Arts at Bowling Green State University

BGSU Arts Events through May 10

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 17 – The College of Musical Arts presents tuba professor David Saltzman for the weekly Faculty Artist Series. Saltzman has been the tuba and euphonium instructor at BGSU and the principal tuba player with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra since 2007. He also is the principal tuba player for the summer Glimmerglass Opera Festival. He has performed with orchestras throughout the U.S. and Canada. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 18 – “A Forgotten Legacy: Rediscovering Europe’s Black Musical Past” will be the topic of Dr. Arne Spohr, a BGSU College of Musical Arts associate professor of musicology and a faculty fellow for the BGSU Institute for the Study of Culture and Society. The presentation will include a lecture about early modern black European composers and a live performance by the BGSU Early Music Ensemble of some of the compositions that have not been heard in 400 years. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Free April 18 – The International Film Festival, with the theme of “Undoing the Single Story,” features a screening of “Timbuktu,” the 2015 film directed by Mali’s Abderrahmane Sissako. The term “single story” refers to Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngoze Achidie’s TED talk, “The Danger of the Single Story.” Achidie explores the power of storytelling to construct and perpetuate stereotypes about others—especially if one tells one single story about them over and over again. This year’s International Film Festival therefore explores ways to discover unexpected, unfamiliar stories about cultures as different as those found in the film’s locations of Mauritania and Mali. The film is a work of breathtaking visual beauty that tells the story of self-described jihadists who, with high-caliber weaponry, are presuming to rule a small village and its surrounding grazing land and waters near Timbuktu. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Free April 18 – The Spring 2019 Reading Series features Julie Webb and Ali Miller, creative writing MFA students and English department teaching associates. Webb will read poetry and Miller will read fiction. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free April 18 – The BGSU Guitar Ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 19 – The BGSU University Choral Society will present an off-campus performance titled “Choral Evensong.” The concert will begin at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green. Free April 22 – The BGSU jazz department will present a performance that features a variety of jazz favorites ranging from Thad Jones’ “Cherry Juice” and John Coltrane/Frank Foster’s “Giant Steps” to Thelonious Monk/Kenny Clarke/John Fedchock’s “Epistrophy” and Bret Zvacek’s “It Might Be You.” The performance will begin at 8 p.m. at the Clazel Theater, 127 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Free April 23 – Music at the Manor House welcomes piano students of BGSU Associate Professor Solungga Liu. The students will perform at 7 p.m. at the Toledo Metroparks Wildwood Manor House, 5100 Central Ave., Toledo. Free April 23 – The Graduate String Quartet will perform a recital at 8 p.m. in Bryan…


BGSU Arts Events through April 3

March 25 – The BGSU School of Art’s printmaking division welcomes Lauren Kussro, an artist and educator at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Her work has been shown in many locations around the country, including solo exhibitions at Nashville International Airport, Twist Gallery and Vanderbilt University, and group exhibitions at Kai Lin Art in Atlanta, the Dadian Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Manhattan Graphics Center in New York City. Her creative process is centered in playful investigation of the natural world, and frequently features combinations of printmaking, sculpture and sewing. Her public presentation will begin at 5 p.m. in 1215 Fine Art Center. Free March 25 – The College of Musical Arts’ Music at the Forefront series features Sarah Cahill, a pianist, composer and producer. The New York Times called her “a sterling pianist and an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde.” She has commissioned and premiered over 60 compositions for solo piano and was named a 2018 Champion of New Music by the American Composers Forum. Her performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 26 – Music at the Manor House presents the piano students of BGSU piano professor Robert Satterlee. The recital will begin at 7 p.m. in the Wildwood Metropark Manor House at 5100 Central Ave., Toledo. Free March 26 – Tuesdays at the Gish presents “Wendy and Lucy,” a 2008 film directed by Kelly Reichardt. This award-winning film is an intimate character study of a young woman, Wendy, and her dog, Lucy. On her way to find work in Alaska, Wendy’s car breaks down in a small town and she finds herself stranded and unable to pay for repairs or even food. This American drama is a simple yet beautifully told narrative of uncertainty and hope in the face of hardship. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Free March 26 – BGSU composition students will present their works during the Student Composers Forum. They will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 27 – Photographer David Hilliard will present a public lecture during a three-day residency in the BGSU School of Art. Hilliard’s color photographs, which were part of the 2017 FACE IT exhibition in the Fine Arts Center, are often triptychs presenting elaborative narratives. He explores a range of themes and situations drawn from his immediate surroundings from the awkwardness of adolescence to complex notions of intimacy and identity. His talk will begin at 5 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre, The Wolfe Center for the Arts. March 27 – The College of Musical Arts presents its Faculty Scholar Series. The event will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. March 28 – The BGSU Wind Symphony will present an evening of chamber music. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 30 – The College of Musical Arts’ Faculty Artist Series welcome Brittany Lasch on trombone. Winter weather in January postponed the original recital. Lasch is an assistant professor in the college. As the second-place winner of the 2017-18 American Prize, she has appeared as soloist with numerous ensembles including the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” the Queen…


BGSU marches into spring with full slate of arts events

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Dr. Marjorie Conrad Art Song Competition:The 20th annual competition highlights talented vocalists and collaborative pianistsMarch 9 | Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center Kevin Bylsma, coordinator of the Conrad Art Song Competition, gets ready to announce the winners in 2017. The annual Dr. Marjorie Conrad Art Song competition features talented undergraduate and graduate singers and pianists working together to present a selection of art songs in various languages, ranging from the classical period, all the way to songs by living composers. The first round of competition takes place March 9 from 1-5 p.m., with the finalists announced around 6 p.m. The final round of competition, presented as a formal concert, begins at 8 p.m., with winners announced at the conclusion of the performance. Both the preliminary and final rounds are free and open to the public in Bryan Recital Hall. For more information, visit our website. Saxophonist Dayna Stephens headlines jazz week:Enjoy jazz performances each eveningMarch 12-15 | Bryan Recital Hall and Kobacker Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center The jazz department welcomes tenor saxophonist Dayna Stephens for our annual jazz week, March 12-15. Recent recipient of the number-two spot for the 2017 DownBeat Critics Poll in the category “Rising Star—Tenor Saxophone” Stephens has garnered critical acclaim over the years for his playing, compositions and arrangements. He will be featured in a concert with BGSU jazz faculty at 8 p.m. March 14 in Bryan Recital Hall, and as a soloist with Jazz Lab Band I on March 15 at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. Other events throughout the week include the vocal jazz ensemble March 12 at 8 p.m., and student chamber ensembles March 13 at 8 p.m., both in Bryan Recital Hall. All events in Bryan Recital Hall are free. Tickets for the March 15 Jazz Lab Band I performance are available at bgsu.edu/arts or by calling the box office at 419-372-8171. Admission is free for all BGSU students with ID card at the door. Wendy and Lucy: Film celebrates Women’s History MonthMarch 26, 7:30 p.m. | 206 Bowen-Thompson Student UnionThis award-winning film is an intimate character study of a young woman, Wendy, and her dog Lucy. On her way to find work in Alaska, Wendy’s car breaks down in a small town and she finds herself stranded and unable to pay for repairs or even food. Directed by Kelly Reichardt and starring Michelle Williams, this American drama is a simple yet beautifully told narrative of uncertainty and hope in the face of hardship. The film is free and open to the public. BFA seniors present thesis exhibition:Art, creative writing collaboration highlights April 12 eventExhibition: March 30-April 14, Collaboration: April 12 | Fine Arts Center  Senior BFA art students share their consummate work, ranging from metals, sculpture, ceramics and painting to glass, digital art and graphic design. March 30, the two-week show opens with a panel of artists in various fields who will present “Where Next? The Future of Art” at 4 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre (Wolfe Center for the Arts), a video animation screening at 5 p.m. in 204 Fine Arts Center, an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. in the Galleries, and the awards presentation at 5:45 p.m. This year, a special collaboration between School of Art and the creative writing program…


Apollo’s Fire to bring the spirit of Bach’s coffeehouse to BGSU’s Kobacker Hall

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Back when Bach’s music was new, the composer and other professional and student musicians would hang out at Cafe Zimmermann, a coffee house in Leipzig, Germany, to play the latest sounds. Apollo’s Fire, a Baroque music ensemble based in Cleveland, will take listeners back to that time in the mid-18th century when it presents “A Night at Bach’s Coffeehouse” Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall on the Bowling Green State University campus. The free performance is part of Apollo Fire’s three-day residency presented by the Dorothy E. And Duwayne H. Hansen Musical Arts Series (https://www.bgsu.edu/musical-arts/events/residencies/hansen-musical-arts-series.html). During the residency the ensemble will hold open rehearsals and master classes for flutists and string players. The BGSU visit will feature an 11-member version of the ensemble, which was founded by Jeannette Sorrell 26 years ago. Kathie Stewart, the ensemble’s flutist, has been a collaborator and friend of Sorrell since before she started Apollo’s Fire. The two musicians met at Cincinnati Conservatory, where both were pursuing graduate work. Sorrell was studying harpsichord and conducting, and Stewart was working on a doctorate in flute performance. In Cincinnati, Stewart discovered her love of Baroque music. In the course of her studies, Stewart had played music from the history of flute from early music through contemporary. Her attention always seemed to return to the Baroque period. While later music tends to be “messy,” she said, “Baroque music is calm and clear. It gets messy enough, but then it all resolves.” By this time, Stewart said she was working hard on her instrumental studies. “But I wasn’t loving it.” The conservatory had a Baroque flute.  She took the instrument into a practice room to try to play music by Bach and Telemann. “It was horrifying,” she said. She found a book to guide her, and with that she applied herself to the period instrument.  “I tried things that were awkward and didn’t make sense on modern flute. They made perfect sense on the Baroque flute. I learned from the instrument what Baroque music was all about. Finally I was able to play the music I really loved on the instrument it was written for,” Stewart said. “It revived my appreciation for the flute in general. The  flute itself re-energized me to play music for the rest of my life.” A large part of that has been with Apollo’s Fire. Stewart said that Sorrell (who will not be with the ensemble at BGSU) was at Oberlin and a number of other early music enthusiasts were also in the area.  With Sorrell as leader and harpsichordist, they formed the core of Apollo’s Fire. “The audience is so supportive,” Stewart said. She said the orchestra’s been “amazed how really positive the audience has been for 26 years.” Cleveland was selected as the home base because of its proximity to Oberlin. At first, Cleveland was where the ensemble played. Then it branched out to Akron, and soon made short jaunts to other nearby cities. That circle expanded with longer tours throughout the country. About 10 years ago, Apollo’s Fire did the first of five European tours. The ensemble also expanded the range of music it played to include Celtic music and the traditional mountain sounds of the southern U.S. that were influenced by…


No Bravo! at BGSU this spring

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Bowling Green State University announced its premier arts events for the spring semester there was one particularly notable event, and one notable absence. Oscar-winning actress and BGSU alumna Eva Marie Saint will return to campus on March 29, a year after her last visit. Eva Marie Saint (left) speaks during a question and answer session moderated by Lesa Lockford at the 2018 Bravo! BGSU. The Oscar-winning actress will return to campus March 29 for the re-dedication of the Gish Theatre. During that 2018 appearance, she took part in Bravo! BGSU, an arts gala that raised funds for scholarships in the arts. Bravo! Is no more. While the event was successful in raising annually  just under $60,000 for scholarships that benefit dozens of students, the cost of staging the event was disproportionate to what it raised. “Each year it got better,” said Dean William Mathis, of the College of Musical Arts. “We got better at it. It really hit its stride. … Artistically it really started to flow.” The event had been initiated by President Mary Ellen Mazey, and remained a presidential event. Mazey expressed the hope that it would become the premier arts event in the region. But the organization fell more and more to the arts units on campus. “The event started take on some tradition and people started to recognize it. We were very proud of the content and the quality,” Mathis said. “It was really started on a shoe string … and as it gained more momentum and got more people involved, we really needed to sit back and analyze what we were doing.” That analysis by the arts coordination committee co-chaired by Mathis and Dean Ray Craig of the College of Arts and Sciences started last summer, now with a new president, Rodney Rogers, at the helm of the university.  “Because of the time and resources that it took, we weren’t sure we were getting return on the investment,” Mathis said. Later, Mathis added that “Bravo! wasn’t expanding our audience.” Some who attended were regulars at university arts events, but Bravo! didn’t encourage those who weren’t to come for other performances or exhibits. The decision was made to focus more on the premier arts events that were already built into the schedule. Here’s what’s scheduled for spring semester. ° Apollo’s Fire will present “A Night at Bach’s Coffeehouse” on Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall as part of the Cleveland-based ensemble’s Hansen Musical Arts Series residency.  ° A reception and special appearance by Eva Marie Saint will be held March 29 at 7 p.m. in the new Gish Film Theater, 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The event will mark the re-dedication of the theater following its relocation from Hanna Hall. A reception will be held at 6 p.m. The event is free but  tickets are required. Visit our ticketing site . ° The opening reception for the BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition will be the next day, March 30 at 6:30 p.m. with award presentation at 7 p.m. in Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries. Before the reception a panel of artists in various media will present “Where Next? The Future of Art” at 4 p.m. Video animation work will be  screened in 204 Fine Arts Center at…


BGSU arts events through Dec. 15

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS At the galleries – The School of Art’s Faculty and Staff Exhibition continues through Dec. 12 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Included are works in mixed media, digital, print, paint, glass and graphics. 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. 27 –  The BGSU University Choral Society and Graduate Brass Quintet present “Joyous Sounds: A Yuletide Celebration,” a selection of traditional and popular holiday choral arrangements. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green. Free Nov. 27 – The Accorda Trio will perform a guest recital at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 28 – The College of Musical Arts’ Faculty Artist Series presents violinist Penny Thompson Kruse.  She is a professor of violin and has performed extensively as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician with such orchestras as the Eastern Festival Orchestra, Hutchinson Chamber Orchestra, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia of Kansas City. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 29 – The BGSU Concert Band, under the direction of Dr. Bruce Moss, will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets purchased in advance are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets purchased on the day of the performance are $10.  BGSU students with an ID card are admitted free. Nov. 30 – Guest vocalist Salvatore Champagne, the Robert W. Wheeler Professor of Voice and director of vocal studies at Oberlin College and Conservatory, will present a master class for students and the public. He began his singing career in 1988 as the tenor soloist in a European tour of Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest conducted by the composer and for the next 10 years was a guest artist in many of Europe’s finest opera houses and concert halls. He appears throughout the country giving master classes and seminars. The master class begins at 2:30 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 30 – The Toledo Museum of Art welcomes BGSU students in the Doctor of Musical Arts program to perform for the EAR|EYE: Listening and Looking Concert from 7 to8:30 p.m. They will perform contemporary music in various galleries at the museum and explore the relationship of contemporary music and art. The museum is located at 2445 Monroe St., Toledo. Free Nov. 30 – The University Women’s Chorus and the University Men’s Chorus will present a joint concert. Tickets purchased in advance are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets purchased on the day of the performance are $10. BGSU students with a student ID are admitted free. Dec. 1 – The 2018 ArtsX holiday showcase of BGSU student, faculty and alumni arts features Verb Ballets, a contemporary ballet company from Cleveland. Known for its dynamic programming through bold artistry, unique styles and technical excellence, the company will perform two shows, at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Additional activities from 5…


Visitors see arts in action at annual BGSU showcase & sale

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Song and dance  and more spilled into the corridors, classrooms, corners and stages of the Fine Arts Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts Saturday during the 14th ArtsX. The gala showcases the creativity of all the arts on campus. This year ArtsX invited special guests Verb Ballets, a Cleveland-based company. The company adopted the name Verb Ballets because it evoked action, said Richard Dickinson, associate artistic director. The company’s performances at ArtsX showed how fitting that name was. In the second of the Verb’s two performances Saturday evening, it blended humor and sensuality to the music of Mozart in K281. That sensuality was evident throughout, whether on the contemporary “Between the Machine” with a pulsating score that mixed jazz with industrial sounds, to the climatic setting of Ravel’s “Bolero,” where European and Indian classical dance moves blended with flamenco. Verb didn’t restrict its action to the stage. It also presented classes for community and university dance students earlier in the day and performed and worked with middle and high school students on Friday. Dickinson said the company particularly enjoyed the middle school, where a two-hour delay on a Friday meant the energy level was particularly high. The company’s performances Saturday had people buzzing in the halls of the Wolfe Center and Fine Arts Center as they perused the jewelry, ceramics, glass, prints, and more on sale.  Artists also demonstrated their techniques. Music suffused the event from traditional sounds from Beethoven to taiko drums to the experimental work of doctoral students. As usual there was far more going on than any one visitor could take in. While the crowd attending seemed smaller than in the past, the energy of the participants was still high.        


Verb Ballets brings contemporary & classic dance moves to ArtsX

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Verb Ballets is pool putting the moves on ArtsX. The annual arts gala is being held tonight (Saturday, Dec. 1) in the Fine Arts Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts on The Bowling Green State University campus. The Cleveland-based dance company will be the special guest performers. This is the first time ArtsX has brought in a featured guest without a connection to the university. That marks a further step in the development of the gala that started 14 years ago. Verb Ballets is a fitting artist for this year’s theme “Let the Arts Move You.” The company moves in a variety of ways. The full-time company of classically trained dancers mixes both classic and contemporary ballet, said Jen Garlando, Verb Ballets’ director of marketing. The ballet’s performances at 5:30 and 7 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre at ArtsX will demonstrate that range. The company will open with the Grand Pas de Deux from Don Quixote by the great 19th century Russian choreographer Marius Petipa and the music of Ludwig Minkus. Staging is by the legendary Cuban choreographer Laura Alonso. The classical pas de deux shows both technical virtuosity and glamour. The piece comes from the company’s ongoing exchange with Cuban dancers, Garlando said. “K281” choreographed by Adam Hougland brings together modern and classical moves for a quirky and humorous take on a beloved Mozart piano sonata. From Mozart, Verb Ballets will move to a DJ mix of industrial sounds to create driving pulse for “Between the Machine” by Charles Anderson. In a cross-cultural exchange, the choreography for Ravel’s “Bolero” will blend Indian and modern dance styles. “Its drive, propulsion, and intensity build with the famous crescendo” is how the company describes the work. “The piece, choreographed by Heinz Poll, the company’s founder, is a visual masterpiece set to the driving force of the well-known score.”  Romanian dancer Daniel Precup set the company’s premiere of “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” a song about the complex struggles of love by the French singer-songwriter, Jacques Brel.  The performances will be the culmination of Verb Ballets’ residency here. The dancers worked with Bowling Green middle school and high school students on Friday, and university students in both dance and musical theater on Saturday. This is the fourth year ArtsX has brought in guest performers. Those past performances have featured circus acts, aerialists, and puppeteers.  The dance company is an appropriate visitor this year given the pending move of BGSU’s dance program into the Department of Theatre and Film. It was the School of Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies. When the gala began 14 years ago, it was a way of bringing together the sales held by the various art clubs with collaborations from other campus arts programs and University Libraries.  Even then, Dennis Wojtkiewicz, the art faculty member was involved in launching it, envisioned something larger. It’s taken awhile, he said this week. Now it’s coming into its own. The opening of the Wolfe Center in 2012 offered a whole new venue for ArtsX, with more space for theatre, film, and music. The Wolfe’s massive lobby serves as a stage for a rolling evening of performances while the Donnell hosts featured performances from visitors and university talent. The art club sales are still one of…


BGSU moves into the holiday spirit with ArtsX

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s pre-holiday celebration of the arts will highlight movement Dec. 1 as Verb Ballets, a Cleveland-based contemporary ballet company, takes the stage. Their bold artistry, unique styles and technical excellence have captivated audiences of all ages. The company’s two performances, at 5:30 and 7 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre in The Wolfe Center for the Arts, are just two ArtsX activities scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. The 2018 ArtsX, with a theme of “Let the Arts Move You,” will also showcase musical, theatrical and dance performances; exhibits and demonstrations; hands-on activities; and art sales for holiday shoppers looking for unique, handmade gifts. A tentative schedule is available at bgsu.edu/artsx.


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 Hall; a workshop at 3:30 p.m. in Room 0108, and ending with a Music at the Forefront concert by the SPLICE Ensemble at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, sponsored by the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music. Free Nov. 11 – The Student Reed Quintet, with students Andrew Hosler, Ava Wirth, Kendra Sachs, Nicole Grimone and Jennifer Bouck, will give a recital at 4 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 13 – Tunisian hip hop artist “Medusa” Boutheina El Aloudi will be on campus to share her unique views on an industry dominated by male artists. She will perform at 10:30 a.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center and will present a Q&A session at 12:30 p.m. in the Choral Rehearsal Hall in the Moore Center. Free Nov. 13 – The College of Musical Arts Guest Artist Series welcomes Yu-Fang Chen on…


Deeply moving ‘Considering Matthew Shepard’ leaves BGSU audience at a loss for applause

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News “Considering Matthew Shepard” ended in silence. A packed Kobacker Hall went quiet as the C-triad softly hummed by the members of the vocal ensemble Conspirare and the 100 singers filling the mezzanine faded out. At first it seemed the usual pause at the end of a concert. But the silence extended in length, and somehow increased in depth. The conductor-composer Craig Hella Johnson stood in front of the stage head bowed. Silence. Then his head rose and his gestured to the performers on stage. The audience erupted. The applause rapturous, as loud as the previous moments were soft. On their feet, the audience called the ensemble out for three curtain calls. The applause did not so much break the silence as let loose the emotions it contained. The listeners and performers had for the past 100 minutes lived the story of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man beaten and left for dead in October 1998 outside of Laramie, Wyoming. When he died several days later he became an icon for those who opposed hate crimes and longed for greater tolerance.  The oratorio was performed Monday by Conspirare at Bowling Green State University. When, a few minutes after the performance ended, about 150 members of the audience assembled in Bryan Recital Hall, members of the panel who were there to discuss the work and the meaning of Matthew Shepard, said it was hard to speak about the experience. Katie Stygles, assistant director for Diversity Education and LGBTQ+ Programs at Bowling Green State University, said she was still processing the experience. “I still have tears flowing over. It’s just so beautiful.” She sees the students she serves in Matthew Shepard. Susana Pena, director, School of Cultural and Critical Studies, said that when the news of Shepard’s death came, the nation had reached a point where it was open to hearing this tragic story, and acting on it. Olivia Behm, a graduate student, said she grew up in the world shaped by Shepard’s death. “Considering Matthew Shepard,” she said, was more than research into the facts, but allowed her to be emotionally absorbed in the story. The oratorio had plenty of facts, drawn from court documents and news reports. It included Shepard’s own words from journals and childhood jottings. It also had long passages of reflection. Johnson composed the piece over a long period of time, drawing on various texts, and in several instances collaborating with poet Michael Dennis Browne, credited as co-librettist. Johnson’s discovery of another poet’s work gave him the guiding image for the piece. Leslea Newman wrote a series of poems from the point of view of the fence on which Shepard was tied and left to die. He hung there for 18 hours barely alive before he was discovered. The man who found him at first thought he was a scarecrow. Those pieces form the skeleton of “Considering Matthew Shepard.” The first poem “The Fence (before),’ a robust bass solo, prefigures Shepard’s fate. “Will I always be out here exposed and alone?” Later in the oratorio, we hear the speech Shepard’s father gave in court. His son, the father said, was not alone. He had the stars and moon, which he’d studied as a child. He had the wind from the plains. The…


BGSU Arts Events through Oct. 3

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATION Through Oct. 21 – Bowling Green State University’s School of Art announces the opening of “So Much More: Ohio’s African-American Artists.” Over the course of its planning, the exhibition has evolved from a tribute to the legacy of athlete, actor, visual artist and BGSU alumnus Bernie Casey, and other African-American alumni to a broader intergenerational conversation among alumni, current students and invited African-American artists from Ohio addressing the intersection of racial identity and personal expression.  The exhibition, in the Willard Wankelman Gallery in the Fine Arts Center, runs through Oct. 21. 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 Through Sept. 29 – BGSU is part of the collaborative “ScupltureX – Igniting Change: Teaching Artists and Social Practice” with the University of Toledo, Owens Community College, Toledo Museum of Art, and Contemporary Art Toledo. The BGSU exhibition, sponsored by David and Myrna Bryan and curated by Saul Ostrow, features the work of regional sculpture faculty. BGSU also will host a series of presentations, including talks by Ostrow and Mel Chin, on campus Sept. 29.  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 Sept. 17 – The Grammy-winning choral ensemble Conspirare presents “Considering Matthew Shepard” as part of the McMaster Residency in the College of Musical Arts. Under the direction of Craig Hella Johnson, the group will perform the three-part oratorio, an evocative and compassionate musical response to the murder of Matthew Shepard. Shepard was a young, gay college student at the University of Wyoming who in October 1998 was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence and left to die in a lonely field under a blanket of stars. The performance begins at 7 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. A talkback with BGSU panelists and Johnson will follow the performance at 9 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall. Admission is free for all BGSU faculty, staff and students with ID at the door. Advance tickets for community members are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. Call the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171 or purchase online at www.bgsu.edu/arts. Sept. 18 – Tuesdays at the Gish presents “The Florida Project” (2017, U.S., 115 minutes, directed by Sean Baker), with an introduction by Britt Rhuart, doctoral student in American culture studies. This independent film starring Willem Dafoe as a caring motel manager introduces Brooklyn Prince as a six-year-old girl who lives with her brash young mother (Bria Vinaite) in a cheap motel near Disney World. The film follows her adventures and misadventures with her raging band of friends throughout a summer. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union (Theater). Free Sept. 19 – The Faculty Artist Series presents saxophonist David Bixler. Bixler, associate professor and director of Jazz Activities Ensembles, is a composer and educator who has steadily garnered attention for his unique playing and writing. Joining Bixler for this performance are Jon Cowherd, piano; Ike Sturm, bass; and Rogerio Boccato, percussion. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Sept. 20 – The Edwin H. Simmons Creative Minds…


BGSU plans events around performance of ‘Considering Matthew Shepard’

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The image of young Matthew Shepard, attacked and left to die alone in a Wyoming field because of his sexual orientation, is a horrific reminder of what intolerance, fear and hatred can wreak. But from his 1998 death have come important national conversations and now, a choral work that explores not only Shepard’s death but also his life and legacy. The award-winning choir Conspirare will perform conductor and composer Craig Hella Johnson’s evocative and compassionate “Considering Matthew Shepard” at Bowling Green State University Sept. 17. Guest choirs from the University of Toledo and area high schools will join BGSU choirs as part of the performance. The concert will be the centerpiece of a series of engaging campus and community events in the choir’s two-day residency at the University, which is supported by the Helen McMaster Endowed Professorship in Vocal and Choral Studies. The 7 p.m. Sept. 17 concert takes place in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. It will be followed by a talk-back session from 9-9:30 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall with Johnson and other panelists. Admission is free for all BGSU faculty, staff and students with ID at the door. Advance tickets for community members are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. Call the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171 or purchase online at www.bgsu.edu/arts. Conspirare is considered today’s leading choir; they and their conductor, Johnson, have each won Grammy awards. “Considering Matthew Shepard” debuted at number four on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Chart and has also been nominated for a Grammy. “Considering Matthew Shepard” transports listeners through a tapestry of musical textures and idioms in a poignant concert experience inspiring hope, compassion and empowerment. The Washington Post called the three-part oratorio “powerfully cathartic,” and wrote, “Like Bach’s large-scale choral works, this spellbinding piece draws on many styles masterfully juxtaposed, though Johnson’s sources are the American vernacular. A Prologue, Passion and Epilogue … combine spoken text, cowboy song, American hymnody and popular song, spirituals, jazz and dazzling polyphony, all woven into a seamless tapestry. The impact is immediate, profound and, at times, overwhelming.” “Aside from the important topic of the piece and the inspirational message that it will bring, students and members of the community will hear in live performance one of the world’s leading choral ensembles,” said Dr. Mark Munson, BGSU director of choral activities. “Having a group of this caliber on campus offers our music students a model of excellence to which they can aspire. Hearing superb performances helps our students establish goals for their own music making, which is why it is important for them to spend time listening to the finest performances that they can.” The choir will engage across campus during their visit, including discussions and a master class. On Sept. 17, members will visit an Introduction to Women’s Studies class to discuss the performance and a range of gender and sexuality topics. They will also have lunch with faculty and student leaders and discuss how the arts can address diversity and inclusion. On Sept. 18, Johnson will visit a 9:30 a.m. choral repertoire class to lead a discussion on programming ideas. He will also hold a conducting workshop that day. Also Sept. 18, Conspirare technical director Ron…


Choral ensemble brings contemporary Passion inspired by the murder of ‘the boy next door’ to BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Craig Hella Johnson first heard the story of Matthew Shepard, he knew he wanted to compose a piece of music about it. Maybe, he thought,  a song. Johnson, the music director and founder of the chamber choir Conspirare, ended up writing a three-movement oratorio. Conspirare will perform “Considering Matthew Shepard” at Bowling Green State University Monday Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. The performance is part of a two-day residency by Johnson and Conspirare. (See details of residency here.) The performance will be followed by a talk back in Bryan Recital Hall. Advance tickets for community members are $7 and $3 for students and children. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. Call 419-372-8171 or purchase online at www.bgsu.edu/arts. Johnson remembers it was a singer in the ensemble who first told him about Shepard’s death. The story of the young gay man’s torture and death in Laramie, Wyoming, outraged the nation. It captivated Johnson for the same reason.  “He just looked like the boy next door,” Johnson said.  “It was quite extraordinary that this could happen to him. … It could have been me.” One section of “Considering Matthew Shepard” is “Ordinary Boy.” “That’s the crux of it,” the composer said.  People hear about hate crimes, but “he put a face on it.” He added: “Hate crimes are spiking again, I’m sad to report. We don’t hear about most of them.” And the way Shepard died, tortured and left tied to a fence barely alive had symbolic resonance.  Coming up with a musical response to Shepard’s death took a long period to germinate.  “It grew over time,” Johnson said. He has often performed Bach’s Passions and realized this was the form he needed to use. From “maybe a song” the idea bloomed into more than 100 minutes of music. In an age of listening to music on shuffle, few people are composing long-form works. Johnson said: “I know we have the capacity for these larger arcs, and I’m interested in continuing to experience that.” Johnson didn’t want to compose something that only appealed to classical music lovers. “I wanted a broad range of people to come and appreciate it,” he said. Bach used chorales based on familiar hymn tunes as a way of connecting his audience to the story. Johnson aspired “to have a lot of friendly entry points.” “Certainly this project is to honor the memory of Matthew,  so that we wouldn’t forget … and people would learn about Matt and what happened and what happens when some of the language we use then can become permeated in our culture.” Those hateful words give license to some act in the most extreme, violent ways. Taking on such a profound theme is why Johnson formed Conspirare in 1991 in Austin, Texas. “I just loved the idea of envisioning  a professional vocal ensemble that could have world class musical artistic standards and be a conduit for our larger selves,” he said.  “We believe music has the power to change lives, and we’re dedicated to that in our organization.” University singers both from BGSU and the University of Toledo as well as members of other community choirs will join Conspirare for one movement of “Considering Matthew Shepard.” Since its formation as a…


BGSU Arts Events through Sept. 29

Sept. 5-29 – BGSU is part of the collaborative “ScupltureX – Igniting Change: Teaching Artists and Social Practice” with the University of Toledo, Owens Community College, Toledo Museum of Art, and Contemporary Art Toledo. The BGSU exhibition, sponsored by David and Myrna Bryan and curated by Saul Ostrow, features the work of regional sculpture faculty. BGSU also will host a series of presentations, including talks by Ostrow and Mel Chin, on campus Sept. 29.  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 Sept. 5 – The Faculty Artist Series presents Charles Saenz on trumpet. As a professor and coordinator of the College of Musical Arts’ brass area, Saenz has performed with numerous ensembles, released a solo recording, “Eloquentia,” in 2015 and is a member of the Tower Brass Quintet. His recital starts at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. The performance will also be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/bgsumusic/live. Free Sept. 6 – The Prout Chapel Reading Series, hosted by the BGSU Creative Writing program, presents poet Tony Lograsso, a teaching associate in the Department of English, and fiction writer Anne Carney. The readings will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Sept. 11 – Tuesdays at the Gish presents “The Glass Castle” (2017, U.S., 127 minutes, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton), with an introduction by Mariia Spirina (cq), doctoral student in American culture studies. The film follows Jeannette (Brie Larson) and her wildly eccentric parents (Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts). Based on journalist Jeannette Wall’s bestselling memoir, the film intertwines events from her unpredictable nomadic childhood with scenes of Wall as a young writer who comes to terms with her parents. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union (Theater). Free Sept. 11 – The Guest Artist Series presents pianist Heather Lanners. Lanners, a Canadian pianist, has performed extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe as an active soloist and chamber musician. Her recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Sept. 12 – The Faculty Artist Series presents horn soloist Andrew Pelletier. Pelletier is a brass/percussion professor, a Grammy Award-winning chamber musician and president of the International Horn Society. His recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Sept. 12 – “So Much More: Ohio’s African-American Artists” opens, presented by Bowling Green State University’s School of Art. Over the course of its planning, the exhibition has evolved from a tribute to the legacy of athlete, actor, visual artist and BGSU alumnus Bernie Casey along with other African-American alumni to a broader, intergenerational conversation among alumni, current students and invited African-American artists from Ohio addressing the intersection of racial identity and personal expression.  The exhibition, in the Willard Wankelman Gallery in the Fine Arts Center, runs through Oct. 21. 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 Sept. 13 – Author Clifford Chase will present “The Art and Craft of Fiction” as part of the Creative Writing program’s weekly reading series. Chase is author of “Winkie,” a novel about a sentient teddy bear accused of terrorism. His talk will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Thomas…