Welcome to the School of Communication.

Forensics Union
Forensics UnionIllinois State University is home to a nationally recognized forensics team with 10 national team championships and over 80 individual titles in its history.[Read More]
Lambda Pi EtaLambda Pi Eta
Lambda Pi Eta LogoLambda Pi Eta is a National Honor Society, with over 400 active chapters at four-year colleges and universities worldwide. LPH was founded in 1985 at the University of Arkansas. It became affiliated with the National Communication Association (NCA) in 1988 and the association's official undergraduate honor society in July 1995. NCA is one of the primary professional organizations for communication. Lambda Pi Eta members understand the importance of communication in the world and strive to develop communication skills through knowledge and practice. [Read More]
PRSSA LogoThe Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communications. We seek to advance the public relations profession by nurturing generations of future professionals. We advocate rigorous academic standards for public relations education, the highest ethical principles and diversity in the profession.[Read More]
Vidette Logo
Director begins final season as ISO conductor
ISU retiring Submitted Photo

The musical director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Alastair Willis, will retire at the end of the 2015-2016 season. (Submitted Photo)


Maestro Alastair Willis will conclude his tenure as musical director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra at the end of the 2015-2016 season.

Due to an increasingly demanding international performance schedule, Willis asked to be released from his five-year contract a year early. He is ready, however, to end his tenure with a bang at Illinois State University.

“We are playing better than when I first arrived. They were a strong group in the beginning, but they sound even better now, as a result of many things,” Willis said.

An Acton, Mass. native, Willis lived with his family in Moscow for five years before moving to Surrey, England. He received his bachelor’s degree with honors from England’s Bristol University, an Education degree from Kingston University and a Masters of Music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, according to ISO’s website. He currently resides in Seattle, Wash.

Willis was appointed music director in June 2012 after an extensive international search. He replaced Karen Lynne Deal, who had been music director for 11 seasons.

Since joining the ISO, Willis has been a guest conductor nationally at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony. Internationally, he has conducted the Mexico City Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfonica de Rio de Janeiro, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonic, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, China National Orchestra and Silk Road Ensemble with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

With an international career under his belt, Willis said that he is ready for future projects he has lined up.

“When I leave the ISO, I have some projects that I am working on. I am looking forward to seeing where artistic adventures take me. I am also looking forward to spending time with my family,” Willis said.

Willis will conduct all nine ISO concerts this season, which kicked off Friday with “Resounding Russians.” The concert featured Glinka’s “Russian and Ludmilla Overture,” Prokofiev’s “Piano Concert No. 3” and Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4.” Upcoming concerts include the “Holiday Pops in the Heartland” with the ISU Concert Choir on Nov. 20 at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts and “Baroque Fire” on Dec. 19 at the Second Presbyterian Church in Bloomington.

Willis said he will miss the orchestra and the musicians.

“Without a doubt, I will miss them the most. They play with such heart and feeling. Music is more than just notes on a page, and this orchestra is so special for finding depth in every piece,” he said.

Director of Orchestras and professor of conduction Glenn Block explained that within four years, Willis has managed to leave an impression on the community that will be present for years to come.

“He is managing an enormously successful international career, and as his personal reputation continues to garner international attention, his leaving will be a loss for the Illinois Symphony and the music community of central Illinois that will be difficult to replace.”


Ema Sasic is a senior reporter for The Vidette and can be reached at vidette_esasic@ilstu.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @ema_sasic.

Hispanic Film Festival to highlight Heritage Month

This year’s second Hispanic Film Festival will be bringing attention to the lack of awareness the Hispanic community faces when dealing with people on a day-to-day basis. On Thursday, there will be a showing of the film Infancia Clandestina (Clandestine Childhood).

The Hispanic Film Festival will be taking place 7 p.m. every Thursday during the month of October in Stevenson Hall room 101. The month-long event takes place during Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month. Latin American and the Latino Studies Program, The Multi-Ethnic Cultural and Co-Curricular Programming Advisory Committee and Illinois State University’s Sigma Delta Pi sponsors the event.

Sigma Delta Pi is the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, and it will be highly active in the Hispanic Film Festival.

Public Relations Chair for Sigma Delta Pi Lorraine Garcia said, “due to a lack of classes that deal with very current and in-depth cultural issues in the Hispanic/Latino community, the ISU community and the community at large will continue to be under-informed from reliable, first-hand sources about these topics.”

The festival will show films covering a various range of topics. Each week, the film being shown will reflect a different topic that is affecting the Hispanic community today. These topics will include issues such as immigration, body image, the impact war has on children, climate change and political ideologies in the Basque Country. Each of the five films will last about an hour and a half.

“By showing these films, we hope to begin having educated and meaningful conversations about the issues they present,” Garcia said.

After each film showing, participants will have the opportunity to participate in a talkback session that will be led by members of the community and will last approximately one hour. All the films being shown are created by Latino and Hispanic people and demonstrate their experiences first-hand.

It is crucial to show students the achievements of the leaders in the Latino community. It is important to see the leaders in the Hispanic community accomplish their goals and shed light on issues they are seeing in the world.

“It is important to us to share their work and promote the achievements of Hispanic/Latino people so that students have role models and see success stories of people from within their heritage or culture,” Garcia said.

The Hispanic Film Festival began last week and showed the film Paraíso. The film touched on body image and the struggles a couple faced when moving to the rural metropolitan area of Mexico City.


Nikki Niggemeyer is a news reporter for The Vidette and can be reached at Vidette_nniggem@ilstu.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @165_Niggemeyer.

View News Archive
Communication Spotlight
Fell Hall Call to Action launches Operation Santa campaign article thumbnailFell Hall Call to Action launches Operation Santa campaign. The Fell Hall Call to Action is partnered with Operation Santa based out of Bloomington, which is collecting items for the troops.  [Read the rest]

Twitter Feeds

Now Playing on WZND

Coco Storm

Coco Storm

Job Title: DJ
Hours: 2:00AM - 7:00AM

Homecoming begins in: