NIU professor and alum earn Grammy honors

While the main focus was on Chicago’s homegrown talent Chance the Rapper winning big, two additional Illinoisans were winners at the Grammys last night.

Dan Nichols, head of recording services in the NIU School of Music, and Matt Ponio, both won a Grammy Award last night for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for engineering Third Coast Percussion’s album, “Third Coast Percussion | Steve Reich.”

Ponio graduated from NIU in December 2016 with a master’s degree in recording arts. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from NIU.

Nichols is the founder and CEO of Aphorism Studios, Inc., a multimedia production company geared towards hi-fidelity, unified audio and video multimedia documentarian services that handled the “Steve Reich” recordings.

“’Third Coast Percussion – Steve Reich’ represents the apex of a series of collaborations going back nearly a decade with Third Coast Percussion and myself,” Nichols said. “Being involved with Third Coast, Cedille Records and producer Jessie Lewis in celebration of American composer Steve Reich’s music during his 80th year, is an exceptional experience.”

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