compositions include “Overture for Percussion Ensemble,” “Blues by Five (Ten),” “Toccata Without Instruments,” “Call of the Drums,” “Ostinato Pianissimo,” “Peter Gunn,” “Rondo ala Turk,” “A La Samba” and “Who Let That Snare Drummer In?”

The Percussion Ensemble features 10 student performers. Stephen F. Corsi conducts.

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One Weekend, Three Free Concerts at Allegheny College: Performances by Chamber Ensembles, Civic Symphony and Wind Symphony and Ensemble

April 20, 2015 – Three free concerts at Allegheny College this weekend will showcase the talents of students, faculty and additional members of the Meadville community. Student chamber ensembles will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 24 in Ford Chapel. The Civic Symphony will perform at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 in Shafer Auditorium. And the Wind Symphony and Wind Ensemble will perform at 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 26 in Shafer Auditorium.

Friday’s chamber ensemble recital will feature brass, woodwind and string ensembles. The program includes music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gustav Holst, Charles Gounod, Johann Pachelbel and Anatoly Liadov, among others. Lowell Hepler coaches the brass quintet; Julie Hepler coaches the saxophone ensemble, clarinet ensemble and the woodwind quintet; and Vince Scacchetti coaches and performs in a string quartet and a violin/viola duo.

Cellist and Allegheny College senior Joseph Tonzo will be the featured soloist on Jules Massenet’s “Meditation from Thais” at Saturday’s Civic Symphony concert. The program will also include “A Festival Prelude” by Alfred Reed, Symphony #8 by Franz Schubert, “Hymn and Fuguing Tune #2” by Henry Cowell, “Blue Tango” by LeRoy Anderson and “Sounds from Hollywood – A Medley of Famous Movie Songs,” arranged by Mary Gold. Ronald E. Stitt conducts.

The 85-member Wind Symphony and 40-member Wind Ensemble, which perform on Sunday, are under the direction of Professor of Music Lowell Hepler. The soloists will be mallet percussionists Stephen Anderson, Kyle Murphy and Stephen Corsi in “Serenade for a Picket Fence.” Sunday’s program also includes Henry Fillmore’s march “His Honor,” Frank Ticheli’s “Rest” and “Postcard to Meadville,” John Barnes Chance’s “Incantation and Dance,” Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” Camille De Nardis’ “The Universal Judgment,” Bruce Broughton’s “Silverado” and Thomas Knox’s symphonic band arrangement of “God of Our Fathers.”

Photo: Wind Symphony. Photo by Bill Owen

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Playshop Theatre at Allegheny College To Present “A Dream Play”

April 20, 2015 — The Allegheny College Playshop Theatre closes its 85th season with August Strindberg’s “A Dream Play,” in a new version by Caryl Churchill in which she re-imagines Strindberg’s surrealist exploration of human suffering. Katherine McGerr directs. Four performances will be given in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts: at 8 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, April 23-25, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 26.

“With its contrasting scenes of beauty and terror, ‘A Dream Play’ reminds audiences both to bear witness to larger situations of inequity and injustice, as well as to appreciate the startling, wonderful things the world can do,” dramaturg Leanne Siwicki notes. “The play doesn’t offer solutions, but begins by asking us to be conscious.”

Director Katherine McGerr calls the play “both a glimpse of the world as it is and a celebration of the human imagination. It has a unique combination of serious ideas and delightful theatricality that we hope audiences will enjoy.”

Performing in the production are Itzel Ayala, Bailey Blashford, Mario Buffalini, Liz Colarte, Luke Aslanian Davis, Alexis Eldridge, Sean Gannon, Daniel Keitel, Matt Lis, Christian Lombino, Mary Lyon, Karina Mena, Lee Scandinaro, Lizzie Thompson, Audrey Trotta, Danny Wightkin and Dan Crozier.

Samantha Hoderlein designed the set, Michael Mehler designed the costumes and lighting and Jeremy Loewer is the production’s sound designer and musical arranger. (more…)

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Creek Connections To Host Its 20th Annual Student Research Symposium at Allegheny College

April 17, 2015 – Creek Connections will host its 20th annual Student Research Symposium at Allegheny College on Friday, April 24 in the college’s Campus Center. Community members are invited to view students’ project displays from 10 a.m. to noon.

Creek Connections is an outreach program of Allegheny College that brings hands-on, inquiry-based education about watersheds to students ranging in age from elementary to high school.

Throughout the school year, participating students retrieve water samples and conduct research on various waterways, monitoring the conditions that affect the creeks’ water quality. At the research symposium, they come together to share interactive research displays, oral presentations and hands-on workshops with their classmates, teachers and the community.

Approximately 400 students will attend the symposium, representing schools from northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York. Several environmental organizations will also present displays. Professor of Environmental Science Eric Pallant will give a presentation on water issues in Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines. (more…)

Bipartisan Political Meet and Greet: April 24

April 16, 2015 – The Allegheny College Republicans and Allegheny College Democrats, in collaboration with the Crawford County Republican and Democratic committees, will host a Bipartisan Political Meet and Greet from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, April 24, in the Henderson Campus Center Lobby at Allegheny College. The event is free and open to the public.

According to organizers, the gathering is meant to be a chance for the Allegheny and Meadville communities to meet and chat with the people who make decisions directly affecting citizens’ lives. It also provides essential networking opportunities for Allegheny students, faculty and staff. (more…)

Chamber and Select Strings To Perform Free Concert at Allegheny College

April 15, 2015 – The Allegheny College Chamber Strings and the Select Strings will perform a chamber music recital at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 19 in the Campus Center lobby. The concert is free and open to the public.

The concert features both Chamber and Select Strings performing works by Mozart, Albeniz, Corrette and Schneider.

The ensembles, which include Allegheny students and faculty as well as members of the Meadville community, are under the direction of Vincent Scacchetti.

Senior Art Show Opens at Allegheny College

SAMSUNG CSCApril 13, 2015 – The Department of Art at Allegheny College will open the annual Senior Projects Exhibition in the Bowman, Penelec and Megahan Galleries with a public reception in the galleries on Tuesday, April 21 from 7 to 8 p.m. The show is an opportunity for graduating Studio Art and Art & Technology majors to present to the public their works, which are the culminating experience of their art studies.

The Spring 2015 exhibition features the work of eight artists: Jaysa Alvarez, Natalie I. Bensel, Jasmine K. Davis, Ziania NarvaezGarcia, Brooke Osbourne, Joey Phelps, M. Greg Singer and Sachika Yamaguchi. (more…)

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Creek Connections to Showcase Waterway Research by Pittsburgh-area Students

April 13, 2015 – Creek Connections will host its 13th annual Pittsburgh area student research symposium on Friday, April 17 at YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee in Fombell, just west of Zelienople. Community members are invited to view students’ project displays from 9 to 11 a.m. at the camp.

Creek Connections is an outreach program of Allegheny College that brings hands-on, inquiry-based education about watersheds to students ranging in age from elementary to high school.

Throughout the school year, participating students retrieve water samples and conduct research on various waterways, monitoring the conditions that affect the creeks’ water quality. At the research symposium, they come together to share interactive research displays and hands-on workshops with their classmates, teachers and the community.

Approximately 400 students from southwestern Pennsylvania will attend the symposium. Several environmental organizations will present displays, and a number of participating schools will give presentations. Participants will also celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Allegheny College. (more…)

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Allegheny College Senior Erin Brown Receives Honors from National Science Foundation and Stanford University

April 9, 2015 – The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Allegheny College senior Erin Brown an honorable mention in the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, which provides fellowships to individuals selected early in their graduate careers based on their demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering.

Additionally, Brown, a physics and mathematics double major with an English minor, has received the 2015-16 Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education–in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (EDGE-STEM) Doctoral Fellowship at Stanford University. She was nominated for this award by the Stanford School of Engineering based on her record of extraordinary academic accomplishment and her potential to contribute to the diversity of her program and academic field.

The EDGE-STEM fellowship will provide Brown with a stipend and research and travel funds when she begins Stanford’s Ph.D. program in Computational and Mathematical Engineering in the fall. She hopes to someday teach and conduct research at the university level.  (more…)