Arts and Entertainment

Old tunes find new listeners at concert for young & young at heart

With an audience made up largely of kids age 4 through 7, the line between moving to the music and fidgeting is pretty fine. It didn’t matter that the music was not only before their time – because everything is before their time – but before their parents’ time, and likely even before their grandparents’ time. The beat was good. A few youngsters broke out the dance steps, a few swayed in rhythm in their seats and a few fidgeted. Teachers know the difference. For its Young and Young at Heart concert Friday, the Bowling Green bands threw open the doors of the Performing Arts Center to senior citizens and pre-school, kindergarten and first graders from Kenwood, Conneaut and Crim. The older listeners mostly took up the back rows, while the front of the house was packed with kids, and their outnumbered teachers. After some preludes on marimba, the concert got underway with the high school’s jazz band, the Jazz Cats. Their short set was devoted to swing classics from the 1930s and 1940s. But what’s 70 years when one of the songs is named “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” which is deliciously funny to say. During the switch between the…


Cinco de Mayo is a loud & proud celebration of Mexican heritage

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Gloria Pizana and her family didn’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo when they grew up in Pemberville. Their celebrations of the Mexican heritage were private – birthdays, holidays, all had their own Latin twist. Now Pizana, as a member of Bowling Green’s Human Relations Commission, organizes the Cinco de Mayo celebration which was held Sunday. As she spoke the sound of Mexican music echoed through the corridors of the Woodland Mall. “I never had this,” she said. “Having grown up in Northwest Ohio you think you’re the only one. You have a few cousins. No one ever talks about your culture, who you are. You’re isolated, and the history books never mention it.” That’s why she feels it’s so important that Bowling Green has held this celebration for 24 years. It started, Pizana said, when then Mayor Wes Hoffman approached Marsha Oliveraz about what the city could do to recognize Latino culture. The result was the Cinco de Mayo celebration. That’s a bit ironic because, as Pizana notes, the holiday that celebrates the Mexican repulsion of a French invasion in 1862, isn’t really celebrated much in Mexico. Still this became a time for area Hispanics…


Art Walk brightens up downtown BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The sunny day couldn’t have been better for Cindy Tesznar. The spring weather meant she was comfortable as she sat outside the Ben Franklin store in downtown Bowling Green selling her glasswork, and the sunshine made her bottle trees glow. As a veteran Art Walk participant, she knows the weather isn’t always so favorable, so on Saturday she was enjoying the sun. “The bottles show better outside,” she said. Tesznar was one of dozens of artists who were showing, and many like her, selling their work, as part of the annual event. The work displayed in locations throughout the downtown was created by professional, avocational and student artists. Crim art teacher Noreen Overholt said she was glad that the organizers always included the schools in the event. She was overseeing the art activities and exhibit by her students inside the United Way office. Among the projects was an art cave that students could crawl through to see “cave drawings.” “This gives the kids a chance to participate in a real art show,” she said. “It gives them a chance to share art with their families.” Art Walk also gives the schools a chance to…


Students and colleagues sing their good-bye to James Brown

By FRANCES BRENT Good bye dear, dear Mr. Brown! Saturday 50 of his former students, youthful again despite grey hair and receding hairlines, met at St. Mark’s Lutheran in a Memorial Choir led by Linda Gullufsen, to sing him to his rest. The church was packed with his admirers. The final Hallelujah Chorus drew dozens more singers from the pews for a musical celebration of a man who brought so much beauty and creativity to the young people of Bowling Green. Jim Brown brought greatness to Bowling Green students as they learned to create a beauty that transcended their everyday selves. He made music matter. Bowling Green High School students that didn’t make it through auditions, or that never thought of trying, still experienced an era when music (band was terrific too,) was a source of school cultural pride. Jim Brown and his generations of student musicians were also a source of community pride and for a time almost defined Christmas and summer musical theater in BG. To earn a place as a Madrigal Singer was to be blessed for life and to learn that all that glory of song was the result of very hard work, lots of discipline…


Hakels’ glass treasures in “Hot Spot” at Toledo Museum’s Glass Pavilion

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Milt and Lee Hakel have poured their love of art into collecting art glass, and now they’re sharing a few favorite pieces with the world. The Bowling Green couple have four pieces in the exhibit “Hot Spot: Contemporary Glass from Private Collections” now at the Toledo Museum of Art. The show is on exhibit in the Glass Pavilion through Sept. 18. They are happy to have some of their glass treasures included, but Lee Hakel said her husband “was a little bereft when the pieces went off.” Not that the loans to the museum leave gaps in the Hakels’ home decor. The couple has been collecting glass for 20 years, and has no idea how many pieces they own. They are displayed throughout the house, from the sunroom to the bathroom. Milt Hakel said they are attracted to art glass because of its sculptural nature and because of the way glass interacts with light. “It’s so different in different lighting conditions.” The vivid color is evident at every turn as a visitor moves through the house. That’s what greeted Jutta-Annette Page, the museum’s curator for glass and decorative arts when she visited last fall….


Roller on a roll at Art Walk

Art Walk winners   Art Walk has been good to artist Tom Roller. In previous years he’s won both the top prize awarded by the jurors and has won the top prize chosen by the public. This year he won both. That double win will amount to a fond farewell for Roller, who said earlier in the day that he’s going stop doing art fairs this year. At 78 hauling his large metal sculptures is more than he wants to take on. Not that he’ll abandon his metalworking tools. He’ll continue selling his sculptures inspired by flora and fauna out of his garage. That’s plenty of work for him. Also winning Juried Art Awards were: Chris Burch, photography, second place, and Shannon Yocum, found art furniture, third place. Winning People’s Choice honors were: Richard Gullett, drawings, second place; John Calderonello, wooden boxes, third place; and Curisa Passalacqua, fourth. Art by professional, avocational and student artists was displayed in 29 locations in downtown Bowling Green.


Emily Freeman Brown honored as Professor of Creative Arts Excellence

BGSU Office of Marketing & Comunications There have been many high notes during Dr. Emily Freeman Brown’s 33-year career at Bowling Green State University. Brown, who has a Ph.D. in music performance studies, has been named the 2016 Professor of Creative Arts Excellence. The title is conferred upon members of the faculty already holding the rank of professor and who have established outstanding national and international recognition through research and publication or creative/artistic achievement in their disciplines. The title is for a period of three years with an annual stipend of $5,000 — a $3,000 salary stipend and $2,000 for professional development. Brown serves as director of orchestral activities and professor of orchestral conducting in the College of Musical Arts, a position she has held since 1989. “Dr. Brown’s record of creative activity is stellar in every way and she maintains a national and international profile as an orchestral conductor and music educator,” said a letter of nomination, composed by a committee of Drs. Rodney Rogers, provost and senior vice president; William Mathis, chair of music performance studies; and Marilyn Shrude, professor of music composition. “The quantity of her creative output is remarkable and the quality and prestige of her…


Prince maintained artistic integrity throughout his career

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jeremy Wallach was a teenage musician when Prince hit the scene. As a keyboard player he was captivated by the sounds Prince elicited from his keyboards. The attack was funky and percussive, and Prince made the most of the distinctive qualities of the electronic instruments of the time. They were firmly rooted in the funk traditions, but difficult and definitively Prince. Now a scholar who studies Indonesian rock and pop music, Wallach has seen the global reach of Prince’s music. When he hears a Chinese guitar player solo over a rhythm ‘n’ blues groove that manages to incorporate elements of traditional Chinese music, he hears the influence of Prince. The Minnesota funk master respected no boundaries, he didn’t set any for himself and certainly didn’t care about any limits others tried to place on his music.                 When his record label pressed him for new and bigger records following “Purple Rain” he rebelled. He famously changed his name to a symbol, and was referred to as “the artist formerly known as Prince.” All “because he didn’t like the way the industry was treating him.” Wallach, who teaches…


BGSU’s “Noises Off” brings on roars of laughter

By DAVID DUPONT By BG Independent News The actress playing the housekeeper in “Nothing On” is struggling during the dress rehearsal. The play is about to open and she’s still trying to learn her lines. Some of what comes out of her mouth, allows the director, does have a ring of familiarity. The actress says, her brain is like a slot machine—she’s not sure what’s going to pop up, two oranges, a lemon or even bananas. “Nothing On” is a play within the play “Noises Off,” and by the time we get out final shout out to sardines, it’s all bananas. The classic theatrical farce “Noises Off`” opens tonight at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre in the Bowling Green State University’s Wolfe Center for the Arts. It continues Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Advance tickets are $15 and $5 for students. All tickets are $20 the day of the performance. Visit bgsu.edu/arts or call the box office at 419-372-8171. Directed by Geoff Stephenson, “Noises Off” is a well-oiled piece of comic chaos. The show is full of fainting, pratfalls, dropping trousers, stuck doors, and multiple servings of sardines that appear and…


River House Arts takes up residence in historic Secor building

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News River House Arts, an art gallery that has enlivened the area art scene for six years, has now taken up residence on the left bank … of the Maumee River in the Glass City. Paula Baldoni who owns the business with her husband, William Jordan, said that move from the house on the river in Perrysburg to the sprawling new space in the Secor Building at 425 Jefferson Ave. has taken more time than anticipated. But even as Jordan works on the floors in the 9th floor office space, the gallery is ready to open its newest show, “Immigrants, Outcasts, and Other Heroes,” oil paintings and drawings by Cuban artist Augusto Bordelois. The show of more than two dozen works opens with a reception Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. The show continues through June 4. For details visit: http://www.river-house-arts.com/#!immigrants-outcasts-and-other-heroes/cbtc The exhibit is well in keeping with what River House Art has been about all along. Its exhibits have featured forgotten American masters such as Clay Walker featured in the gallery’s first show in November, 2009; international artists such as Mexican painter Veronica Leiton, creator of surreal abstract cityscapes; important contemporary Americans such as…


BGSU music, art faculty join forces for Puerto Rican project

By BGSU Office of Marketing & Communications College of Musical Arts faculty members John Sampen, Susan Nelson, Nermis Mieses, Kevin Schempf, Conor Nelson and Marilyn Shrude, along with School of Art faculty member Lynn Whitney have been awarded a Glanz Family Research Award for Interdisciplinary Faculty Innovation and Collaboration. Their proposal, Tierkreis, is a multidisciplinary project leading to educational workshops and concert presentations in Puerto Rico and northwest Ohio. This artistic collaboration involves the College of Musical Arts and School of Art faculty in the preparation and presentation of “Tierkreis.” Composed by the late German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, this major work is comprised of flexible movements based on the signs of the zodiac. The composer has referred to these as “twelve human characters.” The elastic framework of the composition is ideal for interdisciplinary exploration. Additionally, the zodiac “characters” offer a symbolic relationship with the cycle of life, providing a vehicle for discussion and communication with both students and general audiences. Composition professor, Marilyn Shrude, will prepare a version of “Tierkreis” for woodwind faculty members, and Lynn Whitney will develop an accompanying photo display. Next fall, the faculty will travel to Puerto Rico to present performances and workshops of the collaboration…


BG high’s “Footloose” is about more than fancy footwork

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News This is not just some footloose and fancy free musical. The stage musical version of “Footloose,” a story told twice on the big screen, touches on some serious issues, said Jo Beth Gonzalez, who directs the theater program at Bowling Green High School. “There’s domestic violence,” she said, “loss of family, and death. … I actually think the stage play is richer.” And, of course, lots of dancing. It is, after all, called “Footloose.” “It’s a big dance show,” Gonzalez said.                     The musical will be on stage Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at the center’s box office Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The dancing is one of the reasons senior Logan Brown wanted to audition for the lead. He loves to dance and used to perform with his sister Lauren. Brown was excited that he would work with Bob Marzola, who is serving as choreographer. Brown has been in all the musicals during his high school career, he said.  He’s said he was “super…


Singers come from near & far to honor Jim Brown

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Those who knew Jim Brown will go the distance to honor his memory. Linda Gullufsen, who will direct the singers at a memorial for Brown Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Bowling Green, now lives in Tennessee. Others, such as Brandy Tell Mann who is now living in Youngstown, are traveling from far corners of the state. Others are coming from the East and West coasts and places in between. Gullufsen said that one singer arrived at the first rehearsal with an apology. She’d flown in from New York, but she was not able to come to the memorial service. Was it all right if she participated in the rehearsal? She wanted to do at least that to pay tribute to her former choral director. “That speaks volumes about the man being honored,” Gullufsen said. “He was revered enough in his life that they would make any sacrifice they could to be part of this choir,” she said.  And everyone comes with a story. Of course, many others are coming from Bowling Green where Brown was the high school choral director from 1966 to 2004 and an active member on…


Young musicians put down roots in Americana sounds

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News This could be a folk song. Jared Lucas used to play his favorite old time music at home alone. He didn’t know that other people in Bowling Green shared his love of bluegrass, folk, old country. Then one day at Jimmy John’s he spotted a flyer for the Roots Music Club on campus. It looked interesting, so he checked the club out. “I went to the meeting who found like-minded musicians who played the same music I did. We just hit it off. It was like a dream come true.” Well, that happy ending may disqualify it as a true folk ballad, but it does capture the spirit of the Roots Music Club at Bowling Green State University. The club has about 60 musicians who share a devotion for that broad swath of music called roots, or Americana, music. They get together regularly, a classroom in Moore Musical Arts serving as their coffeehouse, front porch or smoky bar. They play their own songs, strum traditional tunes and entertain musical guests. The club has even devoted an evening Beatles covers and another to members doing impersonations of some of their favorite performers. Much of this…


Art Walk set for downtown Bowling Green

Downtown Bowling Green and the Bowling Green Arts Council will present the 24th annual Art Walk, a celebration of the arts in the community, on Saturday, April 23. This free event showcases art from artists of all ages and disciplines including the visual and performing arts and also features art-related activities for children. The galleries throughout downtown are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Demonstrations, activities and performances continue throughout the day. As part of the event, The Busy Thimble is hosting its third annual quilt exhibit featuring the Black Swamp Quilter’s Guild on Art Walk day, with some of the best examples of the quilters’ art at The Four Corners Center, 130 S. Main St. The exhibit will feature dozens of beautiful handmade quilts of varying sizes from small baby quilts to large bed sized quilts and wall hangings. Guild members will be working on new creations and doing appliqué, hand quilting, and machine piecing demonstrations throughout the day. The Downtown Foundation is raising funds to beautify Downtown Bowling Green with hundreds of beautiful blooming plants for the community at the Fashion Food & Fine Art Luncheon at Sam B’s. The fashion show and luncheon will be held on April 23rd at…