Showing posts from January, 2014

Music Faculty Member Earns State-wide Award

From Left: Mark Corey, ILMEA president-elect; Brett Goad; Deb Shofner, ILMEA president; Roseanne Rosenthal, ILMEA past president Congratulations are in order for Brett Goad, Director of the University Chorus in the NIU School of Music. We're pleased to announce that Brett has been awarded the Mary Hoffman Award of Excellence from the Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA).

The award was presented to Brett during the recent ILMEA conference in Peoria and recognizes teaching excellence in music educators who have taught for at least 10 years at any level. Deb Shofner, President of ILMEA and an alumna of the NIU School of Music, presented the award to Brett.

Brett has had significant positive impact on numerous music programs across the state and served as an ILMEA district choral representative. Over the course of his career he has been honored with several regional and national awards. In addition to his service for ILMEA, Brett serves as the President of the Centra…

Alumni Composers Earn Hollywood Successes

Two alumni of the NIU School of Music's composition program are providing original music for newly-released and upcoming major motion pictures and television shows in Hollywood.

Jermaine Stegall
Jermaine Stegall has numerous film credits as a composer, including the just-released Jamesy Boy and the soon to be released Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3D.  Jermaine has written original and additional film music for such studios as Warner Brothers, Lionsgate, Dimension Films, NBC Universal Television, Anchor Bay Films, and CW Television.

Matt Novack Matt Novack is perhaps best known for his work as the composer for the television series Children's Hospital, and he's now scored for the motion picture They Came Together, premiering this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival.

Congratulations, Jermaine and Matt!

Art + Design Education Professor to Speak at International Conferences

Kerry Freedman
Dr. Kerry Freedman, professor of Art+Design Education in the NIU School of Art, will be a guest speaker at noted international locations this winter and spring.

Kerry will be speaking in Athens, Greece, Dublin, Ireland, and Cambridge, UK, in the next couple of months. In Athens, she'll be speaking at the Onassis Cultural Center, in their Talks and Thoughts series. For the current season (2013/2014), the thematic area addressed in the series is “Social and Educational Issues.” Kerry has been invited to discuss how art education can contribute to cultural learning.

In Dublin, the National College of Art and Design has invited Kerry to present the keynote address at a conference on arts assessment. At Cambridge University, Kerry will be presenting her research on adolescent and young adult visual culture learning communities.

Congratulations, Kerry!

Steel Pan Faculty, Alums Take Over Trinidad's Panorama

Congratulations are in order for the NIU Steelpan faculty and several alumni!

As many readers know, the NIU Steel Band (and steelpan program) in the School of Music is regarded world-wide as the exemplary program for training and performance. This year this is evident in the significant number of NIU steelpan faculty and alumni who have been chosen as arrangers of the leading steel bands in Trinidad and Tobago for the annual Panorama competition, the world's most significant steel band competition.

Cliff Alexis Liam Teague
We are also incredibly pleased to announce that at this year's Panorama, NIU's Cliff Alexis will be honored with an award and will serve as the Guest of Honor at the finals of the competition. Cliff's award will be presented by Pan Trinbago, the world governing body for steelpan.

NIU folks who are arranging/directing for Panorama include:

Professor Liam Teague: Silver Stars
Alumnus Seion Gomez - NICB Bucconeers and Solo Harmonites
Alumna Jeannine Remy - …

School of Music "Rules" in List of Top Jazz Performances

As with other recent posts, we are proud to announce the connections between the NIU School of Music and another end-of-the-year "best of" list.

The Chicago Tribune's noted jazz critic Howard Reich compiled "Best Jazz Shows of 2013," which spotlights 18 performances. Of those 18, 6 contain NIU School of Music faculty and/or alumni.

Congratulations to all these faculty members and alumni!

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic
Talia Pavia - violin - alumna
Zara Zaharieva - violin - alumna
John Floeter - string bass - faculty
Ricardo Castaneda - oboe - faculty
Erin Horan - oboe - alumna
Ron Carter - sax - faculty
Nicole Mitchell - flute - alumna
Mike Salter - bass clarinet - alumnus
John Moore - trumpet - alumnus
Charles Schuchat - tuba - faculty
Sarah Allen - percussion - alumna
Stewart Miller - bass - alumnus
(and these are the alums we know about, there may be some others!)

Chicago Jazz Orchestra
Art Davis - trumpet - faculty
Marquis Hill - trumpet - alumnus
Tom Garlin - trombone -…

Music Professor and Music Alumna Earn High Praise

Greg Beyer

Mabel Kwan (photo by Nelson Fitch)
As so many publications print "best of" lists at the end of each year, the Chicago Classical Review is no exception. Critic Lawrence A. Johnson penned "The Top 10 Performances of 2013" and included a performance by NIU School of Music Professor Greg Beyer and NIU music alumna Mabel Kwan (who are members of Ensemble Dal Niente as noted in the article). Greg and Mabel's performance of Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Kontakte" earned them this notoriety.

As you'll undoubtedly note, the performance is among those by such noted artists as Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as Esa-Pekka Salonen and Yo-Yo Ma.

Congratulations, Greg and Mabel!

Music Faculty Member Garners End-of-Year Kudos

Ryan Muncy, instructor of classical saxophone in the NIU School of Music, received high praise from two extremely noteworthy publications in their "best of" 2013 listings.

The New Yorker listed Ryan's recent solo recording "Hot" as one of their "Notable Classical Performances and Recordings of 2013," compiled by music critic Alex Ross. How wonderful it is that Ryan's work is listed among recordings of composers as noted as Benjamin Britten, Morton Feldman, and Arcangelo Corelli,

The Chicago Reader listed "Hot" in their year-end article "Our Favorite Music of 2013."

Congratulations, Ryan!

Acting Alum Earns Role in Major Motion Picture

We're pleased to announce that Gabrielle ("Gabby") Walsh, who earned her BFA in Acting in 2011 from the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, is appearing in the lead female role in a just-released major motion picture.

Gabby appears in "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones," which is a horror film set in present-day Oxnard, California. The trailer for the film may be seen here.

The film opens today throughout the United States and Canada, with world-wide distribution later this year. You can read a nice article about Gabby's participation in the movie here.

Congratulations, Gabby!