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Theatre and Music

Faculty and Alumni News Spring 2023

Read about the latest projects by UIC School of Theatre and Music faculty and alumni.
Marques Carroll, music faculty, released his second album, Foundations following his hit debut album The Ancestors Call. Carroll also released his first book series for trumpet studies titled, The Holistic Trumpet which has three volumes and corresponding meditation tracks: Volume 1 Pedagogy, Volume 2 Scales, Modes, Patterns, Volume 3 Chords, Harmony, Modes. Learn more here ( .

Lydia Diamond, theatre faculty, enjoyed a successful run of her play Toni Stone ( at the Goodman Theatre. Toni Stone received critical praise from Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Chicago Theatre Review and Chicago Sun-Times. Joseph Aaron Johnson, BA Theatre and Performance 2021, performed as Elzie in Toni Stone.

Robert DiFazio, music faculty, wrote a chapter in the book It’s All About the Music Marketing Stupid by Kent Anderson and Jerry Brindisi. DiFazio’s chapter is titled “Music Industry Analytics” and is availablehere ( .
DiFazio also celebrated a deal with major publisher, Warner Chappell Music as the Head of R&D for Song Sleuth ( .

Amos Gillespie, music faculty, was featured in an episode of PBS’ Songs About Buildings and Moods. Gillespie discussed a music piece he wrote inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Emil Bach House. Watch the episode here ( .

Kamryn Lindley, BMus Performance 2022, is the ensemble director for the Chicago Cosmopolitan Orchestra. The Chicago Cosmopolitan Orchestra will have a chamber concert series beginning March 12 performing compositions by Latin American composers. Learn more here (

Tanera Marshall, theatre faculty, was the voice coach for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes which filmed in Poland and German this past fall. Marshall is also in as the voice coach for Emmy Award-winning TV show The Bear, season 2. Jose Cervantes, BFA in Acting 2018, is a series regular. Learn more here ( .

Al’Jaleel McGhee, BA Theatre and Performance 2019, is the understudy for Roundabout Theatre’s national tour of A Soldier’s Play by Charles Fuller. McGhee discussed learning every role as an understudy in this clip on Broadway Chicago.
A Soldier’s Play runs April 4 -16, 2023. Learn more here

James McNally, music faculty, signed a contract with Oxford University Press to publish his book, São Paulo Underground: Creativity, Cultural Politics, and Experimentalism in Brazil.

Yasen Peyankov, head of theatre, is appearing in Describe the Night by Rajiv Joseph at Steppenwolf Theatre. Learn more here (–events/seasons-/2022-23/describe-the-night/) .

Collette Pollard, theatre faculty, is the scenic designer for Describe the Night by Rajiv Joseph at Steppenwolf Theatre learn more here (–events/seasons-/2022-23/describe-the-night/) .

Michael Stryker, music faculty, served as an adjudicator and clinician at the 2023 Purdue University Jazz Festival, one of the largest annual high school jazz festivals in the Midwest. Stryker also performed at the 2023 Illinois Music Educators Conference (IMEC) in Peoria, IL on Thursday, January 26 as the pianist in a session titled Directors All-Star Jazz Band Advanced Reading Session.

Yourtana Sulaiman, BFA in Acting 2022, has a role in TV show series Chicago Fire season 11 episode 15 titled “Damage Control.”