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Spring 2005 Arts and Lecture Series Starts Jan. 18

By Juli Reppert Student Writer/Photographer

The Spring 2005 Arts and Lecture Series at Pennsylvania College of Technology will begin Jan. 18 with a performance by singer-pianist Rob Gonzalez.

The musical performances, lectures and activities are sponsored by the Student Activities Office at Penn College with the exception of the Feb. 1 program with Tres Femmes, the April 5 program with slam poet Rives and the April 26 Open Mic Night, which are sponsored by the Wildcat Events Board. All of the programs begin at 8 p.m.

The activities will be held at four locations on campus: the Bistro and CoffeeHouse, both located on the first floor of the Bush Campus Center; Penn’s Inn, located on the second floor of the Campus Center; and the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. All the events are free and open to the public.

Jan. 18 brings singer/songwriter/pianist Gonzalez to Penn’s Inn. Gonzalez describes his music as “acoustic rock with blues, jazz and folk influences,” and his voice has been compared to Jackson Browne, Van Morrison and a male version of Norah Jones. Gonzalez spent years developing his signature style and sound, which has landed his self-released album, “Somehow,” at No. 18 on a U.S. radio chart.

Tres FemmesOn Feb. 1, all-girl trio Tres Femmes will perform in the CoffeeHouse. The group features talent from three midwestern songwriters: Kellie Lin Knott, Stolie and Victoria Vox, who alternate among guitars, bass, ukulele, conga, hand percussion and tight, three-part harmonies.

Tres Femmes entertain audiences with original tunes, as well as an occasional cover song from Tom Petty; Crosby, Stills and Nash; and The Cranberries. Their new self-titled CD was released in June 2004.

Scratch TrackPerforming at the Bistro on Feb. 8 will be the acoustic trio Scratch Track. Will Gray, Jason Hamlin and DJ Lee blend funk, folk, rap, rock, street poetry and virtuoso guitar-playing to create a fun and exciting live show. The group redefines the possibilities of contemporary urban music with its quick lyrics, languid harmonies and intense vocal percussion, while offering socially aware, street-wise commentary.

Mike DomitrzOn Feb. 15, Mike Domitrz presents “Can I Kiss You?” in Penn’s Inn. Domitrz offers an in-depth look at the realities of dating and intimacy, connecting with audiences of all ages and demographics while teaching the concepts of healthy dating, consent and sexual-assault awareness. Domitrz knows when to engage his audience with humor while drawing serious and hard-hitting emotion from each individual. With Domitrz, you get an interactive expert who inspires people to make powerful, life-changing decisions.

Jen ShankmanOn March 22, there will be a Women in Music panel discussion at 8 p.m. in the Bistro area, followed by a performance by singer/songwriter Jen Shankman in Penn?s Inn. The discussion will showcase women ranging from CoffeeHouse performers to rock/metal front women explaining how they have made their way in the music industry. Shankman has won fans and left a lasting impression at clubs and colleges across the nation with a combination of bare-boned honesty, carefully crafted melodies and a wry sense of humor.

Slam poet Rives performs in the CoffeeHouse on April 5. Having won slams from Los Angeles to Berlin, Rives is one of the hardest-hitting spoken-word performers on the scene. He took fifth place at the 2002 National Poetry Slam in Minneapolis and swept all three invitational “Big Money $lams” at the 2002 Austin International Poetry Festival. He also has been featured at New York’s Urbana and The Nuyorican Cafe at Chicago’s Green Mill, and at Los Angeles’ Da Poetry Lounge. Rives has appeared on, BET’s Lyric Cafe and HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, and he is in the upcoming feature film “Fighting Words.”

David KaczynskiOn April 12, David Kaczynski will present the program “The Death Penalty Up Close and Personal” at the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. The Kaczynski family became a focus of media attention in April 1996 with the arrest and subsequent conviction of Theodore Kaczynski the so-called Unabomber who is David’s brother. David and his wife, Linda, had approached the FBI with their suspicions about Theodore. The couple felt betrayed when the family’s role in the investigation was not kept confidential, and when the death penalty was sought despite Theodore’s serious mental illness. After a nationwide search, David was selected as the executive director of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty in July 2001. In his lecture, he will explain his views on the U.S. Justice Department and the death penalty.

Wrapping up the series on April 26 will be an Open Mic Night with the acoustic rock band Florida Sessions, a trio from Elmira, N.Y., that will host the event, as well as perform.

For more information about the Spring 2005 Arts and Lecture Series, call (570) 327-4763 or visit on the Web .

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