School of Music, Dance and Theatre grads told to make time to be creative
About 30 students in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts celebrated two “firsts” at their graduation celebration the evening of May 4: They were the first graduates of the new School of Music, Dance and Theatre at Arizona State University, and they were the first graduates to celebrate in the newly renovated courtyard outside the Nelson Fine Arts Center.
The graduates, along with their families and faculty members, gathered in a socially distanced setting at sunset. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASU is holding many small, in-person celebrations instead of one large commencement for spring 2021.
“What a wild ride it’s been for the past 14 months,” said Heather Landes, director of the school, which combined the three performance disciplines into one school for the first time.
“I want to recognize that the past year has not been easy for anyone, but especially for those of us in the performing arts.”
Landes exhorted the students to find time every day in their lives to create their art.
“Even when you’re faced with creative blocks or failure, return to your creativity and your foundation and it will help you.
“Keep making your art to bring people together from all backgrounds, to promote collaboration and to challenge the norms of our society in a tangible way. And most of all, to create community across difference.”
Greta Perlmutter, who earned a degree in musical theater, elbow bumps with Heather Landes, director of the School of Music, Dance and Theatre, at the graduation celebration on May 4 in the Nelson Fine Arts Center courtyard.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU News
Taryn Lande (left) and Xingyu Wang, both of whom earned degrees in musical theater, pose for photographs after the graduation celebration of the School of Music, Dance and Theatre on the Tempe campus on May 4.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU News
Rain Locker, who earned a degree in performance and movement, cheers at the graduation celebration of the School of Music, Dance and Theatre on May 4.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU News
Undergraduate graduates sit socially distanced on the lawn as they watch the start of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts School of Music, Dance and Theatre celebration.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU News
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Dean Steven Tepper addressed students at the School of Music, Dance and Theatre celebration: "It is through you and through your bodies that our shared culture comes to life."Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU News
New graduate Liuyi Jiang is looking forward to returning to her hometown in China for the summer before pursuing a master’s degree at ASU in the fall.
“It’s been two years because of COVID and I want to see my family,” said Jiang, who would like to be a stage actor. She earned a degree in music theater performance.
“’Miss Saigon’ is my dream role and my favorite show,” she said. She performed the song “Movie in My Mind” from that show for the graduating class showcase.
“I explored all the characters and the whole show in my junior year. I analyzed the lyrics and the story and I watched the show at Gammage. I used a student ticket and was very, very close to the stage.”
Steven Tepper, dean of the Herberger Institute, told the graduates that they represent the embodied expression of artistic ideas.
“It is through you and through your bodies that our shared culture comes to life. I don’t think there is anything more noble than to put your entire being, mind and body, in the service of expressing creativity and art.
“And we are so grateful to you for dedicating that full self.”
Top image: Liuyi Jiang performs with her fellow graduates before the graduation celebration of the School of Music, Dance and Theatre on May 4 in the Nelson Fine Arts Center courtyard on the Tempe campus. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU News
More images from the Tempe campus celebrations
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
College of Global Futures
Christa Burgess laughs as she helps her classmate with his graduation regalia in the Secret Garden on the Tempe campus. The College of Global Futures hosted its first graduation celebration in on May 3.Photo by Jenny Dupuis/Arizona State University
Moeur Award recipient Paige Anglin gets a little help adjusting their regalia prior to the College of Global Futures in-person celebration.Photo by Jenny Dupuis/Arizona State University
The Secret Garden near West Hall on the Tempe campus was a prime location for a socially distanced, small in-person celebration for the graduates of the College of Global Futures.Photo by Jenny Dupuis/Arizona State University
The proud new owners of Master of Sustainability Solutions degrees celebrate in a small gathering on May 3.Photo by Jenny Dupuis/Arizona State University
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
Electrical engineering graduate Ariana Kiaei (right) poses for a picture with her father Sayfe Kiaei, an ASU electrical engineering professor, during the in-person graduation celebration in Neeb Hall on Monday, May 3, 2021.Photo by Theresa Cordon/Fulton Schools
Kyle Squires (under balloon arch), dean and professor in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, addresses doctoral candidates and faculty from the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering in the courtyard at Brickyard Artisan Court on Tuesday, May 4.Photo by Grad Images
Electrical engineering doctoral candidate Andrea Pinceti receives his hood from Associate Professor Lalitha Sankar at the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering PhD hybrid celebration that took place in Neeb Hall and virtually, on Monday, May 3, 2021. Friends and family were able to watch the hooding event via Zoom.Photo by Theresa Cordon/Fulton Schools
Not exactly in person, but the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering hosted a live, virtual convocation in a 3D environment. On May 3, faculty, graduates and guests were able to talk and celebrate on Old Main Lawn and then watch the ceremony in Sun Devil Stadium.Screenshot by Jessica Hochreiter
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Jonathan Madrid shows off his decorated mortarboard on Tuesday, May 4, at Armstrong Hall. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences celebrated around 4,000 graduates, the biggest graduating class at ASU in a specific school, by handing out swag bags and providing plenty of photo opportunities.Jenny Dupuis/Arizona State University
Amy Cable (middle), a senior graduating with degrees in film and geography, and her parents, Adele Cable and Jason Short. From just outside of London, the two had to quarantine for four weeks to attend their daughter's celebration. After graduation, Amy plans to attend graduate school for film law in the United Kingdom. “It’s like a dream come true. I’m so proud of her,” Adele Cable said.Jenny Dupuis/Arizona State University
Communication graduate Kristine Urquieta poses for a photo during The College’s graduation celebration on May 4 at Armstrong Hall.Jenny Dupuis/Arizona State University
Communication graduate Dylan Berke attended an in-person celebration for The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the Tempe campus on May 5.Photo by Deanna Dent/Arizona State University
David Sailor, a School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning professor, researcher and director for the Urban Climate Research Center, hoods doctoral graduate Peter Crank (front), PHD in geography, outside Armstrong Hall on May 4.Jenny Dupuis/Arizona State University
More campus celebrations
Top photo: Undergraduate musical theatre graduates sing as a choir before the start of the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts School of Music, Dance and Theatre convocation on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 4, on the Tempe campus. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU