Arts and culture

Next month, WNIJ will feature four books that belong on your shelf or e-reader. Three of them are by Illinois authors. One was written by an Iowa resident who used to work for Northern Public Radio.

The Winter Book Series will air Mondays in December during Morning Edition, and appear in our Book Series archive.

You don't often hear "football" and "bel canto" in the same sentence. How about the same opera?

Outer space is silent, and that may be one reason why a lot of movies about space have iconic scores — in addition to helping advance the the plot, the music in films like Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey must fill a literal void.

Jeffrey Curnow has a serious funny bone. In his cartoons, he pokes fun at symphony orchestras, conductors and musicians from his perch as the associate principal trumpeter of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Flickr user Celeste Lindell / "Art supplies" (CC BY 2.0)

Teachers and administrators are working on new guidelines for art education in Illinois. Some schools have no art programs, while others have limited time to teach it.

New federal standards were released last year, though they came with no mandate. The State Board of Education has been organizing meetings for teachers to make the guidelines fit for them.

Jonathan VanderBrug is with Arts Alliance Illinois, an advocacy group that is also helping plan meetings. He says the process is meant to show schools why education in the arts is important.

Andris Nelsons, the Latvian conductor now in his second season as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has a taste for Russian music.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

A nationally-recognized ensemble comes to Rockford for a performance this weekend.  It’s also one of the most unique.

It’s Friday night at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, Illinois, and the St. Luke’s Bottle Band is rehearsing for its upcoming show at Rockford’s First Lutheran Church. 

It’s just one of many the band will give this year, adding to the hundreds the band has given over the past 35 years across the country, on TV and radio. 

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

A professional choir based at Northern Illinois University gives a concert Sunday, Oct. 18.  The ensemble gives both its director and its members a chance to go beyond the typical college or church choir experience.