Marilyn Coles will present a Farewell Performance concert at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 11 in the Doudna Fine Art Center’s Recital Hall.
After 27 years as a professor in the Music Department at Eastern Illinois University, Marilyn Coles will be retiring in June.
Accompanied by pianist Paul Johnston, the mezzo soprano will perform many favorites including an aria from Carmen, songs by Schubert and Kurt Weill, new compositions by Paul Johnston, and selections from the American Songbook. Marilyn and Paul have collaborated on many concerts and special events over the past ten years.
After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree from St. Olaf College and a Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois, Marilyn taught at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA, and performed in operas and concerts in the Bay Area. After studying at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and participating in George London master classes, she moved to Germany as a full-time opera singer. She spent ten years singing in concerts and operas in Oldenburg, Bremerhaven, and Frankfurt, making guest appearances in Italy, France, and England, and recording for Radio Bremen.
Upon returning from Germany, Marilyn earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois and began teaching at EIU in 1988. Her teaching responsibilities at EIU have included applied voice, vocal diction, song literature, opera literature, vocal pedagogy, and music appreciation to non-traditional students. Marilyn has also been very active in the Study Abroad program at EIU, serving as Interim Director of Study Abroad in 2013-14. She has taught several summers in Maastricht, The Netherlands, and also spent seven months on sabbatical in 2007 as the Faculty Director of the Maastricht Center for Transatlantic Studies. More recently, she has established a partnership between EIU and Salzburg College in Austria, where she has spent time as guest lecturer.
Paul Johnston joined Eastern’s faculty in 2004. He directs the Jazz Lab Band, coordinates the combo program, and teaches courses in jazz piano, improvisation, and arranging. Paul remains very active as a teacher, performer, and composer. He is at home in a wide variety of musical styles and has performed with artists including Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Nancy Wilson, Monica Mancini, and Bernadette Peters. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Paul studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at Indiana University, where he earned a Master's Degree in jazz studies, a Performer Diploma in piano, and a Performer's Certificate. He is also an alumnus of Ravinia's Steans Music Institute and the Henry Mancini Institute. Soloists, chamber groups, and jazz ensembles from across the country have performed his compositions and arrangements, and Alfred Music has published several collections of his solo jazz piano arrangements. Duo XXI included his piano trio Summer Sketches on their recent Albany records release, Metal Cicadas, and his composition Mountain Sketches for Horn and Piano won the 2014 International Horn Society Composition Competition. Paul taught for eight summers at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and has taught for the past decade at Eastern's Summer Music Camp.
Videographer: Nathan N. Page
Narrator & Editor: Cameron Douglas Craig
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