Showing posts from 2013

Music Faculty Member Earns Grammy Award® Nomination!

We are so pleased to report that percussion faculty member Mike Mixtacki has a Grammy Award® nomination for his work on the recording "Latin Jazz/Jazz Latin" by the Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet.

Congratulations, Mike!

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards®will be presented on Sunday, January 26, 2014. We'll all be rooting for you, Mike!

Iconic Jazz Piano Faculty Member Earns Another Great Review

Willie Pickens, jazz piano instructor in the NIU School of Music, has earned another wonderful review. Noted jazz critic Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune reviewed Willie's performance at the Jazz Showcase of Friday, November 29.

Among the many laudatory comments Mr. Reich made was this: "...the music was consistently deep in message and often brilliant in delivery. No wonder the room was packed to capacity, with a line of hopeful customers stretching half a block outside in the winter chill."

The full review may be read here. Congratulations, Willie!

Jazz Ensemble Earns Terrific Review

Fans of the NIU Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Professor Ronald Carter, know how "hot" the band is. We were excited to see a review of one of the band's recent performances, espousing what we already know!

In Madison, Wisconsin'sMadison Magazine, critic Greg Hettmansberger penned a review entitled "Throw Out the Thermometer - It Was a Hot Night in Sun Prairie." Clearly Mr. Hettmansberger was impressed!

Among several glowing remarks, the review states "Carter hails from Georgia, and appropriately opened with a rip-roaring “Sweet Georgia Brown,” way faster than the Harlem Globetrotters could have used for their shoot-arounds. A major highlight of their first set was “Spring Can Hang You Up the Most,” which opens and closes as a ballad, while switching gears for a wild ride middle section. Trombonist Jaron McCarr was a consummate soloist throughout the number."

We encourage you to read the full review (link above). Congratulations to Ron and…

Printmaking Student Earns Spot in International Show

Mall Adventures (Lithography, 2013)
We are delighted that NIU School of Art student John Cheney has had work accepted to the 3rd Student International Small Print Show, known as "SIPS14," which will be presented in two cities in Egypt.

Monday Morning Coffee (Lithography, 2013)
According to their Facebook page, SIPS14 is an annual international printmaking exhibition dedicated to students. The exhibition aims to promote the works of talented young artists from allover the world, and represents an excellent opportunity of exposure for young printmaking artists

The show will open at Minia University in Minya, Egypt, on March 25, 2014, and following its run there will then be presented in a gallery in Cairo.The showing at Minia University will be in conjunction with the international art conference of the faculty of fine arts.

Congratulations, John!

Faculty Playwright Earns Publication

 Luke Krueger
Congratulations are in order for NIU School of Theatre and Dance instructor Luke Krueger - Luke was recently notified that he has another play accepted for publication! As you may be aware, publication for a playwright is extremely difficult. There are few publishers of plays, and plenty of writers scratching to get one of the coveted slots. So this is very exciting news, indeed.

Canterbury Tales
Canterbury Tales was written in 2012 for the incoming freshman BFA acting majors at NIU and their showcase performance for the School of Theatre and Dance. The play is not simply a retelling of the tales. Rather, the story is intertwined with the intrigue at the court of Richard II and his fight with Henry Bolingbroke, and the struggle for English to become the language of court. Luke says that the tales themselves were fun to create in that he also translated them from the original middle English, although some French and middle English still survived in the script. The piece was…

NIU Steel Band Earns Great Review

The NIU Steel Band continues to earn wonderful reviews internationally. This past Sunday, the band, under the direction of Liam Teague and Cliff Alexis, performed their annual fall concert in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall of the NIU School of Music.

Appearing on the renowned steel pan web site When Steel Talks, the review states "So what was new and different? First off, a Rock guitarist and a brass section participated in some numbers in the first half of the program - immediately presenting the world with tremendous musical possibilities when you have a collaboration of a steel orchestra with conventional musical instruments. The performances pleasantly presented more voices and colors in a way not commonly heard or digested, to the audience. In addition, it opened both their minds and those of the students to future artistic possibilities.

The full review may be read here. Congratulations Liam, Cliff, all guest artists and the membe…

Art Education Professor Provides International Keynote Addresses

Kerry Freedman
Kerry Freedman, Professor of Art+Design Education in the NIU School of Art, has recently returned from her second trip abroad this semester. Kerry was distinguished by being invited to provide addresses at two significant conferences this fall.

In Pamplona, Spain, Kerry was invited to present her paper “Art Outside of School: Youth Visual Culture Learning Communities.” This international symposium focused on youth culture and was titled Mapping and Assessing the Research about Young People as Visual Culture Producers.  The conference focused on the emerging field of research about youth participatory culture, and Kerry spoke about her international project on youth visual culture learning communities.

In London, UK, Kerry provided the keynote address, entitled “Turning Art Education Outside In: How Institutional Change Can Support Contemporary Practice.“ This was at a conference on higher education schools of art titled Progressive Arts Education: Inclusion, Change, and I…

Graduate String Quartet Earning Notoriety

Kaia String Quartet (photo credit: Ryan C. Kolegas)
We're pleased to report that the current Graduate String Quartet in Residence at the NIU School of Music, the Kaia Quartet, is receiving praise from noted quarters.

The quartet has been named the "Quartet in Residence" for the Chicago Latino Music Festival. This distinction brings with it the opportunity for the quartet to work with many internationally renowned Latino music artists over a two-month period.

This past weekend the Kaia Quartet performed the world premiere of Gustavo Leone's "Absurdopera" as part of the festival. Of their performance, reviewer Andrew Patner in the Chicago Sun Times writes "The young Kaia String Quartet...were wholly in touch with Leone's ideas and effective musical language...."

The entire review may be read here. Congratulations to the members of the Kaia Quartet!

CSA Steel Band and All University Steel Band Garner Nice Review

NIU Community School of the Arts Steel Band
Recently, a few facets of the steel pan program at the NIU School of Music performed in concert and the program prompted a great review in the noted online pan publication When Steel Talks. The review notes the participation in the concert by the Community School of the Arts Steel Band, the All-University Steel Band, and the majors in the steel pan studio.

Among other glowing remarks, the review states, "NIU has had no shortage of developing and graduating awesome talent that have gone on to accomplish great things in the music community. As one witnesses and listens to the active directorship, musical works and performances of Yuko Asada, Josanne Francis & Khan Cordice in addition to their leadership skills - you immediately realize you are observing a very special crew whose impact on the steelpan music world will be felt for years to come."

The full review may be read here. Congratulations to …

Ensemble in Residence Performs World Premiere

 Cor Cantiamo with Daniel Knaggs
Cor Cantiamo, ensemble-in-residence at the NIU School of Music, performed this past weekend at the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music (MFSM). MSFM is a biennial two-week music festival offering events which represent diverse religious traditions, promoting mutual respect and understanding through sharing the music treasured by these traditions. Artists from  around the globe gather for two weeks of inspired concerts, master classes and other music gatherings to celebrate the many faith traditions found in the world today.

On Sunday, November 10, at the First Presbyterian Church in Kalamazoo MI, Cor Cantiamo presented a concert for the festival. The choir, conducted by NIU Director of Choral Activities Dr. Eric A. Johnson, was the featured choral ensemble on the first weekend of this music festival, presenting an afternoon of sacred choral music ranging from master works by Schutz and Sweelink to contemporary works, hymns and spirituals.

The concert also …

Theatre Alum Earns Chicago Award

L. to R., Julie Pambianco, Daryl Nitz, P.J. Samorian, Laura Steenveld-Hamilton
We're pleased to announce that NIU School of Theatre and Dance alumnus Daryl Nitz was recently presented with the Gold Coast Award from Chicago Cabaret Professionals. The award ceremony took place on October 20 at the Park West Theatre in Chicago as part of Chicago Cabaret Professionals' 15th Anniversary Gala.

A native of Elgin, Illinois, Daryl earned his acting and directing degree from NIU and has been entertaining audiences for the past 14 years at Davenport's Cabaret and Piano Bar, with his accompanist George Howe. Daryl was able to share the award evening with NIU School of Theatre and Dance alums Julie Pambianco, P.J. Samorian, and Laura Steenveld-Hamilton

Congratulations, Daryl!

NIU Jazzers Triumph in China

From October 21 to 26, the city of Chongqing, China held an International Music Festival. Among the invited performers were four members of NIU's noted Rosebud Jazztet and NIU jazz saxophone professor Geof Bradfield.

The quintet performed one selection at the opening ceremony on October 21 to an audience of more than 10,000 people, and performed complete one-hour sets on the Main Stage on October 23, 24 and for the final concert on October 26. Each performance had audiences numbering in the multiple thousands.

Organizers of the festival had heard about the high quality of the NIU School of Music and were eager to have our musicians perform at their festival. After hearing the Rosebud students and Geof perform, the organizers were astonished at what a high, professional level their performances were.

The Rosebud Jazztet features graduate jazz majors who hold graduate assistantship positions, funded by the Rosebud Foundation. While not all Rosebud members were able to make the trip…

Noted Time Arts Alumnus to Present Lecture

We are pleased to welcome artist Matthew Biederman back to the NIU campus on November 4 and 5 to present a lecture and workshop at the NIU School of Art. Matt is a BFA graduate from an early incarnation of the NIU School of Art Time Arts program. He recently completed an MFA at Concordia in Montreal where he now lives and works. Matt's artistic path is has taken him around the globe, but most notably is his work with the Arctic Perspective Initiative where he worked "to promote the creation of open authoring, communications and dissemination infrastructures for the circumpolar region."

Matt is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily with New Media and electronic art. He routinely exhibits his installation art and creates live cinema/video art performances. 

Matt will speak on Monday, Nov 4th, 5p.m. in Art Building room 102.

Matthew Biederman has been performing, installing and exhibiting works, which explore themes of perception, media saturation, and data…

Faculty Conductor to Appear in Trinidadian Festival

Dr. Ronnie Wooten, professor in the NIU School of Music, has been chosen to direct a workshop at the National Steelband Music Festival Pan Is Beautiful XII festival at the National Academy for the Performing Arts, Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Ronnie's workshop will take place on November 15, and is geared towards music conductors who are not necessarily steelband conductors yet have responsibility for the preparation of a steelband for public presentations. Such conducting requires the interpretation of musical works and real-time communication of those interpretations to steel pan musicians through a series of specific arm movements.

The theme of Dr. Wooten's workshop is “The Maestro At Work." A native of North Carolina, Dr. Wooten received the Bachelor of Music Education degree (cum laude) from East Carolina University and the Master of Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts degrees, both in conducting, from Michigan State University. In addition to conducting the Wi…

Faculty Composer's Works Featured

NIU School of Music faculty member Robert Fleisher’s electro-acoustic composition, Altro Alfresco, was heard on October 18, during the Region IV annual conference of the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI), at Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond, KY). Altro Alfresco was one of 300 works submitted
for the conference by composers from throughout the United States. Dr. Fleisher was among the 49 participating composers to attend. Premiered at the 2011 SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States) festival in Miami, Altro Alfresco was most recently heard as part of the Audiograft festival online "Jukebox" curated by the Sonic Art Research Unit (SARU) at Oxford Brookes University (UK). The sound sources in Altro Alfresco (multi-speed “found” percussion, including pats, pans, pipes and other objects) are similar to those heard in its shorter “sibling” works, Loretto Alfresco—premiered during the 2009 New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, and Loretto Alfresc…

Music School Director to Judge National Festival

We're delighted to report that Paul Bauer, Director of the NIU School of Music, has been selected as one of this year's judges for the prestigious U.S. Open Brass Band Championships.

Dr. Bauer is a noted trombone performer and pedagogue, having performed with such prominent ensembles as the Lyric Opera Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and he has served as a music competition adjudicator throughout the United States. The competition will take place this year at the nearby Norris Cultural Arts Center in St. Charles, Illinois.

For more information, please visit the U.S. Open Brass Band web site.

Painting Professor's Works in Exhibition

Frank Trankina's "Identity Crisis", 1993, oil on linen, 8 x 12 in.
NIU School of Art painting professor Frank Trankina's works are featured in a new exhbition. The exhibition, entitled "The Open Eye": Ray Yoshida's Collection, opens Saturday, October 19, 6:00-9:00 p.m. and runs through March 2, 2014 at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI.

Three of Frank's paintings are included along side Ray's vast and wonderful collection. This exhibition focuses on the language of imagery, with the aim of stretching the "viewer's ability to receive the messages conveyed through the images found in everyday surroundings."

More information about the exhibition may be found here.

Music Alum Earns Major Award

Chelsea Tipton with Sting
We are pleased to announce that NIU School of Music alumnus Chelsea Tipton II is about to receive the first Aspire Award from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) has for 20 years operated a Talent Development Program, which identifies talented African-American and Latino youth and prepares them to be accepted into music schools across the country with the goal of attaining a professional career in music. This year, the ASO is initiating the Aspire Awards. According to a press release from the ASO, "Chelsea Tipton II will be the first recipient of the Aspire Award in recognition of his extraordinary commitment to music education."

Chelsea currently serves as the Music Director of the Symphony of Southeast Texas. Former positions include those with the Toledo Symphony, the Savannah Symphony, and the Cincinnati Youth Symphony. As a guest conductor he has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, a 9-week tour with Sting, the…

Community School of the Arts Celebrates 25 Years

CSA Sinfonia – today and yesterday. On the left is the Spring 2013 group                                                                and on the right, Linc Smelser with the 1998 group.

The NIU Community School of the Arts celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with a CSA Sinfonia reunion concert on December 22 at 3 the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall of the NIU Music Building. This orchestra has nearly 300 alumni and the Community School is in the process of contacting players from the past to let them know about this fun opportunity to play on the Concert Hall stage again.

The alumni will join the current members of Sinfonia for a rehearsal on December 21 and for a follow-up rehearsal and the concert the following day. The repertoire includes Russlan and Ludmilla by Glinka, Mars from The Planets and St. Paul’s Suite, by Holst, and Les Preludes by Liszt. Links to the music are available at

CSA Sinfonia began as a string ensemble under the directorship of late A…

NIU Folks Storm Broadway!

Visitors to the "Great White Way" will have the opportunity to see two NIU alums in action this fall.

NIU School of Theatre and Dance alum Stephen Pilkington is appearing in The Winslow Boy by the Roundabout Theatre. The show opens on October 17, and performances take place in the American Airlines Theater on 42nd Street. Stephen appears alongside Tony Award® nominated actors May Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Cumpsty as well as Tony Award® winner Roger Rees.

NIU School of Theatre and Dance alum Tammy Meneghini is also appearing in a Broadway show this season. Tammy appears in The Great Goddess Bazaar at Theatre Row on 42nd Street.

Congratulations to our wonderful actors!

Art Historian's Book Earns Terrific Review

Frequent readers may recall that NIU art history professor Mary Quinlan's recent book, Influences: Art, Optics and Astrology in the Italian Renaissance has received many fine reviews. We're pleased to share with you that Mary's book has earned yet another really terrific review.

This new review appears in Choice Reviews Online. Reviewer J.T. Paoletti calls Influences a "pathbreaking" book, and goes on to state "This book promises to be one of the most intensely discussed publications...." The entire review may be found here.

Congratulations, Mary!

Special Piano Dedication Concert - Not to be Missed!

Friday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m.
In September 2012, the NIU School of Music began to host a beautiful Fazioli F278 Concert Grand.  The 278 was previously owned and loved by a retired doctor who purchased it with the goal of becoming a better pianist - at age 85! Declining health necessitated moving to his son's condo in Chicago, but there was no way to get the piano into the apartment. Pianoforte Chicago, which originally sold him the 278, agreed to take it back in trade for a smaller new Fazioli. The plan was to bring the 278 out to NIU, where it could be used while being prepared for sale. However, along the way faculty and students fell in love with it, and Dean Holly began seeking a donor. Through NIU alumnus Jeff Yordon, a connection was made to the Dr. Agnes Varis Charitable Trust (*see below), and the trustees approved our application for funds to purchase this amazing piano.

Please join us in the Boutell Memorial Concert …

Art Historian to Present National Lecture

At the invitation of the Archaeological Institute of America, Dr. Sinclair Bell, Associate Professor of Art History in the Northern Illinois University School of Art, will give The John H. and Penelope Biggs Lecture at the Cincinnati Art Museum on Tuesday, October 8, 2013. Dr. Bell will speak on “Foreign Faces: Images of Africans and Others in Ancient Roman Art.”

John and Penelope Biggs met while pursuing undergraduate majors in the Greek and Roman Classics at Harvard. Both later earned PhDs (in Economics and Comparative Literature, respectively) from Washington University in St. Louis. John Biggs went on to make his career in finance, but kept his interest in the field, and has served as a trustee of the Archaeological Institute of America. Penelope Parkman Biggs has taught Classical language and literature in various forms.

While preference is for a topic on classical archaeology, the lecture is not restricted. The Biggs Lecturer speaks at one local society annually. The Biggs Lectu…

Acting Alumna Earns Great Review

Amanda Jane Long, recent graduate of the MFA in Acting program in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, is currently appearing in the Chicago production of "Veronica's Room" at the BoHo Theatre.

Reviewer Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times has written a rave review of the play, and in particular she points out the work of Amanda, saying "Each of the actors here is first-rate. But it is Long, who recently earned her MFA in acting at Northern Illinois University and is making an impressive Chicago stage debut, who bedazzles as she tries to maintain her humor, her sanity and her life." The complete review is available here.

The show runs through October 27 - Congratulations, Amanda!

NIU Printmaker's Works in Exhibition

Giving up the Ghost by Aaron Coleman
Aaron Coleman, who earned his MFA in printmaking from the NIU School of Art this past May and is currently an instructor in the School of Art, has several of his works in a new exhibition at the College of the Sequoia's Art Gallery in Visalia, California.

Aaron's works are in a duo exhibition with those of artist Erik Waterkotte. The exhibition is entitled "Utopia:Dystopia" and runs through October 25. For this exhibition, both artists use their versatile background in printmaking to touch on the social, religious, and political issues of our modern day society.

Percussion Professor Earns Excellent Performance Review

Greg Beyer 

Greg Beyer, Professor of Percussion in the NIU School of Music, performed composer Steve Reich's Nagoya Marimbas as part of the recent collaborative performance between Thodos Dance Chicago and Fulcrum Point New Music Project.

The performance took place at the University of Chicago's Logan Center for the Arts on September 20.

Of the performance, reviewer Ginger Lane called the work "a show stopper," and named Greg and his colleague Doug Perkins as "virtuosi percussionists." The entire review is available here.

Congratulations, Greg!

Painting Professor's Work in New York Juried Exhibition

Charlotte Rollman, Professor of Painting in the NIU School of Art, is honored to have one of her works in the noteworthy 117th Annual Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club Annual Open Juried Exhibition.

Charlotte's piece, from this past summer, was painted at the Rocky Mountain National Park before the floods devastated the west side of the park and the Big
Thompson River Canyon where Charlotte stayed and fell in love with the mountains.

Charlotte's work, "Sprague Lake Morning," is a 22"x 30" watercolor on 300 lbs Arches aquatelle.

School of Art to Host Regional Conference

We're pleased to announce that the NIU School of Art will be hosting a regional FATE/ITI regional catalyst on Saturday, October 5.

School of Art faculty members Cindy Hellyer-Heinz and Richard Siegesmund are working with colleagues from the College of DuPage and Columbia College to present "The Digital Dilemma/Low Tech High Tech Experience."

The focus of this important regional event will be the struggle between the anticipation of all incoming students' ability to negotiate the digital Adobe landscape and our students' overwhelming requirement for making, expressing and thinking.

This think tank-style dialogue will address learning projections, particular to the contemporary student, which are essential for their success.

Those interested in registering may contact Cindy Hellyer-Heinz via email by October 1, 2013. Registration cost is $25.00.

Gallery Director's Works on Exhibition

Peter Van Ael, Director of the Olson Gallery in the NIU School of Art and the Coordinator of the Museum Studies Program, has his works currently on exhibition at the Elgin Public Museum.

The exhibition is entitled "Informed by Nature: Reduction Woodcuts by Peter Van Ael," and features works that are inspired by nature and which feature insects and fish.

Art History Professor Presents Lecture: "Circus Maximus"

Sinclair Bell is a Classical Archaeologist and Associate Professor of Art History in the Northern Illinois University School of Art, where he teaches courses on Greek, Roman and Egyptian art and architecture. On October 3, Sinclair will present a lecture entitled "Circus Maximus: Sport, Spectacle and Society in Ancient Rome" at the Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago. Many misperceptions surround the spectacles held in ancient Rome, especially as a result of contemporary film and television. For instance, there is the popular belief that gladiatorial combats were the premiere spectacle at Rome: that they attracted the biggest audiences and the most partisan fans. In fact, neither assumption is true. The Circus Maximus in Rome – the original and largest venue for chariot-racing – was many centuries older and considerably larger than the Colosseum. In addition, chariot-races drew the largest crowds and most fervent fans in Rome and throughout the Roman empire, and continued t…

Dance Professor's Troupe in Major Festival

Danszloop Chicago

Paula Frasz, Professor of Dance in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, along with her professional dance company Danszloop Chicago, are appearing this weekend in the noted Princetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival on Cape Cod.

Paula explains her company's participation in an interview with writer Robert Israel, available here. Danszloop Chicago will perform "The Chorus Girl Plays," a world-premiere production of Curtains for the Gentleman, which was written when Tennessee Williams was still known as Tom Williams.

Printmaking Program Impresses Internationally

As many readers know, the printmaking program in the NIU School of Art is ranked in the Top 20 by U.S. News and World Report.

The international exhibition known as Global Print 2013, held in Douro, Portugal, featured the work of 390 artists from all over the world. We're pleased to tell you that NIU faculty member Michael Barnes' work was included, as were works by two NIU printmaking alumni - Kyle Turner (MFA 2012) and Aaron Coleman (MFA 2013).

Douro is a UNESCO-designation World Heritage site, and won the rights to have the Center for Printmaking located there. Our printmakers can indeed be proud of their inclusion in this exhibition and the accompanying catalog.

Congratulations to Michael, Kyle and Aaron!

Jazz Saxophone Professor Earns Great Reviews

Geof Bradfield
Congratulations to Geof Bradfield, assistant professor of jazz saxophone in the NIU School of Music. Fresh off his noteworthy set at the Chicago Jazz Festival, there are now two reviews of recordings that he's on that are both terrific.

The reviews appear in the Chicago Tribune, courtesy of reviewer Howard Reich. One of the recordings that earns Reich's praise is Ryan Cohan's "The River," and the second recording is Clark Sommers' "Ba(SH)."

In particular, Reich has these wonderful remarks about Geof's playing: "'s Bradfield who probably will capture most listeners' ears (and hearts). The depth, urgency and intensity of Bradfield's sound on "Garrison" and the profundity and idiosyncrasy of his expression on "Quanah," both by Sommers, as well as the serene poetry of Bradfield's solos on Billy Higgins' "Inga" and the searching, questing character of his tone on Sommers&…

Percussion Professor and Piano Alumna Earn Great Reviews

Greg Beyer
Greg Beyer, professor of percussion in the NIU School of Music, is a member of the noted music group Ensemble Dal Niente. Alumna Mabel Kwan is also a member of this esteemed group.

Mabel Kwan (photo by Nelson Fitch)
Last week, Dal Niente performed as part of Chicago's "Beethoven Festival" - which actually presents music from several genres. Greg and Mabel performed Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Kontakte" for percussion, piano and electronica, and received two noteworthy reviews.

In the Chicago Tribune, reviewer John von Rhein stated ""Dal Niente remains an always-welcome visitor to the festival, and a potent account of Stockhausen's "Kontakte" ("Contacts") by members Greg Beyer (percussion) and Mabel Kwan (piano and percussion) reminded one why this total-serialist fusion of synthesized and live instrumental sounds has attained classic status amid the avant-garde canon of the late 1950s."

In Chicago Classical Revi…

Illustration Professors Win Book Award

Congratulations are in order for NIU School of Art professors Todd Buck and Kim Martens - Todd and Kim provided the medical illustrations for a recent book (surgical atlas) entitled "Aesthetic Reconstruction of the Child's Nose," authored by Dr. Gary Burget.

The book features over 120 illustrations by Todd and several chapter's worth of illustrations by Kim.

The book was entered into the exhibit at the recent national conference of the Association of Medical Illustrators, and won an Award of Excellence. Congratulations Todd and Kim!

Four Art Professors' Works Featured in Fermilab Series

We're pleased to announce that the works of four professors from the NIU School of Art will constitute the next exhibition, entitled "Views," at the Fermilab Art Gallery in Batavia.

Works presented will be from Charlotte Rollman (painting), Ashley Nason (printmaking), Harry Wirth (emeritus professor, painting), and Yih-Wen Kuo (ceramics).

The exhibition opens on September 17 and runs through November 12. There will be an artists' reception on Friday, September 20, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The Fermilab Art Gallery is located at Kirk Road and Pine Street in Batavia.

Alumni Professional Choir Seeks Your Help with First Commercial Recording

The NIU School of Music is proud to be associated with Cor Cantiamo, a professional choir that consists of overwhelmingly NIU School of Music alums and is now an Ensemble in Residence in the School of Music. Created and directed by Eric Johnson, Director of Choral Activities in the NIU School of Music, Cor Cantiamo has quickly earned a spot among the most respected professional choirs in the United States.

Recently, Cor Cantiamo was approached by Centaur Records to produce a recording of the music of noted Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi. Because of the strong relationship that professor Johnson had already developed with Mäntyjärvi, this is a natural fit.

Eric Johnson with Jaakko Mäntyjärvi
The recording sessions are complete, and the project is in it's final stage. As a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Cor Cantiamo is seeking your help with bringing this project to its conclusion. Cor Cantiamo has a Kickstarter campaign underway, and they are on their way to real…

Art Students Create Series of Exhibitions

Luis Sahagun. The work and shadows created were incredible!
Headed by NIU School of Art students Luis Sahagun and Stephanie Chambers, "Ten Rounds" is a series of exhibitions of the work of School of Art students, designed to promote the sense of community that art work can easily evoke. Not only does the series create a community by engaging ten student artists who work together on the series, but the works themselves are pieces that represent what a community could come together to create.

Each week's new piece(s) will be celebrated on Thursdays at 4:30, in Gallery 214 in the Jack Arends Building (Visual Art Building) on the NIU campus.

For more of an idea about how art can be used to develop a sense of community, feel free to check out the videos on Luis' website here.

Saxophone Professor Opens Chicago Jazz Festival

Geof Bradfield on the big screen at Pritzker Pavilion
Geof Bradfield, assistant professor of jazz saxophone in the NIU School of Music, had the honor of opening the Chicago Jazz Festival on Friday, August 30, at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

Geof presented his heralded suite "Melba!" in its entirety, and then brought out the legendary Randy Weston to perform Mr. Weston's "African Sunrise."

About the performance, Howard Reich in the Chicago Tribunestated "...Bradfield, who with this performance placed himself among this city's leading composer-bandleaders."

Geof's band includes NIU music alums trumpeter Victor Garcia and guitarist Mike Allemana.

Congratulations Geof, Victor and Mike!

Theatre Professors Earn 5-Star Review

Patricia Skarbinski as Juliet
Patricia Skarbinski, assistant professor of movement and acting in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, performed the lead role in András Visky's play "Juliet: A Dialogue About Love" at this summer's Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. The lighting designer for the show was NIU assistant professor of lighting Brandon Wardell, and technical director was NIU theatre alum Joel Huff.

The piece was produced as part of the Sacred Playground Theatre Project based in Chicago, and was one of more than 120 works being produced at the Edinburgh festival.

Of their performance in Edinburgh, reviewer Graeme Strachan of the British Theatre Guide provided a 5-star review, stating "...Visky's a triumphant piece of new theatre that deserves to be seen, consumed and cherished." The entire review is available here.

Congratulations Patricia, Brandon and Joel!