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Showing posts from September, 2010

Design Alumna Wins Amazon Kindle Commercial Contest

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This past August Amazon.com announced their Kindle Commercial Contest, with a grand prize of a $15,000.00 Amazon.com gift card.

We are extremely happy to announce that NIU School of Art alumna Deanne Mroz is the grand prize winner! Deanne completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communication in May, 2005.

Her winning commercial may be viewed here.

Deanne expressed how significant her primary professor, Steve Quinn, was to her development: "I hope this all brings a smile to your face and gives your students hope for their future in design. I believe we were the first class that you taught After Effects to and I have definitely used that knowledge to create many commercials at work and also many other videos, since social media is now such a huge part of advertising. The knowledge you taught me has been priceless and I truly appreciate it."

Congratulations, Deanne!

Alumni Organ Recital Proves Extremely Successful

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David Hiett, Mark Kline, John Linker, Allison Boccia, Rosalie Cassiday, Connie Withhart, and James Brown

NIU Acting Alums Nominated for Major Awards

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Tracy Michelle Arnold


Timothy Edward Kane

Two graduates of NIU's well-known MFA program in acting have been nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award, Chicago's version of a Tony Award.

The "Jeff" Awards, as they are more commonly known, were established in 1968 and "...fosters the artistic growth of area theatres and theatre artists and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community."

Alum Tracy Michelle Arnold has been nominated in the category Actress in a Principal Role for her work in the Chicago Shakespeare Theater's production of "Private Lives." Tracy earned her MFA from NIU in 1998.

Timothy Edward Kane has been nominated in the category Actor in a Supporting Role for his work in the Court Theater's production of "The Illusion." Timothy graduated with his MFA in 1999.

Congratulations to Tracy and Timothy!

Red and Black Fall Classic Marching Band Competition Comes to NIU

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For several years, the well-respected drum corps The Phantom Regiment, from Rockford, Illinois, has hosted a popular and well-received competition for high school marching bands. This year, through the work of Dr. Thomas Bough, Director of Athletic Bands and Associate Professor in the NIU School of Music, Phantom has moved the event to NIU's Huskie Stadium and has re-named it the Red and Black Fall Classic.

This is event is a wonderful example of collaborative efforts between College of Visual and Performing Arts faculty members and noted arts organizations. On the strength of this collaboration, this year's competition completely filled in record time - thirty high school bands from throughout the region will appear in field competition.

The Red and Black Classic takes place on Saturday, September 25, and is open to the public. For ticket information and additional details, see the announcement on the Phantom Regiment's website.

Noted Illustrator Presents Workshop at NIU

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Sterling Hundley, internationally-recognized illustrator and painter, presented a workshop for students in the NIU School of Art on Monday, September 20.

Mr. Hundley has been recognized for his work by having won three gold and two silver medals from the Society of Illustrators. In addition, his work regularly appears in several publications, including Print Magazine, American Illustration, and Communication Arts Magazine, among others. Sterling and his work have been the subject of feature articles in noted journals several times, and he is a faculty member at both Virginia Commonwealth University and the Illustration Academy.

School of Music Alumna Earns International Notice

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Mabel Kwan (seated, above) completed her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the NIU School of Music where she studied with Professor William Goldenberg. Mabel serves as an editor for the well-respected keyboard magazine Clavier, and performs frequently throughout Chicago, the United States, and the world.

Mabel is a member of ensemble dal niente, ensemble in residence at Columbia College in Chicago. Dal niente recently returned from Darmstadt, Germany, where they received the Young Ensemble's Award by virtue of their performing at the esteemed New Music Summer Course there. According to Time Out Chicago, earning this award means that dal niente is "...thereby elevating Chicago's new music cred internationally."

Congratulations, Mabel!

Samba Group Performs at Women's Soccer Games

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Clarice Castilho (second from left, above) is an NIU percussion major who hails from Brazil. "Ever since I started my undergraduate studies at NIU in the fall of 2007, I have had the desire to play samba at the NIU soccer games," says Clarice. "Growing up in Brazil made me develop a passion for both soccer and music, especially because my sister was a soccer player."

Clarice's dream recently became a reality, when, with the support of percussion professor Greg Beyer, she and four additional percussion students performed samba at the September 10 NIU Women's Soccer Team game vs. Illinois State University.

Head Women's Soccer coach Carrie Barker stated "Clarice and the rest of the group were great. We look forward to seeing and hearing them again!"

Clarice went on to explain: "It was a great experience for all of us. Coach Barker and some of the players came to thank us in person for the moral support that the samba group provided. It was gre…

Art Professor's Works Featured in Chicago Exhibit

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Dream Cabinet

Several new works by Frank Trankina, professor of painting in the NIU School of Art, will be featured in a new gallery show in Chicago. Frank's works will be on exhibit at the Packer Schopf Gallery from September 10 to October 30, with an opening night Artist's Reception on September 10 from 5 to 8 pm.

The gallery is located at 942 West Lake Street in Chicago, and for more information you may visit the Packer Schopf Gallery's website.

NIU Music Alum is a Rising Star

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Amirah Ali is a 2009 graduate of the NIU School of Music, with a master's degree in world music. She has crafted a burgeoning career for herself as a pop music artist in her native Malaysia and throughout the world.

Amirah was recently notified that her song "Katakanlah" is one of three finalists in the World category of the 2010 John Lennon Songwriting Contest. In addition, her EP "Syawal: KoleksiLagu Aidilfitri" (World Music Fusion) was released on August 31 and has already racked up over 7000 units sold.

As a result, she has been featured in Showbiz magazine and on major Malay television programs, and is now booked for the very popular "Good Morning Malaysia."

Here is a video featuring "Katakanlah":