SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (October 17, 2023) – Winners from the 6th Annual Young Musicians Competition will grace the stage alongside their adult counterparts in this year’s Fall Concert Series at South Suburban College (SSC). The competition, held in April and open to District 510 and Northwest Indiana students aged 8 to 18, witnessed the participation of 22 talented students. Among the standout winners was Eric Nickerson, a junior from Homewood-Flossmoor High School, who clinched the top spot in the Senior Artist Division for ages 15–18.
Eric Nickerson, reflecting on his journey to success, attributed his discovery of this opportunity to his SSC teacher and conductor. “My private teacher, Ingrid Krizan, is a conductor here,” said Nickerson. “She told me about the opportunity and started preparing me for it.” Originally drawn to the violin and viola, Nickerson’s passion shifted after watching the renowned 2CELLOS on YouTube. “I follow a lot of the famous soloists in the world now, “Nickerson added. “Probably the biggest would be Sheku (Kanneh-Mason). I remember seeing a video of him playing the Elgar at the BBC Proms, and that was a pivotal moment in my life when I decided that this is something I want to pursue.” His aspirations now revolve around becoming an orchestral cellist.
Nickerson is set to join his fellow champions in SSC’s Fall Concert Series, an annual event presented by the SSC Music Department and open to the public throughout October. The series boasts a diverse range of musical performances to cater to various musical tastes.
The SSC Jazz Combo and Jazz Orchestra will take the spotlight on Wednesday, October 18, at 7 p.m. Director Jeff Brath will guide the audience through pieces like “Skylark” by Hoagy Carmichael & Johnny Mercer, and “Black and Tan Fantasy” by Duke Ellington.
Subsequently, an all-inclusive instrumental performance awaits as the SSC Symphonic Band takes center stage on Friday, October 20, at 7 p.m. under the baton of Wesley Woodard. The evening will feature a repertoire including “Gumsucker’s March” by Percy Grainger, “Sea Songs” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and “Lola Flores” by Terig Tucci. The SSC Voices, led by Mike Cierski, will precede the recital, offering choral renditions of “A Song of Thanks” by Carl J. Nygard, Jr., and “What A Wonderful World” by Weiss/Thiele, arranged by Robinson.
The grand finale of the Fall Concert Series will be a Lecture Recital presented by Professor Henry Dickhoff on Wednesday, October 25, at noon. His presentation, titled “The Harmonic Devices in the Compositions of Cedar Walton,” will delve into the life and selected compositions of the late jazz pianist, offering insights into Walton’s contributions to the expansion of hard bop music — a subgenre of jazz that extends from bebop music and emerged in the early 1960s.
Performances for all concerts in the series will be held in the Kindig Performing Arts Center on the first floor of the South Suburban College Main Campus, 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois. Admission to all concerts in the series is free and donations are appreciated to benefit the Music Scholarship Fund. For more information about the Fall Concert Series or to confirm dates and times, contact Jeffrey Ivy at 708-596-2000, ext. 2316 or email [email protected]. For more information about the Young Musicians Competition, contact Dr. Godwin Chou, Music Department Chair, at 708-596-2000, ext. 2296, or [email protected].