The Parkland College Blog

Free Spring Concerts by Parkland College Music Ensembles

Parkland Music Ensembles to Offer Free Spring Concerts

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Parkland College's spring concert season concludes with May performances by several music ensembles in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre.

Saturday, May 7 at 3 p.m.
"The Emerging Spring" A Joint Concert by the Parkland Orchestra, Chamber Singers, and Guitar Ensemble

The Parkland Orchestra, directed by Dr. Rodney Mueller, will perform "Carnival Overture, Op. 92" by Antonin Dvorak, edited by Carl Simpson; "Mock Morris" by Percy Aldridge Grainger, edited by Dana Paul Perna; "Nimrod" from 'Enigma Variations, Op. 36' by Edward Elgar, edited by Steven L. Rosenhaus; and "Meditation, from 'Thais'" by Jules Massenet, edited by Jack Ranney, among others.

The Parkland Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Franklin Gallo, will perform "Nyon Nyon" by Jake Runestad; "Kyrie" from Missa Papae Marcelli by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina; "The Ground" by Ola Gjelio; and "West Side Story" by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, arranged by Len Thomas.

Director Dr. Young Kim will lead the Guitar Ensemble in performing "Sinfonia No. 3 BWV 789" by Johann Sebastian Bach; "'Prelude' from English Suite, Op. 31" by John W. Duarte, arranged by Rich Geiger; "Gin Fizz" by Pieter van der Staak, edited by Greg Styles; and "Corcovado (Quiet Night of Quiet Stars)" by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Stan Getz solo transcribed by Scott Card, chords arranged by Carlos Arana; and "Da Blues" by Alan Hirsch. 

Sunday, May 8 at 3 p.m.
"A Spring Celebration" A Joint Concert by the Concert Band and Wind Ensemble

The Parkland Concert Band, directed by Dr. Matthew Dixon, will perform "Overture to Candide" by Leonard Bernstein, transcribed by Clare Grundman; "Americans We March" by Henry Fillmore; "Legend" by Paul Creston; and "Chorale and Shaker Dance" by John Zdechlik.

Parkland's Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. Jonathan Beckett, will present "Slavic Dance no. 10" by Antonin Dvorak, arranged by Tom Clark; "Procession of the Nobles" (Cortege from the Opera "Mlada") by Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov, arranged by Erik Leidzen, edited by Van Ragsdale; "A Chorus Line Spectacular!" by Marvin Hamlisch, arranged by Warren Barker; and "River of Life" by Steven Reineke.

Parkland Medical Assist. Program Awarded Full Initial Accreditation

Parkland College Health Professions program earns accreditation

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The Parkland College Health Professions Medical Assisting Program has been awarded full initial accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Accreditation follows a detailed two-year, 10-step process outlined by the CAAHEP to ensure that health professions education programs meet all standards and guidelines for the industry. 

During the October 2021 site accreditation visit, Parkland's Medical Assisting program was required to show that 270 competencies from three learning domains were presented and assessed for every student. This included a one- to two-day close review of program documentation, facilities, and curriculum, as well as interviews with program-affiliated individuals.

"We are very proud of all the faculty and staff that organized, prepared for, and excelled in this key process for our program, our department, and our college," said Carolyn Ragsdale, Dean of Health Professions.

"Accreditation represents the highest level of excellence for a program or institution. It enhances the educational quality of a program by ensuring consistency with the standards of the profession, promotes self-evaluation and improvement, and provides the public with institutional accountability for educational programs."

Initial accreditation is awarded for a five-year period, with the next review slated for 2027. Students that complete medical assisting curriculum from nationally-accredited programs and pass certification exams can be employed in every state in the US.

For more information about Parkland College Health Professions programs, please visit

Parkland College Candidates for Commencement 2022

Parkland College announces candidates for Commencement 2022

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Parkland College announces the candidates for the college's 55th Commencement Exercises. View the full list of candidates here; students are listed by hometown.

This year's commencement ‚Äčceremony will be held in the Great Hall at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, May 12, 2022, at 8 p.m. The event is in-person and will also be livestreamed via YouTube and Facebook Live. Visit for more information.

Musical Light Shows Return to Staerkel Planetarium

Pink Floyd Light Show, May 6 at 9 p.m.

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After a years-long hiatus, the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College will resume musical light shows.

Starting May 6, the planetarium will premiere a fulldome video set to Pink Floyd's classic album "Dark Side of the Moon" on the first Friday each month at 9 p.m. Admission is $6 per person at the door.

This is not a laser show. Light shows at the planetarium are not recommended for those with motion sickness. This show is safe for people with photosensitive epilepsy or other types of photosensitivites. Video produced by Starlight Productions.

For more information about the show schedule, the planetarium, or booking the dome, please call 217/351-2567 or visit

Scout Merit Badge Workshops Return to Staerkel Planetarium

Scout Merit Badge Workshops at Staerkel Planetarium

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Girl and Boy Scouts can earn merit badges at two interactive workshops at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium.

Girl Scout Space Science Adventurer Badge workshop:

  • Thursday, May 19, 7–8:30 p.m.

  • $4 per Scout

Boy Scout Astronomy Merit Badge workshop:

  • Wednesday, May 25, 7–9:30 p.m.

  • $5 per Scout


Please note that these sessions are workshops, not just a show, so scouts must be ready to work! Scouts must bring a pencil or pen and a flashlight covered with red plastic/cellophane. Scouts will receive a booklet based on requirements. The workshop will cover the badge requirements, and scouts will submit the completed work booklet to their scout office to receive the badge.

Advanced registration is required. The registration deadline is a week prior to the chosen workshop (May 12 for Girl Scouts, May 18 for Boy Scouts). There will be no registration taken at the door. There must be a minimum number of registrations to conduct the workshop; in the case of cancellation, refunds will be issued. 

To register, click here. Complete one form per Scout and leader. For more information, call 217/351-2567 or visit