blog postsMarching Illini chosen to appear in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2015May 2, 2014 9:00 am173 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - More than 350 University of Illinois students got their 2015 holiday plans disrupted today - in the best possible way. The Marching Illini learned the band is one of 10 chosen to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Nov. 26, 2015, beating out more than 175 applicants from around the country. The parade, a tradition since 1924, now draws more than 3.5 million live spectators and an estimated 50 million TV viewers.Three Illinois professors elected to the American Academy of Arts and SciencesMay 1, 2014 9:00 am62 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Three University of Illinois professors have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the longest-standing honorary societies in the nation. Tere R. O'Connor, a professor of dance; John A. Rogers, the Swanlund Chair of Materials Science and Engineering; and Wilfred A. van der Donk, the Richard E. Heckert Endowed Chair in Chemistry, will join other new members in an induction ceremony in October at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.Illinois dance professor Jennifer Monson receives Doris Duke Impact AwardApr 23, 2014 9:00 am19 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Jennifer Monson, a professor of dance at the University of Illinois, has been awarded a Doris Duke Impact Award. The honor includes an unrestricted multiyear cash grant of $60,000, plus up to $10,000 for audience development and another $10,000 for creative exploration during what are usually retirement years, according to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.Noted conductor Andrew Megill to lead choral activities at IllinoisMar 31, 2014 9:00 am128 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Andrew Megill, considered one of the leading choral conductors of his generation, will join the University of Illinois in the fall as the director of choral activities and as a professor of conducting.Ebert documentary, Spike Lee and Oliver Stone all part of 2014 'Ebertfest'Mar 20, 2014 9:00 am40 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Roger Ebert will not be at his namesake festival this year, but he will kick it off just the same. "Life Itself," a documentary about the late film critic's life, will open this year's Roger Ebert's Film Festival, running April 23-27 in Champaign-Urbana.New book tells the story of a little-known volcano's global impactMar 20, 2014 9:00 am155 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The 200th anniversary of the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history will be marked by the publication of a new book by University of Illinois professor Gillen D'Arcy Wood. If you think the title character might be Vesuvius, or Krakatoa, or maybe Pinatubo, you're wrong. Wood's focus is Tambora - a mountain in the Indonesian archipelago that erupted so violently in April of 1815 that today, it is ranked as "super colossal" on the scientific Volcanic Explosivity Index. And the explosion was only the first dose of Tambora's destructive power.Saxophonists conference brings in both jazz and classical starsMar 12, 2014 9:00 am10 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois School of Music will host the North American Saxophone Alliance conference next weekend (March 20-22). Held biennially, the conference is expected to draw about 1,000 saxophonists - jazz and classical, amateur and professional - to participate in master classes, competitions and performances.Illinois students plan sustainable homes for tornado-ravaged GiffordMar 3, 2014 9:00 am35 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In 2010, University of Illinois students were in the planning stages for the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon competition when an EF2 tornado hit Streator, Ill., destroying scores of homes and businesses. Mark Taylor, the architecture professor supervising the students, said that event inspired the students to focus their efforts on designing a house that could be quickly constructed and assembled to meet the needs of families affected by future tornadoes. They entered the competition with a 1,000-square-foot solar-powered modular house that they dubbed "Re_home."Pesticides take center stage at this year's Insect Fear Film FestivalFeb 14, 2014 9:00 am30 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - After three decades of hosting the popular Insect Fear Film Festival at the University of Illinois, entomology professor May Berenbaum has decided to flip the script. This year, instead of showing movies about bugs that scare people, Berenbaum has selected films featuring pesticides - the poisons that people use to kill bugs.Illinois art history professor was one of the 'Monuments Men'Feb 7, 2014 9:00 am213 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - "The Monuments Men" - the movie written by and starring George Clooney and opening today (Feb. 7) - is based on the true story of a platoon of art historians recruited to rescue masterpieces stolen by the Nazis in World War II. One of those Monuments Men was Edwin Carter Rae, who taught art history at the University of Illinois both before and after his service with the U.S. Army. Renowned scientist Gene E. Robinson to deliver CAS LectureJan 31, 2014 9:00 am30 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Gene E. Robinson, the Swanlund Chair of entomology and the director of the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, has been selected to deliver the Center for Advanced Study's 23rd Annual Lecture, continuing the center's tradition of showcasing the university's most distinguished scholars. Robinson's lecture, which begins at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 at Spurlock Museum on campus, is free and open to the public.Design professors use native fibers, farm waste to make sustainable paperJan 30, 2014 9:00 am228 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - While most artists aspire to have their best work hung on the walls of galleries and museums, two professors in the University of Illinois School of Art and Design have a different dream: They hope their work might provide corrugated cardboard, laminated building materials, or maybe the insulation hidden behind the art gallery walls. Eric Benson, a professor of graphic design, and Steve Kostell, a professor of art and design, are collaborators in Fresh Press - a research project focused on using indigenous fibers and agricultural waste to make environmentally friendly paper products.Documentary based on Roger Ebert's memoir to be shown at 'Ebertfest'Jan 15, 2014 9:00 am12 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The new documentary "Life Itself," about the life of Roger Ebert, will be one of the 12 films shown at this year's Roger Ebert's Film Festival, or "Ebertfest," coming April 23-27 to Champaign and Urbana, Ill.Guerrilla Girls invade Krannert Art Museum in JanuaryJan 14, 2014 9:00 am217 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - "Not Ready to Make Nice: Guerrilla Girls in the Artworld and Beyond" is one of four new exhibitions opening Jan. 23 at the University of Illinois' Krannert Art Museum. Featuring major works from international projects by the anonymous feminist collective that has been urging museums toward equality for almost 30 years, the expansive, multimedia "Not Ready" exhibition will include iconic pieces from the group's 1980s and '90s activism as well as behind-the-scenes photos, love letters and hate mail.Mellon grant to involve 15 schools and focus on 'Global Midwest'Jan 14, 2014 9:00 am17 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities has been awarded a $3 million grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund a consortium of 15 humanities institutes.Video game features music by honored U. of I. composition professorDec 16, 2013 9:00 am37 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Like most musicians, Erin Gee - a composition professor at the University of Illinois - experiments incessantly with her instrument, trying to coax it into delivering an increasingly wider range of intriguing sounds. In Gee's case, her instrument is simply her mouth, but what she does with it defies conventional categorization. It's not singing, or scatting, or even beat-boxing. Instead, she has created her own musical toolbox - a collection of clicks, hums, pops, sighs, trills, whispers and whistles that composer Martin Brody has described as "new vocal molecules created by recombining the atomic elements of speech."IJPAN project closes with Illinois and Tokyo dancers plus avatarsDec 6, 2013 9:00 am13 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - For three years, the Illinois Japan Performing Arts Network has been using the powerful computing resources of the University of Illinois to foster collaborations and interactions among Japanese and American artists, scholars and audiences. The project's first production, in October 2010, featured Yoshi Oida performing his acclaimed solo show "Interrogations: Words of the Zen Masters." Since then, the network has hosted 15 events, including performances by Japan's most revered Noh and kabuki theater artists; musicians renowned for their mastery of the biwa, koto, sho and angular harp; and live streams of performances from the Japan Society of New York.Theater professor juggles directing, teaching and actingDec 5, 2013 9:00 am4 views Less than 48 hours after the curtain went up Nov. 7 on “Clybourne Park,” director Lisa Gaye Dixon was off to New York, leaving the cast of U. of I. theater students to carry on through the end of the show’s 10-day run.U. of I. English professor and team document life in Chicago's public housingNov 13, 2013 9:00 am41 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Growing up in Chicago's Hyde Park-Kenwood neighborhood, Audrey Petty lived about two miles from the Chicago Housing Authority's Robert Taylor Homes. Those 28 high-rises, arranged in horseshoe clusters along the Dan Ryan Expressway, contained more than 4,400 apartments, giving the complex the dubious title of largest public housing development in the nation. But though she could practically see the drab concrete towers from her doorstep, Petty regarded the Robert Taylor Homes as a foreign, mysterious and impenetrable enclave.Nathan Gunn chosen to lead new U. of I. Lyric Theatre programOct 30, 2013 9:00 am129 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Internationally renowned opera singer Nathan Gunn has been named general director of the University of Illinois' new Lyric Theatre program, which - like Gunn - will embrace a broad spectrum of vocal theater repertoire, from musicals to opera.Films to be shown at Illinois focus on post-quake massacre in 1923 JapanOct 24, 2013 9:00 am34 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In 1923, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake shook Tokyo and Yokohoma, essentially leveling Japan's two largest cities and causing more than 100,000 deaths. The subsequent aftershocks, fires and ensuing panic bred rumors that "malcontent Koreans" living in Japan were setting the fires, poisoning water wells and plotting a revolution. To prevent this alleged uprising, vigilantes aided by police and the military massacred more than 6,000 Koreans.U. of I. Library acquires archives of acclaimed writer Gwendolyn BrooksOct 17, 2013 9:00 am845 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois Rare Book and Manuscript Library has acquired the literary archives of Gwendolyn E. Brooks, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize and the poet laureate of Illinois for the last 32 years of her life, until her death in 2000. The archives, which had been kept by Brooks' daughter Nora Brooks Blakely, comprise more than 150 boxes stuffed with manuscripts, drafts, revisions, correspondence, scrapbooks, clippings, homemade chapbooks in which Brooks neatly handwrote her earliest (unpublished) poems, and heavy bronze awards ensconced in velvet-lined boxes collected later in her career.Sculpture to be dedicated in honor of U. of I. industrial design mentorOct 16, 2013 9:00 am85 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois College of Fine and Applied Arts will celebrate the initiation of a new professional mentor program on Oct. 26 (Saturday) with the dedication of a sculpture created by an alumnus and placed in honor of his former professor.New practice area for Marching Illini neatly solves multiple problemsOct 15, 2013 9:00 am296 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois Marching Illini provides the soundtrack for a long list of cherished football traditions. Gridiron games wouldn't be nearly as much fun without the band leading the players out of the tunnel, playing "Imperial March" from "Star Wars" on third downs, and of course "Oskee Wow Wow" after every touchdown. But the band is about to abandon one lesser-known custom that dates back several generations - and everybody is happy to see this one go.Passes for 2014 Roger Ebert's film festival go on sale Nov. 1Oct 14, 2013 9:00 am1 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Those wanting to take in all of the 16th annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival, or "Ebertfest," can purchase festival passes starting Nov. 1.Music professors step out of the classroom to playOct 1, 2013 9:00 am36 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois School of Music professors are performing in a variety of high-profile venues this fall.Japan House to feature Japanese quilting at annual open houseOct 1, 2013 9:00 am29 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Sashiko, the Japanese quilting practice that dates back to the 17th century, will be featured at Japan House on Saturday (Oct. 5), during open house, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.'Parks and Recreation' star to co-host Japan House fundraiserSep 19, 2013 9:00 am1279 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Nick Offerman, best known for his role as Ron Swanson on the hit NBC comedy series "Parks and Recreation," will bring his "American Ham Tour" to the University of Illinois Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 26 (Saturday) as a benefit for Japan House. He also will co-host an "East Meets Midwest" fundraising dinner at Prairie Fruits Farm in Champaign on Oct. 27 (Sunday) with Shozo Sato and his wife, Alice. Shozo Sato is the founder of Japan House and a professor emeritus of art and design.'Parks and Recreation' star to co-host Japan House fundraiserSep 19, 2013 9:00 am3 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Nick Offerman, best known for his role as Ron Swanson on the hit NBC comedy series "Parks and Recreation," will bring his "American Ham Tour" to the University of Illinois Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 26 (Saturday) as a benefit for Japan House. He also will co-host an "East Meets Midwest" fundraising dinner at Prairie Fruits Farm in Champaign on Oct. 27 (Sunday) with Shozo Sato and his wife, Alice. Shozo Sato is the founder of Japan House and a professor emeritus of art and design.Pygmalion Literary Festival reading series starts Sept. 27 in UrbanaSep 18, 2013 9:00 am10 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The popular Pygmalion Music Festival, held annually at the University of Illinois Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Krannert Art Museum and other venues in Urbana-Champaign, has added a two-day literary festival this year. Among the writers who will be reading from their works: Matt Bell, the author of "In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods"; Dan Chaon, the author of "Among the Missing" and "You Remind Me of Me"; and James Greer, the author of "Artifical Light," "The Failure" and "Guided By Voices: A Brief History."Symposium at Illinois to feature science fiction authors and musicSep 18, 2013 9:00 am8 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Best-selling author Kim Stanley Robinson will deliver the keynote lecture at "Writing Another Future," a symposium on science fiction, the arts and humanities, Sept. 25-27 (Wednesday-Friday) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to presentations and panel discussions, the event will include several concerts. Organizers hope the symposium will spark interest in science fiction writing as part of the university's ongoing explorations of science, technology and society.Fall lineup of speakers announced for 2013 MillerComm seriesSep 5, 2013 9:00 am1 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The fall 2013 Center for Advanced Study/MillerComm lectures begin Sept. 18 (Wednesday) with Gunther Schuller - musician, composer, conductor, educator, historian and publisher. He has won a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award and three Grammy awards. Schuller, a George A. Miller Visiting Artist, has composed more than 180 works covering genres from symphonic to operatic to jazz, founded publishing and recording companies, and served as the president of the New England Conservatory for a decade. Instead of giving a lecture, Schuller will be interviewed at 7:30 p.m. by University of Illinois French horn professor Bernhard Scully, who is performing Schuller's Quintet for Horn and Strings the next night (Sept. 19) at the Allerton Music Barn Festival in Monticello, Ill.Dance performances, new art exhibitions featured at Krannert Art MuseumSep 5, 2013 9:00 am31 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Dance performances both live and in video installations are being featured this month at Krannert Art Museum - not to be confused with Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The dance exhibitions represent the second installment in the art museum's Openstudio series, which presents live musical or dance performances in conjunction with artist residencies, intended to forge interdisciplinary learning and cultural exchange.Novelists, poets to take part in Carr Reading SeriesSep 5, 2013 9:00 am14 views Award-winning novelist Micheline Aharonian Marcom will read from her latest book, "A Brief History of Yes," to open the fall 2013 Carr Reading Series at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 18 in the Illini Union Bookstore.Sinfonia da Camera kicks off 30th season with gala, performancesSep 4, 2013 9:00 am38 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Sinfonia da Camera, the professional chamber orchestra led by Ian Hobson, a professor emeritus of music at the University of Illinois, celebrates its 30th anniversary season with a gala at 6 p.m. on Sept. 15 (Sunday) in the lobby of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Cocktails, a formal dinner and dessert will be served while Hobson, guest soloists and Sinfonia musicians perform classical chamber music favorites and jazz standards. The evening will end with a live auction and dancing. Tickets are $150 per person (half of that amount is a tax-deductible gift) and are available through the Sinfonia da Camera office at 217-244-4350 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.Nine U. of I. faculty members named to Center for Advanced StudyAug 29, 2013 9:00 am53 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Center for Advanced Study has announced nine new appointments to its permanent faculty - one of the highest honors the University of Illinois campus bestows for outstanding scholarship.Interactive app makes teaching music theory possible onlineAug 6, 2013 9:00 am240 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois music professor Heinrich Taube has developed a computer application that could change the way music theory is taught. Called Harmonia, the program allows teachers to create an endless variety of composition or analysis assignments, provides students with immediate feedback, and performs instant harmonic analysis of complex compositions. It is the first app created at the U. of I. to appear in Apple's iTunes store for computer applications, and could pave the way for teaching music theory online.Renowned artists to celebrate extraordinary range of the guitarAug 5, 2013 11:30 am5 views How many different kinds of sounds can come out of an instrument with just six strings? ELLNORA: The Guitar Festival will provide some answers Sept. 5-7 (Thursday-Saturday) at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.Industrial design: Illinois' long history with the art of the inevitableJul 18, 2013 9:00 am289 views Toward the end of her freshman year at the U. of I., Michelle Kwak found herself floundering. Having aced all her advanced placement classes at Lemont High School (in suburban Chicago), she was caught off-guard by the rigors of her engineering courses, and turned to one of her deans for guidance. He knew that Kwak considered art her main hobby, and suggested that she check out industrial design - a program she had never heard of.The piano concerto taking center stage in classes, recitals at IllinoisJul 16, 2013 9:00 am61 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - This year's Summer Piano Institute at the University of Illinois will focus on the art of performing concertos - those virtuosic, multimovement works that typically feature a soloist accompanied by an orchestra. Ian Hobson, an Illinois professor emeritus internationally known for his concerts, recordings, conducting and adjudicating, chose to emphasize concertos partly because the collaborative nature of these works requires special abilities, and partly because concertos are a crucial component in most piano competitions.Famed composer Gunther Schuller among guest artists at music festivalJul 9, 2013 9:00 am29 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In an effort to make a good thing even better, the perennially popular Allerton Music Barn Festival has been moved from its traditional Labor Day weekend slot to Sept. 19-22 (Thursday through Sunday). Jeffrey Magee, the director of the University of Illinois School of Music, said the shift is mainly an effort to avoid uncomfortable temperatures in the restored 19th-century Dutch hay barn, which is well-ventilated, though not air-conditioned.University of Michigan associate librarian to lead U. of I. librariesJun 10, 2013 9:00 am35 views CHAMPAIGN,Ill. - John P. Wilkin has been named university librarian and dean of libraries at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, effective Aug. 16, pending approval by the U. of I. Board of Trustees at its July 24 meeting in Chicago.Education Justice Project wins prize for innovative prison ESL classMay 17, 2013 9:00 am135 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Students in the University of Illinois Education Justice Project have received the Arcus Prize for Collaborative Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. The students' project, Language Partners, was one of three entries honored last week from among 188 submitted by organizations in 23 nations. The $30,000 award will be split with two other social justice organizations.Exhaustive computer research project shows shift in English languageMay 15, 2013 9:00 am168 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois English professor Ted Underwood recently wrapped up a research project involving more than 4,200 books. Since that work revealed dramatic shifts in the English language between the 18th and 19th centuries, he's now expanding his research to include more than 470,000 books - almost every English language book written during that era and preserved in a university library.Dance professor Tere O'Connor one of 20 named a Doris Duke ArtistApr 30, 2013 9:00 am4 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Tere O'Connor, a professor of dance at the University of Illinois, has been granted a Doris Duke Artist Award. The awards represent a deep investment in the potential of the 20 recipient artists, who each receive an unrestricted $225,000 grant, plus $25,000 to fund an audience-development project and another $25,000 to invest in a retirement account that will allow them to continue their creative work later in life.AsiaFest to celebrate all Asian and Pacific Island cultures on SaturdayApr 29, 2013 9:00 am23 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Japan House has always celebrated Children's Day (formerly known as Boys' Day), but this year, it has joined with the Asian American Cultural Center to host AsiaFest, a celebration of all Asian and Pacific Island cultures.New master's program at Illinois will train translators and interpretersApr 29, 2013 9:00 am53 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The demand for translators and interpreters is projected to increase by at least 20 percent by the year 2020, and a new program at the University of Illinois will offer a master's degree to equip graduates to fill those jobs. Elizabeth Lowe, the director of the U. of I.'s Center for Translation Studies, says the program offers both on-campus and online options, and is accepting applications now for courses that will begin in the fall.Additional guests and film discussions announced for 'Ebertfest'Apr 3, 2013 9:00 am4 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Three additional guests and the schedule of film-related panel discussions have been announced for the 15th annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival, also known as "Ebertfest," taking place April 17-21 at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign and at the University of Illinois.Sinfonia's season-ending concert to showcase romantic favoritesApr 1, 2013 9:00 am27 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Sinfonia da Camera, the professional chamber orchestra of the University of Illinois, will end its season April 9 (Tuesday ) with a concert aptly titled "Rush Hour Romance."Zoning restrictions also a key factor in foreclosure crisis, scholar saysMar 28, 2013 9:00 am65 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The causes of the foreclosure crisis seem obvious: Buyers purchased homes they couldn't afford, lured in part by lenders pushing subprime mortgages. Real estate values escalated, and when the bubble burst, buyers were left owing more than their homes were worth.