Showing posts from September, 2009

Avalon String Quartet Opens Chicago Season with Terrific Performance and Reviews

The Avalon String Quartet, NIU's string quartet in residence, opened their 2009-2010 Chicago series on Friday, September 18 at Gottlieb Hall in the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center in the west loop. Appearing with the quartet as guests were violinist Rachel Barton Pine and pianist Matthew Hagle.

Following their outstanding performance, the quartet received excellent reviews from Lawrence A. Johnson of Chicago Classical Review and the well-respected critic John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune. Mr. von Rhein noted "This is quite simply one of the most polished and dynamic young string quartets I have come across."

The remaining concerts on the Avalon's Chicago series are February 10, 2010 at 7:30, featuring guest Yehuda Hanani on 'cello, and April 18, 2010 at 4:00 featuring guest clarinetist Anthony McGill. Tickets are available at

New Publication by School of Art Visiting Assistant Professor

Bart Bridger Woodstrup (BFA 1995, MM 1999 and current Visiting Assistant Professor of Time Arts) published an excerpt from his 2007 master's thesis "Climate Control" in Predictions (2009) edited by Cara Benson and published by Chain Links.

About Climate Control:

Global climate change and its effect on weather patterns is a concern that affects our collective scientific and cultural consciousness. The Climate Control WEAMOD CC2007 is an interactive video art installation that metaphorically represents the human desire to control climate. Documentation of current weather modification practices were digitally parsed and recombined to form this narrative of contemporary catastrophic weather events and their prevention. As the earth's resources increasingly succumb to the human grasp, Climate Control questions whether the next step is the construction of a human-desirable climate.

About Predictions:

Edited by Cara Benson, with contributors Paul Raskin, Bart Bridger Woodstrup…

Voice Professor's Investigation Proves Rewarding

Myron Myers, Professor of Voice in the NIU School of Music, has unearthed a digitally-remastered version of a world-renowned (and previously unpreserved) film. "Kindertotenlieder" is one of Austrian composer Gustav Mahler's most noted works, premiering in 1905. In 1976, Austrian filmaker Titus Leber made a short film entitled "Kindertotenlieder" which went on to great acclaim and garnered awards the Valladolid and Cannes film festivals in addition to being a nominee for an Academy Award. The film features the great Viennese actress, Elisabeth Kallina, who had a major career at the largest and most prestigious theater in Vienna, the Burgtheater. Ms. Kallina was one of Professor Myers' teachers, and ultimately became his mentor and friend. Upon her death in 2004, Professor Myers discovered that the film had not been preserved correctly, which set him on a course to find Titus Leber. Successfully finding him, now living in Indonesia, Herr Leber thankfully had …

School of Music Director to Present at International Conference

Paul Bauer, Director of the NIU School of Music, has been active working with the NIU Media Services and Information Technology Services departments to make the School of Music one of the most highly equipped schools of any discipline in regards to Internet2 and webcasting capabilities. Through years of experimentation and research into equipment, software, internet-specific needs and the like, Dr. Bauer is fast-becoming a highly-recognized expert in this field.

Dr. Bauer has been invited by the Internet2 consortium leaders to present at their annual meeting in San Antonio in October. Because it is all about the use of Internet2, Dr. Bauer will be able to make his presentation from here in the NIU School of Music to the folks at the conference in San Antonio.

Art Professor Collaborates with Noted NIU Alum/Business Professor

Manny Hernandez

Dennis Barsema

NIU School of Art Professor Manny Hernandez, who continues to help people make potable water in poverty-stricken areas throughout the world, will collaborate with Dennis Barsema, noted NIU alum and currently a professor in the NIU College of Business. Dennis has much experience working with people who live in poor communities around the globe, so matching the work of Manny and Dennis is a natural fit. To learn more about Manny's work, see this earlier post. To learn more about Dennis' work in this arena, check out this article in the DeKalb Chronicle.

Voice Professor Sings for Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients

Robert Sims, Professor of Voice in the NIU School of Music, will perform on Saturday, September 19 at the Patriot Award Dinner as part of the annual convention for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Robert joins actor/musician Gary Sinise, the Chicago Mass Choir, and the U.S. Army Chorus in saluting the 2009 recipients.

Renowned Chinese Music Professor in Residence at NIU

Professor Yao-Hua Wang of National Fu-Jian Normal University in China, renowned ethnomusicologist, will visit the NIU school of Music from September 17 to October 13. During his visit, Professor Wang will be lecturing about Chinese music on topics such as traditional Han court music, religious music, and the folk music (instrumental, vocal, and narrative genres) of various regions in China. Chinese music theory and philosophy will also be discussed in his lectures. A prolific author in both Chinese and Japanese, Professor Wang has published hundreds of monographs and journal articles on traditional Chinese music, Japanese Okinawan folk music and Nanyin, the classical chamber music of the Han tradition. He is also the chief editor of a series of college music textbooks on Chinese and world music. Internationally active in prominent musicology organizations, he has chaired several conferences including the 37th World Conference of the ICTM (International Council for Traditional Music) i…

2009 Edition of Visual Culture and Gender Journal Now Online

The 2009 issue of the edgy, hip online journal "Visual Culture and Gender" is now available online. Professor Debbie Smith-Shank of the NIU School of Art is co-editor of the journal. A new feature in the 2009 volume is "VoiceThread," where readers have the opportunity to record their ideas about the journal and the ideas in the articles. Check it out today!

Crafting Maya Identity

Jeff Kowalski, professor in NIU's School of Art, has compiled a tremendous exhibit, catalog and symposium entitled "Crafting Maya Identity."

The exhibit features the woodcarvings of four contemporary Mayan artists and is on display in the Jack Olson Gallery in the NIU School of Art through September 25. On Saturday, September 19, a day-long symposium featuring Maya experts from across the United States will take place in room 200 of Barsema Hall (the home of the College of Business) on the NIU campus. The symposium is free of charge.

There is a great deal of information regarding the project and symposium at the Crafting Maya Identity website - please check it out!

Japanese Theatre Comes to NIU

NIU School of Music professor Greg Beyer performed in a world-premiere event in New York City this past May. "The Woman in the Dunes" is a novel by Kobo Abe and was subsequently made into a film in 1964 (an award winner at Cannes that year) that tells a love story from the man's point of view. This past spring's premiere performance is a new play that tells the story from the woman's point of view. We are proud that the second performances of this unique play will be performed at NIU.

The play features the acting of celebrated Japanese actress Midori Kanazawa, the music of Japanese composer Akemi Naito, professor Beyer's performance, and video art by Kristine Marx. All guests will also present workshops to NIU students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Live performances will be held Sunday, September 20 and Monday, September 21, at 8:00 pm in the NIU Music Building Recital Hall. Admission is free, but seating is limited so tickets are required. To r…

Ms. Shabazz to Appear at NIU

The Northern Illinois University Art Education Division is proud to announce their speaker for fall 2009, Ms. Shabazz. Ms. Shabazz, the eldest daughter of Malcolm X Shabazz, is a producer, writer, diplomat, and a captivating speaker. Her significant associations and relationships encompass youth and academic administrations, business institutions, government embassies, diplomatic offices, international chambers of commerce, communications networks and notables of the entertainment world and human-interest communities.

Ms. Shabazz will be delivering an open lecture from 5:00-5:50 pm on Tuesday, September 29th, in the NIU School of Art, Jack Arends Hall, Room 100. Her lecture will be titled: "MALCOLM X SHABAZZ: The Man and Father Away from the Podium." Shortly following, at 6:30 pm, a reception in honor of Ms. Shabazz's visit will be held at the NIU Center for Black studies.

Voice Professor Forges Unique Partnerships

Professor Myron Myers of the voice faculty in the NIU School of Music has been forming partnerships and collaborations across our campus to benefit our voice and theatre students. Professor Myers has been working with Professor Kim Hoffer of the NIU Speech and Hearing Clinic, Professor Stanton Davis in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, and Dr. Mary Lynn Doherty in the NIU School of Music. Thus far the collaborations have allowed students in the Pedagogy of Singing course to work with students at the Speech and Hearing clinic by teaching them vocal lessons.

Other upcoming collaborations include screening voice and theatre students for polyps, nodules and acid reflux, and a summer workshop for high school teachers of voice and theatre that would educate them to the current research in audiology and voice disorders as well as strategies for working with their students.

Art Education Professor Receives National Distinction

Debbie Smith-Shank, professor of Art Education at NIU, learned last week that she has been chosen as a Distinguished Fellow of the National Art Education Association. The press release notes: "This title is conferred on NAEA members who have made distinguished contributions to the work of the Association. Presently, there are about 80 NAEA Distinguished Fellows. The NAEA Distinguished Fellows was established in 1982 with duties and responsibilities, criteria, and selection processes and administration. Along with his honor comes responsibility. This an opportune time for you to offer your services to the NAEA membership."

Dr. Smith-Shank's responded to learning of this honor by stating "I am so honored to have been selected to be part of this very special group of art educators!" She will be inducted during the first general session of the 2010 NAEA convention in Baltimore, Maryland, April 14 - 18.

It's also important to note that Dr. Smith-Shank joins NIU…

Theatre Professor Designs Set for 2010 Ford Taurus Launch

Terrence McClellan, Professor in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, was chosen to design the environment to introduce the world to the new Ford Taurus earlier this year.

Professor McClellan created a unique scenic environment in Knoxville, Tennessee which served to communicate the new design, systems and features of the Ford Taurus to the international automotive press and media. He organized a team of lighting, video and audio professionals in implementing his design for the introduction of Ford's highly-anticipated flagship vehicle.

The invited audience at the Knoxville Convention Center approached the main exhibit through a dramatically lit, midnight blue entryway lined with art photographs evocative of the inspirational elements cited by the vehicle designers. The entry space led into a contemporary, museum-like exhibit space. A Taurus vehicle was centrally displayed as if floating on a glass surface cut into the plush carpet and surrounded by multiple plasma video screens a…

NIU School of Art Partners with ART:21

The NIU School of Art, in partnership with Art21, Inc. as part of its Art21 Access ’09 initiative, presents a sneak preview of the fifth season of Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century, the only prime time national television series focused exclusively on contemporary art. Viewings will take place on October 7, 14, 21 and 28 at the Jack Arends Building in Room 100 at 9:00 p.m. This international event coincides with NIU’s ARTLAB theme “Thinking Globally," a year of research, dialogue, programming and pedagogy focusing on the impact of globalization on the production and perception of cultural meaning. This event is free and open to the public.

The following episodes will be screened:
OCTOBER 7, 2009
Episode 1: Compassion
This episode features artists whose works explore the possibility of understanding and reconciling past and present, while exposing injustice and expressing tolerance for others. William Kentridge, Carrie Mae Weems and Doris Salcedo are featured.

OCTOBER 14, 2009