I worked at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts for over four years, as a stage manager/production assistant and events coordinator. While there I had the fortune to be a part of 2 Ellnora Guitar Festivals, a 3-day biennial affair that features about 30 performances in 6 of the building's venues. While I no longer work there, I was asked to come back this year to work the festival, because it is such a large affair.
Coming back was a sort of homecoming for me. I loved working at Krannert, and some days I spent so much time there that it was a second home, and I missed the building and the people who worked there, who have been like a second family. It's such a unique venue, particularly in the Midwest: 5 stages, including a 2100 seat concert hall that the Chicago Symphony used to record in, and continues to gets raves from artists all around the world; 250-300 events a year, ranging from top-notch professionals to burgeoning student ensembles and productions; a unique (and labyrinthine) architecture that fills a city block.
Ellnora 2015 is a great way to show off the building and its capabilities. This year there were 29 performances over the three days, and they included artists such as Sharon Isbin, the Punch Brothers, Bucky & John Pizzarelli, Los Lobos, John Scofield, and a 13-guitar performance of Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint. After the opening night party, I was in Foellinger Great Hall most of the weekend, helping out other venues and PAs when I had the time. It was a great pleasure to work with the artists who played there.
Ellnora brings the Krannert and Champaign-Urbana communities together, so of course we take moments to document it in photography during some of our brief moments of downtime. I gathered a few pictures in the gallery here (some were previously posted on Twitter and Instagram [#KrannertLyfe]).
This year's Ellnora was a huge success, and I'm looking forward to 2017's festival!