The NIU combo is named Northern Collective and is made up of Arman Sangalang (saxophone), Kirby Fellis (trombone), Austyn Menk (piano), Morgan Turner (bass) and Noah Brooks (drums).
Throughout their time as students at NIU, they have joined together through their mutual love for long-standing groups like the early Miles Davis Quintet and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. This understanding alongside influences by contemporary musicians like Mulgrew Miller, Roy Hargrove, and Kenny Garrett have shaped the Northern Collective’s sound.
The academy runs from July 10 through July 24, and their selection includes a full-scholarship that provides for their travel, lodging, tuition and meals.
“I’ve known about this program for a few years, and they added this small combo version it this year,” Arman Sangalang said. “Originally only big bands could audition. Kirby Fellis and I had been wanting to put a group together for a while. We thought this would be a great opportunity to get together and play with some of our friends. We all play together at school, but not necessarily in this kind of setting. It was great to do that.”
The audition process required the Northern Collective to record two arrangements. Austin Menk and Sangalang both brought in arrangements for the quintet to record and submit. And the entire group worked to provide the other supplemental materials needed for the audition.
Having their expenses covered allows the academy participants to immerse themselves in the experience without concerns about how much or how to pay. That’s something Sangalang is looking forward to.
“They really want us to be able to focus on music and to get to know the other people in the program. We will be in workshops with musicians from all over the country. It looks like we’ll be working with people like trumpeter Etienne Charles and Brian Lynch. We’ll be workshopping music and get master classes on all kinds of things, like the business side of music, improvisational techniques and things of that nature.”
Jazz Aspen Snowmass works in conjunction with Frost School of Music at the University of Miami (Florida). This is the first year for the Combo/Small Ensemble Session, as Jazz Aspen Snowmass and Frost School of Music have expanded the program. This two-week intensive workshop will be followed by the established Individual/Big Band Session led by JAS Academy Artistic Director Christian McBride. McBride will work in tandem with Frost Dean Shelly Berg and Program Director Chuck Bergeron, who will work on both sessions. The other combos participating in the session with NIU are from the University of Southern California, Manhattan School of Music and the University of Miami (Fla.)
The goal of the JAS Academy is to identify and assist the most talented artists embracing jazz fundamentally while exploring myriad related & unrelated forms of music at the highest level of quality. While at the Academy, in addition to their studies and rehearsals, students will also be showcased at multiple public performances. Visit us here for a full list of showtimes and places.
Kane Repertory Theatre, founded in 2019 by a group of alumni from the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, in partnership with the St. Charles Park District, presents a live outdoor production of the Shakespeare classic “Twelfth Night” at the Historic Pavilion on the Fox River. The play is directed by Northwestern MFA Directing candidate Katie Lupica. It premieres July 28th at 7 p.m. and runs through August with its last show at 7 pm on August 12th. Tickets can be purchased online.
“Twelfth Night” is a fast-paced romantic comedy with several interwoven plots of romance, mistaken identities and practical jokes. Separated from her twin brother Sebastian in a shipwreck, Viola disguises herself as a boy, calls herself Cesario, and becomes a servant to the Duke Orsino.
“Twelfth Night, though not set in a particular season, takes its title from the twelfth day of Christmas, the day when the partying has gone on and a festival season is coming to a close,” says director Katie Lupica. “Our Illyria, staged outside in July, is a summer beach party that doesn’t know how to end. It’s a good time, but its residents are stuck in habits of excess of one thing or another–unrequited love, drink, self-importance, even mourning. That is, until an unexpected visitor washes ashore. Viola, shipwrecked and out of place in this carnival world, brings a breath of fresh air that stirs up discovery, mischief, and eventually true love, catching the most self-serious the most off-guard. With such themes of renewal and invitations to take the blows of life a little more lightly, it is not surprising that “Twelfth Night” has historically been chosen to reopen theaters after times closure. For our audiences, I hope it will be like a summer breeze after the relative airlessness of the last two years. I am excited for people to come together in St. Charles to follow a delightfully tangled story of relatable, surprising, and often hilarious characters getting the kind of shake-up we could all use–to be refreshed, amused, intrigued, and renewed.”
Kane Repertory Theatre, in partnership with the St. Charles Park District, presents a live outdoor production of Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare directed by Katie Lupica. Performances are July 28-30, August 6, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. with 2 p.m. performances on July 31 and August 7. Tickets prices are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, and $15 for students.
This play is recommended for all ages. For tickets and more information visit them online.
About Kane Repertory Theatre
Kane Repertory Theatre is a professional 501(c)(3) non-profit theater company located in St. Charles, Ill. By using visceral performance Kane works to spark conversation, evoke empathy and bring the community closer together. Under the leadership of Executive Director Avery Bowne and Artistic Director Danill Krimer, Kane Repertory Theatre strives to be one of the Midwest’s leading regional theaters through new play development, reimagining classics and forming an ensemble of dynamic artists.
Want to learn more? Check out this video hosted by Kate Drury, a BFA Acting candidate in our very own School of Theatre and Dance.
The NIU experience is about more than choosing a major. It’s about having new experiences, getting involved, and working for a better future.
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NIU is home to a new generation of Huskies working for a better future for us all, and Huskies United is your chance to join them.
“Catching the Moment: Contemporary Art from Ted L. and Maryanne Ellison Simmons Collection” opens Thursday, June 23 and runs through September 11.
Ted Simmons played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020. His wife, Maryanne Ellison Simmons is a fine art printer and publisher. Their collection, which in total includes more than 70 pieces by Michael Barnes, draws on Maryanne’s professional expertise.
Catching the Moment celebrates the acquisition in 2020 of 833 works of contemporary art assembled by Ted L. and Maryanne Ellison Simmons. Comprised primarily of prints—and including a painting, drawings, collages, photographs, and editioned sculptures—the collection features a diverse group of more than 40 artists predominately active in the United States. It represents a transformative addition to the Museum’s holdings, particularly in works on paper and American art of the last 60 years. The exhibition features more than 200 works selected from this collection.
Focusing on art and artists of their own time, the Simmonses formed a collection that provides a critique of broad social, political, and art historical issues. These include H.C. Westermann’s nightmarish evocations of the Pacific chapter of World War II, Enrique Chagoya’s wide-ranging postcolonial critique, Kiki Smith’s explorations of the body and self as well as environmental concerns, and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s forceful foregrounding of Native American history.
Geof Bradfield, professor jazz studies in the NIU School of Music, has been named one of the City of Chicago’s Esteemed Artists for 2022. Bradfield was one of only four musicians to receive this recognition this year. The award includes $15,000 to use to support any artistic endeavors this calendar year, and Bradfield said he plans to use it to help fund a large ensemble project for the School of Music that he is currently working on.
From the City of Chicago’s announcement:
“Geof Bradfield’s work as a composer and saxophonist embraces intersections of jazz and other streams of African diaspora, drawing inspiration from Charlie Parker, Melba Liston, Lead Belly, Shona mbira and Gullah spirituals. Bradfield has performed nationally and internationally with artists such as Randy Weston, Dana Hall, Clark Sommers, and Jeff Parker. His eight albums have garnered critical accolades from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and NPR. He has received grants and awards from Chamber Music America, DCASE, Illinois Arts Council and the Mellon Foundation.
Arman Sangalang, who just earned his MFA in Jazz Studies from the NIU School of Music is serving a two-year fellowship with the Jazz Institute of Chicago.
Sangalang, a saxophonist and composer, received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University earned the Jazz Links Fellowship, which afforded him the opportunity to receive 75 hours of mentorship with educators and Chicago musicians.
The fellowship is offered annually to two “of the city’s up-and-coming musicians.” The program offers opportunities to learn on the job with Jazz Institute of Chicago mentors and “performance opportunities across the city in communities underserved by the arts.”
Over the course of his two years in the fellowship Arman, and his co-award winner Alexis Lombre, will receive 70 hours of mentorship including 25 hours with a mentor of his choice, 25 hours with a veteran jazz educator and 10 hours of mentorship in music business and finances.
“So far, the best part of it has been the mentorship,” Sangalang said. “I’ve worked with a bassist, Matt Ulery, and we’ve been working on composition and just overall, he’s been just guiding me in terms of how to book gigs in Chicago, things to be aware of in the city. Has been very, very fruitful in that aspect. And then we worked with a Chicago educator, Phillip Castleberry, who taught for over 20 years in Chicago, leading one of the jazz bands at Lincoln Park High School. His knowledge of Chicago and just education in general has been really inspiring to see and listen to.”