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Harold and Cecelia Kafer return to NIU

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 10:14 a.m. CDT
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(Provided photo)
Harold and Cecelia Kafer will perform at Northern Illinois University on Aug.10.

The Northern Illinois University School of Music will welcome Harold and Cecelia Kafer back to campus for an afternoon of musical duets and solo pieces at 3 p.m. Aug.10.

The Kafers will perform works by Bach, Joaquin Rodrigo, Schumann, Rossini, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Mascagni and Offenbach. The free concert will be held in the Music Building Recital Hall. The public is invited.

Harold Kafer retired from NIU in 2010 after a long career as a music faculty member and as an arts and university level administrator. He served NIU as director of the School of Music, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and ultimately deputy provost. Prior to joining NIU, Kafer was head of the Music Department at Auburn University and held faculty positions at community colleges in Arizona and Texas.

Having begun piano study at the age of 14 in Ohio, as a high school senior he won first prize in the Phoenix Symphony Concerto Competition and a scholarship to The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. He went on to complete a bachelor's degree in piano performance from Peabody Conservatory, a master's degree from Arizona State University and a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas where he was a Doctoral Teaching Fellow.

As a pianist and conductor, Kafer has performed nationally and internationally in solo and chamber music settings as well as duo recitals with his wife, soprano Cecelia Kafer. He was the founder/conductor of the Cooke County (Texas) Symphony and Chorale and was conductor of the Auburn University Symphony Orchestra. He also is a published author and composer.

Cecelia Kafer has appeared in recital, opera and oratorio throughout the United States as well as in Germany, Australia and New Zealand. She has performed with the Arizona Opera Company, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and as a guest artist with the Florida State University Opera. She also has appeared with the Elgin and Columbus, Georgia, Symphony Orchestras, among others.

For many years she was the vocalist with The Lyric Ensemble; a chamber ensemble of voice, oboe, horn and piano. She holds a bachelor's degree in vocal performance and a master's degree in vocal pedagogy from Arizona State University and completed post masters studies at the University of North Texas.

Cecelia Kafer retired in 2010 after many years as a vocal teacher. She served on the faculties of North Central Texas College, College of DuPage and Sherwood Conservatory. From 1991 to 2010 she maintained a large private voice studio in DeKalb where she had the privilege of working with many fine students. She has been delighted to sing with area performance organizations including the Shenanigans, the DeKalb Municipal Band, Stagecoach Players, and the NIU Wind Ensemble.

The Music Building, located at 400 Lucinda Ave. in DeKalb, is accessible to all. For more information, contact Lynn Slater at lslater@niu.edu or 815-753-1546.

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