White House correspondent April Ryan to deliver 25th annual lecture on race relations at ASU

February 21, 2020

April Ryan is a veteran White House correspondent and CNN political correspondent who has reported on national urban issues since President Bill Clinton’s tenure.

Her work reaches millions of African American readers and listeners and close to 300 radio affiliates through American Urban Radio Networks, where she serves as the Washington, D.C., bureau chief, and her news blog, "Fabric of America.” April Ryan White House correspondent April Ryan will deliver the annual A. Wade Smith Lecture on Race Relations on March 3. Download Full Image

Ryan will be featured March 3 at The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ 25th annual A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

The A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations was created in 1995 to perpetuate the work of a man who had devoted his life to the idea of racial parity. As professor and chair of sociology at Arizona State University, A. Wade Smith worked tirelessly to improve race relations on the ASU campus and within the greater community. When he died of cancer at the age of 43, his wife, family members and friends made memorial gifts to establish and fund this lecture series.

"I am totally delighted that we have been able to carry on Wade's work through this annual lecture,” said Elsie Moore, a professor in the School of Social Transformation and wife of the late A. Wade Smith. “The lecture was really Wade's idea. Among the many things he was working on at the time of his death was a proposal for external funding to support a lecture series in what was then the Department of Sociology. To know that this university lecture series has lasted 25 years is truly gratifying."

Ryan obtained a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Morgan State University and holds an honorary doctorate from her alma mater and another from Claflin University. As the only female African American White House correspondent focused on urban issues, Ryan has used her unique insight to produce nuanced reporting on the racial sensitivities, issues and political struggles of the country’s last three presidents.

“Each year, The College’s A. Wade Smith Lecture series invites a distinguished guest to bring important issues of race and society to the forefront of the ASU community,” said Patrick Kenney, dean of The College. “We are honored to host April Ryan as this year’s featured speaker.” 

25th annual A. Wade Smith Memorial Lecture on Race Relations

Who: April Ryan

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 3

Where: Armstrong Hall, room 101, 1100 S. McAllister Ave., Tempe

The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

Music professor to perform world premiere of saxophone concerto by Grammy-nominated composer

February 21, 2020

Christopher Creviston, associate professor in Arizona State University's School of Music and internationally renowned saxophonist, will perform the world premiere of Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra (2019) by Carter Pann, Grammy-nominated composer and 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist in music, on Feb. 29 with the ASU Symphony Orchestra.

Commissioned by Creviston and ASU’s Symphony Orchestra with Jeffery Meyer and the Crane Symphony Orchestra with Ching-Chun Lai, the concerto will also be performed by Creviston and the ASU Symphony Orchestra at the March 6 at the Mesa Arts Center as the opening concert of the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference. Christopher Creviston Christopher Creviston Download Full Image

This is the third world premiere Creviston will perform with the ASU large ensembles. In 2016, he performed the world premiere of William Bolcom’s Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Winds, and in 2014 he presented the world premiere of Frank Ticheli’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble.

A champion of new music, Creviston has commissioned or collaborated on commissions of over 35 works for solo saxophone and saxophone chamber music.

Creviston’s latest recording, “Phoenix Rising” (July 2019), includes premieres of 11 new composition commissions.

In a featured review of the album, Heidi Radtke of The Saxophonist magazine stated, "Simply put, this album is stunning. The compositions are excellent. The performances are first rate ... captivating from beginning to end. ‘Phoenix Rising’ is highly recommended for all and should be required listening within every saxophone studio."

The album, on the Blue Griffin label, features new works by composers William Bolcom, Stacy Garrop, Eric Mandat, Mischa Zupko, Carter Pann, John Anthony Lennon and Evan Hause. All compositions were commissioned by and for Creviston and include guest artists Hannah Creviston, piano; the Arizona State University Wind Symphony with Gary W. Hill, conductor; and Joseph Lulloff, alto saxophone.

The recording is available at Presto Music, Spotify, Amazon and iTunes among others.

Creviston, a Yamaha Performing Artist, has performed in venues ranging from the Apollo Theater to Carnegie Hall and has been featured with some of the world’s top orchestras and wind ensembles. A versatile player with experience in the world of classical repertoire as well as jazz and pop, he performs regularly as a soloist, with the Capital Quartet and in duos with pianist Hannah Creviston and guitarist Oren Fader. Creviston is the current president of the North American Saxophone Alliance and serves as the faculty mentor of the Arizona State University Saxophone Studio.

Lynne MacDonald

communications specialist, School of Music