Name deletion | native of champagne, a Grammy nominated artist | Columns

Christopher Otto, native of champagne, co-founder of the JACK Quartet, nominated for the Grammy Awards.

Christopher Otto and the rest of the JACK Quartet, which he co-founded, will learn next month whether they can add a Grammy Award to their list of accolades.

The quartet is nominated in the category Best chamber music / small ensemble for the album “Lines Made by Walking”.

A native of Champaign, Otto said the quartet would not attend the ceremony. They will be on the road in spectacle.

One victory would be added to the recognition list for the classical music ensemble. The quartet was selected as the 2018 Ensemble of the Year by Musical America.

He has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Louvre in France, and the Bali Arts Festival in Indonesia.

Named after the initials of the founding members, the quartet has already received widespread acclaim.

The New York Times calls JACK “our premier quartet for new music.” They are the “superheroes of the new world of music,” according to the Boston Globe, while the Washington Post calls them “the essential quartet of contemporary music, combining impeccable musicality with intellectual ferocity and a sense of irreproachable commitment. . “

Exhilarating stuff for Otto, who attended Saint-Jean Lutheran School in Champaign before high school at Urbana Uni High.

While saying that his parents (Rosalee Otto and the late John Otto) were not musicians, they were still “quite musical”.

They grew up Mennonite.

“They sing in harmony with four voices in church,” said Otto. “They were able to know enough to read the notes.”

Otto had started piano lessons at the age of 5 and added the violin, which he played in the quartet, a few years later, inspired by his older brother, Jeremy, who also played the instrument.

“I really really got into it and listened to a lot of music,” he said.

As he started to write music at “probably 8 or 9” he said he was not able to hear much, if at all, of his music played at first.

“I had a friend who played the piano and we played each other’s pieces together,” said Otto, noting that it wasn’t until college that he got to hear his music more often. From now on, a large audience hears his work performed.

“I was lucky,” Otto said. “I felt that the Uni High experience, in particular, was great for me to explore my interests. Champaign has the Krannert Center, and I went to concerts there all the time and got involved in the music department at U of I. I used their library a lot. I listened to a lot of new music concerts.

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Christopher Otto, left, performs with the JACK Quartet.

Otto graduated from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and received a math degree from the University of Rochester before coming to San Diego to begin studies in composition. It was there that he met his future wife, Emily DuFour, cellist.

“Besides music, I’m really interested in math,” he said. “I did a double major in college, and I turned more to music, and I still use math a lot in my compositions. Uni was a great place for me. I am delighted that they are celebrating their 100th anniversary next year.

Otto, who is 38, returned to the East Coast to help start the quartet. The original four members met as students in Eastman.

JACK took a while to settle down. The first jobs consisted of working as a freelance “when there weren’t many paid concerts”.

“Many of our first paid concerts were at American universities in their composition department. We were going to play a bunch of student songs, ”Otto said.

The quartet has also taken part in several European festivals, notably in Germany and Switzerland.

The JACK Quartet was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2008, which enabled it to apply for foundation and government grants for its operations and to fund new plays.

“Now we are paying ourselves a salary on that and have a board of directors,” Otto said. “We have a whole team of managers and a general manager who takes care of some of the administrative work for us and allows us to concentrate on our profession.

The quartet has performed throughout the United States and Asia in addition to their performances in Europe.

Otto lives in the Bronx, NY, with his wife and two children, Obed and Wallace.

“New York is an expensive city for musicians,” he said. “Fortunately, we can live here. There is a lot going on in terms of culture and museums. It’s a big musical community.

Otto said he was surprised by the Grammy nomination, which he learned about in November.

“We made a lot of albums. I think this particular album was one of the more accessible albums.

The composer, John Luther Adams, is a former Grammy winner.

Otto said of JACK: “We are trained in the classical tradition of the string quartet, which includes two violins, a viola and a cello, but we like to focus on pieces written today by living composers and bring new works to the world. . “

He said they were trying to give voice to unheard and under-represented composers and bring music to a wider audience “and try to bring more openness to the music world in general.”

Pair of zones on the Dean of Maryland’s List

Two area residents have been named to the Fall Semester Dean’s List at the University of Maryland Global Campus.

They are Joseph Morton of Savoy and Samantha Wilson of Champaign.

To be eligible for the honor, a student must complete at least six credits during the quarter, have achieved a GPA of at least 3.5 for the quarter, and maintained a GPA of 3.5.

Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2022, the university has 90,000 students.

Parkland students get flight credentials

Several area residents earned flying degrees from Parkland College’s Institute of Aviation during the college’s fall semester.

Solo for the first time in a Piper Archer:

Andrew Green from Arcola, Aiden Tilstra from Onarga, Cameron Baker from Savoy, Jacob Dunklau from White Heath, Matthew Zinchuk from Champaign and August Stauffer from Urbana

Has obtained the instrument aircraft rating:

Arthur King de Tolono and George Wilson de Champaign

Obtaining the ASEL professional pilot certificate:

Paolo Kinsella from Bement, Zach Chalk from Mahomet and Tallon Myers from Clinton

Obtaining the ASE Flight Instructor Certificate:

Aubrey Glennon de Bement and Armando Collazo Garcia de Champaign

Obtaining the Flight Instructor Instrument Plane:

Ian Kunz from White Heath and Lucas Charles from Sidney

Obtaining the land multi-engine professional pilot certificate:

Ian Kunz from White Heath

Vermilion Farm Bureau rewards three

The Vermilion County Farm Bureau presented three special awards at its 103rd annual meeting in late November.

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John Maudlin, a farmer from the Georgetown area, received the Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award.

Maudlin’s involvement with Farm Bureau dates back to high school when he won a “Why My Dad Belongs to Farm Bureau” essay competition in 1951. He joined the organization in June 1957 and has been a dedicated member ever since.

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Amber Tutwiler has been named the Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year winner.

A teacher at Edison Elementary Kindergarten in Danville, she has been teaching in Danville District 118 since 1998, the last 10 in Edison.

She regularly uses Ag in the Classroom, from classroom presentations to farming kits. She also hatches eggs in her classroom every year and enjoys seeing the excitement of the children as the chicks emerge.

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Phyllis Parks of rural Danville was named spokesperson of the year.

Parks have been a part of agriculture for most of its life. She kept the books of the family business of breeding and selling the barn and was a partner in an accounting firm specializing in farm accounting.

This led to a second career as an agricultural broadcaster with WITY radio.

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Swift named Rantoul club student of the month

The Rantoul Exchange Club has named Tayon Swift de Rantoul its pupil of the month for December.

With a GPA of 5.492, Swift ranks fourth in her class of 177 students.

He is the son of Lashaundo and Roberto Swift.

Swift’s athletic activities at RTHS have included football, soccer, cross-country, and indoor and outdoor tracks.

He has been involved in ArtSpeak, National Honor Society, Multicultural, Madrigals, Scholastic Bowl, fall plays and spring musicals, the ACT-SO competition, and solo and ensemble competitions.

Swift was an NHS parliamentarian.

Honors / awards included all-state choir, Division 1 solo and ensemble placements, gold medalist in ACT-So, tri-sport athlete, track from all lectures including the qualification for the state and an honor roll.

Civic and volunteer activities have included registering and monitoring those getting vaccinated at a local COVID clinic, helping with college athletics matches, teaching black youth, sitting dogs for neighbors. , helping with the fine arts department cleanup, singing and helping with the celebration of Juneteeth and marching in rallies and events against gun violence.

His work experience has included the Rantoul Police Department and teaching and mentoring a kindergarten class.

Swift would love to join the Air Force if medically eligible. Otherwise, he would like to attend college in biomedical engineering or nursing.

Kasten on Colgate Dean’s List

Sadie Kasten, Class of 2022 at Colgate University, won the Spring 2021 Dean’s Award with Distinction.

Kasten graduated in geology from Champaign and graduated from Champaign Central High School.

Students who achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.6 or higher while taking at least three courses during the 2021 spring semester are awarded the Dean’s Award with Distinction.

Pair of Zones on Milwaukee School Dean’s List

Two area residents – Noah Blue from Urbana and Matthew Ziegler from Mahomet – earned academic honors for the fall term at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Blue was named to the Dean’s List with the highest honors. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering.

Ziegler was named to the Dean’s List. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.

Undergraduate students who have obtained at least 30 credits and a GPA of 3.20 or above are on the Dean’s List. Students who have maintained a 3.70 or higher receive high honors.

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