Arts and Entertainment

New Music Festival adds puppetry & dance to the mix

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, contemporary classical ensemble Hub New Music and puppetry/dance artist Sha Sha Higby headline the 39th annual New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University Oct. 17-20. The international festival features the work of more than 30 guest and BGSU faculty composers and performers and includes eight concerts, plus composer talks, panel discussions and a performance and exhibition by artist-in-residence Higby. Organized by BGSU’s MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music (MACCM), College of Musical Arts and Fine Arts Center galleries, the festival supports the creation of new work and engages the University and regional communities in the process of music appreciation and awareness. Most festival events are free and open to the public. A complete schedule can be obtained online at Higby leads off the festival Oct. 17 with a 7 p.m. performance in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts. She has entranced audiences with her mesmerizing puppetry/dance performances at major venues throughout the world since 1974. The first full day of events begins Oct. 18 with a 1 p.m. Composer Talk by Kernis in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center, followed by three concerts, two including his compositions. One of America’s most honored and prolific composers, Kernis’ music appears prominently on concert programs worldwide. He has been commissioned by America’s preeminent performing organizations and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco, Toronto, and Melbourne (Australia) Symphonies, Los Angeles and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras, Walt Disney Co., Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Sharon Isbin. Also a conductor whose works have been recorded on several labels, Kernis teaches composition at Yale School of Music and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Classical Music Hall of Fame. Leta Miller’s book-length portrait of Kernis and his work was published in 2014 by University of Illinois Press as part of its American Composer series. Hub New Music performs at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Hailed by Oregon ArtsWatch as “one of the most talked about younger contemporary classical ensembles,” with its unique instrumentation of flute, clarinet, violin, and cello, the ensemble has been praised for performances of adventurous repertoire that are “gobsmacking and perfectly played,” said Cleveland Classical. The Boston Globe encouraged audiences, “next time the group offers a concert, go, listen, and be changed.” The festival’s final performance, at 8 p.m. Oct. 20 in Kobacker Hall, features the BG Philharmonia performing large ensemble works by Kernis, Kory Reeder, Martin Kennedy, John Corigliano and Erkki-Sven Tüür. “The Works of Sha Sha Higby” exhibition showcasing her intricate textile costumes will run through Nov. 4 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Higby studied art, made dolls and pursued the art of puppetry and sculpture in her early years. She has received many prestigious grants that have enabled her to study the arts of carving, mask-making, puppetry and dance throughout Southeast Asia. Gallery hours for the exhibition are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays.  Founded in 1980, the New Music Festival has hosted such notable composers as John Adams, Milton Babbitt,…

HYT musical looks back, but not far, at being 13

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Being 13 is hard. Maybe singing and dancing about it makes it better. The Horizon Youth Theatre is staging the Jason Robert Brown musical “13: The Musical” this weekend at the Otsego High auditorium, Thursday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.  and Sunday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. ( The cast of teen actors are not far removed from those troublesome years. The script by Dan Elish and Robert Horn plays heavily on the social aspects of being in junior high. There’s nary an adult mentioned, save for the lead character’s mother, and the off-stage voice of a rabbi. This is all about the kids, and their relationships with their peers and their own emerging personalities. The musical opens with Evan (Thomas Long) singing about turning 13, when everything changes. He’s looking forward to his bar mitzvah which he envisions as a wild party with the hottest DJ in the city and dancing. Then he learns his parents are divorcing, and he and his mother are moving to Appleton, Indiana, where he knows no one. Who will come to his bar mitzvah now? Certainly Patrice (Terra Sloane) his new neighbor who befriends him, and he wants the in-crowd led by quarterback Brett (Isaac Douglass). And there lies the conflict on which the whole plot hinges. Patrice, a girl who thinks for herself, is an outcast, and if she goes then none of the “cool” kids will attend, or at least so sayeth alpha boy-child Brett. All this leads to about 90 minutes of navigation through the circles of middle school hell. The hierarchy is familiar — the jocks and cheerleaders and the nerds. The script keeps the divisions simple and clear. Evan, who is both determined and quite confused, has to be on one side or the other, as much as he tries in his awkward almost 13-year-old way to straddle them. He ingratiates himself to Brett by suggesting how he can get close enough to Kendra (Anne Weaver) to get some “tongue.” The idea is to go to a horror movie, an R-rated horror movie, and that means getting Evan’s off-stage mom to buy the tickets. So he enlists Archie (M. Clifford). Archie has muscular dystrophy and walks using crutches, to ask his mother because “no one says ‘no’ to a boy with a terminal illness.”  Archie is the most interesting character. Archie understands his dilemma and that he must scheme to get anything. When he and Evan scheme together, though, things are bound to go awry. Throw into the mix another schemer Lucy (Scarlet Frishman) supposedly Kendra’s best friend, who really has her sights set on Brett. The fragility of these relationships plays out in the songs, which have a retro rock sound. “Hey Kendra” sung by Brett’s posse Malcolm (Gavin Miller) and Eddie (Bob Walters) sounds like a barbershop quartet singing on a corner. The lyrics are full of clever turns. Brett pondering when he’ll make his move on Kendra during the movie sings of how everyone “is immersed in all the blood vessels bursting” on the screen. Sloane’s Patrice gets to sing the heart-wrenching number about “What It Means To Be a Friend.” And then late in the show, she and Long’s Evan do that musical theater…

Composer Harold Budd riffs on the changes in a life of art & music

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Composer Harold Budd said he was surprised when told his visit to Toledo would include a side trip to Bowling Green State University to talk with students. He said he’s looking forward to the master class Friday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. in Kobacker Hall. Asked what he’ll tell students, he replied: “The real truth is, it’s going to change. Whatever it is, wherever you are,  it’ll change, and it’ll be better. Enjoy the ride.” That optimism arises, the 82-year-old added, “against all odds, I would say.” Budd, who has been active as a composer and performer for more than 50 years, will be in residence at the Toledo Museum of Art through Sunday, Oct. 7.   The highlight will be a premiere performance of his chamber piece “Petits Souffles” for string quartet including Brian Snow of the BGSU faculty on cello and the composer on celeste. The performance will be 8 p.m. Saturday in the Peristyle.  “I don’t really perform very often, in fact, at all,” he said in a recent telephone interview. “This will be kind of a new experience for me.” Budd said that while the other parts of the ensemble are composed, his contributions will be improvised. He described his role as “modest … an occasional burst.” The “Petits Souffles” like so much of his work is inspired by paintings. A turning point for Budd came when he discovered in the 1960s the work of the color field painters Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell.  That’s when what would be considered his style “blossomed inside of me.” Yet, he said, he’s gone through various experiences musically and artistically, and “I gave them all up.” He’s abandoned composition on two occasions, only to return. As he tells it, he has no choice. He’s not a performer, so this is what he does. One enduring influence, Budd said, is the 19th century writer and illustrator Dante Gabriel Rossetti, whose work he reveres for being “overly romantic, overly decorative.” “It can’t be too vulgar for me,” he said. That from a musician whose work is marked by a shimmering simplicity with slowly unfolding melodies, music that is unhurried. He’s collaborated with a range of producers and composers, from within and without the classical field, including Brian Eno. His work has been lumped in with ambient music, a categorization he eschews. But back in 1959-1961 Budd collaborated with Albert Ayler, a free jazz saxophonist known for his volcanic sound. They knew each other when they were in the same regimental Army band in Monterey, California. Budd played drums in the outfit. He and Ayler would jam, often just the two of them. While these sessions were at first inspired by bebop, they moved far, far beyond. “It got away from that real fast.” Budd remembers: “For a while that form of free jazz very much attracted me because of its impulsive nature, and I saw how rich that impulse could be. If you really bought that ticket, it was extraordinarily rich. I indulged myself in it. I learned a lot about trusting your  instincts and not questioning them so much.  You can go back and analyze them later. At the moment, it defies analysis.” Monterey, he said, was “paradise.” He even thought about re-enlisting so he…

Tickets available now for HYT’s “13 the Musical”

Submitted by HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Award-winning Horizon Youth Theatre is proud to present Jason Robert Brown’s 13 the Musical October 4th and 6th at 7:00 pm and October 7th at 2:00 pm at Otsego High School. Paraphrasing from Music Theatre International’s website, 13, which is celebrating its tenth year, is a musical about fitting in, and (of course) standing out. Geek… poser… jock… beauty queen… wannabe: these are the labels that can last a lifetime. In the story by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, Evan Goldman is unexpectedly plucked from his fast-paced, preteen New York City life and plopped into a sleepy Indiana town following his parents’ divorce. Surrounded by a new array of small town – and sometimes small minded – middle school students, he needs to establish his place in the popularity pecking order. Can he situate himself on a comfortable link of the food chain… or will he dangle at the end with the freaks and nerds? Directed by Cassie Greenlee, the musical features 13 students ages 12-17 from several area schools including Bowling Green. The rest of the production team: Kat Knoell, stage manager; Tim Barker, choreographer; Tyler Strayer, music director; Kay Kleingers, technical director; and Meghan Koesters, assistant director. Cast list: Evan – Thomas Long Patrice – Terra Sloane Archie – M Clifford Brett – Isaac Douglass Lucy – Scarlet Frishman Kendra – Anne Weaver Eddie – Bob Walters Malcolm – Gavin Miller Simon – Eli Marx Ritchie – Aubrey Evans Charlotte – Rose Walters Molly – Whitney Bechstein Cassie – Alexandra Meade Though the musical is about teenagers, the stories that come to life here are ageless, the emotions they explore timeless, the laughter and the memories they provide priceless. Otsego High School is only seven minutes from downtown BG. Come enjoy the singing, dancing, and PG-13 humor… and leave the little ones at home this time! Bring them to HYT’s Silly Goose October 26-28. Tickets available now for both shows on Horizon Youth Theatre’s website. Prices for 13 are $10.00 student / senior and $13.00 adult.

Bandleader Ken Thomson finds inspiration between the musical lines

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Composer and bandleader Ken Thomson admits to having “a tortured relationship” with jazz. Thomson, who plays clarinet and saxophone, loves jazz and wants to play music that reflects its aesthetics. He’s not, though interested in recording a session devoted to jazz with a capital “J.” Instead he straddles the line between the contemporary art music and jazz with his quintet Slow/Fast, brass band Gutbucket and his involvement with the new music super group the Bang on a Can All Stars. He’ll bring his newest project, the Ken Thomson Sextet to Toledo Thursday, Oct. 4,  at 8 p.m. in the Toledo museum of Art’s GlasSalon.  The album “Sextet” was released in September, and it represents further development from his work with Slow/Fast. “There’s definitely a through line from the last couple records,” Thomson said in a recent telephone interview. “My idea was to challenge myself, and to have an expanded canvas to work with.” To that end, he dropped the guitar from the five-piece Slow/Fast line up, to “buy” himself a couple more horns. He created the sextet by adding another reed player, Anna Webber on saxophone, and a trombone — Alan Ferber on the recording, but Nick Finzer for this 10-day tour. Adam Armstrong plays bass and Daniel Dor is the bassist. The plumped up wind section has significant implications. Now Thomson has a larger palette to work with and explore. The horns, including Thomson on alto saxophone and Russ Johnson on trumpet, take on some of the harmonic duties of the guitar.  The band’s debut session wore its duel allegiances on its sleeve. The cover art is a kid’s wagon, evoking the cover of jazz composer Thelonious Monk’s “Monk’s Music” album. Like that album Thomson starts with a chorale — in his case an orchestration of Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Passacaglia ungherese.” These are apt guideposts. Both composers wrote knotty, difficult music that nevertheless sings. Thomson’s music takes up that challenge.  Most of the music is written out, melodies that twist and soar, dart and dash, all with a distinct, yet subtle sense of swing. Thomson leaves “careful spaces” for the players to improvise. Sometimes they ride over just bass and drums, often the other horns provide the harmonic backgrounds. Sometimes they mix it up with the horns improvising under, over, and through each other. This approach does pose a physical challenge for the horn players, especially the trumpeter and trombonist, who end up with “their horns in their faces” for long stretches. They have made suggestions of where they need a break, Thomson said. All the band members are highly respected bandleaders in their own right. Ferber, who visited  Bowling Green State University as a guest artist  last year, has extensive credits as a writer and instrumentalist. Webber has won a Guggenheim Fellowship for composition. “What’s cool about having a group that’s really accomplished is I can lean on them a little bit,” he said. If something’s not working, he can seek their suggestions. They all have played together in various contexts. When Thomson writes it’s not an abstract exercise. He thinks about how each of individual will execute the parts. And he pushes them a little bit. One way he’s kept matters simple is the instrumentation. Everyone plays one instrument. So the leader…

For Matt Wilson, music is about more than making sounds on his drums

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Matt Wilson is in the middle of it all. And the  jazz drummer and composer wouldn’t have it any other way. As much as the music, he said in a recent telephone interview, he was drawn to the jazz community. Wilson remembers as a teen going to festivals and watching in awe at the interaction among the performers. “I just saw the way players greeted each other … how they talked and showed their love and asked about families. I’d sit and see that from a cloud. Now I’m part of it. I love the social aspect.” The 54-year-old musician has gone on to play and teach with many of those he first admired, and he also passes that sense of community on to a new generation, not just as a teacher but as a fellow musician. Now he’s sometimes the oldest musician on the stage. This week Wilson will interact with the students at Bowling Green State University during a four-day residency. His visit will culminate in a performance with the jazz faculty and the Jazz Lab bands  at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. Tickets in advance are $7 and $3 for students from or by calling 419-372-8171. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. Wilson said his mother attributes his playing drums to his childhood. He was born with a clubfoot. Because of the treatment to correct the problem, he couldn’t run around. He’d be seated in one place with toys around him, like a drum set. And he used his imagination to find new ways to play with his toys. That approach to drums have earned him the respect of his peers. In 2017 he was named Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association.  His parents played a lot of music, not necessarily jazz, but instrumental music. Then he saw Buddy Rich on an episode of “The Lucy Show” in the 1970s, and he was hooked. “I liked the  look. I liked the energy,” he said. “I liked the way to brought people together.” Wilson started learning drums on his own. When he did start taking lessons, he found a teacher who was more interested in teaching music rather than just the rudiments of drumming. So when he was showing Wilson a bossa nova beat, the teacher would play along on bass. Budget cuts had taken their toll on his school’s music program. It had a band, but no jazz ensemble. He and his brother, a saxophonist, would by sheet music and play duets. They’d play for 4-H and PTA meetings, complete with some comedic schtick.  “I had to go in the community,” Wilson said. “I was around older musicians who gave me really great guidance.” Staring in his early teens he worked a number of jobs at weddings and dances. Once he was playing with a pianist at a nursing home. After the tune she asked: “We were playing ‘Sweet Georgia Brown.’ What were you doing?” Playing a solo, he said, taken aback. “I knew I had to play the song like everyone else.” Performing in a rock band that played original material taught him how to come up with drum parts when he didn’t have a recording as a model. Though he grew up…

Pop culture scholar recalls when comics were considered the scourge of the nation’s youth

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Banning books never seems to go out of style. To make that point, before Charles Coletta started his talk “The Seduction of the Innocent: The Anti-Comic Book Crusade of the 1950s and Beyond” he listed entertainments his students in Popular Culture classes have been forbidden to read or watch. Those include Harry Potter, “South Park,” “The Simpsons,” and  “Sponge Bob Squarepants,” a recent addition. Then he quizzed his audience in Jerome Library. “The A-Team” was a surprise, but “Family Guy” and “Bevis and Butthead” were staples of the do-not-watch list. Recently the reprinting of a classic comic story   “The Monster Society of Evil,” which hasn’t been reprinted in 30 years, was canceled because some of the characterization are racist, including depictions of Japanese from World War II and stereotypes of African-Americans that are “horrible,” Coletta said. And when just over a year ago the United Nations tried to name Wonder Woman as its fictional good will ambassador, there was an outcry over her skimpy outfits and that the superhero was not a good role model for women. Those complaints echo what was said about her 70 years ago. Because banning stuff never goes out of style, every year the Friends of University Libraries hosts an event to mark Banned Books Week.  Coletta’s focus on Thursday was on a crusade led by psychiatrist  Wertham against comics for all manner of offenses, particularly promoting violence. Superheroes, he said, was fascist role models who promote the idea that problems were solved with superior strength and violence. “I think Hitler was a beginner compared to the comic book industry,” he once stated.  Wertham also complained about unrealistic body images projected by female and male characters, racism, and embedded sexual messages. Wonder Woman, he claimed, was into bondage — a claim that proved not so outlandish when it learned that her creator William Moulton Marston was as well. But Wertham also said that her strength and independence, and hanging out with Amazons indicated she was a lesbian. And Batman and Robin’s relationship, he said, was “like a wish dream of two homosexuals living together.” He also said that comics were harming youngsters’ reading skills.   Wertham had a willing audience, Coletta said. The post-war era saw a rise in juvenile delinquency nothing major, the young folks were just getting into all kinds of mischief.  What they weren’t doing so much was reading comic books. From the 1930s through World War II, comic books were riding high. They got shipped to GIs overseas as diversion. They came in all genres romances, Westerns, cartoon characters, and, of course, superheroes with Superman coming first, followed shortly by Batman, as well as Wonder Woman. But as demand waned, publishers, most prominently EC Comics turned up the heat with horror and crime comics. Given the comic book was viewed as being aimed at juveniles this created panic. Wertham became a pioneering talking head addressing these concerns, and he testified before Congress. Bill Gaines, whose father had founded EC Comics, had a meltdown on the stand speaking for the industry. The hearings led the industry to adopt the Comics Code. Coletta noted that the panel that reviewed the comics was made up of women, and included a librarian, social worker, and movie script editor….

Library piano recital showcases the top talent from BGSU College of Musical Arts

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Entering her senior year as a piano performance major, Yuefeng Liu has a lot on her agenda. That includes preparing for the next stage of her career — auditioning for graduate programs. On Monday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m.  she’ll take time to join six fellow Bowling Green State University Piano students to perform a free public recital in the Wood County District Public Library’s atrium. The program will include music by Beethoven, Chopin, Bach, Rachmaninoff, and Carl Vine. Liu, a student of Laura Melton, will perform two movements from Beethoven’s sonata in F minor, the “Appassionata.” That piece will be part of her audition repertoire. These recitals, said fellow pianist Hanqiu Xu, who also studies with Melton and has performed at the library in the past, tend to be more relaxed than those on campus. “It’s more enjoyable,” she said, and that can lead to a more expressive playing. Pianist Zhanglin Hu, a student of Robert Satterlee, feels the same way. But it doesn’t matter the venue or the audience. The goal is always to make beautiful music, he said. Solungga Liu, professor of piano at BGSU, said that though the students may feel more relaxed, it does not mean they and their teachers take these concerts, which happen several times over the year, lightly. Rather they take the library recitals very seriously and prepare diligently for them, she said.  “The selection (of performers) is very strict.” Only the most prepared students are selected to perform. “We only want the best. This is good exposure for the college,” Solungga Liu said. While the recitals have occasionally had themes, that’s only been by happenstance. The pieces are selected by the faculty members based on what the students have best prepared.  “The library is the most ideal environment outside the College of Musical Arts,” Professor Liu said.  “The audience is receptive and always very attentive. It’s very encouraging for the students. We need a venue like that. It makes students leave their comfort zone and have an opportunity to perform for a completely different group of people.” While there are familiar faces in the audience, she said, “there’s some new faces as well and more kids, and they stay quiet the whole time. It’s very nice.” Xu said at the library the performers also introduce their pieces, telling a bit about themselves and sharing background about the composition they are about to play. Some people who have come to the library to check out books also happen upon the music. And Hu said he enjoyed the chance to chat with community members after the concert. Solungga Liu said she appreciates the efforts Michele Raine and other library staff members put into staging the recitals. In the end it all comes down to the music. Hu said he always welcomes a chance “to share musical ideas.” “We’re performers,” Yuefeng Liu said, “so we should find many opportunities  to play in front of people.” 

BG Philharmonia opens 100th anniversary season

From BGSU COLLEGE OF MUSICAL ARTS One hundred is a notable anniversary, and the BG Philharmonia is celebrating this important milestone with a year of special events during 2018-19. Large concerts in December and May in Kobacker Hall are the premier events, and every concert throughout the season will feature something special. Under the direction of Dr. Emily Freeman Brown, the Philharmonia will welcome back alumni members and host guest artists. Talented young musicians from BGSU and local schools will join in some of the performances. And four performances will feature a “birthday” composition — three in the fall and one in the spring. “This is the beginning of a great year,” said Brown, director of orchestral activities. “I have a terrific group of freshmen and new people. The spirit, the mood, the enthusiasm and the energy are incredible.” The Dec. 2 gala concert will feature the return of Bowling Green native Zachary DePue, a well-known violinist who is part of a musical BGSU family. His visit holds special meaning for Brown, who was his conductor when he became the winner of the Young Artist Competition as a Bowling Green High School student. The centennial concert features DePue in Shostakovich’s “Violin Concerto No. 1” and Stravinsky’s “Petrouchka.” Brown is also enthusiastically anticipating Bowling Green Opera Theater’s production of Handel’s “Semele” in April. Audiences will have the opportunity to see this infrequently performed work, accompanied by the Camerata di Campo di Bocce, the elite chamber group of the Philharmonia. “It’s a challenging piece and the music is so fantastic and so exciting,” she said. “It’s just out of this world.” The year culminates May 5 with the 100th anniversary concert and alumni gathering featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with all five University choirs and guest soloists. Advance tickets for the concerts are $3 for students and $7 for adults. All tickets the day of the performance are $10. Tickets are available online at or by calling 419-372-8171. As an added touch, each concert during the year will have its own concert program highlighting aspects of the Philharmonia, with photos, testimonials, past program notes and stories about the conductors. For the first performance, Brown sets the stage with an extensive history and timeline of the orchestra, aided by the program from the 75th anniversary season written by Lee Anne Snook and by Dr. Vincent Corrigan’s “100 Years of Music at Bowling Green State University,” written for BGSU’s Centennial in 2010. Brown said she was interested to learn she is not the first woman to lead the orchestra, but the third. During the second world war, as men left for the service, its first woman conductor, Lorlie Virginia Kershner, took up the baton, followed by Maribeth Kitt. Recounting the birth of the BGSU orchestra, Brown wrote: “From the very beginning, University President Homer B. Williams was determined to create what he called ‘the spirit’ of Bowling Green. He gave pep talks to students and faculty, always reminding them that because of their presence and efforts, Bowling Green was, indeed, a special place. He instilled pride and spirit in the young campus. . . In 1918, he decided that Bowling Green needed a group that could provide music at official events.” Made up of faculty members, the first “orchestra” was “more aspirational than actual,”…

Northview team the star of BSAF’s Chalk Walk

From BLACK SWAMP ARTS FESTIVAL The Northview team has won top honors in the Black Swamp Arts Festival’s Chalk Walk competition. Though the 16 teams could not draw their designs during the festival because of rain, the competition went on. Each team had the option of creating its design at its home school, and then providing time and date stamped photos, as well as photos of their process. The entries from 14 schools were judged earlier this week. The Northview team of Dominic Ciucci, Brookelyn Duhamel, Lindsey Ingle, and Courtney Kross won the top award.  The team from Eastwood placed second, and Otsego 2 placed third. Winning teams receive cash awards that go to support their schools’ art programs. Awards are $500 for first place, $250 for second, and $100 for third This year’s theme was Outer Space and the Solar System. The Northview teams wrote: “We decided to create this composition because we wanted to convey the message that people are so much more complex than what meets the eye.” The Eastwood team wrote: “For our piece, we decided to portray two different kind of space, with the paint cans representing an artistic space and the other being outer space.” The Otsego team wrote: “Animals live in the moment, quite unlike people. They trust the universe; they don’t question it. We should be like animals and take more time to stop and reflect on the wonderful miracles of creation right outside our windows.” The contest is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bowling Green.

Award-winning bluegrass combo The Farm Hands to perform at Pemberville Opera House

From PEMBERVILLE OPERA HOUSE The celebrated bluegrass band The Farm Hands will perform a Live in the House concert Saturday October 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Pemberville Opera House,  115 Main Street, Pemberville. Tickets are $12.00  at  Beeker’s General Store, at the door or by  contacting Carol Bailey at 419-287-4848 or Since their inception in 2010, they have received over 50 national awards and nominations. Their YouTube videos, Facebook, and Twitter pages have thousands of followers. They are one of the busiest touring bands in bluegrass, performing more than 150 dates per year. For anyone who has seen them in concert, none of this comes as a surprise. The Farm Hands are one of the most exciting and talented bands in bluegrass music. The group features 4 award winning singers, musicians and songwriters, including two long time veterans of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. In 2015, Grammy award winner Tim Graves was into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. Tim has over 30 years of professional music under his belt, including 20 years as part of world famousGrand Ole Opry. Tim has toured extensively across the U.S. both as a sideman and with his own group. Tim plays his signature ‘Tim Graves model’ Beard resophonic guitar and is the reigningDobro Player of the Year in bluegrass music, a distinction he has held 12 times and the last nine years in a row. Two-time Songwriter of the Year Daryl Mosley has several #1 songs to his credit, including the southern gospel classic, ‘(Ask the Blind Man) He Saw It All. Daryl has written songs featured on ‘American Idol’, ‘The View’ and other TV shows around the world. Gospel music icon Bill Gaither calls Farm Hand’s bass player Daryl Mosley “a poet-and we don’t have many poets left.” Daryl is also a six time Male Vocalist of the Year nominee. Three-time Guitar Player of the Year nominee Keith Tew has toured with High Strung, Vassar Clements of the Grateful Dead, Rock County, and performed on the Grand Ole’ Opry as a member of Rhonda Vincent’s band. Keith is a Grammy nominated singer/songwriter and is a 2 time Song of the Year winner- one for the Lonesome River Band classic “Am I A Fool” and again for The Farm Hand’s “Dig In The Dirt” Bluegrass Banjo player of the Year nominee in 2017 Don Hill has the distinction of being named state champion banjo player in several states including Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Don is a Tennessee native and has worked with many of the major artists in bluegrass music including Grand Ole Opry stars Bobby Osborne and Jesse McReynolds.  

Artists from kindergarten through seniors invited to submit work for Animals 4 Animals exhibit

From BOWLING GREEN ARTS COUNCIL The Bowling Green Arts Council and Four Corners Center will be hosting Artists 4 Animals 5 at the Four Corners Center, 130 S. Main Street, with an opening reception from 4:30-6:30 pm .on Friday, November 9. Interested artists can find information about the show and how to sign up on the Bowling Green Arts Council website, Artists of all ages, kindergarten through adult, will be exhibiting their animal- themed work in the show, which is free and open to the public, during regular Four Corners hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Exhibit of all artists can be viewed through November 28. The show features selected top winners in each age category as well as best domestic and wild animal. The winning images will be reproduced on note cards that available for purchase at the Four Corners Center and other Bowling Green venues. Sales of the cards will benefit the Wood County Humane Society and the Bowling Green Arts Council.

Hospital Guild will host Hops & Vines fundraiser

From WOOD COUNTY HOSPITAL GUILD The Wood County Hospital Guild is welcoming residents to enjoy an evening of craft beers, wine tastings, food pairings and live music with Hops and Vines. The event is scheduled to take place Oct. 5 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Wood County Hospital (under the tent located on the north side of the hospital), 960 W. Wooster St. The cost is of $75 per person. The guild was established in 1954 to promote and advance the welfare of the hospital, its patience and staff. Throughout the years guild members have provide their time and talents to volunteer within the hospital. The guild also assists with sponsoring activities and raising funds for equipment, renovations as well as expansion for the hospital’s facilities, health and safety and patient education. The guild has recently pledged $100,000 towards the completion of the Maurer Family Cancer Care Center. The guild is currently raising funds for a playground for the Ready Program which is a kindergarten readiness program for children with autism. The Ready program focuses on the following learning and readiness skills: • Specialized instruction • Speech, physical therapies and occupational • Family education • Home programming • Evidence-based practices and methods to improve cognitive, social and communication skills.

Jazz guitarist to share his passion for music at BGSU Orchard Guitar Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News  When jazz guitarist Mike Stern stumbled on a sidewalk in New York City on July 3, 2016, and fell and broke both his arms, that seemed bad enough. Then five days later before he was to go in for surgery he developed nerve damage in his right hand. Then, he admits, he panicked. “It was amazingly scary because I love to play so much,” he said in a recent telephone interview. So much of his life is revolves around playing the guitar. More than his career, it’s his passion. So in a way he didn’t have a choice but to address the problem. “I settled down and figured it out.” Stern found a specialist who could treat him, and he devoted all his energy to recovering. Within several months he was back performing. That required adjustments. He used wig glue to affix his pick to his finger. He learned that trick from a drummer who lost most of the joints in his hands from burns when he was a child. “I always encourage students to keep going,” Stern said. Stern will be visiting Bowling Green State University, where he last played in winter, 2014, on Saturday, Sept. 29,  on the second day of the two-day Orchard Guitar Festival He’ll share that advice, talk about his love of bebop, and more at a master class at 2:30 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall. At 8 p.m. that night he’ll perform with the faculty jazz ensemble in Kobacker Hall. Tickets for the evening concert are $7 and $3 for students in advance from or 419-372-8171, and $10 the day of the show.  The more someone plays “the closer you get to the music,” Stern, 65, said. Life has no guarantees, he said. “The only guarantee in music is that you’re going to have the music and no one can take it away from you.… You’ll have the music no matter what you have to do to make bread.” But the more someone puts into the music, the more options they have whether that’s performing or teaching. “The most important ingredient,” Stern said, “is you’ve got to water the flowers.” That’s means practicing. Musicians also need to “keep learning new stuff.” Guitar offers a world of new styles and techniques to learn. The instrument has flourished around the world from country music to transcriptions of lute music by Bach. The guitar basics are easy to learn, though mastery is difficult to achieve.  Stern incorporates as much of that into his own work. “When I write I like to put some of those influences in.” He reaches beyond his instrument though. He studies pianists such as Herbie Hancock, and horn players such as Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt., and incorporates that into his playing. “It feels natural when I do it. It feels like that’s what I’m meant to do.” More and more Stern brings a vocal element into his music. He encourages his students to sing along with their guitar lines, even inaudibly. “It makes it feel like it comes from the heart.” His new album, “Trip” — the title a darkly humorous reference to his accident — employs those vocal sounds. Sometimes it’s actual voices, sometimes it’s the way Stern uses electronic effects. Recorded after…

Art fest’s Chalk Walk competition goes on despite rainout

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Two weeks after the Black Swamp Arts Festival’s Chalk Walk competition was washed out by rain, four teams from Bowling Green High School were at work bringing their designs to life. Working on the sidewalk leading to the school the chalk-dusted students created out-of-this-world art. This year’s theme was Outer Space and the Solar System. After the competition had to be canceled, Tom and Lorena Perez, who coordinated the event for the festival, and guest artist Chris Fry decided that instead of judging the works based on the designs submitted by the 15 teams, they would give the students a chance to draw those designs at their schools. Most of the other teams have either scheduled or completed their work. They are teams from Otsego, Sylvania Northview, Eastwood, Holgate, Wayne Trace, Anthony Wayne, Genoa, and Lake. The basic rules remain the same — teams of five or fewer, no teacher involvement in the actual creation of the drawing, and a four-hour time frame to draw the image. Teams are required to submit time and date stamped photos documenting the beginning and end of the process, as well as other photos showing the work in progress. Teams have until Sunday at 6 p.m. to submit their work.  Winners will be notified at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. The BG students were disappointed that they weren’t able to create their work as originally planned. “I definitely prefer to do it at the festival,” Anne Weaver said. She loves “the ambiance with all the music and people walking by. “Still this is fun,” she added. “We were bummed we didn’t get to talk to the chalk artist,” said Sophi Hachtel. On Saturday morning each team had it own soundtrack. Etta Gallaway said she was glad the school organized the event so all the teams could work together. Kate Bozzo said she and her teammates have been participating in the event for the past three years since art teacher Lloyd Triggs suggested they give it a try. They always have fun creating art with their friends. “We’re all the secret sauce,” said Uzochi Nwauwa. “We all bring stuff to the table for the perfect recipe.” Sophie Pineau said that the chalk medium can be difficult. She highly recommends wearing gloves.  “When you don’t have gloves blending with bare fingers on asphalt is brutal.” But that blending is needed to bring out the full range of colors. Nwauwa said it did have a nostalgic feel, of drawing with chalk as a child. “It’s like that childhood experience,” Bozzo said, “except up a level. Now we can make it really, really beautiful.” Nwauwa said: “There’s a lot of hidden talent in Bowling Green. In an event like this you get to see that talent.”