Music professor Michael Pecherek recognized

Aelsa Butler, IV Leader Culture Editor

On April 2, IVCC music professor Michael Pecherek received an award in recognition for his contribution to the arts scene in the Illinois Valley at the inaugural awards gala hosted by OmniArts (formerly the Illinois Valley Fine Arts Trust).

The event was hosted at Senica Oak Ridge golf course, where Pecherek was one of thirteen honorees in various categories, including each of the individual arts.

As a cellist and conductor, Pecherek has worked extensively here at IVCC and in the community. He co-directed the Illinois Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra (IVYSO) for twenty years, stepping down from the position in 2010, and is the principal cellist for the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra (IVSO).

Violinist Kailee McGillis, a student who played under him in the IVYSO and with him in the IVSO, honored him at the banquet with a surprise performance of the Courante from Bach’s Partita No. 1.

In his acceptance speech, Pecherek thanked a few of his closest friends and supporters, such as his wife, Donna, his mother, and others, including fellow award recipient John Armstrong, who is also a familiar face at IVCC as a trumpet player in the wind ensemble.

Dr. Brian Holloway, Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts here at the college, says he was thrilled that Pecherek won the award: “Mike has been long been a champion of music and the fine arts at IVCC, and he has promoted excellence in his classroom. He has consistently worked for visibility and presence of the fine arts. I think it’s wonderful.”

Amidst the attention, Pecherek says he is grateful. “I am very proud to receive this award and the recognition of my peers, and the support of my friends, and although I’m not sure that I’m willing to accept this award for my accomplishments in music, I will humbly accept it for my effort.”

Also honored was Greg Tullis, who has participated in many IVCC theater productions, including his recent performance in ‘Young Frankenstein.’