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Sabrina Madison-Cannon, dean of the University of Oregon School of Music & Dance

Dancing on the Shoulders of Giants

By Steve Fyffe

Sabrina Madison-Cannon’s parents had a simple reason for sending their four-year-old daughter to her first dance lesson.

“My parents thought, ‘It would be great to put her in something that makes her more graceful, because she’s pretty clumsy,’” says Madison-Cannon.

They had no way of knowing that she was taking the first steps on a journey that would take her around the world as a featured performer with one of America’s most celebrated modern dance companies.

Former professor and associate dean Edmund A. Cykler. Photo credit: UO Special Collections & University Archives (1972)

Gift creates new endowed chair to honor UO music pioneer

By Steve Fyffe

A professor who helped put the University of Oregon on the world’s musical map will have his legacy live on thanks to a former student’s $1 million gift establishing a faculty chair in his name.

The Edmund A. Cykler Chair in Music will receive an additional $1 million in matching funds from the Presidential Fund for Excellence, created last year by UO president Michael Schill with a $50 million gift from an anonymous donor.

Instructor of music education Beth Wheeler teaches children with severe emotional issues at Jasper Mountain treatment center.

Volunteer Brings Music to Children Who Need it the Most

By Sarah Eddy

Jasper Mountain, a treatment center for children with emotional issues, hoped that Beth Wheeler would come out and teach music once or twice a year. Wheeler, a UO instructor of music education, negotiated. She now volunteers at Jasper twice a week.

“If you can hear my voice, eyes on me,” Wheeler said to a group of 5- to 8-year-olds one Thursday morning. A few students snapped to attention, sitting “crisscross applesauce” on the carpet. Others continued to fidget and chatter.

Photo illustration featuring dancer Lindsay Dreyer from the show "Tesla: Light, Sound, Color." (photo credit: Jennifer James-Long / Studio Sura)

Tesla: Light, Sound, Color

By Steve Fyffe

Associate professor of dance Brad Garner and his collaborators in Harmonic Laboratory have already established a reputation for staging spectacular shows that combine dance, music, digital media and science in creative and unexpected ways.

The collective of University of Oregon faculty and alumni incorporated seismic recordings from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano into the soundtrack for a performance called “Tremor.”

They turned an Xbox Kinect gaming sensor and a heart rate monitor into musical instruments for another entitled “Four Corners.”

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