GRIT is an interdisciplinary performance representing the collaborative efforts between Rebekah Chappell (choreographer), Joshua Marquez (composer), and Dana O'Malley (visual artist) culminating in a performance at The Englert Theatre on February 21, 2016. This 70-minute collaborative concert weaves dance, music, and visual art into one, seamless production on the Englert stage. GRIT is about the perseverance (grit) needed to overcome the obstacles (grit) that we confront in our daily lives and the dialogue needed to grow from them. 













Rebekah Chappellchoreographer and dancer

Rebekah Chappell is a MFA candidate in the Department of Dance at The University of Iowa and is a performer, teaching artist, and dance maker. She earned her BFA in Dance from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. Rebekah has taught dance throughout The United States, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua working with colleges, public and private schools, studios, and community programs. Her choreography considers the relationship between art and efficacy, examining the processes that facilitate a transformation of a person, place, and/or community. She is exploring how to connect embodied movement and lived experiences so that life, art, and the research inform and enrich one another. Rebekah is currently working on her thesis, a performance project titled Flood. The work investigates overwhelming and overflowing states of being, considering the vessels and containers of our lives that have been flooded.

Joshua Marquezcomposer

Joshua Marquez (b. 1990) is a North Carolina-based composer whose music explores the spectrum between tone and noise through the examination of timbral subtleties.  Hailed as "cutting-edge" (The Gazette) and "haunting" (The Daily Iowan), the juxtaposition and fusion of his unique timbres represent the alienation and assimilation of being an Asian-American in the 21st Century. 

Marquez's music has been performed and recorded, internationally, by ensembles and musicians such as the JACK Quartet, Carmine Marcello Rizzi (violin), Iwona Glinka (flute), Akropolis Reed Quintet, Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, University of Iowa Center for New Music, Fresno State New Music EnsembleGate City Camerata, Quintet Sirocco, and the Cape Fear Wind Symphony

Recent performances include the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYC), the National Student Electronic Music Event (GA), Birmingham New Music Festival (AL), Brave New Works (CA), Indiana State University New Music Festival (IN), SCI Concerts, Stony Brook Premieres! (NYC), Circuit Bridges (NYC), and the International Ferienkruse für Neue Musik Darmstadt in venues such as Symphony Space (NYC), Abron Arts Center (NYC), the Englert Theatre (IA), Georgia Southern University (GA), Weatherspoon Art Museum (NC), the Canada International Film Festival, and the Utopia Film Festival (MD), among others. 

Marquez's paper, “Deep Structures of Pitch Usage in Humpback Whale Song, was accepted to the 2015 Humpback Whale World Congress in Sainte-Marie, Madagascar.  Recordings of Marquez's music have been released by RMN Classical Records (UK), Sarton Records (PL), and E.M.P.i.R.E.S Records (USA).

Marquez holds a PhD from the University of Iowa in addition to degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (MM), and Campbell University (BA).  Joshua is currently the Artistic Director for the interdisciplinary arts nonprofit, GRIT Collaborative.  Marquez serves as a Resident Composer for the Saint Mary's Summer Composition Intensive in Notre Dame, IN (2014-present), having previously taught at the University of Iowa and the Preucil School of Music.

He has studied with Josh Levine, David GompperMark Engebretson, and Alejandro Rutty in addition to private studies with Samuel Adler, Derek BermelMichael HarrisonLaura KaminskyDavid Lang, and Augusta Read Thomas.  

Dana O'Malley, visual artist

Dana O'Malley is a visual artist currently based in Iowa City, IA.  Her work has been exhibited in Iowa, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.  She is an MFA candidate in Painting at the University of Iowa. Her paintings investigate the landscape of tenderness through representations of partnership, touch, environmental collapse, and growth. Dana is a recipient of the 2015-16 Mildred Pelzer Lynch Fellowship at the University of Iowa.  

Amy Simonson, dancer

Amy Simonson is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in dance performance at the University of Iowa.  She received her B.F.A. in dance from Wichita State University, where along with her fellow students and faculty, she performed in works by Charles Moulton, Andrew Palermo and Taye Diggs, and Doug Varone.  Amy then lived in Chicago where she worked with Christopher Montiel, Salty Lark Dance Company, Tapestry Dance Company, Chicago Freelance Dance, Montom Arts, and The Fly Honeys.  During grad school Amy has collaborated with the International Writing Program, travelled to Burkina Faso to perform in the Nomad Express International Arts Festival, taught classes at the American College Dance Festival, and choreographed and performed for the Society of Dance History Scholars annual conference. She has enjoyed working with her faculty members as well as guest artists, Lisa Gonzales, Esther Baker-Tarpaga and Olivier Tarpaga, and Jenna Riegel.  Besides performing and her cat, Amy’s passion is teaching dance and yoga. 

Dana Powers-Klooster, dancer

Dana Powers-Klooster is from Glen Cove, New York where she trained in dance from a young age.  She received her MFA in Dance from the University of Iowa in 2014, where she was honored to be the recipient of the Iowa Arts Fellowship, and her BA in Dance and Spanish Areas Studies from Kenyon College in 2006, cum laude.  Dana lived in New York City from 2007-2011 where she had the pleasure of performing works by Stephanie Liapis, Lindsey Dietz Marchant, Oliver Steele, Jennifer Kain, Elizabeth Wilkinson, and Deb Silver.  Throughout her graduate studies at the University of Iowa she was fortunate to be able to both create her own choreographic work as well as perform work by faculty members Charlotte Adams and Alan Sener, and graduate students Michael Medcalf, Jennifer Harge, Rebecca Chun, Kevin Schroder, Jessica Anthony, and Alex Bush.  Currently living in Iowa City, Dana frequently serves as a guest teacher for the UI Department of Dance and is on faculty for the UI Youth Ballet and School of Dance.  As Dana continues to make work and perform, she is constantly inspired by her fellow dance artists in the community and is grateful for all of the fruitful collaborations she has had.

Melanie Swihart, dancer

Melanie Swihart is currently working toward her M.F.A. in dance performance at the University of Iowa, and received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Dance and a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Ball State University. Prior to Graduate study, she worked with a number of companies in New York including: DoubleTake Dance Co., Perceptions Contemporary Dance Co., The NEXT Stage Project, ANAHATA, and Brendan Drake Choreography. During this time Melanie immersed herself in the Mind Body Dancer® 200 Teacher Training with director and founder TaraMarie Perri. Upon receiving her certificate, she began teaching at Steps on Broadway and Dance New Amsterdam.

Calvin Windschitl, dancer

Calvin Windschitl is a sophomore dance major at the University of Iowa, where he has  danced in works by Jennifer Kayle, Nicholas Leichter, Charlotte Adams, Kristin Marrs, and many more. He is honored and excited to be a part of GRIT.

 Emily Duncan, flute

Emily Duncan is  pursuing a degree in flute performance at The University of Iowa. She performs in the University of Iowa's symphony band, symphony orchestra, and the Center for New Music.  In 2014, she placed second at the Central Ohio Flute Association Collegiate Flute Competition and was a winner of the Jacqueline Avent Concerto Competition. Duncan has performed in many masterclasses, with Jim Walker, Amy Porter, and Ransom Wilson.  Emily is a student of Nicole Esposito.

Allison Offerman, oboe

Allison Offerman is pursuing her D.M.A. in oboe performance with a secondary area in bassoon at the University of Iowa.  She received her B.A. in music from the University of Northern Iowa, and recently graduated with her M.M. in oboe performance at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.  She has performed in masterclass performances with Humbert Lucarelli, Dane Philipsen, Heather Armstrong, Johanna Cox, and Terri Armfield.  Offerman performs with the University of Iowa's Center for New Music.  She has performed with the Center for New Music throughout the midwest at numerous universities and conferences, including in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin,   She is a founding member of the Ensemble 319.

Thiago Ancelmo de Souza, clarinet

Born in Brazil, Thiago Ancelmo de Souza obtained his Master’s degree at the Hochschule für Musik der Stadt Basel where he graduated with distinction under the guidance of the renowned educator François Benda.  During his studies in Switzerland he had the chance to work with important musicians and composers such as Sergio Azzolini, Felix Renglli, Heinz Holliger, Helmut Lachenmann and others. In Switzerland he received a scholarship by Ruth und Hans Rapp Stiftung.

Thiago was awarded and finalist in many competitions including Jovens Interpretes do Centro Cultural de São Paulo (2003), Jovens Solistas da Orquestra Experimental de Repertório (2005 and 2006), Jovens Talentos Brasileiros (2007), International Clarinet Competition in Krsko (Slovenia,2008), Zurich Opera House Orchestra Academy (2009), and All Star Competition (2012).

Korak Lertpibulchai, piano

Korak Lertpibulchai has performed across the Midwest, Italy and Thailand.  She has been awarded several Prizes from International and National competitions such as 2014 Schlern International Competition (Italy), the 11th Thailand Youth Music Competition, the Siamnakarin School of Music Piano Competition, among many others.  At the University of Iowa, Korak serves as a pianist for the Center for New Music and the Department of Dance.  She is currently pursuing a D.M.A. under the tutelage of Ksenia Nosikova.

Wannapha Yannavut, percussion

Wannapha Yannavut started her professional percussion education in 1986 at Regina Coeli College School in Chiangmai, studying with Mr. Chumpol Channarong and Ms. Darakorn Wittayanunthapornkul.  Later she went on to study with Mr. Pinai Preechaporn at Montfort College High School.  She studied Thai language and literature at Prince of Songkhla University, Pattani Campus.  During that time she was a member of the music club.  She earned her Master of Art Degree in Percussion Performance at Mahidol University, College of Music.  Since 2006, she has taught percussion at Mahidol University and since director of the Integrated Percussion Ensemble.  She was also principal percussionist of the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra from 2006-2012 and was promoted to timpanist in 2009-2012.  In 2007, she was invited to play as a soloist with the Mahidol Wind Symphony.  Currently, Yannavut is working towards her D.M.A. in Percussion Performance and Pedagogy with Dan Moore at the University of Iowa.

Andrew Gentzsch, violin

Andrew Gentzsch, a native of Iowa City, has led the University of Delaware Chamber Orchestra and the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Gentzsch received music degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying with David Perry and the University of Delaware studying with Xiang Gao.  While at the University of Delaware, Mr. Gentzsch performed the Bach Concerto for Two Violins with Professor Gao.  Currently, Mr. Gentzsch is pursuing his D.M.A. at the University of Iowa studying with Scott Conklin, active in the UI Center for New Music as well as the UI String Quartet Residency Program.  Mr. Gentzsch spent the summer of 2014 at the Round Top Summer Festival Institute.

Craig Hultgren, violoncello

Craig Hultgren is both cellist and composer.  He was a member of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra from 1982 to 2015 and directed the BSC New Music Ensemble at Birmingham-Southern College.  He also performs frequently as a soloist and with numerous chamber ensembles and contemporary performing groups, including the Chagall Trio, the Luna Nova Ensemble, and Thámyris.  As an avid supporter of new and avant-garde music, Hultgren organized a Solo Cello Works Biennial, performing new compositions from around the world on cello and e-cello.  Hundreds of works were composed for him to perform.  He is also an improvisational musician.  As president of the Birmingham Art Association he helped organized the Birmingham Improv Festival.  Hultgren is also a member of the New Directions Cello Association and a former president of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance.  He has taught classes at UAB and the Alabama School of Fine Arts.