CHAMPAIGN – Percussionist and University of Illinois music Professor William Moersch has long advocated the commissioning of new music.
In fact, in 1980, he started commissioning solo marimba works for himself, raising funds – including by applying for grants – to pay for the works that he generates. He also requires his percussion students at the university to play, at their degree recitals, at least one commissioned piece.
The public can preview Danville High School's show choirs at a fundraising event presented by Time-O-Matic.
"Prima Vista: A Spaghetti Dinner" will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 15 at the high school, 202 E. Fairchild St.
On the Indonesian island of Bali, every village has at least two or three gamelans – sets of primarily bronze percussive instruments which are kept at an open-air community center.
When the instruments are not in storage, children can play on them, as I Ketut Gede Asnawa did "wildly" when he was a boy.
And nearly every villager is involved in the art form, either playing in the gamelan, carrying the instruments or preparing for the festival occasions where the music will be featured.
CHAMPAIGN – Even as a kid, Dave Easley knew he wanted to play pedal steel guitar. Most people would advise to start on guitar first, and that's what he did, at age 13.
He remained intent on the steel pedal, though. As soon as he graduated in 1976 from Centennial High School, he bought his first one.
Blues University and the city of Chicago will offers its Chicago Blues Tour of nine blues bars on the South and West sides on Jan. 17.
The tour will depart from the tour hub, Alcock's Inn, 411 S. Wells St., and then visit eight other lounges offering live blues music; 12 blues bands will perform during the night. Tickets are $40 and include all transportation and admissions charges.
The Chorale's founder and music director Julie Beyler began thinking this past summer about what kind of music she wanted to present at the choral group's New Year's Eve gala.
She decided then on songs of inspiration, feeling that they are needed now.
"It just seemed to me we were all heavily involved in one way or another on one side or the other of the political issues and economic issues," she said.
URBANA – The Pacifica Quartet had a tough assignment nearly three years ago that had nothing to do with performing per se.
The musicians had to spend three hours outside in frigid January weather in Chicago, posing for a cover shot for The Gramophone, the world's leading classical music magazine.
DANVILLE – The Danville Public Library is holding a drawing for two free tickets to the Danville Symphony Orchestra's Saturday concert, "Christmas with Maureen McGovern."
The winning entry will be drawn at 4 p.m. Wednesday and the winner notified by telephone.
The Other Guys, The Chorale and the Parkland Singers will join the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra at its Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
The music will include "Gloria in Excelsis Deo," "Sing We Now of Christmas," "Jingle Bells," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "It's Christmas Time," "A Gospel Christmas," "Christmas Festival Overture," "Bassoon It will be Christmas" and "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," narrated by Roger Cooper.
A jazz fan recently wrote on a music Web site that Glenn Wilson is the best baritone saxophonist that you've never heard of and like many great players, had "disappeared" into academe.
Wilson, who has played with the likes of Bruce Hornsby, Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, Tito Puente. Bob Belden and Toshiko Akiyoshi, would beg to differ.