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Showing posts from January, 2010

Missouri Music Educators Convention Invaded by NIU!

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Okay, maybe not invaded...but NIU did have a strong presence at the Missouri Music Educators Association convention this week!


Professor Ron Carter, Director of Jazz Studies in the NIU School of Music, was the director of the All-Collegiate Jazz Ensemble during the convention. This ensemble consists of the finest collegiate jazz musicians from across the state, and 2010 marks the third time Ron has conducted an All-State ensemble for the MMEA convention. In addition to his duties directing the ensemble, Ron presented a well-attended clinic session on Thursday, January 28, entitled "A Multi-Cultural (Cultural) Approach to Jazz Education." Much of Ron's presentation was based on not only his broad experience as a jazz educator, but also on the valuable resources found in his book, "Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz."

Later that same morning, College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean Rich Holly presented another well-attended clinic session at MMEA entitle…

Manny Hernandez and Former Student Helping in Haiti

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Readers of this blog know about Manny Hernandez, our recently-retired School of Art professor who perfected a ceramic water filter for extremely low cost that he's been sharing for many years with third-world countries who need potable water. Lisa Ballantine, an NIU School of Art alumna, has become very passionate about producing these filters, and started a company named Filter Pure which produces the filters and, like Manny, is taking them all over the world.

Filter Pure was featured on Anderson Cooper's CNN program on January 27, due to the great work they are doing helping in Haiti. Manny is currently in Ghana making filters and teaching citizens there how to make them, but he will soon go to the Dominican Republic where he will assist Lisa and Filter Pure in making filters to be trucked into Haiti.

Check Out the Video From the Current NIU Art Museum Show

The NIU Art Museum is currently hosting a show entitled "Root Hog, or Die!" The show features the artwork of Mike Houston and Martin Mazorra who run the Cannonball Press in New York. NIU Media Services filmed the opening of the show and interviewed the artists as well as NIU School of Art faculty members Michael Barnes and Ashley Nason. Thank you to Media Services for producing such a great video, and Congratulations to the School of Art faculty and students and the Art Museum personnel involved in the show!

Newly Published Book Aided by Work of NIU Art Professor

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Harry Wirth, Professor in the NIU School of Art, was retained by noted publishing giant McGraw-Hill last year to review a manuscript for potential publication. Harry is well-known for his work and teaching in Color Theory and Art Foundations which were valued highly by McGraw-Hill for this project. The book, Making Art by Terry Barrett, is a general art book specifically for use in art foundations courses at the college level, and was just published.

School of Music Professor and Alum Featured in International Festival

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Robert Fleisher, Coordinator of Composition and Music Theory in the NIU School of Music, and School of Music alum Matthew Dotson both had works selected for performance in the recent Noise Floor Festival held at Staffordshire University, Stafford, UK.

The festival combined "fixed-media" electroacoustic works and live electronic music performances, and featured composers from England, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Scotland, Thailand, and the USA, whose work was selected following an international call.

School of Art Alumna Gathers National Attention

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Debra Davis, who holds both bachelor's and master's degrees from the NIU School of Art, is having an exhibit of her work at the Walter E. Terhune Art Gallery on the Perrysburg Township (Ohio) campus of the University of Toledo. Debra's work is internationally recognized for capturing the human journey. Her work combines photography, video, drawing, writing, and sculptural processes.

Debra is a Pace Eminent Scholar Award winner, and holds the position of Chair of the Department of Art at the University of Toledo. Her exhibit runs from January 11 through February 13.

Tony Award-Winning Billy Elliot Rolls Into Chicago With Strong NIU Presence

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Billy Elliot, the hit musical that earned 10 Tony Awards in 2009, has announced the National Touring Company of the show. The show will appear in Chicago for an extended stay, beginning March 2010, before hitting the road for a multi-city tour.

Jason Babinsky, a graduate of NIU's School of Theatre and Dance's BFA Acting program, has won a role in the cast. Jason, in addition to several regional theater credits, has previously performed in the National Touring Companies of Dr. Doolittle and Dora The Explorer Live.

Former NIU faculty member Tanera Marshall, a veteran voice and dialect coach of major films and theater productions, has been hired as the voice and dialect coach for the Billy Elliot National Touring Company production and is busy preparing the cast for their March opening.

NIU Theatre Alum Appears in Notable Chicago Production

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Tracey Arnold, who earned her MFA degree in Acting from the NIU School of Theatre and Dance in 1998, is currently cast as one of the female leads in the Chicago Shakespeare Theater production of "Private Lives" by Noel Coward. Of her work in the show, Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones says "...Arnold offers a veritable plethora of compensatory brilliance."

Tracey has earned the respect of critics and theater-goers for many years now, as a regular ensemble member of the American Players Theatre, and having appeared with such notable ensembles as the Steppenwolf Theatre and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

On a side note, "Private Lives" is the next production in School of Theatre and Dance's current season - for more information go here.

Art Professor Paints for Chicago Symphony Orchestra Auction

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NIU School of Art Professor Charlotte Rollman was quite busy at the end of school this fall. In addition to finishing up her semester work, Charlotte was preparing for her spring 2010 sabbatical in Costa Rica AND she had been chosen to paint a violin for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for their upcoming annual auction. Charlotte completed the violin and delivered it to Chicago right before Christmas. Charlotte painted trees and put birds on the branches, then strung it with red wire instead of violin strings and put little 3 D birds on the wires. When completed, it was very delicate and the birds on top made it too high for a regular violin case, so Charlotte also made a box for the violin. The publicity for the auction is due to come out in March and the auction will be downtown at Symphony Hall on June 24. Keep your eyes open for it!

Time Arts Professor Presents via Internet2 to International Conference

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Bart Bridger Woodstrup's (Visiting Assistant Professor of Time Arts - Design and Media Arts) co-located internet performance with Tintinnabulate/SoundWIRE was recently published by Deep Listening Publications. Bart designed and performed the live visual effects that were broadcast via Internet2 to the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD) in Montreal on June 26, 2007. He was also responsible for editing the published video.

More information on the performance can be found here.

Deep Listening Publications is a unique annotated artists' catalog committed to music and sound works that transcend cultural boundaries and stretch the mind. The Deep Listening Catalog is curated by Pauline Oliveros, an internationally acclaimed composer, performer, author and lecturer. Oliveros has worked at the forefront of new music composition since the fifties and today is considered one of the world's most distinguished experimental composers.

This product is availa…