Steelband to perform spring concert April 13

Cliff Alexis and Liam Teague
Cliff Alexis and Liam Teague

The NIU Steelband, under the direction of Liam Teague and Cliff Alexis, will presents its spring 2014 concert at 3 p.m. Sunday April 13, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall of the NIU Music Building.

The event will commemorate the ensemble’s 40th year of existence and will be a celebration of the past, present and future.

Panamanian violinist and NIU alumna Graciela “Chelín” Núñez, one of Panama City’s most active performers, is the special guest artist.

Núñez began violin studies in Panama City, under the tutelage of distinguished Panamanian teachers, and earned her bachelor’s degree in music in violin performance at the University of Kansas, graduating with honors in 1996.

She subsequently earned a Masters of Music in violin performance and pedagogy in 2006 from NIU, thanks to a prestigious Fulbright scholarship awarded by Harvard University, and is currently the principal second violin in the Panama National Symphony Orchestra.

In keeping with the NIU Steelband’s mantra of highlighting the beauty, versatility and profundity of the steelpan, an eclectic mix of music will be performed, including Pan 2000 composed by Alexis. This was one of the pieces (in addition to Robert Chappell’s “Wood ’n Steel”) that helped to secure second place for the NIU Steelband at the 2000 World Steelband Music Festival in Trinidad.

NIU Steelband

The audience will also be treated to Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, which was arranged for the steelpan studio (steelpan majors) by graduate student Josanne Francis. “Bach Talk,” a new work for steelpan and violin by Illinois composer Jan Bach, will receive its premiere performance by Teague and Núñez.

A number of NIU faculty members and alumni will join the band for this concert, which is free and open to the public. It also will be streamed live on the web.

For more information, email lteague@niu.edu.

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