Community School to hold auditions May 13, 14 for CSJazz Band, CSA Sinfonia, summer camps

CSJazz BandNIU’s Community School of the Arts will hold auditions at 4 p.m. Monday, May 13, for the CSJazz Band and 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, for the CSA Sinfonia and two summer camps.

Auditions must be scheduled ahead of time.

High school jazz students are invited to audition for CSJazz Band, a top regional jazz big band for ages 14 to 20. The group plays the classics by Ellington, Basie and others, as well as tunes written by new composers. Players should have at least minimal proficiency in tone production, sight-reading and improvisation, and should understand different styles used in jazz music.

The band, composed of saxophone, trombone, trumpet, piano, guitar, bass, drum and vocalist, meets from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. Sundays through the fall and spring semester, beginning in September.

Director Christopher Johnson received his master’s degree in jazz studies from NIU in spring 2012. His bachelor’s degree in music is from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He was a member of the NIU Jazz Ensemble and has performed at several jazz festivals. He directed several jazz combos at NIU, as well as the All-University Jazz Ensemble.

CSA string playersYoung musicians have a chance to play chamber music at two summer day camps in July: Duet Camp for ages 8 to 15 and String Quartet Chamber Camp for ages 12 to 19. Both are scheduled from Monday, July 8, through Thursday, July 11, in the NIU Music Building.

Placement auditions are required for every player.

Duet Camp is for violinists, violists, cellists, bassists, clarinets and flutists who want to improve their musicianship and have fun learning and rehearsing duets and rounds in small groups. Participants are expected to have at least one year of playing experience on their instrument. The camp meets daily from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and concludes with a recital.

String Quartet Chamber Camp is for string players who want to improve their ensemble skills and musicianship while playing in quartets or trios. Camp activities include daily coaching sessions, as well as seminars on music theory, history and rehearsal techniques, as well as a master class with a string professional. The camp meets daily from 1 to 5 p.m. and concludes with a recital.

Laurie Rodriguez directs both camps. She is a violin teacher and chamber music instructor and performer. She has been teaching violin lessons since 1991 and has been directing and coaching chamber music workshops since 1997. She performs with the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra and with a local chamber music group.

Concerto Competition winner Serena Harnack performed in February with the CSA Sinfornia.

Concerto Competition winner Serena Harnack performed in February with the CSA Sinfornia.

High school classical music students are invited to audition for CSA Sinfonia.

This top regional full orchestra for ages 14 to 20 plays original masterpieces by Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, as well as music from the 20th century, including popular music classics by Led Zeppelin and the Beatles. The music is fun and challenging.

CSA Sinfonia meets from 7:3o to 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays through the fall and spring semesters, beginning in September.

Director Linc Smelser is a cellist who has performed as a soloist and with many ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra.

He teaches cello at NIU for the School of Music and for the NIU Community School of the Arts and is professor of cello at the Wheaton Conservatory of Music. He is on the faculty of the Colorado Suzuki Institute. He is the conductor and music director of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra in DeKalb.

For more information, call (815) 753-1450 or email dbooth@niu.edu.

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