Percussion Studies professor earns Fulbright award

Greg Beyer
Greg Beyer

Gregory Beyer, associate professor and director of Percussion Studies at NIU, has been selected for a Fulbright award to teach in Brazil.

Beginning in August, Beyer will spend four months at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte as a visiting scholar. He will offer a symposium on contemporary performance practice of the berimbau, a musical instrument associated with the Afro-Brazilian martial art Capoeira Angola.

Rich Holly, dean of the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts, said he is not surprised that Beyer received the honor.

“Greg’s work for many years has been at the cutting edge,” Holly said, “and receiving a Fulbright is affirmation of his visionary approach to the berimbau, his strong collaborative work with world-class teachers and performers, and his commissioning of both major and up-and-coming composers to help make the berimbau a known and featured concert instrument.”

While in Brazil, Beyer will collaborate with Sergio Freire, a professor of composition at UFMG, to create a new piece of music for solo berimbau and interactive electronics. He will also perform a concert presentation of original compositions in conjunction with students from Belo Horizonte and NIU, as well as train in Capoeira Angola.

In July, prior to the start of his Fulbright work, Beyer and his ensemble, Projeto Arcomusical, will perform at the Ciclo de Música Contemporânea, a festival of contemporary music at the contemporary Brazilian art museum, Instituto Inhotim. The ensemble has also been invited to perform during July’s International Capoeira Angola Conference in Bahia, Brazil.

Projeto Arcomusical features NIU students Alexis Lamb, Christopher Mrofcza, Abby Rehard and Kyle Flens.

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