Lake County Performing Arts (LCPA)

A “Guest Blog” for our friends of the arts in Lake County IL

A Great Start at a Great School

Posted by lakecountyperformingarts on November 15, 2009


Cole W Thornton
is a senior at Lake Forest College, graduating this December with a major in Music. He is from Fresno, California and plans to pursue a graduate degree in music composition.
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Being a young composer is tough. It should come as no surprise that a new composer writing new music would have a difficult time getting performances of his or her work, especially in the field of “Classical Music.”

Schools such as Lake Forest College, however, offer an alternative to the big university music department or music conservatories, and for the self-motivated composer, can offer more opportunities for performances. I chose Lake Forest college for that very reason; I had attended California State University Fresno for a year and a half and was disappointed with the difficulty of getting new music performed and the rigid framework that the department put composition students into.

The Lake Forest College music department not only welcomed me with open arms, but allowed me the freedom to find and refine my compositional voice. My first semester at Lake Forest I had a work performed by the Experimental Music Group, which is a marked contrast from the three semesters at Cal State Fresno without a single public performance. The rigidity and structure of a large university probably works well for some students, but for a composer who wants to write a concert work for two ukuleles, a choral piece on the text of Dante, aleatoric graphic scores, and ambient electronic music, along with a host of other disparate projects, a more malleable music program is needed.

I’m having a concert on Tuesday, Nov 17 to showcase the work I have been doing while at Lake Forest, and only at Lake Forest can I have the chairman of the music department playing ukulele and singing, and the guitar teacher, James Baur, championing my solo guitar music (he played a few of the pieces on Tuesday’s program this past spring in Glencoe).

Not only will faculty and students be playing in the concert, they will be attending, which brings me to the point of all of this: Lake Forest offers a great community of students and faculty that are always doing something interesting and are interested in doing (or seeing or listening to) something. Small schools like Lake Forest don’t have the same type of reputation or name recognition of the big universities, but they offer great opportunities for the students and the surrounding communities that are more intimate, and ultimately more meaningful.

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More about the author, Cole W. Thornton:
www.myspace.com/colewthornton

Lake Forest College:
http://www.lakeforest.edu/academics/programs/musc/default.asp

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Rediscovering the Stage

Posted by lakecountyperformingarts on November 13, 2009

Susan Steinmeyer recently took steps to re-introduce herself to the local performing arts community, and shares some of her thoughts.
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Several years ago I completely stopped acting. There were many reasons for this decision – wanting a steady income, a family, and, importantly, frustration with the “business” side of the arts. Every once in a while I would question my choice. If I saw a really great show, or saw someone I once worked with have some amazing success, I would feel a small pain of regret. But, for the most part I was very happy with my decision to be mom, wife and active PTA participant.

As my children have become involved in more activities and exploring who they are and who they want to be, it made me think. What do I want to be? What did I used to do? Who am I? The answer, of course, is I’m an actress. So, I decided to go for it. First a few classes to stretch my atrophied skills and then an audition at the Citadel Theatre, not too far from the house, short time commitment and casting for women my age. Perfect.

I was nervous but got through the general auditions and was excited to receive a callback. At callbacks my competitive nature kicked in as I assessed the talent around me. I knew I could win the part. But if I did, could I really do this? Take care of my family and have a life in the theatre? Maybe.

I got the part, put my babysitter to work, and made many casseroles to accommodate everyone’s schedules. There were a few complaints about no mommy at bedtime and of course some guilt but a month and a half passed quickly by and suddenly it was opening weekend. Great audiences, great reviews, such a rush! It has been a logistical challenge but well worth it. I had forgotten how wonderful theatre people are. The silliness, the camaraderie and the energy is truly addicting. I have always felt very lucky in life, now I feel that even more so. To be able to do what you love is certainly rewarding. To have the support of a loving family is even better. To have both, well it is amazing!

When I made the decision to stop performing I did so because I had forgotten how fun it could be. I had lost the joy within the stresses of the day to day. Do they like me? Do I look the part? Do I have enough training? Will I make enough money? Now I am able to come back to acting and feel the joy it once brought without all the insecurities that once plagued me. I can simply enjoy the process and the people. I have two more wonderful weeks to work with my new friends at the Citadel Theatre. I will cherish every moment. I don’t know how many shows I will fit in over the next few years, but I am certain I will never take an extended hiatus again.

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Susan Steinmeyer is the proud mother of two lovely girls and a resident of Highland Park.  She is currently appearing in “Murder in Green Meadows” at the Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest, running from Nov 6 – 22.

– Go to http://www.citadeltheatre.org for show times and more information.
– Lake County News-Sun article about “Murder in Green Meadows”

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WFMT’s “All Mozart” Day!

Posted by lakecountyperformingarts on November 3, 2009

 The wonderful folks at WFMT radio 90.1 FM have promised an entertaining day of “All Mozart” programming coming up on Tuesday Nov 10.

Given that virtually everything by Mozart is entertaining… we expect Tuesday to be a very enjoyable day.

Check the links above for more details as Tuesday approaches; we’re promised “audio and video clips and other special content”.

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Improv Playhouse Company Receives 2009 Best of Libertyville Award

Posted by lakecountyperformingarts on October 25, 2009

Our congratulations to David Stuart and his wonderful crew of professionals at Improv Playhouse in Libertyville!

Improv Playhouse Company Receives 2009 Best of Libertyville Award
U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

WASHINGTON D.C., October 8, 2009 — Improv Playhouse Company has been selected for the 2009 Best of Libertyville Award in the Entertainment Service category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) .

The USCA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2009 USCA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

(Improv Playhouse is an entertainment organization and full-service acting school that specializes in comprehensive improv-comedy and acting classes for adults and youth, corporate and private entertainment, business training and development, and talent management. 

Located in Libertyville, Illinois in central Lake County with  programming in Highland Park, Vernon Hills, Buffalo Grove and Round Lake Beach.)

http://www.improvplayhouse.com/
116 W. Lake, Libertyville IL 60048, (847) 968-4529

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LFHS Drumline “Drum-A-Thon” Fundraiser

Posted by lakecountyperformingarts on October 22, 2009

From Gazebo News:

Lake Forest High School’s Drumline will host a Drum-A-Thon on Saturday at the school’s West campus to raise funds for its upcoming trip to the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. The Convention is held in Indianapolis and brings together many of the world’s top percussion performers and educators. The Drumline will perform as part of an interactive clinic and will have the opportunity to work with world-renown percussion professionals.

The six-hour Drum-A-Thon runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is open to the public. People are invited to attend any or all of the event. There will be extra drums and percussion accessory instruments available to play for a small donation. The Drum-A-Thon is planned for outdoors but if it rains, the group will continue in the school building. The West campus is located at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest.

Forescast looks like it might be a bit cool and rainy for ’em. Stop by to enjoy some rythms and support them if you get the chance.

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“Tosca” ala Met Opera Hi-Def Videocast

Posted by lakecountyperformingarts on October 8, 2009

I’m looking forward to seeing another performance by the New York’s Metropolitan Opera (“The Met”) this Saturday. I’ll be watching a live performance (Saturday afternoon matinee), driving a whole 20 miles to the venue, and paying only $22 for the pleasure, including exclusive peeks at the goings-on back-stage during the performance and scene changes as well as commentary about the work and interviews with some of the performers by an internationally-renowned opera singer. How?

By attending a High-Definition videocast of a live performance, broadcast around the world. Hi-Def video and Dolby 5.1 Sound in quality theatres like the Regal Lincolnshire 20/IMAX in Lincolnshire IL. I have already attended several other performance in the first three seasons of this series, and must say that “it’s a winner”. So do the growing numbers of opera fans, who are starting to regularly sell-out the theatres videocasting the performances.

I’ll be enjoying the performance along with other members of the Lake County IL Opera Meetup Group, beginning its second full year. Membership is open to anyone in the area who is interested in local “opera-tunities” to catch opera (and related events) without the committment of travel to Chicago or Milwaukee, construction and traffic delays, parking fees, exhorbitant ticket prices, and returning after midnight. These Videocasts form a major part of the season, along with Waukegan’s “Bowen Park Opera” and opera preview events with various suburban chapters of Chicago’s Lyric Opera, presented by members of the Lyric’s “Lecture Corps”.

Get your tickets soon (via Fandango or at the theatre) and join us!

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Guitarist Brad Conroy reviews…

Posted by lakecountyperformingarts on October 4, 2009

Classic Guitar TechniqueWe’re happy to report that Brad Conroy, long-time area guitarist and friend of LCPA, will now be writing columns and reviews for Guitar International.

Check out his first review of the Aaron Shearer Classic Guitar Technique, third edition.

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Apple Tree Theatre closes its doors…

Posted by lakecountyperformingarts on September 28, 2009

logo_AppleTreeTheatreWe were saddened to hear the recent news by the management of Highland Park’s Apple Tree Theatre to cancel the 2009-2010 season and close its doors.

In this economy, it is not surprising that we should see one or more local arts groups, which so frequently operate on shoestring budgets and dedicated volunteers, find themselves finally without resources.

What IS a bit surprising is that it should be this troupe prior to others. Apple Tree Theatre has been performing continuously since 1983, earned 28 Jeff Awards (something exceptional in its own right, competing against the Chicago playhouses), and has enjoyed financial support from the city and community organizations.

The Eileen Boevers Performing Arts Workshop, co-located with Apple Tree Theatre, has also closed its doors. In 1970, Ms. Boevers (1940-2009) founded the  Workshop, following-up with a professional company which she dubbed the Apple Tree Theatre, starting off in the same Highland Park church basement that also launched the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Nearby Citadel Theatre (Lake Forest) is offering free placement in its Fall Theatre classes to students already enrolled in Apple Tree Theatre’s fall arts program.

Additional details available in a write-up by Charles Berman in the Highland Park News.

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Early visit from the “cold bug”

Posted by lakecountyperformingarts on September 20, 2009

Urgh… all three of us.

sneeze

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Local student/singer off to a great start!

Posted by lakecountyperformingarts on September 4, 2009

Our congratulations to Round Lake High School senior Lindon Warren, for his talent and perserverance as described in the Lake County Journals article by Stephanie Lehman below:

ROUND LAKE – Round Lake High School boasted several talented vocalists last year, including three who traveled to the Illinois Music Education Association District 7 Music Festival competition.

One of those individuals was then-junior Lindon Warren, who was called up to perform at the IMEA district festival only after another singer bowed out.

Now, however, he’ll return to RLHS for his senior year with a rather large accolade – second place, and $250 he earned in Elgin OPERA’s third annual Vocal Competition.

“It’s been outstanding,” Warren said. “I was the first guy to ever win an [Elgin OPERA] competition, so it was a great experience.”

Warren

Lindon Warren next to Solange Sior, founder of Elgin O.P.E.R.A.

Warren spent weeks leading up to the June competition dates preparing three pieces for the competition. He worked once a week with RLHS choir director Kristin Moroni, and spent a lot of personal time practicing at home, including memorizing one song while cleaning his bedroom, he said.

“He was not taking private lessons at the time, other than [with] me, so it took a lot of extra work on his part,” Moroni said. “He’s pretty good about listening to a recording and really absorbing the style and character of the pieces without much instruction, which is pretty unique.”

The hard work paid off, as Warren made it through the preliminaries and semi-finals to tie for second place with Stacey Bravos of Barrington in the Teen Artist age bracket of competition. The judges were impressed with Warren’s natural abilities.

Read the rest of the article at LakeCountyJournal.com

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