Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A special holiday event about coming together during conflict

Join us Monday, December 1 for the musical ensemble Cantus' performance, "All is Calm - The Christmas Truce of 1914."  The evening commemorates the memorable WWI Christmas truce when Allied and German soldiers laid down their arms to celebrate the holiday together.  Sharing the stage with Cantus will be three actors, who will bring to life the historical event through quotes and letters from thirty World War I figures.

"All is Calm - the Christmas Truce of 1914" commemorates a special event in history. 
Cantus is acclaimed as "the premier men's vocal ensemble in the United States" (Fanfare), committed to inspiring audiences with music performed at the highest level.  The adventurous programming of this nine-member group spans many periods and genres, but at "All Is Calm," we can expect music drawn from patriotic tunes, trench songs, medieval Scottish ballads and holiday carols from England, Wales, France and Germany.

Joining us in the lobby prior to the event will be Living Historians from the Illinois State Military Museum, student musicians from the UIS Camerata group, and the Sangamon Auditorium Student Club hosting a "Holiday Cards for Heros" table, where you can write a holiday note of thanks to a current serviceman or woman.

Please ask about veteran pricing when you call to purchase your tickets, as we are offering special pricing for veterans and their families!  Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Research Supports Educational Benefits of Attending Live Theater

According to a new study published in Education Next, attending a live theater performance has benefits for students that are greater than what can be achieved through traditional classroom teaching or even watching a movie of a performance.  Researchers followed students who attended performances of Hamlet or A Christmas Carol and measured greater literary knowledge, tolerance, and empathy as compared to students who read or watched movies of these stories.  As the researchers concluded:

“Culturally enriching field trips matter. They produce significant benefits for students on a variety of educational outcomes that schools and communities care about. This experiment on the effects of field trips to see live theater demonstrates that seeing plays is an effective way to teach academic content; increases student tolerance by providing exposure to a broader, more diverse world; and improves the ability of students to recognize what other people are thinking or feeling. These are significant benefits for students on specific educational outcomes that schools pursue and communities respect.”

Students attend Five Little Monkeys on the Class Acts series in spring 2014.
Sangamon Auditorium is pleased to be a local cultural institution that is able to offer educational arts experiences for students in central Illinois.  Our K-12 matinee series, Class Acts, is well into its third decade of presentations.  Each year, we welcome 10,000-20,000 students to the series.  Consider joining us for any and all of these events.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Professional Development Opportunities for K-12 Teachers

We are so pleased to be in our fifth year of partnership with Springfield Public Schools and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on our Partners in Education program, a professional development program for K-12 teachers.

Each year, Partners in Education has offered 2-4 activities for which teachers can earn credit hours toward their re-certification.  These professional development activities focus on integrating the arts (music, visual art, dance, and drama) with other curriculum areas.  The Kennedy Center describes arts integration in the following way:


Arts Integration is an approach to teaching
in which students construct and demonstrate understanding
through an art form.
Students engage in a creative process
which connects an art form and another subject area
and meets evolving objectives in both.  


Though we work directly with Springfield Public Schools to plan these professional development events, teachers from other districts are welcome and encouraged to attend.

This spring, we are working to make effective use of the school district’s new early dismissal policy by offering a series of one-hour sessions that can be attended by teachers remotely.  Teachers from Springfield Public Schools will gather in one location to participate.  Teachers from other schools are invited to attend with them if possible, although additional remote sites will most likely be acceptable as well.  To participate, teachers must connect to the workshop online IN REAL TIME.  After registering, you will be sent detailed instructions for how to join the sessions.

To receive the full content, you must attend all four sessions, 2:45-3:45 PM each day.
March 4
March 11
March 18
April 15

Cost: $15 per person, or $10 per person if two or more teachers from the same school register
4 credit hours

READING PORTRAITS AS BIOGRAPHIES: OBSERVE. INFER. INQUIRE.
There’s more to a portrait than you might think. Portraits are often viewed as a mere depiction of a person when in actuality they can be read as biographies that communicate significant information about a person’s life. Join Melanie Rick, arts integration consultant and certified reading specialist, for this workshop that examines ways to teach students to view portraits as a visual text filled with meaningful symbolism in order to make the study of people and biographies more engaging. Reading portraits helps students activate and build background knowledge of, construct understanding of, and reflect on historical and literary figures across the curriculum.

For teachers of grades 1-5; teams of teachers are encouraged, especially visual art specialists combined with classroom teachers from their building.

Workshop Leader: Melanie Rick, a National Board Certified Teacher, certified Reading Specialist and arts integration consultant, designs and leads workshops, in-depth courses, and summer institutes focused on arts integration, specifically how to integrate visual art and poetry throughout the K-8 curriculum. She works in museums, schools, and arts centers across the country and is a course leader and coach for the Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program in Washington, D.C. Melanie served as the CETA program as consultant, working with teaching artists to develop and evaluate workshops presented at the Kennedy Center, and was an elementary classroom teacher, middle school special ed teacher, and arts integration resource teacher before becoming a national consultant with Focus 5, Inc.

To register for this session, please call the Ticket Office at 217.206.6160 or email Carly Shank at carmi1@uis.edu.  We are happy to answer your questions about this opportunity!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bringing World Cultures to Springfield

This past weekend was full of international activities on our Performing Arts Series and across campus.  On Friday, October 24, UIS hosted its 37th annual International Festival, and we welcomed The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China for a performance of Cirque Peking.  The evening included many pre-show activities before the stunning performance.

Our popular series of pre-show dinners included a Chinese buffet before Cirque Peking.  The attendees enjoyed an assortment of Chinese dishes and lovely decorations created by Sangamon Auditorium’s Development Assistant Brandy Stabler with help from Al Geitle.  (Our next pre-show dinner is less than a week away, before the performance of Anything Goes on Sunday, November 2.)


Sangamon Auditorium’s Director of Audience Development Carly Shank led a special pre-show learning experience for a group of over 200 Girl Scouts and leaders.  The girls learned about the training process to become a professional acrobat and then were able to ask questions of the choreographer for The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China.


Also before the performance, we offered fun activities in the lobby.  Jessica Ingold, the Youth Programs Coordinator at Lincoln Land Community College’s Community Education department, brought a great craft project of making spinning toy top out of a milk jug lid and a toothpick.  The new Sangamon Auditorium Student Club (SASC) led an activity of creating paper lanterns.  This was the first official activity of our new club, and we’re so excited for their involvement in what we do.  Their enthusiasm and ideas are bringing fresh energy into the office, and we’re thrilled to have a new opportunity for UIS students to be more directly involved in what we do.

We were also very pleased to welcome student musicians from UIS Music’s Camerata group to provide pre-show music in the lobby.  Three students played traditional Chinese string instruments, and we also enjoyed a flute and oboe duet playing Taiwanese melodies.  The musicians added wonderful atmosphere to the lobby, and we are happy to be able to support our campus's student musicians.  (If you missed out, a different group of Camerata musicians will be providing classical and holiday pre-show music before the performance by Cantus on Monday, December 1.)

video
Our international activities continued on Saturday evening with a performance by Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Blues.  Bassekou is the world’s leading performer on the ngoni, a traditional African string instrument that is the forerunner to the banjo.  UIS Music also held an Ethnomusicology Concert on Saturday afternoon, showcasing faculty and student musicians performing a wide variety of world music styles.  We had made arrangements for Bassekou’s participation in that concert, but due to travel delays he didn’t arrive in Springfield in time.  Although this was disappointing, we were still pleased to see many UIS Music students in the audience for Bassekou's concert.

We love being able to bring world cultures to central Illinois!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Make it a themed evening with a pre-show dinner

Are you familiar with our Pre-Show Dinner program?  Each year, the Sangamon Auditorium Advisory Committee partners with the UIS Alumni SAGE Society on a series of pre-show dinners prior to specially-selected events. prior to specially-selected events.  The menu and d├ęcor are designed to complement the evening’s performance.

This year, the first pre-show dinner will be prior to O Sole Trio, the vibrant musical trio that captures the essence of the Italian and Italian-American songbook.


Of course, our chef will prepare a fantastic Italian meal this evening!  The menu is as follows:

  • Selection of Italian cheese and cured meats
  • Fresh sliced fruit
  • Greens and rissichio with roma tomatoes, parmesan, peppers, olives, white balsamic vinaigrette
  • Fettucini with scallops, spinach, sun dried tomatoes
  • Carved sicilian marinated flank steak
  • Grilled pesto chicken
  • Rice pilaf milanese
  • Tortollini with herbed olive oil and prosciutto
  • Roasted asparagus
  • Assorted grande tortes to include tiramisu, raspberry white chocolate, italian cream torte
  • Artisan breads
  • Beverage

Check our website for more information about this and future dinners.  The dinners allow patrons the opportunity to come early, get a good parking space, relax, enjoy great food and camaraderie with other audience members.  These dinners sell out quickly and space is limited.  Tickets are available when purchasing tickets to the performance. A cash bar is available. Seating is limited.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sarah Jarosz to open 2014-2015 UIS Kitchen Sink Series

We've been watching Sarah Jarosz for awhile.  Awhile...and yet she's only twenty-three!  The accomplished singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and bluegrass prodigy has had a record contract since she was a senior in high school.  Sample her music here.

Recently, she played the festival circuit this summer and has been opening up for Nickel Creek.  This week, she will perform at the Americana Music Honors & Awards in Nashville on Wednesday, September 17 at 8 PM ET.  Fans can watch the award event in a live video stream at NPR Music.


But for the truly live performance, join us in the UIS Studio Theatre on Sunday, September 28 at 7 PM.  Sarah has already sold out the main floor seating, but balcony seating in this intimate venue is still available by calling 217.206.6160.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Staff Members declare their “Create Your Own” preferred packages

A Sangamon Auditorium “Create Your Own” package must have at least four events and the events can be from a combination of our Broadway, Visiting Artists, and Kitchen Sink series.  It’s the most flexible package we offer; patrons enjoy up to a 15% discount on tickets and early access to Broadway tickets.

Every year at this time, I ask our staff to look through our season brochure and declare to me which events they would choose for their “Create Your Own” (CYO) package.  My exact email to the staff stated, “Please send me the list of the 4 events on our season that you would select if you were assembling your personal create-your-own series.”

Well, either none of our staff is good at math or this season is just so fantastic that most cannot resist choosing more than four events.  Here are their choices:

Mindy McCaffrey, Volunteer Coordinator: “I really want to list 7 or 8 events, but if I have to limit it to 4…”  Well, I'm glad you at least understand the assignment, Mindy!

Ian Anderson
Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Blues
Cantus – All is Calm
Peter and the Starcatcher

Michelle Yenerall, Ticket Sales Assistant: “Ok, I know this is more than four, I can count. These are just the ones I am interested in seeing.”  Hmmm...acknowledgement that you did the assignment wrong should count for something, I think!

The Moody Blues
Cirque Peking
Anything Goes
Sister Act
STOMP
Mamma Mia!
Dervish
Peter and the Starcatcher
Timber! By Cirque Alfonse

Briana Fugnitti, Business Administrative Associate:  It would be terrible if our business associate had poor math skills; probably very good that she truly only chose four.  

Mark Morris Dance Group
Cirque Peking
STOMP
Timber! By Cirque Alfonse

Mandy Buchanan, Ticket Sales Assistant: Since Mandy handles many of the cash deposits for the ticket office, also a very good thing that she can count.

STOMP
Million Dollar Quartet
Timber! By Cirque Alfonse
Roger McGuinn

Shannon Smith, Ticket Office Manager: Good thing Shannon has Mandy and Briana looking out for her math skills.

Moody Blues
Peter and the Starcatcher
Ian Anderson
Cirque Peking
Cantus – All is Calm
Chicago Blues Reunion
Indian Ink Theatre Company - The Elephant Wrestler
Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn, and the Del McCoury Band
The Acting Company in Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Dervish

LaNita Cox, Marketing Graduate Assistant: LaNita is brand new to our office this week!  I'm glad to see that she is still reading emails and following instructions and glad to see that her math skills are in tact (that should help her during her graduate studies).

STOMP
Cantus – All is Calm
April Verch Band
Chicago Blues Reunion

Amy Zepp, Audience Development Coordinator: “I think my list has 5 this year.” High points for acknowledgment of complete disregard for the assignment.

Anything Goes
Cantus – All is Calm
Peter and the Starcatcher
The Acting Company in Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Timber! By Cirque Alfonse

Brandy Stabler, Development Assistant: Rest assured, everyone, that if you contribute to Friends of Sangamon Auditorium we *will* tabulate your gift amount correctly, even if Brandy can't count to four when selecting events.

Anything Goes
Mamma Mia!
Million Dollar Quartet
O Sole Trio
STOMP

Jennie Davis, Valet Supervisor: I think moms of five can be forgiven if they temporarily forget how to count.

The Moody Blues
STOMP
Peter and the Starcatcher
Mamma Mia!
Timber! By Cirque Alfonse