Music

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

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


St. John Passion in its element as Good Friday offering

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


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

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


BGSU arts events through April 18

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


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

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


BGSU Arts Events through April 12

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS March 31 – Jazz Week continues with a trombone performance from Jazz Lab Band I with Grammy-nominated guest artist Alan Ferber. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center, by phone at 419-372-8171, or online at www.bgsu.edu/the-arts/. Advance tickets are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. April 1 – Bravo! BGSU celebrates the very best of the arts. Experience a magical evening of vocal, instrumental and theatrical performances, plus exhibitions and demonstrations by student and faculty artists in glass, ceramics, metals and digital arts. Enjoy a festive atmosphere and an array of appetizers and tasty treats. The celebration will begin at 7 p.m. in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. To purchase tickets to the event, contact Lisa Mattiace in the President’s Office at 419-372-6780 or by email at lmattia@bgsu.edu April 1 – Students from BGSU’s College of Musical Arts will be featured in an afternoon chamber music concert at 1 p.m. at the Way Public Library, 101 E. Indiana Ave., Perrysburg. Hosted by Pro Musica, friends of music at the college, the program will feature students who have received travel grants from the organization. The concert is free and open to the public. April 2 – The Gish Sunday Matinee series kicks off with the 1945 film “And Then There Were None,” directed by René Clair. Agatha Christie’s celebrated who-done-it “Ten Little Indians,” under the deft guidance of French director…


Musical serpent to be celebrated at BGSU

There’s a serpent in the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University. Not of the reptilian variety, but rather the musical type. The college will host a residency on the snakelike historical horn featuring Douglas Yeo, the leading scholar on the instrument. The event takes place April 4-6 at Moore Musical Arts Center and includes a free public concert, a seminar and a lesson on playing the serpent, plus master classes with college students and faculty members on the serpent and the trombone. The serpent master class, led by faculty member David Saltzman, will take place from 9:30-10:20 a.m. April 5 in 2002 Moore Musical Arts Center and is open to the public. The seminar will be held from 2-3:15 p.m. April 6 in 2117 Moore. “The Ruth P. Varney Serpent: A Conversation and Concert Led by Douglas Yeo” will begin at 8 p.m. that evening in Bryan Recital Hall in the Moore Center, with a reception following in the Kennedy Green Room. The program includes marches written by Christopher Eley, Samuel Wesley and Josef Haydn for the Duke of York, the Prince of Wales and the Derbyshire Cavalry Regiment, plus a divertimento in four movements attributed to Haydn. Yeo’s performance will be accompanied by students and faculty from the College of Musical Arts. The idea for the BGSU serpent conference came about when the college received the donation of a serpent from Dr. Glenn Varney, professor emeritus of marketing. The instrument had belonged to his late wife, Ruth, whose grandparents had purchased it for her mother. “It is an English military serpent with four keys by an anonymous maker, likely constructed in the mid to late 1830s…


BGSU Jazz Week guest, trombonist Alan Ferber, has reached out to create a successful career

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Grammy-nominated composer, arranger and trombonist Alan Ferber, his trip to Bowling Green is not a one-way street. He’ll work with students, and share with them the knowledge developed over a couple decades as a professional musician as they work to master his big band charts. That will give them “an intense experience of playing music with the guy who wrote it. I know it was like that with me when I was in college.” He’ll also get to hear some of his music written for a nine-piece group performed by local professionals. Hearing this nonet music played by a different set of musicians, most of whom he hasn’t met before, is fun, he said. He does know David Bixler, head of the Jazz Studies program at BGSU, who will play alto sax in the nonet. He and Bixler played in Toshiko Akiyoshi’s Jazz Orchestra together. It was Bixler who arranged Ferber’s visit to campus. Ferber is the guest artist for Jazz Week at the Bowling Green State University campus. He’ll perform a free nonet concert with the faculty and guests on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, and Friday with the Jazz Lab Band I at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. Tickets are $7 and $3 for students in advance and all tickets are $10 the day of the show. Call 419-372-8171 or visit www.bgsu.edu/the-arts/. See http://bgindependentmedia.org/bgsu-arts-events-through-april-4/ for a schedule of Jazz Week events. Ferber said in dealing with students, his first job is putting them at ease. There can be certain misconceptions about how he’ll react. At a previous residency…


BGSU arts events through April 4

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS   Through March 31 – The BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition will be on display in the Bryan and Wankelman Galleries, located in the Fine Arts Center. 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 March 24 – Bowling Green Opera Theater features Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene.” The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Advance tickets are $5 for students and children and $15 for adults. All tickets are $20 the day of the performance. Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center, by calling 419-372-8171 or online at www.bgsu.edu/the-arts/. An additional performance will be at 3 p.m. on March 26. March 24 – EAR | EYE Listening and Looking: Contemporary Music and Art explores the relationship of contemporary music and art through music performances in response to specific works of art and discussion. It is a partnership between the doctoral program at BGSU’s College of Musical Arts and the Toledo Museum of Art. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St. Free March 28 – Tuesdays at the Gish continues with the 1991 film “Thelma and Louise,” directed by Ridley Scott. Based on the award-winning screenplay by Callie Khouri, the film draws us into the remarkable but troubling adventures of Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) that arise from their desire to take a few days off from their oppressive lives as women in domestic/economic relationships. Their misadventures lead…


Broadway, blues & opera intersect in colorful “Street Scene” at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The brownstone at 346 on an anonymous street on New York’s Lower East Side is the home to seven families of motley ethnicity. “Street Scene,” the opera they inhabit, brings together music of the Old World and New to express their joys, hopes, passion, fears, and desperation. The 1946 collaboration of composer Kurt Weill, poet Langston Hughes, and playwright Elmer Rice opens Friday at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts on the Bowling Green State University campus. A matinee performance will be presented Sunday at 3 p.m. Advance tickets are $15; all tickets are $20 the day of the performance. Call 419-372-8171, go online at bgsu.edu/arts, or visit the box office in the Wolfe Center to purchase tickets. “Street Scene,” said Kevin Bylsma, coordinator of opera at BGSU, “is a great amalgamation of operetta, opera and musical theater that tells a poignant story that resonates as much today as it did in 1946.” The tale of immigrants tossed together in a strange, sometimes hostile place had such resonance that guest director Nicholas Wuehrmann considered setting this version in contemporary times. There’s the “universality of the themes of love, relationships, the struggle of the immigrant population, prejudice, just every day life and the struggle to get along, and dreaming and hoping,” the director said. “It reminds me of the people I know in New York.” He passed on the idea, trusting the audience will relate regardless of the time period. All the characters have their own struggles, and the show highlights them in song. In the opening we…


Pro Musica, Naslada Bistro team up to raise funds for music student enrichment

From PRO MUSICA Naslada Bistro, in downtown Bowling Green, will be hosting a fundraiser for Pro Musica from March 27 (Monday) – April 1 (Saturday). A portion of each bill will be donated to Pro Musica during the weeklong event. All monies raised will be use to fund student travel grants for students in the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University. Patrons need to mention Pro Musica when they order. Located at 1820 S. Main Street in Bowling Green, the bistros name mean “lingering over excellent food and sipping quality wine in the company of good friends” in Bulgarian. It is known for its authentic European and American cuisine prepared with the freshest of ingredients. Pro Musica, funded by nearly 250 dedicated alumni, friends, parents and members of the Bowling Green community, sponsors a wide variety of musical events and provides financial to music students for educational travel projects. In addition, the organization provides funding for scholarships and various awards at Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts. The organization supports raises funds to support student-initiated educational travel projects to attend workshops, festivals, competitions or master classes, both domestically and internationally. Every dollar Pro Musica raises goes to help students. As a bonus, diners may wish to pair their meal with concerts being offered during the college’s annual Jazz Week events. Concerts include: Tuesday (March 28), Vocal Jazz Ensemble featuring jazz vocalist Kim Nazarian, 8 p.m., Bryan Recital Hall; Wednesday (March 29), Jazz Faculty Group, 8 p.m., Bryan Recital Hall; Thursday (March 30), Jazz Lab Band I with guest trombonist Alan Ferber, 8 p.m., Kobacker Hall,…


Indian Opinion, a harmonic convergence of musical friends

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The band Indian Opinion is all about harmony. The jazz-influenced ensemble jams over the chords of its original songs. What really holds the band together though is the harmony of friendship. Since its creation in 2015, Indian Opinion has been a staple of the local music scene with gigs at Grumpy Dave’s and especially at Howard’s Club H. “That’s our home court,” said Benji Katz, bass player, vocalist and songwriter in the group. Indian Opinion also includes Mark Dylan, guitar and vocals, JP Stebal, drums, and Connor Mancini, trumpet. They’ll be back at Howard’s for the Saturday, March 25, Battle of the Bands. They have set of songs available for download online featuring a set earlier this year from the club. (https://indianopinion.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-howards-121016-2) Now the band is in the process of producing its first full studio album. The band is deeply rooted in the local scene, bridging the campus with the community. It traces its roots back to 2015 when Connor and Stebal started jamming at Stebal’s house. They knew each other as fellow music students, including singing in the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Dylan knew Katz from living on the dorms and brought him in. “It was just a network of friends, mostly from the college of music,” Dylan said. The band originally had a saxophonist Hiroki Kato and a percussionist Billy Gruber. Even as the band has settled into its four-piece configuration, the members are still a welcoming crew inviting musicians to join them on gigs and bringing Gruber and saxophonist Garrett Tanner into the studio for the forthcoming session. Abigail Cloud, one of…


Small ensembles shine in big way in Wayland Chamber Music Competition

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In a serious competition among groups of some of the best musicians in the College of Musical Arts, what set the winners apart is they seemed to be having fun. The Douglas Wayland Chamber Music Competition was held this weekend in the Moore Musical Arts Center on the Bowling Green State University campus. Lydia Qiu, a pianist from the University Michigan, was one of three judges on the panel for the finals held Sunday. “These two groups really enjoyed playing together,” she said of the Epsilon Quartet, the undergraduate winners, and Pitnix, a trio that won the graduate division. Pitnix was a repeat winner. Two of the members of the trio – Samantha Tartamella, flute, and Stephen Dubetz, clarinet – were in the ensemble when it won the undergraduate division. This year with another pianist, Emily Morin, they had to compete in the graduate division because Morin is a graduate student. Still the result was the same. Dubetz also won the undergraduate division in December’s Competitions in Musical Performance. The Epsilon Quartet, a saxophone foursome of Jacob Braslawsce, soprano, Nicole Grimone, alto, Tess Marjanovic, tenor, and Andrew Hosler, baritone, is the newest in a line of saxophone quartets to do well in the event. At least one saxophone quartet has been among the winners in all but one competition since its start in 2007. Second place in the graduate division went to Landlocked Percussion – Henrique Batista, Scott Charvet, Nicholas Fox, and Felix Reyes. Second place in the undergraduate went to the Derevo Quintet – Thomas Morris, oboe, Hayden Giesseman, clarinet, Brianna Buck, saxophone,…


Scholar helps guide BGSU musicians toward Holy Week presentations of St. John Passion

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Mark Munson has been waiting for the academic and liturgical calendars to align. The director of choral studies at Bowling Green State University wanted a year when Good Friday fell late enough in the semester to allow time to prepare and present J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion on Good Friday. This is the year, and this past week the singers and musicians started the final phase of preparation. The passion oratorio, originally presented on Good Friday, 1724, is a large undertaking that involves soloists, the University Choral Ensemble, and the Early Music Ensemble, directed by Arne Spohr. To help this large contingent of students, faculty and community members prepare, a leading scholar and tenor Christopher Cock, of the Bach Institute at Valparaiso University in Indiana, visited campus. In the passion, Bach relates the story of Jesus’ trial and execution using the text from the Gospel of John, with reflections by soloists and the choir. Cock has sung the role of the evangelist in the St. John Passion 50 times as well as conducted it on several other occasions. His choir has been in residence at St. Thomas in Leipzig where the piece was first presented, a rare honor for an American choir. He was at BGSU as the Helen McMaster Endowed Professor in Vocal and Choral Studies. For many of the students involved this will their first time playing it. “I’m getting chills just thinking about you’re experiencing this work for the first time,” he told them. Cock spoke about how Bach brought the theology to life in the music. “The debasement of being…


BGSU arts events through March 29

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS March 16 – The Creative Writing Program’s Reading Series features visiting writer Dustin M. Hoffman. Author of the story collection “One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist” and winner of the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize, Hoffman earned his MFA in fiction from BGSU.  The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free March 17 – The Brown Bag Music Series continues with Opera! The performance will begin at 11:45 a.m. in the Simpson Building, 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green. Free March 17 – Elsewhere productions continue with “Jimmy and Sally.” The show will begin at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Additional performances will be at 8 p.m. on March 18 and 19. Free March 18 – The ARTalk series presents “Where Next: The Future of Art.” Prominent artists and scholars will discuss the future of art in work, education and careers. Featured speakers include Cynthia Crow, program officer for the Fulbright Scholar Program in New York; Regin Igloria, multidisciplinary artist and arts administrator in Chicago, and John Jennings, graphic designer and associate professor at the University of Buffalo. The ARTalk will begin at 4 p.m. in room 204 of the Fine Arts Center. Free March 18 – The opening reception for the BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition will begin at 7 p.m. in the Bryan and Wankelman Galleries located in the Fine Arts Center. Free Through March 31 – The BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition will be on display in the Bryan and Wankelman Galleries, located in the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are 11 a.m….