Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Robert Fleisher, Professor Emeritus of Music Theory and Composition in the NIU School of Music, is one of six composers whose vocal music is featured on the CD "Portraits" (Capstone CPS-8792), released in 2008. In his March/April 2011 Journal of Singing review, Gregory Berg wrote: “This is an exemplary recording … it is difficult to imagine anyone being ultimately disappointed with a disk featuring well nigh perfect performances of such intriguing repertoire.” Dr. Fleisher is represented on that recording by his Five Songs from Carl Sandburg’s “Prairie,” performed by soprano Lynn Eustis and pianist Elvia Puccinelli. Berg noted that Dr. Fleisher’s songs “are particularly apt in how they embody the spirit of the texts so convincingly, with an openness that never feels empty.” The first performance of this complete song cycle was given in 2004 by NIU alum, Dr. Emily Truckenbrod (director of vocal studies, SIU-Edwardsville), accompanied by Amy I-Lin Ching, during the national conference of the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI).
This Sunday evening, November 16, from 11:00 pm to 12 midnight (CST), Dr. Fleisher’s Five Songs were among several works from "Portraits" to be featured during “Singing and other Sins,” a broadcast of Hawaii Public Radio (HPR1), which is streamed live and can be heard worldwide.
This past weekend Lucia Matos, NIU School of Music professor and conductor of the award-winning NIU Philharmonic, served as guest conductor of the Chicago Sinfonietta. The concerts, on November 15 and 17, were part of the three-day annual Mexican cultural and heritage “Dia De Los Muertos” festival. On extranews.net, reviewer Sandra Trevino stated, “With guest conductor Lucia Matos at the helm, Chicago Sinfonietta’s Dia De Los Muertos celebration offers a complex musical exploration of the human experience as it goes through the stages of grief and joy when losing a loved one.”
Monday, November 10, 2014
This past week and weekend the annual national conference of the American Musicological Society was held in Milwaukee. During the conference, NIU School of Music alumna Mia Gormandy was awarded the prestigious Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship. This fellowship's intention is to increase the number of minority scholars and teachers in musicology, and the award covers the cost of one year of graduate work. Mia is completing her Ph.D. at Florida State University.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
We're pleased to announce that the work of Mike Rea, assistant professor of sculpture in the NIU School of Art and Design, has a show opening this week in Chicago. Entitled "Neck Romancer," the show will be on exhibition at the Union League Club of Chicago with the opening reception scheduled for Thursday, November 6, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.
The show is scheduled to run through the month of November.
Monday, November 3, 2014
Robert Fleisher, Professor Emeritus of Music Theory and Composition in the NIU School of Music, recently participated in the national conference of the College Music Society (CMS) in St. Louis, Missouri, where his electro-acoustic composition Loretto Alfresco was heard during a program of fixed media works on October 30. Earlier in October, his Ma mère was recorded in Philadelphia by cellist Ovidiu Marinescu (West Chester University) for a forthcoming Parma Recordings CD.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
We are very excited to announce that Marquis Hill, alumnus of the NIU School of Music, is a finalist in the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Competition, widely regarded as the most prestigious jazz competition in the world.
This year's competition is strictly for trumpeters. Marquis will join 12 other trumpeters in Los Angeles on November 8 and 9; in the first round, each player has 15 minutes to perform, accompanied by a trio of internationally-recognized jazz artists: Rodney Whitaker on bass, Carl Allen on drums, and NIU's new coordinator of jazz studies on piano, Reggie Thomas. Three will be chosen to perform in the second round on Sunday, November 9, at the Dolby Theater. Following those three performances, an all-star gala hosted by Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones and Kevin Spacey will take place. Some of the artists in the gala are Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath, Chaka Khan, Kenny Burrell, Vinnie Colaiuta, and many other internationally-recognized performers.
Marquis has been one of Chicago's most in-demand jazz trumpeters since his undergraduate years at NIU, and he was the winner of the 2012 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Trumpet Competition. He has appeared as a sideman on several notable recordings, including four as a leader. Marquis comes back to NIU each summer to teach at the NIU Jazz Camp, to help mentor the next generation of Chicagoland jazz artists.
Congratulations, Marquis, and we're rooting for you!
We've received word that Concertos for Brass, the recent full-length CD recording of compositions by NIU School of Music associate professor Thomas Bough, has made it through the first round of nominees for the 2015 Grammy® Awards. Tom's CD is nominated in the Classical Compendium category, and his work "Suite Tuba" which is featured on the recording is nominated in the Contemporary Classical Composition category.
Tom's recording features his compositions and the solo performances of several well-known brass soloists including Larry Williams (horn), Jeff Malecki (euphonium), and NIU professor of trumpet Mark Ponzo. Tom also appears on the recording as tuba soloist.
At this point in the Grammy® nomination process there are numerous verified nominations, which, through a series of voting rounds, will be culled to the final 5 nominees early this coming winter.
Congratulations, Tom, and best wishes in the next rounds of voting!