University News

Ann Collins Memorial Concert Sept. 22 at WIU

September 12, 2017

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MACOMB, IL – A memorial jazz concert for former Western Illinois University School of Music Chair and Professor Emeritus Ann Collins will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall.

Collins passed away March 2. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Western and attended the University of Illinois and Columbia Teachers College. She was employed at Western from 1968-1998, serving on the piano faculty through 1988, and as chair of the music department from 1988-1997.

During her teaching career, Collins made a significant impact in preschool piano teaching and jazz piano education with workshops and clinics she presented across the country and in France. She also sold more than 240,000 piano instruction books.

Collins was awarded the WIU Presidential Merit Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award. She also played with the Ann Collins Trio, which recorded two CDs. Collins was active in Macomb's music scene, and she served as a member of the planning committee for the Al Sears Jazz Festival.

Guest performers at the memorial concert include the Wesley Praise Band, Go West Transit Coordinator and saxophonist Peter Hannen, Management Professor Emeritus Bill Maakestad, WIU School of Music Chair Tammie Walker, Vicky Mayo, Claudia McCain, The Hopper Jazztet, WIU alumna Jennifer Siebenaler and the WIU Jazz Studio Orchestra. Collins' grandson, Tyler Sharpe, will also speak during the event.

Siebenaler is the first recipient of the Ann Collins Jazz Piano Scholarship. She is an artist/musician living in Charlotte, NC, and performing and singing professionally across the country.

The concert will be streamed live on the Internet at and will include a multimedia presentation. The event is open free to the public. Donations will be accepted for the Ann Collins Jazz Piano Scholarship fund, which she established in 2003. There will be a reception following the concert in the University Art Gallery.

Memorials in Collins' name can be directed to her scholarship fund at the WIU Foundation, Sherman Hall Room 303, 1 University Circle, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455-1390. Donations can also be made by texting ACPIANO to 41444, or by visiting

For additional information, contact the WIU School of Music at (309) 298-1544.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations