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Meet me in St. Louis

Barry McNamara
Ten exceptional students got their just reward last weekend, receiving invitations to take Monmouth College’s second annual Fine Arts Trip, which is part of the college’s observance of Fine Arts Month.

The destination for the first trip a year ago for “seriously creative” art, music and theatre students was Chicago. This time, the students traveled to St. Louis, accompanied by faculty members Stacy Lotz (art), Ian Moschenross (music) and Doug Rankin (theatre).

The itinerary included visits to the Gateway Arch; Blueberry Hill, the landmark restaurant and music club; a production of “You Can’t Take It With You” at The Repertory Theatre; and two museums – The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, The Contemporary Art Museum. The group also toured three facilities at Washington University – The Kemper Museum, the new Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts and the School of Architecture.

“We got to tour at Washington University partly because of Alison Andrews, a former Monmouth student who is participating in the 3 4 Cooperative Architecture Program there,” explained Hillary Broms, a senior from Peoria. Andrews attended Monmouth for three years, and is now completing her architecture degree at Washington.

“I thought it was a great trip, and I was honored to have been picked to attend,” added Broms, who said a “high”-light for her was going to the top of the Gateway Arch.

Students invited to go on the trip must exemplify academic excellence in their chosen department, exhibit strong leadership qualities and have an overall enthusiasm toward creating.
Broms was chosen to represent the art department along with juniors Jessica Bingham of Lynn Center and Danica Rogers of Rochelle. Theatre students who participated were senior Nick Munson of Moline and juniors Ivy Bekker of Bloomington, Abby Davis of Springfield and Jamie Kistler of Gerlaw. Representing the music program were seniors Kevin Breweur of Farmington, Dane Feenstra of Pittsfield and Lizzie McIntyre of Pekin.

The trip this year really gave me a great overall exposure to the fine arts,” said Davis. “I really enjoyed getting to experience all aspects of art from the production of ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ to simply touring the art classrooms at Washington University. I am very thankful for being given the opportunity to go and experience the joys of St. Louis.”

Part of the success of the trip was due to a “great partnership between faculty, current students and trustee emeritus Peter Bunce,” said MC’s director of alumni programs, Lucy Thompson. Bunce, who was chairman of MC’s board of trustees for more than a decade, “was very instrumental in putting the trip together.”

Added Lotz, “He was able to work magic in arranging tickets and accommodations for the group. I should add that it was a real pleasure to work with Peter and share in his enthusiasm for the arts.”