Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sangamon Auditorium Volunteer Association looking for new volunteers for 2008-2009

The Sangamon Auditorium Volunteer Association is currently looking for new volunteers for the 2008-2009 schedule of events and performances at Sangamon Auditorium, UIS.

A dedicated corps of over 280 trained volunteers, SAVA (Sangamon Auditorium Volunteer Association) members make up the team of ushers who help greet patrons, tear tickets, hand out show programs, and help ensure the safety and comfort of those who attend performances and other events at Sangamon Auditorium and the UIS Studio Theatre. Interested volunteers also have opportunities to provide support in the administrative office, as needed, assisting with marketing, community outreach, and the Auditorium's educational and family programs.

Concerning the benefits of being a volunteer at Sangamon Auditorium, Carly Shank, director of audience and development and communication noted, "Although it's a wonderful way to support the university and the arts, it's also great way to network and make social connections within the community. It's the best way to get involved with our organization."

Requirements and Expectations - Sangamon Auditorium Volunteers are requested to volunteer for at least three events a semester and are required to attend at least one mandatory training session. Two training sessions will be offered during the month of August -- on Tuesday, August 12, at 6:30 p.m. and on Saturday, August 23, at 10 a.m. New and returning volunteers are required to attend only one of these sessions. Training sessions are held at Sangamon Auditorium. Those planning on attending are asked to RSVP by calling Carly Shank at the number below.

For a complete description of volunteer responsibilities and expectations, visit

For additional information, or to join the Sangamon Auditorium Volunteer Association, contact Carly Shank at 217/206-8286 or via e-mail at

Sangamon Auditorium, UIS

Located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield, the Auditorium hosts more than 120 performances annually. Home to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Ballet Company, it is the only auditorium of its kind and size in the Springfield area with a seating capacity of 2,018.

With a staff of 11 full-time employees, graduate assistants, more than 280 volunteers, ushers, and local stagehands, Sangamon Auditorium continues to fulfill its mission of presenting and supporting varied cultural and educational professional arts activities to the audiences in Springfield, Sangamon County, and the surrounding areas. The Auditorium administrative offices can be reached at 217/206-6150 or by e-mail at

For more information, contact Bryan Leonard at 217/206-8284 -

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cranson to play at band concert

Todd Cranson will play the tuba in a duet performance, with Dia Langelier on piccolo, of "The Elephant and the Fly" at the Springfield Municipal Band concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 24, at Douglas Park in Springfield.

Cranson is assistant director of co-curricular music at UIS.

The concert falls on a "dog day" at Douglas Park and audience members are encouraged to bring their dogs along with the lawn chairs and picnic baskets.

For more information, contact Cranson at

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Staff Members star in Civil War musical downtown

By Courtney Westlake

Ralph Shank typically wears his hair a little shorter, but it can now almost be tied into a ponytail, and his beard is quite thick as well. But it's not personal preference - the facial hair and long locks are all part of a 1860s period role in a local musical.

Ralph, multimedia specialist with Information Technology Services at UIS, and his wife Carly, program coordinator at Sangamon Auditorium, will be performing in the musical "The Civil War," which will be put on at the Union Square Park, located at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, from July 24 through July 27.

Carly will play Sarah McEwen, the only white female in the performance, and Ralph will be portraying Captain Billy Pierce, a captain in the confederacy.

"We went back and looked at pictures from the Civil War era, and there was usually a lot of hair, slicked down, curls in the back, and a lot of beards," Ralph said. "As captain of the confederacy, I'll be singing country for first time, so that should be interesting."

Carly's interest in the theater began when she was young, and she has been involved with numerous plays in the local community, having grown up in Riverton, as well as traveled with a theater company. She also has a degree in theater.

Ralph moved to Springfield from Austin, Texas, and his background is in music. He performed in his first play in 2004.

They now enjoy performing together when possible. Their upcoming play, The Civil War, is actually a Broadway musical, not just a local show, Carly said.

"I think there's a misconception in community that this is something that the museum put together," she said. "But it played on Broadway in the late 1990s. We have really characterized it as being a theatrical concert because it is primarily music."

"A lot of the lyrics and dialogue in the show are based on letters and speeches from civil war.," Ralph noted, but unlike many presentations about the Civil War, the music in this performance is not from the time period, Carly added.

"The creators really wanted to capture the spirit of the Civil War in a way modern audiences could relate too," Carly said. "The music is actually very poppy."

Most of the actors and singers involved in the show are very experienced, so they haven't had to hold the lengthy rehearsals that many productions do, Carly said.

"There is a large male chorus and African-American chorus," Ralph said. "They are just amazing, and they will blow your socks off with their performance. And then of course Carly has a beautiful voice as well."

The show's affiliation with the Presidential Museum and Library is really unique, Carly said.

"Most of people in show have experience in Muni, the Springfield Theatre Center and Theatre in the Park, but this is a nice endorsement by the library and museum," she said. "Hopefully it will be nice crossover for people who are really interested in exploring the theater of the Civil War and interested in the history aspect, as well as people who are just interested in shows and theater."

For tickets to the show, go online at or call the box office at 558-8934.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

UIS instructor receives award for small business

Donna Rogers, instructor of management in the College of Business and Management at UIS, was among five recipients recognized at The Springfield Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards Luncheon on July 1. The Small Business Awards Luncheon is an annual event recognizing outstanding entrepreneurs and business advocates in our community.

Rogers received the award of The Home-Based Business Owner of the Year, which recognizes an owner whose business is based in the home for more than two years. Roger is the owner of Rogers HR Consulting.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Neginsky's work on Salome inspires Miller's editorial in technology magazine

Rosina Neginsky, UIS associate professor of Liberal Studies, Individual Option, and English, recently gave a sabbatical presentation about her new book Salome: The Image of a Woman Who Never Was (forthcoming, Edwin Mellon Press). The book examines myth-making and artistic depictions of Salome.

Colleague Keith Miller, professor of Computer Science, attended Neginsky's presentation and was inspired to write about it in "The engineer, the dancer, and the severed head," his first editorial as editor for the magazine IEEE Technology and Society.

The entire text of the editorial is available online through the Brookens Library homepage. Said Miller, "From the library homepage, click on the quick link 'A-Z list of databases,' then click on 'IEEE Xplore,' then click on 'Journals and Magazine' under the heading Browse, then click on 'T,' then click on 'Technology and Society Magazine,' then click on 'GO TO ISSUE,' and finally click on the PDF for the editorial.

"I know that's a pretty long list of clicks, but the more people do all that clicking, the more hits will be recorded by the IEEE, and the more money they will give to the society that sponsors the magazine." He added that UIS pays a fee for access to IEEE Xplore, "and this is one way all UIS students, faculty, and staff can take advantage of that resource.

"Of course, I would be tickled pink if lots of UIS library users wandered about on the Technology and Society website and read MANY of the articles there," he said.

Oldfield is invited panelist at national conference

Kenneth Oldfield, emeritus professor of Public Administration, was an invited panelist at the annual Public Administration Theory Network Conference, held in May in Richmond, Virginia. The panel's theme was "On the Marginalization of Social Class and Socioeconomic Status in Public Administration." Over the last few years, Oldfield has published several refereed papers on the topic of social class inequalities in higher education.