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  • Patricks People - Collaboration of fear

  • Two area educators have collaborated to create “A Night of Fear and Trembling: Phobias in Poetry and Music,” to be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday  in McCray Hall, Pittsburg State University.

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  • Two area educators have collaborated to create “A Night of Fear and Trembling: Phobias in Poetry and Music,” to be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in McCray Hall, Pittsburg State University.
    Featured in the free public program will be music by Dr. Stacey Barelos, assistant professor of music at Missouri Southern State University, and Dr. Christopher Anderson, PSU assistant professor of English.
    The two met in 2011 after discovering through a mutual acquaintance that they were both working on projects inspired by unusual phobias.
    “Everyone has some sort of fear,” Barelos noted in a telephone interview. “A lot of musical pieces deal with fear.”
    However, she isn’t aware of any dealing specifically with phobias, so she wrote some herself.
    “I wrote a series of eight pieces in 2003, and when I met up with Chris, I wrote a few more for this event,” Barelos said.
    Her solo piano piece, titled “Phobia,” arranged for small ensemble, was featured on the 2009 Accent Ensemble’s tour to Italy and Switzerland. She has had other compositions performed around the United States, Europe and Australia, where she taught at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. In 2009 she was nominated as the MTNA Wisconsin Composer of the Year.
    A noted pianist, she released her solo debut CD titled “Midwest American Piano Project,” focusing on living composers with ties to the American Midwest.
    A teacher of applied piano, music theory and music appreciation, she also decided to see if any MSSU music students wanted to get involved.
    “I sent out a request this summer to see if any would be interested incomposing, and I was delighted to have some students respond,” she said. “We’ll have three student composers in the program and from 10 to 12 student performers.”
    For the program Barelos will perform her solo piano pieces “Syngenesophobia” (the fear of relatives) and “Lilapsophobia” (the fear of tornadoes.
    “Although dealing with a personal phobia can be a frightening experience, I also find a fair amount of humor in the multitude of documented phobias in the world,” Barelos said. “In these pieces I’m trying to have it both ways by representing both the serious and humorous sides of phobias.”
    Anderson will read poems such as “Hydrosiphobia, the Fear of Sweat” and “Haphephobia, the Fear of Being Touched.”
    “In the phobia poems, I’m not necessarily trying to describe the phobia or depict a frightening event,” Anderson said. “Instead, I try to use language and images that create an impression of the phobia and that ponder the nature of fear.”
    His poetry has been published most recently in the literary journals “Tar River Poetry” and “River Styx.”
    Several PSU poetry students will also participate in the program. The introduction will be given by Dr. Karen Kostan, MSSU assistant professor of psychology.
    Page 2 of 2 - A debut presentation was given Thursday at MSSU, and Barelos said it went very well.
    “It was a great experience for the students, and a lot of people said they had never seen anything like it before,” she said. “There was a lot of inventive, wonderful things being created in one space.”
    She added that several people also said that they were happy to see a collaboration between Pitt State and Missouri Southern.
    “I would be up for doing more collaborations in the future,” Barelos said.

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