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 educational, public relations, and recruiting purposes.

Beginning fall semester 2009, the School of Music will have two-camera, high definition, digital audio recording and streaming capabilities from both the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall (due in part to the investment of $30,000 in equipment by Media Services) and the Recital Hall, providing students, faculty, and extended international audiences with the finest such capabilities to be found anywhere in higher education. It will be possible to provide a high definition (Blu-ray) DVD to performers only minutes after the event has concluded. Additionally, single camera capabilities in a teacher certification classroom and three portable units that can be used throughout the Music Building are also available to support these technological activities.

One upcoming Internet2 activity is with the School of Music and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO), who would like to capitalize on the connectivity with hospitals, allowing the School of Music and ESO to serve as content providers of performances throughout the state. In addition, the School of Music will partner with rural and urban school districts for instructional and teacher training purposes.

The NIU School of Music is establishing itself as a leader internationally in the use of Internet2 technologies and with the support of NIU’s Information Technology Services and Media Services will serve as a resource to the university, as others at NIU step up to the opportunity afforded by this technology.

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