Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs



Brett Mitchell
Brett Mitchell

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News Release

Contact: Mark McGowan, NIU Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-9472

January 18, 2007

NIU Philharmonic invited to perform concert
at Illinois Music Educators Association convention

DeKalb — The Northern Illinois University Philharmonic will perform Friday, Jan. 26, at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Convention in Peoria.

Conductor Brett Mitchell applied for the spot last spring, and received the good word during the summer. It’s the orchestra’s first invitation in more than a decade.

“What really got us the gig, as it were, was the recording I sent in made from two of our concerts last season,” Mitchell said. “Part of what makes it such a great honor is that we were invited for how we actually played, not just how we look on paper.”

The orchestra will play at 9:30 a.m. in the Theatre of the Peoria Civic Center, one of eight venues used by the conference attendees during the four-day event.

First on the program is “Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” a brisk, five-minute piece by American composer John Adams. The Philharmonic will perform the piece on campus Monday, Feb. 12, three days before Adams’ 60th birthday.

“John Adams is one of the pre-eminent composers alive today,” Mitchell said. “This performance is our ‘birthday card’ to him.”

The Philharmonic then will tackle Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, a 45-minute piece the young musicians played on campus this past September as part of their Shostakovich Centenary Tribute. “It’s representative of what we can do at our best,” the conductor said.

Other NIU involvement:

  • Marching Band Director Tom Bough will lead clinics on “Recruit, Train and Retain Your Low Brass Section” and “The Band Boot Camp: A Supplemental Method Book for Band.”
  • Eric Johnson, director of choral activities in the NIU School of Music, will lead an executive committee meeting of the American Choral Director’s Association. Johnson is the ACDA’s state president in Illinois.
  • Ronnie Wooten, associate professor of music education, will lead a clinic with the help of the NIU Wind Ensemble on “Call and Response: The Secret Relationship between Concert and Jazz Band Styles.”

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