Media Center now available from School of Music

An article about the School of Music’s new Media Center appeared in today’s InsideIllinois. Vol. 28, No. 16, March 19, 2009

UI performances now accessible through comprehensive Web center

Attention fans of UI music makers. Did you miss the “Beyond Cool” performance of Miles Davis’ “Bobplicity” at last year’s Allerton Music Barn Festival? What about the Opera Program’s production of “Cosi fan tutte” last spring at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts? Wishing you could hear – and see – highlights of the Jerry Hadley Memorial Concert one more time?

Those performances – and many more by faculty members, students and guest artists of the UI School of Music – now are accessible online through the school’s new Media Center. A virtual trove of archival performances – some audio-only, some video – recently went live on the school’s Web site.

“This is a concerted effort – no pun intended – to have all of our flagship ensembles and faculty recitals accessible to the world,” said Karl Kramer, the school’s director.

In addition to past performances by faculty and guests artists, the site features concerts by university bands, orchestras and choirs, as well as opera productions. Also featured are selections from programs of annual events, including the Allerton Music Barn and Summer Jazz festivals.

Kramer said the site’s intended audience is broad and diverse.

“There’s a huge audience – from current university students, faculty and staff members to alumni, researchers, prospective faculty and the community.”

Kramer said he expects scholars may be drawn to the site “because as a school, we premiere new works and perform and archive more obscure pieces that are harder to track down.”

The site also includes a niche for showcasing faculty recordings. Kramer said visitors to the site eventually will be able to click on the recordings to sample titles.

Another “coming soon” feature will be a section where visitors will be able to access publications by musicology, music education and theory professors.

Kramer said that while other music schools archive certain elements of audio and/or video, most have “somewhat intermittent,” less comprehensive content online.

“The feedback we’ve been getting from peers at Yale, Eastman and USC is phenomenal,” he said. Kramer added that when he presented the site to deans of some of the nation’s premier music schools at a recent meeting of The Seven Springs Group, “their jaws hit the floor.”