Campus

All clear after Eppler North evacuated

Eppler North on the Bowling Green State University campus was evacuated at about 10:30 a.m. this morning (Oct. 18) because of smoke in the building. The problem was caused when a belt on an air handler overheated, according to Dave Kielmeyer, BGSU spokesman. People returned to the building within 30 minutes.


Film scholar Cynthia Baron digs deep into the art of movie acting in new book

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Mention American acting styles in conversation and most people will assume you are talking about Method acting. But film historian Dr. Cynthia Baron,  will be quick to point out that the Method made famous by Lee Strasberg and his most famous pupil, Marilyn Monroe, held sway for only a few years and was soon abandoned by most actors. What came before and has endured is Modern acting, which was developed by a number of dedicated teachers and theater companies and reached fruition in the 1930s and ‘40s. Baron’s latest book, “Modern Acting: The Lost Chapter of American Film and Theatre,” introduces us to the form of acting we know today, setting the record straight and giving credit to all those “unsung heroes” who worked mostly behind the scenes to create a style suited to the changing face of drama. Published by Palgrave Macmillan, “Modern Acting” is part of its Palgrave Studies in Screen Industries and Performance series. In tracing the genesis of what came to be known as Modern acting, Baron found that a number of factors played into the need for a new approach. With the shift to modern life, the style of drama began to change at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. There was much discussion about what kinds of plays were needed for society and for the different nations. Playwrights such as Ibsen, Chekhov and O’Neill came to prominence, and theater spaces and stagecraft adapted to better present the more interior, intimate works. And movies came onto the scene in a big way, especially with the decline of Broadway in the mid-1930s and the migration West of out-of-work actors seeking jobs in radio and film. “With the expansion of Hollywood in the 1930s and ’40s, film became the key performing art of the United States,” Baron said. In response, a different style of acting emerged that was appropriate for the new contexts. “This style fit seamlessly into the new vision of drama and staging,” Baron said. “And that’s what has been lost from history.” Another forgotten piece is that many of the style’s founders were women, she said. While we may recognize some of the names, such as Stella Adler, Maria Ouspenskaya and Eva Le Gallienne, other important figures such as Sophie Rosenstein and Josephine Dillon are virtually unheard of today. (Baron also chronicles the dramatic, pivotal break between Adler and Strasberg that led to the final schism between the two schools of acting and clears up the widely held misconception that Marlon Brando was a Method actor. In fact, he disavowed the Method and Strasberg.) Baron was also motivated to correct the lost history out of respect for those whose lives were impacted, and sometimes ruined, by the scourge of McCarthyism and the Hollywood blacklist that unfairly put so many talented actors, writers and others out of work. In fact, the book’s cover is a dramatic black and white photo of actor Roman Bohnen, a leader and guiding force of the Group Theatre and then Actors’ Laboratory Theatre. A victim of the blacklist, Bohnen’s 1949 collapse and death onstage were attributed to the enormous stress he suffered. “These heartbreaking stories fueled my energy in working on this,” Baron said. Meticulously researched and richly…


“A More Beautiful Question” author to speak at BGSU, Oct. 26

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING& COMMUNICATIONS As part of Bowling Green State University’s Common Read, author Warren Berger will speak at the University Oct. 26. Berger, a journalist and innovation expert, will talk about one of the most powerful forces for igniting change in business and in daily lives – questioning. Questioning can help people identify and solve problems, come up with game-changing ideas and pursue fresh opportunities. Berger’s presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union; doors open at 7 p.m. Berger will answer questions and sign books following his presentation, which is free and open to the public. Berger’s book, “A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas,” expands on the University’s Common Experience theme of “In the Spirit of Innovation.” He believes that questioning leads to innovation, can help people be more successful in their careers and can spark change in business and personal lives. To reach this conclusion, Berger has studied hundreds of the world’s leading innovators, designers, education leaders, creative thinkers and red-hot startups to analyze how they ask game-changing questions, solve problems and create new possibilities. In his book, he shows that the most creative, successful people tend to be expert questioners, raising questions no one else is asking – and finding the answers everyone else is seeking. Berger currently writes for Fast Company and Harvard Business Review; he was a longtime contributor at Wired magazine and The New York Times.


BGSU, UT presenting women’s leadership conference focusing on promotion

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University and The University of Toledo will co-present the Women in Leadership conference, Creating and Pursuing Pathways for Promotion,Friday, Oct. 21 at the Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons. BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey and University of Toledo President Sharon L. Gaber will begin the sold-out conference by sharing opportunities and obstacles faced throughout their career journeys. Christine Brennan, USA Today writer and author of several books, will serve as moderator. Bonnie Marcus, certified executive coach, speaker, writer and self-promotion expert, will serve as keynote presenter. Marcus is an award-winning entrepreneur and Forbes and Business Insider contributing writer. As president of Women’s Success Coaching, she assists professional women to successfully position and promote themselves to advance their careers. Breakout sessions include Identifying Pathways to Promotion and Creating and Supporting Pathways to Promotion. Breakout session speakers include Brennan; Andrew Faas, speaker and author; and Sam Horn, the Intrigue Expert and author. A panel of female business leaders from the region will share how they forged paths within their organizations and how their organizations created and supported pathways for women. Panel members include Dana Ullom-Vucelich, chief human resources and ethics officer, Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services; Sheri Caldwell, human resource director, The Grain Group, The Andersons; Meg Ressner, principal, Meg Ressner and Associates, LLC; and Paula Russell, vice president of human resources, Composite Solutions Business, Owens Corning. Christine Seiler, BGSU College of Business faculty member, will moderate this panel. A live stream option is available for this conference. More information is available at http://www.bgsu.edu/business/women-in-leadership.


Nuisance parties on the upswing on East Side

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In his suit and tie, Gordon Burns looked like he wanted to be anywhere else on Thursday evening. But instead, as part of his deal with the city prosecutor, he sat in the center of neighbors he had offended. He apologized to the group – people at least twice his age – for his loud party. Burns, a BGSU student, said he wasn’t aware he was causing distress to his neighbors. “From here on out, I’ll be more aware of my neighbors,” he said to the group that listened quietly. Burns, who rents a home on South Summit Street, avoided paying a $100 nuisance party fine by working six hours of community services and agreeing to stand up in front of the East Side Neighborhood Association and confess his crime. Rose Hess, head of the East Side group, told Burns that his neighbors would hold him to his statement. “Gordon, we are your neighbors,” Hess said in a motherly tone. “We look forward to a better rest of the year.” Then she gave the student another opportunity to prove his new-found self. She suggested that Burns join others in the Common Good organization and pick up litter in the neighborhood on some Saturdays. If the police blotter is any indication, the East Side neighbors may be hearing a lot of student apologies this school year. So far this year, from mid-August to Oct. 2, there have been 16 nuisance party complaints filed on the East Side of the city. That compares to 11 and 12 for the previous two years during the same time period. One resident in the area of Clough and South Summit streets said the students seemed “unusually rowdy” this year. Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick concurred. “I would agree with that. We’re out there enforcing it, trying to keep peace in the neighborhoods.” “I would encourage you to call if you have problems with your neighbors,” Hetrick told the residents. A resident of Manville said the problem there is the “roving drunks” coming home in the early morning hours, yelling and banging on her door. Hess encouraged citizens to not just report problems to the city police, but also with the BGSU Dean of Students. The university code of conduct extends into the neighborhoods, she said. Hetrick said officers patrol the East Side early on Saturdays and Sundays to make students pick up trash in their yards after parties. “We wake people up” and make them clean up their front yards, he said. “I give you guys kudos on that,” one neighbor responded. But another neighbor, Russ Veitch, asked if the public apologies and community service work are as effective as paying a $100 fine, given the fact that complaints are on the rise. “Are we being enablers by listening to students say, ‘Gee, I’m sorry,’” Veitch asked. City Prosecutor Matt Reger said his office tries to be creative with consequences. “We’d rather educate someone rather than just fine them,” he said. East Sider Eniko Szentkiralyi agreed that students should be given a chance to prove themselves. She has had planters pushed off her porch and chairs taken, but she continues to bake cookies for neighboring students, she said. “We’ve got to remember to be good neighbors…


East Side residents meet with BGSU neighbors

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   East Side residents met this week with their neighbor that brings the best perks and biggest problems for them – Bowling Green State University. The neighborhood association heard from Steve Krakoff, vice president of capital planning, and Bob Waddle, assistant vice president of capital planning for the university. The two explained the big push on campus to renovate solid structures, tear down obsolete buildings, and build new ones. For East Side residents, that means almost constant construction at their neighbor’s. But Rose Hess said the neighbors are willing to tolerate that disturbance. “Nobody has even complained of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly,” she said. Meanwhile, the dividing line between campus and the East Side neighborhood – East Wooster Street – is also a focus for the city and the university. The East Wooster corridor is divided into three sections – Main to Thurstin and Manville streets, the section in front of the university, and Mercer to Dunbridge roads. “This is where the city and the university come together to improve our future,” Krakoff said. “Our futures are very much tied together.” The university recently purchased two more properties on East Wooster Street, just east of South College Street. BGSU officials have no specific plans yet for those properties, Waddle said. “It was an opportunity to get those houses,” he said to East Side neighbors. “Hopefully in a lot of ways it will be an improvement.” “We will continue to buy properties along Wooster Street where we think it makes sense,” Krakoff  said. East Siders have already seen improvements with the new Greek housing and the new Kuhlin Center which resulted in a major facelift for South Hall, all along East Wooster Street. Krakoff cautioned that the construction will be ongoing as BGSU tries to stop campus sprawl and focus on the center of the campus. “The campus needs to get smaller, it just does,” he said. Harshman residence hall, along East Wooster Street, will be coming down before long, Krakoff said. Not only is that building unattractive and old, but less on-campus housing is needed with the decline in traditional students coming to college straight from high school. “In most places in the country, that key demographic is getting smaller,” he said. In 10 years or so, Kreischer Hall will be next to go, Krakoff said. Some older classroom buildings will also be torn down, including West Hall and the Family & Consumer Science building. Meanwhile, BGSU is focusing on modernizing other classroom buildings, such as Moseley, University and Hanna halls. “We want to start pumping some money into those remaining,” he said. A push is also on to make the campus more attractive – more of a memorable “collegiate environment,” Krakoff said. While residential housing on campus will be shrinking, the university will be looking at more use of off-campus apartments for students. BGSU previously purchased the apartment buildings by the Stroh Center, and have found them to be popular with students. So the university is considering building or renovating apartments “around the edges” of campus, Krakoff said. That may include townhouse like buildings on the south side of Wooster Street, “that backs up to your neighborhoods.” Mixed used structures, with retail on the first floor and apartments above are…


Police officials address issues of force, race & more during “Real Cops” panel

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The police in Bowling Green, either city or campus, don’t have to resort to using physical force very often. Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said that in 90,000 interactions, officers on the BG force have used force 52 times, and BGSU Police Chief Monica Moll said her department’s experience was similar. Rodney Fleming, the managing attorney at Student Legal Services, said that if citizens looked at the statistics, they’d see how little physical force is used. Capt. Mike Campbell, who will be interim chief when Moll leaves BGSU at the end of the month, said that in looking at police conflicts that have been in the news, he sees faulty tactics in how the incidents were approached. More emphasis should be put on de-escalating a situation, and better communication, he said. They were part of the “It’s Just Us: Real Talk with Real Cops,” held Friday at Bowling Green State University, and sponsored by Not In Our Town. No matter how little force is used, all incidents are reported and looked at. “Even if it was a legal use of force,” Moll said, “maybe we could have used less.” Hetrick said each instance is looked at by more than one supervisor, including himself. “Nothing is going to be swept under the rug.” And, if citizens feel they have been unfairly treated, each department has a formal complaint process. If someone doesn’t trust the police to follow through, they can complain to other entities, Fleming said – city officials, his office, or Not In Our Town. Hetrick said those complaints will be taken seriously. “As police chief I want to know that’s going on.” The interactions between police and citizens are often tinged with distrust. Moll talked about the importance of following officers’ instructions. Citizens may know they are not a threat but the officer doesn’t. “There’s a lot of anxiety on both sides,” she said. “What I’m seeing is you have folks who have traditionally adversarial relationships with police and are going to be automatically nervous when police approach, and when police approach they may interpret that as something else that’s wrong.” Often tensions ease over the course of a stop, she said. Ana Brown of resident life, who moderated the discussion, noted that “for a lot of us who are people of color, we don’t see that we necessarily get that time that white people do in a traffic stop.” Law enforcement is trying to address this with training on implicit bias. Police are required, Hetrick said, to undergo such training, to help recognize attitudes that may interfere with performing their duties. The state started mandating this training two years ago. The point, he said, “is to make sure we are in fact treating everyone fairly when we are out enforcing the law, that we are not letting these things affect how we do that.” Everyone, Moll said, has their own set of expectations and biases. “We all see the world through our own lens. … The key is to recognize what they are and when they might be impacting their official duties because we want officers to be fair and impartial.” Later in the session, the panel was asked about the perception by African Americans in Bowling Green that they are stopped for…


Peace march, Not In Our Town celebration set for Oct. 20

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The city of Bowling Green and Bowling Green State University will hold a Peace March Oct. 20 as part of a Reaffirmation Celebration of Not In Our Town (NIOT), a campaign to stop hate and build safe, inclusive environments. Everyone is welcome to participate in the march, which will begin at noon at the corner of Main and Wooster streets. The march will continue east on Wooster to Thurstin then north to the Bowen-Thompson Student Union parking lot, concluding at the front entrance of the Union. A celebratory event will follow later in the afternoon at 4 in the Falcon’s Nest, where BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey will speak about the campus impact of NIOT and Bowling Green Mayor Richard Edwards will speak about its community impact. Gary Sanders and Leslie Dunn, co-chairs of NIOT on campus, will speak about regional impact, and a student government representative will speak about the world impact. Pledge cards will be available at the event so that attendees can take the NIOT pledge, which says that a person will provide a safe and inclusive environment for friends and neighbors; commit to end hate and intolerance; not tolerate acts of discrimination; lead and live through example; and take a stand against hateful actions. Attendees can also sign banners in support of the initiative. The city of Bowling Green and BGSU formally launched the NOIT initiative in April 2013 to affirm their commitment to social justice, equity and inclusion and to embrace and celebrate diversity.


BGSU officials investigating racist graffiti

University officials are investigating an incident in which a racial slur was painted on the spirit rock near Kreischer Quad on the Boling Green State University campus sometime on Oct. 12. According to a statement from BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey, university staff quickly removed the offensive graffiti, but some members of the university community did see it. “BGSU embraces a culture of diversity and inclusion,” Mazey said in the statement. “All across campus we work hard to uphold the core values of the University including ‘respect for one another.’ This type of hate speech will not be tolerated at BGSU.” The Office of the Dean of Students with support from university police are looking into the incident, and any student found to be involved will be subject to discipline through the university’s Code of Student Conduct. Anyone was has any information about this incident, or is aware of any acts of discrimination or racism are urged to contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 419-372-2843. Also, a Bias Incident Report can be completed and submitted online. “We will not allow this incident to divide our community,” Mazey stated. She concluded by encouraging members of the university community to participate in the reaffirmation celebration of the Not In Our Town initiative on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 4 p.m. in the Falcon’s Nest.


BGSU graduate Julia Arroyo receives sociology fellowship

BGSU alumna Julia Arroyo ’14 is one of five individuals selected for the American Sociological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program. The national program recognizes and supports exceptional minority Ph.D. candidates. Arroyo, who is pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Florida, worked as a research assistant at the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at BGSU. Arroyo’s research interests include race and ethnicity, child welfare systems and families, children and youth. Her work promotes positive outcomes among racial-ethnic minority youth and youth in zero-parent households, which includes living with grandparents or foster parents, and creates space for their experiences in theories of their well-being. Her dissertation examines the changing prevalence and characteristics of zero-parent households in the United States. Applying qualitative and quantitative methods, it links the formation of these households, and the destinies of those within them, to broader social, economic and political circumstances. Arroyo’s co-authored works address historical change in women’s age at first birth and marriage, and child welfare caseworkers’ attitudes toward nonresident fathers. Among works that are forthcoming are an interdisciplinary brief on preventing children’s use of racial-ethnic stereotypes and a review of “Spheres of Influence” by Massey and Brodmann (2014). Her in-progress works problematize the role of caseworkers’ attitudes in father-engagement outcomes, critique measurements of family environments and characterize young adult pathways out of non-parental households. Her awards include the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research summer program’s Clifford C. Clogg Scholarship (2014); UF Sociology, Criminology and Law’s Gorman Award for Innovative Methods (2014), and the UF Connor Dissertation Award (2016). Learn more about the Minority Fellowship Program.


Bob Dylan worthy recipient of Nobel Prize for Literature, BGSU scholars say

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The times they are a changin’ in Stockholm. This year the Nobel Prize committee surprised the world by awarding the Literature Prize to songwriter Bob Dylan for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Jack Santino, a professor of popular culture at Bowling Green State University, said the announcement had “an element of surprise.” “It’s expanding their rubric of what literature is,” he said. Lawrence Coates, who teaches in BGSU’s Creative Writing Program, noted Toni Morrison was the last American to win the Nobel for Literature, back in 1993. “That’s a long stretch without an American being recognized,” he said. And while as a fiction writer he has his own ideas about who would be fitting recipients of the prize – authors Don DeLillo and Cormac McCarthy – he nonetheless sees Dylan as a good choice. “That he works in the popular tradition of song is great,” Coates said. “Having somebody who writes and performs goes way back to the roots of literature. I appreciate the Nobel committee looking beyond literature having a very limited audience to literature that has a very broad audience.” “Often song lyrics don’t work when you just read them,” Santino said. Though lyrics as “stylized language” are closest to poetry as a literary genre, songs are a hybrid, akin to the graphic novel. “The curious element of it is a songwriter being canonized opens the floodgates for all sorts of things,” he said. Santino expects the choice will spark debates about what is and isn’t literature. “He has an ability to write a couplet, or to sum up a thought in a very catchy line or two, and they sort of enter into oral tradition which an interesting development is given his professional relationship to folk music,” Santino said. Santino said he jokes that the most common sources of catch phrases are the Bible, Shakespeare and Bob Dylan. People often don’t even know they are using Dylan’s words, he said. Coates noted the enduring power of the work after reciting a stanza of Dylan’s “Times Are a Changin’” in the course of the interview. The songwriter’s legacy is firmly rooted in his early career in the 1960s, Santino said. “He was an enormous presence at a particular point in history.” He emerged “at the same time, or maybe a tiny bit in advance, of when the American cultural scene was changing.” Dylan’s ability to express that, and even anticipate it “put him into that prophetic status.” Coates said: “One of the things that impresses me about Dylan is the long productive life he’s had, and the body of work he continues to add to. … Dylan continues to be active productive artist. That’s something all artists would respect. He’s still writing today.” Coates also feels even Dylan’s earliest work continues to be important. “I hope people can look at those songs and popular movements to address the problems the world’s having like climate change or the ongoing wars,” he said. “I don’t see his music as only tied to certain era. It’s still relevant today.”


State police chiefs spotlight BGSU department’s outreach to community

From OHIO ASSOCIATION FOR CHIEFS OF POLICE Connecting with the community on a deeper level with community policing programs is a difficult challenge for many local law enforcement agencies, but the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) Police Department faces an especially unique challenge – their constituency is always changing. Chief Monica Moll was recently interviewed while over 19,800 students were just beginning classes for the 2016-2017 school year. As Chief Moll pointed out, “it is a continuous effort to reconnect with the students.” Of the over 6,300 students living on campus, almost half of them are new to the BGSU community and they bring their own perceptions of police with them — good or bad. How does the BGSU Police Department seek to connect with students? Through continuous outreach efforts that focus on those groups that may be most likely to have experienced discrimination or have a distrust of police officers. BGSU has embraced and been very successful in their outreach efforts through the program “Not in Our Town.” “Not in Our Town” is a national program launched in 1995 with the mission “to guide, support and inspire people and communities to work together to stop hate and build safe, inclusive environments for all.” Four years ago Bowling Green was struggling with how to confront acts of racism and hatred on campus and in the community. City and university leaders joined together and adopted the “Notin Our Town” program. However, the initiative is not merely a one-size fits all template – each community develops its own program recognizing that real change and success will only take root on a local level. The effort took off in Bowling Green. More than 12 community organizations and over 50,000 individual pledges were behind the effort. In June 2016, Bowling Green was recognized by Not in Our Town with a National Award for enhancing the quality of life in the community and on campus. Chief Monica Moll is quick to point out that the “Not in Our Town” initiative is a “joint effort requiring collaboration between the community, the University, the City of Bowling Green’s Police Division, and the BGSU Police Department”. To support the movement on campus, the BGSU Police Department is active in sponsoring community forums, connecting with minority communities, participating in “Coffee with a Cop” events, and hosting forums on campus called “Real Talk with Real Cops.”  (See story http://bgindependentmedia.org/real-talk-with-real-cops-for-bg-community/) They have also co-sponsored a basketball tournament with minority students and local law enforcement officers called “Together We Ball.” The key is to connect with students and change their perception of police, and to encourage both police officers and community members to treat all views and people of all backgrounds with respect. As Chief Moll stated, the “Not in Our Town” initiative successfully ties city and university policing together. “Students don’t typically look at the car or police patch, they see all police agencies as one, which makes it even more important to present a united and consistent message between the two agencies.” The BGSU Police Department was also recently recognizing for adopting and fully implementing the new state standards established by the Ohio Collaborative Community Policing Advisory Board as a part of the state’s effort to strengthen community and police relations. “We are proud to announce that the BGSU Police…


Pat Martino swings through musical matrix as guest artist at BGSU festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jazz guitarist Pat Martino has his own perspective on music. Within a couple minutes of his telephone interview with BG Independent, he’s talking about the ancient Chinese text the I Ching, the Book of Changes. Martino’s mind has a mathematical turn. He sees the guitar, he said, “as a matrix.” “I teach it accordingly and hope through that I can open up other windows,” he said. “The guitar strings are six in number, and it’s horizontal and vertical in terms of its properties.” There’s the strings across and the fret bar down. “You literally have a matrix,” he said. The I Ching, he explained, is made up of hexagrams of six broken or unbroken lines, each with 64 variations. “The I Ching is a psychologically study, a spiritual study,” he said. “The guitar is a musical study, but it’s the same matrix.” And the performer is “a witness” in the middle of this complex of dualities – minor-major, loud-soft, fast-slow — looking back to the beginning and forward the end. Martino will share his views on music and all the areas of life it opens up as the featured artist at this year’s Orchard Jazz Festival at Bowling Green State University. He’ll perform Saturday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre on campus and give a master class earlier that day at 2:30 p.m. in the Conrad Room in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. The fusion group Marbin will perform and teach on Friday. See the full festival schedule at: http://www.bgsu.edu/musical-arts/events/orchard-guitar-festival.html. The son of a singer and guitarist, Martino entered that musical matrix as a youngster growing up in in the fertile Philadelphia music scene. There he rubbed shoulders with jazz legend John Coltrane and worked with pop stars Bobby Darin and Frankie Avalon.  He first went on the road with former schoolmate organist Charles Earland, planting the guitarist firmly in soul jazz. He moved to Harlem to immerse himself more in that scene. His reputation was such that he signed with Prestige as a 20-year-old where he was a pioneer in jazz-rock fusion. But by 1976, Martino, then in his early 30s, was experiencing seizures that eventually required surgery in 1980. The surgery severely impaired his memory. He taught himself to play guitar again, emerging back on the scene in 1987, only to take another hiatus to care for his ailing parents. He relaunched his career in 1994. In the past two decades he’s toured, recorded and taught, picking up honors along the way, including Grammy nominations and a Downbeat Reader’s Poll win as top guitarist in 2004. Martino, 72, is back touring with the venerable organ trio formation.  Part of it, he said, is practical. It’s easier and less expensive to travel with three people, and that means more opportunities to share his music. Also, he has an abiding love of the Hammond B3 organ. “The organist is in two places simultaneously” he said. The organist lays down the bass line while filling chords and melodies on top.  The organ’s bass lines have their own distinct phrasing, different from what a stand up or electric bass can provide, he said. “The organ has its identity, its rainbow of colors. There’s a beauty to that, that cannot be achieved through…


David Bixler’s Hughes Project started as a gift from his mother

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News David Bixler can thank his mother for inspiring his Hughes Project. His mother, a retired English teacher, sent him a copy of Langston Hughes’ poem “Mother to Son.” “Well, son, I’ll tell you,” the poem begins. “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” That poem inspired Bixler. He responded as a jazz saxophonist and composer would: by writing a song. From that first piece has grown into The Hughes Project, seven pieces with more to come for a nine-piece ensemble. All based on poems written by the man of letters considered a leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and 1930s. Last week Bixler gave a lecture about the project, accompanying his remarks with performances of two pieces from the project. Later that night he presented a recital featuring the seven movements he’s completed so far. He’d long been interested in writing music inspired by Hughes that blended a jazz quintet and a string quartet. He finally carved out the time to write the piece last year. He was on leave from his position as director of jazz studies at Bowling Green State University, and his family had relocated back to New York City. They were living, he quipped, in “the squalor” of renovating their new home. He started writing in June, 2015 and first heard what he’d written this May. Bixler, who received a grant from the Institute for the Study of Culture and Society at BGSU, brought in musicians from New York City for the performance. They included trumpeter Russell Johnson, who grew up in the same Wisconsin town as Bixler and has his mother as a teacher. The jazz contingent also featured Jon Cowherd, piano, Gregg August, bass, and Fabio Rojas, drums. The quintet was joined by the Semiosis Quartet – Natalie Calma and Nicole Parks, violin, Oliver Chang, viola, and Kett Lee, cello. In composing the pieces, Bixler made some key decisions up front. As with the initial “Mother and Son,” he did not set the poem to music to be sung nor did he have a narrator reading against a musical backdrop. Also, though Hughes was often called a “jazz poet,” and he wrote many works inspired by the music of African-Americans, Bixler avoided those. Instead, he said, he focused “on his work that dealt with our common humanity and the emotions therein and trying to find the musicality and lyricism that’s imbued in his work.” Bixler started that search as is his wont by improvising on the poems, each of which he’d memorized. Through the improvisation he teased out the melodic, rhythmic and harmonic ideas and basic elements of structure that he worked into the composition. He eschewed any reference to the jazz popular at the time, adopting a harmonic and melodic vocabulary that bridges contemporary jazz and concert music. The composer, though, also set about studying Hughes’ life and work. He found that “I held a romantic notion of what he was and what he represented. … The reality was I knew relatively little about the man and his work.” Early on he turned to the monumental “The Life of Langston Hughes” written by BGSU graduate Arnold Rampersad. The Hughes Bixler discovered in those pages was a more complicated figure. Hughes found himself “pandering…


BGSU grad returns to campus with Singing Sergeants & Air Force Band

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The U.S. Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants, two of the six performing ensembles within The United States Air Force Band, will perform at Bowling Green State University Oct. 24 as part of a 10-day community relations tour. Senior Master Sgt. Christine (Adamick) Germain, a soprano vocalist and the superintendent of the Singing Sergeants, is a 1995 BGSU graduate. She was also a resident artist with the Toledo Opera Company and made several guest appearances with the Black Swamp Players Theater of Ohio. Several other members of the Concert Band and Singing Sergeants are natives of Ohio, and many are graduates of Ohio schools, including the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., the Air Force Band honors those who have served, inspires American citizens to heightened patriotism and service, and positively impacts the global community on behalf of the U.S. Air Force and the United States of America. For two years in a row, the Concert Band and Singing Sergeants have been the featured performing ensemble of the nationally broadcast Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular in New York City. Germain came to BGSU from Newington, Conn., to major in music education, but performance was her real love. After attending a performance of the Air Force Singing Sergeants in 1994, she auditioned. “I was still preparing to teach music until I found out I got the job in February 1995,” she said. “I had never heard of performing opportunities in the military, so it wasn’t anything I had considered before, but I went to basic training in June immediately following graduation.” Germain was a founding member of the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Middle Tier Council, a member of the Washington Area Top 3 and a distinguished graduate from the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy. Her Air Force career highlights include performing the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII and Super Bowl 50 and singing at the funerals of former presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. “I get to serve the country and do what I love,” she said. “It’s been a life-altering experience.” While at BGSU, Germain was an active member of Sigma Alpha Iota music sorority and Alpha Phi sorority. In addition, she was awarded the Helen McMasters Scholarship for Education in 1994, the College of Musical Arts’ Vocal Talent Award for three consecutive years and the Bowling Green Women’s Club Talented Artist of the Year award. She also performed a variety of roles with the University’s Opera Theater. “Bowling Green was the highlight of my young life,” Germain said. “There were so many ways to become involved on campus and to meet people – there just simply wasn’t enough time to do it all. Some of my most fond memories are with the friends I met at the school of music, to include my professors.” The 7 p.m. performance will take place in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required: https://itkt.choicecrm.net/templates/BGSU/.