Steelband marks 40th anniversary with concert

Northern Illinois University Steelband, under the direction of Liam Teague and Cliff Alexis, will present its spring concert at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, Music Building, 550 Lucinda Ave. in DeKalb.

The event will commemorate the ensemble’s 40th year of existence and will be a celebration of the past, present and future.

The special guest artist will be Panamanian violinist Graciela “Chelín” Nunez, one of Panama City’s most active performers. Nunez is the principal second violin in the Panama National Symphony Orchestra. She studied violin in Panama City under the tutelage of distinguished teachers, and earned her bachelor’s degree in violin performance at the University of Kansas, graduating with honors. She earned a masters of music in violin performance and pedagogy in 2006 from NIU.

In keeping with the NIU Steelband’s mantra of highlighting the beauty, versatility and profundity of the steelpan, an eclectic mix of music will be performed, including “Pan 2000,” composed by Alexis. This was one of the pieces that helped to secure second place for the NIU Steelband at the 2000 World Steelband Music Festival in Trinidad. The audience also will be treated to Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, which was arranged for the steelpan studio by graduate student Josanne Francis. Bach Talk, a new work for steelpan and violin by Illinois composer Jan Bach, will receive its premiere performance by Teague and Nunez.

The band will be joined by a number of NIU faculty members and alumni on this momentous occasion.

The concert is free and open to the public. It will be streamed live on the web at www.niu.edu/music. For more information, email lteague@niu.edu.