Evansville's arts program receives three regional awards

The University of Evansville Opera also received the Ensemble of the Year Award. | File photo
The University of Evansville’s arts programs were big winners at the 2015 Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana Art Awards, taking home three individual awards for artistic contribution to the region.

Evansville’s music programs garnered two of those awards. Dennis Malfatti, the university’s director of choral activities, was honored with the title of Arts Educator of the Year in recognition of the transformational power he has over his students.

“To say Dr. Malfatti made a significant positive impact on my undergraduate experience would be an understatement,” one recent music graduate said. “I have never known a choir director to be so passionate about what he does, and he instills that passion in his students. He hold us to the highest standards of musicianship and discipline and we are all better musicians and students because of it.”

Students and faculty of the University of Evansville Opera also received the Ensemble of the Year Award under the tutelage of associate music professor Jon Truitt. Jack Schriber, chair of the Arts Awards committee, said Truitt’s dedication to his students is remarkable.

“Teaching a full load of applied voice majors, he always has his students’ well-being at heart,” Schriber said. “Exhibiting never-ending energy and optimism, he is demanding of his students, but always encouraging and patient.”

The final honor went to Evansville trustee Bob Jones and his wife, Lisa, who were named Arts Advocates of the Year for their contributions to the school’s highly touted theater programs.

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