SIUC to think “Outside the Box”

By Gus Bode

A 15-day music festival named “Outside the Box” is set to kick off Saturday night with an event featuring “time-based” visual art combined with music. The event, titled “Process, Performance, Projection,” runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Glove Factory on Washington Street.

“Outside the Box” will feature the work of SIUC students as well as internationally known composer Augusta Read Thomas, said university composer in residence Frank Stemper.

A complete schedule of events for the festival can be found on the School of Music’s Web site at


He said the festival will focus on contemporary music and several pieces by students and other composers will be premiered.

“This may be sometimes called modern classical music but it doesn’t sound like Mozart or Beethoven,” he said. “It’s wild, crazy stuff.”

Bringing a composer as well known and widely respected as Thomas to campus is a major feat, said music composition professor Casey Ginther.

“She is one of the most famous composers in the world,” she said.


An event solely dedicated to the playing of Thomas’ music will be held Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Shryock Auditorium.

Bernard Hoffer, who wrote the scores for hit children’s cartoons “Thundercats” and “Silverhawks,” will also be on campus to premiere a work and give lectures on composing, Ginther said.

The New Arts Jazztet and Neoteric, both groups composed of School of Music faculty, will also perform.

Andrew Smith, a first-year graduate student from Wheaton studying music, said he would premiere his newest solo guitar composition Monday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Old Baptist Recital Hall. He is one of four student composers that will perform in the “Emerging Composers from SIUC” program.

Smith said his composition is titled “Vitesse,” which translates to “speed” in French. He said the name refers to a childhood card game, not velocity.

Taking inspiration from card games is only one of numerous tactics Smith said he uses to come up with ideas for compositions.

“It’s different every time,” he said. “If you are inspired, you have to stop whatever you are doing at that point and try to get down the idea you have,” he said.

[email protected] 536-3311 ext. 259