NIU music faculty to open JJC concert series

Mark Ponzo

Mark Ponzo

NIU School of Music faculty Mark Ponzo and JeongSoo Kim will open Joliet Junior College’s seven-concert Musica Viva concert series with a free performance 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, in the school’s Fine Arts Theater, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet.

“Drs. Ponzo and Kim have internationally respected reputations and tour nationally as a performance duo,” said Paul Bauer, director of the NIU School of Music. “They represent NIU in their activities as teachers and performers throughout the Chicago area and Midwest through educational venues and professional music and education organizations.”

Ponzo, who uses instruments from among his large collection of historically important cornets that represent every decade since the 1840s, and Kim, on piano, are both excited to perform in the first concert of this year’s series after being added to the annual event earlier this year.

“JeongSoo and I have performed together for the past 14 years, doing performances across the Midwest, and we will be performing selections from the 19th and 20th centuries,” said Ponzo, who plays approximately 45 full recitals each year, performing at most of the nation’s finest music schools.

JeongSoo Kim

JeongSoo Kim

Kim, whose solo recitals have been broadcast in Buffalo, New York and South Korea, presents master classes and performs abroad by invitation in the United States and Asia.

“I’m thrilled to share our beautiful recital program in the Musica Viva concert series,” she said. “The pieces chosen for the concert have various musical styles, and it will be fun to watch and listen to them played on different instruments.”

This season marks the 20th anniversary of the Musica Viva series, which was started by late JJC professor Thomas Liley, who passed away in January 2013.

“It’s the 20th season, so we thought it was very appropriate to dedicate it to his memory,” said Daniela Broderick, music professor and chair of the JJC fine arts department. “I think it’s going to be a very nice opening for what we expect to be a great season.”

“NIU’s School of Music has strong connections with Joliet Junior College through its alumni Charles Morgan, who is JJC’s music coordinator, and Richard Moore, an assistant professor,” Bauer added. “We are also proud to list JJC alumni among the students who complete their four year degrees at NIU.”

For more information about the Musica Viva Series at JJC, call (815) 280-2223.

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