Arts

Arts and culture

The Cold Wrath Of Nature, Given Operatic Voice

Feb 7, 2015
Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Area efforts to combat hunger are the focus of a concert this weekend at NIU. 

“Make Our Garden Grow” will feature NIU, high school and community choruses.  NIU Choral Director Eric Johnson is the man behind the event.  WNIJ’s Guy Stephens asked him what he was hoping to accomplish.

On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village. A riot broke out, sparking successive nights of protest and, many say, the emergence of the modern gay rights movement.

If you saw Ron Modell leading Northern Illinois University's Jazz Ensemble, you'll recognize the title of his memoir, Loved Bein' Here With You.

If you haven't, here's the story behind the title:

Early in his career at NIU, Modell invited trombonist Phil Wilson to perform with the ensemble. In between rehearsal sessions, Wilson heard Modell singing Peggy Lee's tune, "I Love Being Here With You," and bet $10 that Modell wouldn't have the nerve to sing it on stage:

They're celebrating Down Under. Today is Australia Day, a holiday marking the arrival of British ships at Sydney Harbour in 1788. A perfect day then to salute something truly Australian, something that speaks of national pride, austere landscapes and even the darker side of Australian history — the music of Peter Sculthorpe, who died last year at age 85.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Rockford’s Womanspace celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and, by all accounts, is going strong.  

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