Department of Music, Theatre & Dance Professors Receive 2010 Best Teacher Awards

Colorado State University will honor the 2010 Best Teacher Award recipients during a reception at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom.

The Colorado State University Alumni Association and its affiliate student group, the Student Alumni Connection, recognize outstanding Colorado State University educators each year with Best Teacher Awards.

“The Best Teacher Awards program provides a unique opportunity for students to express their appreciation for those who have positively impacted their academic and personal lives,” said Rebecca Lang, Student Alumni Connection past president. Six teachers honored this year

Six teachers are being honored this year including Jolyon T. “JT” Hughes, Siu Au Lee, Gideon Markman, Nathan “Cory” Seymour, Barbara Thiem and Melissa Wdowik.

The Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance is honored to have Cory Seymour, Professor of Stage Management and Stagecraft, and Barbara Thiem, Special Assistant Professor of Cello and Chamber Music as recipients.

Nathan “Cory” Seymour is a professor of Stage Management and Stagecraft in the Division of Dance and Theatre in the College of Liberal Arts. After world tours as an electrician with Alvin Ailey American Dance Company, Seymour worked in New York from 1990 to 1999 on several major Broadway shows as an electrician and props crew head, including “The Who’s Tommy,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Barrymore,” “Sunset Boulevard,” “Titanic” and “Phantom of the Opera.”

Seymour was prop shop foreman with the Denver Center of Performing Arts from 1999 until he joined CSU’s theatre faculty as shop foreman in 2003. Seymour is now technical director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, instructs design fundamentals, stage management, production management and technical theatre, and has been involved in major theatre productions, and many dance and opera productions.

“My favorite part about being in his stage management class was that Mr. Seymour ‘walked the walk and talked the talk’,” said Christina Fontana (senior), one of Seymour’s students. “He taught us leadership by being a leader in class discussions, he taught us organization by his detailed structure of the class, and he taught us the importance of balancing patience, guidance, and delegating when stage managing a production, by doing so in the classroom.”

Barbara Thiem is a special assistant professor of cello and chamber music and an artist-in-residence in the Department of Music in the College of Liberal Arts. Thiem is an internationally acclaimed cellist who combines teaching cello and coaching chamber music with her active schedule of performances in Europe and the United States, playing recitals, solo with orchestra and chamber music. She is a member of the Mendelssohn Trio and in the summers administers the International Summer Academy of Schloss Ort, Austria.

Thiem has recorded for many radio stations and has produced several recordings. She has published the translation of Gerhard Mantel’s Cello Technique as well as a number of articles on good postural and practicing habits which appeared in the ASTA and Suzuki journals. She has also been involved in research as part of the Center for Biomedical Research in Music Therapy at CSU.

“Barbara Thiem is a very talented cellist and amazing at teaching students how to be great cellists as well,” said A.J. Bush (junior), a student of Thiem. “I enjoy the way she challenges us to be the best we can be and pushes us to reach for our goals. She is also very encouraging and inspiring. She gives us so many different learning opportunities such as studying with other cellists and getting to play in special ensembles.”