150 Stories of Philanthropy: School of Music brings entertainment, improves student experience

Young Artists Presentation at Southern Illinois Music Festival.

Young Artists Presentation at Southern Illinois Music Festival.

With a $15,000 grant from the SIU Foundation, the School of Music provided educational and artistic endeavors, benefiting students and the community at large.

“Within the School of Music, I tried to ensure the funds were allocated to activities benefiting a broad cross-section — including vocalists and instrumentalists, soloists and ensembles, classical and non-classical, new music and traditional,” Eric Lenz, the school’s interim director, said.

Below is a list of the events the grant helped fund:

Outside the Box

Arguably the most impactful activity sponsored by School of Music, this year’s new music festival featured an impressive slate of guest composers (Stephen Demski, Arthur Gottschalk) and performing artists (Apollo Chamber Players). The nine-concert series highlighted guest artists, SIU faculty and performance students.

Verdi Requiem at Shryock Auditorium

A performance of the Requiem Mass by Guiseppe Verdi is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This year’s marquee event was no exception. Filling the stage to capacity in Shryock Auditorium, SIU Symphony, Concert Choir and Choral Union were joined by guest ensembles from SEMO, John A. Logan College and Southeast Illinois College.

SIU Guitar Festival

Funds supported guest artists from Mexico and Puerto Rico, including Aldemar Valentín, who collaborated with SIU Assistant Professor of Guitar, Dr. Isaac Lausell. Additional funds helped defray cost of new equipment purchase (bass amp) associated with guest artists in the jazz area.

Southern Illinois Music Festival/Young Artist Program

The 15th annual Southern Illinois Music Festival (May 24 through June 9) featured more than 30 performances throughout Southern Illinois, at venues in Carbondale, Marion, Carterville, Murphysboro, Anna, Cairo, Makanda, Du Quoin, Christopher, Johnson City and Alto Pass. The highly acclaimed festival, which draws on members of the New Chicago Chamber Orchestra who perform side-by-side with SIU faculty and advanced performance students.

 

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150 Stories of Philanthropy: Ameren Corporation Frankie Muse Freeman Trailblazer Scholarship

Welcome to a series of stories celebrating SIU’s 150th anniversary.

By Rebecca Renshaw

Longtime civil rights leader, lawyer and activist Frankie Muse Freeman passed away earlier this year at the age of 101.

Freeman, whom some would later call “Frankie Freedom” became a civil rights attorney who fought to end segregated housing and promoted equal rights in St. Louis and nationwide during the civil rights movement.

Upon her passing, Ameren Corporation established the Ameren Corporation Frankie Muse Freeman Trailblazer Scholarship. In October 2018, Ameren contributed $5,000 to the SIU School of Law. This will be the first of four payments of $5,000.

The scholarship specifications stipulate that the award be given to a full-time third-year law student in good academic standing, with specific preference given to a student who identifies as a female from an under-represented community with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and social justice.

The first recipient of this award is SIU law school student Adaku Oti. Oti is a third-year SIU law school student from Toronto who is deeply committed to humanitarian efforts. She was nine-years-old when she created a foundation in support of orphanages along the coast of West Africa. The foundation’s most recent donation has gone to the Children’s Home for the Deaf and those with Mental Disabilities in Accra, Ghana in January 2018 in hopes to advance the quality of life for the children and young adults that reside there.

“Receiving a scholarship from a company such as Ameren encourages me tremendously,” said Oti. “I am humbled they thought enough of my humanitarian efforts to help. Receiving this from Ameren makes me realize that everyone can contribute something small and it just might end up becoming something bigger.”

“We are very proud of the work of Adaku Oti, whose passion for helping those less fortunate embodies the founding mission of the SIU School of Law, which was “created in the public interest to serve the public good,” said Cindy Buys, interim dean for the SIU School of Law.  “We also are grateful to Ameren Corporation for their support of our law students. These types of scholarships facilitate our students’ success in law school and beyond,” Buys said.

To learn more about how you can give to the SIU School of Law, visit http://foreversiu.org/colleges-units/law.php.To learn more about the Forever SIU campaign, visit www.foreversiu.org.

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