February 04, 2011

Students in spotlight during ‘Stars of Altgeld’

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Stars of Altgeld shine at Shryock Auditorium.

The annual Stars of Altgeld performance features the winner of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale School of Music Solo Competition, and this year also features for the first time the SIUC School of Music Composition Contest winner as well. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 10.

Jonathan Goodman, a graduate student from Syracuse, N.Y. studying clarinet with SIUC professor and distinguished scholar Eric Mandat, is the winner of the solo competition.

Rebecca Carmack, an undergraduate student from Villa Grove studying theory and composition, is the composition contest winner.

The first half of the concert, presented by the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra (SISO), features Goodman’s solo performance during the “Clarinet Concerto,” composed by Aaron Copland, followed by “Disposition for Orchestra,” Carmack’s winning entry. The concert opens with SISO’s presentation of Antonin Dvorak’s first “Slavonic Dance,” with guest conductor Nicholas Cincotti, an undergraduate music education major from Chicago.

The second half of the performance is Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Sixth Symphony.” The symphony is in three movements, and highlights the woodwinds. Michael Wheatley, a graduate student from Cincinnati and the SISO associate conductor, presents the second half of the performance.

Stars of Altgeld is Goodman’s first solo competition win. He said he entered the competition with a sense of adventure, avoiding putting pressure on himself. His strategy worked for him, and he is elated.

“The cool part of this whole thing, for me at least, is that I am a featured performer on an orchestral concert, making my solo debut,” he said. “Even better is I get to share my passion with all of my colleagues at school, as well as all of the community members who so graciously contribute to the orchestra and who realize it is a such a great resource for Southern Illinois.”

Goodman, who earned his bachelor’s degree in music education and music performance from The Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam, played with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra during the summer Southern Illinois Music Festival, and also with The Northern Symphonic Winds in New York. He also taught master classes during music camps at SIUC. The teaching experience has him looking into teaching music at the community college level. He also anticipates another summer of Southern Illinois Music Festival performances.

Carmack won the composition competition with her first orchestra piece. It was also her first competition.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity I have been given to have a talented orchestra rehearse and perform my piece,” she said. “Seeing my name next to Copland and Shostakovich is absolutely surreal.”

SISO is the region’s premiere orchestral ensemble, and features SIUC School of Music faculty, graduate and undergraduate students as well as area professionals and community members. SIUC Professor Edward Benyas is the musical director for SISO.

Tickets for this performance are $22 for general admission, $9 for students. Purchase tickets in advance through SouthernTicketsOnline.com or by calling 618/453-6000. Tickets are also available at the Shryock Auditorium box office during office hours and beginning one hour before the performance.