The Parkland College Blog

Parkland Professor Wins Statewide Community College Faculty Award

Dr. Franklin Gallo Awarded 2020 "Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member"

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Parkland College choral director Franklin Gallo, DMA, has been selected by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) as the 2020 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member Award.

Gallo was one of three recipients of the 2020 ICCTA Outstanding Faculty Awards in October. Parkland’s Faculty Professional Development Committee had selected Gallo to be Parkland’s ICCTA Outstanding Part-Time Faculty winner earlier this spring, which nominated him for statewide consideration. Gallo will be presented with this statewide award during Parkland's October 21 Board of Trustees meeting.

Gallo is the director of Parkland’s Chamber Singers, a group that has grown from six students to more than 25 in three years and includes music majors, non-majors, high school students and adult community members. Gallo described the benefits students receive from participation in the musical group.

"In classrooms where the three artistic processes—creating, performing, and responding—are central to the enacted music curriculum, students develop lifelong musical skills and understandings that foster social and cultural understandings, respect, and self-awareness,” he said.

Beyond his work with the Chamber Singers in the rehearsal studio and on stage, Gallo teaches Introduction to American Music and Music Appreciation courses. He has provided professional development for primary and secondary educators, recently presenting sessions at a state choral music conference for pre-service educators at the University of Illinois and attending an international symposium on music education.
An accomplished instructor, director, and composer, Gallo led mass choirs at Parkland’s first-ever High School Choral Festival in January 2019 and again in January 2020. He has initiated and helped to implement two innovative programs used by the college’s music department for recruitment, ongoing collaboration with local high schools, and as a charity fundraiser.

Parkland Students Show at ICCJE

James Jones Wins Merit Award

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Parkland College students participated in the annual Illinois Community College Juried Exhibition at Governors State University from February 13-29. James Jones won a Merit Award.

Student participants:

  • Jane Liao - Champaign

  • Catherine White - Champaign

  • Tamara Asire - Champaign

  • James Jones – Champaign

  • Eunjoo Kang - Champaign

  • Zhuoyue Zhang - Urbana

  • Sharon Wenda - Urbana

  • Barbara Curtis - Urbana

  • Anita Rent – Urbana

  • Kayla McEvoy - Sadorus

Congratulations to all participants. Find more information about the ICCJE here.

"Chicago" Comes To Parkland Theatre

"Chicago" to open at Harold and Jean Miner Theatre in April

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Chicago, written by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, comes to the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre at Parkland College on April 9–26.   

Aspiring vaudevillian Roxie Hart has convinced her hapless husband Amos to take the rap for the murder of Fred Casely—until he finds out he’s been betrayed! Now on trial and sent to death row, Roxie must use her charm and the ego of esteemed lawyer Billy Flynn to prove her “innocence,” all while trying to capitalize on her newfound celebrity. Set in the Roaring Twenties, Chicago is the winner of 6 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. Get ready for jazz, prohibition, sequins, feathers, and a show full of songs you know and love!

Abby Gailey directs a cast that includes Jake Fava, Sam Gegg, Hanna Yonan, Kimmy Schofield, Jess Schlipf, Haylie Denzer, Katie Odom, Zoe Dunn, Erin Kaufman, Rachel Gillett, Laura Alcantara, Whitney Havice, Kara Kinnamon, Natalie Deptula, Hannah Brauer, Autumn Ellis, Bradyn Wambach, James Castree, Excellence Onolundula, and Josiah Zielke.
The Parkland Theatre will be holding a talk-back immediately following the April 9 show. Members of the cast and crew will be on hand to discuss the show and answer audience questions.
Performances will take place in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre on April 9, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 at 7:30 p.m., and April 19 and 26 at 3 p.m. 

  • Adult $25 

  • Student/Youth/Senior/Veteran $22  

  • Group (10+) $20

  • Opening night is half-price! 

To purchase tickets, visit For more show information, visit

This production contains mature content.

All Parkland Theatre tickets must be purchased either in advance online or from the ticket booth at the time of the performance. Ticket reservations will no longer be accepted. No ticket refunds or exchanges are allowed. For more information, visit tickets.


Parkland College Ensembles Offer Free Spring Concerts

Parkland College's spring concert season opens in March

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Parkland College's spring concert season opens with March performances by several ensembles.

"New American Classics": A Joint Concert by the Parkland Chamber Singers and the Wind Ensemble 
Sunday, March 1, 3 p.m.
Harold and Jean Miner Theatre

The Parkland Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Franklin Gallo, will perform “Sing a Mighty Song” by Daniel Gawthrop, “Nearer My God to Thee” by BYU Vocal Point, and others.
Jonathan Beckett will direct the Parkland Wind Ensemble in performing an evocative arrangement of “Amazing Grace”, classic band composition by Malcolm Arnold; “Prelude, Siciliano and Rondo” and the exciting “Rhythm Danse” by great American composer Richard Saucedo, among others.

"Festive Celebration": A Joint Concert by the Concert Band and Orchestra Ensembles
Sunday, March 8, 3 p.m.
Harold and Jean Miner Theatre

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of its inception, the Parkland Concert Band will perform a selection of songs directed by current Concert Band director Larry Stoner; past directors Gregory Grove (2002-2005) and Ernie Hoffman (1970-1996); and past guest conductor Barry Houser. Songs performed will include “Chorale and Shaker Dance” by John Zdecklik, directed by Larry Stoner; “Montmarte March” by Haydn Wood, directed by Gregory Grove; “Armed Forces Salute” by Bob Lowden, directed by Ernie Hoffman; and “Illinois March” by Edwin Franko Goldman, directed by Barry Houser, among others.

Parkland's Orchestra, directed by Rodney Mueller, will perform “Celebration” by Richard Meyer; “Fervent is my Longing” by Johann Sebastian Bach, orchestrated by Lucian Calliet; “The Planets” by Gustav Holst: ‘Jupiter’ arranged by Vernon Leidig, and ‘Mars’ arranged by Clark McAlister; and “The Sea Hawk” by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, arranged by Jerry Brubaker.

For more information on Parkland College music performances, visit

New Parkland Theatre Show Season Announced

Comedies, drama, part of new lineup

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Parkland College Theatre recently announced its 2020-2021 performance calendar, which includes an award-winning comedy, drama, and classic productions.

10 out of 12
Anne Washburn's 10 out of 12 is a frighteningly accurate and deeply funny record of the hardest day any theatre artist can endure: the all-day technical rehearsal, also known as the "10 out of 12." Distilled from years of production notes, the play focuses on a hopelessly behind-schedule production during one of its last rehearsals before opening to the public. The tech crew is distracted, the actors are fighting (when they aren't missing their cues), and the director and stage manager are just trying to get through the night without anyone dying or killing anyone. 10 out of 12 shows in hilarious and horrifying detail how theatre can inspire, frustrate, and madden its makers. 
Directed by BJ Gailey.
Performances are Oct 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18. Audience, cast, and crew talkback on Oct. 8.
A Christmas Story
With Christmas weeks away, 9-year-old Ralphie Parker navigates school, family, and bullies while desperately trying to secure THE gift, a Red Ryder Carbine Action BB gun. Never mind that everyone from his mother to his teacher to the department store Santa is convinced he’ll shoot his eye out. Written by Philip Grecian, this slice-of-life depiction of Midwestern childhood in the early 1940s brings to the stage the classic 1983 film, based on humorist Jean Shepard’s book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash
Directed by Chelsea Collier.
Performances are Dec 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, and 13. Audience, cast, and crew talkback on Dec 3.
Arsenic and Old Lace
Arsenic and Old Lace, written by Joseph Kesselring, is a madcap dark comedy revolving around theatre critic Mortimer Brewster and his slightly crazy family. Mortimer’s aunts, the charming Brewster sisters, are the town darlings with a little secret and a killer recipe for elderberry wine. Mortimer panics when he discovers how his aunts are "helping" the lonely gentlemen they take in as boarders. Add to the mix a fiancé, a criminal on the run, an alcoholic plastic surgeon, and a brother who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt, and you have a recipe for hilarity.
Directed by Michael O’Brien.
Performances are Feb 11, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21. Audience, cast, and crew talkback on Feb 11.
Sweeney Todd
Sweeney Todd is the tale of a Victorian-era barber seeking revenge for his unjust exile at the hands of Judge Turpin. Upon his return to London, Todd meets Mrs. Lovett, a clever woman who owns the meat pie shop below his barber salon. Together, Todd and Lovett scheme to exact revenge on Judge Turpin, and discover a creative way to boost Mrs. Lovett’s business. Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical thriller is the winner of ten Tony awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book. Join us for this razor-sharp dark comedy thriller!
Directed by Jeff Dare.
Performances are April 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, and 24. Audience, cast, and crew talkback on April 8.
Actors' Studio Series
10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse
Written by: Don Zolidis
How do you survive a zombie apocalypse? With a handy-dandy instructional guide, of course! Featuring 10 methods to ensure you come out the other side alive, 10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse is a laugh-out-loud, outrageous comedy that is guaranteed to leave everyone feeling more than prepared for the impending zombie takeover.
Directed by Katie Lejeune
Performances are Nov 5, 6, and 7.
Proof (30th Annual Student Production)
Written by: David Auburn
Catherine has given up her studies to care for her mentally-disabled father, once a mathematical genius, but when he dies, he leaves nothing more than scribbles in notebook after notebook. Plagued with fear for her own mental stability, Catherine must cope with her feelings for Hal (a former student of her father) as well as confront her estranged sister, all the while proving she is indeed a genius herself. But how much of Catherine’s mind is really her’s, and how much is her father’s illness? What kind of proof must she provide not only to Hal and her sister, but to herself?
Directed by Madison Chaney.
Performances March 11, 12, and 13.

Ticket Information
As of January 2020, all Parkland Theatre tickets must be purchased either in advance online or from the ticket booth at the time of the performance; ticket reservations will no longer be accepted. All sales are final, no refunds or exchanges allowed. All Parkland Theatre ticket purchases are nonrefundable. Visit for more information.

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Patron donations help Parkland Theatre continue to provide high-quality productions. For more information, visit