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Music Professor’s 'Violins of Hope' Published

Jay Grymes, interim chair of the Department of Music, has written a new book Violins of Hope: Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour. The book, published by HarperCollins, is receiving critical praise and should be in bookstores now.

Academy Award-winning film composer John Williams wrote, "Violins of Hope is a work of research and scholarship that forms one of the most moving chronicles in the history of Western music. James A. Grymes has earned our plaudits and praise, and deserves our everlasting gratitude."

Violins of Hope tells the stories of seven violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust and restored to playing condition by Israeli violinmaker Amnon Weinstein. Grymes was inspired to write the work when UNC Charlotte brought 18 Violins of Hope to Charlotte for a series of exhibitions and performances in April 2012.

Cruz Receives 2014 McColl Award

Performing artist CarlosAlexis Cruz is the 2014 McColl Award winner. An assistant professor of voice and movement in the College of Arts + Architecture, Cruz received the honor for the project "Nouveau Sud, Nouveau Cirque," which translates to "New South, New Circus." Presented by the Arts & Science Council, the McColl Award is named in honor of Hugh and Jane McColl; it is given every three years. The award comes with a $25,000 grant that Cruz will use to implement his project.

Cruz will learn and incorporate "underground" dance, acrobatic and physical theater scenes that thrive within local ethnic communities into cirque-style performances. The project will include neighborhood residencies expected to take place between January and December 2015 and a main stage production in the spring of 2016.

"Nothing like this has ever been done in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, so we are excited to see what Carlos creates," said ASC President Robert Bush. "It’s something that will bring our community together in the truest sense – not only will Carlos bring talented underground performers to the forefront, but his project will tie their stories and traditions to the larger story of our city and county."