PROF WINS GRAMMY

 

by Roslyn Lang

Daily Cougar Staff

Virgin Classics' recording of <I>Susannah<P>, composed by UH M.D. Anderson Professor Carlisle Floyd, won the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording in the classical music category at the March 1 ceremony.

"I was thrilled and honored to have the recording receive a nomination, given the number of operatic recordings there are in any given year by very distinguished artists. Actually, winning the award doubled the pleasure of being nominated," Floyd said.

John Rockwell, in his recordings review for The New York Times, called Floyd's <I>Susannah<P> the "most American of American folk operas."

Rockwell also said the performance by the Lyons Opera in France and the delay of 40 years before the opera received its first studio recording raises questions, which may convey much about "lingering prejudices that cut through American cultural life." To have such a quintessential American work recorded in the middle of Europe, with artists from varying backgrounds, gave the recording its uniqueness, Floyd said.

He said, "(The award) is one of the most pleasant professional experiences I've ever had. A great deal of it has to do with the fact that (the opera) was multinational.

The four leads were American, the secondary roles were primarily British and Welsh, and the chorus was French and British. They learned (the opera) phonetically." Floyd said the general director for the Lyons Opera, Jean-Pierre Brossman, did not know the piece, but the intrigue generated from the conductor's and the principals' enthusiasm for the piece prompted the choice of <I>Susannah<P> for recording.

Floyd said he felt gratified by the faith of the conductor, Kent Nagana, and by the enthusiasm ultimately felt by the orchestra and the chorus for the piece, which was totally unknown to them.

Floyd, born in 1926, composed <I>Susannah<P> at the age of 28. He received national prominence when the New York City Opera premiered the opera in 1956 after its world premiere at Florida State University in 1955.

Floyd earned B.S. and M.M. degrees in piano and composition from Syracuse University. He began his teaching career at FSU in 1947 and continued there until 1976, when he accepted the M.D. Anderson position at UH. Floyd is also co-director of the Houston Opera Studio, which was created as a joint effort between UH and the Houston Grand Opera.

Floyd said he will serve in an advisory capacity during the Houston Grand Opera's production of <I>Susannah<P> next year.

Floyd's other most performed work is <I>Of Mice and Men<P>, which is based on John Steinbeck's novel. It received its premiere by the Seattle Opera in 1970 and was commissioned by the Ford Foundation.

Floyd's other major commissions have come from the Kennedy Center Foundation as well as from the New York City; Santa Fe, N.M.; Miami; and Houston opera companies.

Floyd has also been the recipient of a number of honors and awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship (1956) and the National Opera Institute's Award for Service to American Opera (1983), the highest honor the institute bestows.

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COOGS UPSET FROGS IN SWC TOURNEY OPENER

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

DALLAS -- All season long, the Houston Cougars have chosen youth, rather than experience, as part of their inevitable rebuilding process.

Thursday afternoon against Texas Christian, that youth came up big.

In the opening round of the Dr Pepper Southwest Conference Postseason Classic, the Cougars knocked off their regular-season nemesis 80-77, with the game in the hands of three freshmen, a sophomore and a senior. They proved capable of preserving a close lead down the stretch.

An offensive rebound by sophomore swing-man Willie Byrd, with 14 seconds left, off a missed free throw by freshman Damon Jones was the difference.

Byrd, who had seven points and six rebounds, first caught the ball as it came off the back iron and chased it into a corner, where he was fouled by TCU big-man Kurt Thomas.

"I was just trying to crash the boards," Byrd said. "I was lucky enough to fake in, then come back, and the ball popped out for me."

Byrd made one of his two resulting free throws, then got the board when Horned Frogs freshman Juan Braggs' wild three-point try, with under three seconds left, was off the mark.

Byrd's next two foul shots sealed the deal.

Houston (9-18, 6-9 in the SWC) found itself down 16-3 early in the first half, but wound up in front 74-63 with 5:30 left to play, thanks to a solid defensive effort.

"We had two major points of emphasis coming into the game," said Cougars head coach Alvin Brooks. "One was to rotate Galen (Robinson) and Jermaine (Johnson) and put some big bodies on Kurt where he couldn't just turn and shoot on us like he did in Houston (on Feb. 11), where he had 43 points."

That strategy worked well. Thomas wound up 9-of-19 from the floor after scoring 13 of TCU's first 20 points. He got to the line 16 times, but missed eight of his chances there.

Overall, the NCAA's regular-season scoring leader (29 points a game) was "held" to 26 points and 20 rebounds.

Regardless, he had the Cougars' big men sitting quite a bit in the second half. When forward Kirk Ford got called for an offensive charge at the 9:02 mark, it gave him, Tim Moore, Robinson and Johnson -- all key frontcourt players -- four fouls apiece.

Brooks didn't waver, rotating who he had until his five best remaining players were Robinson, Jesse Drain, Byrd, Jones and point guard Tommie Davis. Only Robinson topped 6-7.

"Our game plan was working to that point," Brooks said. "I thought it allowed us to get the lead, and I didn't think we could change it just because we had some guys in foul trouble."

But TCU (16-11, 8-7 SWC) came back. An 11-2 run put the score at 76-74 with 1:04 left.

"We were getting wide-open layups late in the game when they were in foul trouble," said TCU head coach Billy Tubbs.

Moore led UH with his second straight 19-point, 15-rebound effort. Drain had 14 and 10, respectively, while Jones scored all his 14 points in the second half.

Today, Houston will face No. 2 seed Texas Tech (19-8, 12-3 SWC) at 8 p.m. The Red Raiders bumped first-round opponent Southern Methodist 92-54 Thursday.

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PEOPLES' PARTY BECOMES CHOICE OF THE PEOPLE

Fuller, Zuber accuse Election Commission officials of improprieties

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

The Peoples' Party swept the Students' Association elections, winning 15 of 32 Senate seats, as well as the student regent and vice presidential races.

The party momentum was not high enough to propel Peoples' Party presidential candidate Henry Bell into office. Instead, Bell will face C.L.A.S.S. candidate Gio Garibay in a runoff to be held Wednesday and Thursday.

Bell had 502 votes to Garibay's 365. Hunter Jackson, running with the LEAD party, received 251 votes, and Mike Luka, of the Party Party, received 133.

Ashley Gillespie, campaign manager for the Peoples' Party, said he expected a difficult race ahead.

"We got that 500, but with that Hunter factor out, it's going to be close," he said.

Dom Lewinsohn of the Peoples' Party narrowly avoided a runoff for vice president by winning 591 votes. K.K. Lilie of LEAD received 362 votes, while John Olszewski of the Party Party received 195. Jennifer Zuber received 40 write-in votes, but these votes were not counted because Zuber was barred from the election after allegations of forgery three weeks ago.

Lewinsohn was involved in a runoff election last year when he ran for president and narrowly lost to Angie Milner.

The turnout was the largest in recent history, with a total of 1,428 ballots cast.

Zuber also received one vote for each at-large Senate seat, president, student regent and Law senator, courtesy of one voter who chose to express his or her opinion of the situation with "Fuck You, SA" in large letters at the bottom.

The final day of the elections was marred by complaints filed by Fuller and Zuber. Fuller's complaint alleged that Election Commissioner Robert Kramp and Assistant Election Commissioner Bill Carroll had looked at the ballots that were collected Wednesday. Fuller said Carroll allegedly told a poll worker to expect a runoff between Jackson and Bell.

Zuber also filed an official complaint against Kramp, charging that he was abusing his power by denying her the right to have her votes counted.

Kramp said he would respond to the complaints today after announcing the official results. The results announced Thursday night are unofficial and must be verified by Kramp today before becoming official.

Sen. Justin McMurtry, who staged a last-minute write-in campaign, lost to LEAD candidate Rick Boeker, who was the only candidate on the ballot for HFAC seat No. 4.

Sens. Andrea Rachiele, Casey McMurtry, Nicole McZeal, Nikki Mike and John Moore will be the only returning senators when the new Senate convenes in April.

 

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UH'S CONFERENCE SIGNS TV CONTRACT

by Jason Paul Ramírez

and Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

UH's new athletic conference signed a six-year, $13 million television contract with Creative Sports in conjunction with ESPN, said UH athletic director Bill Carr Thursday.

The contract will be for basketball and will begin next year. UH will not join the conference until the 1996 football season, and will therefore not start receiving its share of the revenue until then.

Carr said the schools will each receive $100,000, plus what they make from overall appearances.

"I am pleased and excited that (the TV deal) is going to get under way," he said. "It's unfortunate we won't be part of it now, but we will."

He added that UH staying in the Southwest Conference until 1996 is "the right thing to do."

The new conference is also working on a deal for football with either the Liberty or Prime networks.

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UH CAN TAKE TECH, COACH SAYS

LADY COOGS CONFIDENT FOR GAME DAY

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

DALLAS -- Earlier this week, Houston coach Jessie Kenlaw took a stand and made a bold prediction. Following Monday's practices, Kenlaw predicted it would be her Lady Cougars in the finals of this weeks' Southwest Conference Postseason Classic in Dallas.

Yes, even if that meant having to face No. 6 Texas Tech somewhere along the way.

"I just have a feeling," Kenlaw said, "that it's going to be us playing Saturday."

Of course, with Houston having to face the SWC regular-season champion Lady Raiders at noon today in Reunion Arena, not too many people would fault Kenlaw, or the Cougars, should they not succeed.

After all, Tech (28-3, 14-1 in the SWC) is 16th in the nation in scoring (81.2 points per game), fifth in field-goal percentage (48.6 percent), sixth in defensive field goal percentage (35.2) and has an average victory margin of 22.9 points, eighth in the country.

"I do feel good about going up against Texas Tech if we stick to our game plan," Kenlaw said. "I mean, we almost beat them when they came to our place."

Indeed, Tech may have been fortunate to get out of Hofheinz Pavilion with a narrow 78-76 victory over the Cougars on Feb. 15.

"Houston did a great job when we played them last," Raiders coach Marsha Sharp said. "But we actually lead by 18 points and just didn't take care of business at the free-throw line, which enabled them to come back."

Tech also needed every bit of SWC Player of the Year (center) Michi Atkins' 30 points in taking over for injured regular starter Connie Robinson, who went down Feb. 8 with a leg injury two games prior to the Houston game, missing the rest of the regular season.

However, Robinson made her first appearance since that night in the Raiders' 87-36 first-round defeat of Texas Christian Wednesday at Southern Methodist's Moody Coliseum.

In 12 minutes of action, the 6-1 Robinson scored eight points on 3-of-7 shooting.

"My whole mindset to play well (Wednesday) was to pretend like I'd never left," Robinson said.

Houston, on the another hand, is coming off its 77-48 victory over Rice in Wednesday's first round. Cougars guard Stacey Johnson was once again the story as she scored 17 points against the Owls.

As far as how the senior guard did in this year's season series vs. Tech, Johnson averaged an even 20 points in the two losses.

Houston sophomore forward Pat Luckey poured in 24 when the teams met in the slim loss at Hofheinz.

 

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BRING IN A NEW GENERATION OF PUNK MUSIC

Photo by Joseph Cultice/EMI Records

D Generation's debut album may bring about a resurrection of punk rock music for the masses.

by Jim Presnell

Daily Cougar Staff

If the success of the band Greenday bears any relation to what's happening in music right now, the time might well be right for a resurrection of punk as a pop music form.

Now along comes a New York City band, D Generation, with a more polished and listenable sound, which should be a bit easier to market to the masses in the short term. In other words, it has the components of nouveau punk lite.

The guitars wail aplenty, the lyricist practically bleeds bile from open cuts and the bass drums' anchor, on which the music is based, sounds rock-solid.

D Generation includes Jesse Malin on vocals, Danny Sage on guitar and vocals, Richard Bacchus on guitar and vocals, Howie Pyro on bass and Michael Wildwood on drums.

Comparisons of this band to new punk-wavers Greenday really can't qualify as fair. It's sort of like the juxtaposition of two first-wave punk bands by record label. While Warner Brothers' ancillary label, Sire, hosted the Sex Pistols in the U.S. and now has Greenday, Chrysalis boasted in its time the (ultimately) more polished Generation X, and now the well-produced D Generation debut.

There is plenty to be angry about, these guys figure out early on in this release. In "Guitar Mafia," they sing, "33 years and nothing to show / They hang you to a cross / Go to college or you're lost / Wed a virgin queen / Mannequin dreams be the king of Queens ... "

Many of the songs have an immediate feel of long-lasting, quality material here, such as "Feel Like Suicide," recommended for play on those not-quite-great days.

There is good and very good here, and a bit of spit and polish doesn't lessen the impact of what this band strives for. D Generation definitely has something to say, and a memorable way of saying it.

There are even words that could apply to the resurgence of punk rock, or to this band's pre-major label efforts. On "Ghosts," Malin sings, "Fans of the past / That cling to the sound / I wake up today / But I can't live it down..."

 

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