Showing posts from February, 2015

Jazz Lab Band Takes Honors at Noted Festival

We are pleased to announce that the NIUJazz Lab Band, under the direction of professor Rodrigo Villanueva, and the Rosebud Jazztet, under the direction of professor Reggie Thomas, earned top honors from their recent performances at the noted Elmhurst Jazz Festival.

The judges also bestowed special recognition to soloist Lenard Simpson, alto saxophonist in the Jazz Lab Band.

Congratulations to all involved!

Printmaking Professor Featured in New Book

The just-released book Contemporary American Printmakers (Schiffer Publishing) features 75 printmakers and 30 print shops nationwide. We're pleased that Professor of Printmaking Michael Barnes of the NIU School of Art and Design is one of the featured artists.

About the book, the publisher states "Printmakers today are sustained both by their traditions and by their willingness to embrace new technologies, new mediums, and innovative processes. Over 500 beautiful color images display the innovative work of 75 talented printmakers and 30 print shops.
Traditional printing techniques featured include lithography, intaglio, screen print, and relief, while newer techniques include installation, digital, and fiber, among other forms of new print media. The artists speak for themselves, revealing why they create their art. Consequently,  the readers will gain a deeper understanding of their world. These assembled prints reflect the talent of this time and in this place. The artists…

NIU Again Excels in Annual Steel Pan Panorama

Silver Stars
Several faculty, alumni and current students of the steel pan program in the NIU School of Music were participants in this year's Panorama, the annual competition for calypsoes in Trinidad and Tobago, the finals of which was held at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies, February 14.

We are pleased to announce that NIU folks provided significant contributions to the competition:

Professor Liam Teague arranged for PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars that won Third Place in the large band category. Panorama is largely considered to be the most prestigious and fiercely contested steelband
competition in the world. The band played Liam’s arrangement of “Edwin’s Legacy” – a composition of Alvin Daniell and Barnett “Preacher” Henry, and was sung by Eunice Peters. The piece paid homage to Silver Stars’ former leader and arranger, the late Edwin Pouchet, who handpicked Liam Teague to be his successor.

Alumnus Seion Gomez arranged for NLCB Buccooneers that w…

Visual Art MFA Show in Chicago

Luis Sahagun is a third-year MFA student in the NIU School of Art and Design. During his time with us, Luis has been extremely active not only creating new works but also as a leader in the school and as a curator of exhibits.

In addition to his MFA show in Gallery 214 in Arends Hall (reception Feb. 26, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.), Luis will have a solo show at Kruger Gallery Chicago - which is owned and operated by one of our MFA graduates, Mikelle Kruger.

The Chicago show is entitled Escombros - Spanish for rubble, and will be on display March 20 through May 2. Luis uses his experiences as an undocumented immigrant growing up in Chicago Heights to inform his work.

We invite you to see Luis' work at either or both shows!

Jazz Student in Finals of National Competition

Lenard Simpson, a saxophonist and jazz major in the NIU School of Music, has made it to the finals of the Luminarts Cultural Foundation Jazz Improvisation Competition. The finals will take place at Buddy Guy's Legends, the noted club in Chicago (700 S. Wabash).

The competition takes place Wednesday, February 18, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. If you're able, please attend and support Lenard!

Animated Notation Comes to NIU

Ryan Ross Smith is a musician and composer who is interested in the creation of rhythmic complexity with an economy of means, the stasis of an active non-accomplishment, the expression of concept over form or development. Smith is also the creator of, a website devoted to the his innovative compositions, as well as a global network of other similar composers and researchers. We welcome him to NIU with a performance of his works in the School of Music Recital Hall, Wednesday, February 18, at 8:00 p.m. The performance is free of charge and the public is welcome.

Smith has performed throughout the U.S., Europe and UK, including performances at MoMA and PS1 [NYC] and Le Centre Pompidou [Paris, FR], has had his music performed throughout North America, Iceland, and the UK, has presented his work and research at conferences including NIME and the Deep Listening Conference. Smith earned his MFA in Electronic Music from Mills College in 2012, and is currently a PhD candi…

Art+Design Education Professor Earns National Award

We are so pleased to announce that Professor Kryssi Staikidis of the NIU School of Art and Design has been chosen as this year's recipient of the J. Eugene Grigsby Jr. COMC Award, presented by the National Art Education Association Committee on Multiethnic Concerns (COMC).

According to the NAEA, the J. Eugene Grigsby Jr. COMC Award "honors individuals who have made distinguished contributions to the field of art education in advancing and promoting education, investigation, and celebration of cultural and ethnic heritage within our global community. The record of achievement may reflect remarkable scholarly writing, research, professional leadership, teaching and/or community service that advances the ideals of culturally responsive pedagogy in teaching and learning communities. Further, this award highlights the legacy of Dr. J. Eugene Grigsby Jr. in bringing to light accomplishments historically and contemporarily by people of color in fully advancing NAEA policy and practic…

Today's Theatre Performance Cancelled Due to Snow Accumulations

Today's (Sunday, February 1) performance of A Skull in Connemara has been cancelled due to the accumulating snow and expected blizzard conditions this afternoon. Please contact the School of Theatre and Dance Box Office this week to arrange for tickets to another performance.

Information on how to contact the Box Office can be found here.