IU Opera takes on classic Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘South Pacific’

By Peter Jacobi   “Once launched, ‘South Pacific’ immediately joined that rare company of such musicals as ‘Oklahoma!,’ ‘My Fair … Continue reading

‘South Pacific’ opens Friday

By Audrey Perkins   “South Pacific,” the top Tony Award-winning Broadway revival, is IU Opera and Ballet Theater’s newest production. … Continue reading

Impressions of Brown County: An Evening of Art, Music & Storytelling

March 12, 2015 | 7:30pm | Brown County Playhouse

hohenberger-smallInspired by the extraordinary artistry of the region, the Brown County Playhouse, Project Jumpstart, and Jacobs School students are developing an innovative project that uses iconic early 20th Century photographs of Frank Hohenberger to generate new works by composers, musicians, and young visual artists.

The collaboration between young art students from Brown County, ensembles New Voices Opera and Novacane Quartet, composers in the IU Jacobs School of Music, and storyteller Paul Whitehouse, will culminate in a showcase event at the Brown County Playhouse on March 12 at 7:30pm. The evening will include a viewing of new art by students of Karena Sarber, Andi Bartels, and Natalie Van Zuiden, as well as premieres of musical works by Louis Goldford, Curtis Smith, Matthew Recio, and Javier Ledesma.

Tickets for the event, available at the Brown County Playhouse Box Office, are $12 (general admission,) and $8 (students, seniors, and members of the military.)

Photographer and newspaperman Frank Hohenberger spent forty-seven years recording the life, customs, and scenes of the hills of Brown County, with side trips and hired assignments in other areas of Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Mexico. Thousands of images taken from 1904-1948 of landscapes, buildings, and people testify to Hohenberger’s belief, recorded in his diary, that “pictures speak the only language all mankind can understand.”

The photos for the project have been provided courtesy of the Indiana University Lilly Library. Over 9,000 of Hohenberger’s photos have been digitized and are available online as the Frank M. Hohenberger Photograph Collection.


Brown County Playhouse The Brown County Playhouse entertained its first audience on July 1949. For more than 61 years, the Playhouse was owned by Indiana University Foundation and operated for the benefit of IU Theatre Department. In 2011, the IU Foundation handed over the keys to the Playhouse to the Brown County Community Foundation. A local group of professionals formed Brown County Playhouse Management, Inc. to manage the facility. The Playhouse doors are open once more, offering a diverse selection of performing arts year round.

New Voices Opera is dedicated to promoting American contemporary opera by performing emerging composer’s works. With a fully staged and orchestrated opera production in Bloomington each spring and several training programs and workshops throughout the year, the organization provides invaluable performance and growth opportunities for young artists and student musicians.

Founded in 2014, the Novacane Quartet aims to elevate the clarinet quartet and its repertoire to an artistic level. By exploring new genres of music, commissioning new works, and collaborating with artists of various disciplines, the Novacane Quartet seeks to present interesting art to new audiences.

Storyteller Paul Whitehouse is a Chicago based performer and teaching artist. His original stories have been featured at This Much is True, Paper Machete, Hump Night and Chemically Imbalanced Comedy Theater.  As an actor, he has performed on stages in Chicago, tours the country with Child’s Play, and can be seen in student film, webisodes, and web commercials. As a teacher, he spends his summers with General Theatre Studies, Goodman Theatre’s teen intensive program, and he has developed curriculum and teaches for Child’s Play Touring Theatre.

IU Jacobs School of Music’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development, provides expert guidance, resources, and a wide variety of events designed to empower Jacobs School of Music students as they prepare for careers in music and dance. Through the student-led initiative Project Jumpstart, the program offers entrepreneurship workshops, networking events, student competitions, {well-advised} lunches, and residencies by prominent arts entrepreneurs. For more information and a list of upcoming events, visit music.indiana.edu/oecd.

Jacobs School students and faculty featured at ACDA national conference

IMG_2151.smallerThe Jacobs School of Music has a very visible presence at the biennial national conference of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), held in Salt Lake City this year from Feb. 25 to Feb. 28.

The biennial national conference is ACDA’s major programmatic event, and it will host over 7,000 choral directors, music educators, publishers, composers, singers and industry professionals from across the United States and around the world.

The 25 students of NOTUS, the Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and their director and assistant professor of music Dominick DiOrio are representing the Jacobs School as the featured ensemble-in-residence for the Composers Track.

NOTUS will participate in two sessions involving new music: the College/University Reading Session on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. in LDS Assembly Hall, and the Student Composer Masterclass on Thursday, Feb. 26, 12:00 p.m. -1:45 p.m. in the Salt Palace Convention Center (SPCC), Room 253.

The Composers Track is a new initiative of ACDA to further incorporate composers of choral music into their programmatic offerings. NOTUS will have the opportunity to work closely with composers David Conte, Robert Kyr and Steven Sametz through this residency.

Dominick DiOrio

Dominick DiOrio

Choral Department faculty members Steve Zegree and Dominick DiOrio have been invited to give interest sessions on their areas of expertise. DiOrio will give a presentation, “Thirty-Something: New Choral Music by Today’s Hottest Young Composers,” on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m. in the SPCC, Room 253 A/B. Zegree will give a presentation, “Vocal Jazz Rehearsal Techniques,” on Friday, Feb. 26, at 9:45 a.m. in the SPCC, Room C/F.

Two other IU faculty members have big roles in the ACDA offerings. Professor of Music Education Patrice Madura Ward-Steinman serves as the national repertoire and standards chair for vocal jazz, and she has coordinated multiple events for attendees involving this music.

Jacobs voice faculty member Sylvia McNair will be the featured soprano at the closing concert, “A Grand Night for Singing,” on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. in the LDS Conference Center.

Two Jacobs School of Music doctoral students in choral conducting are also participating in high-profile events. Second-year doctoral student Maria Hagan is one of eight graduate students selected from a national pool to participate in the ACDA Graduate Student Conducting Competition. She is the first IU conducting student to participate in this contest in over a decade. First-year doctoral student Caleb Lewis is one of three students selected from across the U.S. to participate in a conducting master class with renowned British conductor Simon Halsey.

A first-year M.M. student in voice, Bille Bruley, will be singing with the professional ensemble, South Dakota Chorale, in two concerts on Saturday, Feb. 28, in Abravanel Hall and the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

The IU American Choral Directors Association student chapter will send eight young undergraduate music educators to the conference, one of whom—Jake Gadomski—was also selected to take part in the auditioned College/Community Latin-American Honor Choir with conductor Cristian Grases.

All IU alumni, students and faculty are invited to a reception hosted by associate professor of music and chair of choral conducting, Betsy Burleigh, on Friday, Feb. 27,  6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the SPCC, Room 150 C.  Light refreshments will be served.

Founded in 1959, the American Choral Directors Association is a nonprofit music-education organization whose central purpose is to promote excellence in choral music through performance, composition, publication, research and teaching. In addition, the association strives through arts advocacy to elevate choral music’s position in American society.


Breaking Into The Profession, Session III | YOUNG ARTIST PROGRAMS FOR VOCALISTS

Young Artist Program Stage Shot

Saturday, February 28, 12:30-2pm | Music Library, M285

Click here for more info on sign up and live streaming options >


Graduate Theory Association presents annual symposium this weekend

The Indiana University Graduate Theory Association will be presenting the twenty-first annual Symposium for Research in Music Theory this weekend, February 20 and 21, in Ford-Crawford Hall. This is a free and public event. The symposium includes a compelling and eclectic mix of presentations. The GTA has invited nine speakers from the music theory community, seven of whom are traveling from across the United States and Canada. Two members of the music theory faculty will also be delivering featured presentations on some of their most recent work. The GTA is delighted to welcome keynote speaker Professor Daniel Harrison of Yale University, who will be leading a workshop Friday afternoon and delivering the symposium’s keynote address Saturday evening.


Amanda Sewell: Jumpstart Entrepreneur of the Month

Picture of Amanda SewellMeet Amanda Sewell, Project Jumpstart’s
February Entrepreneur of the Month!

With extensive research published in peer-reviewed publications, such as the Journal of the Society for American Music, Cambridge Companion to Hip-Hop, and the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Amanda Sewell is a musicological force. She’s also a highly motivated entrepreneur and has developed a thriving editing and consulting business, in The Write, that focuses on academics and documents related to scholarship, research, and higher education.

Project Jumpstart recently caught up with Amanda to discuss her work and her insights on the variety of career options available to students with a rigorous academic training.

Click here for the Interview >

Brass Concerto Competition Winners Announced

This year, two students were named co-winners of the Brass Concerto Competition:

Kyle Gordon, bass trombone student with Professor Stewart, playing Daniel
Schnyder’s subZero

Brennan Johns, euphonium student of Carl Lenthe, playing the Lisjak Concerto.

Brennan will perform with the Symphonic Band on March 31st and Kyle with the Symphony Orchestra on April 15th.

Congratulations to you both!

Brass Concerto Competition Winners Announced

This year, two students were named co-winners of the Brass Concerto Competition:

Kyle Gordon, bass trombone student with Professor Stewart, playing Daniel
Schnyder’s subZero

Brennan Johns, euphonium student of Carl Lenthe, playing the Lisjak Concerto.

Brennan will perform with the Symphonic Band on March 31st and Kyle with the Symphony Orchestra on April 15th.

Congratulations to you both!

Visiting Assistant Professor of Tuba and Euphonium/Jazz

gail robertsonGail Robertson (euphonium MM 1989) recently completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts from Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow. She now teaches at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. Robertson also just released her second CD with Dr. Stacy Baker (tuba) SymbiosisDuo – “Playground.”