Articles by David Dupont

Cosmic sounds of ‘Surface Image’ transform ClaZel

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Pianist Vicky Chow and composer Tristan Perich lifted the roof off the ClaZel Monday night. Together with an ensemble 40 loudspeakers emitting digital signals, they transformed the movie house turned nightclub into cosmic atmosphere, a vision of deep space. And what were those sounds coming from the loudspeakers? Cosmic peepers? Chow performed Perich’s “Surface Image” as part of the Music at the Forefront Series, sponsored by the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at Bowling Green State University. The expansive piece unfolds then folds back onto itself over more than an hour. Chow articulates layers of simple figures, the musical equivalent of haiku, while buzzes, bleeps, clicks provide a counterpoint. Those lines of the counterpoint never meet. The pianist is showered by signals that demand translation; the piano expresses a longing to translate. Yet the electronics remain on another plane, emanating from deep space, heard in a darkened room. Still a mystery. The effect is at once something grand and marvelous, but also lonesome. Chow’s performance was at once virtuosic in its relentlessness. Yet remains intimate and meditative. The music flirts with monotony, and with its subdued colors actually would work well in the background, a suitable soundtrack for that state between wakefulness and sleep. Yet its profundity demands concentration as the figures shift, rise in volume, fade. A simple figure will assert itself in the middle, dropping at odd places over the steady pulse that undergirds the piece. Usually concerts at the ClaZel have…


Caribbean culture focus of Africana conference at BGSU

The 18th annual Africana Studies Student Research Conference at Bowling Green State University will feature a look at Caribbean culture through film and documentary along with three panel presentations by student researchers from BGSU and other universities. The conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 12 in 101 Olscamp Hall. Attendance is free but there is a charge for the luncheon, which must be reserved by Wednesday (Feb. 3). Tickets are $8 for BGSU students and $15 for others. Call Africana Studies at 372-7814 or email millese@bgsu.edu to purchase. Those wishing to attend the keynote lecture (but not purchasing a luncheon) are welcome. Keynote speaker Christopher Laird, an award-winning writer, film producer and director, will present “Nobody’s Diaspora? Africa in the Moving Picture Memory of the Caribbean,” during the noon luncheon. The conference will conclude with a 3 p.m. screening of his 2013 Caribbean film “No Bois Man No ’Fraid.” The first panel of the day, at 9 a.m., will focus on “Effects of Colonialism,” followed by “Contemporary Art and Identity,” at 10:30 a.m. After lunch, the final panel topic will be “Performance, Race, and Space,” at 1:30 p.m., followed by the film screening. The Trinidad and Tobago- based Laird has produced over 200 documentaries, dramas and other video productions with Banyan Ltd. over the past 40 years, garnering a score of national, regional, and international awards, including the Trinidad and Tobago National Media Awards Best Documentary for “Crossing Over” (a co-production with the National Film…


Fire damages Corner Grill (Updated)

BG INDEPENDENT NEWS A fire Monday morning  damaged the Corner Grill in downtown Bowling Green. No one was injured. Several hours later almost a dozen employees gathered near the police tape blocking off the entrance to the eatery and the remains of two futons to commiserate about their jobs and the Corner Grill’s place in downtown culture. The fire started before the sign signaling the start of another week of round-the-clock service had been lit. Bowling Green Fire Chief Tom Sanderson said the call came in at 7:45 a.m. from an employee reporting fire in the grill. Flames were still evident in the grill area when firefighters had arrived and the fire have moved into an abandoned stairwell connected to the eatery. That stair well has not been in use for years, and was locked. Two futon mattresses burned. Those, Sanderson said, had likely been in the stairwell for some time. The Corner Grill suffered extensive damage in the grill area. Investigation into the fire is continuing, the fire chief said. During Bowling Green City Council meeting Monday evening, council member Theresa Charters Gavarone, who owns Mr. Spots with her husband, said the restaurant suffered quite a bit of smoke and water damage. The business is expected to be open on Wednesday. “I ran up Main Street in my socks,” to let the firefighters into the restaurant, she said. Gavarone joined Mayor Dick Edwards and others in praising the work of the city’s fire and police divisions. “I can’t say enough…


Teaching & performing linked in music of Charles Saenz

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Charles Saenz has gotten a lot of mileage out of Charles Chaynes’ Concerto for Trumpet. In 1994 when he was a junior at New Mexico State University, Saenz played the concerto in the International Trumpet Guild Solo Competition. He came away with first prize and a dream. Then 20 years later Saenz recorded the concerto. It serves as the centerpiece for his first CD, “Eloquentia,” which was released in December by Beauport Classical. The concerto, Saenz, 44, said, has been “a signature piece” that he has been studying and performing for over 20 years. “I’ll put it away for a few years and then bring it back and perform it when I’m at a different point in my playing.” He’ll find some things easier, and other aspects just as difficult. “It really challenges, in different ways, my physical abilities on the instrument,” he said. “But along with that it’s very challenging harmonically. His language is one that takes time to understand.” Saenz’ winning performance in the college competition set the trajectory for his career. He had been planning to follow his father’s footsteps and become a band director. After winning the major competition, he realized he wanted to be a performer and college professor. That meant putting “blinders on,” and concentrating on the performance, and committing to getting a graduate degree. “You start seeing little benchmarks along the way. It kind of propelled my career in a direction that led here.” Saenz has been…


Spirituals celebration over lunch in BG

The City of Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department along with the College of Musical Arts at BGSU will be is holding its second event as part of the 10th Annual Brown Bag Music Series on Friday, February 5th from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Simpson Building, 1291 Conneaut Avenue. Folks are invited to bring their lunch and enjoy a musical performance by students and faculty from the College of Musical Arts in a comfortable and warm setting. Drinks and dessert will be available for purchase. The scheduled performance in the series will be a Celebration of the African American Spiritual. For questions or more information call 419-354-6223 or visit our website at www.bgohio.org (click parks and recreation).


Clazel will be buzzing with new piano concerto Monday

The Clazel in downtown Bowling Green is not the place you’d expect to hear a piano concerto. On Monday night at 8, though, pianist Vicky Chow will perform a recently minted concerto. Instead of strings and winds, Chow will be flanked by banks of small loudspeakers. Her performance of Tristan Perich’s “Surface Image” for piano and 40 channel 1-bit electronics is part of the Bowling Green State University MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music’s Music at the Forefront series. Chow gave the premier performance of “Surface Image” in February, 2013 in Brooklyn, New York. When it was released on New Amsterdam records the following year, it landed a multiple best-of-the-year lists. According to the label’s website: “Chow’s dynamic performance is swept up in a sublime flurry of dazzling 1-bit sounds, simultaneously entangling and unraveling over the hour long journey. The line between electric and organic is artistically blurred, as the simple hand-wired electronics fuse with the individual notes of the piano on the same, expansive plane.” A native of Vancouver, Canada, Chow was invited at 9 to perform at the International Gilmore Music Keyboard Festival and the next year performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She has made a name as a performer of contemporary works giving the premier performances and recording works by Steve Reich, Michael Gordon, John Zorn and others. She is the pianist with the Bang on a Can All Stars, Grand Band, New Music Detroit and The Virgil Moorefield Pocket Orchestra. On Sunday at 3 p.m., Chow…


BGSU joins initiative to support minority grad students in STEM

From BGSU Office of Marketing & Communications As the national need for professionals and higher education faculty in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines has grown, the number of minority students going into those disciplines has remained disappointingly low, leaving much rich potential untapped. “We consider it a value to change that,” said Dr. Bob Midden, director of BGSU’s Academic Investment in Math and Science (AIMS) program and the Northwest Ohio Center of Excellence in STEM Education (NWO/COSMOS). To help prepare more graduate students to step into these important roles, the University is partnering with seven other public and private northern Ohio universities to recruit, support and mentor talented students through graduate school and ultimately into the ranks of faculty. The new graduate student effort is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of its Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) programs. BGSU will receive $200,000 over three and a half years to support student recruitment, mentorship, professional development and research activities. Case Western University is the lead institution on the grant. “We want to align and coordinate our efforts to employ the most effective strategies to improve those students’ academic success,” Midden said. The benefits will extend not only to the students but to the University as well, according to Dr. Michael Ogawa, dean of the Graduate College and vice president for research and economic development. “Diversity is not just a numbers game to us,” he said. “There exists a wealth of data…


St. Olaf’s Band heads to Carnegie Hall by way of Bowling Green

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The St. Olaf Band, dubbed “one of America’s preeminent bands” by The New Yorker, will perform in Bowling Green as part of its 2016 national tour. The concert will take place on Monday, February 1, 2016 at 7 p.m. at Bowling Green High School. The concert is free for all students, $10 for adults/seniors, and group rates (10+) are available. Tickets are available on the night of the concert, in advance at stolaf.edu/tickets, or by calling 800-363-5487 ($5 phone transaction fee applies). The band’s national tour will culminate in a Feb. 6 performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The St. Olaf Band’s national tour program will feature the premiere of David Maslanka’s “Angel of Mercy,” commissioned for the 125th anniversary with funding from the Miles Johnson Endowment. Also included on the program will be Steven Bryant’s “Ecstatic Fanfare,” selections from Jukka Linkola’s Trumpet Concerto No. 2 featuring St. Olaf faculty member Martin Hodel, Peter Van Zandt Lane’s highly energetic Hivemind, Bruce Broughton’s A Celebration Overture, conductor Timothy Mahr’s Endurance, and the final movement of Donald Grantham’s Symphony for Winds and Percussion. Founded in 1891, the St. Olaf Band is an ensemble noted for superb musicianship. Under the leadership of conductor Dr. Timothy Mahr, the St. Olaf Band performs the very best compositions and transcriptions for symphonic band, producing an exciting, crowd-pleasing style.


Islamophobia is everyone’s problem

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The shadow of ISIS and American politicians who exploit its atrocities hung over the panel on Islamophobia at Bowling Green State University Wednesday afternoon. The moderator Susana Pena, director of the School of Cultural and Critical Studies, started the discussion off by positing a definition: “Islamophobia is a hatred or fear of Muslims as well as those perceived to be Muslim and Muslim culture.” She told the more than 100 people in attendance that at its most extreme Islamophobia expresses itself in physical violence and hate crimes, such as the 2002 attack on the Islamic Center in Perrysburg. It also expresses itself in racial profiling and “micro-aggressions … every day intentional and unintentional snubs and insults,” Pena said. Cherrefe Kadri, a Toledo attorney, was on the board of the Islamic Center of Northwest Ohio when the arsonist attacked. The man convicted of the crime wrote a letter of apology. “It was a cathartic exercise,” Kadri said. “He thought we were happy he was imprisoned. I assured him we were not.” Kadri said she is disappointed in politicians such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson who “think it’s courageous speaking against people based on their religion.” And she’s disappointed in other political leaders, especially Republican leaders, who have not opposed their views. “It puts people in danger.” Saudi student Adnan Shareef, president and founder of the Muslim Students Association at BGSU, said he knows of some Muslims “afraid of affiliating themselves with anything Islam.” This…


Warm Sounds for a Cold Clime featured in Perrysburg concert

Warm Sounds for a Cold Climate is the first concert of 2016 presented by St. Tim’s Discovers, an outreach of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, , the concert will be held Sunday at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, 871 East Boundary Street, Perrysburg. Featuring orchestral music from Spain and Latin America, the special guest artists comprise the Vive Ensemble, a chamber orchestra from Bowling Green State University. Led by BGSU doctoral student Maria Mercedes Diaz Garcia, the repertoire will include Mariel by Osvaldo Golijov, a feature for marimba and cello, de Falla’s Suite Popular Espanola, “La Oracion del Torero” composed by Turina, and “Retablo” with soprano soloist.Ms. Diaz Garcia comes to northwest Ohio after an illustrious career, including conducting stints throughout North and South America and Europe. Her musical career began as an oboist and pianist, receiving degrees on both instruments. At the age of 19, Diaz Garcia was awarded a tenured position to teach oboe in the National Conservatories of Spain, one of the youngest people ever to achieve such a position. Currently, she serves as a Conducting Fellow at the College of Musical Arts, BGSU and is pursuing a doctorate in Contemporary Music. The Sunday recital will feature many talented soloists, including Hillary LaBonte, soprano; Henrique Medeiros Batista, marimba; Aleks Tengesdal, cello; and Octavian Moldovean, flute. St. Tim’s Discovers is dedicated to bringing classical music to communities throughout Northwest Ohio. The performance is free and open to the public; doors open at 2:30 PM.  St. Timothy’s is fully accessible with plenty of convenient parking.Information on all upcoming events in the series is…


Walk of life: Noted bassist Robert Hurst offers straight talk to BGSU jazz students

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jazz performance comes down to conversation. On the stage that means the bass player communicating with the drummer, and both communicating with the saxophonist, explained award-winning bassist and composer Robert Hurst. Off the stand it means listening to records together, and talking about the music. When he traveled with singer Dianne Krall’s band, the musicians would take turns assembling playlists to listen to during long bus trips. It’s about the hang, said Jeff Halsey, the director of Jazz Studies at Bowling Green State University. Hurst, who has played with a who’s who of the jazz world, in the Tonight Show Band and composed for movies, was on campus last week. He performed with the university’s top student big band, and then on Friday held a master class with a couple student jazz combos. Communication also means being clear with yourself, Hurst, 51, said. “Two things I try to ask myself,” he said: “How can I make this groove better? … Are you being a drag?” That applies not just to the bandstand, he said, but life in general. Hurst carries his prominence lightly, not afraid to crack a joke. When saxophonist David Mirarchi said the trio was going to play the standard tune “I Hear a Rhapsody,” Hurst came back at him with “I hear a Rap CD?” He praised the group he heard, but also offered some advice based on his decades as a musician. A solo, he said, should have a theme,…


Former director of Stroh Center being investigated for financial irregularities

BG INDEPENDENT NEWS The Bowling Green State University employee who oversees the Stroh Center has resigned over financial irregularities. Ben Spence, a Bowling Green native, had been Stroh director since 2013. In a statement from the university stated that in Augu st, university internal auditors “discovered irregularities with cash handling practices done in connection with Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) tournaments held at the Stroh Center.” Spence was suspended at that time, and resigned in October. The university then presented the information to the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office, which is conducting an investigation. University officials will not comment about the investigation while it is ongoing.


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, Jan. 27-Feb. 1

Submitted by BGSU OFFICE OFMARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS WEDNESDAY—The Faculty Artist Series continues with a piano performance by Robert Satterlee, a professor of piano and director of graduate studies at BGSU. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. He will perform Sonata in D Major, K. 576 – W.A. Mozart (1756 – 1791) Two Etudes (Homage to William Albright) – David Gompper Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13 – Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856). Free THURSDAY —The Creative Writing Program continues its MFA Reading Series with readings by Jacob Hall and Teresa Dederer at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free. FRIDAY —BGSU’s Repertory Dance Ensemble presents its Winter Dance Concert featuring choreography by dance program faculty Kristi Faulkner, Colleen Murphy, Tammy Starr and Tracy Wilson, and senior dance major Erynn Leff. Performances in tap, jazz and contemporary dance feature BGSU undergraduate dance majors and minors. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre, The Wolfe Center for the Arts. A second performance is slated for Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available beginning one hour prior to the show. For more information, email cmurphy@bgsu.edu MONDAY —Canadian pianist Vicky Chow, hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “new star of new music,” will bring her music to BGSU as part of February’s Music at the Forefront Series. Her performance will begin at 8 p.m. in the Clazel Theatre, 127 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Free FEB. 2—The…


Local volunteers to shave their heads in support of childhood cancer research

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, will host one of its signature head-shaving events at Bowling Green State University. The 4th annual St. Baldrick’s at BGSU will start at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, in 228 Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The head shaving kicks off at 10 a.m. So far, almost 60 participants have registered to “brave the shave” with the goal of raising $20,000 to help fight childhood cancer. Over the past three years, this event has raised nearly $65,000. For more information, contact Stephanie Surblis at surblis@bgsu.edu or visit http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/BGSU. ### About the St. Baldrick’s Foundation The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $101 million to support lifesaving research, making the Foundation the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants. St. Baldrick’s funds are granted to some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts in the world and to younger professionals who will be the experts of tomorrow. Funds awarded also enable hundreds of local institutions to participate in national pediatric cancer clinical trials, which may be a child’s best hope for a cure. For more information about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation please call 1-888-899-BALD or visit www.StBaldricks.org.


First Islamophia panel Wednesday

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS In the wake of recent concerns about intolerance and violence targeting Muslims, Bowling Green State University and the city of Bowling Green are hosting two panel discussions on “Islamophobia” in our region. The events are part of the Not In Our Town initiative. Representatives from the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, Canton Response to Hate Crimes Coalition, BGSU and the Bowling Green community will address the term “Islamophobia” and the concerns facing Muslims in northwest Ohio and the United States. The first discussion will be held at wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theater (Room 206). A second event will be held Feb. 9  at 6:30 p.m. in the Wood County District Public Library Atrium. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.bgsu.edu/notinourtown.