Arts and Entertainment

Student-run benefit intends to keep the jazz coming to BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Jeff Bouck was looking around for places to get a master’s degree in jazz studies, Bowling Green State University stuck out in part because of the number of guest artists it featured. More than a chance to hear these master musicians, the program offered plenty of time with them to learn the craft first hand. At the end of his first year here, Bouck and fellow jazz graduate student Mitchell Borchardt have organized a benefit for the Student Jazz Association to help ensure that continues. The SJA is a BGSU campus organization which promotes jazz in the community, primarily by bringing in guest artists. Those have included recently vocalist Kim Nazarian, drummer Carl Allen, trombonist and composer Alan Ferber, pianist Jon Cowherd, and many others over the years. These artists provide lessons, master classes as well as rehearsing and performing with students. This means students get to experience playing music with the guidance of the composer. The benefit for the Student Jazz Association will be held Thursday, April 27, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Clazel in downtown Bowling Green. The event will feature a show by the BGSU Lab Band I giving the premier performance of pieces by Borchardt and Bouck as well as performing work by Duke Ellington, Sammy Nestico, and others. They along with Ian Palmer will conduct the band, BGSU’s premier jazz ensemble. In addition to the music there will be card games and raffle baskets. A $2 cover charge will be collected at the door. The student composers penned their charts specifically for this show. Bouck’s is a…


BGSU art faculty honored for excellence by Ohio Arts Council

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Two Bowling Green State University faculty members, Charles Kanwischer and Lou Krueger, were among the artists to receive Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council. For Kanwischer, who was honored for his graphite drawings on panel, said that it is remarkable that Ohio continues to honor individual artists. “It’s such a statement that individual artists are valued. It’s such a nice validation.” Having a state give support to individual artists is becoming rare. Many arts councils only give grants to organizations. Some states have abolished their state arts councils, he said. Kanwischer and Krueger were among 77 artists to receive funding from among the 465 who applied. The council distributed $375,000 in grants, almost all for $5,000. “You have to give credit to the politicians, Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “It’s hard to complain about support for the arts.” Kanwischer’s portfolio features his landscapes. The settings can be rural, suburban or urban. He said he was interested in the cyclical change in the landscape. Some of the drawings now on display at Shaheen Modern and Contemporary Art in Cleveland, depict road construction. One drawing from 2010 “Route 24 Road Project – Support Columns” shows at once construction while also evoking images of ancient ruins. Kanwischer said his work has not undergone any dramatic shifts. Instead he feels he is able to get deeper and deeper into “landscape that reveals stories.” He’s appreciative that the arts council supports “long-term careers” not just the new and novel. This is his seventh grant in the 19 years since he joined the BGSU faculty. In return for…


Young conductor brings Mahler masterwork to BGSU stage

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In “Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)” the composer Gustav Mahler tried to trick fate. Diagnosed with a health ailment, and emotionally reeling from the death of his eldest daughter, he didn’t want to write what would be his Ninth Symphony. For other composers the ninth symphony was their last. So he wrote “The Song of the Earth,” a six movement work of symphonic proportions, but didn’t call it a symphony, said Bowling Green State University musicologist Eftychia Papanikolaou. The piece also called for a large orchestra so was difficult to perform. But in the early 20th century a group of Viennese musicians including Arnold Schoenberg decided this work should be performed more often. So a reduction of the score for 14 musicians was created. Conductor Mercedes Diaz Garcia, a doctoral student at the College of Musical Arts, was drawn to the piece and decided that she wanted to present it to the Bowling Green community. So she recruited the musicians and the two vocal soloists. They’ve been rehearsing the difficult hour-long work for weeks and will present it Wednesday, April 19, at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall on campus. The project is an act of love for all concerned. Diaz Garcia can’t pay anyone, and the project is not part of her doctoral studies. “‘The Song of the Earth’ is not about the physical earth but about the inner world, it’s about the depth of the human soul. So it’s very deep, it’s very exhausting,” the conductor said. For all its challenges she found musicians who are up to…


Chris Buzzelli presents new jazz choir, CB Singers, at April 30 concert

From FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH First Unitarian Church, 3205 Glendale Ave. will host the CB Singers, a jazz choir of 11 accomplished singers, at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 30. The choir, founded by BGSU Professor Emeritus of Music Chris Buzzelli, will perform jazz arrangements 11 songs including “Both Sides Now,” “Bridge over Troubled Water/Lean on Me”, and “It’s De-Lovely.” Suggested donation $8.Solo and tight-harmony choral music in the style of groups such as Manhattan Transfer and The New York Voices will be performed by the CB Singers under the direction of Bowling Green State University Professor Emeritus of Music, Chris Buzzelli. For years, Buzzelli directed the Bowling Green Vocal Jazz Ensemble. When he retired last year, he fulfilled his dream for starting an independent jazz choir. The CB Singers is an intergenerational group of accomplished singers, mostly professional musicians and music teachers. It is one of very few volunteer jazz choirs in the country. (See related story: http://bgindependentmedia.org/chris-buzzelli-still-in-tune-with-jazz/) The group’s repertoire consists mostly of Buzzelli’s arrangements of songs, many of them familiar, for example, “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “So Many Stars,” “Both Sides Now,” and “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” Most have a small jazz combo as accompaniment, but some are sung without accompaniment. Readers can hear the BGSU Vocal Jazz Ensemble singing Buzzelli’s arrangement of “Bridge over Troubled Water,” at http://tinyurl.com/mst2gew. Buzzelli has his own “harmonic vocabulary.” He started arranging for instrumental groups in high school. Since then, he has always arranged for the groups he was working with. “The advantage of that,” he says, “is that you get to hear your arrangement immediately.” He had written only a handful of…


Bill Mathis ready to move arts at BGSU into a new era as music dean

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News William Mathis takes charge as dean of the College of Musical Arts at a crucial time for arts education. Focusing on the traditional paths of performance and music education will not be enough for higher education music programs. “It’s a different arts and musical landscape then when I was coming up,” said Mathis, 56. While making sure students continue to achieve “technical and musical mastery,” the college needs to broaden its offerings. “We talk a lot about musical entrepreneurship, and I’ve been thinking about citizenship in the arts, arts advocacy and the connection to communities, and how the arts can impact the life of society in our local community,” he said. “The skills that requires are not part of a traditional music curriculum. How can we give that to them? I’ve been thinking about this a lot this year.” Music programs, and arts programs in general, need to prepare their student for a new entrepreneurial environment. “Twenty years from now the schools of music adapting to this will be around,” Mathis said. The fate of those sticking to the more traditional approach is less certain. Mathis wants BGSU to in the forefront of those that survive. Mathis stepped into the role of interim dean last July after Jeff Showell announced his retirement. After a national search, he was named dean in February. Mathis said he felt his administrative background made him a prime internal candidate for the permanent position. He’s served as chair of the Department of Performance Studies and as the college’s graduate coordinator. “I have a disposition that lends itself to this…


BGSU arts events through April 28

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 13 – The International Film Series continues with the Swedish film “Force Majeure,” directed by Ruben Östlund. An award winner at the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival, and other internationally recognized venues, the film deftly explores the emotional dimensions of the legal term “force majeure,” an unexpected event (such as a hurricane) that releases both parties from the obligations of a contract. In this story, the ski vacation of a seemingly ideal family takes a sudden turn when an avalanche approaches them as they are having a pleasant lunch at the lodge. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free April 13 – Prout Readings conclude with B.F.A. student readings at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free April 13 – Bowling Green Opera Theater presents a variety of opera scenes. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 14 – The University Choral Society and Early Music Ensemble present Bach’s “St. John Passion.” The moving and sacred oratorio of Johann Sebastian Bach is a dramatic representation of the Passion as told in the Gospel of John for the Good Friday Vespers of 1724. Revel in the extravagant, expressive music of the season. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, East Wooster St., Bowling Green. Free April 14 – The Toledo Museum of Art and BGSU’s College of Musical Arts present EAR | EYE Listening and Looking: Contemporary Music and Art. The performance and discussion…


Alarm Will Sound to perform “Ten Thousand Birds” in sculpture garden

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Area residents will have the opportunity to experience new music in a new way when acclaimed new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound gives a special performance of “Ten Thousand Birds,” a work commissioned from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams. The performance will follow the cycle of a day, starting with bird songs heard in the morning, then afternoon, evening, night and returning to morning. The audience is encouraged to walk around to experience the music from multiple perspectives. The performance will begin at dusk (approximately 7 p.m.) April 21 in and around the sculpture gardens at the Toledo Museum of Art. The event is sponsored by Bowling Green State University’s MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music and the Toledo Museum of Art. Both Alarm Will Sound and John Luther Adams have appeared on BGSU’s annual New Music Festival at the College of Musical Arts. Alarm Will Sound is a 20-member band committed to innovative performances and recordings of today’s music. It has established a reputation for performing demanding music with energetic skill. Its performances have been described as “equal parts exuberance, nonchalance, and virtuosity” by the Financial Times of London and as “a triumph of ensemble playing” by the San Francisco Chronicle. The New York Times says that Alarm Will Sound is “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene.” The versatility of Alarm Will Sound allows it to take on music from a wide variety of styles. Its repertoire ranges from European to American works, from the arch-modernist to the pop-influenced. Alarm Will Sound has been associated since…


Michigan author Patricia Polacco Literacy in the Park guest

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s annual Literacy in the Park event will feature popular children’s author Patricia Polacco. The Lansing native has written and illustrated more than 115 books for children in addition to being a playwright and penning for adults. She is a much-sought-after lecturer and keynote speaker. Some of her most popular books include “The Keeping Quilt,” “Thunder Cake” and “Thank you, Mr. Falker.” Presented by BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development, Literacy in the Park will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 29, at Perry Field House. The event is free and open to the public. Last year, more than 2,000 people attended the event. Literacy in the Park, which has taken place for more than a decade, promotes the importance of literacy in the lives of children and features more than 40 interactive exhibitor booths and displays. The focus of the event has been expanded to address all of the different ways literacy is important in our lives. In addition to reading and writing activities, families will have opportunities to engage in activities about digital literacy, science and environmental literacy, financial literacy, nutritional literacy, physical education literacy and many other forms of literacy that can be found in their lives and communities. In addition to these literacy-related activities going on throughout the day, there will also be entertainment on the main stage and two presentations from Polacco. Born in Michigan, Polacco’s family on her mother’s side were Jewish immigrants from Russia and the Ukraine, and her father’s people were from the County of Limerick in Ireland….


St. John Passion in its element as Good Friday offering

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Liturgy and drama are one in Bach’s St. John Passion. The theatrical elements – a narrator, dialogue, and the evocative underscoring for small orchestra—are undeniable. Yet the message and the story almost demand the setting of a church. Yes, it is presented in a concert hall, but that’s akin to a staged reading of a play as opposed to a fully staged production. The St. John Passion was fully in its element on Palm Sunday afternoon in Hope Lutheran Church in Toledo. The Passion, one of two that have come down to us from Bach, the other being the monumental St. Matthew, was presented by musicians from Bowling Green State University. The performance brought together the Early Music Ensemble, directed by Arne Spohr, the University Choral Society directed by Mark Munson, who also conducted the work, organist Michael Gartz, and voice faculty taking on the principal roles and solos. Munson said he’s been waiting for Easter to fall late enough in the semester to be able to prepare the Passion for presentation during Holy Week. So on Good Friday, April 14, the St. John Passion will be presented at 7 p.m. in First United Methodist Church in Bowling Green as the community commemoration of the day. The Passion was first performed in 1724, revised over time, though the final version reverted to much the same as it was originally performed. As presented in Bach’s time, a sermon would be preached between parts one and two. Those in attendance Sunday were advised not to applaud between the two movements. Spohr read several verses of the…


“Smoke Signals screening, food in the trenches on tap at library

Thursday, April 13 Community Reads presents the award-winning film, “Smoke Signals,” based on Sherman Alexie’s short story collection, “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven.” The PG-13 film, with screenplay by Alexie and featuring Adam Beach, Evan Adams, and Irene Bedard, will be shown in the second Floor Meeting Room at 10 a.m., with an encore presentation at 6:45 p.m. Ever wonder what American dough boys ate in the trenches of World War I? Saturday, April 15, come hear author and food historian Nathan Crook (“A Culinary History of the Great Black Swamp”) talk about the good, the bad, and the unusual food that fueled the front for U. S. soldiers during the Great War. The library will be closed Sunday, April 16, and will resume regular hours on Monday, April 17. All programs are free and open to all. For more information, contact the library at 419-352-5104,


Beautiful singing takes precedence over competition in BGSU’s Conrad Art Song event

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Yes, the final round of the Conrad Art Song Competition at Bowling Green State University was, as the name makes clear, a competition. More than that it was a night of beautiful singing. That was the assessment of Kevin Bylsma, the coordinator of opera activities at the College of Musical Arts. The 18th annual competition featured 11 duos of vocalists and pianists in the undergraduate division and 12 duos in the graduate division. (The division is determined by the singer.) Honors go equally to the singer and the pianist. They must prepare a program of a half a dozen songs from different periods, including at least one selection from a living composer, with one song each in English, German, Italian and French. Regardless of the language, the 10 duos, five in each division, selected for the finals delivered emotion-packed performances, sometimes touching, sometimes coquettish, sometimes even funny. The power of drama was demonstrated in the first set by soprano Hannah Stroh with pianist Xiaohui Ma singing “He is Dead and Gone” in Russian. Even Russian wasn’t up to the task of expressing anguish, as Stroh leaned back against the piano, and began humming. The sound of her voice disembodied, as if emanating from the air itself. Then the song’s emotion swerved, ending with a demonic laugh. You didn’t need to speak Russian to be taken aback. A few hesitant claps were heard, then full blown applause. The decorum of the night – applause are usually reserved for the end of a duo’s performance – was disrupted, not to be regained. And Stroth had set…


Poet Cheryl Lachowski’ “Ditches” cuts to the heart of the Black Swamp

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The ditches of the Black Swamp collect a lot of material – water, cattails, the occasional vehicle. Poet Cheryl Lachowski’s expansive project “Ditches” takes in even more. Lachowski, who teaches General Studies Writing at Bowling Green State University, gave a presentation earlier this week on the work in progress. She’s nearing the end of a semester-long leave, a welcomed respite from grading student compositions. The time to focus on poetry was made possible through a grant from the university’s Institute for the Study of Culture and Society. She said it was “unbelievable” that she, as a non-tenure track faculty, could avail herself of such a leave. One requirement is to give a presentation on the work accomplished during the leave. Ditches are a defining feature of the Great Black Swamp. They transformed the swamp from wildlands into farmlands, and they form the divide between the two sections of Lachowski’s books. The first section, which she is finishing up thanks to the leave, is “Watershed.” The second will be “Homestead.” The devoted to the time before ditches transformed the region, and the other afterward. The first before white settlers took hold, and the second when the native populations were evicted from the swamp. The Battle of Fallen Timbers will serve as a dividing line. The divide between the sections is not so neat. The Black Swamp is not so neat. Lachowski’s sprawling work seeks to encompass all its aspects. She described “Ditches” as a literary montage with ditches serving as an overriding symbol. Lachowski, who has frequently worked with musicians including a collaboration with composer…


BGSU arts events through April 18

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 7 – The Collegiate Chorale and University Women’s Chorus will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center, by phone at 419-372-8171, or online at http://www.bgsu.edu/the-arts/. April 7 – The elsewhere theater season concludes with “Dying City,” written by Christopher Shin and directed by Tanner Lias. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Additional performances will be at 8 p.m. on April 8 and 9. Free April 8 – The Dr. Marjorie Conrad Art Song Competition will take place in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Preliminaries will begin at noon, with finals following at 8 p.m. Free April 8 – An opening reception for the MFA I Thesis Exhibition will begin at 7 p.m. in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman Galleries in the Fine Arts Center. Free Through April 18 – The MFA I Thesis Exhibition will be on display in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman Galleries in the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free April 9 – The Sunday Matinee Series continues with the 1925 film “The Lost World,” directed by Harry G. Hoyt. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was not only the creator of Sherlock…


Tickets on sale for BG High’s production of “Shrek”

From BGHS THEATRE The musical “Shrek”  is based on the beloved Dreamwork’s cartoon about an ogre, named Shrek, who along with several other fairy-tale creatures who are forced off their land by the evil Lord Farquaad.k the Musical” The show will be on stage at the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center, April 20-22  at 7 p.m. and April 23 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at showtix4u.com until April 14. Then tickets can be purchased at the PAC box office April 17-19th from 3-6 pm. In an attempt to regain his land, Shrek decides to take Lord Farquaad’s challenge to rescue the “fair Princess Fiona” from a tower that happens to be guarded by a dragon. Shrek, with his “trusty steed” Donkey, and Fiona make the journey towards Lord Farquaad’s kingdom. Along the way, Shrek and Fiona discover that they are now friends who are also in love. The play teaches us to love our true natures which sometimes include “our warts and all.” Shrek is played by junior, Justin McKenzie. Fiona is played by junior Elaine Hudson. Donkey is played by senior Josh Coleman with the voice of “the dragon” sung by Olivia Strang. Lord Farquaad is performed by senior Micah McKanna. The cast includes  Rachel Amburgey, Stephanie Bell, Alex Bellavia, Sophia Bird, Hannah Bowlus, Abraham Brockway, Ethan Brown, Natalie Carty, Alyssa Clemens, Megan Clifford, Brian Condon, Nova Cullison, Kaitlyn Dorman, Fran Flores, Saralynn George, Sophi Hachtel, Devon Jackson, Moe Kellow, Sarah Kelly, Sarah Kerr, Darin Kirchner, Hailey Kirchner, Luke Kobylski, Dea Kukeli, Thomas Long, Jadyn Lundquest, Julie Maas, Michael Martin, Jessica Miller, Darryl Moorehead, Sophia Nelson, Naila Ortega, Hudson Pendleton, Mr….


Visiting musician Doug Yeo brings ancient sound of the serpent alive at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News After two hours of discussing the fine points of trombone playing – articulation, dynamics and the like, Doug Yeo left the student trombonists at Bowling Green State University with message. “We live in a messed up world,” the visiting artist said. All they had to do was look out the door to see that. “What you do with trombones … matters.” When people come to a concert, whether a student recital or a performance by a major symphony orchestra, the performer doesn’t know what brings them to listen. They may have just lost their job or a loved one. They might have just gotten engaged. “You don’t know what their story is, but you’re playing for them and what you play can change their lives. They’re giving you something they’ll never have back, their time.” And it’s up to the musician to make that time they spend together worthwhile. “What you do,” Yeo said, “really, really, really matters.  … I’ve been to concerts, and my life has changed.” That’s not just hearing star soloists, sometimes it has been a recital by one of his own students. Yeo has been making a difference for listeners for decades. That included 27 years as the bass trombonist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Since 1994, though, he has also performed on the serpent, a musical instrument dating by to the 16th century, and prominent through the 19th in military bands. His visit to BGSU s to mark the donation and renovation of a serpent given to the College of Musical Arts by Glenn Varney, a professor emeritus of…