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SISO: "Simply Sinatra Christmas"

On Thursday, December 1 at 7:30pm in Shryock Auditorium, the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra (SISO), under Music Director Edward Benyas, presented “A Simply Sinatra Christmas,” with guest vocalist, direct from Las Vegas, Steve Lippia. This exciting Holiday concert included great Sinatra hit songs, such as “Come Fly With Me,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” and “My Way,” along with holiday favorites like “Let it Snow,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Winter Wonderland.” The SISO was joined by School of Music Jazz faculty, members of the SIU Studio Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Professor Dick Kelley, and instrumental jazz specialists from across the Midwest. This incredible performances, on the heels of the Frank Sinatra 100th anniversary, was sponsored in part by the SIU Student Fine Arts Activity Fee.

Grammy-nominated singer, Steve Lippia, has established a place among the finest interpreters in the nation of “standards” and traditional pop music. His youthful, energetic talent and powerful show introduces a new generation to this timeless music, while appealing to long-time listeners. Lippia has headlined in highly successful, extended engagements in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City as well as the legendary "Birdland Jazz Club" in New York City. His TV appearances include "Extra," FOX's "Good Day New York," CNN's "Showbiz Today," ABC and the BBC.

There was a special pre-concert wine and cheese benefit reception at 6pm in the Shryock upstairs lobby on December 1, featuring a live jazz combo.


Brass Night at Altgeld

SIU School of Music brass faculty Profs. Jennifer Presar and Jessica Butler hosted a Brass Night on November 2, 2016 in Altgeld Hall. This even was open to all types and levels of brass musicians (SIU students, middle and high school, and community members).

Activities included master classes, breathing exercises, and chamber music.


Concert Choir performs with Paducah Symphony

by Andrea Hahn

Concert choir performingCARBONDALE, Ill. – The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Concert Choir will perform with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra on April 16 at a concert featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Luther F. Carson Center for the Performing Arts in Paducah. Go here to order tickets; prices are $19, $36 or $46. Raffaele Ponti of the Paducah Symphony Orchestra conducts.

The concert also includes choirs from Murray State University and the Paducah Symphony Chorus. David Dillard, associate professor of voice at SIU, has a bass voice solo during the performance. Other SIU School of Music faculty members performing for the evening are: Michael Barta, professor of violin, who will be assistant concertmaster; Eric Lenz, associate professor of cello, as principal cello; Jennifer Presar, lecturer in horn as principal horn; Metiney Suwanawongse, lecturer in viola, and Christopher Butler, lecturer in percussion. Paula Melton, assistant instructor of violin, is a Paducah Symphony Orchesrtra member.

“This is the second year we’ve been asked to sing with the Paducah Symphony,” Susan Davenport, director of choral activities and assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said. “We’re glad to be considered part of the singing ‘team’ for the Paducah Symphony Orchestra.”

Concert choir performingDavenport said the School of Music has been hard at work forging new connections in Paducah, partly to strengthen already existing musical friendships and also for recruiting. A musical showcase last November was part of the bridge-building that contributed to SIU participation in the upcoming concert.

She emphasized that this concert provides an opportunity for SIU to shine in choral, solo voice and instrumental areas.

“From an educational standpoint, this is an amazing opportunity for our students,” Davenport said. “The Carson Center is one of the finest performing facilities in the entire region.”


Coleman conducts 2016 Heartland Honor Band

Randall ColemanRandall Coleman, conductor of the Alabama Symphonic Band, guest-conducted this year's Heartland Honor Band at SIU Carbondale. The Heartland Honor Bands and Choir Festival, comprised of high school student musicians from across the region, was held Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13, with free concerts open to the public on Saturday.

Coleman is currently the Associate Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Alabama where he also serves as the Associate Conductor of the Alabama Wind Ensemble, and the Co-Director of the Million Dollar Band.  He also teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting and wind band literature classes.


Jazz Festival 2016

Charles McPhersonThis year's SIU Jazz Festival combined an educational and competitive environment, with each band receiving a personalized clinic following their performance. Trophies were awarded to Outstanding Bands and Sections, while Oustanding Soloists received certificates as well.

The festival masterclass featured guest artist and jazz legend Chalres McPherson with the SIU Studion Jazz Orchestra. McPherson was recently featured at Lincoln Center showcasing his original compositions and arrangements. He has toured the U.S., Europe, Japan, Africa, and South America.


Body Mapping Clinic with Dr. Andrée Martin

Dr. Andrée MartinDesigned to bring awareness to tension habits, a special Body Mapping workshop on January 30 taught body mapping for musicians through lecture, discussion, group activities, and playing or singing. Body mapping is a discipline that trains us to replace our faulty body maps with correct maps in order to rely on our skeletal structure to support our weight and allow for effortless movement. The resulting ease can offer musicians a wider diversity of tone color, a better control of dynamic range, arm freedom and therefore freer technique, stronger endurance, and better clarity and speed of articulation.

The workshop was led by Dr. Andrée Martin, a professor of flute at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University (GA).


Alumnus Returns to Perform on Famed Stradivarius

Kiril LaskarovKiril Laskarov, a former student of SIU violin professor Michael Barta and currently co-concertmaster for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, returned to his alma mater for two performances on "Le Brun," a violin made in 1712 by Antonio Stradivari. Niccolò Paganini, among other famed virtuosos, are known to have played this 300-year-old violin.

Laskarov performed a private concert of Feliz Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto hosted by SIU System President Randy Dunn and his wife, Ronda, at the Stone Center on January 18 as a fundraiser for the upcoming summer music festival. A second demonstration was featured at a special School of Music convocation the next morning in the Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall.


Day of Percussion

percussionist with instrumentsThe School of Music hosted the 2015 SIU Day of Percussion on November 21st at Altgeld Hall. Featured guest artists included James Campbell, William James, Gavin Ryan, and Christopher Butler, as well as the entire SIU Carbondale Percussion Ensemble.

Performances and clinics ranged in topic and style, and the program is eager to see this become the first of many Days of Percussion to come.


Altgeld Trio gives preview concert at Morris Library before traveling to China

Altgeld Trio with instrumentsThe Altgeld Trio, featuring violinist Michael Barta, cellist Eric Lenz, and oboeist Edward Benyas, performed a free lunchtime concert at Morris Library on November 13. The three SIU faculty members performed music by Bach, Handel, Hayden, Beethoven, Joplin and more.

The Trio later preseted the same concert on Saturday, November 21 at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China, where the members also presented master classes for violin, cello and oboe students. On Friday, November 27, the Trio performed together in a different format with the Shenzhen (China) Symphony Orchestra, with Professor Benyas as guest conductor and Professors Barta and Lenz as soloists in the Brahms Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra. Also included on the Shenzhen Symphony program was Bernstein’s Candide Overture and Borodin’s 2nd Symphony.


Guitar Festival 2015 Branches Out

Guitarist Isaac LausellThe 2nd Guitar Festival was held November 12-14, 2015 at SIU Carbondale, and featured Brazilian classical guitarist Moacyr Teixeira Neto, the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music's Fidel Morales and Gabriel Rodriguez, jazz guitarist Steve Jacobson, and many other performers and educators throughout the three-day festival. The festival was a memorable experience in which international and national artists performed and joined to share the traditions and innovations of the guitar from all around the globe.


Recitals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by two SIU Music Faculty Members

Lee (left) and Worthen (right)Drs. Douglas Worthen and Junghwa Lee were invited to perform the following two concerts at a New Music Festival in Rio de Janeiro titled Festival Internacional Compositores de Hoje (International Festival Composers of Today), November 4-8, 2015:

  • Collaborative Recital by Douglas Worthen and Junghwa Lee at Cultural Centro Cultural Justiça Federal (in Downtown Rio de Janeiro), Thursday, November 5th at 7 PM
  • Solo Piano Recital by Junghwa Lee performing a program of Korean Piano Music at Cultural Centro Cultural Justiça Federal (in Downtown Rio de Janeiro), Friday, November 6th at 7 PM

Each of these two faculty members also presented a masterclass at Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Instituto Villa Lobos - Centro de Letras e Artes) for selected students from this university during their visit.


Selvey speaks at National Music Education Conference

Jeremiah SelveySchool of Music faculty member, Dr. Jeremiah Selvey presented a clinic at the National Association for Music Education, National In-Service in Nashville, TN on October 27, 2016.

The clinic was designed to empower attendees to develop more meaningfully expressive experiences in the classroom and with the audience. As teachers of musician performers, they focus primarily on the sonic experience, laboring to create the perfect sound and its expressive qualities.

Recent research shows that the way we experience a musical performance may be influenced more by what we see in that performance than what we actually hear - the power of visual suggestion. While there are many implications of this research, Selvey’s session specifically explored ways in which performers - especially conductors and singers - can create more meaningful rehearsals and performances by way of visual communication. His session was titled, "The Power of Visual Suggestion: Empowering Creativity in Musical Expression."


The Thirteen Chamber Choir performs at SIU

The Thirteen Chamber ChoirProfessional vocal ensemble The Thirteen visited Carbondale for a two-day residency of master classes, lectures, clinics, and a concert on October 27-28, 2015.

This free presentation was supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Office of Sponsored Projects Administration (OSPA), School of Music, College of Liberal Arts, Office of the Provost, the Crane Group, and General Mills Foundation.


Dr. Jessica Butler presents, conducts, and performs at MTEC 2015

Jessica ButlerDr. Butler traveled to Eastern Illinois University to present, conduct, and perform at the 2015 Midwest Trombone and Euphonium Conference, hosted by Dr. Jemmie Robertson. MTEC is a conference that is devoted to pedagogy, research, entrepreneurship, and performance.

Dr. Butler presented her research on the feminist themes found in the music theater works by composer William Osborne for trombonist Abbie Conant. Dr. Butler aimed to expose the audience to music that they may never have been exposed to and delve deeper into why and how it was composed.

Dr. Butler also co-conducted a concert of low brass chamber music for the college and high school conference participants. The concert, performed on Halloween night, appropriately featured “spooky” musical pieces.


SISO presents Dvorak's Cello Concerto

On Tuesday, October 27 in Shryock Auditorium, the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, under Musical Director Edward Benyas, presented a program titled “Dvorak’s Cello Concerto.” The SISO was joined by the SIU Edwardsville Orchestra under the direction of Professor Michael Mishra. The soloist is Sara Sant’Ambrogio, cellist of the world famous Eroica Trio, which performed at Shryock in 2010.

Sara Sant'AmbrogioMs. Sant’Ambrogio was a winner at the 8th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, classical music’s most prestigious competition. She has been profiled in Strings, Glamour, Gramophone, Vogue, Strad, Elle, In Fashion, Bon Appetit, Detour, Travel and Leisure, Fanfare and Swing magazines, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and on CBS, ABC, PBS, Fox, USA and CNN. Prior to her performance, Ms. Sant’Ambrogio also presented a master class for SIU Carbondale and Edwardsville cello students on Sunday, October 25 at the SIU Edwardsville campus.


Alumna named one of "Opera's Exciting New Voices"

Emily FonsEmily Fons (Master of Music in Opera/Music Theater 2008) is featured on the cover of Opera News magazine under the heading “Opera’s Exciting New Voices: The Talent You Need to Hear”, the article goes on to describe her as one of the best singing actors of her generation.

Magazine thumbnail imageThis summer (2015), she performed the role of Ruby in the premiere of COLD MOUNTAIN at Santa Fe Opera, the leading role, Rosina, in THE BARBER OF SEVILLE at Opera Theatre St. Louis, and the title role in LES ENFANT ET LES SORTILEGES in Japan under the baton of Seiji Ozawa.

While at SIUC she performed Hansel in HANSEL AND GRETEL and the title role in Suor Angelica. At SIU Emily combined humor and humility with tenacious hard work and discipline. She was loved by everyone.


Davenport Presents at International Symposium

Susan DavenportSchool of Music faculty member Dr. Susan Davenport recently presented a clinic at the the international Symposium on Singing and Song sponsored by The Singing Network at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland on Oct. 4, 2015.

The session discussed the solo settings of James Joyce’s poetry collection Chamber Music, composed by Geoffrey Molyneux Palmer, which are held in the Southern Illinois University Morris Library, and Joyce’s strong affinity for them. In letters between the two men one can read Joyce and Palmer’s discussions about the musical intricacies in the solo songs and Joyce’s observation that they were the best settings of his poems. For decades after the songs were composed, Joyce worked diligently, far more that the composer, to have the songs published.

Additionally, the choral settings of Conrad Susa were presented, discussing the attributes of the choral settings that mirror those in the solo songs. Davenport asserted that, while Joyce made no comments in his letters about choirs singing his poems, he would have approved these settings based on their musical characteristics. Recordings of SIU alumni Robert Graham and the SIU Concert Choir were used as demonstrations of the music.

The clinic session was titled “Singing James Joyce’s Chamber Music."


Distinguished Organ Recital Series

Scott DettraThe artistic directors of the Marianne Webb and David N. Bateman Distinguished Organ Recital Series were pleased to host the 22nd concert of the series on Friday, October 9, 2015. This series brings internationally known concert artists to the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale to perform on the Marianne Webb Pipe Organ.

This year we were fortunate to have Scott Dettra as our featured guest artist. Acclaimed as one of the leading concert organists of his generation, Dettra combines an active performance schedule with his post as director of music and organist at Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, where he leads a vibrant music program. His recital at the 2014 national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Boston was widely acclaimed, and The American Organist described it as “music making of absolute authority and sophisticated expression, one of the week’s high points.” Dettra has performed at many of the finest organ concert venues in the world, and it was a delight to welcome him to Shryock Auditorium.


Jennifer Presar, Instructor of Horn and Music Theory, was invited back to play with Sphinx Symphony, the unique all Black and Latino orchestra comprised of top professionals from around the country. The concert took place in Detroit in early February 2015.
Presar, second from the left, with the horn section from 2014 Sphinx Symphony.


Southern Illinois Flute Choir Performed at the National Flute Association Conference, Chicago, Illinois
August 10, 2014

The SI Flute Choir was formed in 2008 by Dr. Douglas Worthen professor of flute at Southern Illinois University and is a region flute choir consisting of students and adult amateur flutists. Dr. Frank J. Grzych was guest conductor.

The Southern Illinois University Flute Choir rehearses every Sunday evening and is open to all flutists by audition.  For more information contact Dr. Douglas Worthen at the Southern Illinois University School of Music.


Student Awards and Honors

Congratulations to our students and alumni who received the following awards and recognition at our May 7, 2015 Convocation:

  • Arthur Scoleri received the Presser Foundation Scholarship and the Jarvis Memorial Flute Scholarship
  • Eva Hagan was awarded a Masters Fellowship for the 2015-2016 school year
  • Victoria Moore received an internship with the Fairbanks, Alaska Summer Arts Festival for summer, 2015
  • Matthew Seidel will participate in the Aspen Summer Music Festival in summer, 2015
  • Petra Bubanja has been awarded a doctoral assistantship with the Florida State University in Tallahassee
  • Emily Davis received the Golden Lyre Foundation Award
  • Kyle Dixon was awarded the Carl Deis Prize for Excellence in Composition for his composition "Ocean Waves"
  • The Mykytyn Distinguished Composition Award was given to Austin Church for his composition "String Quartet". William Radke received the runner-up award for his composition "Respawn" 

Congratulations to our students who were recognized at Honors Day 2015:

  • Benjamin J. Bollero
  • Kira K. Browning
  • Margaret Grace Butenbach
  • Thomas P. Embrich
  • Helen Ahnen Feest
  • Andrea Rochelle Lynn Francis
  • Ryan L. Ginther
  • Matthew J. Grammer
  • Kaitlyn J. Jack
  • Avery A. Kerley
  • Austin C. Manning
  • Reed M. Recker
  • Madeline Faye Rogers
  • Arthur Scoleri
  • Mary E. Walden

Confluence: Composed by Frank Stemper, Performed by Moderné

In honor of the 30th Anniversary of Academic and Scholarly Union of Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China and Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Frank Stemper has composed this piece. This performance was presented to Northeast Normal University by Chancellor Rita Cheng, during her visit to the institution. Here is presented the performance, as played by Moderné, a group of School of Music students:


Marching Salukis perform at University of Illinois

On Saturday, August 31st, the Marching Salukis traveled to Champaign-Urbana to take part in the SIU vs. U of I football game. There, the Marching Salukis joined the Marching Illini in a joint halftime performance of the music of "The Who" for the crowd. Both bands performed individual selections, and then combined together for a finale number. We thank our friends at Illinois for their hospitality and friendship.
Here's a short video of the performance:

Ed Benyas

Here are some of Ed Benyas' professional engagements from the past Spring and Summer:
---Completed his first season as Music Director of the New Chicago Chamber Orchestra
---Performed as Oboist and Conductor for 7 concerts in and around Padua, Italy
---Conducted 2 performances of the fully staged opera, Carmen
---Conducted 2 performances ofthe fully staged ballet,Swan Lake
---Conducted 2 performances of Brahms' 1st Symphony, Bartok's Violin Concerto (with Michael Barta), Barber Adagio for Strings and Bach's 3rd Orchestral Suite
---Conducted 1 chamber orchestra performance with music by Bach, Boccherini and Rimsky-Korsakov
---Completed his 9th year as Artistic Director of the Southern Illinois Music Festival

Junghwa Lee

Junghwa Lee, piano professor, was a guest artist at Shenyang Conservatory of Music in Shenyang, China in April 22-25. During her residency, Dr. Lee performed a solo piano recital presenting works by Debussy, Bach-Busoni, Saint-Saëns,Granados and Stemper (Asian premiere), and gave a series of masterclasses to 16 students majoring in piano performance at Shenyang Middle/High School and Shenyang Conservatory. In May, Dr. Lee was invited to present a masterclass at Dongduk Women's University in Seoul, Korea where she has been the second Korean pianist ever to have been invited to give a guest masterclass. In July, Dr. Lee was invited to Yoon Jin Music Institute in Seoul, Korea to teach four high school senior students who wish to major in piano performance in universities. Immediately following the teaching sessions, Dr. Lee was re-invited to the Institute for future visits by the Director of the Institute as a reflection of her effective teaching.

Summer Piano Camp

2013 SIU Summer Piano Campwas held July 28-August 2, which started with the Piano Camp Faculty Concert on Sunday, July 28th, including performances by Dr. Yuko Kato, Dr. Cully Bell, Dr. Paul Transue, and Dr. Junghwa Lee. Other sessions included Guest Piano Masterclasses and Recital by Paul Barnes, and Piano 4-Hands, Music Theory, Piano Literature, Piano Technique, Collaborative Piano, Keyboard Skills,Tour of the SIU Piano Technician's Shops, Individual Lessons and a special presentation by Dr. Cully Bell on Piano and Literature: An Analysis of Recurring Themes. The camp concluded with Students' Final Concert where each student performed a solo and piano 4-hands selections they studied during the camp week.For information about Piano Camp next summer, please contact Dr. Junghwa Lee at jlee@siu.edu.

Summer Piano Camp

From the left: David Prudent, James Accurso, (standing) Dr. Yuko Kato - Assistant Professor of Piano, (sitting) Ray Shang, Madeline Rogers, Dr. Junghwa Lee - Associate Professor of Piano

Yuko Kato

Yuko Kato, piano professor, has a new album on Albany Records with her chamber group, The Chiaroscuro Trio. The CD, titled, "New People: Contemporary American Works for Voice, Viola, and Piano" features world premiere recordings of compositions by Graham Reynolds, Jonathan Santore, Rob Deemer, Daniel Powers, and "New People" by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Colgrass. The album is available from Albany Records, Amazon, and iTunes. For additional information please visit Chiaroscuro Trio on Facebook.

Yuko Kato

Eric Mandat

Eric Mandat, professor of clarinet, has been busy performing and teaching throughout the summer.
He taught at the Indiana University Clarinet Performance Workshop from June 6-10, with colleagues Howard Klug (Indiana U.) and Steve Cohen (Northwestern U.) If you’re interested in attending next year’s performance workshop, please visit http://music.indiana.edu/precollege/adult/clarinet/.In addition, Dr. Mandat was the featured guest artist at the University of North Texas ClarEssentials camp for high school clarinetists in June, where he performed a solo recital and presented a workshop on articulation for clarinetists.He taught at the InterHarmony Chamber Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy, during July. If you’re interested in attending next year’s festival, please visit http://www.interharmony.com/. Dr. Mandat was a guest artist at the 2013 International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest in Assisi, Italy, where he premiered his newest work for solo clarinet, Chiral Symmetries. Dr. Mandat performed at the 2013 European Clarinet Festival in Ghent, Belgium in January, where he presented his Shadows from Flamesfor solo clarinet and bass clarinet quartet, featuring an all-star European ensemble of bass clarinetists. He was also a featured guest artist at the 2013 Millersville University (PA) Single Reed Symposium in April, where he presented a recital and master class for clarinetists. Also in April, he was special guest artist at the 2013 Microtonal Music Festival at Arizona State University, where he performed his own compositions, and presented a master class for clarinetists.
The September 29 Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society will feature him performing Mozart’s Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet together with SIU faculty colleagues Michael Barta, Jacob Tews, and Eric Lenz, and an SIU graduate student. He will also be the featured guest artist at the 2013 Ball State University Clarinet Day, November 23.
Dr Mandat has received a commission to compose a work for clarinet and string quartet for the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, to be held in March, 2014. He has also received a commission to compose a work for clarinet and piano for the 2014 Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium High School Artist Competition. His composition Etude for Barney (1990) has been chosen as one of the required works for the 2014 Interantional Clarinet Association Young Artist Competition.

Jacob Tews

Jacob Tews, viola professor, was part of a project last year that just won an regional Emmy award this spring. It was a PBS concert special with guitarist Billy McLaughlin. Dr. Tews wrote a string orchestra accompaniment for McLaughlin's song "While She Sleeps." The new arrangement was recorded with Orchestra Nova in San Diego.

Yuko Kato and Melissa Mackey

Yuko Kato and Melissa Mackey performed "Bassoon Sounds from Southern California" at the International Double Reed Society Conference in Redlands, CA on June 25. We performed works by John Steinmetz, Damian Montano, and Gernot Wolfgang- two of whom were in attendance.

David Dillard

David Dillard is singing The Bonze in Union Avenue Opera's production of Madama Butterfly. The performances are on July 12, 13, 19, 20. He also sang Escamillo in Southern Illinois Summer Music Festival’s Carmen in June.

David Dillard

David Dillard in Madama Butterfly.

Paul Transue

Paul Transue, Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano, Vocal and Opera Coach, just finished a production of Mozart's Die Zauberflote at Opera on the Avalon (St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada)where he was the Head Opera Coach. The Production team included colleagues from the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School, the Canadian Opera Company, and the Metropolitan Opera. In addition, Dr. Transue was a Master Coachand worked with 40 singersfrom the finest music schools in north America on their vocal repertoire.Three current SIU Music studentsparticipated in the Festival - 2 singers and 1 pianist - as well as a recent alumnus.He has been asked the Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL tohave a Guest Artist residencyduring the upcoming semester where he will give private lessons and Master Classes to the collaborative pianists and singersin both the Masters and Doctoral degree programs

School of Music IMEA videos

We will be posting many videos featuring the faculty of the School of Music at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. They will be playing All-State audition pieces required by the IMEA (Illinois Music Educators Association). Here is the start of the project: http://www.vimeo.com/user2340351

News from our graduates

  • Michael Boyle (MM, 2006), has received the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching at Oklahoma City Community College, where he has taught since graduation. Here is a link to the article: OCCC Celebrates Spring Commencement 2013
  • Amber South, who graduated with a degree in Music Education in May 2013, was recently selected for the Benton Middle School music teacher position.
  • Recent SIUC graduate Boja Kragulj (BA, 2005, MM 2007) has been appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the University of North Florida.
  • Andrea Gedrasik, (MMVP and MMOMT 2011) sang the role of First Lady to critical acclaim in Operaon the Avalon's production of Mozart's Die Zauberflote. Ms. Gedrasik also performed on a concert of Opera's Greatest Hits with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and sang on Masterclassesfor faculty from the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School.
  • Julie Shiely, MMOMT from Milwaukee, WI, studied with world renowned teachers Cynthia Hoffman (Juilliard School), Patricia Misslin (New England Conservatory)and Katherine Ciesinski (Eastman School of Music) and performed in the chorus of both Verdi's La Traviata Mozart's Die Zauberflote at Opera on the Avalon's Summer Festival. She covered the role of First Lady inDie Zauberflote in addition to singing on Masterclasses for Jonathan Munro (Broadway Musical Composer) and William McGraw (Cincinnati Conservatory).
  • Jennifer Lee, MM Collaborative Piano, accompanied lessons and Masterclasses at the Opera on the Avalon Festival in St. John's, Newfoundland. She worked with Patricia Misslin (Renee Fleming's teacher), Cynthia Hoffmann (Head of Voice Area, Juilliard), Benjamin Butterfield (Tenor, sings in major houses in North America and Europe), andKatherine Ciesinski (Eastman School of Music, Houston Grand Opera). She also performed on several recitals with singers from across North America before returning home to Singapore for a vacation prior to returning to SIU to complete her degree.
  • Melanie Schuette, Music Education major who graduated in May, has taken the job as Band Director at Hamilton County High School in McLeansboro, IL
  • Monica Bertrand, Music Education major who graduated in December, 2012, has been hired as Director of Choral Activites at Plainfield North High School, Plainfield, IL where she will conduct 7 ensembles. During the spring semester following her graduation, Monica served as an Intern with the Anima Children’s Chorus with Director Emily Ellsworth where she conducted two groups. She also completed the school year at Heritage Grove Middle School in Plainfield filling in for a maternity leave.
  • Ellis Henley, a senior from Sparta, Illinois majoring in Music Education and Vocal Performance, sang the roles of Baron Duphol in La Traviata and the Third Slave in Mozart's Die Zauberflote at Opera on the Avalon (St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada) under the direction of Maestro Judith Yan (San Francisco Opera), Director Chas Rader-Shieber (Curtis Institute of Music, Chicago Lyric Opera, Music Academy of the West), Head Opera CoachVlad Iftinca (Metropolitan Opera, Mannes School of Music), and DirectorMichael Cavanaugh (Vancouver Opera, Canadian Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera).