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Brief Notes

Allerton Barn
Photo by
Chris Brown

music barn festival

The UI School of Music’s third annual Allerton Music Barn Festival is no turkey in the straw. Once again, the extended Labor Day weekend festival lineup will showcase the diverse talents of the music school’s world-class faculty performers. A select group of music students and guest artists round out the roster.

Story Video SLIDE SHOWS Photos
Inside Illinois, 6/4/09 | Vol. 28, No. 21

IN THIS ISSUE: Benefits Brief | Allerton Music Barn Festival | Summer art classes begin June 15 | I space exhibitions focus on architecture | SURS board election under way |

Benefit Brief

Choice enrollment period extended to June 15

The state Department of Central Management Services announced that the annual Benefit Choice Enrollment period was extended. For all Benefit Choice changes – except Flexible Spending Account enrollments and re-enrollments – the closing date of the Benefit Choice Period has been extended until June 15. The closing date for all FSA enrollments and re-enrollments, however, was May 31.

The full-time employee health insurance fees published in the FY10 Benefit Choice Options booklet, which was mailed to  home addresses and also is available on NESSIE, are not changing. Those rates are complete and correct. All Benefit Choice changes will become effective July 1.

No Benefit Choice changes will be accepted after June 15. The Benefits Service Center Offices will close at 5 p.m. June 15, but NESSIE can be used until midnight that day. If you do not wish to make any changes to your benefits, no action is necessary.

If you have any questions about your benefit plans or your options, contact the Benefits Center Office at 333-3111 or

Allerton Music Barn Festival

Music, dance, nature and astronomy on stage

The setting may be pastoral, but don’t let that fool you. The UI School of Music’s third annual Allerton Music Barn Festival is no turkey in the straw.

Once again, the extended Labor Day weekend festival lineup will showcase the diverse talents of the music school’s world-class faculty performers. A select group of music students and guest artists round out the roster.

The festival, which takes place in a reconditioned 19th-century Dutch hay barn on the grounds of the university’s Allerton Park and Retreat Center near Monticello, Ill., runs Sept. 3-7. The 2009 festival has grown by a day, kicking off a day earlier than last year with a Thursday-night performance.

“This year’s festival is a fabulous mix of opera, chamber music and jazz – with a brass band thrown in for good measure,” said Karl Kramer, the director of the music school.

With most performances preceded or followed by a lecture or demonstration, Kramer recommends festival-goers “bring dinner or buy food from our caterer and have a wonderful evening of nature and music.”

Festival tickets are available through the festival Web site; the UI’s Krannert Center for the Performing Arts ticket office; or by calling 217-333-6280 or 800-527-2849. Single-concert tickets are $26; tickets for students and senior citizens are $20.

New this year is an “economy-buster pass” for $154 ($105 for students and senior citizens). The long-weekend pass provides entry to all eight performances – for the price of seven shows.

School of Art and Design

Summer art classes begin June 15

The 2009 Summer Art Enrichment Program, sponsored by the School of Art and Design and the College of Fine and Applied Arts, will focus on the theme of “Identity: An Exploration of Self.” Participants of all levels will engage in art activities that allow for investigation of this theme in developmentally targeted ways. Reflection upon the evolution of self with relevant social contexts will be emphasized as participants engage in a variety of artistic processes and media.

The summer schedule:

  • Preschool/kindergarten: June 15-25
  • Grades 1-3: June 29-July 9
  • Grades 4-6: July 13-23
  • Grades 7-12: July 27-Aug. 6

Registration is under way and will end when classes are full. Registration fee is $65 per person.

For additional information, contact Carole Smith, 333-01652 or

I space gallery

Two exhibitions focus on architecture

Architecture – real and imagined – is the theme of two new exhibitions on view June 5-27 at I space, the Chicago gallery of the UI:

  •  “Placement: The Architecture of David Woodhouse Architects,” curated by Edward Keegan, includes imagery representing more than 20 projects by the award-winning firm known for its civic, institutional, commercial, residential and speculative work.

    The firm was founded in 1990 by Woodhouse, a UI School of Architecture alumnus, and now employs more than a dozen architects, planners and interior designers.

  • DWA is one of the design firms selected by the Chicago 2016 Bid Committee to work on its proposal to host the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Chicago. Most recently, the firm was named one of three finalists in the Burnham Memorial Design Competition held by the American Institute of Architecture’s Chicago chapter.

  •  “Kariann Fuqua: Dwellings – the Seduction of Space” features multimedia drawings by the artist, who earned a master’s degree in painting from Illinois. In this body of work, Fuqua focuses on architectural exteriors and interiors, furnishings and decorative objects, many of which appear to float through space.

  • Assessing the work in an accompanying text, critic Orion Wertz writes: “There is analytic beauty here. Fuqua encourages us to gaze both outward and inward, to unpack what we gasp and also what we inhabit.”

An opening reception is planned from 5-7 p.m. June 5 at the gallery, 230 W. Superior St., Chicago.

I space gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

UI employees, retirees among candidates

Election under way for new SURS board

Eight current or former employees from the UI campus are among candidates for the reorganized board of the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois.

Gov. Patrick Quinn signed legislation in April eliminating the existing governor-appointed board of trustees for SURS, which manages pension funds for more than 70 state universities, community colleges and state agencies.

The new 11-member board will consist of four trustees appointed by the governor, four trustees still making contributions toward SURS benefits who will be elected by other members contributing into the system, and two trustees currently collecting SURS benefits who will be elected by other SURS retirees. The final member will be the chairperson of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, who will serve as president of the new SURS board.

Ballots were mailed to SURS contributors and retirees last week and must be returned by 10 a.m. June 17. Winners will be announced July 2.

Five of the 11 candidates for contributing member seats work on the Urbana-Champaign campus. They are J. Fred Giertz, an economics professor and interim head of the economics department; Gregory Knott, assistant to the head and business manager for the department of food science and human nutrition; Dorinda Miller, a clerk in the department of natural resources and environmental sciences; physics professor Scott Willenbrock; and Robert Roman, chief of utility plant operations.

Three retired Urbana-Champaign professors are among seven candidates for seats designated for SURS retirees. They are Kenneth Andersen, professor emeritus of communication; Thomas Conry, professor emeritus of industrial and enterprise systems engineering; and Ronald Peters, professor emeritus of labor and industrial relations.

No more than two of the contributing member trustees may be from the UI’s three campuses, and no more than one of the trustees who are collecting SURS benefits may be from the UI campuses.

The full slate of candidates is available at

World premiere among highlights

Summer harp events are June 11-13

The heavenly sounds of harp music will be wafting through the air June 11-13, when the 2009 Summer Harp Class is in session at the UI.

Directed by UI music professor Ann Yeung, the intensive classes are an annual event hosted by the university’s School of Music.

“This year’s participants come from throughout the U.S. and as far as Singapore,” Yeung said. “The concerts promise to bring outstanding harp talents to Urbana and feature a world premiere and famous harp concertos.”

As part of the experience, participants perform a series of afternoon and evening concerts that are free and open to the public.

The three-day performance schedule opens at 7:30 p.m. on June 11 in the recital hall of Smith Hall, with a concert featuring Chen-Yu Huang playing works by Carlos Salzedo and Lynne Palmer, and Reinhold Gliere’s “Harp Concerto.”

Other highlights include afternoon concerts featuring teen talents Molly O’Roark and Rebekah Wallen, at noon on June 12 in the Music Building auditorium; and, at 2 p.m. on June 13 in the same location, Peter Huang and 12-year-old Chelsea Balmer, who has been selected to compete in national harp-competition finals later this summer.

Also notable will be a performance by international prize-winner Jing-I Jang at 7:30 p.m. June 12 in Smith Hall’s Memorial Room. She will perform compositions by Bach, Fauré, Hindemith and others.

The classes will conclude with a final concert by all participants at 7 p.m. June 13 in the Music Building auditorium. Class members will perform the world premiere of Julia Kay Jamieson’s composition “between my balloon and the moon.”

For a complete harp-concert schedule, see the calendar listings on the School of Music’s online calendar

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