Contact: Victoria Winkelman
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
(214) 768-3785

Contact: Kami Duncan
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
(214) 768-2788
January 3, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- The Meadows Theater Orchestra at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will give its first public performance on Thursday, January 17 at 8:30 p.m. at The Women’s Museum in Fair Park, providing live accompaniment for the classic silent film “Pandora’s Box,” starring Louise Brooks. The orchestra will premiere a specially-commissioned original score by Dimitar Pentchev, an award-winning Bulgarian composer and pianist currently studying for a master’s degree in piano performance at SMU.

Filmed in Berlin in 1928, “Pandora’s Box” was directed by G.W. Pabst, whom Roger Ebert calls the “master of psycho-sexual drama.” Louise Brooks’ role in the movie defined the sexually liberated flapper of the 1920s and remains one of her best-known performances. The movie is the first offering in “Silent Sisters: A Salute to Women in Silent Film,” a four-night series presented by The Women’s Museum. For ticket information, please call the museum at 214-915-0891.

Formed in fall 2001, the Meadows Theater Orchestra replicates the typical theater orchestra of the vaudeville and silent film era in America. The ensemble includes a rhythm section of piano, bass and percussion, together with violin, clarinets, saxophones, trumpet and trombone -- an instrumentation capable of tremendous tonal and stylistic variety.

The Meadows Theater Orchestra is conducted by Dr. Alan Wagner, assistant professor of music education at SMU. Dr. Wagner studied conducting with Frank Battisti, James Arrowood, Craig Kirchoff, Elizabeth Green, Lary Rachleff and Carl St. Clair. He taught instrumental music and jazz studies in the public schools of Ohio, New York and Florida for 14 years and at Emory University before coming to SMU in 1998. In addition to the theater orchestra, he currently directs the Meadows Wind Orchestra and the Meadows Jazz Vocal Ensemble at SMU.