Music

Everyone gets into the act at Arts X

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News At Arts X a surprise awaits the visitor around every corner. An actress in a shimmering gown and dramatic blond wig, steps forward to sing “Let It Go.” One of the Living Statues in the lobby of the Wolfe Center, she’s been waiting her turn as other characters have stepped forward to offer a song or monologue. Look up and there’s a pair of eyes projected overhead. Big Sister is watching. As the audience settles for a performance in the Donnell Theatre, someone says she has just posed for a Vogue cover. Two comedians come careening down the hall on the second floor of the Wolfe Center, making a harried entrance into the Heskett dance studio. Do you know there’s an art exhibit, they exclaim. It’s part of the act; we’re all part of the act. There’s always something to see and hear and do at Arts X, and that means there’s always something to miss. There’s always someone new to meet, or an old friend to greet. With the end of the semester looming, and finals and holiday festivities just ahead, artists, performers, writers and their fans took time out to celebrate. Arts X drew hundreds to the Bowling Green State University School of Art and the Wolfe Center Saturday night. The annual event is part art fair, part music and theater festival, part holiday party. Arts X organizers have been tweaking its presentation since the start. This year the Bowling Green Philharmonia…


BG Area Community Band has plenty to celebrate

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowling Green Area Community Band has an added reason to be in a celebratory mood this holiday season. The band is marking its 10th year. It was about 10 years ago that several area musicians, including then Bowling Green High band director Thom Headley and Nick Ezzone, a retired educator and conductor of the North Coast Concert Band, started meeting to discuss the formation of a community band. The ensemble was launched early the next year. So the theme Rejoice! is doubly appropriate for the band’s upcoming concert. The Bowling Green Area Community Band and the BiG Band will perform a free concert Sunday, Dec.11, at 4 p.m. in the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. The concert will be conducted by Catherine Lewis, the band’s assistant director. She joined five years ago, recruited by Headley, who now directs the band. The program took shape when she found an arrangement of the 16th century hymn “Gaudete,” which means rejoice. In selecting repertoire, she said, “I’m always trying to find something that pushes everyone in the group.” On this concert it is “The Eighth Candle,” a fantasy on Hanukkah themes by Steve Reisteter. After what Lewis called “a very prayerful” opening for the woodwinds, the piece shifts into a vigorous rhythmic section that has the band negotiating through different musical meters. Headley, who was conducting a recent rehearsal, was intent on making sure the band brought out all the harmonic and rhythmic subtleties of the…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar through Dec. 9

Dec. 1—The International Film Series concludes with the 1977 film “Neokanchennaia P’esa Dlia Mekhanicheskogo Pianino (An Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano),” directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. From Russia’s most well-known contemporary filmmaker, an intriguing story of former lovers who meet at a pre-revolutionary country estate. Casual conversations on social issues and the music of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Donizetti supply background to a Chekhovian treatment of returning past love. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Dec. 1—Creative writing students in the bachelor of fine arts program will present their work. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Dec. 1—World Percussion Night features multiple styles including performances by the Taiko, Afro-Caribbean and Gamelan ensembles. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased from the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets the day of the concert are $10. Dec. 3— BG Philharmonia will perform a Holiday Concert to kick off the 12th annual ArtsX events. The performance will begin at 4 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Free Dec. 3—The 12th annual ArtsX will take place from 5-9 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts, including the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries, where student and faculty…


Arts X reaching for new heights

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Erin Garber-Pearson has performed several times at Arts X at Bowling Green State University. The former teacher in the School of Art feels right at home at the festival that brings all the arts on campus together. Her own work blends sculpture, video, storytelling and aerial acrobatics. That’s a perfect fit for Arts X with its mélange of art sales, exhibits, musical and theatrical performances, all colored by a certain level of tom foolery. When Garber-Pearson and Kathleen Livingston perform at Arts X as Violet and Fortuna on Saturday, Dec.3, the acrobatic storytellers will take the work to new heights. The work-in-progress “Laces” involves two solo and two duet pieces.  The duets require the performers to fly higher. Working as a solo aerialist is challenging enough but working together requires a heightened sense of communication and trust, Garber-Pearson said.  The duo has been working on the duets for three years. Arts X is “a good time to show” what they’ve been working on. The works fits right in to the theme of Arts X 2016:  “Volanti: Seeking Unknown Heights.” The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. and is preceded at 4 p.m. by a holiday concert by the Bowling Green Philharmonia in Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center. Arts X is a free public event. Violet and Fortuna will perform two 20-minute shows, one at 7 p.m. and another at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre. They will be joined by dancers from…


BGSU Lively Arts through Dec. 5

Nov. 29—Undergraduate and graduate piano students will perform at 7 p.m. at the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Free Nov. 29—Percussion ensembles will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 30—The Early Music Ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Dec. 1—The International Film Series concludes with the 1977 film “Neokanchennaia P’esa Dlia Mekhanicheskogo Pianino (An Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano),” directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. From Russia’s most well-known contemporary filmmaker, an intriguing story of former lovers who meet at a pre-revolutionary country estate. Casual conversations on social issues and the music of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Donizetti supply background to a Chekhovian treatment of returning past love. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Dec. 1—Creative writing students in the bachelor of fine arts program will present their work. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Dec. 1—World Percussion Night features multiple styles including performances by the Taiko, Afro-Caribbean and Gamelan ensembles. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased from the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets the day of the concert are $10. Dec. 3—Ensembles of the BGSU College of Musical Arts will perform a Holiday Concert…


BGSU pianists tickled to play the ivories in public library atrium

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Concerts in the Wood County Library Atrium can take patrons by surprise. They may be perusing the stacks for a novel to read, or hanging out in the Children’s Place when the strains of Bach or Beethoven come wafting through the stacks. Pianists from Bowling Green State University will present another in a series of piano recitals in the atrium Tuesday, Nov 29, at 7 p.m. The concert is presented by the piano department in the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts and the library and features graduate students. “It’s turned out to be a good collaboration,” said piano faculty member Thomas Rosenkranz, who is coordinating the concert. “It’s great for our students who get to play not just for their peers” but for people from the community in a situation “where people may be walking around.” “It’s not like a concert situation. That’s good. Those kinds of experiences are great.” “It’s like a promenade,” said Mikhail Johnson, a pianist who performed on an earlier library recital. As someone who aspires to a career as a touring performer and composer, it’s necessary, he said, to play for variety of audiences and in a variety of venues. “People in different places react to music differently. It’s nice to experience that first hand.” The people who show up at the library are different than those who would attend a recital at Bryan Recital Hall, he said. And the atrium has a very different sound…


NCNW hosts Women’s Empowerment Concert

Submitted by NCNW of BGSU The National Council of Negro Women Inc, Bowling Green State University Section, was established Spring of 2008. NCNW serves its national purpose and mission which is to lead, develop, advocate, inform, and unify the African American Women of Bowling Green State University’s campus and its surrounding communities as they support their individual, family, and societal efforts and lifestyles. NCNW implements our mission through bi-weekly meetings, community service, workshops, annual events, awareness and fundraising. NCNW hosts a variety of events to fulfill our organizational purpose and mission. This Saturday we will be hosting our first big event, which is our 8th Annual Women’s Empowerment Concert. This year our theme is “Evolution of a Black Woman: More Than a Stereotype.” Our concert is unique because it consists of students using their special talents to empower woman through rap, dance, song, spoken word, etc. This year we have some hardworking students with very raw power performing. The second portion of the concert is dedicated to a special guest performance. This year, R&B singer Cree and her live band from Detroit, Michigan will visit Bowling Green State University giving us an exclusive and uplifting performance. There will also be food, drinks, interactive games, a live DJ, other women’s organizations and raffle for exclusive art pieces of black women donated from different artists in many different states. Concert will be November 19, 2016 from 6-9PM in Oslcamp 101. Tickets can be purchased in the student union this week from 11-3PM and…


Sweet things to taste, hear, & read on tap at library

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Concerts, a holiday cookie bake-off and tasting, and an author visit help usher in the season at Wood County District Public Library (251 North Main St., Bowling Green). Give yourself a break from the hustle and bustle of the season, and stop by the library for these programs. Tuesday, November 29, 7 pm. Students in piano studies at Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts return to the WCDPL Atrium for another virtuoso concert. This last concert in the BGSU Fall Concert Series at the library features selections from the work of nine master composers, including that of Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms, as well as the work of Alexander Scriabin, Gabriel Fauré, Alberto Ginastera, and Sergei Prokofiev. Sunday, December 4, 2 pm. The Great Holiday Bake-off takes place in the Library Atrium. Bakers and cookie tasters are needed! Tasters are invited to come and sample cookies, then vote on their favorites. To enter the bake-off, bakers are asked to bring 2 dozen cookies and their recipe. Multiple cookie entries are accepted, how ever bakers should a recipe for each type of cookie type. For purposes of determining contest winners, bakers will be divided into 2 categories: 12-years-old and younger and 13-years-old and older. Saturday, December 10, 1 pm. Meet the Author, Tom Lambert. 1st Floor Meeting Room. Imagine acquiring a house guest known to you only as “Earl”. All the evidence before you suggests that Earl in fact may be America’s beloved—albeit…


Musical friends release new recordings

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A couple recordings with local ties have recently been released. Master guitarist Skip “Little Axe” McDonald has visited Bowling Green on several occasions. Matt Donahue, in the Popular Culture Department at Bowling Green State University, is both a fan and supporter of McDonald and has hosted the guitarist, who grew up in Dayton and now lives in England, for stays in Bowling Green. The most recent visit was to perform at the Black Swamp Arts Festival. On a couple earlier occasions, McDonald played shows at Grounds for Thought. That’s where this CDm “One Man – One Night”  was recorded back in March, 2015. McDonald’s sound is an amalgam of the various colors of African-American music. At the heart is blues, jazz and gospel. He’s also played hard rock and, as a session player for Sugarhill Records, he backed Grandmaster Flash is the early days of rap. He’s blended this into a smooth mix that delivers pointed messages and hard truths. When he has the audience join him in singing “tear the system down,” he seems prescient to what many are feeling in the wake of the presidential election. And he reminds the listeners that they’ll encounter people they met on the way up again on the way down. All this is backed by guitar mastery so assured it doesn’t call attention to itself. McDonald programs his own bass and drums tracks to provide a steady pulsating groove. The freshness of his guitar lines always…


Black Swamp Fine Arts School expands music offerings with ensembles for kids & adults

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Both Sophia Schmitz and Betsy Williams discovered a passion for music at an early age. Schmitz, of Perrysburg, started playing violin at 3, and was gigging when she was 11. “My mom’s an artist and my family is very musical so I was surrounded by that.” Williams, the youngest of six children, grew up in northern Kentucky with a musical mother who had the entire family singing every morning. Schmitz started teaching when she was in high school, but even before that had a goal in mind. “Since I was 12 it’s been my vision to open a studio.” For her part as the youngest of six, Williams got a late start on violin lessons. The cost of lessons was an obstacle. Her mother had taught her piano and the musical basics. “I taught myself several instruments before I settled on violin.” Those experiences and passion have now taken shape in their new endeavors. Schmitz founded the Black Swamp Fine Arts School in January, realizing her dream of opening a studio. Williams teaches violin, viola and cello at the school. Both are graduate students in the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts. As a BGSU undergraduate Schmitz had a minor in entrepreneurship, and in one class she had to put together a proposal for a business. When she started figuring out how much it would take to open a music studio, she realized she could make it work.  So last fall she…


BGSU Arts Events through Nov. 23

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Through Nov. 21—“The Deathworks of May Elizabeth Kramner,” a mixed media installation by The Poyais Group, continues through Nov. 21 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. The exhibit purports to be a re-creation by the Poyais Group of outsider artist Kramner’s (1867-1977) private lifework, a tent version of the town where she lived, with each tent representing someone who had died. Discovered by a team of anthropologists after her death but then lost in a fire, the installation was remade by the Poyais Group (Jesse Ball, Thordis Bjornsdottir, Olivia Robinson and Jesse Stiles) based on notes by one of the original anthropologists. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Through Nov. 22—“Criminal Justice?” an exhibit by activist artists Carol Jacobson and Andrea Bowers, investigates the attitudes and biases embedded in the U.S. criminal justice system. Jacobson is an award-winning social documentary artist whose works in video and photography address issues of women’s criminalization and censorship. Bowers’ video “#sweetjane” and drawings explore the 2012 Steubenville, Ohio, rape case and the citizens whose activism resulted in two rape convictions. The drawings reproduce the text messages sent among the teenage witnesses to the assault on an underage young woman. “Criminal Justice?” is on view in the Willard Wankelman Gallery at 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….


Mikel Kuehn takes listeners on walk through his musical landscape on new CD

  By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Mikel Kuehn likes to take hikes. Oak Openings is a favorite location. He favors the wilder, natural environment to a more manicured landscape – “the messiness of nature… the entanglement of vines.” “To me, it’s really beautiful,” the composer said. That carries through in his compositions. They have a deceptive tangle of sounds, lines that stretch into the musical undergrowth reaching up, seeking light. As in nature, what may seem a disorder of trees, vines, leaves and their shadows, has an underlying order. In his compositions, Kuehn said, he wants listeners to go on a walk with him and appreciate the unruly beauty of nature. Kuehn, now on the cusp of turning 50, has just released his first CD devoted to his compositions. “Object Shadow” was released by New Focus Recordings in October. The recording features seven compositions, most written between 2004 and 2014. The outlier is the composition that closes the recording, “Between the Lynes,” which dates to 1994. This is the earliest piece in which he explores the textures and techniques evident in the later work. “It’s one of the first I’m happy with,” he said. “The pieces are all virtuosic,” Kuehn, who has taught at Bowling Green State University since 1998, said.  The performers are “all perfect.” The CD opening and closes with performances by Ensemble Dal Niente, a Chicago-based new music group. The opening “Undercurrents” features the entire 14-piece ensemble. The title piece, albeit in French not English, “Objet/Ombre,”…


Berlin Philharmonic concertmaster will be guest soloist with BGSU orchestra

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The Bowling Green State University Philharmonia will welcome violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, for a return guest appearance Nov. 14. The program will feature two well-known pieces by Tchaikovsky, his Symphony No. 5 and Violin Concerto. The 8 p.m. performance will take place in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. A pre-concert talk on the music of Tchaikovsky will be held at 7:15 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall. Bendix-Balgley was appointed the Berlin Philharmonic’s concertmaster in 2014. He gave his first performance with the Bowling Green Philharmonia in 2015. Currently on a North American tour with the Berlin orchestra, he is making a side trip to Bowling Green to perform at BGSU. “We are absolutely thrilled to have Noah visiting Bowling Green to perform with the University’s orchestra, the BG Philharmonia. As one of America’s great violinists, having reached the pinnacle position of concertmaster of the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic, he is an exceptional representative of the best our country has to offer in the classical music scene,” said Philharmonia conductor Dr. Emily Freeman-Brown, Professor of Creative Arts Excellence and BGSU director of orchestral activities. The opportunity for BGSU students to work with Bendix-Balgley is of great value, said Dr. William Mathis, interim dean of the College of Musical Arts. “Music students in the CMA have multiple opportunities to work with professional musicians throughout their degrees, but to have someone of Mr. Bendix-Balgley’s stature is a special treat to be…


‘Gondoliers’ provides a comic & tuneful respite from dirty politics

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Maybe “The Gondoliers” is just what we need about now. With a political campaign rolling like a torrent of sludge to a messy conclusion, a frothy piece of social satire from another time is a welcomed diversion. The venerable team of Gilbert and Sullivan reminds us that being a doofus is just part of the human condition. Doesn’t matter if you’re royalty or gondolier, you are at heart a fool. But in the world of Gilbert and Sullivan even fools can spin off a tangle of intricate rhyme that precisely delineates the absurd world they inhabit. “The Gondoliers or the King of Barataria” was the team’s last hit back in the last decade of the 19th century. And Bowling Green State University Opera Theatre whips up a production that is true to the absurdist spirit of the original. The show is on stage tonight (Nov. 4) at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. on Kobacker Hall on campus. Advance tickets are $15 and $5 for students and children. All tickets the day of the performance are $20. Tickets can be purchased from the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171 or at www.bgsu.edu/arts. The tale is a subversive fancy, so convoluted and contrived that when the character Luiz (Aaron Hill) repeats the story to Princess Casilda (Alissa Plenzler) she’s just as incredulous as the audience, though not nearly as amused. Casilda is the daughter of down-and-out royalty who married her off as a baby to a prince….


BGSU arts events through Nov. 16

Through Nov. 21 – “The Deathworks of May Elizabeth Kramer,” a mixed media installation by The Poyais Group, continues through Nov. 21 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. The exhibit is a purported recreation by the Poyais Group of outsider artist Kranmer’s (1867-1977) private lifework, a tent version of the town where she lived, with each tent representing someone who had died. Discovered by a team of anthropologists after her death but then lost in a fire, the installation was remade by the Poyais Group (Jesse Ball, Thordis Bjornsdottir, Olivia Robinson and Jesse Stiles) based on notes by one of the original anthropologists. Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Through Nov. 22 – “Criminal Justice?” an exhibit by activist artists Carol Jacobson and Andrea Bowers, investigates the attitudes and biases embedded in the U.S. criminal justice system. Jacobson is an award-winning social documentary artist whose works in video and photography address issues of women’s criminalization and censorship. See story: http://bgindependentmedia.org/artist-documents-the-cycle-of-abuse-suffered-by-female-inmates/. Bowers’ video “#sweetjane” and drawings explore the 2012 Steubenville, Ohio rape case and the citizens whose activism resulted in two rape convictions. The drawings reproduce the text messages sent among the teenage witnesses to the assault on an underage young woman. “Criminal Justice?” is on view in the Willard Wankelman Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. – 4p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Nov….