BGSU College of Musical Arts

BG Philharmonia opens 100th anniversary season

From BGSU COLLEGE OF MUSICAL ARTS   The Bowling Green Philharmonia opens its celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding this weekend. The celebration continues throughout the year with special guests and events. Here’s what’s scheduled: Saturday, September 22, 8 p.m., Kobacker Hall The BG Philharmonia in concert with guest artist Mingwei Zhao, cello In conjunction with the Annual High School Honors String Festival. String festival students will join on selected works. Program includes: Elgar Enigma Variations, and Elgar Cello Concerto Saturday, October 20, 8 p.m., Kobacker Hall The BG Philharmonia in concert at the 39th Annual New Music Festival Program includes: On Wings of Light and Newly Drawn Sky by Aaron Kernis, John Corigliano’s Campane di Ravello and the premiere of Martin Kennedy’s Theme and Variations for trombone in a new version for orchestra, Brittany Lasch, trombone soloist Sunday, December 2, 3 p.m., Kobacker Hall The BG Philharmonia in concert with guest artist Zachary DePue, violin Program includes: Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 and StravinskyPetrouchka Friday, February 1, 11 a.m., Cleveland Convention Center Grand Ballroom The BG Philharmonia in concert at the Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference Cleveland, Ohio Program includes: Stravinsky Petrouchka Saturday, February 16, 8 p.m., Kobacker Hall The BG Philharmonia in concert 51st Annual Concerto Competition Sunday, March 10, 3 p.m., Kobacker Hall BG Chamber Orchestra in concert Featuring Nermis Mieses, oboe, and Julie Buzzelli, harp Friday, April 5, 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 7, 3 p.m., Kobacker Hall BG Opera Theater and Camerata Campo di Bocce presents Handel’s Semele Wednesday, April 24, 6 p.m., Kobacker Hall Annual Middle School Honors String Festival Sunday, May 5, 3 p.m., Kobacker Hall The BG Philharmonia presents its 100th Anniversary Concert with an Alumni Gathering Program includes: Beethoven Symphony No. 9, featuring BGSU choirs and soloists


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…


Dietz finds a place among the masters on Toledo Symphony program

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Alain Trudel debuts as conductor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Sept. 21 and 22, (http://bgindependentmedia.org/toledo-symphony-welcomes-trudel-as-music-director-kicks-off-75th-anniversary-season/) he’ll call on some heavy hitters in classical music to help with the introductions. The concerts will open with Beethoven’s iconic Fifth Symphony and its majestic four-note clarion call. The second half will be devoted to the music from Tchaikovsky’s ballet “Swan Lake” with dancers from the Toledo Ballet.  And then tucked in between Beethoven and the intermission will be “Caldera” by Christopher Dietz, a professor of composition at Bowling Green State University. Dietz said he’s delighted to be on the program. “It’s a little weird seeing my name in the middle between those two,” he said. While his fellow composers on the program are represented by mature work, “Caldera” was actually Dietz’ first successful orchestral piece. He composed it in 2004 while he was studying for his doctorate at the University of Michigan. The title means a large volcanic crater, but that came well after the piece was composed Dietz said. “I just wanted to write 11 to 12 minutes of robust, energetic, intense orchestral music.” This was not his first try. “The first one was so big and grotesque and impossible to play,” he said. The second was a chamber symphony that “lacked chutzpah.” “Caldera” hit the Goldilocks spot. The piece has a churning, forward momentum full of sparkling instrumental touches. Every instrument in the orchestra gets a chance to shine. Dietz said in this instance he “had a better sense of what an orchestra can do given the rehearsal time they have.” This is the second time the orchestra will perform “Caldera.” Back in 2007, then Resident Conductor Chelsea Tipton put the piece on a Classics Concert he was leading. Dietz knew Tipton through his wife, Emily Price Dietz, who has played French horn in the orchestra since 2000. Dietz said he showed the piece to the conductor and was surprised he programmed it. “Caldera” resurfaced during conversations between Dietz and the orchestra’s CEO Zak Vassar at the Toledo Symphony Student Composer Reading Sessions. Dietz initiated that program when he came to BGSU in 2010.  Vassar was interested in having a new orchestral work from the composer, and that was arranged, and will be performed next season by the symphony….


Former students to gather to honor legacy of late BGSU band director Mark Kelly

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATION They called him “The Chief,” and at 10:30 a.m. June 23, 101 of his former students will play at Bowling Green State University’s Kobacker Hall in his memory. Mark Kelly, who directed the BGSU bands from 1966 to 1994, died in November 2017 at the age of 91. The BGSU College of Musical Arts will host the memorial service Saturday. His daughter, Karen Kelly, brought together dozens of alumni and former students of her father to perform together as a band at the service. Capt. Ryan Nowlin, assistant director of the “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band, will conduct the band during its performance. Karen Kelly ’75, ’82 is touched that so many alumni are coming back to the University to pay their respects to her father. “It speaks to the interest Dad maintained in the life and careers of the students, whether they continued in music, or completely different careers, away from music,” said Kelly, who was the band director at Van Wert (Ohio) High School for 34 years. “Outside of music, the careers included Air Force pilots, business entrepreneurs and scientists. His leadership was not music education specific.” Before Mark Kelly came to BGSU, he taught high school band at his alma mater in Centerville, Iowa, for several years. Three of his students from that time period will play in the memorial concert. Others are traveling from Washington D.C., Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire and Texas. Alumni performing Saturday include Lisa Welling Baker ’84, flute, a retired Shelby (Ohio) High School band director whose daughter is a twirler with the Falcon Marching Band; George Edge ’79, oboe, retired Grove City (Ohio) band director; Roger Kantner ’88, bassoon retired member of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band; Patty Ruckman ’90, clarinet, New Bremen (Ohio) choirs; Stan George ’80, alto sax, Perrysburg (Ohio) Schools; Ray Novak ’83, trumpet, retired (Toledo) Whitmer High School band director; Amy Horn ’89, French horn, retired member of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band; Dale Laukhuf ’67, trombone, retired Bath (Ohio) Local Schools; and Jeff Macomber ’75, euphonium, Missouri State Southern University. “To say that Mark Kelly made a meaningful contribution to BGSU as director of bands is an understatement,” said William B. Mathis, College of Musical Arts dean. “His influence and…


Solungga Liu performs musical treasures at Mother’s Day recital at Toledo Museum

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Solungga Liu remembers the day well. A hot, rainy afternoon in her native Taiwan, and she was bored. So she randomly pulled a score from the shelf in her studio. It was the music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes. She did not know his work much beyond his piece “The White Peacock.” She sat at her piano and began to sight-read through the music. She played through the entire book. “Right at that moment I couldn’t stop,” she remembers. “I fell in love with his works.” That passion for the music of Griffes, whose work sits at the intersection of Romanticism and Impressionism, will be on display Sunday at 3 p.m. when Liu performs a Great Performances recital in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery. The program will include Griffes’ transcription of “Les Parfums de la nuit,” the second movement of Ravel’s orchestral piece “Iberia,” a piece she premiered after its discovery. Music by Cesar Franck and Amy Beach, another little appreciated American composer, will also be on the program. Two years after Liu’s discovery of Griffes’ music, she recorded “The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan: The Piano Works of Charles Tomlinson Griffes” on Centaur Records. By that time Liu had joined the faculty of the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University. The Toledo concert will be similar to the one she presented last November at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. It was there that the Debussy transcription had been discovered. Liu said that Griffes, who was born in Elmira, NY, had studied for four years in Berlin. He heard an early performance of Debussy’s “Iberia.” He was so taken with the piece, that he faithfully transcribed its intricacies for solo piano. Back in the United States he taught music at the high school in Tarrytown, NY, a job he hated. But it did give him access to New York City. He traveled to the offices of the publisher G. Schirmer, and played his transcription for two people there. That was, Liu said, the only public performance of the work. Copyright issues seemed to have scuttled hopes for publication, and the manuscript disappeared. Griffes seemed on the verge of a professional breakthrough when he died at 35. Griffes scholars, Liu said, assumed the manuscript was…


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…


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,…


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…


Renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw brings a world of vocal artistry to BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Soprano Dawn Upshaw and pianist Gilbert Kalish share an easy rapport. That was evident Sunday night as they performed a recital in Kobacker Hall at Bowling Green State University. They were entertain us, and it seemed each other. As Upshaw would say later, she likes to create a true “chamber” setting for the music “like we’re in a living room rather than a big hall.” When Kalish played a solo piece, “The Alcotts” movement from Charles Ives’ second Piano Sonata,  the singer stayed on stage and listened, enjoying the piece as much as the paying customers. “It’s nice when one can enjoy one’s work,” she said in an interview on Monday. Upshaw, one of the most renowned singers of our time, is on campus through Tuesday. Her Helen McMaster Endowed Professorship in Vocal and Choral Studies residency started Sunday with the evening recital, and continues through today (March 20) with a question and answer session at 1 p.m. in the Conrad Choral Room in the Wolfe Center, followed by a master class at 2:15 p.m. She now heads the vocal arts program at Bard Conservatory in the Hudson River Valley, where she lives. “I’m very focused on that.” That’s one of the reasons that Upshaw has cut back on her performing schedule. “I feel like it’s been great for my voice I don’t find I get vocally fatigued as when I was at the peak. “I would love for my life to be a little simpler at this point,” she said. Anyone who has been at their profession for as long as she has will want to change. Her career dates backs to 1984 when she was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Artist development program. She went on to perform in 300 productions. In 1992 she was the soloist in the landmark recording of Hendrik Gorecki’s “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs,” the rare contemporary music recording that sold millions. She’s won five Grammy Awards, most recently for “Winter Morning Walks,” a collaboration with composer Maria Schneider, who coincidentally will be in residence at BGSU next week. As a teacher Upshaw said she emphasizes “a greater awareness of all the tools we have and how we use those tools to really connect with the music and what we think…


Composer Ben Taylor brings together music & entrepreneurship to create a ‘blessed’ life

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Benjamin Dean Taylor has been making up his own music since he was a young child. He would play his original songs on the family piano. His mother was impressed, and, as mothers are wont to do, she’d ask him to play that song she’d heard a few days ago for his grandmother. “And I couldn’t remember them,” the now grown composer said. When he was 8, she started having him take piano lessons “so I could write down songs so I could play them for grandma.” Now his music entertains grandmas, mothers, and listeners of all ages. Taylor spent a couple days this week in the Bowling Green High and Middle schools, working with students who were preparing to perform his music in concert. The residency culminated with a Thursday night show with the eighth grade, concert and symphonic bands each playing one of his pieces. A saxophone quartet from Bowling Green State University were guests at the concert playing another of Taylor’s compositions. He went on to learn other instruments, including trumpet. “In college I loved playing,” he said, “but the thrill of writing and having all those sounds in my head come to fruition was the real kicker. That’s what got me started.” Devoting himself to composition meant graduate school. He came to BGSU for his masters where he studied with Marilyn Shrude and Elainie Lillios, graduating 2011. After BGSU he earned a doctorate at the University of Indiana in Bloomington where he and his wife, Allyson, and their five sons, one month to 9 years old, still live. It’s where he makes his living as a freelance composer.  He works by commission only, and has a year’s worth of commitments on the books. The demand for his work grew at first from friends, then others he knew through conferences and other encounters. Just recently, he said, he was approached by two strangers who asked him to write a piece for them. That was a first.  Taylor said he’ll accept after they talk for a bit. He wants some familiarity with the performer. The Brigham Young University graduate says that the life of the freelance composer has its challenges, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. He makes enough to support his family, he said…


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….


Renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw to sing & teach at BGSU

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Soprano Dawn Upshaw, a five-time Grammy Award winner, is devoted to sharing her compelling love of music along with her tremendous vocal talent with people the world over. Now she returns to Bowling Green State University to present a public recital and work with BGSU voice students. With her will be her longstanding collaborator, pianist Gilbert Kalish, who will accompany her in performance and teach master classes to piano students. Except for the recital, all events are free and open to the public.Gilbert Kalish Upshaw and Kalish’s performance will begin at 8 p.m. March 18 in Kobacker Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are just $7 for adults and $3 for students, thanks to support from the Helen McMaster Endowed Professorship in Vocal and Choral Studies, sponsor of their BGSU residency. All tickets will cost $10 the day of the performance. Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center for the Arts, by calling 419-372-8171, or purchased online. The concert will open with a selection of songs by Franz Schubert. Also on the program will be songs by Charles Ives, Bela Bartok, William Bolcom, Rebecca Clake, and Sheila Silver. Kalish will perform Ives’ “The Alcotts, from Piano Sonata No. 2, Concord, Mass.” “Dawn Upshaw’s visit to Bowling Green State University is an opportunity for our students to experience a singer of international stature live in concert,” said Christopher Scholl, an associate professor and coordinator of voice in the College of Musical Arts. “Ms. Upshaw is also well known for her passion to develop young artists. Her interaction with our students will be a priceless experience for our aspiring young professionals. The voice faculty and students are eagerly anticipating a residency filled with new concepts and professional inspiration.” Upshaw made her first appearance on the Kobacker stage in November 1998 as part of the former Festival Series, which brought world-class performers to campus. During the McMaster residency, Upshaw will hold voice master classes from 4:30 to 6 p.m. March 19 in the Marjorie Conrad, M.D. Choral Room at the Wolfe Center, and again from 2:15 to 4 on March 20 in the same room. In addition, she will hold a question-and-answer session from 1 to 2 March 20, also in the Conrad Choral Room. Kalish will…


Soprano Dawn Upshaw with pianist Gilbert Kalish to perform & teach at BGSU

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Soprano Dawn Upshaw, a five-time Grammy Award winner, is devoted to sharing her compelling love of music along with her tremendous vocal talent with people the world over. Now she returns to Bowling Green State University to present a public recital and work with BGSU voice students. With her will be her longstanding collaborator, pianist Gilbert Kalish, who will accompany her in performance and teach master classes to piano students. Except for the recital, all events are free and open to the public. Upshaw and Kalish’s performance will begin at 8 p.m. March 18 in Kobacker Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are just $7 for adults and $3 for children, thanks to support from the Helen McMaster Endowed Professorship in Vocal and Choral Studies, sponsor of their BGSU residency. All tickets will cost $10 the day of the performance. Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center for the Arts, at 419-372-8171, or online at bgsu.edu/the-arts. “Dawn Upshaw’s visit to Bowling Green State University is an opportunity for our students to experience a singer of international stature live in concert,” said Christopher Scholl, an associate professor and coordinator of voice in the College of Musical Arts. “Ms. Upshaw is also well known for her passion to develop young artists. Her interaction with our students will be a priceless experience for our aspiring young professionals.  The voice faculty and students are eagerly anticipating a residency filled with new concepts and professional inspiration.” Upshaw made her first appearance on the Kobacker stage in November 1998 as part of the former Festival Series, which brought world-class performers to campus. During the McMaster residency, Upshaw will hold voice master classes from 4:30-6 p.m. March 19 in the Marjorie Conrad, M.D. Choral Room at the Wolfe Center, and again from 2:15-4 p.m. March 20 in the same room. In addition, she will hold a question-and-answer session from 1-2 p.m. March 20, also in the Conrad Choral Room. Kalish will present a piano master class from 2:30-4:30 p.m. March 19 in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Center. In addition to his performing partnership with Upshaw, he had a famed, 30-year partnership with the late mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani, and was the longtime pianist of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Highly regarded as an educator, he is a Distinguished Professor at Stony Brook University and…


Top BGSU musicians put their heart into concerto performances

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Long before the winners of the Competitions in Musical Performance step on stage in front of the Bowling Green Philharmonia, they need to strike up a relationship with the composition to which they want to devote a chunk of their lives. That means hundreds of hours of practice, then additional hours rehearsing with an accompanist before the December competition where they have their short time on stage during the semifinal and finals rounds until they hear the full force of an orchestra at their back. On Sunday at 3 p.m. that work will come to fruition on the Kobacker Hall stage during the annual Concerto Concert. Four musicians, two graduate students and two undergraduates, were selected from a field of 87 competitors back in December. Pianist Zhanglin Hu will open the concert with one of the war horses of classical literature. The sophomore piano performance major will perform the first movement of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto. Hu said he and his teacher, Robert Satterlee, selected the piece because its grandeur and majesty fit Hu’s style. Having the support of the orchestra only accentuates those qualities, he said. “With the orchestra you can hear a lot of different voices,” he said. “The orchestra produces a richer sound.” That means as a soloist he must invest “more and more energy into his playing.” Hu said that he enjoyed working with the conductor Robert Jay Garza III, who brought his own ideas to the table. “The concerto is the story between the orchestra and piano,” Hu said. Saxophonist Andrew Hosler has a much smaller ensemble behind him for Walter Mays’ “Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Chamber Ensemble.” The ensemble has a dozen winds, strings, percussion, and organ. Hosler said some string parts can be doubled to make the orchestra larger but he and conductor by Alexander Popovici opted to stay with the original, spare orchestration. The piece, the sophomore explained, requires great interplay between the ensemble and the soloist. It does not have an actual meter, instead the performers have freedom to determine how long each segment can take, so he finds himself adjusting his tempo to match the flow of the ensemble. He heard part of a recording of the piece played by his teacher John Sampen, who commissioned it in 1974….


Young at art: Youthful pianists display prodigious gifts at Dubois competition at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News No one landed a quadruple Lutz at the 2018 David D. Dubois Piano Competition Sunday. That wasn’t the only difference between the kind of athletic competition seen globally and that held in Kobacker Hall on the Bowling Green State University. There were no cheering throngs, just a handful of listeners. But then no one flopped. No gold medals are handed out. But the winners collect checks, and all participants, even those who applied but didn’t make the semifinals are eligible for BGSU scholarships. Collecting the $3,000 top prize, was 16-year-old Raymond Feng, of Rochester, NY. Isabelle Liau, 16, of Novi, Michigan, placed second collecting $2,000 and bettering on her third place performance in last year’s competition. Third, $1,000, went to 13-year-old Angelina Ning from Charlotte, North Carolina. To compete classically-trained pianists in grades 8 through 12 (age 18 or younger) must prepare a 20-30 minutes long program of music from the last 500 years or so, with music from at least three stylistic periods, Baroque through contemporary. One piece must be a Classical Era sonata – Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and their contemporaries. All must be memorized with the exception of pieces composed after 1945. Though most finalists played a contemporary piece, none took advantage of that exception. The only music visible was on the judges’ table in front Robert Satterlee, of the BGSU piano faculty, and the guest artists Ursula Oppens and Phillip Moll. Behind them sat Laura Melton, also of the piano faculty, who was the driving force behind bringing the event here, and continues to direct it. Robert Swinehart, who represents the Dubois Trust, said that staging the festival at BGSU was a wise decision. He attends every year, and every year, he said, the field of pianists improves. “This is a phenomenal event.” He was a close friend of David Dubois for 20 years, he said. Starting as a high school math teacher, Dubois applied his knowledge to management systems beyond education in books, speeches and consulting. He also loved music, and sang in the National Cathedral choir. He wanted his estate to benefit young musicians, Swinehart said. That took the form of the competition at BGSU as well as organ scholarship at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. “He would be a very happy…