Arts at Bowling Green State University

BGSU Arts Events through Oct. 31

Oct. 10 – Dave Lewis, sound archivist of the BGSU Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives, will lead the discussion for the Record Listening Club. The featured artist is Emmylou Harris and her album “Wrecking Ball.” The club puts a new spin on the idea of a book club. The discussion will begin at 6 p.m. in the Pallister Conference Room at the Jerome Library. Free Oct. 10 – The Faculty Artist Series welcomes Conor Nelson on flute. Nelson is an associate professor in the College of Musical Arts. During his extensive performing career, he has appeared internationally as a soloist and won numerous awards and competitions. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 11 – The BGSU Department of Theatre and Film’s Elsewhere Productions presents “Apocalypse Then,” a public reading by BGSU student Harmon Andrews. The reading will begin at 7 p.m. in the Marjorie Conrad M.D. Choral Room (Room 102) at the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Free Oct. 11 – The Prout Reading Series presents Sarah Rose Nordgren, a poet, teacher and multiform text artist. She has written two poetry books, and her poems and essays appear widely in various periodicals. She also creates video and performance text art in collaboration with Kathleen Kelley under the name Smart Snow. Her reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Oct. 11 – BGSU College of Musical Arts composition students present their newly composed works during a Student Composers Forum. The pieces will be performed by musical arts students. The performances will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 12 – The School of Art hosts an exhibition of intricate textile costumes by artist Sha Sha Higby, one of the featured guests for the 2018 New Music Festival. Higby studied art, made dolls and pursued the art of puppetry and sculpture in her early years. She has received many prestigious grants that have enabled her to study the arts of carving, mask-making, puppetry and dance throughout Southeast Asia. She has entranced audiences with her mesmerizing puppetry/dance performances at major venues throughout the world since 1974. Her New Music Festival performance is at 7 p.m. on Oct. 17 in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre at The Wolfe Center for the Arts. The exhibition of her costumes runs through Nov. 4 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan 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. Sundays. Free Oct. 14 – The Toledo Museum of Art welcomes faculty members of the BGSU College of Musical Arts for the first Great Performances presentation of the season. They will perform in the Great Gallery at the museum, previewing some of the music from the 39th annual New Music Festival, which opens Oct. 17. The recital will begin at 3 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St. The performance is free; onsite parking for nonmembers of the museum is $7. Oct. 15 – The BGSU School of Art’s printmaking program will host visiting artist Amze Emmons, an associate professor at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. Emmons is a Philadelphia-based, multidisciplinary…


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…


Ghanaian master drummer Bernard Woma has wake up call for BGSU students

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Master drummer Bernard Woma has greeted presidents and royalty to his native Ghana. On Tuesday morning he greeted students in Bowling Green State University’s School of Art with the throbbing sound of drums, and the swirl of dancers. Most of those in the audience in the lobby of the Bryan Gallery were students in Rebecca Skinner Green’s African art class, but the ranks of listeners swelled as the rhythm reverberated around the building. They didn’t stay observers for long. On the second dance, members of Woma’s Saakumu dance troupe summoned those in the audience to join the line, instructing them as they danced, on the steps and gestures. “We share the music together,” Woma said. “We share the experience together, so you better understand.” Ghanaian music is participatory. Woma has been coming to BGSU every few years since 2001. This week’s two-day stay with his dance troupe will culminate with a free performance Wednesday night at 7 in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre in Wolfe Center for the Arts. He said that when he first opened his Dagara Music Center in 1998, a BGSU group led by Skinner Green and Steven Cornelius was the first to come to study there. Woma said he was born to be a drummer. He came out of his mother’s womb with his fists clenched as if gripping a pair of mallets. That marked him as a gyil player. His grandfather played the instrument, a Ghanaian xylophone, as did his uncle. While his father didn’t play he loved to dance. So Woma grew up in a home full of music and dance. At 2 he was banging out the melodies he’d heard. His musical education began long before his formal “European” education. When he completed that, he headed to the capital city of Accra where he joined the National Dance Ensemble. The government brought together the best musicians from the country’s more than 60 ethnic regions. By the time President and Mrs. Clinton came to visit in 1998, he was the master drummer of the troupe. Clinton was intrigued by the enormous ceremonial drum, and quizzed Woma on what it was made from. Elephant hide, Woma replied. He also greeted the Obamas when they visited Ghana in 2009. He recalled that he was planning to come to the United States at that time, but the embassy said he needed to stay for the Obama visit. He even taught Sasha and Malia how to play the gyil. “It was privilege.” As master drummer he also welcomed South African President Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth. With the founding of his school, Woma decided he needed to pursue graduate education. So he earned a master’s degree in African Studies from SUNY Fredonia and a master’s in ethnomusicology from the Indiana University. “It helped me understand the academic function of research to help students who want to study with me,” he said. “If I wanted to be a teacher, I had to learn myself about teaching and research.” Seven students have completed master’s theses and eight have completed doctoral dissertations based on their work at his academy. He now splits his time between Accra and Bloomington, Indiana. Back home, people still value the traditional music and dance. Because the troupe knows the styles of all the various ethnic groups, they…


Arts Beat: Sharing the bravos – ‘Emilie,’ electrifies; ‘Montreal, White City,’ haunts

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bravo! BGSU this weekend was a major arts event, showcasing some, but by no means all that transpires here culturally. Like the food served at Bravo! this was just a taste, delicious to be sure, but a sampling. As the spring semester unwinds, it’s hard to keep up with everything going on. Yet there are events that bear documenting.   “Emilie” Among those performing at Bravo! BGSU was Hillary LaBonte, who with Caroline Kouma, reprised a duet from Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte,” which was staged two weeks ago. That opera was a frothy entertainment. Just a couple days before Bravo! though, LaBonte had the stage to herself in a very different opera. Working with conductor Maria Mercedes Diaz Garcia and the Vive! Ensemble, which the conductor founded, she sang “Emilie,” a solo opera by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and Lebanese author Amin Maalouf. Here LaBonte portrays leading 18th century French intellectual Emilie de Chatelet. We find de Chatelet in the process of writing a letter to her lover, the father of the child she carries. De Chatelet was a woman of great passions, both physical and intellectual, and all these weave together. She spills her heart into the letter. Her quill is amplified so that there’s a telegraphic urgency as she writes. That’s just one of the ways the composer uses electronics to expose Emilie’s inner life. Emilie is consumed by a sense of foreboding, about to give birth, she expects the worst. She speaks of her hopes for her child, hopes for a parent as loving and encouraging as her father. Rare for the time, de Chatelet received a full education in the sciences and arts. She played harpsichord. The instrument electronically amplified plays a prominent part in the orchestra. It tracks, even anticipates, her thoughts. She is devoted to astronomy, physics, mathematics, and philosophy. There is nothing cold about her calculations and observations. They burn like the sun, whose constitution she ponders. Emilie is at this point completing her translation into French from Latin of Newton’s “Principia.” This is the cutting edge science of the day, and still aligned with the mystical. The score, performed by a small orchestra, amplifies the moods, whether the dark foreboding or antic excitement. LaBonte soars above, her voice capturing all the emotional shades of Emilie’s personality. As she faces her fears that she will disappear in “the web of oblivion” she imagines holding her book, not her child, in her arms. As reality would have it, she died at 43, nine days after giving birth. Her completed manuscript would be found a few years after her death and only then published. It remains the definitive translation of “Principia” in French. Emilie de Chatelet is something of a forgotten woman. This opera reveals her in all her complexity. It’s says something about the passion Diaz Garcia, LaBonte, and their colleagues have for this opera, that they would tackle it in the midst of their own hectic spring performance  schedules. The performance was a testament to the creative energy that surges through the new music scene.   “Montreal, White City” Another troubled, passionate woman is at the heart of Bachir Bensaddek’s film “Montréal la Blanche (Montreal, White City).” In late March, the filmmaker visited campus to show and…


Bravo! is a love fest for Eva Marie Saint & the arts at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Eva Marie Saint’s Falcon spirit does has its limits. President Rodney Rogers found this out before he left for Bravo! BGSU on Saturday. Saint, the Oscar-winning actress and 1946 graduate of Bowling Green State University, was staying in the president’s house with her son and daughter, during their visit back to campus. The visit was capped off by her receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the university. (Click for related  story.) Standing at the podium to deliver the award, Rogers said he’d started to leave the house wearing an orange bowtie. “Lose the orange tie,” Saint told him. “Black is classic.” When Eva Marie Saint tells you to do something, he said, you do it. So the president of BGSU appeared at Bravo! BGSU with nary a patch of orange. The awarding of the Lifetime honor to someone Rogers called “our most celebrated” graduate, capped off an evening celebrating the arts are BGSU. Bravo! BGSU now in its fourth year raises money for scholarships for arts students. This year 340 tickets at $125 were sold, more than last year when $75,000 was raised, according to Lisa Mattiace, the president’s chief of staff. Another $9,000 came in  from the silent auction. Students who benefited from those scholarships were evident throughout the night. Performances and art demonstrations were staged through the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Students screened their films and read their poetry. They sang musical theater tunes and art songs. A jazz group jammed and the Combustible Ensemble improvised music for dancers. One of those Bravo! Scholars, Kimberly Tumblin, was painting in a hallway.  She appreciated the scholarship. “It just helps out my family a lot.” She also saw it as “a validation” of her work. Tumblin, who is from Coshocton, came to BGSU on the recommendation of her high school art teacher, who is a graduate of the university. Tumblin intended to study digital arts, but really loved painting. She was intimidated by the medium’s long tradition, especially given she was interested in more traditional styles. But at BGSU she got the encouragement she needed, and switched to painting, studying with Brandon Briggs. The figure painting she was working on was inspired by the art of the Italian Baroque. This was the first time she’d worked in such a public setting, and was surprised how much work she was getting done. In another hallway one of her fellow Bravo! Scholars, Emily Avaritt painting a figure in a more contemporary style.  She came to BGSU from the Toledo School for the Arts, which is sponsored by the university. Given that relationship and her familiarity with BGSU, the Toledo resident felt this was her best option for college. Christine Hansen was standing nearby admiring Avaritt’s art. “I’m watching this picture come to life in a matter of minutes.” Hansen came to Bowling Green six months ago from Wayne State in Detroit to become assistant vice president for major giving. “Everywhere I stop, I’m struck,” she said. “You can’t imagine what you see. The passion and talent not only that the students have but the faculty who are teaching them.” She said she wishes her stepson, who is an artist with Disney, was here to see the work. Hansen said before coming to BGSU she was unaware of…


BGSU Arts Events through April 24

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 6 — Academy Award-winning actress Eva Marie Saint will attend a special showing of “The Trip to Bountiful,” the 1953 television production she starred in with Lillian Gish, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater at BGSU’s Hanna Hall. Gish and Saint reprised their roles on Broadway the following year, earning Saint the Drama Critics Award and the Outer-Circle Critics Award. Following the screening, Saint, a BGSU alumna, will discuss her career and her work with Gish. Free   April 6 — World Percussion Night will feature multiple drumming styles, including performances by the Taiko and Steel Drum ensembles from the College of Musical Arts. Advance tickets are $7 for students and $10 for other adults; tickets the day of the concert are, respectively, $10 and $13. Tickets can also be purchased at bgsu.edu/arts. For more information, call the box office between noon and 6 p.m.weekdays at 419-372-8171. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. April 11 — The Faculty Artist Series presents Matthew McBride-Daline on the viola. Since his debut in Carnegie Hall, McBride-Daline has performed worldwide as a viola soloist. An avid chamber musician, he has performed at numerous international festivals including the Banff Center for the Arts, Verbier Academy, the Music Academy of the West, the New York String Orchestra Seminar and Sarasota Music Festival. His performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 12 — Continuing its focus on exile and migration, the International Film Series presents “Balseros (Rafters)” (2002, Spain, 120 minutes, directed by Carles Bosch and Josep Maria Domenech), with an introduction by Dr. Pedro Porbén from the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Latin American Studies. Filmed in Cuba, Guantanamo Bay and the United States, this transnational film gives insight into the “human adventure of people who are shipwrecked between two worlds.” The award-winning documentary tracks the lives of Cubans who fled Cuba by raft during the economic depression of the so-called “Periodo especial” in the early 1990s. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater, located in Hanna Hall. Free April 12 — Jazz Lab Band 2 will give a performance at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $7 for students and $10 for other adults; tickets the day of the concert are, respectively, $10 and $13. Tickets can also be purchased at bgsu.edu/arts. For more information, call the box office between noon and 5 p.m. weekdays at 419-372-8171. April 13 — BGSU doctoral candidates in music perform in response to specific works of art as part of “Ear | Eye: Listening and Looking,” a partnership between the College of Musical Arts and the Toledo Museum of Art. An exploration of the relationship of contemporary music and art, each performance is followed by discussion. The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St., Toledo. Free April 13 — The International Film Series presents “Ali: Angst essen Seele auf (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul)” (1974, West Germany, 93 minutes, directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder), with an introduction by Dr. Christina Guenther from the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Germany. One of Fassbinder’s masterpieces, this award-winning drama explores the unusual love affair between a young Moroccan guest worker and an elderly German cleaning lady…


Composer Maria Schneider warns students about the future of the music industry

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Maria Schneider is an award-winning composer with Grammys in jazz, pop, and classical. She’s also a pioneer in crowdsourcing her music. And she’s a champion for artists’ rights, rebelling against the current music business model. Schneider has written about the issue, appeared on CNN, and testified before Congress. She helped launch musicanswers.org with other composers, performers, songwriters, and producers to advocate for their rights. “I’m really doing it for your future,” she told students at Bowling Green State University, Friday in a session of digital music rights. She’s established enough that she could sit back and live off what she’s already created. Her model, ArtistShare, works well for her. Through the platform, fans help finance the $200,000 it takes to produce one of her recordings. She makes her living from her music, but she’s concerned the new generation of musicians may not have that opportunity. “I’m really doing it for your future.” She apologized for presenting such a bleak “outlook.” The session came on the last day of her three-day residency at BGSU, which concluded with Schneider conducting Jazz Lab I in a concert of her music. (Click to read interview with Schneider.) Her outrage at the compensation started when she’d made her first recording, and found out just how little she would earn after the record company took its share. She contacted older musicians, such as Bob Brookmeyer, one of her mentors in composition, and guitarist Jim Hall. They basically shrugged in resignation. Looking back on it, those payments were generous compared to the pittance that musicians get through the streaming model. Not surprising given Spotify was created by Daniel Ek who got his start in the illegal download business. When he launched Spotify he needed content so he went to the three major record labels, Sony, Universal, and Warner. In exchange for 6 percent of equity in Spotify, which will go public next week, they gave Spotify the rights to their catalogs. Millions of hours of music, the work of composers and performers and producers, who would now earn almost nothing. Certainly not enough to pay for their recording sessions, which record companies now expect artists to pay for unless they sign deals to share all revenue streams. This has been detrimental both to the download model, such as iTunes, which did provide decent income, and the sale of CDs. Only vinyl LPs are seeing an increase in sales.  But the cost of shipping vinyl is prohibitive for her. Schneider detailed her own battles to keep her music off YouTube and other free sites. Though YouTube makes it easy to download music without compensation to the creator, the process of getting that music removed, or keep it from being downloaded in the first place, is daunting, and even threatening.  The burden of proof is on the copyright holder. YouTube, Spotify, and Google want as much content up as possible to drive traffic, and gather data on users. “Data is the new gold.” She cautioned young musicians from putting up recordings of everything on YouTube. Her approach, she said, is to post a promotional video, with snippets of music, and commentary. However, YouTube will not allow a link to connect viewers to her ArtistShare site and buy the music, though she can mention…


BGSU musicians mix it up in Wayland competition

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Like a lot of kids, Nick Fox used his family’s cookware for drums when he was little. Jerry Emmons was into drumming on his school desk with pencils. “I got in trouble,” he said. On Sunday night, Emmons and Fox  with fellow percussionist,  Emanuel Bowman, brought that childhood fascination with making rhythm to fruition and won the graduate division of the Wayland Chamber Music Competition at Bowling Green State University. “Catfish” by Mark Applebaum had Fox drumming on three cast iron pots that have passed down to him from his grandmother. And Emmons worked with three pieces of lumber while Bowman played a set of bongo drums. The piece doesn’t specify instruments, Fox explained, just three metals, three woods, and three skins so they could create their own version. Landlocked Percussion was one of 13 undergraduate and graduate small ensembles that competed in the event that began with the semifinals Saturday, culminating with the finals. The Undergraduate Division winners were the Autumn Trio with Ling Na Kao, violin, Gretchen Hill, clarinet, and Varissara Vatcharanukul, piano. Unlike the percussion trio, the Autumn Trio draws members from different instrumental areas. They may never have met each other had they not been brought together as an ensemble for the Wayland Competition. The three sophomores first assembled as freshmen. Hill said she didn’t remember who on the faculty initiated the creation of the trio. Hill said she and Kao do play together in the Bowling Green Philharmonia “but we sit on different sides of the ensemble, so we don’t get to interact much.” They are pleased that they had this opportunity to get to know each other. For Vatcharanukul and Kao playing in a small ensemble was a first. Figuring out how to work together was a challenge. “It was a new experience,” Kao said. “It was really hard,” she said, especially given they were venturing into playing contemporary music with Paul Schoenfeld’s “Freyiakh,” a piece influenced by klezmer music. Kao said she discovered the piece was searching for music for the trio on the internet. Fox said Landlocked Percussion first came together as a quartet, but one member had to drop out to prepare for his doctoral recital. The group has been together for about two months. They are committed, he said, to continuing the project. “We hope to keep the trajectory going.” “A big thing for with music for me is the emotional connection,” Emmons said. “It’s easy to get that emotional connection with the music, the audience, with a small intimate ensemble like this. The emotion is heightened.” “It’s the first time I’ve had such an awesome experience,” Bowman said. He said “Catfish” with its “groove-based” sound offered a good contrast to the second piece on the trio’s program Toru Takemitsu’s “Rain Tree.” That piece used marimbas, vibraphone, and bells and was “beautiful, ethereal, and spacious,” Bowman said. One of the judges, Terry King from Syracuse University, said the variety in the music and instrumentation he heard during the finals was a challenge for the judges as well. “The performances were all of very high quality,” he said. “What I was looking for was the conviction of the performance … how they sold their music was the main thing for me.” BGSU faculty members Dan…


Oscar-winning alumna Eva Marie Saint to be special guest at Bravo! BGSU

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Academy Award-winning actress and Bowling Green State University alumna Eva Marie Saint ’46, ’82 [Hon.] will make a special appearance at the 4th annual Bravo! BGSU, which raises funds for arts scholarships. Programs in the arts have been central to Bowling Green State University for more than 100 years. On April 7, the quality and vibrancy of all of the University’s arts will be showcased at this special event. Bravo! BGSU celebrates the very best of the University’s arts – from the College of Musical Arts, School of Art, Department of Theatre and Film, the Creative Writing Program and the Dance Program. Guests will experience a magical evening of vocal, instrumental and theatrical performances, plus exhibitions and demonstrations by student and faculty artists in glass, ceramics, metals, sculpture, graphic design and digital arts. This year the event includes a silent auction featuring items that range from prime seats to see Hamilton at the CIBC Theatre in Chicago and a week’s stay at a bed and breakfast in southern France to artwork by BGSU alumni and experiential packages with the Toledo Zoo or the BGSU Falcon Marching Band. The auction is now open at bgsu.edu/bravo. “BGSU has a strong tradition of academic excellence in the arts and this event showcases the very best of our talent. It is a great opportunity for the community to experience a unique, exciting event,” said Bowling Green State University President Rodney Rogers. “We are especially appreciative of our sponsors, including our presenting sponsor PNC, for their partnership and support of our students.” Funds raised from the event benefit scholarships for arts students. Last year’s event raised more than $75,000 for scholarships. Held in the award-winning Wolfe Center for the Arts, the celebration offers professional-level entertainment and fabulous fare. From Broadway vignettes to musical ensembles and solos, from live painting and backstage activity to creative writing recitations, it will be a night to remember. The celebration will begin at 6 p.m. in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit bgsu.edu/bravo. Tickets also are available by phone, 419-372-9213, or email kmdevin@bgsu.edu. Guests with disabilities are requested to indicate if they need special services, assistance or appropriate modifications to fully participate in this event by contacting Accessibility Services at access@bgsu.edu or 419-372-8495 prior to the event.


Composer Maria Schneider BGSU Jazz Week guest artist

From  BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Composer and band leader Maria Schneider will conduct and teach at Bowling Green State University March 28-30 as the 2018 Hansen Musical Arts Series guest artist. Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.” She and her orchestra became widely known starting in 1994 when they released their first recording, “Evanescence.” There, Schneider began to develop her personal way of writing for what would become her 18-member collective, made up of many of the finest musicians in jazz today, tailoring her compositions to distinctly highlight the uniquely creative voices of the group. The Maria Schneider Orchestra has performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide. She has received numerous commissions and guest-conducting invitations, working with more than 85 groups from more than 30 countries. At BGSU, Schneider will conduct the Jazz Lab Band I as it performs her music at 8 p.m. March 30 in Kobacker Hall. Her residency activities include a question-and-answer session at 3:45 p.m. and a composition master class at 5:15 p.m. March 29, and a digital rights/music business master class at 2:30 p.m. March 30. All events are in Kobacker Hall and are free and open to the public. Schneider’s music blurs the lines between genres, making her long list of commissioners quite varied, stretching from Jazz at Lincoln Center, to The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, to collaborations with the late David Bowie. She is among a small few to have received Grammys in multiple genres, including both the jazz and classical categories, as well as for her work with Bowie. Her recent collaboration with her orchestra and Bowie resulted in his single called “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime),” and brought her a 2016 Grammy (Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals). Schneider and her orchestra also received a 2016 Grammy for their latest work, “The Thompson Fields” (Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album). Her distinguished recording career with the orchestra has earned them 12 Grammy nominations and five Grammy awards. Unique funding of projects has become a hallmark for Schneider through the trend-setting company, ArtistShare. Her 2004 album, “Concert in the Garden,” became historic as the first recording to win a Grammy with internet-only sales. Even more significantly, it blazed the “crowd-funding” trail as ArtistShare’s first release. She’s been awarded many honors by the Jazz Journalists Association and Downbeat and JazzTimes critics and readers polls. In 2012, her alma mater, the University of Minnesota, presented Schneider with an honorary doctorate, and in 2014, ASCAP awarded her its esteemed Concert Music Award. Schneider has become a strong voice for music advocacy and, in 2014, testified before the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Intellectual Property about digital rights. She has also appeared in CNN, participated in roundtables for the United States Copyright Office, and has been quoted in numerous publications for her views on Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Google, digital rights and music piracy. Most recently, she and concerned colleagues in New York launched a widespread campaign on behalf of music-makers, MusicAnswers.org. The Dorothy E. and DuWayne H. Hansen Musical Arts Series Fund was established in 1996 to bring to BGSU and the Bowling Green community significant representatives of the musical arts to share their talents with undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Musical Arts and with residents of the community. Dorothy Hansen is an alumna of the College of Musical Arts, while…


Humorous & soulful sounds on tap as BGSU pianists take center stage at library atrium

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Laughter is not the usual response to music performed at a piano recital, but that’s the reaction Varis Vatcharanukul has gotten when he’s performed “The Body of Your Dreams.” The composition by Dutch contemporary composer Jacob Ter Veldhuis, known as JacobTV, will close the piano concert in the atrium of the Wood County Public Library Monday March 19 at 7 p.m. The rest of the program will features classics by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, and Chopin. Vatcharanukul said he wanted to tackle some contemporary music and his teacher Thomas Rosenkranz suggested “The Body of Your Dreams” for piano and boom box. JacobTV is an apt stage name for someone who uses fragments of TV dialogue to build his compositions around. In the case of “Body” he has sampled an advertisement for a body conditioning device. He shaped music lines inspired by the rhythms of the hyperbolic sales pitch. The pianist performs these in counterpoint to cut-and-pasted shards of male and female voices. The result is music easy to understand even for listeners new to contemporary music. “It’s not like that kind of new music,” Vatcharanukul said. It’s tonal and not particularly dissonant, with rhythms that evoke jazz rock. “That can catch audience,” he said. “Body” is also highly rhythmic, and it grows in intensity as the sales pitch continues. The piece is not simple though. Vatcharanukul said he’s not able to pay too much attention to the audience’s reaction because he has to concentrate, listening both what he’s playing and making sure it locks in with the voices on the tape. Vatcharanukul, who comes from Bangkok, Thailand, is in his last semester as an undergraduate piano performance major. He came to study with Rosenkranz. Over his five years at Bowling Green State University, he has played numerous times in the library’s atrium. He likes the mix of listeners. Some are knowledgeable about music, others aren’t. “It’s really nice I can do something for those people,” he said. Rosenkranz, who organizes the library recitals, said the students enjoy playing for their peers, in a less stressful situation. A pianist can feel isolated spending so many hours a day in the practice room. This gives them a chance to get out and share the music they have worked so long on. “They see it as a chance to grow,” Rosenkranz said. Ioanna Nikou came from Greece to study with Robert Satterlee after she met him when he presented a seminar in her native land. She knew she wanted to go abroad for graduate school, and Satterlee put Bowling Green on the map for her. She will open the concert with a piece that does not elicit laughter, J.S. Bach’s “Chromatic Fantasy.” She loves the spiritual qualities of the piece and the challenge of bringing out each of note in the lines. Each note is important. Nikou said she wanted to learn this piece because she has been studying Rachmaninov’s massive Concerto No. 2. She needed a break from the grandeur and romantic intensity of the concerto, something “more calm, more spiritual.” Performing the piece from memory is also a key to connecting with its inner workings. “Every pianist can connect to a special composer or piece,” she said. “Whenever he doesn’t have the score in from…