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Showing posts from February, 2014

Faculty Sculptor's Work in Solo Exhibition

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Michael Rea, assistant professor of sculpture in the NIU School of Art, will have an upcoming solo exhibition in Chicago.

The exhibition, entitled Exile on Main Street, will be held at Devening Projects and Editions, 3039 West Carroll, Chicago. This will be Mike's first solo show in the gallery.

The exhibition will take place in the off space and features a major new installation feature sculpture inspired by film. The exhibition runs from March 9 - April 12, 2014; the opening reception takes place on Sunday, March 9, from 4 - 7pm.

For over a decade, Chicago artist Mike Rea has used his bombastic wooden sculptures to conflate notions of working hard and playing hard. Regenerated moments of cinematic horror, science fiction, comedy and drama intermingle with memory to form bizarre personal narratives. The aggregate of this mix is uncanny and often thrills and confounds his audience. Rea's sculptures carry forward the familiar; very quickly those recognizable elements are subvert…

Music Professor's Horn Concerto Receives World Premiere Performance

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Larry Williams, Dean Rich Holly, Tom Bough
 Concerto for Horn and Wind Band, by Dr. Thomas Bough, professor in the NIU School of Music, received its world premiere performance on Wednesday, February 26, with noted horn soloist Larry Williams performing the solo horn part. Dr. Bough conducted the NIU Wind Symphony in the premiere of his work.

The Concerto is the result of several meetings, collaborations and conversations between Tom and Larry. They are both artist/clinicians for the Yamaha Corporation of America (Tom is a tubist), and as such have appeared together providing brass instrument clinics across the United States. Tom and the Wind Symphony also recorded the work, with Larry as soloist, for an upcoming CD of Tom's compositions.

Larry Williams, Laura Fairfield, John Fairfield

Prior to the evening performance, Larry was the featured guest at NIU's Horn Day, which also featured horn professor John Fairfield. In attendance at the concert were several area horn players, fro…

Art History Professor Busy Nationally

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We're happy to report that NIU Art History Professor Mary Quinlan is receiving national notoriety recently. Her most recent book has continued earning great reviews, many of which are excerpted on the page via the link. Other recent great reviews have come in from the College Art Association CAA Reviews, and one published in Renaissance Quarterly.  

Mary has also had several prestigious invitations related to this book, each an hour-long presentation followed by Q&A. Invitations include those to the Newberry Library in Chicago (April), the University of Chicago (November), and the University of Wisconsin - Madison (November).

Additionally, Mary received an invitation to speak in the Lauro de Bosis lecture series at Harvard University (March 10).  There are several unique features of the Harvard talk: A core group of Harvard graduate students will have read the book and written a formal book review on it, and one of these is selected for publication on Harvard's De Bosis si…

Music Professor Earns International Award

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We've just learned that Liam Teague, co-director of the the world-renowned Steel Pan program in the NIU School of Music, has been chosen by the Anthony M. Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence committee as the 2014 Laureate in Arts and Letters. Launched in 2005, these awards are the leading recognition program in the Caribbean for the arts, sciences, and public and civic work. According to the awards' website, the awards are meant "...to recognize significant Caribbean achievement, to encourage and to support the pursuit of excellence by Caribbean persons, for the benefit of the region."

Congratulations, Liam!

School of Music to Host "Horn Day"

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Larry Williams
The NIU School of Music is pleased to announce the upcoming "Horn Day," on February 26. The featured performer for the event is noted horn soloist Larry Williams, and the day will also feature NIU professors Thomas Bough and John Fairfield, along with the NIU Wind Symphony. The event is free of charge.

As part of the day, participants will take part in masterclasses and rehearsals, and the evening concert of the NIU Wind Symphony will feature Larry Williams performing the World Premiere of Dr. Bough's Concerto for Horn and Wind Band.

We hope you'll be able to join us for this great day of horn playing! Here are the details of the day:

NIU Horn Day
Featuring Larry Williams
February 26th, 2014 - NIU School of Music
Dr. Thomas Bough and the NIU Wind Symphony | NIU Horn Professor John Fairfield
Horn Concerto Premiere | Horn Masterclass
Free Concert | Free Pizza Dinner for Students

About Larry Williams:

"An outstanding artist-soloist with fine tone, excellent…

Music Alumna Featured in National Journal

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Marybeth Kurnat, a 2011 graduate of the NIU School of Music, is featured in the latest issue of Teaching Music, the journal of the National Association for Music Education.

The article, entitled "Combining Middle and High School Ensembles," focuses on the challenges music teachers face when working with small groups, sometimes with incomplete instrumentation, from smaller sized schools. Marybeth teaches in Poplar Grove, Illinois, at North Boone High School and North Boone Middle School/Upper Elementary. While there are surely thousands of music educators in school music programs with similar ensemble-size challenges, Marybeth was the sole music educator interviewed for the article.

Based on her experience and among the several words of wisdom Marybeth imparts, she states that combining middle schoolers with high schoolers into one larger concert band "...gets middle schoolers excited about high school band, which lowers the ever-feared [grade] 8-to-9 threshold attrition…

Introduction to Music Class Attends Lyric Opera Performance

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During the fall 2013 semester, NIU School of Music instructor Alana Nelson partnered with NIU Associate Vice Provost for University Honors, Dr. J.D. Bowers, and the Director of Education at the Lyric Opera, Mark Riggleman, to receive funding for a trip for her honors section of MUHL 220 "Introduction to Music"  to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to attend a dress rehearsal of Rossini's The Barber of Seville. Alana explains that when she introduced the trip to the class at the beginning of the semester, the students were thrilled to have an opportunity to attend the opera. They were able to use the bus ride to and from the opera as a time to go over the plot, composer, music, and performers. Arriving a few minutes early, the students were able to explore the opera house and were in awe of the beauty of the Lyric’s architecture and design. Of those attending, only a couple of the students had attended an opera of any kind previously. A special treat followed the performance, w…