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26 Hours of Music, 1 Good Cause

By Alexander Hough in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 28, 2009 6:20PM

Photo from the People's Music School
If your calendar has an opening sometime between 8:00 p.m. Friday and 10:00 p.m. Saturday, check out the Music Marathon at Northwestern University's Regenstein Recital Hall, a 26-hour-long extravaganza packed to the gills with performances by the school's faculty, alumni, and students.

Every last cent from the event's proceeds will go to the People's Music School, which provides students with tuition-free formal music education. Due to the cost of private lessons, instruments, and music theory classes, as well as public schools' continuing de-emphasis of the arts, the playing field in music is far from level, and the current recession isn't making things any better ($50 million stimulus to the National Endowment for the Arts notwithstanding). The People's Music School gives opportunities to kids who just plain wouldn't have them otherwise.

The full schedule is available here, but the Marathon breaks down into four main sections, with different admission prices for each:

  • $5 will get you into the opening block starting at 8:00 p.m., which features performances by the Gentlemen of NUCO, a string and percussion group that plays Radiohead songs; the talented and adventurous new music group dal niente; and the Northwestern Saxophone Choir.
  • $5 will also get you in to the jazz block that takes over from 10:00 p.m. until midnight. Highlighting this segment is a performance by harmonicist (and former Flecktone) Howard Levy and pianist Anthony Molinaro.
  • After midnight, just wander in for free, although they'll gladly accept donations in between acts. If you're having a particularly wild night, head over at 2:30 a.m. to hear a performance of Terry Riley's "In C," the piece that started the minimalist movement 45 years ago.
  • At 7:30 p.m. Saturday night, the show moves to Pick-Staiger Concert Hall where the Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra will play Anton Bruckner's mammoth Symphony No. 4. Admission to that final concert will be $7, $5 for seniors, and $4 for students.
If you're a shut-in, you can also watch from the comfort of your own home by going to Pick-Staiger's website. The great thing about that is that you'll also be only a couple clicks away from the donation page, which, by the way, you can go to right now.

Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston. Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston. 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 1, through 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 2.