Join in on the Q Coffee Conversation!
Q Coffee Conversations is an Arts Lecture Series that is aimed at bringing working artists in the community to you as they discuss their path to where they are today! Not all paths are the same, so get a unique and inside look at this amazing group of artists right in our own back yard.
Q Coffee Conversations are from 10am-11am in the Carol Wedge Studio Theatre at SKyPAC. Tickets are $10, General Admission.
Upcoming Q Coffee Conversation dates and artists:
September 8 with tv/film actor, Andy Stahl
September 11 with artist, Jennifer Frisch
October 13 with TBD
November 10 with arranger, composer, musician, Chris Carmichael
November 13 with sculptor, David Marquez
December 4 with conductor, Brian St. John
December 8 with playwright, Debbie Thornton
Early on, Andy Stahl moved around as his airline pilot father was transferred, including early school years in the bay area of California. When he was nine, he moved with his parents to the family farm near Bowling Green, Kentucky which he still owns and operates. He graduated from Western Kentucky University, and had early careers as a musician and visual artist before taking up acting in local regional theater. In New York, he studied with Wynn Handman, Jack Waltzer and William Hickey, and eventually migrated back to the Southeast to build his career. He currently lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia and Nashville, Tennessee when he’s not at home on the farm.
He has one son, Reuben, and two step children, Liza and Sam, the youngest a sophomore in high school.
Jennifer Miller Fritsch
Jennifer Miller Fritsch grew up in Sonora, KY, on her grandparents’ farm. Her love of art began early as a child where she realized that not only was it an escape but a way to say what she needed to say without saying a word. She attended LaRue County High School and graduated in 1993.
She attended Elizabethtown Community College after high school and majored in Criminology and Psychology. After 3 years she realized that the art making that she loved had to be a focus in her life so she transferred to Western Kentucky University and majored in Fine Art. She obtained her BFA in Painting, with a double minor in Art History and Psychology in 2000. She then went on to work on her Art Education Certification and began her teaching career in 2003 at Glasgow Middle School, where she currently teaches.
She has shown work in various shows(juried and solo exhibitions) in Bowling Green (solo shows at the Phoenix theatre, Capitol Arts Building, The Downing Museum), the Senate Building in Washington, DC, Ecuador and various locations in KY and Nashville, TN.
She lives in Bowling Green, is married to Blake and has a 9year old dancing artist named CoraLeigh.
Arranger, Composer, Musician
Chris Carmichael is an arranger, composer, multi-instrumentalist, studio musician, recording artist, and singer/songwriter. He graduated from Bowling Green High School and majored in violin performance at Western Kentucky University. Chris toured with major label recording artists before being signed to Atlantic records in New York as an artist and later as a staff songwriter for Warner/Chappell publishing company also in New York. He has performed on a total of 11 GRAMMY award nominated and / or winning records (with 7 of them being GRAMMY winners) and 25 gold and platinum RIAA certified recordings for major recording artists including Taylor Swift, Lionel Richie, George Strait, Buddy Guy, Sheryl Crow, Tim McGraw, and many more. Chris’ orchestral arrangements have been performed by major orchestras such as the Boston Pops. His major motion picture musical contributions include “The Sapphires”, “Role Models”, “Shrek 2” and “Down In The Valley”. Chris now resides in his hometown of Bowling Green, KY with his wife and 2 children, working for artists all over the world from his home studio, “Stonehurst”.
David was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and raised primarily in the rural farm areas of the commonwealth. He is an explorer and maker of things. He received a BFA in graphic design from Western Kentucky University and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Iowa. An avid maker, builder, mold maker, and metal caster, his work has been exhibited in national exhibitions throughout the east coast and Midwest. He has shown internationally in group exhibitions in Australia and Germany. His series, entitled Germination, was presented in a solo exhibition in South Korea. He is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at his alma mater, Western Kentucky University. He is a board member for Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum and founding mentor to the WKU League of Sculptors.
Brian St. John
Dr. Brian St. John is the Baker Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky where he conducts the WKU Symphony and WKU String Ensemble. Prior to his appointment at WKU, Dr. St. John was Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras at the University of Evansville. At UE St. John directed the University Symphony Orchestra and String Ensemble and taught conducting and composition courses. During his years in Evansville, Dr. St. John was also Assistant Conductor for the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director for the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Earlier in his career Dr. St. John spent 13 years in Boulder County, Colorado, where he was Resident Conductor for the Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Longmont Youth Symphony and Music Director for the Niwot Timberline Symphony (now the Boulder Symphony Orchestra). In addition to conducting hundreds of concerts in that span, St. John wrote and premiered seven original ballets, a piano concerto, a concertino for string bass and orchestra and a double concerto for mandolin, mandola, and strings. Additionally, he co-founded two arts organizations which are still in operation in Boulder County and even taught public school strings for four years!
Dr. St. John holds a bachelor’s degree in viola performance and a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting from Arizona State University. While in Arizona, St. John also served as Music Director for the North Valley Chamber Orchestra and was adjunct faculty at Paradise Valley Community College; both in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Brian St. John’s 8th ballet, The Little Mermaid, was filmed by PBS television station WNIN in Evansville, Indiana, and was broadcast over regional PBS stations. It was premiered by the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and was fully produced and staged in the spring of 2014.
On December 2, 2016, The Symphony at WKU along with the Department of Theatre and Dance premiered his setting of Clement Clarke Moore’s Twas the Night Before Christmas. Laura Rogers from WBKO television was the guest narrator. In April 2018, the WKU Department of Theatre and Dance premiered his Divertimento for dancers, electronic instruments, and electric cello. In September 2021, the WKU Symphony premiered his Double Concerto No. 2 for Mandolin, Mandola, and Strings.
Debbie Thornton enjoys writing, directing and acting. The stage is an exciting and expressive place, we convey wonderful messages and entertain, make people laugh and make people cry. Debbie lived in Los Angeles, California for sometime and pursued an acting, then writing career. She wrote numerous screenplays, optioned the work and worked on rewrites as well. She became a member of AFTRA, SAG and WGAw. She returned to her Kentucky home of Franklin, worked in her family business and enjoys writing and directing theatre. She currently live in Nashville, Tennessee, is a member of Crieve Hall Church of Christ, and most recently wrote, directed and narrated This Place We Call Home, a bicentennial play written for the Franklin-Simpson Arts Council and was the first play on the stage at the renovated Goodnight Theatre.