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Showing posts from May, 2013

Community School of the Arts Students Earn Top Spots in Noted Competition

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The Fischoff National Chamber Music Association sponsors the nation's largest chamber music competition annually. We're happy to report that three violin students from the NIU Community School of the Arts (CSA) placed extremely well in this year's competition:

Owen Ruff, a Sycamore High School student and member of the CSA Sinfonia, played with a string quartet that reached the quarter final round.

Hanna Bingham, a DeKalb High School student and member of the CSA Sinfonia, played with a string quartet that reached the semi-final round. Hanna will join the freshman class of the NIU School of Music this fall.

Genna Smelser, a DeKalb High School student and member of the CSA Sinfonia, played with the string quartet known as Quartet Morina and won the Bronze Medal in the final round. This same quartet took home the Gold Medal at the St. Paul String Quartet Competition last month.

Congratulations to all these wonderfully talented young students!


Grammy Award Quarterfinalists Stacked with NIU Alums

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We're so excited and pleased to announce this amazing news - please read on:

A total of 217 music teachers from 195 cities across 45 states have been announced as quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation®. In total, more than 30,000 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states from K-12 through university level. The quarterfinalists represent 0.7% of those nominated.

Why is this so important for NIU? The National Association of Schools of Music has 630 accredited institutions (including NIU), and there are hundreds more institutions with music education alumni who are not accredited by NASM. Having one alum on this list of 217 outstanding music educators from across the country would be worthy of celebration.

Two would be amazing.

Three would be incredible.

The NIU School of Music has FIVE alumni on the list of 217 quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award! We are not sure how this is even believabl…

Art History Professor's Book Earns Wonderful Review

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Mary Quinlan-McGrath, professor of art history in the NIU School of Art, has received a wonderful review for her most recent book, Influences: Art, Optics, and Astrology in the Italian Renaissance (University of Chicago Press, released February 2013).

Reviewer Farisa Khalid states that Mary's new book "...is a thoroughly incisive, penetrating look into scientific inquiry and spirituality in 15th and 16th century Italy." She goes on to say "...(the book) clarifies a great deal of complex information in an engaging, accessible way as it takes its reader into that endlessly fascinating period of the Italian Renaissance."

The entire review may be read here.

Congratulations, Mary!

Dean Holly Receives Grant from DeKalb County Community Foundation

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Rich Holly, right, accepting the check from Larry Bolles of the DeKalb County Community Foundation Board

Rich Holly, Dean of the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts, is pleased to announce that he has received a $2,500.00 grant from the DeKalb County Community Foundation. The funds from the grant will help in the partnership created with Arts Midwest to bring the Arts Midwest World Fest to DeKalb County during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years.

Working with the superintendents and other representatives of DeKalb Schools, Sycamore Schools, and Sandwich Schools, Dean Holly is excited about Arts Midwest World Fest coming to the county. "Arts Midwest World Fest will bring four internationally-touring music acts to DeKalb County, one per semester, over the next two school years," he stated. "Each of the four partners - NIU, DeKalb Schools, Sycamore Schools and Sandwich Schools, will have each group in residence for one full day, working with children in the schoo…

School of Theatre and Dance Moves Out of Stevens Building!

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The extremely long-awaited renovation of the Stevens Building on the NIU campus is about to begin! The NIU School of Theatre and Dance is housed in the Stevens Building, which they share with the Department of Anthropology.

In addition to all new mechanicals, windows, ceilings, etc. just to "fix" the building, the School of Theatre and Dance will be getting a brand-new, state-of-the-art, 8000+ square foot black box theatre, as well as a hugely expanded scene shop which will service both the black box as well as the existing O'Connell Theatre.

This is expected to be at least a two-year project, while some projections place it at closer to three years. In any event, we are excited about the future.

In the meantime, the faculty and staff of the School of Theatre and Dance are busy packing and labeling all items for the movers to do their work next week. The offices of the School will be in Grant Hall Tower A, while classes and rehearsals will be spread all across campus as …

Organic Theater Company Opens 2013 Season in Chicago

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Chicago's Organic Theater Company, which features many NIU alums and has as it's Producing Artistic Director Alex Gelman (Director of the NIU School of Theatre and Dance), is opening its 2013 season in Chicago on May 29 at the Greenhouse Theater Center.

The two featured plays are "The Emigrants" by Slawomir Mrozek, and "Caligula" by Albert Camus.

Here is the trailer for "Caligula":

Percussion Professor Earns Terrific Review

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Greg Beyer, Professor of Percussion in the NIU School of Music, performs with Chicago's noted new music group Ensemble Dal Niente. This past weekend Dal Niente presented several new works in concert, and the group - and in particular, Greg - received a terrific review.

Reviewer Gerald Fisher in Chicago Classical Review notes "...the prodigiously talented percussionist Gregory Beyer..." and later states that the duo Greg performed with Mabel Kwan, NIU piano alumna, "...proved one of the evening's highlights."

Please read the entire review here.

Congratulations, Greg!

Faculty Composer's Works Featured in Festivals

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On May 1, NIU School of Music faculty member Robert Fleisher was one of 60 composers whose electro-acoustic compositions were heard—and seen—at Washington University (St. Louis), in a premiere screening of experimental videos by 22 Digital Studio students.

Dr. Fleisher’s Loretto Alfresco (piccolo) was originally selected for the 60x60 “Crimson Mix,” premiered during the 2010 International Computer Music Conference in New York City. The Crimson Mix has since been heard in Taiwan, Italy, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and at venues throughout the United States. All “60x60” mixes comprise 60 compositions by 60 composers, each of which lasts no more than 60 seconds.

Loretto Alfresco (piccolo) was selected again for two new mixes in 2012: the “Composers Concordance” mix was premiered during the Composers Concordance festival at Spectrum, in New York City; the “EMM” mix features works by composers (including NIU music alums Matthew Dotson, Tony Reimer, and Andrew Walters) whose music was previ…

Huskie Spring Fever Campaign Under Way!

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We know that many regular readers of these posts are donors to the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and for that we sincerely thank you!

If you have not donated yet this year, or you might be considering becoming a donor, now is a GREAT time to give! We have a wonderful matching program at the unusually high match rate of 2 to 1!

Gifts received by the college will go to benefit programming and opportunities for students that would otherwise not be available. We encourage you to help us provide the best possible education for the current generation of students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

As noted in the graphics below, here is the link to the web page where you can donate. As you begin to complete the online form, please remember to select the box for "I'd like my gift designated to a specific area," then select the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Thank you!