I had a wonderful time in Champaign-Urbana this past week! I took lots of pictures while on the trip, several of which are below; these will give you a sense of what this first full week of my contained:
University of Illinois – Champaign Urbana
I spent a day teaching composition lessons to individual students, and giving a presentation to the composition majors about the business of running a composing career. I also shared some of my own music.
CUSO’s Verdi Requiem rehearsals
I caught a few rehearsals of CUSO, the University of Illinois Oratorio Society, and soloists preparing for their Oct. 7th performance. Both maestri Stephen Alltop and Andrew Megill shaped and refined the singers, choristers, and musicians throughout the rehearsal process.
Urbana Public Arts Program
I attended the “Artist of the Corridor” exhibition (at Urbana’s City Hall), with Commission member Barbara Hedlund (also the principal cellist of CUSO) and met Public Arts Coordinator Rachel Storm.
Urbana High School
On Friday, I visited three choirs in Rebecca Park’s classes at Urbana High School. I shared my music with the students, and explained a bit about how a composer works. Then they sang for me and I offered feedback from a composer’s point-of-view. It was so inspirational!
Urbana Farmers Market & Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery
In preparation for a project I’ll be doing with CUSO next year, I started meeting local dairy and vegetable farmers at the Urbana Farmers Market at the Square on Saturday morning. CUSO Executive Director Gerri Kirchner and I also met with Wes Jerrell of Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery to talk about possible collaborations.
CUSO Performance of Verdi’s Requiem
The week concluded with the spectacular CUSO concert of Verdi’s Requiem. Congratulations to Maestri Alltop and Megill, and the soloists, choristers, and orchestral musicians that delivered a powerful performance of this masterpiece. (Photo credit: Josefien Stoppelenburg)
I’ll be returning in October and November to do some teaching at Illinois Wesleyan University and Illinois State University. Until then, have a wonderful fall season!