Music

DePue Brothers ready to celebrate a hometown Christmas

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The kids at Crim got to play with the DePue Brothers Thursday. Zachary and Alex DePue, of the DePue Brothers Band, along with guest vocalist Aria Noelle Curzon, stopped by Crim Elementary Thursday to perform for the children. Crim Elementary students got a preview of upcoming DePue Brothers Holiday Spectacular. In introducing them, Stacey Higgins told the young audience that the brothers  Wallace, Jr. and Jason along with Alex and Zachary,  started performing when they were children living in Bowling Green, just like them. The second grade teacher knows because she went to Ridge Elementary School with the DePues. Zach DePue was back in town where he performed on the Bowling Green Philharmonia concert on campus. Alex DePue and Curzon joined him here to help set up the logistics for a DePue Brothers Holiday Spectacular on Dec. 21 in Kobacker Hall on the Bowling Green State University campus.  The four brothers, Curzon, and their full band will play two shows. The originally scheduled 7:30 p.m. evening show has almost sold out so, a 2 p.m. matinee has been added. Click for tickets. Zachary DePue plays Mozart at Crim. The demand should come as no surprise. Their previous holiday shows have drawn standing-room only crowds. The DePue Brothers have been building their local following for decades. Under the direction of their father Wallace, Sr., then a music professor at BGSU, the brothers started playing for church and small community events. During an appearance on WBGU-FM’s  “The Morning Show,” Alex DePue said the response they got, prompted their father to book more and more gigs for them.  In 1989 they were honored by President George H.W. Bush as “The Most Musical Family in America.” Though they all headed in different directions professionally, they still would get together by home, sometimes playing for a Christmas Eve service in their church, sometimes offering the community a holiday spectacular. Wallace DePue, Jr., the eldest, has a doctorate in music and has played with the Philadelphia Pops and with the Star Wars National Tour Concert Orchestra. After classical studies, Alex DePue headed into the world of country, fiddling, and rock. He’s won medals for his fiddling, and toured with country star Chris Cagle and rock guitarist Steve Vai. He lives outside San Diego where he performs with master guitarist Miguel De Hoyos.  Jason DePue performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Zach…

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Composer Sam Adler experienced Kristallnact as child, commemorates it in cantata to be performed Sunday

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In the early morning hours of Nov. 11, 1938 Samuel Adler’s family heard an explosion nearby their home in Mannheim, Germany. The 10-year-old later learned that it was the chapel at the Jewish Cemetery being bombed. This was the night that would come to be known as Kristallnacht — the night of broken glass, when the Nazis launched their full scale their persecution of Jews, moving beyond harassment to state violence. Adler’s father, Hugo Adler, a noted cantor, was caught up in the arrests, but released.  He tried to leave the country but couldn’t. A few days after Kristallnacht he and his son went to the central synagogue, which had been destroyed, where they climbed to the loft to collect and rescue as many of the music books, which contained the musical legacy of the congregation. Nazis moved around below where the two worked. Later the family was able to flee Germany “on the last train,” Adler remembers. “We were scared to death until we left for America.” A half century after those traumatic events, Adler, now an internationally renowned composer, commemorated Kristallnacht in “Stars in the Dust” with a libretto by the late Samuel Rosenbaum, one of the chief cantors in conservative Judaism. To commemorate the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, “Stars in the Dust” will be performed Sunday, Nov. 18 at 4 p.m., at Temple Shomer Emunim, 6453 Sylvania Ave, Sylvania. The performance will feature Cantor Andrea Rae Markowicz, soloists Christopher Scholl, tenor, and Lance Ashmore, baritone, from Bowling Green State University as well as the university’s Collegiate Chorale, conducted by Richard Schnipke, and orchestra, conducted by Emily Freeman Brown, Adler’s wife. The award-winning actress and singer Michelle Azar, the composer’s niece, will narrate.  Adler, who is retired from the faculties of the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School, now lives in Perrysburg. The libretto, Adler said, chronicles what happened drawing on contemporary accounts, including that  of a cantor who sang Kaddish, the traditional prayer of mourning, after seeing the damage wrought on his community. “It ends in conviction that it must never happen again,” Adler said.  But given anti-Semitism dates back 2000 years, vigilance will always be necessary. “We have to work at it so it doesn’t happen,” the composer said. Adler, who turned 90 in March, is in the midst of a year-long celebration. He and Brown have just…


SPLICE Ensemble brings heart & soul to electroacoustic music

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Even music that relies on circuitry needs the human touch.  “It’s really that live concert that can make music live and breathe and survive the test of time,” said Keith Kirchoff, of the SPLICE Ensemble. “It’s the performer that’s going to take this music into the next generation.  We still need to go to concerts, and it’s this concert experience that’s driven by a compelling performer … that makes it an immediately relatable art form.” The SPLICE Ensemble will headline the SPLICE Festival  this week at Bowling Green State University. The festival convenes Thursday, Nov. 8 on the Bowling Green State University, and continues through Saturday, Nov. 10. SPLICE will perform a free concert on the last night at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. The festival is devoted to electroacoustic music. Kirchoff defines electroacoustic music as classical music using electronics that’s “designed for the concert stage, for concentrated listening, intentional listening as opposed to being in the background or for dancing.” The festival, Kirchoff said, is a mix of performances and workshops. “We wanted to create a ground where  the education is an intrinsic part of the festival.” The festival is one branch of the umbrella SPLICE organization. It started as a one-week summer institute, branched out into the festival, and soon will have an academy program. The ensemble grew out of the institute, Kirchoff said. SPLICE was launched about five years ago by composer Christopher Biggs and Kirchoff, a pianist. “I felt there weren’t very many, if any, opportunities for performers to become comfortable integrating electronics into their performances,” Kirchoff said. The ensemble is an outgrowth of the festival. Kirchoff and Biggs  “wanted to have a performance faculty that was really good at their instruments and really good at electronics.” That, Kirchoff said, turned out to be himself, Kirchoff and fellow institute faculty, Adam Vidiksis, percussion, and  Sam Wells, trumpet.  “We really enjoyed working together,” the pianist said. They realized that they had a distinctive sound. Only one composition existed for their particular instrumentation.They set about soliciting composers to write for them. That process was facilitated by the institute and the festival. The SPLICE Festival is in its second year. Last year it was presented at Western Michigan University where Biggs teaches. Bringing it to BGSU was a natural. Elainie Lillios, of the BGSU composition faculty, teaches at the SPLICE Institute. She’s been “the…


BGSU Arts Events through Nov. 28

At the galleries – “The Shodo Way of Writing: Calligraphy Scrolls from the BGSU Asian Studies Collection” exhibition continues through Nov. 18 in the Willard Wankelman Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Presented by the BGSU Galleries, the exhibition includes 30 calligraphy scrolls by contemporary Japanese masters of these traditional arts.  Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Nov. 7 – Award-winning documentary filmmaker Dr. Matthew Donahue, a lecturer in popular culture, will present and screen “The Amsterdam T-Shirt Project,” highlighting the artists, vendors and creators of souvenir T-shirts in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the souvenir T-shirt capital of the world. The presentation and screening will begin at 1 p.m. in the Pallister Conference Room, Jerome Library. Nov. 7 – The Faculty Artist Series presents Caroline Chin on violin. She is an assistant professor and has been described by the Chicago Sun Times as “riveting and insightful, who lights up in passages of violin pyrotechnics.” She has performed throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 8 – The Prout Reading Series presents readings by MFA students Erin Carlyle and Katy Cesarotti. Carlyle, a poet, and Cesarotti, a fiction writer, are MFA students in the creative writing program. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Nov. 8 – The BGSU Early Music Ensemble and Graduate String Quartet will present a recital at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 8 – The College of Musical Arts hosts the SPLICE Festival 2018, featuring music written for instruments and electronics. The first concert is at 8 p.m. in the Cla-zel Theatre, 127 N. Main St., Bowling Green. The festival runs through Nov. 10. For a complete listing of events, visit https://splicemusic.org/festival/ii/program/. Nov. 9 – The SPLICE Festival 2018 continues with a concert at 10:30 a.m. and a talk at 1:30 p.m., both in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center; a workshop at 3:30 p.m. in 0108 Moore Center, and a concert at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. Free Nov. 10 – The SPLICE Festival will present its final day of events in Moore Musical Arts Center starting with a concert at 10:30 a.m. and a talk at 1:30 p.m., both in Bryan Recital…


‘Most Happy Fella’ at BGSU is a most wonderful show

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Frank Loesser’s “The Most Happy Fella” is a tricky devil of a musical. Or is it an opera? Loesser said it was a musical, and yet it is filled with soaring operatic moments to go along with the toe-tapping numbers.  The Bowling Green Opera Theatre has the talent to do justice to both genres. That will be on display this weekend when “The Most Happy Fella” is performed Friday, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. in Kobacker Hall in the Moore Musical Arts Center at Bowling Green State University. For tickets click here. .Directed by Geoffrey Stephenson, the musical compresses the original three acts into two with the elimination of dance numbers. That puts the focus even more on the singing, and the cast comes through, which is no surprise to anyone who follows the sounds emanating from the College of Musical Arts. Leading the cast are Caroline Kouma as Rosabella and Nick Kottman as Tony.  They are an unlikely pair of lovers. The elderly vineyard owner sees her waiting table in a restaurant in San Francisco and falls in love. He leaves a note and keepsake indicating he’d like to develop a relationship. They correspond, and when she asks for a photo he’s afraid she’ll reject him because of his age, instead he sends a photo of the handsome itinerant foreman Joe (Luke Serrano). And when Rosabella — the name given her by Tony — finally  arrives at the Napa Valley vineyard, she finds the wedding feast all spread out and Joe waiting for her. Only then do Joe and Rosabella discover the deception. But not before a couple of the exuberant production numbers that make the show so enjoyable. This leads up the revelation that takes both Joe and Rosabella by surprised. She’s about to leave, despite Joe’s protestations that Tony may be a “grampa,” he’s a nice guy as shown by all his friends gathered to greet his bride. Then Tony arrives, on a stretcher, after his truck overturned. Knowing she has few options in life, Rosabella goes through what may be a deathbed wedding anyway, only to follow it up with an intimate indiscretion with Joe. Rosabella is at a loss and Joe only wants to help, yet they are carried away on waves of emotional confusion. Now in most musicals the old guy,…


BGSU professor helps young people find their voice to protest gun violence

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Young people singing their original songs about the impact of gun violence and the desperate need for a change took the stage at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco recently. Their songs and others’ are part of a new album called “Raise Your Voice: The Sound of Student Protest.” The 11 tracks came from students across the United States, performing as soloists or in groups, from hip-hop to rock to spoken word to voice and piano. They are united in their insistence that gun violence has to stop. The impetus for the album came from Dr. Katherine Meizel, an associate professor of musicology in the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts. With the help of the Little Village Foundation, she found a way to preserve those voices and share the students’ message. “The project has two goals: to encourage young people to vote and to raise money for gun safety,” Meizel said. Proceeds from the album will be donated to the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety organization, which works to end gun violence, create safer communities and assist victims of gun violence. “Raise Your Voice: The Sound of Student Protest” is available at Grounds For Thought, for a discounted price of $16.50. For each album sold, $15 will go to Everytown for Gun Safety (https://everytown.org). The album is available for download and streaming on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and Google Play. “It’s important for young people to feel they can make a difference, and these students are demonstrating that in a really powerful, beautiful way,” Meizel said. “One of the reasons I’m so impressed with this movement is that they don’t imagine they can’t make a difference; it’s absolutely clear to them they can make a difference, and they are doing it. They don’t sit back and say, ‘My voice doesn’t count.’ They are making it count. “The students have different ideas about what reform should look like, but they all want to be safe in school and they all want to help heal people who have been harmed. They want to tell their representatives to care more about young people than about the gun lobby. Some want to tell policymakers they will soon be able to vote and will be making an impact politically. The want to encourage other young people to use their voices the way they have, and vote.” Last spring, as…


Toledo Symphony conductor Alain Trudel embraces his new community

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Alain Trudel came to Toledo to conduct an orchestra,  and to become part of a community. The Montreal native, who in September began his tenure as  Toledo Symphony Orchestra music director, said that he knew this was a place he wanted to be when he saw a poster in the orchestra’s office that spoke to its mission. It addressed, he said, the pillars that he also believes are essential. The first is artistic excellence — “to try to play the best version you can at any given time.” That’s essential, but not to his mind sufficient. Just as important, Trudel said, is being connected to the community. “Do you teach? Do you have a youth orchestra? Do you play chamber music in different houses?” And he was pleased to find “the orchestra does that.” That shows the organization “understands what it means to be relevant in your own community,” Trudel said. “If you are not relevant in your own community, you are in mortal danger.” The education part is the third pillar. The orchestra should be passing along the love of music to a young generation. Trudel has already attended and conducted a couple Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra rehearsals. He thinks of the members of those ensembles as his “younger colleagues.” Trudel will conduct his third concert as music director Saturday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle.  The concert includes classics of the symphonic repertoire by Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, and Stravinsky and a world premiere of a tuba concerto by Samuel Adler. Adler, a Perrysburg resident, is world renowned as a composer and educator. But he’s part of the regional music family, the conductor said. The solo part will be performed by the symphony’s tubist David Saltzman, who teaches at Bowling Green State University. During Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite,” artist Holly Carr will be on stage creating a panoramic silk painting. Trudel’s debut concert on the Classics series gave a clear indication of his direction. He opened with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony that spotlighted the orchestra. Then the symphony played a composition by Christopher Dietz, of the BGSU faculty. The concert closed with dancers from the Toledo Ballet  performing excerpts from “Swan Lake.” This was arranged, Trudel said, before the merger of the ballet and the orchestra was even being considered. “I didn’t want it to be all about me,” he said of the program….