Enjoy some Seville, Spain, street music today, compliments of Scott Barnes, one of our study abroad students in Spain. Sign up for study abroad and you can experience these wonderful performances in person!
1. It’s one of the world’s most popular instruments. Millions of people play guitar, so you’ll always have a friend to play music with or somebody to help you learn to play a little better.
2. A little guitar goes a long way. Learn how to play a few chords and a basic strum, and you’ll be able to play hundreds of songs.
3. It’s incredibly versatile. Guitar styles range from classical to heavy metal to country to jazz. Almost any music that you enjoy can be played on the guitar.
4. You can progress quickly. You can go from playing just a few chords and scales to more challenging music in a short period of time.
5. It makes you instantly more attractive. Just kidding, but according to the Internet, there might actually be some truth to that!
Are you ready to play guitar? MUS 164, Class Guitar, starts September 13 and meets Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 7 through December 9. Beginners are welcome, as are more seasoned players who want to improve their playing.
We’ll explore a variety of musical styles from folk to rock to jazz, and build a solid foundation of overall musicianship studying guitar playing technique and music theory.
As we quickly approach the holiday season, the Parkland College Chamber Singers have been busy organizing their second annual “Night of Readings and Carols,” a concert and food drive for the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.
Idea, Goal for the “Food-raiser”
The idea for this type of performance and “food-raiser” came in fall 2014, when we were planning to schedule our first-ever Chamber-Singers-only performance. Our students discussed ways in which we could help give back to our community, and we came up with the idea of collaborating with EIF, setting up donation boxes at our concert. Last year’s event raised over 100 pounds of food and brought in at least $100 to help this great service. Our goal this year is to fill at least three boxes with items for the foodbank and collect 200 pounds or more of nonperishable food items.
Ensembles Performing at Event In addition to our choral performance, we will also be joined by a brass trio comprised of students from Parkland College as well as a guitar duet of local musicians and teachers from the Upper Bout, Champaign’s sophisticated music shop.
The Chamber Singers will perform many sacred works, including traditional chants such as O Come, O Come Emmanuel, There is Faint Music, and Amen! Tell it on the Mountain. Not only will our group, 12-members strong, be performing, but many smaller ensembles from our community will also join us. We will hear madrigals by a quartet, O Holy Night by a trio conducted by a wonderful student conductor, and a song from the female members of this ensemble, who will take us to Spain by singing a traditional Christmas carol about the baby Jesus. This concert will include audience participation in singing four carols, and members of the ensemble will give both sacred and secular readings to get us in the holiday spirit.
Date, Time for “Night of Readings and Carols” Our concert will take place Saturday, December 12, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 309 W. Green Street in Urbana. The concert begins at 7pm, with the doors’ opening and food drive beginning at 6:20pm. Pre-concert music will be provided by the aforementioned brass trio and guitar duet.
Please bring any and all nonperishable food items to make your donation upon admission. Of course, this is not required to attend the performance, but every little bit helps. We look forward to seeing you there!
Ornithology: Works by Barbara Kendrick and Monique Luchetti runs through Saturday, November 7, at Giertz Gallery.
This exhibition has been a hit at the gallery so far! A reception took place Thursday, October 1, with a brief gallery talk by both artists and musical performance by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble. People who attended the event were able to hear about the artwork firsthand.
Barbara and Monique have a fascination and sympathy with birds, but their work is divergent in concepts, material, and process. Although the artists take different approaches in their body of work, they both use images of birds to speak to the ways our lives are inextricably tied together, interdependent and bound to the earth for survival.
“We are alive in a world where the distinction between what we know to be human and what we believe to be animal is shrinking,” the artists have said about their exhibit.
And speaking of birds…
In addition to the artist lectures, and in tandem with Parkland College’s Sustainable Campus Committee, there will be a special program titled “Owls and Avian Adaptations” on Tuesday, October 20 from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. in the Gallery Lounge. Savannah Donovan from the Urbana Park District’s Anita Purves Nature Center will introduce you to Quasi the Eastern screech owl.
Savannah will show you the amazing adaptations that allow owls to thrive in darkness. You will also get to see other avian specimens for comparison. October is Campus Sustainability Month, and the Sustainable Campus Committee will be hosting a series of activities and events throughout the month at Parkland. Please visit the Parkland College website for more information.
Now, back to the “Ornithology” exhibit!
Barbara Kendrick is a local artist and a retired professor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She admires birds’ ability to survive and adapt to new, sometimes hostile environments. The way they build nests in the alphabet of signs on storefronts, or gather cigarette butts to line their nests, informs her collages. As she makes her work, she tries to match her own sense of improvisation with that of the birds. Each collage opens up new questions about our connection to the way the birds live in our world.
Monique Luchetti, a Brooklyn-based studio artist, sifts through museums’ ornithology collections as if they were cemeteries, gleaning the identities of the birds for her drawings, preserved and tagged by humans for further study. Her drawings are a meditation of loss and remembering and on the contradiction inherent in humans: racing to collect, classify, and catalog species while continuing to haplessly destroy the same species through climate change and the devastation of the planet’s forests and oceans.
Barbara was recently interviewed by Melissa Merli at the News-Gazette; during the interview, she said, “In my own work, there has to be a sense of surprise and discovery or I get bored… Now I use found materials for the collages. I use everything. I grab images off the Internet. I use magazines. I use books. Lately I’ve been taking my own photographs. These are ink-jet prints. I read an essay about parakeets in the bare nerve garden and that was such an image to me. So I went on the Internet and found images of neurons and dendrites and printed them and took images of parakeets and put them in them among the dendrites.”
Giertz Gallery at Parkland College hours are10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.
To find the gallery when classes are in session, we suggest using the M6 parking lot on the north corner of the campus. Enter through door X-7, turn left, and follow the ramps uphill to the highest point of the first floor, where the gallery is located. The gallery windows overlook the outdoor fountain area.
Programs at the gallery are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution; for accommodation, call 217/351-2505.
The original Carter Family – A.P. and Sara Carter, and her cousin (and his sister-in-law) Maybelle Carter have been called “the first family of country music.” They recorded hundreds of songs in the 1920s–40s and Maybelle’s innovative style of guitar playing was enormously influential.
If you haven’t heard of them, you’ve almost certainly heard of Johnny Cash, who married Maybelle’s daughter June. Here are some other fun facts about the Carter Family and their music:
Posters promoting Carter Family concerts featured the charming tagline, “the program is morally good.”
Their concerts may indeed have been morally good, but there were plenty of juicy goings-on behind the scenes!
The Carter Family back story includes the almost unbelievable tale of one Dr. Brinkley, purveyor of goat glands to a large and willing audience. No kidding!
Maybelle Carter’s pioneering style, now known as the Carter scratch, changed acoustic guitar playing forever.
Carter family descendants still run the Carter Family Fold in the location of the original homestead, featuring concerts and festivals year-round.
If you have any interest in early country or “hillbilly” music, we’d love to share the music of the Carter Family with you in an upcoming class offered by Parkland College Community Education. We will play and sing lots of their songs, and also talk about their history, why they were so popular, and why their music still endures today.
Mondays, September 14-October 5, 7 to 8:30pm, $45. Sign up by calling Community Education at 217/353-2055.