Engstrom presents faculty recital

IVCC music and theatre professor Norman Engstrom will present his 12th annual faculty concert at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Peru.

This year’s event is entitled “Norm Engstrom Sings Some Favorites” and will feature Ashley Mekeel, IVCC piano teacher as accompanist, as well as several students and the IVCC Choir.

Included in the program will be songs from musical comedy, sacred and opera repertoires along with monologues and pantomime.

Engstrom, who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and Bachelor’s degrees in Theatre and Music Education from Augustana College, Rock Island, performed professionally in Chicago for 25 years before coming to teach at IVCC.

He has performed at such theatres as Marriott’s Lincolnshire, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wisdom Bridge, Chicago Opera Theatre and Light Opera Works. He directs, choreographs stage combat and has managed a theatre.

All in all, he has averaged about 10 productions per year during his 46-year career.

In the Illinois Valley, in addition to teaching at IVCC, he has directed and choreographed at Stage 212, River Valley Players and Engle Lane.
Most recently he choreographed the dances and sword fight in this past summer’s production of The Scarlet Pimpernel at Stage 212.

When asked why he hasn’t performed at local community theatres, Engstrom states that “as a member of four actors’ unions I am not allowed to perform at theatres that do not have union contracts. That is why I started giving these concerts – to keep in shape.”

This concert includes something for everyone – a mime skit entitled The Maskmaker, some childrens’ songs, a solo from Les Mis, arias in Italian and French and some hymn tunes and spirituals.

“I always include some of my voice students with whom I will sing some duets and a trio,” Engstrom said.

There are some dramatic pieces, “but theatre should be entertaining, so I try to keep it relaxed and fun and maybe there will be a few surprises.”