NIU Bau-House

Created in the Spring of 2005, thanks in part to an Northern Illinois University CIUE Grant, the NIU Bau-House is dedicated to the creation, performance and divulgation of new repertoire for berimbau sextet.

The NIU Bau-House has already had the opportunity to represent NIU on the local, regional, national and international stage. Performance highlights include the Illinois Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion, Illinois Music Educators Association State Convention, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and the International Percussion Ensemble Festival in San José, Costa Rica.

Originally called the NIU Berimbau Ensemble, the name of the NIU Bau-House was born in 2010, as a playful take on the spirit of the famous early 20th Century German Art School. NIU student and ensemble member, Daniel Pratt, made the suggestion somewhat tongue-in-cheek while taking a course on 20th Century Art History that semester. Piet Mondrian was an important early influence on the color courses and concepts used at the Bauhaus. When I told the group about this connection, NIU student and ensemble member, Daniel Eastwood, took it one step further and created a colorful design for our berimbau gourds based on Mondrian’s mature style. Knowing that Capoeira schools in Brazil and elsewhere are often identified by their colors and that these colors very often end up painted onto their berimbaus, I gave Daniel permission to paint the group’s gourds. They are beautiful.

Ensemble members have included:


Maggie Bergren, Gregory Beyer, Robert Chappell, Will Cooley, Chris DiBernardo, Robert Houpe, Daniel EastwoodBrandon Estes, Rich Ford, Nick Fox, Lucas Gillan, Daniel Henson, Todd Jelinek, Patrick Jenkins, Alexis Lamb, Chris Komos, Bernard Long, Scott McConnell, Christopher Mrofcza, Jonny Nobleza, Lane Parsons, Chris Pracht, Daniel Pratt, Abby Rehard, Alexv Rolfe, Ben Runkel, Andrew Soderstrom, Mathew Solace, Ben Wahlund, Carl Wesa, Josh Wilson.

Certain members of the NIU Bau-House have continued their relationship with the berimbau and have since become members of PROJETO ARCOMUSICAL