Here's what's happening on the music scene
Krannert hosting festival this week
Nearly 500 singers from throughout the United States will meet at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts from Thursday through Sunday for the 11th Sister Singers Network National Women's Choral Festival.
The theme of the festival, which features concerts, including an opening night concert Wednesday evening, is "Returning to Our Roots."
Choruses attending the festival will perform individual concert sets throughout the festival. The free opening night concert at 7 in the Krannert lobby will feature emma's revolution, a duo of activist singers from Washington, D.C. That concert is free due to a grant from the Urbana Public Arts program.
Amasong, Champaing-Urbana's Premier Lesbian/Feminist Chorus, is hosting the festival and will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday. Their concerts will be followed by two mass-chorus concerts, each with about 200 voices. They will premiere "Lineage" by Colorado-based composer Andrea Ramsey.
Tickets for all concerts are on sale at krannertcenter.com. A $30 pass admits you to all the concerts if you are not a registered festival participant.
The festival also will feature workshops on topics ranging from warmups, musical activism, techniques for singing the music of Hildegard of Bingen, the history of the women's choral movement and how to run a self-directed chorus.
Registration for the festival is ongoing and open to female singers from anywhere in the world. Go to sistersingers.net for more information.
The Sister Singers Network is a cooperative web of feminist choruses and ensembles, composers, arrangers and individual singers.
Check out Summer Piano Institute
The Summer Piano Institute started by Ian Hobson taking place this week at the University of Illinois will feature four recitals by institute faculty and students.
The three concerts at Smith Memorial Hall are free, while the one at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts featuring Hobson is ticketed. The schedule:
— 7:30 p.m. Monday, Memorial Room, Smith Memorial Hall, 805 S. Mathews Ave., U. Guest artist recital with Boaz Sharon, a professor of piano at Boston University, performing works by Louis Couperin, Johannes Brahms, Isaac Albniz and Sergei Prokofiev.
— 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., U. Faculty artist recital, with Hobson performing works by Frederic Chopin, Brahms, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev. Tickets: $10 for adults; $7, senior citizens; and $4, students.
— 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Recital Hall, Smith Memorial Hall, a recital featuring Sharon and Hobson performing duo piano works by Franz Liszt, Claude Debussy, George Gershwin, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Karol Szymanowski.
— 7:30 p.m. Friday, Recital Hall, Smith Memorial Hall, Summer Piano Institute Final Gala Concert. The eight Summer Piano Institute participants, all graduate-level pianists, will perform works they have prepared over the course of the week with guidance from Hobson and Sharon.
Blues awards coming to town
Blues Blast magazine will bring its 2014 Blues Blast Music Awards show to the Fluid Event center in west Champaign on Oct. 23.
"The 20,000-square foot event space is the second largest in the Champaign-Urbana area and equipped to bring the best Blues Blast Music Awards we've had yet," Blues Blast editor Bob Kieser said in a news release.
The ceremony will feature music by the artists nominated, among them Back Pack Jones, Bernie Pearl, Bobbie Rush, Dave Riley, Bob Cooritore and Blues legend Lonnie Brooks.
Tickets will go on sale Aug. 1 at bluesblastmagizine.com and fluideventcenter.com.
Mike Galloway, director of the recent Blues Brews & BBQ Festival in downtown Champaign, said the awards ceremony will be "a big deal for the community. To have national artists and international exposure is amazing and I'm excited to show the blues community what Champaign has to offer."
The award show has been at Buddy Guy's in Chicago the past six years.
Blues fans can vote through Sept. 15 on the contestants via BluesBlastMagazine.com. Blues Blast magazine is the largest free weekly Internet blues magazine with subscribers in 50 states and in more than 90 countries.