Tuesday, April 27, 2010

UIS and Springfield Public Schools collaborate for Partners in Education Institute

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Sangamon Auditorium and Springfield Public Schools (SPS) have joined together to form a team that was recently selected to participate in the national Partners in Education Institute, which will take place May 5 through May 8 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Carly Shank, director of audience development and communication for Sangamon Auditorium, is the institute’s principal for the Auditorium, and Lynn Gilmore, Elementary Music Specialist for SPS, is the representative for the school district. Shank and Gilmore, along with Bob Vaughn, director of Sangamon Auditorium, will attend the institute.

“Few factors are as important to building audiences for the performing arts as the effectiveness of local educators in local schools,” Vaughn noted. “The Auditorium can provide access and opportunities otherwise unavailable to students and teachers; consequently, we have pursued this opportunity for partnership to assure a brighter future for all parties involved and for society at large.”

Lynn Gilmore believes this collaboration will help strengthen arts education throughout the district.

“The arts are essential to every child’s education. It serves as an avenue that sparks creativity and imagination in the minds of learners. In that same light, every student needs a stage and our collaboration with UIS offers a venue to express themselves via the arts,” said Gilmore.

Fourteen other teams of arts organizations and school systems were chosen to attend the institute, which promotes partnerships in communities across the country between arts organizations and local school districts, focusing on the development of arts education programs for teachers.

The institute provides training and information to design an effective arts and arts integration professional development program for teachers in their communities. Participants will have the opportunity to observe established professional development workshops in action at the Kennedy Center with teachers in attendance. They will also participate in content sessions that prepare them in how to plan, implement and evaluate professional development in the arts and arts integration for teachers.

The new teams will join the existing 90 teams from 44 states and the District of Columbia currently participating in the Partners in Education program. In addition to this institute, the program holds an annual conference in Washington, where attendees exchange ideas and address issues facing their communities.

“We look to supplement the considerable efforts of UIS in teacher education while providing a dialogue that can build meaningful and transformative relationships for years to come,” Vaughn said.

The institute is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Committee for the Performing Arts and the Kennedy Center Corporate Fund.

For more information about the collaboration between Sangamon Auditorium and District 186, contact Bob Vaughn at 217/206-8280 or Lynn Gilmore at 217/525-3264.

For more information about the Partners in Education program, call 202/416-8806 or visit www.kennedy-center.org/education/partners.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Sangamon Auditorium's Class Acts series celebrates 500,000th attendee

By Courtney Westlake

Sangamon Auditorium
plays host to hundreds of shows and performances each year, including a series for students called Class Acts, which reached an exciting milestone on Monday, March 30.

"I want to let all of you know that since 1986, Sangamon Auditorium has welcomed half a million students, teachers and parents," announced Carly Shank, director of Audience Development & Communication at the Auditorium, during a Class Acts performance Monday afternoon. "This afternoon, we are pleased to celebrate our 500,000th Class Acts attendee."

The 500,000th person to attend a Class Acts performance was named Dominic, a third-grader from Christ the King school.

Class Acts is a performing arts series for youth at Sangamon Auditorium with the goal of presenting a diverse performing arts program in support of educational and cultural goals mandated by the State of Illinois. The 2008-2009 season is the 23rd season of Class Acts.

"We believe that performing arts are essential to our humanity. We want to present you with quality performances, and we want our performers to be proficient in their craft and want you to connect with the performances," Bob Vaughn, director of Sangamon Auditorium, told the audience Monday afternoon.

In celebration of the milestone, Sangamon Schools Credit Union, one of the sponsors of the series, donated tickets for a class to attend one of next year's performances. The school that won the drawing for the tickets was Owen Marsh.

Monday's Class Acts performance was called "Mad Science presents CSI: Live!" The Auditorium also announced the schedule for the 2009-2010 Class Acts season, which includes performances like "Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad" and "Rainbow Fish."

"We want you to come away from these performances and be intellectually-challenged and learn something new," Vaughn told the students gathered at Monday's performance. "If we do these things, we have the chance of changing someone's life."

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cast Announced for Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway, coming soon to Sangamon Auditorium

The University of Illinois at Springfield's Sangamon Auditorium will open its 2008-2009 Performing Arts Season with Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway on Saturday, October 4, at 8 p.m. Sponsors are Friends of Sangamon Auditorium and WAND Newscenter 17.

Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway re-creates the biggest moments from the most spectacular shows of the century -- featuring the actual stars that helped make them famous. Select Broadway names light up the stage with revived arrangements of classic songs from Broadway hits like The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Aida, Little Shop of Horrors, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Jekyll and Hyde.

The performance at Sangamon Auditorium, UIS will feature Broadway stars Danny Zolli, Rita Harvey, Andrea Rivette, Charles Bergell, and Erick Buckley. Conductor/arranger Berg is the composer and lyricist of several musicals including the hit off-Broadway show The Prince and the Pauper and the forthcoming Broadway musical Grumpy Old Men.

A post-show discussion with Neil Berg will take place in the Auditorium immediately following the performance. Tickets for this event are $48 or $43 and are on sale now. To order tickets visit www.SangamonAuditorium.org or call the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at (217) 206-6160 or toll free at 800-207-6960. Tickets can also be purchased in-person at the Ticket Office, which is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Individual tickets to all Visiting Artist Series and Family Events are on sale now, and tickets to Broadway shows go on sale approximately six weeks prior to each event. Patrons can receive a discount through the Create Your Own Series option by simply choosing at least five events from the Visiting Artists Series, Broadway Series, and Family Events at UIS. Please call the Ticket Office for more information.

About the Cast

Danny Zolli is best known for his performances in the 20th anniversary national tour and the North American Resurrection Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, where he won critical acclaim for his menacing portrayal of The High Priest Annas as well as for his poignant work in understudying and frequently performing the roles of both Jesus and Judas.

Rita Harvey recently took over the role of Hodel in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof starring Rosie O'Donell and Harvey Fierstien. She made her Broadway debut performing the lead role of Christine Daee in Phantom of the Opera after two years performing the role with the second national tour.

Andrea Rivette's Broadway credits include Emma Carew in Jekyll and Hyde with David Hasselhoff (performance filmed for HBO and DVD), and Ellen in Miss Saigon. This past year she had the honor of playing her dream role, Fantine, at Sacramento Music Circus in Les Miserables, directed by Glen Casale.

Charles Bergell had the privilege of performing the leading role of Jean Valjean in the Broadway and national touring companies of Les Miserables. He appeared as Mssr. Andre in the second national tour of Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince, and was a member of the 20th anniversary tour of Evita.

Erick Buckley has performed the roles of Marius and Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, Piangi in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, Dave in The Full Monty, Roger in the Broadway revival of Grease! with Sheena Easton, John Secada, Rex Smith, and Adrian Zmed, and Gangster #1 in the Tony-winning Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate.

About Sangamon Auditorium, UIS

Sangamon Auditorium, located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield, hosts more than 120 performances annually. Also home to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Ballet Company, it is the only auditorium of its kind and size in the Springfield area, with a seating capacity of 2,018. Sangamon Auditorium continues to fulfill its mission of presenting and supporting varied cultural and educational professional arts activities to audiences in Springfield, Sangamon County, and the surrounding areas. The auditorium administrative offices can be reached at (217) 206-6150 or by e-mail at onstage@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Arlo Guthrie Solo Reunion Tour finishes 07-08 Performing Arts Season

The 2007-2008 Performing Arts Season at Sangamon Auditorium will conclude with a performance by Arlo Guthrie, part of his Solo Reunion Tour, Together at Last on Thursday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m.

Guthrie is perhaps best known for "Alice's Restaurant" and became a symbol of social activism during the 1960s. Now he has embarked on a solo tour with nothing but a couple of guitars and a harmonica, something he has rarely done since his performance at Woodstock. Read more>>

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