Collaborative Performing Arts Show, Oct. 2: “Countdown to the New House”

Collaborative Performing Arts Show, Oct. 2: “Countdown to the New House”

When the lights go down on a new collaborative arts performance in the E-Auditorium on Oct. 2, it will be in anticipation of the curtains going up in the new Fine Arts Hall in September 2011.

The show, Countdown to the New House, will unite the talents of Santa Fe musicians, dancers, and actors to mark the nine months that remain until the opening of the new performing arts building at Santa Fe College’s Northwest campus.

The free performance starts at 7:30 p.m., and audience members are encouraged to arrive at least 15 minutes early, since tickets are given out at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. Alora Haynes, Academic Chair, Fine Arts Department, expects a full house of almost 300 spectators to pack the E-Auditorium. 

The Countdown to the New House show features a sample of the different types of performances to be staged at the new hall. The presentations include a student-choreographed number called “Sunburned in Funny Places” by the Dance Theatre of Santa Fe, a student monologue from Theatre Santa Fe, and a ’50s medley from the Santa Fe Vocal Ensemble.

Also on the program are the Santa Fe Winds, the Renaissance stylings of the Madrigal Singers, Santa Fe’s Jazz BandSanta Fe R&B , Santa Fe Singers, and two tenors performing a duet of “La donna è mobile” from Verdi’s opera Rigoletto.

“We like our productions to be very diverse,” said Haynes. “We want the students to have exposure and access to all performing arts opportunities on campus.”

For three years now, Santa Fe has been putting on this kind of collaborative performance in preparation for the big music theatre productions they envision for the new hall, productions that require music, dancing, and theatre skills.

“We wanted to turn this type of programming into a common practice, so when we move into the new hall, it won’t be our first attempt,” said Haynes.

Don’t think this was just a walk in the park for the performers, though. With less than four weeks to prepare, participants have been exposed to the real-world pressures of the performing arts.

“It’s not easy,” said Haynes. “We collaborate like this once or twice a year, because you want to teach students how to function in a professional work environment. Part of being professional is being quick to prepare. We’re not just a 9 to 5 program. We’re the program that works nights and weekends.”

Even though this is Santa Fe’s grand kickoff for their Performing Arts season, event organizers were mindful of another kickoff, between the Gators and the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide that same night. Following the show is a meet-and-greet with the performers and refreshments, but Haynes assured us that “everybody can make it home to the football game.”

Countdown to the New House is not only the name of the Oct. 2 production but a theme for this performing arts season. Santa Fe sponsors over 40 productions and art exhibits each year, and each one of these productions will be eagerly counting down the days until the new Fine Arts Hall’s fall 2011 grand opening.

“We are very privileged on this campus that the arts are supported,” said Haynes. “Some campuses see the arts as a liability because they come with expenses. But our administration values art as part of a liberal arts education and sees it as an equally important opportunity. For that, everyone is grateful.”

For more information about Santa Fe’s new Fine Arts Hall, please contact Fine Arts Chair Alora Haynes at 352-395-5296 or 

Fine Arts Hall webpage

SF Fine Arts website

Fine Arts Hall Fact Sheet


  • Alora Haynes, 352-395-5296 or
  • Rebecca Rogers, director, facilities planning, on the techical aspects of the building, 352-392-5174 or
  • Julie Garrett, for help facilitating your story, 352-395-5430 (office) or 352-870-2924 (cell) or