VanderGram: August 19, 2019

Greetings and welcome to the beginning of the school year! The week will no doubt be filled with excitement, acclimation, and of course, questions. New and returning students should not hesitate to reach out to faculty, staff, or fellow students with any concerns.

The VanderGram newsletter will be published every two weeks during the academic year. Each newsletter will have announcements of and updates on upcoming performances and events; activities of faculty, staff, students, and alumni; and other notifications regarding all things VanderCook. If you have an announcement or news item you'd like to see in the VanderGram, please contact Gregor Meyer at


Summer 2019 saw its fair share of performances by our graduate ensembles, including the TrusTEE Golf Outing on June 13, the Clarke House Concert on July 9, the Masters Project Poster Session and Graduate Ensembles Concert on July 18, the Jazz Band's Groove Cruise on July 19, and the Applied Studios Recital on July 24. July also saw the students of the One City outreach program perform at at IIT's Chicago Race Riot 1919 Commemoration Event on July 27. Photos and videos from these events and more can be seen on our Facebook page and the Galleries page of VanderCook's website.

The quartet known as Onset, comprised of senior Lucas Bauer and recent graduates Matthew Butler (BMEd '19),  
Danny Mulligan (BMEd '18) , and Francis Blackman (MMEd '19), won 1st place in the 2019 Chicago Metro Chorus A Cappella quartet contest. Way to go, guys! A video of their show-stopping performance can be viewed

On a sadder note, John "Jack" E. Russell (MMEd '71) passed away on July 21 in Toledo, OH. He was a school music teacher at Elyria Catholic and Franklin Jr. High School, and served as a local church choir director. His obituary is available

Additionally, James Borgaro (MMEd '71) passed away on July 31. Read about his distinguished career

VanderCook in the News

Dan Hubert (BMEd '06) was recently appointed Band Director at Wisconsin Lutheran College, having previously served as Director of Bands at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School since July 2016. Congratulations, Dan!

Current master's degree candidate Mar
k Hollandsworth has just been hired as the new band director at Southwestern Michigan College. Congratulations, Mark! Read more about Hollandsworth and the appointment here.

The August 2019 issue of The Instrumentalist features an interview with former trustee Michael Eagan (MMEd '85) and Cindy Swan-Eagan (MMEd '87) about their long teaching careers and philsophies of music education. While an online version is not yet available, a copy of the issue can be found in VanderCook's Ruppel Library.


All events held at VanderCook College of Music unless specified otherwise.
September 15: Prism Concert, 3:00 p.m.

September 28: Middle Level HonorFest (daylong outreach event)

September 28: Music Moves Minds: A Benefit Concert for VanderCook, 7:00 p.m.
Music Moves Minds features a special performance by Yang & Olivia, better known as VanderCook professors Yang Liu and Dr. I-Hsuan Tsai, followed by a reception. More details and ticket info can be found

October 10: Collegiate Chorale Side-by-Side Concert
with the Joliet Central HS Concert Choir, 7:00 p.m.
The chorale performs at this special concert
held at Joliet Central High School. Choirs and ensembles led by JCHS' choir director Steven Pyter (MMEd '07) will perform throughout, including a combined performance with the Collegiate Chorale.

October 13: Chicago Marathon Pep Band, 10:00 a.m.

October 26: ILMEA District 1 EGM Festival (daylong outreach event)

November 7: Jazz & Percussion Concert, 7:00 p.m.

November 20: Day of Guitar (daylong outreach event)

November 21: Chorale & Honors Chamber Ensembles Concert, 7:00 p.m.

This Week in Music History

Acknowledging a small fraction of the people and events that shaped the music we know today...

August 19

1964 - The Beatles' first American tour kicked off today in Daly City,CA, just outside San Francisco, and ultimately covered 26 cities. Coincidentally, the Fab Four played their last U.S. concert in San Francisco on August 29, 1966.
Born Today
1939 - Ginger Baker, drummer extraordinaire in Eric Clapton's early groups Cream and Blind Faith.
1966 - Lee Ann Womack, multi-award-winning country singer.
Released Today
2008 - Lady Gaga's album The Fame

August 20

1882 - Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” debuted in Moscow. Although the composer would remark to his patron that the work would be "very loud and noisy, but [without] artistic merit, because I wrote it without warmth and without love," it has remained one of his most enduring and popular compositions.

1967 - The New York Times reported about a revolutionary noise-reduction system for album and tape recording recently developed by technicians R. and D.W. Dolby. It became the standard process for pre-recorded cassette releases in the mid-1970s and later for videotape releases in the 1980s. In 1971, Chicago's WFMT was the first radio station to broadcast in Dolby.
Born today
1942 - Isaac Hayes, the funk/r&b powerhouse best known for "Shaft" and providing the voice of Chef on South Park.

1948 - Robert Plant, the iconic golden-throated frontman of Led Zeppelin.

1949 - Phil Lynott, lead vocalist and main songwriter of Thin Lizzy.
Released Today
1965 - The Rolling Stones' single "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" was released in the U.S.

1973 - The Rolling Stones' single "Angie," an acoustic ballad that surprised many expecting a typical hard-rocking number.

August 21

Born today
1904 - Count Basie, the legendary jazz pianist and composer who became one of the leading figures of the Swing movement in the first half of the 20th century. In addition to numerous instrumental favorites, Basie recorded songs with vocalists including Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., and Sarah Vaughan, among others.
1938 - Kenny Rogers, famed country singer and songwriter. His first band, the First Edition, would record a handful of hits including "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town"and the Big Lebowski standout "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)." His 1978 solo album The Gambler remains one of the genre's most popular albums.
1952 - Joe Strummer, lead singer and songwriter of UK punk band The Clash. With landmark albums London Calling and Combat Rock (featuring "Rock the Casbah"), the Clash established themselves as one of the politically charged bands of the time, writing songs about political repression, racism, police brutality, fascism, and social decay. Strummer died in 2002.

Released Today
1979 - Gary Numan's single "Cars"

1987 - The movie Dirty Dancing opened in the U.S.
1990 - Prince's soundtrack album to his film Graffiti Bridge, a follow-up to his massively successful film Purple Rain from six years earlier.

August 22

1906: The Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden, NJ, began to manufacture the Victrola. The hand-cranked unit, with horn cabinet, sold for $200.

Born Today
1862 - Composer Achille-Claude Debussy
1917 - Blues legend John Lee Hooker
Released Today
1964 - Martha & The Vandellas' single "Dancing In The Streets"

August 23

Born Today
1947 - Keith Moon, the explosive drummer for The Who. He helped catapult the band to immense popularity and success until his premature death in 1978.
1961 - Dean DeLeo, guitarist and songwriter of Stone Temple Pilots.

August 24

Released Today
1979 - Prince's first hit single "I Wanna Be Your Lover"

August 25

1980 - The musical 42nd Street opened on Broadway today.

1994 - Robert Plant and Jimmy Page reunited in a London studio to record their MTV "Unplugged" show, called "Unledded" for the occasion.

2001 - Singer Aaliyah and eight others were killed when their plane crashed in the northern Bahamas due to engine failure. She was 22.

Born Today
1918 - Composer, conductor, activist, and musical icon Leonard Bernstein

1933 - Jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Shorter played in the group known as Miles Davis' second great quintet and briefly in the trumpeter's electric band before forming his own jazz-rock fusion group, Weather Report.

1949 - Gene Simmons, lead singer of Kiss
1951 - Rob Halford, lead singer of Judas Priest
1954 - Singer/songwriter Elvis Costello
1961 - Billy Ray Cyrus, country singer and dad of Miley

Released Today
1986 - Paul Simon’s multi-award-winning album Graceland

1988 - Metallica's album And Justice For All

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