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

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  We are happy to answer your questions about this opportunity!