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      QU students singing praises of major donor

      QU junior Darren Lillard performs in recital at Connie Niemann Center for Music

      A major donor has been instrumental in helping some local musicians realize their dreams.The Connie Niemann Center for Music opened its doors at Quincy University about a year ago.A million dollar gift from the Niemann Foundation was key in making that happen.Darren Lillard is a junior majoring in music education and saxophone performance at Quincy University. His high school band director at Clark County R-1 inspired him to major in music at QU.

      "My goal in my career is to be a professor in saxophone, so I need to get experience in playing in a music hall," Lillard said. "the Connie Niemann Music Center is a perfect place to start out."

      Other students noted similar benefits

      "We used to be in the auditorium, and it's super small and crowded," Music student Samantha Seitz said. "Now, it's more open."

      For years, as long as I can remember, the symphonic band and the jazz ensemble haven't had a place to perform,"QU Music Education Coordinator Amy Stollberg said. "They've either had to perform in a cafeteria or in the hall of fame room. To have a place where it's acoustically treated....

      was music to Stollberg's ears.

      "We have three music programs here -- music education, music performance and communication and music production," Stollberg said. "We just added a fourth -- church music degree."

      Donors Connie and Rich Niemann are musicians themselves and never miss a beat when it comes to student recitals in the performance hall they helped make possible. The music department located on the university's north campus hopes to build upon its current growth by adding a piano lab and recording studio NAT SOUND when the *time* is right.

      The Connie Niemann Center for Music also includes a multi-use area that can be used for receptions, meetings and performances.