Bean to Compose New Musical

Professor Matt Bean, WIU School of Music

Professor Matt Bean, WIU School of Music

Matt Bean, Professor, WIU School of Music, just received a $10,000 commission to compose a new musical for the Cherokee Historical Association in western North Carolina.

The musical will have its trial in Summer 2013 and begin to play in repertory with their current long-running musical “Unto These Hills” in their 2,000 seat outdoor amphitheater starting in Summer 2014.

Matt will be working with playwright and lyricist Rob Lauer. He last worked with Lauer when he completed Act I of a new full-length musical version of “A Christmas Carol” in 1999.

Prior to that, Rob and Matt had collaborated on two children’s musicals, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (1997) and “The 101 Dalmatians” (1998), both of which toured the United States for 3-4 years each and played to literally millions of schoolchildren.

Rob was brought in as playwright for this new project and was able nominate Matt as composer. Matt then submitted to the Cherokee Historical Association Board demos of scores and recordings of a dozen of their songs from their previous shows, which led to contract negotiations and successfully nabbing the gig!

Dr. Matt Bean is a Professor of Musical Theatre and Voice, and Co-Director of the BFA Program in Musical Theatre at Western. In addition to teaching, Matt conducts shows, stages opera, sings, writes articles, composes, arranges, and presents workshops on singing/acting. A bass-baritone with an extensive range, Dr. Bean is an expert on pop and belt vocal technique as well as classical, and his students are currently performing on Broadway, in national touring companies, at Disney World, and at stock and regional companies across the nation.

Matt has directed the music at WIU for Kiss Me Kate, Lucky Stiff, Fiddler on the Roof, Titanic, Grease, The Taffetas, Forever Plaid, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Jekyll & Hyde, Oklahoma!, and Working. In 2002, he performed the title role in Sweeney Todd as part of the WIU mainstage season. Matt is also a leading scholar on the works of Stephen Sondheim.

Caldwell at Third Practice

Third Practice mast head.

Third Practice masthead.

James Caldwell has been very busy.

He performed Texturologie 14: Strange Lines and Distances, for computer and Wii remote at the Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival in November at the University of Richmond.

Caldwell Presents and Performs

WIU University Libraries hosted James Caldwell’s presentation of Making Music with Computers and Wii Remotes: Gesture and Metaphor on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Leslie F. Malpass Library, Garden Lounge, as part of their Art and Self Perception series.

As part of the presentation, Caldwell performed his most recent Wii piece, Texturologie 14: Strange Lines and Distances. The piece involves a series of texture spaces in which conditions for generating the sound are in various locations. He drew a series of charcoal drawings that, scanned and projected on the screen, provides the “score” for a performance. The drawings have strong linear qualities, and serve as a source of paths through different locations of the texture space.

This is the first time Caldwell, who is also an accomplished visual artist, has tried to incorporate his visual art into his music.

James Caldwell presents at the WIU Malpass Library.

Caldwell presents at the WIU Malpass Library.

James Caldwell performs at the WIU Malpass Library.

James Caldwell performs at the WIU Malpass Library.

Caldwell’s Composition on Tour

James Caldwell, Professor, WIU School of Music

James Caldwell, Professor, WIU School of Music

School of Music Professor James Caldwell’s composition Texturologie 13: Plenum of Proof was included in Soundproof Ensemble’s fall tour.

The SoundProof Ensemble–Patricia Strange, violin; Stephen Ruppenthal, trumpet, flugelhorn, & voice; Brian Belet, viola, voice, and computer processing–performed its ‘Fall 2012 Tour’ with concerts, master classes, and lecture/demos in Ohio and Illinois during early October. The concerts featured interactive computer music composed for the ensemble by Larry Austin, Brian Belet, Mara Helmuth, Bruno Liberda, Elainie Lillios, Bonnie Miksch, Stephen Ruppenthal, Jeffrey Stolet, and Allen Strange.

Each concert also included a new 15 Minutes of Fame set, with 15 one-minute work performed in succession.  The works were by Mark A. Lackey, Jim McManus, Bruce Hamilton, Elainie Lillios, Christopher Lee, Julius Bucsis, James Caldwell, Brian Belet, Mark Phillips, Ken Paoli, Lanier Sammons, Steve Wurcer, Scott Miller, Michael Wittgraf, & Mark Soden Jr.

Texturologie 13: Plenum of Proof

Texturologie 13 is one of a series of compositions with textures suggested by continuous field or all-over pattern paintings (like Dubuffet’s Texturology series). The instruments etch lines, points, and patterns into the pulsing and ringing computer music made from plate bell samples. (Title phrase from Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”)


Several presenters for the Department of Communication Fourth Annual Career Preparation Day.  Front Row:  Laurelin Hefter, Michelle Howe, Alyssa Hummel.  Back Row:  Rachel Bridgett, Jessica Stock, Heather Harkey, Julie Russell, Julie O’Brien, Alisha Barnett.

Several presenters for the Department of Communication Fourth Annual Career Preparation Day. Front Row: Laurelin Hefter, Michelle Howe, Alyssa Hummel. Back Row: Rachel Bridgett, Jessica Stock, Heather Harkey, Julie Russell, Julie O’Brien, Alisha Barnett.

Over 220 students attended the Department of Communication’s Fourth Annual Career Preparation Day on September 13th in the University Union at WIU. Seventeen Department of Communication alumni and experts presented sessions throughout the day on topics such as selling your communication degree, the first 30 days at a new job, skills to land and keep your dream job, internship importance, developing a plan to maximize your WIU experience, self-branding, first job search, social media, and graduate school and succeeding in a sales career.

Students also had the opportunity to receive individual help on their resumes and participate in mock interviews throughout the day.

Because of a generous donation from Department of Communication Alumnus Bill Paulding (STAFFLOGIX), all attendees were treated to a midday lunch during the keynote address, “This Year’s Hottest Commodity: You!” delivered by WIU alum Matt Walker.

The Department of Communication began Career Preparation Day four years ago to help the majors and minors in the Department prepare for their career searches, learn interviewing techniques, and sell their communication degrees. The event grows each year and student comments reflect the value of this day.

Alumni from the Department of Communication are invited to participate in this exciting event. For more information about the event or to participate in a future Career Preparation Day please contact Cindy Ridle at or Stacey Macchi at, or phone 309 298-1507.


Students participating in “Piecing Your Career Puzzle Together” with presenter Michelle Howe.


Students learning “Top Skills To Land and Keep Your Dream Job” from alumnae Alyssa Hummel.


Alumnae Laurelin Hefter presenting “The Real World: The Job Hunting Season”.


Alumnus Justin Elbe giving students tips on what it takes to have a successful career in sales.

Ness Submits NEH Grant

Richard Ness, Associate Professor, Broadcasting

Richard Ness, Associate Professor, Broadcasting

Rich Ness, Broadcasting, was one of the two people selected by the Office of Sponsored Projects to compete for the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend awards. The Office of Sponsored Projects only selects two applications from the university to submit at the national level. NEH will announce the winners for Summer Stipends March, 2013.

Ness’s application is for funding to complete his research on journalists in films. Since beginning this research several years ago he has taken notes on nearly 4000 films involving journalists and the press. He has identified about 150 films that are only available at various film archives. The grant funding would allow him to complete this archive research. Ultimately, the research will result in a greatly expanded and updated edition of his book From Headline Hunter to Superman: A Journalism Filmography (Scarecrow Press, 1997).

Richard Ness is Associate Professor of film and media studies and co-director of Film Studies. He is the author of From Headline Hunter to Superman: A Journalism Filmography and Alan Rudolph: Romance and a Crazed World. His articles and reviews have appeared in Cinema Journal, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, the Hitchcock Annual, and the Cahiers du cinema anthology Print the Legend: Cinema and Journalism. Dr. Ness is also an Associate Director and Chief Film Researcher for the Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture project sponsored by the Norman Lear Center and USC/Annenberg and was a consultant for the “Newsfront” retrospective at the 2004 Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland. His most recent publication credits include articles in anthologies on Michael Moore, Robert Altman and Alfred Hitchcock.

BCA Whose Live Huge Success

Whose Live Anyway and BCA staff pre-performance.

BCA Staff and the cast of Whose Live Anyway

BCA’s first show of the 2012-13 academic year was Whose Live Anyway. 1600 people filled Western Hall to enjoy the improv comedy of the whacky guys of Whose Live.

Left to right: Greg Proops in glasses; Jeff Davis; Bob Derkach, pianist; Jonathan Magnum; Trey Rock,  BCA President; Ryan Stiles; Mike Musick, Cultural Events Coordinator; Caitlyn James, BCA Graduate Assistant.

Alum Terronez Visits Museums Class

Josh Terronez, MA 2010

Josh Terronez, MA 2010

Josh Terronez, Museum Studies MA 2010, owner of Hawkeye Studios in Flagstaff, Arizona, recently paid a visit to students in Ann Rowson-Love’s Introduction to Museums class.

Terronez spoke to new students about his various experiences in the museum field, including his collections work at Northern Arizona Museum and experiences as a preparator–a person who prepares specimens or exhibits for scientific study or display, as in a museum–for the Historic New Orleans Collection.

Museum Studies Students and Faculty Present at National and International Conferences

Students and faculty from the Museum Studies program have presented at two recent national and international conferences.

Lauren Connolly and Kelsey Pickens, museum studies graduate students

Lauren Connolly and Kelsey Pickens, museum studies graduate students

Museum Studies students Kelsey Picken and Lauren Connolly, along with program director Ann Rowson-Love, presented “Embedding Visitor Studies in the Art Museum Through Museum Studies,” at the Visitor Studies Association’s national conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Ann Rowson-Love also presented “One Place Understood: A Framework for Assessing Place-based Museum Interpretation” at the International Conference of the Inclusive Museum, in August in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Theatre Alum Motsinger Makes Broadway Debut

Kyle Mottsinger, BFA 2009

Kyle Motsinger, BFA 2009

Kyle Motsinger, BFA 2009, has made his New York City debut.

The show is FANCY NANCY THE MUSICAL, produced by Vital Theatre Company, winner of the 2012 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Show.

From the New York Times Review

Ms. DiLallo has cleverly incorporated characters who are in the series but not the “Mermaid Ballet” book: Lionel (Kyle Motsinger) adds boyish high jinks….Here the scene stealer is Lionel as a hip-hop shark, doing a hilarious rap.

Way to go Kyle!