Night at the Symphony

The IU Jacobs School of Music Concert Orchestra will open its season in downtown Indianapolis to honor Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. The orchestra will perform the American composer’s masterful 1949 work, “The Age of Anxiety (Symphony No. 2 for piano and orchestra),” along with the overture of “La Gazza Ladra” by Gioachino Rossini and “Fontane di Roma” by Ottorino Respighi.

Conductor Thomas Wilkins will lead the IU Jacobs School of Music Concert Orchestra’s Leonard Bernstein tribute at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in downtown Indianapolis. Photo courtesy of IU Jacobs School of Music

The 90-piece orchestra will feature Norman Krieger, pianist and IU professor of music, and conductor Thomas Wilkins, who came to IU in 2017 after leading orchestras in Los Angeles and Boston.

Tickets are $30.

Read more to learn about what’s happening at IUPUI!

IU News: Grammy-winning IU alumna Sylvia McNair returning to the WFIU studio 36 years later

After 36 years, Grammy Award-winning Indiana University alumna and former faculty member Sylvia McNair will return to the WFIU studio where she worked as a student, this time as a guest DJ.

Sylvia McNair

McNair got her start at WFIU while she was getting her Master of Music with distinction in 1983. On Aug. 20 to 24, she will be hosting a morning classical music program on WFIU’s second service, WFIU2.

McNair recalled her student work for WFIU as “last-century responsibilities”: taking calls from listeners, splicing tape to edit, and ripping paper off the AP wire for news broadcasting. She worked different hours, sometimes starting at 6 a.m. on a Saturday and at midnight on a Sunday.

“It was one of my four part-time jobs I had, but it was my favorite. I love radio; I always have,” McNair said. “The tech pieces have changed since my time at WFIU in the early 1980s, but sending beautiful music out into the world hasn’t changed. It is still a worthwhile activity, and I enjoy it.”

After getting her master’s, McNair went on to perform with different orchestra and opera companies across the U.S. and Europe as a singer and classical recitalist. She was dedicated to learning new genres and enhancing her ability to work with music. Her music earned her two Grammys and a regional Emmy.

McNair returned to IU in 2006 to join the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music. Even though she stopped teaching in 2017, she still enjoys living in Bloomington and having opportunities like working with WFIU again.

The tech pieces have changed since my time at WFIU in the early 1980s, but sending beautiful music out into the world hasn’t changed. —Sylvia McNair

She said that despite the changes in the studio, WFIU has stayed true to its values and what it wants to deliver to listeners. McNair said that WFIU has always been tech-savvy and has a highly intelligent group of workers running the station.

“I appreciate the fact that they don’t try to impress the listener with how much they know, and they all know a lot,” McNair said. “WFIU has continued to be up-to-date, always filled with smart people who were forward-lookers. I just appreciate seeing all that again, 36 years later. It’s inspiring.”

She has a deep passion for public radio and the impact it has had on her career. WFIU gave her the ability to speak comfortably while live on air, a skill she came in handy while doing live radio interviews all across America and in Europe. She also said that public radio is a news source she can trust, no matter where she is when she’s traveling.

“The most important reason public radio must continue is that it is not owned by or beholden to anyone, not shareholders or donors or large media conglomerates,” McNair said. “That independence gives it greater freedom to be objective. Where else but ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘All Things Considered’ can you hear commercial-free news with no apparent bias? It’s a gift worth fighting to keep.”

McNair will be on air from 7 to 9 a.m. Aug. 20 to 24 on WFIU2. The relatively new service, available at 101.9 FM in Bloomington, offers alternative programming to what is aired on WFIU’s legacy signal at 103.7 FM.

Read the original article from IU News written by Grace Stryker


Death of the Mechanical Man Featured in the Montreal Underground Film Festival

Michael Drews’s “Death of the Mechanical Man”

“Death of the Mechanical Man,” a 21-minute film directed by Big Robot’s Michael Drews, made its premier in October of 2016, deep in the City Market Catacombs. For its debut, Big Robot accompanied the film live, conjuring up memories of silent films.

Watch the trailer on Vimeo.

Now, the short film has been chosen as part of the 2018 Montreal Underground Film Festival (MUFF). The festival celebrates low-budget filmmaking and promotes films that challenge the constraints and conventions of mainstream Hollywood. The independent filmmakers, writers, teachers, and cinephiles of MUFF are committed to seeking out edgy films bristling with a sense of creative freedom, energy, and experimentation.

For more information about the festival, visit the MUFF website.

Big Robot creates media-enriched art and music, interweaving aesthetic expression with computer interactivity. Their blend of audio-visual design with acoustic instruments forms a multi-dimensional performance at the crosspoints of virtual and physical gesture, sound, and space.

To learn more about Big Robot, visit their website.

IUPUI Telematic Collective

View the original article by Tim Brouk.

Photo by Liz Kaye, IU Communications

Department of Music and Arts Technology graduate students Harry Chaubey and Arun Berty each traveled thousands of miles to continue their studies at IUPUI.

Both young men are technologically adept and avid music consumers. Creating and understanding music through the help of computer programs and electronic equipment was their next academic step, which made the School of Engineering and Technology program an easy choice.

But these students’ backgrounds and previous stops are as different as future bass and witch house. Chaubey came from Los Angeles. He was working in sound and composition studios when he decided to up his game. Berty traveled all the way from Chennai, India. He received an undergraduate degree in computer science from Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology in southern India. He made a big change when he decided to pursue his love of music. Both students’ skills have been welcomed in the Department of Music and Arts Technology as well as in the Telematic Collective, a unique electronic music ensemble that performs original works regularly on campus.

“I wanted both of my interests to merge,” said Berty, who found IUPUI online after he finished his computer science degree. “That’s what put me here.”


Telematic Collective gets its name from the tradition of online collaboration during its live shows. Musicians from across the globe have been known to patch in and perform with the IUPUI musicians onstage within the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex. The group’s next concert is at 7:30 p.m. April 12 in ICTC Room 152.

And the collaboration isn’t limited to online talent. A typical Telematic experience will include original video work, live dancers from local organizations like the Ballet Theatre of Indiana and guest Indianapolis musicians. While most students in Telematic have laptops guiding their sounds, musicians have also been known to pick up a saxophone or guitar. The vibraphone is a staple, as it’s the instrument that faculty advisor Scott Deal specialized in during his previous academic career. Like his students, he was lured to IUPUI by the possibilities of electronic music and technological advancement.

“I was always doing crazy technology things,” said Deal, a professor of music arts and technology. “This was a natural next step.”

Like a rock song, a Telematic piece starts with a riff and a beat. A recent rehearsal saw Chaubey, Berty, fellow grad student Dustin Paugh, and undergraduates Sam Duncan and Charles Cheesman working on a piece. The tune was still being shaped as each student got his chance to work the riff or add their own notes. Deal was sitting in as well, but he confirmed to Inside IUPUI that every Telematic piece is written by the students.

“They bring their ideas; they engage the other students; and then we use all of these wonderful technological merging tools to create something that sounds new, fresh and original,” Deal said. “They get to work their creative chops in putting the music together.”

Telematic gained new members this semester, and they are using their time to master music-composition programs like Logic Pro X and equipment like the Native Instruments Maschine drum machine and Ableton Pushes. This device is a sequencer, piano, sampler and effects modulator all in one console about the size of a textbook.

And speaking of those antiquated things made of paper, textbooks don’t tell these tech-savvy musicians how to make an original instrumental work that could earn a live audience’s interest. Experimentation, improvisation and practice fuel the tunes.

“The possibilities are endless,” Chaubey said. “This technology is my instrument.”

Chaubey and Berty manned laptop keyboards and the more traditional keyboards in a musical setting. Berty said he’d been playing piano for several years and was happy to contribute to the ensemble. Each player brings a different expertise, making Telematic an always evolving and changing entity. Berty’s background will help construct technological feats yet to be explored in the group. Other Telematic members — currently 10 students — have had video experience, which helped improve the visual side of the collective.

“We look at this more as a working group,” Deal said. “It’s multidisciplinary.”

Telematic concerts are much more than students sitting in front of laptops for an hour. Video screens display imagery, the online collaborators and dancers contribute, and moody lighting adds to the atmosphere. The music itself is presented with expert live sound. After all, the Music and Arts Technology program pumps out dozens of sound engineers and studio producers every year.

Students work on pieces for months before they are debuted live. The works are usually several minutes long, allowing for live musicians and online artists to add their own flourishes.

“I came here specifically to learn these tools and to incorporate technology into my skill set,” said Paugh, who studied classical music and vocal performance at the University of Nebraska before coming to IUPUI. “This is more collaborative in nature. Everyone contributes their piece. There’s a give-and-take.”

While putting on a good show is important, making sure these students get jobs is crucial. Like his students’ varied backgrounds, Deal said, the degree in music and arts technology can start an array of different career paths. Most students go into the recording industry, including sales and performance. Some have tried their skills at electronic instrument design. Other students have gotten positions with lucrative companies, both music related and not.

“We had a student get a job at Spotify in San Francisco doing their programming,” Deal said. “One student got a job at Boeing doing audio things. He said his job is classified and he couldn’t tell me what exactly he was doing, but it does have to do with audio.”

Square Peg Round Hole Coming to IUPUI

We are excited to welcome guest artists Square Peg Round Hole to Indianapolis and the IUPUI campus next week. The IU Bloomington-trained instrumental rock trio will present a performance lecture on campus Friday, March 2. They will be discussing the integration of multimedia technology into their percussion-driven music as well as tips for young musicians hoping to build a career. Click here for more details.

In addition, the group will cap off their stay in Indy with a performance at Pioneer on March 3 supported by IUPUI’s own Big Robot. Click here for more information.

These events are made possible with generous support by the IUPUI Department of Music and Arts Technology, Pioneer Indy, and the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute.

Square Peg Round Hole formed in 2011 while studying music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, in Bloomington, Indiana. The band has shared bills with Built To Spill, The Album Leaf, Mae, This Will Destroy You, and The Joy Formidable, and has been featured at major venues across the country including the Electric Factory, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Old National Centre, and the World Café Live. Find them on YouTube or their website for more information.

Award-winning composer designs music scoring program for Jacobs School of Music

Photo by James Brosher, IU Communications

From News at IU Bloomington.

Southern California and southern Indiana might not have much in common, but within the past year, Larry Groupé has called both places home.

The Emmy Award-winning composer brings his experience to the Bloomington campus, where he is a visiting professor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

At Indiana University, Groupé was appointed to design and implement the renowned Jacobs School’s first program in music scoring for visual media, which he started teaching in spring 2017. In this new program, music students learn how to compose original work. They create scores that can be used for movie soundtracks, learning various skills needed to write music that accompanies visual media.

“We have seen a fantastic student and faculty response to Larry Groupé joining the faculty and providing expert mentorship in the area of music scoring for visual media,” said David Dzubay, professor of music and chair of the Department of Composition. “We have an ever-increasing amount of activity in this area, and this should only continue to grow in the future. I’m thrilled to have Larry Groupé here guiding our efforts through his courses and collaborations with IU Cinema and The Media School.”

Groupé has also collaborated with The Media School to create a course that teaches students the techniques they need for editing and incorporating music into film and other forms of visual media.

“From a Media School perspective, Larry is a bridge to the Jacobs School of Music and helps facilitate collaborative relationships,” said Norbert Herber, senior lecturer and chair of the Media Arts and Production. “Our student filmmakers and game designers now have a clear point of contact to help identify student composers to score their film and game projects. Thus far, we see a lot more film-related activity, but the relationship is still budding.”

Groupé’s course in The Media School teaches students how to master software used for editing music and seamlessly combine tracks that set the tone and convey… [read more]

Death of the Mechanical Man premiers in City Market Catacombs

dotmm-with-eventbriteOn October 25, 2016, at 7 pm, the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute presents the premier of the new audio-visual sci-fi experience, Death of the Mechanical Man. Developed by Big Robot, this work brings together silent film, acoustic instruments, and computer interactivity to create a multi-dimensional performance of sound and space in the heart of the brick barrel arches and limestone columns of Indianapolis’ City Market Catacombs.

This event is supported by our partners at Sun King Brewing. Additional support provided by the IUPUI Department of Music and Arts Technology and the Donal Tavel Arts and Technology Research Center.

The City Market Catacombs are an undeveloped historic asset and are not handicapped accessible. The Catacombs feature a very rough, uneven dirt floor. This event is not navigable for guests with walkers, canes, strollers, or wheelchairs. We recommend closed-toed shoes. Alert to people with breathing sensitivities: The Catacombs are a musty, sometimes damp area. Guests assume all personal liability for entering the catacombs for this free, public event.

IUPUI welcomes Indy Jazz Fest, Wes Montgomery Tribute Day

indy-jazz-festCampus and community collide when Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis hosts Wes Montgomery Tribute Day, the marquee event of Indy Jazz Fest, from 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday, September 17th at the IUPUI Campus Center.

IUPUI has partnered with Indy Jazz Fest to celebrate Indianapolis’ music history and pay tribute to the greatest jazz guitarist produced by the city. A Grammy Award winner in 1966, the late Wes Montgomery was a self-taught musician who revolutionized the sound of jazz by strumming his guitar strings with his thumb rather than using a pick.

Montgomery made a name for himself playing in the clubs of Indiana Avenue. On Saturday, IUPUI will bring his sound, and that of many others, to the Campus Center.

More than 40 local and national bands will perform. Among those scheduled to appear are the IUPUI Jazz Ensemble and other acts from Indianapolis colleges and high schools. National headliners include Pat Martino, Chuck Loeb, Henry Johnson, Russell Malone, Bobby Broom, Fareed Haque, Dave Stryker, Will Matthews, Royce Campbell and Peter Bernstein.

The majority of the performances are free to the public. Tickets for main-stage acts are $25 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased online.

In addition to the school’s jazz ensemble, IUPUI students will be involved in Wes Montgomery Tribute Day by performing behind the scenes. The Department of Music and Arts Technology will assist with the live audio aspects of the performances. Students employed at the Campus Center, many of whom are already well-versed in event management, will continue to put practice to action through their work with the community partners.

“It’s a great learning experience for the students,” said Doug Bielmeier, assistant professor in the Department of Music and Arts Technology, who also described the importance of being involved in a live event to boost students’ employability in the future. “It’s real.”

Those attending Wes Montgomery Tribute Day will find more than just music. An exhibit by Mark Sheldon Photography is also scheduled, highlighting the history of jazz in Indianapolis. Artifacts showcasing Montgomery’s life will be on display. Free panel discussions featuring Zev Feldman of Resonance Records and Robert Montgomery, Wes’ son, are slated as well.

David Williams will be signing his book, “The Masters, Legends and Legacy of Indiana Avenue.” Copies of the book are available at Barnes & Noble @ IUPUI, which will remain open until 8 p.m. on Saturday.


ABOUT INDY JAZZ FEST: The mission of Indianapolis Jazz Foundation and Indy Jazz Fest is to preserve the legacy and promote the future of jazz in Indianapolis through education and performance. A celebration of community and culture that showcases jazz music in a variety of great venues across the city, Indy Jazz Fest has become a cultural icon since its start in 1999. With an increased emphasis on jazz education, Indy Jazz Fest has expanded from just one day to an entire experience, ultimately benefiting the Indianapolis arts community throughout the year by creating meaningful links between jazz education and the city’s jazz performance scene. Indy Jazz Fest is the preeminent performance event of Indianapolis Jazz Foundation and will ultimately reach upwards of 34,000 people through a combination of performances, workshops, school concerts, master classes, and community partnerships, as an integral cog in the Indianapolis arts scene. The 2016 Indy Jazz Fest is taking place Sept. 15-24, 2016.  For more information, visit the Indy Jazz Fest website.


To view the original post from the IUPUI Newsroom, click here.

Accomplished musician, teacher takes over baton at IUPUI Music Academy

Blue Square

accomplished musicianAndrew Hisey, an accomplished musician and professional music teacher, has taken over the baton at the IUPUI Music Academy, an outreach program of the Department of Music and Arts Technology.

Hisey has taught for 20 years at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, St. Olaf College and the University of St. Thomas. For several years, he has also been a senior examiner, editor and consultant with the Royal Conservatory in Toronto.

Some might date his teaching career to 1993, when he received a doctorate in pedagogy and performance from the University of Michigan, becoming the first to receive a doctorate from that university with that particular focus.

But they would be wrong.

Hisey has actually been teaching since he was 12, when he began instructing children in his neighborhood and at his church how to play the piano — at the request of their parents, who admired Hisey’s playing.

“I’ve been teaching since then,” Hisey said. “I first started to get serious about the teaching aspect when I was a grad student at the University of Michigan, where I did my master’s and doctorate, learning to teach in both private and class settings.”

The IUPUI Music Academy has three goals, Hisey said:

  • Provide high-quality music instruction to the community.
  • Offer instruction to anyone, regardless of any outside factors, working hard to minimize some of the barriers that traditionally go with music instruction, including the costs.
  • To be as open and eclectic as possible, providing cultural ownership and relevance for participants.

“That takes the shape of private lessons in piano, keyboards, voice, guitar, viola, cello, flute and saxophone,” Hisey said. “And that’s a flexible list. If there is a lot of interest in an area, we will hire a teacher.”

The academy — housed within the Department of Music and Arts Technology, where Hisey is a visiting associate professor — also offers group experiences, including an adult string ensemble. “It is very focused on people getting together and having a good time making music with their string instruments,” Hisey said.

Some of the string ensemble participants have had little instruction, or perhaps some long-ago lessons, and are looking to reconnect with their musical selves. “It’s been going wonderfully,” Hisey said. “Most are eager to have a positive musical experience, and we focus on providing that.”

“There are also Harmony Road classes for children, which introduce musical concepts in a playful environment where the keyboard is a creative, rather than a performance, focus,” Hisey said. Those classes are geared to young children, from 3-and-a-half to 5 or 6 years old, and are offered this fall on Saturdays. Registration is available online.

“Private lessons are individually geared, particularly with adults but even to some extent with kids, to the family’s or child’s goals,” Hisey said. “We meet those goals by providing an instructor who is compatible and a plan of instruction that matches their wishes and works with the amount of time they have to give to it.”

Music, like all arts, is both transformational and recreational, “but it’s even more powerful when it’s participatory,” Hisey said. “Life-skill benefits of music study include finding one’s creative voice and communicative powers, cultivating persistence, and developing problem-solving skills.”

View the original article here.

A brief history of the 45

Singles have been issued in various formats, including 7-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch vinyl discs. The most common form of the vinyl single is the 45 or 7-inch, the names are derived from its play speed, 45 rpm and the standard diameter 7-inch.

The 7-inch 45 rpm record was introduced in 1949 by RCA as a smaller, more durable and higher-fidelity replacement for the 78 rpm shellac discs. The first 45 rpm records were monaural, with recordings on both sides of the disc. As stereo recordings became popular in the 1960s, almost all 45 rpm records were produced in stereo by the early 1970s.

The most common form of the vinyl single is the 45.

Although 7 inches remained the standard size for vinyl singles, 12-inch singles were introduced for use by DJs in discos in the 1970s. The longer playing time of these singles allowed the inclusion of extended dance mixes of tracks. In addition, the larger surface area of the 12-inch discs allowed for wider grooves (larger amplitude) and greater separation between grooves, the latter of which results in less cross-talk. Consequently, they “wore” better, and were less susceptible to scratches. The 12-inch single is still considered a standard format for dance music, though its popularity has declined in recent years.

Depending on its type, in addition to the song itself, a single may include remixes of the song, additional songs, a music video for promoting the single, and a collectible poster.