From its beginnings as a small band -- without even a lead instrument -- in a corner of the NIU Percussion Studio, the NIU Steel Band has a lot to celebrate from the past 40 years.
The celebration culminates in the band’s 40th anniversary concert Sunday, April 13, in the Boutell Concert Hall of the NIU Music Building.
Steel band co-director Liam Teague said the concert program will reflect the spirit of the band throughout its existence. “It highlights what we’re trying to do in the steel band,” he said. “We’re looking at the past, present and future.”
Budget battles will soon get underway in Springfield. Several possible scenarios could play out under Illinois’ next spending plan. That includes deciding what to do with the expiring income-tax hike. The situation is leaving educators with more uncertainty than usual.
A proposal to overhaul the way Illinois schools get state funding is advancing in the state Senate. Republicans say the plan is being rushed through the General Assembly, and they are worried that Chicago schools will get an even bigger share of the money than they do now.
Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, has made it his mission to change the way schools are funded in Illinois. The freshman senator says it's long overdue because there's been no change in 17 years.
The NIU Jazz Ensemble's annual spring concert April 10 is the final concert at NIU for its director, Ron Carter. After 20 years at the helm of the nationally-renowned ensemble, and numerous accolades for his work in the field of jazz and jazz education, Carter is retiring. Surprisingly, Carter says growing up, he had no idea his career would be in jazz.
Governor Pat Quinn is expected to “make a major announcement” in Rockford this afternoon about rail service. He’s scheduled to speak at an intersection along South Main Street, an area often talked about as a site for passenger rail.