News for NMU Employees

Endowment Brings Classical Music Performances to Campus

Northern’s cultural landscape has expanded with the debut of new series designed to introduce students to classical music through world-class performances. This inaugural semester included Royal Opera and Royal Ballet productions filmed in London and projected in Jamrich Hall’s state-of-the-art auditorium. The internationally renowned Altius String Quartet from Colorado also participated in a residency on campus that featured workshops, impromptu performances in various locations and an evening concert. Pictured is a scene from the ballet, Manon (Royal Opera House photo by Alice Pennefather).

The events are part of a series privately funded by NMU’s Siril Endowment for the Music Arts.

“The gift supports a multi-faceted approach that combines performance with education,” said Robert Engelhart (Music). “The strategy is to discuss upcoming events in classes to help students decipher these complex art forms and enhance their appreciation for what they will experience. The Royal Opera and Ballet productions featured brief introductory overviews and after-glow receptions for further discussion.”

Engelhart said it is a challenge to effectively introduce classical music to young people who typically favor contemporary rock and alternative.

“There’s been a lot of attention on science and technology, but if we don’t balance that with rich, artistic experiences, there’s no point,” he said. “The Siril Endowment is enhancing that balance by giving NMU students the rare opportunity to see top-notch, professional caliber performances free of charge.”

NMU employees and community members can enjoy them as well for a nominal fee.