Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wine Tasting at O'Beery

There was a wine-tasting event at O'Beery McLiquors on Friday, December 10th, 2011, from 6-9 p.m. O'Beery McLiquors is a liquor store and bar in Bel-Air, Maryland. A representative of Island Distributing, Brett Dimaio, was set up to let customers sample wine from his selection. He stood at his booth with small disposable cups and an assortment of wines from Island Distributing. The selection included Island Mist flavors, Whale Rider flavors and Stella Artois wine. When asked about his favorite wine, he said that "I like our Pinot Noir that I sell from our Whale Rider line. I tend to prefer dryer wines. It's from New Zealand, and this particular import is very, very good."

With all the different brands and flavors of wine, it's difficult to know where to start looking for something that satisfies. Some people are biased against things they haven't tried, and others are simply afraid to try something new. When asked if there was any particular thing to keep in mind when choosing a wine, Mr. Dimaio said, "The main thing is not to be afraid of it. If you enjoy sweet wines, buy a sweet wine. Don't be intimidated by people who say you have to have dry wine to be real wine."

Many people tend to think of wine as being some category of drink that is inferior to liquor, or a "feminine" drink. "If you want something for a reader to take away from your article," he explained, "wine is just another alcoholic drink--just like beer. Just like liquor. No one ever likes their first beer, yet they get over that really quickly; they drink lots of beer. Wine just takes a little bit for people to learn to enjoy it. They get all intimidated for no particular reason. It's all alcohol--it's all good or bad--it can all be enjoyed or not liked. People tend to allow themselves to be intimidated by it starting out. People who are comfortable with it can go and enjoy it. The main thing that wine comes in handy for is food. You can sit around and drink beer all day. If you're going to get hammered you can drink liquor--mixed or straight. If you're going to drink a beverage with your food, nine times out of ten wine is that drink. Now, there are a lot of foods to be had with beer, as well, but wine and food are a natural pair."

Mr. Dimaio spoke with a steadfast knowledge of alcoholic beverages. Within five minutes of speaking with him,  his pride of the subject matter was clear. The wine-tasting had several interested customers, and he made several sales to people who entered the store for beer or liquor.

For more information on wine-tasting, visit

Thanksgiving+Football= A Day to Be Thankful For

This Thanksgiving will be like any other Thanksgiving for most. It will included a lot of food, family and telling people what your thankful for. However, this years Thanksgiving has a little bit of a twist to it compared to other Thanskgivings. A triple header for all those football loves out there.

Normally every Thanksgiving consist of three pooring games. Just last year we had to watch the New England Patriots destroy the Detorit Lions 45-24. The Lions have been some what unlucky since they always play on Thanskgiving. Lions fans probably wish their team didnt play on Thanksgiving day seeing as the last Thanksgiving game they won was in 2003 against the Green Bay Packers. Frostburg State student Eric Gross had this to say about the Lions playing on Thanksgiving, "I wish they would play the four o'clock game so that we dont miss a good game while eating dinner. This year thought the Lions aren't half bad".

Lions are riding high having what appears to be their first winning season in a long time. With a seven game losing streak on the line they didnt get help from the NFL who scheduled them to play the undefeated Green Bay Packers. Will it be eight straight loses on turkey day for the Lions?

The Lions aren't the only team that is guarnteed a spot on TV on Thanksgiving. The Dallas
Cowboys play ever Thanksgiving as well. To no surpise though since the Cowboys are America's team. This Thanksgiving the Cowboys will be going up against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins started the season off terrible losing their first eight games. Going into this Thanksgiving game thought the Dolphins like the Lions are riding in on a three game win streak. So Cowboy's fans aren't looking at the easy game they thought they had three weeks ago.

So with games going all day long and people wondering if dinner is even worth missing a snap, the NFL has scheduled a primetime matchup for the night game. The Baltimore Ravens going up against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are having a surprising season coming into Thanksgiving with a record of 9-1. They will have to be on thier A game playing the Baltimore RAvens who seem to play great against good teams and terrible against the bad teams. It should be a hard hitting game between two great defenses.

The 49ers vs. Ravens game isnt the only story line behind this game thought. The two coaches for the team know each other pretty well. Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh will be the first brothers to coach against each other in an NFL game. Jim is the head coach for the 49ers and John is the head coach for the Ravens. Both brothers are taking the game serious but find it fun to coach against each other. Sam Michels a students at Frostburg State and my own brother at that had this to say if we ever matched up on different sidelines, "I would win. Hands down and I would run up the score".

Thanksgiving and the NFL are two things that just go well together. Like turkey and gravy or rolls and butter. The two just work and this year the NFL got lucky and all three games scheduled appear to be good ones. So sit back and enjoy all of it on a full stomach.

One Jazzy Night

By: Laura Cofrancesco

            Frostburg State University’s fall Jazz Concert was held on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 8 P.M.
            It was a beautiful winter night, with snow sprinkling the landscape and the surrounding mountains. Very few people were out wandering the crystallized sidewalks of Frostburg University.
            Regardless of the weather, there was a huge turnout for the concert.  Everyone who was not cuddled up in their room with the heat on was at the jazz concert Wednesday night. Inside Pealer Recital Hall, students and parents alike were bundled up in hats and gloves, chatting excitedly in their chairs. Once the lights were dimmed, there was a hush over the crowd, and the first notes from a piano could be heard. Director Timothy Powell led the jazz ensemble into the upbeat song “Doxy”, and then a beautiful “How High the Moon” followed. Junior Rebecca Singh says, “I’m not really into jazz music, but this concert changed my mind.” Many of the songs that were played had solos. Almost every member of the jazz band had a chance to wow the crowd with their amazing music abilities. A few of the soloists were Senior Jacki Skeweris on the piano, Bill Green on the saxophone, and Joe Carter on the trombone.
            The jazz band consisted of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and a rhythm section with a piano, bass, drums, and guitar.
            After the jazz band played a few songs, the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, led by Director Karen Soderberg, entered the stage. Their first piece was a classic entitled “Blackbird”, a song by former Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney. This song had nearly everyone dancing in their seats to the beat. The vocal group’s last piece was a more fast-paced modern version of “Carol of the Bells”. “Utterly amazing!” says David Lee of the performance, “I know the song and I liked their interpretation of it!”
            The Vocal Jazz Ensemble had only eight members consisting of sopranos, altos, tenors, and bass’. Even though they were a small group, they did not cease to amaze everyone in the recital hall.
            The jazz ensemble came back on stage and finished the fall concert with tunes like “Two Seconds to Midnight” and “New Toys”, with a solo including saxophonist Bill Green.
            As the concert ended, everyone reluctantly exited the recital hall to mingle in the lobby. Students and musicians chatted together, delaying leaving the building as the snow was still coming down. The jazz concert failed to disappoint. One member of the FSU Jazz Ensemble, Michael Bean, says he has been playing the trumpet since the sixth grade. He says he continues to play because of his “love of jazz, the ability to free-form.” Bean’s favorite song of the night was “Two Seconds to Midnight” by Alan Baylock. He says “it was really cool; the melody was fast but not too funky!”
            The jazz concert for the FSU Jazz Ensemble and Vocal Jazz Ensemble was held by the Department of Music in the Performing Arts Center, and was free to the public.

For more events at Frostburg University, please visit

Friday, December 9, 2011

Paparazzi Perfect Models Sneak Preview

By Morgan Smith

On December 4, 2012 Paparazzi Perfect Models of Frostburg State University, held their first annual Sneak Preview Fashion Show in the Lane University Center. The models of Paparazzi Perfect hold a fashion show every year during the second semester. This year, they decided to give Frostburg students, family, and friends, a small preview of what the real show will eventually look like. These models have been working hard all semester, and were finally ready and anxious, to show their best fashion. Before they took the stage, the audience entered, and quickly took their seats. While there was music playing, the audience was anticipating such a great show the models.

Overall, the show was based on a Christmas theme. The models portrayed images, that represented Santa Claus, The Grinch, and Nutcrackers. Getting into the holiday spirit, everyone was decorated in their lovely holiday colors, red and green. When the show began, the music was loud, the crowd was louder, and the models were ready to walk. Jarred Sleets, a junior at Frostburg, opened the show wearing black bottoms, a red sweater, a famous Christmas hat. He was filled with energy, and made the crowd want more. As the show progressed, the models decided to have a battle between The Grinch and Santa Claus. Each team carried 5 members, and as the music played, and as the music played, they took turns showing their best moves. As the show went on, and came upon intermission, members in the audience were welcomed to come up on stage, and show off their best model skills. People from the audience began to make their way to the stage, to have some fun. Sitting to the left of me was Whitney Turner, junior at Frostburg. I asked Turner if she would go on stage during intermission, and she replied, “Absolutely not, I’m so shy.”

After the show, I ran into one of the models Jasmine Owens, a junior at Frostburg. I asked Owens how did she feel about the show. Owens stated, I was so excited about the show. We have been working so hard, non stop every single day, and I really hope everyone enjoyed it.” This is Owens third year in Paparazzi Perfect, and she worked the runway like a pro. After the show, I also ran into Julian Cook, a senior at Frostburg State. Cook was in the audience, and he seemed very pleased with the models performance. I asked Cook did he enjoy the show, and he responded, “I loved the show. I can’t wait until the actual show next semester. The models put on a great performance!” In conclusion, the models gave a great performance, but most of all they had fun. They gave Frostburg an example of what the real show will be like in the Spring, in case some people were unaware. The Lane University Center was filled with students, and I’m sure in the Spring, everyone will be waiting for another amazing show.

Watching is Believing

Watching is Believing

By: Jasmine Vaughn

Engl 336: 002

On December 9, 2011 at 7:30 pm Frostburg State University theater produced Ruined a play set in the Congo during a time of war and hardship. The play focused on the lives and experiences of Congolese women. This play is devoted to battered women and how in this time rape was used a way to revenge enemies during war. The women in the play were taking from their villages and abused by male soldiers. If they did try to escape and return to their homes they were look at with shame from their kids and families. The setting of the play was in a woman trafficking house. The owner name was Mama Nadi played by Latia Stokes. She was known for taking in battered women and giving them a place to live. In return they would work for her as prostitutes. Mama Nadi was a character who did not show much remorse. She was aggressive about making money and she let anyone who was paying come into her place of business and do as they pleased. At the end of the play the audience found out that she to, Mama Nadi was a victim and was herself known as ruined.

There were several girls occupying the establishment their names were, Salima played by Jessica Helton, Josephine played by Kiara Collins and Sophie played by DeAndriea Norman. Salima was taken from her garden and used as a sex object for soldiers. Josephine, who was there before Sophie and Salima showed up, was the daughter of a high ranked soldier who had been raped. Sophie was the most abused woman. She had a physical condition from being raped that hindered her from walking properly. These women all told a different story in the Congo but somehow ended up in the same place.

Throughout the play we learned that Salima was pregnant during the time she worked at Mama Nadi’s establishment. She later killed herself after finding out that her husband had come to take her home. Sophie had taught all the girls how to read and even helped Mama Nadi learn how to count her own money. During the beginning of the play it was announced that this play had been sold out every time it played. Frostburg State University has given all of its proceeds to City of Joy a charity organization devoted to helping the Congolese women. Frostburg Stare University made the audience aware that these stories were similar to real events and that the struggle continues on for women all over the world. “The play was so heart felt; it really was worth coming to. Being from Africa, I can relate and love to see women overcome male dominance”, said Charlotte Asare.

From Terror to Hope.

By Racheal Myers

When was the last time you visited a brothel to contribute to a worthy cause? If you attended the benefit performance of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Ruined” at Frostburg State University Performing Arts Center’s F. Perry Smith Studio Theatre, then you can proudly answer, 7:30pm on December 7, 2011.

As has already been implied, “Ruined” takes place in a brothel. This brothel, known as “Mama Nadi’s”, is located in the present day, war-torn Democratic of the Congo on the continent of Africa. “Mama Nadi’s” is owned and operated by women whose bodies have been abused by rebel and government soldiers. The stories of these women’s struggles lead the play through the terror of war and rape and reward the viewer with the healing power of hope. All the events in the production are based on interviews taken by the plays writer, Lynn Nottage, while in the Democratic of the Congo. The proceeds from the December 7th showing are all being donated to the charity City of Joy, a shelter which helps the women of the Democratic of the Congo rebuild their lives.

Attendees become immersed in the atmosphere of ‘Ruined” from the moment they step into the F. Perry Smith Studio Theatre. To get to their seats, play goers must walk through either a hallway made to look like a dusty storage area, with shelves holding jugs, and mops leaning against the walls, or a outdoors scene that later proves to be the outside of “Mama Nadi’s”. As they exit these walkways, they are met with the open floor plan that is typical of a studio theater. Instead of a traditional auditorium set up, with all seats facing one direction with the stage in front, the seats in a the studio theater are along the walls facing the middle of the theater which is where the action takes place. In this case, the seats are facing what is made up to be the bar area of “Mama Nadi’s”. There is a bar and a stage with stereo equipment and microphone stand, two small sets of table and chairs, and a pool table. From the ceiling hang make-shift rafters, and strings of multi-colored lights, similar to Christmas lights. The air is thick with dust and herbal cigarette smoke, finishing off the authentic feel of a bar.

The opening scene of “Ruined” introduces the four main characters of the play. It begins with a dialog between Mama Nadi, the brothel’s owner, and Christian, the man who supplies the brothel with all that it needs; condoms, soap, Mama Nadi’s red lipstick, and women. He is the one who brings the other two main characters, Sophie and Salima to work for “Mama Nadi’s”. Both Sophie and Salima have suffered horribly at the hands of the soldiers that are ravaging their country. Salima, as is found out later in the play, was attacked by four soldiers while in her garden. The soldiers killed her baby in front of her as she was being raped, then took Salima captive for five months. During her captivity, she was chained by her foot to a tree, “like a goat”, and was used to satisfy the soldier’s sexual desires whenever they came to her. When she finally returned to her village, her husband, Fortune, told her that she dishonored him because so many men had been with her. He chased her out of the village. Sophie is what the people of that area call “ruined”. The soldiers who attacked her “took her with a bayonet”, making her unsuitable for work as a prostitute. Mama Nadi almost refused to take her in, but made an exception because Sophie is Christian’s niece. Sophie turns out to be an asset to the brothel in that she can count the money that is brought in and she sings beautifully.

Throughout the play, both the rebel soldiers and the government soldiers frequent “Mama Nadi’s”, though neither side knows it. Both sides speak of how the other are degenerate monsters and how their opponents will all be dead at their hands. Many of the soldiers are violent and domineering toward the women working at “Mama Nadi’s”, but there are a few that are admittedly “simple farmers” that feel as if they were thrust into the fighting. One such soldier is Fortune, who shows up at “Mama Nadi’s” because he has heard that his wife, Salima is there. Mama Nadi turns Fortune away and Salima’s request, saying that the person he is looking for is not there. Fortune stays camped outside “Mama Nadi’s” in hopes that Salima will appear. The play reaches a climax when a group of soldiers, lead by Commander Osembenga, is tipped off by Fortune that the opposing force of Jerome Kisembe maybe hiding at “Mama Nadi’s”. They ransack the brothel looking for them, but instead find a disheveled, blood soaked Salima. Having seemingly aborted the baby she was secretly carrying, she cries “you will not fight your battles on my body anymore”, and dies in the arms of her husband.

While the battle still rages across the country, after Salima’s death, all is quite at “Mama Nadi’s”. Christian tries his hardest to convince Mama Nadi to leave her brothel while she can, but she refuses, saying that while the soldiers have taken everything else from her, she will not let them take away her hard work. Then Christian tries to convince Mama Nadi to do something else. He tries to convince her to be his beau. After she exhausts all excuses, she finally breaks down and amongst sobs, explains that she, like Sophie, is ruined. Despite danger being outside their door and the state of everything within sight being “ruined”, the play ends on a high note, as Christian and Mama Nadi dance, basking in the possibilities their future may hold.

Feeling Horny?

On Friday, December 9, 2011, Frostburg State University's Brass Ensemble preformed at the Reforming Arts Center on campus.

The stage was simply set with a black piano and a chair and music stand for each musician. Before the performance, family members and fellow students slowly filled the empty auditorium. All around there was chat about how proud parents were of their children who were participating in the show and how their hard work has paid off.

As the lights went down and the reminders to turn off phones and flash photography sounded, the audience fell to a dead silence as they awaited the performers to enter the stage.

The trumpets were first to arrive, followed by the trombones, euphonium and tubas. While they tuned up their instruments, the on seers intently watched and listened to them. Kevin McManus was the director of the musical event and, after greeting the audience, turned to his students and lead them to lead the United States Anthem, "Star-Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key. The Nation's anthem was not the only well known song that was played. "Simple Gifts" was featured twice along with many other recognizable tunes that many do not know by their name.

For every song, McManus described the meaning and purpose behind every song. As the musicians readied themselves, he gently waved his hands to the beat of the music to keep everyone in time. Each song was a melodic, harmonic tune.

McManus said "I believe in vocal music and playing vocal music on instruments... it is a goal of all instrumentalists to sing through our instrument by getting our instrument to sound like our voice or someone else's voice."

After resetting the stage to display every individual performer, the pianist, Dr.Bomi Lim Tunstall came on stage. Then Kevin McManus, the musical conductor, explained how American Music has become "it's own sound." He stated that musicians like William Warfield and Aaron Copeland shaped the face of what American music is today. While talking about Copeland, McManus said "...he made a new sound; an American sound. Our sound." This lead up to the 10 American songs that were played one by one by a solo artist. With every song played, it became very apparent what McManus meant by getting their instrument to sound like a voice; each person and each instrument sounded different just like a voice.

After the show, Sam Morekas, a Sophomore studying Computer Information Studies at Frostburg State University, expressed how much he loved the show. "It way exceeded my expectations! Everyone sounded good and the audience was pretty respectful. I went here to get my credit for a class, but I really did enjoy it."

Morekas isn't the only one who found this show to go past their expectations. Alan Boehm, a Senior studying Political Science at Frostburg State University, found the show to be "really good." He said "... I usually think 'boring' when I hear 'musical ensemble' but this one actually kept my attention, surprisingly."

Needless to say, this concert was highly successful and set a new standard for upcoming musical events.

For a video featuring William Warfield:

Frostburg: We are the 99%

On November 29, 2011 Professor Elesha Ruminski’s organizational communication class held a public rally on Frostburg’s campus. The morning rain left the ground damp, the air thick, and the sky cloudy, but students still were enthusiastic about this event. A large number of students, some with signs in hand, met at the echo circle right outside of the Dunkle Hall building at 12:30pm. My role in this event was as a student of the class and as an observer. I listened to faculty, students, and members of the community speak and voice their opinions on different issues from student loans, to whether college is the right choice for everyone.

At the event, one of the topics addressed was student loans. Upon entering college student loans are a reality that most students face. College is expensive and many families cannot afford to pay the full tuition for their children. Consequently, students have to take out federal and or private loans to finance their education. Some of these loans come with high interest rates and strict payment plans, which make it difficult for students to pay the loans off in a reasonable amount of time. “I have student loan debt that I won’t be able to pay off anytime soon.” said professor Ruminski. Her comment lead to a discussion on whether college loans should have to be paid back at all and students had different views when it came to this subject. “I think that strict re-payment plans are necessary for college students, because if we didn’t have to pay back our loans that would just lead to a generation of laziness. Everyone would take out student loans without hesitation.” said John Adams, a senior at FSU.

Another issue addressed was the how many college students attend college for four to six years and when they graduate they can’t find jobs in their fields! “We spend all these years and thousands of dollars to graduate from colleges and then we become managers of food and retail stores.” said Bryan Knox, a junior at FSU. This is very discouraging to think about for me and for almost every student at the rally. If we cannot be guaranteed jobs in the fields we major or minor in what is the purpose of attending college in the first place?

When the topic of attending college was addressed it turned into a very controversial subject. Some students thought that it is necessary to attend college and some thought that college is forced on students by family and society. When students graduate from high school they are faced with the choice to either immediately start working or have the option of attending college. Attend college and then you will be able to find a better paying job is usually what we are told, but is it really the best decision? In my opinion, attending college in today’s economy guarantees you nothing but an over sized piece of paper with your name on it. Students can graduate from high school and sometimes find better jobs than many college graduates. Overall, this was a very interesting rally and I think students should hold more events on campus. There’s strength in numbers, so the more students that participate in these rallies and voice their opinions the better. Who knows what kinds of changes or impacts we can make for our futures if we stand together and fight for what we believe in.