Arts at Bowling Green State University

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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


Chinese dance troupe to visit BGSU

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS As part of a cultural exchange, a Yanshan University group from China will perform at Bowling Green State University and other northwest Ohio universities beginning March 12. Five faculty members and eight students from Qinhuangdao, China’s Yanshan University Performance Troupe will present “Whispering Dreams of a Spring Breeze,” demonstrating Chinese dance, music and martial arts. The BGSU performance is at 7:30 p.m. on March 12 in Kobacker Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Other performances are scheduled at University of Toledo and Lourdes University. The troupe’s visit is part of a “Sister City” relationship between Toledo and Qinhuangdao, China, which both are named a “Glass City.”  The two cities became sister cities in 1985. Dr. Joseph Chao, Narayen Endowed Associate Professor and chair of the BGSU Department of Computer Science, leads the local Qinhuangdao Sister City Committee. The purpose of the presentation is to “spread goodwill and share our cultures with one another,” Chao said. Chao and College of Music Dean William Mathis visited Yanshan University in December to plan for the cultural exchange performance. “During my visit to Yanshan University I had the personal honor see a rehearsal of several of the numbers that will be performed here at BGSU,” Mathis said. “I was thoroughly taken with the beauty and expressive display of both the traditional Chinese music and dance. Their presentation on our campus and the cultural exchange with our students will be a wonderful experience for all who are involved.“ Fourteen presentations are included in the performance with themes of ancient charm, diversified ethnicity and unique folk arts. The performances will include vocal soloists, Chinese dance, Chinese zither music, a Taichi fan performance, Chinese fiddle (er hu), and Southern Fist martial arts performance. Performers from Yanshan University are Xin Zhao, vocal professor; Nuan Wen, Chinese zither lecturer; Lingyun Ma, associate professor; Wennan Zhao, lecturer; Yiwei Wang, a senior student majoring in Pipa; and members of the Art Ensemble Dance Performers, Huiqian Cai, Zi Tian, Shihao Guo, Yang Zheng, Yao Jia and Xirong Zhang, Tickets are $5 per person and available at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Information Desk, 419-372-2741, or at the door the night of the performance. The additional performances are at 7 p.m., March 14 in the Doermann Theatre at University of Toledo, and at 7 p.m., March 19, in the Franciscan Center at Lourdes University. While in northwest Ohio, in addition to the performances, the group will attend a Toledo Symphony Orchestra concert at the Toledo Museum of Art, visit the Toledo Chinese School at Maumee Valley Country Day School, attend Dawn Upshaw’s BGSU concert and the dress rehearsal of the BGSU opera “Cosi fan tutte.” “These exchanges are important to foster better understanding of each other, to become more comfortable with each other, and promote mutual respect,” Chao said.


BGSU Arts Events through Jan. 23

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Jan. 10 — BGSU’s Guest Artist Series welcomes back former faculty member and pianist Yu-Lien The. A prizewinner of the 12th International Piano Competition Viotti-Valsesia and the Deutsche Musikwettbewerb, The has performed at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and at Carnegie Hall, with the new music ensemble Opus21. Frequent collaborations with saxophonists Joe Lulloff and Henning Schröder have led to several world premieres of new commissions for both piano and saxophone. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 13 — Sigma Alpha Iota members will present a Winter Musicale at 6 p.m. in the Choral Rehearsal Hall in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 14 — Praecepta, the student chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc., will present a performance of their work titled “24/24.” The group promotes new music activities in the Bowling Green community. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 16 — Violinist Harvey Thurmer is the next performer in the Guest Artist Series. Thurmer is active in the promotion and recording of new music. His recording of Kurtag’s “Kafka Fragmente” with soprano Audrey Luna, available on the Ars Moderno label, represents the first recording of this monumental work by American artists. The performance will begin at 8 pm in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical ArtsCenter. Free Jan. 18 — Visiting Writer Clifford Chase will read from his fiction. Author of “Winkie” and “The Tooth Fairy: Parents, Lovers, and Other Wayward Deities (A Memoir),” Chase teaches at Wesleyan University. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Jan. 18 — The Guest Artist Series presents Li-Shan Hung on the piano. She made her Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Hall in 2003 and was invited to present a second Weill Hall recital in 2005. The recipient of numerous music performance prizes, she has performed and taught around the world. Her performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 19 — BGSU presents EAR | EYE: Listening and Looking: Contemporary Music and Art in conjunction with the Toledo Museum of Art. The performance series explores the relationship between contemporary music and art through performances in front of contemporary works of art, featuring BGSU doctoral candidates in music. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St., Toledo. Free Jan. 22 — The Guest Artist Series presents Sandra Shapiro on the piano. Shapiro has an active career as both performer and teacher throughout the United States and Europe, and she appears as a soloist in recitals and orchestras and acts as both a recording artist and chamber musician. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 23 — Percussionists arx duo will perform as part of the Guest Artist Series. With a repertoire ranging from established…


BGSU Arts Events through Dec. 3

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Nov. 26 – Praecepta, the student chapter of the Society of Composers Inc. at BGSU’s College of Musical Arts, will give a performance at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 27 – The Graduate String Quartet will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 28 – The University Choral Society will perform a festive holiday program titled “Joyous Sounds: A Yuletide Celebration,” featuring the BGSU Graduate Brass Quintet and Michael Gartz, organist at First United Methodist Church. The performance will begin 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Bowling Green. Free Nov. 29 – Trombonist Brittany Lasch will give a Faculty Artist Series performance. Lasch was the winner of the 2015 National Collegiate Solo Competition hosted by the U.S. Army Band and the 2010 Eisenberg-Fried Brass Concerto Competition, and was the recipient of the Zulalian Foundation Award in 2014. Her trombone quartet Boston Based was just named the winner of the 2017 International Trombone Association’s Quartet Competition. Her performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 30 – The Concert Band will give a concert at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, located in 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 6 p.m. weekdays at 419-372-8171. Dec. 1 – Celloist Deborah Pae will conduct a free master class at 3:30 p.m. in the Choral Rehearsal Hall and give a free performance at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, both at at the Moore Musical Arts Center.  Pae’s 2017-2018 season highlights include concerto performances of “Rhapsodies for Cello and Strings” by Jeffrey Mumford and Haydn’s Concerto in C as well as chamber music and solo recital tours in New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Brussels, France, Indonesia and Taiwan. Dec. 1 – The Men’s and Women’s Chorus will be in concert at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, located in 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 6 p.m. weekdays at 419-372-8171. Dec. 2 – The College of Musical Arts will hold a Music Audition Day for prospective students in the Moore Musical Arts center. Visit bgsu.edu/musical-arts for more information. Dec.  2 – ArtsX, the annual holiday extravaganza, offers a showcase of art across the spectrum for art lovers of all ages. The 13th annual event theme is “Make. Believe.” and will feature the magic and imagination of puppetry as well as the talents and creations of students, faculty and alumni musicians, artists, dancers and performers. BGSU alumna Mel…


BGSU Arts Events through Oct. 31

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Through Nov. 9 – “Milestones: A Celebration of BGSU School of Art Alumni Featuring Studio Arts, Design and the 25th Anniversary of the Digital Arts Program” continues in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. The exhibit is part of the 38th annual Bowling Green State University New Music and Art Festival. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m.Sundays. Admission is free. Oct. 20– The 38th annual New Music and Art Festival presents Concert 6, featuring the mixed-chamber group Latitude 49 (L49), whose focus on commissioning and supporting living composers has resulted in more than 30 works written for them. Their performance will begin at 8 p.m. at Kobacker Hall in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 21– The 38th annual New Music and Art Festival presents a panel discussion at 10:30 a.m. at the Marjorie E. Conrad, M.D. Choral Room, located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Free Oct. 21– The 38th annual New Music and Art Festival presents Concert 7, featuring electroacoustic works by Kong Mee Choi, Asha Srinivasan, Mike McFerron, Scott Miller, Jay C. Batzner and Konstantinos Karathanasis. The performance will begin at 2:30 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 21– The 38th annual New Music and Art Festival presents the final concert, Concert 8, featuring the Bowling Green Philharmonia and Percussion Ensemble in a performance of a series of orchestral and percussion works. Tickets are $7 in advance and can be purchased at bgsu.edu/arts. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Oct. 22 – The Sunday Matinee Series presents“Scott of the Antarctic”(1948, England, 110 minutes, directed by Charles Frend with John Mills, Derek Bond and Diana Churchill), with an introduction by film historian Dr. Jan Wahl. The harrowing race to the South Pole between Captain Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen of Scandinavia was a battle for survival. Which man would be the first to win fame and glory for his country, enduring the cold, the blizzards, the mountains and horrendous hardships? This adventurous docudrama in Technicolor is based on the true story of their expedition. The screening will begin at 3 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater, located in Hanna Hall. Free Oct. 22 – Composer and pianist Jake Heggie, the 2017 BGSU Creative Series artist in residence, will give a keynote address highlighting his creative process and life story. Composer of operas such as “Dead Man Walking,” “Moby-Dick,” “It’s A Wonderful Life” and more, Heggie has also composed nearly 300 art songs, as well as concerti, chamber music, choral and orchestral works, including the “Ahab Symphony.” He will also give a series of five master classes on Oct. 23 and 24 that are open to the public. To view the list, visit https://www.bgsu.edu/the-arts/events/creative-minds.html. His address will begin at 8 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M….


New Music Festival guest composers embrace the weird & beautiful in their work

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Steve Mackey and Sarah Kirkland Snider came into contemporary music through back doors. A rock musician in the mid-1970s Mackey was majoring in physics as his fall back plan if his rock star dream didn’t come true. Growing up Snider studied cello, piano and attended choir camp in the summer “Music was my favorite thing to do,” she said. That included writing music which she never showed anyone.  When she went to college she studied psychology and sociology and after graduating ended up working for the Center of Reproductive Justice. To fulfill a requirement in college Mackey took a music history class. Thus exposed him to the world of classical music including Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” which he called “his gateway drug” to new music. At the time, music industry types who heard his band were impressed but said the music was “spacey, weird and undanceable.” Well, Stravinsky’s ballet music was also spacey, weird and famously difficult to dance to. Mackey was impressed that in the “Rite” and other classical pieces “all of human experience was distilled into a listening experience. “ With the rock band he was accompanying beer drinking, flirtation, and fending off requests for Doobie Brothers’ covers. Living in New York, Snider was called on by friends to write music for theatrical productions. She was so involved she was being called on the carpet for missing work to compose. She decided to make the transition into music. Since she had not majored in music at 24, she set about undertaking a four-year personal music course. At 29, she started studying composition at Yale. Both now are recognized composers whose works are performed around the world. Mackey and Snider, who are married, are on campus as the guest composers for the 38th New Music and Art Festival which continues through Saturday night. For a schedule of performances click. Snyder and Mackey talked about their music and the contemporary music scene in an open conversation with Kurt Doles the director of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at BGSU. Mackey said that when he and Snider met being older he was more established and already a Princeton professor. “We weren’t fighting for the same scraps.” Sometimes, Mackey said, he wishes he could write music as beautiful as hers and she wishes she could write music as strange as his. “Beautiful is better,” he said. The listen to each other’s work, and seek advice. “We egg each other on.” “It’s really helpful,” Snider said. It’s “good psychological musical help.” In the end, they urge each other to go for the most honest expression. “Lay it all out there,” Mackey said. “Be vulnerable. Nobody cares about some half-revealed truth.” He said he sometimes tells his students that they don’t need composition lessons they need therapy…


BGSU Arts Events through Oct. 24

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING  & COMMUNICATIONS Oct. 11 – The Faculty Artist Series presents BGSU tuba/euphonium instructor David Saltzman. An active soloist and chamber musician, Saltzman was the winner of the 1996 Colonial Euphonium Tuba Quartet’s Tuba Solo Competition in Albany, New York. Since then, he has performed solo recitals at many regional and international festivals, and he has most recently been part of a consortium of tuba players commissioning a new concerto for tuba by Samuel Adler, currently slated to premiere in October 2018. Salzman’s performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 12 – The Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble will perform as part of a small ensemble with guest artist Matthew Murchison. Murchison is known as a varied performer, composer, arranger, educator, conductor and producer. He was a member of the River City Brass in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 2002-15, and was the principal solo euphonium for the last nine of those years. Since then, Murchison has performed solo and chamber music concerts across the U.S. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 13 – The BGSU Concert Band will perform as part of Homecoming festivities. The band will perform traditional repertoire and new compositions by the world’s leading composers, conducted by Dr. Bruce Moss. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets in advance are $3 for students and $7 for adults and available at bgsu.edu/arts or by calling 419-372-8171. Oct. 15 – The Sunday Matinee Series presents “Bedroom, Parlor and Bath” (1931, U.S.A., 85 minutes, directed by Edward Sedwick, with Buster Keaton, Charlotte Greenwood and Reginald Denny), with an introduction by film historian Dr. Jan Wahl. It very well may be that Buster Keaton’s greatest achievements lay in the silent era when he was allowed to control the making of each film. Yet his was a genius that could not be entirely diminished, even by the bosses at MGM. Keaton was able to adapt to this new medium, so now we were able to hear the unique voice that went with the clown’s body. The screening will begin at 3 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater, located in Hanna Hall. Free Oct. 17 – Tuesdays at the Gish presents “Seconds” (1966, U.S., 106 minutes, directed by John Frankenheimer) with an introduction by William Avila, doctoral student in American culture studies. “Seconds” is about a middle-aged banker who makes a Faustian bargain to get a new life and becomes (after cosmetic surgery) a painter, played by matinee-idol Rock Hudson. A dystopian slow-burner, “Seconds” is must-see for James Wong Howe’s striking cinematography. Like “Stagecoach,” the film belongs to the collection of films archived in the National Film Registry. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater, located in Hanna Hall. Free Oct. 17 – Music at the Manor House…