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Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, April 17, 2014
She was also recently the subject of a When Steel
Talks Women in Pan profile. Francis recital will
feature her arrangements of Franz Lizst s Hungarian
Rhapsody, Lord Kitchener s Iron Man, and a range
of other material.
Khan Cordice from Antigua, currently co-director
NIU All-University steelband with Francis, will not
be giving a recital this spring but is busy with steel-
band-related activities including the recent launch
of a Web site, www.khancordice.com, performing as
a guest artist at the University of Akron s steelband
concert on April 6, and preparing for another round
of competition in Antigua.
RAY FUNK AND ANDREW MARTIN
The Northern Illinois University Steelband cel-
ebrate the programme s 40th anniversary this April
with a month-long array of unique concerts and
performances. The festivities began with the NIU
Steelband s annual spring concert on April 13, and
will continue with five recitals performed by NIU
steelpan graduate students later in the month.
All the recitals will be webcast from the NIU School
of Music Web site and are sure to offer audiences
in T&T and the greater steelband community spread
across the globe a glimpse into one of America s pre-
mier pan programmes as it marks this important
The past year saw NIU steelband programme co-
directors Liam Teague and Cliff Alexis showered with
an astounding number of awards and recognition for
excellence. In November, Cliff Alexis was inducted
into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame, an
honour bestowed upon only one other pannist---Ellie
Mannette. During the finals of the T&T Panorama
this year Alexis was one of eight persons honoured
for their "sterling contribution to the Steelband Move-
Meanwhile, in February, Liam Teague was
announced as the 2014 Arts and Letters winner of
the Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excel-
lence. Established in 2005, the Sabga award comes
with significant prestige and a considerable cash
award. For Teague, the award came as quite a surprise
as he learned of the news while in Trinidad working
with Silver Stars on a stunning panorama arrangement
of Tony Barclay s The Reason that earned the band
a respectable sixth place finish in the Panorama finals.
The biggest event of the NIU Steelband 40th
Anniversary celebration was the band s spring concert
held on April 13.
The concert was a celebration of the NIU Steel-
band s past, present, and future. Guest soloists includ-
ed, among others, Panamanian violinist Graciela
Nunez who gave a rousing rendition of the Camille
Saint Saen s Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso.
Nunez was also featured, along with Teague, in a
performance of an amazing new piece, a duet for
steelpan and violin, Bach Talk, written by Dr Jan
Bach, who came to attention in the steelband world
through his Concerto for Steelpan and Orchestra
championed and performed the world over by Teague.
The new piece was jointly commissioned through
Dean Richard Holly s office at the College of Visual
and Performing Arts at NIU and the T&T Music Lit-
Much of the concert programme was, however, a
walk down memory lane and repertoire included old
band favorites such as Cliff Alexis Summer
Song and Confusion Reggae, plus his arrangement
of Pan 2000 which helped the band to earn second
place at the 2000 World Steelband Festival in Trinidad.
Not to be left out, the NIU Steelband also played
one of Teague s newer arrangements, Dougla, which
is a composition written for his son, Jaden Teague-
Nunez. The band played spectacularly and the audi-
ence was enthusiastic.
April is also the month for the student recitals and
a number of NIU graduate pan students are all giving
recitals including Christina Guerrero, Emily Lanxner,
Josanne Francis, Yuki Nakano, and Mike Schwebke.
All of these recitals will be webcast and reflect a
wide range of pieces performed on pan.
An amazingly diversified series of pan performances,
many of the pieces are collaborations with small pan
combos and in unique pairings with other traditional
instruments. From Diego Martin, Josanne Francis is
currently serving as the co-director and co-arranger
of the NIU All-University steelband. She was the
winner of the 2013 NIU Concerto Competition where
she performed the Jan Bach concerto for steelpan
with the NIU Philharmonic on February 12.
Francis was a first place winner at the American
Protégé International Concerto Competition and will
be performing on Memorial Day, May 26, in New
York City at Carnegie Hall, an enormous honour.
An internet treat for pan lovers
NIU Pan Graduates who will in be concert this month from left, Josanne Francis,
Christina Guerrero, Emily Lanxner, Yuki Nakano and Mike Schwebke.
Continues on Page B16
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