Campus

Pressure is on for top teen pianists at Dubois competition at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News This weekend a couple dozen of the best teenage pianists in the country will converge on Kobacker Hall on the Bowling Green State University campus for the David D. Dubois Piano Festival and Competition. They will perform music for solo piano for a small audience panel of judges, fellow pianists, and a few anxious family members. Music lovers from the community are welcome as well and will be rewarded by hearing talent akin to what’s heard on the National Public Radio show “From the Top.” There won’t be jokes, and endearing stories though. Just music played in the most rigorous setting a musician can encounter. At stake are cash prizes. The winner receives $3,000, second place $2,000, and third place $1,000. The semifinals will take place Saturday from 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. with the finals Sunday from 9 a.m.to noon. The winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m. This year the guest pianist will be Spencer Myer. (Christopher O’Riley, host of “From the Top” did the honors in 2012). Myer performed in many competitions, especially as he was launching his career. Even when he didn’t get past the first round, he feels he gained from those experiences. He made contacts and was heard. “Things always came from that exposure.” A competition like the Dubois pushes students to learn a number of pieces, most of them memorized. The Dubois participants prepare programs 20 to 30 minutes long. They must select pieces from three of four musical eras, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary, including at least one classical sonata. All music written before 1945 must be…


BGSU’s Hanna Hall will be new home for College of Business

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The plan of constructing a new “signature building” on campus to house the School of Business has been scrapped. Instead, one of Bowling Green State University’s Traditions Buildings, Hanna Hall, will be renovated and added onto to house the College of Business. While the decision was made months ago, it was news to many at the Faculty Senate meeting Tuesday. Steve Krakoff, vice president for capital planning and campus operations, presented to the senate his annual review of construction projects on campus, including plans for Hanna Hall. One senator, Bill Albertini, of English, asked if he had been dreaming when he’d heard that the Education Building would come down after a new School of Business was built. No, Krakoff said, it was not a dream. “There’s comfort there.” Plans change as needs and resources are assessed. The second floor of the Education Building has been renovated with high tech classrooms. In the case of the School of Business it came down to money. Krakoff said university officials studied three options: renovating the existing building, constructing a new School of Business, or renovating Hanna Hall. They concluded that even after spending “tens of millions of dollars,” the existing building would not meet the program’s needs. A new building would cost $53 million to build now, but by 2020 or 2021 when the project would be started, inflation would push the cost to $79 million. In August, 2014, Krakoff said that the university was hoping to find private funding for the project. The Hanna renovation would cost $39 million today, and $49 million when the project…


Reflections on time & space win top prize at BGSU undergraduate exhibit

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent Media Kai Lee Liu has time on her side. The Bowling Green State University art major junior already has had her work included in international exhibits. Sunday at the opening of the Undergraduate Art Exhibit on campus she got some hometown love to go with it. Her video installation won the Medici Circle Best of Show Award and her piece “Time Is Passing Because Of People” won first prize in ceramics. Faculty member Leigh-Ann Pahapill, who Liu said was her “inspiration,” said that the young artist had great prospects. That’s evident from pieces being selected for shows in Dubai and China. Standing near her prize-winning ceramic piece, done under the tutelage of John Balistreri, Liu talked about the concept behind it. Time exists, yet it is people who give it meaning. The two towering sections of the piece evoke a canyon. The viewer feels small next to them. The piece opens up on one side, with a narrower opening on the other. Nearby is a small companion piece. This play on scale changes the way the viewer perceives their sense of scale and time, Liu said. The installation has an 18-minute video of nature scenes, including a looming moon and cascading waves, marking the passage of a day that is viewed through a thicket of glass tubes. Liu said the idea was to animate the glass as it catches the reflections of light from the video. University music student Nicholas Taylor provided the ambient score for the piece. He noted that his collaborator had submitted five pieces for inclusion in the show. Four were accepted….


Curling club to leave BGSU for new site

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   For nearly 50 years, Bowling Green Curling Club has been hurling stones at the BGSU Ice Arena. But the relationship between the ice arena and the curlers has cooled enough that the club is moving out. “There’s a really long history there,” said Shannon Orr, president of the BG Curling Club. For years, the sheet of ice on the south end of the ice arena was dedicated to curling. But recently, the curlers have had to share their ice with expanding hockey and skating programs. And though all the sports are played on sheets of ice, the surface is very different for curlers than for skating. So the curling club, with its more than 100 members, is packing up its brooms and stones and is preparing to set up shop in a new site the group plans to buy or lease north of Bowling Green. “This is a pretty exciting adventure,” Orr said. The new site is the former Perry House furniture building at 19901 Ohio 25. “It’s perfect. It’s huge,” Orr said. The site will have room for four sheets of ice that the club won’t have to share with skaters or hockey. Because of reduced ice time at the BGSU ice arena, the club had lost its weekend curling and time for its youth program. Dave Kielmeyer, spokesman for BGSU, said the university was faced with more demand for limited ice space at the arena. “We’re sad to see them go, but we understand their decision,” Kielmeyer said. “We certainly do our best to meet the ice needs of the…


Globe trotting pianist Spencer Myer visits familiar ground in Bowling Green

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Pianist Spencer Myer is no stranger to Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts. Growing up in North Ridgefield, he traveled to BGSU for a workshop with the Men’s Choir and a couple master classes with Jerome Rose. When he returns next weekend guest artist for the David D. Dubois Piano Competition, he’ll be the one presenting the master class. The master class will be Friday at 2:30 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Myer will present a recital in Kobacker Hall Saturday Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, and BGSU music majors are free with student ID. He will then serve on the jury for the finals of the piano competition on Sunday morning starting at 9 a.m. Two of the pieces on his recital program may well be played by Dubois competitors. Myer will open his Saturday concert with Mozart’s Sonata in G Major, which he said is common for students to play but often neglected by professionals. He’ll also perform Maurice Ravel’s “Jeux D’Eau.” A technically difficult piece that has been played in past Dubois events. The centerpiece of his concert will be Robert Schumann’s “Fantasie.” It’s been in his concert repertoire for two years. “I’ve just adored the piece for so long and how poignant it is. It’s been hard to let go of it.” The piece “is so deep and so sincere. … It’s clearly a statement of love from Schumann to Clara. It has so many special moments. “It’s a piece I’ve held on…


Concerto concert puts spotlight on top BGSU musicians

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The annual Concerto Concert at the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts puts students in the spotlight. The soloists are students who won their chance in the spotlight in a competition in December. The conductors are students. And the Bowling Green Philharmonia is a student orchestra. Listeners should expect, however, nothing less than a top quality in the performance. Graduate student Zachary Nyce’s performance in the dress rehearsal of Witold Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Piano was proof of that. The notes had hardly stopped reverberating in Kobacker Hall when Emily Freeman Brown, director of orchestral studies at BGSU, strode onto the stage. “There are very few university situations where this could be done,” she told the assembled musicians including conductor Maria Mercedes Diaz Garcia. The concerto composed in 1988 will conclude the concert Saturday at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall on campus. Tickets are $10, $5 for students and free for BGSU music majors (and minors enrolled in MUS 99) with stickers on their IDs. Also on the program will be: • Undergraduate division winner Brianna Buck, saxophone, playing Elergie and Rondo by Karl Husa, conducted by Robert Ragoonanan. • Undergraduate division winner Yuefeng Liu, piano, playing Piano Concerto in G minor by Camille Saint-Saens, conducted by Santiago Piñeros-Serrano. • Graduate division winner, Benjamin Crook, piano, playing Piano Concerto in C minor by Ludwig von Beethoven, conducted by Evan Meccarello. Nyce was well aware of the challenge the Lutoslawski piece posed for his fellow musicians. “It’s a real challenge. I picked a very difficult piece. It’s something that needs to be heard and…


Former Stroh director indicted

BG INDEPENDENT NEWS The Bowling Green State University employee who oversaw the Stroh Center has been indicted on five felony counts. Ben Spence, a Bowling Green native, was indicted by a Wood County Grand Jury on two felony counts of theft in office and three felony counts of tampering with records. Spence, 34, who had been the Stroh director since 2013, had already resigned over financial irregularities. A statement from the university said in August, 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. Last August, BGSU internal auditors conducted an audit of cash handling practices related to the OHSAA tournaments and discovered facts that warranted referring the matter to the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether criminal conduct was involved. The university immediately suspended Spence. According to Dave Kielmeyer, BGSU spokesperson, the prosecutor’s office started its own investigation. While the prosecutor’s investigation was ongoing, Spence resigned his position on Oct. 12, 2015. He is no longer employed by the university. After reviewing the draft audit findings, the university put additional procedures into place at the Stroh Center, according to a statement from BGSU.  


BGSU’s clinical psychology program top ranked

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The University’s clinical psychology Ph.D. program is among the best in the nation, according to two recent reports. On the list compiled by counselingpsychology.org, BGSU is ranked second in the nation for its success in preparing students for careers in professional counseling. The website bestcounselingdegrees.net ranks BGSU 22nd on its list of the country’s 50 best Ph.D. programs in clinical psychology for 2016. “The rankings are affirmation that we offer a top-flight program and have developed an excellent reputation,” said Dr. Michael Zickar, chair of the psychology department. “Our program has excelled in providing a balanced experience that focuses on rigorous academic research as well as excellent practical experiences and placement,” he said, adding, “Our doctoral students learn from world-class faculty and then go on to apply those experiences in mental health facilities throughout the region and the nation.” The main metric for both rankings is the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards as part of the process in granting licensure. BG’s passage rate is 100 percent. The exam is “one of the best ways to determine how well students are prepared for a career in professional counseling,” according to bestcounselingdegrees.net’s website. Bestcounselingdeegrees.net’s rankings also look at the percentage of doctoral students who successfully obtain American Psychological Association-accredited internships. More than 91 percent of BGSU’s doctoral students achieved that marker. The program is one of 300 clinical psychology Ph.D. programs nationwide that is accredited by the American Psychological Association. BGSU’s program follows a scientist-practitioner model of training in which the development of…


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 a more informal air – that’s the appeal. People gather, chat at the bar, and serious listeners sit in the…


East Side may get revitalization plan

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Neglected and abused housing on Bowling Green’s East Side may soon be addressed in a revitalization plan. Bowling Green City Council heard the first reading Monday evening of a plan to contract with consultants to develop a strategic revitalization plan for the northeast and the southeast neighborhoods of the city. “We’ve been talking about the need to revitalize these neighborhoods,” council member Daniel Gordon said after the meeting. The decline of the housing stock around Bowling Green State University has been going on for years, Gordon said. “The city has not intervened,” he said. Much of the traditional single family housing has been converted into rental units. “When you have that unbalance created,” the housing problems worsen, Gordon said. Council member Sandy Rowland said she has been a strong advocate of getting the revitalization plan moving. “I know what the situation on the East Side is with housing,” she said. Since she works in the real estate industry, Rowland said she is aware the problems don’t stop at Main Street which divides the east and west sides of the city. “It affects the entire city,” she said, after the meeting. When the city recently updated its land use plan, the consultant ranked revitalization of the East Side was high on the priority list, Rowland said. More and more of the single-family homes close to the university are being converted into rentals. “And when those wonderful homes are turned into rentals, they rapidly deteriorate.” Consequently, fewer and fewer homes appeal to young couples and young professionals looking to purchase homes, Rowland said. Gordon…


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 a professor of trumpet at Bowling Green State University for 15 years. During that time he’s remained an active performer….


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 will perform a solo recital of favorite contemporary pieces in the Great Gallery of the Toledo Museum of Art.


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 is especially true of women who may forego wearing traditional head covering. “They are afraid of hate crimes,” he said….


‘Adopt’ a block idea taking shape

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Residents of Bowling Green’s East Side often wake to find their yards littered with trash from party-goers. So in an effort to clean up the neighborhoods and sullied reputations of college students, plans have begun for some blocks to be “adopted” by student groups. The Bowling Green City-University Relations Commission discussed the cleanups as a goal that can be accomplished rather than started then put on hold each time a break in semesters occurs. “We talk about these things over and over again,” said Lisa Mattiace, vice president of the commission. But little is accomplished, the board agreed Tuesday evening. Peter Rodriguez, a member of the Undergraduate Student Government, said that organization had begun talks about student groups adopting city blocks, similar to the “adopt a highway” program started by the Ohio Department of Transportation. But Rodriguez added that the progress on the program “is very, very slow.” The project is brought up annually, but “there’s no traction.” Members of the city-university commission agreed they could help provide the needed traction. They recognized this program as a project they could team up with the USG to get accomplished, possibly this spring semester. And once started, it would be easy to continue every semester. “I think it’s commendable for the USG to be taking that on,” commission member Chris Ostrowski said. Tom Mellott, also on the commission, suggested that signs be erected identifying which group is responsible for which blocks. “I think it will help people understand that folks do care,” he said. Julie Broadwell, a commission member who lives on the East…


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, a rhythmic fragment or motif. His approach is to work with whatever he plays first in a solo. He also…