Showing posts from July, 2009

Art Education Professor Earns Prominent Invitation

Deborah Smith-Shank, Professor of Art Education, was selected as a representative to the World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE) Summit to take place in Newcastle, England, October 31-November 2, 2009.

The aims of the 2009 Summit are to prepare the WAAE’s contribution to the 2010 UNESCO World Conference in Arts Education, and to develop the relationship between creative pedagogies and the cultivation of knowledge-based societies that nurture sustainable development, global solidarity, cooperation and human rights through strategic partnerships between the WAAE, industry, civil society and government representatives.At the 2009 summit WAAE hopes to make significant progress toward their aims which are focused through five specific objectives:

1. To produce a Joint Declaration which responds to the diversity of challenges in implementing creative pedagogies of transformation and to the recommendations of the 2006 UNESCO Road Map for Arts Education;

2. To advance the integration of New Med…

Internet2 Technologies and the NIU School of Music

NIU’s investment in Internet2 and NIUNet has enabled the School of Music to participate in cutting-edge videoconferencing technologies benefiting students and faculty at NIU and extending the university’s reach and influence to partner institutions in New York, Nebraska, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Florida, Alaska, Pennsylvania, and California. The School of Music typically takes the leadership role, teaching the partner institution how to use the technology, and will be among a limited number of partners providing guidance to institutions around the world via the Arts and Humanities portion of the official Internet2 website. The NIU Foundation and Graduate School provided initial grant support, and NIU’s Information Technology Services and Media Services are valued partners, as the School of Music builds on the successful experience of providing interactive teaching and performance events, web streaming of performances to international audiences, and archiving of performances for later e…

Music Technology Session Presented at International Conference

Paul Bauer

Paul Bauer, Director of the NIU School of Music, and Dan Nichols, technology coordinator for the NIU School of Music, were co-presenters at the International Biennial Conference of the World Association for Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) held at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music on July 7, 2009. The title of the presentation was "The Use of Technology to Connect the World of Wind Band Music."

The advances in technology via Internet2 and Web 2.0 provide new possibilities of interaction between faculty, students, audience, and other constituencies in local and global contexts. This presentation provided an overview of latest videoconferencing (tele-presence) options, webstreaming performances/lectures, and social networking tools/venues. Information was provided regarding what equipment/software is needed and what questions to ask administrators and Information Technology staff in order to make use of these technologies. Demonstration of the tele…

2009 Outstanding Chicago Music Educator is NIU Alum

Matt Moore, a 1998 graduate of the NIU School of Music, has been awarded the 2009 "Outstanding Chicagoland Music Educator Award" by noted music retailer Quinlan and Fabish. Matt is about to begin his ninth year as director of bands at Fremd High School in Palatine, Illinois. Under his direction the band program has expanded to over 300 students and the Fremd Wind Symphony has appeared by invitation at noted music conferences. The guest speaker for the awards' evening was Vic Firth, retired timpanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, CEO of Vic Firth, Inc., makers of drum sticks, percussion mallets and collector-quality pepper mills (no joke!), who is one Matt's idols and newest best friend! Congratulations, Matt!

Come see "Tomfoolery!"

The NIU School of Theatre and Dance is happy to announce the upcoming "Tomfoolery" performances in Naperville by The Organic Theater Company (see post of July 1 for more Organic Theater information). "Tomfoolery" is a musical revue of the works of satirical composer Tom Lehrer. For more information on this fun and funny production see the Organic website.

School of Music Professor Featured in New Book

School of Music faculty member Robert Fleisher is a contributing composer and essayist in Theresa Sauer's Notations 21 (New York: Mark Batty Publisher, 2009), an anthology of new music scores celebrating 40 years since the publication of Notations by composer John Cage. The images here are of the book's cover and an excerpt of Dr. Fleisher's amplified woodwind trio, Mandala 3:Trigon. His invited article, "Being of Sound (and Visual) Mind," also appears in the book.

Several other works by Dr. Fleisher have recently been performed in two concerts of the Chicago Miniaturist Ensemble and at Northern Illinois University, the 39th New Music Festival at Ball State University, a Society of Composers conference at Oklahoma City University, and the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, attended by more than 100 composers from many nations.

Dean Rich Holly Interview Appears Online

Rich Holly, Dean of the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts, was recently interviewed regarding his book "Majoring in Music - All the Stuff You Need to Know." The interview appears in the new online issue of

NIU Music Alum Receives Award

Colleen Schmuckal, a 2008 graduate of the NIU School of Music, recently completed her first year of studies as a Master of Music student in ethnomusicology at the University of Hawaii. During April, Colleen visited Japan (a return trip for her) and was awarded the Monbukagakusho Scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education (MEXT). This award will support Colleen for the next two years, while she's engaged in an indescribable number and variety of studies, training, performances, and composition projects. She'll then return to the University of Hawaii to complete her degree. In the photo above, Colleen can be seen with many Japanese musicians, and in particular several of her mentors are in the second row.

NIU Art Professor Continues to Make Lives Healthier Throughout the World

NIU School of Art Professor Manuel (Manny) Hernandez is currently in Nigeria setting up a ceramic water filtration facility for a community in need of fresh water. The project is funded by Imabridge, a newly-established NGO. Manny and his assistant have fabricated a press, cement molds, a hammermill, a clay mixer and a kiln. Following completion of this project Manny will travel to Baghdad to start a similar project with the U.S. Army.

These projects follow similar ones organized and completed by Manny in countries such as Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Cambodia, and many others. Through these water filtration devices that Manny designed, fresh drinking water can be provided for about $5.00 per year for an entire family.

Jazz Lab Band Accepted to Perform and Present at IMEA 2010

The NIU Jazz Lab Band, under the direction of Rodrigo Villanueva, will present a clinic and a concert at the Illinois Music Educators Association 2010 All-State Conference on January 29, 2010! Being accepted to present and perform at the IMEA Conference is a competitive application process and a high honor - Congratulations to Rodrigo and the students in the Jazz Lab Band!

Organic Theater Company Concludes Successful 2009 Season

The Organic Theater Company has finished its 2009 spring season at the Greenhouse Theatre Center in Chicago's Lincoln Park. The figures are not all in, but it's clear that the audience attendance has doubled since 2008.

NIU presence at the Organic Theater is incredibly strong, and includes Director of the NIU School of Theatre and Dance Alex Gelman serving as Producing Artistic Director of the Organic, as well as NIU School of Theatre and Dance faculty members Terrence McClellan, Melanie Parks, NIU alumni as actors, lighting designer, and stage manager, an NIU music alum as sound designer, and a number of current NIU students serving as interns.

All great theatre training programs around the world are either attached to working theatres or have theatre companies grow out their midst. Konstantin Stanislavsky, the inventor of the famed method and founder of the Moscow Art Theatre believed that the most effective way to practice theatre and training was through a triumvirate: “Scho…

NIU Percussion Ensemble Wins Prestigious International Competition

The NIU Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of professors Robert Chappell and Gregory Beyer, won the 2009 Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition. The PAS competition is the most rigorous and recognized such competition in the world. This is the second time the NIU ensemble competed, and won both times - the first win came in 2003. Today's announcement comes on the heels of the NIU Percussion Ensemble having recently been honored to be the sole percussion group from the United States at the first International Festival of Percussion in San José, Costa Rica in May.

As part of winning the competition, the NIU Percussion Ensemble will appear at the 2009 Percussive Arts Society International Convention November 11-14, in Indianapolis. For more information, see the PASIC website.

Congratulations to Robert, Greg and all the students!