Bowling Green State University Arts

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…


Conrad competition brings out the best in BGSU singers

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The audience at the Conrad Art Song Competition finals Saturday night did a good job following instructions to hold their applause until the performers had completed all their songs. Holding their laughter was another matter. Several of the competitors offered up light hearted songs, and even if they were in a foreign language they managed in their gestures and facial expressions to draw a reaction. Soprano Caroline Kouma enlivened her performance of Leo Deliebes’ “Les filles de Cadix” with a coquettish manner. Pianist Rhys Burgess served as her musical straight man, punctuating her acting. That kind of interplay won the duo first place in the graduate division of the 19th Conrad competition. Winners in the undergraduate division were baritone Luke Serrano and pianist Yuefeng Liu. The event was created with a gift two decades ago by Conrad, a local doctor who resumed her vocal studies later in life. She passed away at 92 in 2014. Her spirit lives on through the competition, said Christopher Scholl, who coordinates the event. “She would be extremely proud of you tonight,” Scholl told the performers Saturday. Dean Southern, a vocal coach from the Cleveland Institute of Music, was one of the three outside professionals adjudicating the performances. BGSU “should be very proud,” of the competition, he said. “It’s definitely unusual and unique and to be celebrated.” Southern said he was impressed by the emphasis on the singer and pianist as a team, not just a singer with a pianist assisting. “That’s part of my DNA,” he said, noting that he studied piano before turning to voice. “The song will never be complete if those two parts are not there together.” Southern was also impressed that the duos were required to perform at least one song by a living composer. “That’s really important.” Adam O’Dell, who recently received his master’s in composition from BGSU, agreed. As an undergraduate, he said, the vocalists focused on Mozart, Schumann, and the like. But at BGSU he could have a singer, Luke Schmidt, perform his song “There Will…


Winners crowned in Competitions in Musical Performance at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Last week 87 students from the College of Musical Arts each had their eight minutes in the spotlight to vie for a chance to perform as a soloist with the Bowling Green Philharmonia. The instrumentalists and vocalists were part of the largest field ever for the Competitions in Musical Performance at Bowling Green State University, said  Caroline Chin, who teaches violin at the school and coordinated the event this year. In the preliminaries, the students performed for a panel of five outside judges. On Saturday, the eight finalists, four each in the undergraduate and graduate divisions, returned for a full reading of their selections, for a new panel of six judges. Those selected to perform on the Feb. 25 concert with the orchestra are: undergraduates Andrew Hosler, alto saxophone, and Zhanglin Hu, piano, and graduate students Kyle McConnell, trombone, and Caroline Kouma, soprano. Also, Kory Reeder won the composition award for “The Location of Lines.” The piece will be performed by the Philharmonia in October during the New Music Festival. Rhys Burgess received the Virginia Marks Collaborative Piano Award. Burgess, a student of Laura Melton, performed with three students during the competition and all three were finalists, including Kouma. Chin said the large field of competitors “shows the devotion of the studios to giving their students a lot of experience.” “For the competitors, it is a wonderful experience to learn what it’s like to compete, to figure out how to deal with their nerves. Some students compete every year, and you see a lot of improvement.” The competition offers them a way to prepare for moving on to the next stage of their careers, whether juries for graduate school or auditions. They also benefit, Chin said, from receiving comments from five, or if they make the finals 11, outside judges. While other institutions have assigned pieces, or run the competitions for specific instruments, the BGSU event is open to all instrumentalists and singers, and they can freely select with their teacher what they will perform. “It’s a great opportunity…


Library concert offers great piano music from BGSU studios

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Some of the greatest music written for piano will be performed in the atrium of the Wood County Library, Monday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. Performing on the library’s Steinway concert grand will be piano students from the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts. Masterworks from German and French composers, from J.S. Bach to Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy will be the focus of the program. The performance continues a series of recitals by BGSU piano students, who hail from around the world. “It has been such a pleasure to have our beautiful piano in use,” said Michele Raine, the library’s assistant director. “The students give excellent performances, and I appreciate that they are so willing to share their talents with the community.” Thomas Rosenkranz of the BGSU faculty coordinates the programs. “These kind of community concerts are important for our piano majors because it allows them to get out of campus and share their music with people who might not normally be exposed to classical music,” he said. “Too often in academia, things are quite insulated and these kind of concerts allow for a more real life experience for our piano majors.” The concert will feature 10 pianists performing music by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Chopin, Debussy and Ravel. College of Musical Arts attracts musicians from around the world. Among those performing on Monday will be Mengqian Lin, from China. Lin is working on a one-year piano performance certificate from BGSU. In selecting a piece to perform at the library, she reflected on hearing a friend play at the venue. She decided to play the first movement of Beethoven’s Sonata, Opus 109. Considering the library’s “beautiful structure” and the piano, she decided “a simple melody line is better than complicated harmony.” She also felt that an audience of community members would “prefer a more beautiful, singable melody. It’s easier to understand it.” Lin came to BGSU this fall after completing a master’s in piano performance at Syracuse University. She’s planning to pursue a doctorate at another school next year, but felt…


BGSU Arts Events through Sept. 12

Through Sept. 14 – “FABRICation” displays the work of seven artists — Erin Castellan, Kristy Deetz, Virginia Derryberry, Reni Gower, Rachel Hayes, Susan Iverson and Natalie Smith — who incorporate elements of fabric and fabrication. Inspired by a rich array of historical textiles (drapery to quilt), these complex, multi-part constructions are encoded by traditional handicraft to contrast our culture’s rampant media consumption with the redemptive nuance of slow work wrought by hand. Whether painting, tapestry or construct, these works interweave sensory pleasure with repetitive process to invoke introspection and reflection. The exhibit is in the Willard Wankelman Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdaythrough Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Through Sept. 16 – Focus Northwest Ohio/Southeast Michigan presents the juried High School Art Show in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m.Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Aug. 30 – The Faculty Artist Series presents Andrew Pelletier on the horn at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Aug. 31 – Visiting Writer Series will feature American poet Timothy Liu, whose poetry collections include “Bending the Mind Around the Dream’s Blown Fuse” (2009), “For Dust Thou Art” (2005), Publishers Weekly Book of the Year “Of Thee I Sing” (2004), and Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award winner “Vox Angelica” (1992). His reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Sept. 5 – Tuesdays at the Gish opens with “Lion”(2016), U.S. and Australia, 118 minutes, directed by Garth Davis. The showing is hosted by UFO/BGReel with an introduction by Kathleen Kollman, a doctoral student in American culture studies. This international co-production continues the long tradition of coming-of-age films, and is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley (Dev Patel), who searches for his family in India after being separated from them at age 5. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish…


BGSU arts events through March 3

Feb. 23—The Creative Writing Program’s Reading Series features visiting writer Callista Buchen. The BGSU MFA alumna and author of chapbooks “The Bloody Planet” and “Double-Mouthed” will share her work. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m.in Prout Chapel. Free Feb. 23 – The Department of Theatre and Film presents the second week of performances of “The Penelopiad,” Margaret Atwood’s version of Homer’s “Odyssey” told through the voices of Penelope and her 12 hanged maids. Speaking from beyond the grave, Atwood’s characters explore this mythic tale of love, betrayal, responsibility, and power. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre, Wolfe Center for the Arts. Tickets are available at bgsu.edu/arts, 419-372-8171 or at the Wolfe Center Box Office, and cost $5 for students and $15 for adults in advance, and $20 for everyone on the day of the performance. Additional performances are at 8 p.m. Feb. 24 and at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Feb. 25. Feb. 23 – The Hansen Musical Arts Series features the Grammy-winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth. Through study with masters from singing traditions the world over, the eight-voice ensemble continually expands its vocabulary of singing techniques and, through an ongoing commissioning process, forges a new repertoire without borders. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Feb. 25 – The BG Philharmonia celebrates the 50th annual Concerto Concert. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center, at 419-372-8171, or online at www.bgsu.edu/the-arts. All tickets the day of the performance are $10. Feb. 27 – Music at the Forefront features the Quince Vocal Ensemble. Described as “a new force of vocal excellence and innovation” by The Brooklyn Rail, Quince continually pushes the boundaries of traditional vocal ensemble literature. The group will perform David Lang’s “Love Fail.” The concert will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore…


BGSU arts events through March 1

From BGSI OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Feb. 16—The Creative Writing Program’s Reading Series features graduate students Bridget Adams and Benji Katz. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Feb. 16—The Department of Theatre and Film’s production of “The Penelopiad” will open at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts. “The Penelopiad” is Margaret Atwood’s version of Homer’s “Odyssey” told through the voices of Penelope and her 12 hanged maids. Speaking from beyond the grave, Atwood’s characters explore this mythic tale of love, betrayal, responsibility and power. Additional performances are at 8 p.m. Feb. 16-18 and Feb. 23-25, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Feb. 18, 19 and 25. Advance tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center, 419-372-8171 or online at www.bgsu.edu/arts. All seats the day of the performance are $20. (See story: http://bgindependentmedia.org/bgsus-the-penelopiad-shows-the-tragedy-on-the-ancient-greek-homefront/) Feb. 17—The Brown Bag Music Series will present a musical extravaganza in celebration of Black History Month. Students and faculty from the College of Musical Arts will perform starting at 11:45 a.m. at the Simpson Building, 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green. Free Feb. 17—The BGSU Wind Symphony will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the Wolfe Center for the Arts box office, 419-372-8171 or online at www.bgsu.edu/arts. All seats are $10 the day of the performance. Feb. 18—The University and Concert Bands will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the Wolfe Center for the Arts box office, 419-372-8171, or online at www.bgsu.edu/arts. All seats are $10 the day of the performance. Through Feb. 20—The annual Undergraduate Art and Design Exhibition will be on display in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman in the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m.­-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Feb. 21 – Tuesdays at the Gish…


Roomful of Teeth brings sound of world’s many voices to BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Roomful of Teeth is an ensemble of eight voices that creates world of sound. They were pulled together in 2009 by choral conductor and composer Brad Wells who was interested in expanding the potential of the human voice, said mezzo-soprano Virginia Warnken. After auditions in New York City, the eight singers convened at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, in North Adams, Massachusetts, where they delved into a range of vocal techniques – yodeling, Broadway belting, and throat singing, both Mongolian and Inuit, to name a few. They have worked those techniques into a distinctive sound that inspired a Pulitzer Prize winning composition, “Partita for 8 Voices” by ensemble member Caroline Shaw and been captured on a Grammy-winning album. Roomful of Teeth will bring their globally influenced sound to Bowling Green State University Feb. 22 and 23 as the Hansen Musical Arts Series featured artist. The ensemble’s residency will culminate in a free concert Thursday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. The ensemble will also present a voice master class, Feb. 22 from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Conrad Choral Room at the Wolfe Center for the Arts and discuss writing for the voice with student composers that evening from 7:30-9 p.m. in Kobacker. The members will participate in a panel discussion Feb. 23 from 10:30-11:30 p.m. also in Kobacker. Having incorporated these disparate techniques along with traditional Western chorale sounds, the ensemble then commissioned composers to write pieces for them. “It was really exciting. None of us knew what would happened,” Warnken said. What happened was Roomful of Teeth established itself as one of the premier new music ensembles in the world.  “I don’t think any of us thought it would become this big.” Most of what they perform is the result of a close collaboration with the composer, she said. Seldom do they simply receive a finished score that the singers have not seen in draft form. That’s essential given the mix of sounds the ensemble commands. “We’re definitely one of a kind.” That distinctive tonal palette…


New Music Festival showcases contemporary music at BGSU, Oct. 19-22

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The 37th Annual Bowling Green New Music Festival will showcase the work of more than 30 guest composers and performers Oct. 19-22. The four-day international festival includes concerts, lectures and an art exhibition. This year’s featured guests include composer Dai Fujikura and the Spektral Quartet (See related stories at: http://bgindependentmedia.org/musical-specters-come-to-life-in-string-quartet-concert-on-campus/ and http://bgindependentmedia.org/music-of-now-intersects-with-classics-in-spektral-quartet-concert/) Organized by the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music (MACCM), the College of Musical Arts and the Fine Arts Center Galleries at BGSU, the festival supports the creation of new work and engages both the University and city communities in the process of music appreciation and awareness. Most festival events are free and open to the public. FESTIVAL SCHEDULE Wednesday, Oct. 19 7 p.m., Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery, School of Art Exhibition opening: “The Deathworks of May Elizabeth Kramner,” a mixed media installation by The Poyais Group. Thursday, Oct. 20 1 p.m., Bryan Recital Hall Composer Talk: Dai Fujikura 3pm, Bryan Recital Hall Concert 1: chamber works by Dai Fujikura, Peter Eötvös, Marissa DiPronio, and Chin-Ting Chan. 7:30 p.m., Kobacker Hall Concert 2: Ensemble works by Roger Zare, Takuma Itoh, Dai Fujikura, Christopher Dietz and Jason Eckardt. 9:30 p.m., Clazel Theatre (127 N. Main St., downtown Bowling Green) Concert 3: Works by Dai Fujikura, Anthony Donofrio, Dan VanHassel, Alex Temple, Mario Diaz de Leon, and Matt Marks. Friday, Oct. 21 10:30 a.m., Bryan Recital Hall Concert 4: Chamber works by Steven Stucky, Dai Fujikura, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Girard Kratz, Eliza Brown and Joe Dangerfield. 2:30 p.m., Kobacker Hall Concert 5: Works by James Romig, Chun-Wai Wong, Robert Morris, Marilyn Shrude and Dai Fujikura. 8 p.m., Kobacker Hall Concert 6: Spektral Quartet. Music by Samuel Adams, George Lewis, Mikel Kuehn, and Dai Fujikura. Saturday, Oct. 22 10:30 a.m., Conrad Choral Room, Wolfe Center for the Arts Panel Discussion to be announced 2:30 p.m., Bryan Recital Hall Concert 7: Electroacoustic works by Ravi Kittappa, Daniel Pappas, C.R. Kasprzyk, Mara Gibson, Dan VanHassel, and Mario Diaz de Leon. 8pm, Kobacker Hall Concert 8: Orchestral and wind ensemble works by Dai Fujikura, Jonathan Newman, John Mackey,…


From suits to nuts, BGSU project puts students’ refuse to good use (updated)

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Harshman Community Room has everything needed to equip a college student, lots of everything needed. Books, planners, printer paper are here. Cardboard crates overflow with boxes of mac and cheese, ramen noodles and Pop Tarts of all varieties. Clothes, from coats to undies, suitable for all occasions from a session in a gym to a special date or a job interview, are piled and hung around the room. Falcon spirit wear gets its own stack. Want to see how you look? There’s about 30 mirrors. Mini-fridges and microwaves are stacked on a table, and a few computers, albeit of questionable operating status, are nearby. Off in one corner is the furniture, and shoes take up an entire room size space. Welcome to the sorting operation for Bowling Green State University’s Move Out, Don’t Throw It Out project. Now in its 15th year, the drive encourages students to donate whatever they don’t want that may be usable to the drive. Boxes are located throughout campus, in dorms, at convenience stores, in the student union. It’s a form of “passive community service,” Hennessy said. The organizers will try to find new homes for their castoff goods. “Somebody’s future treasures,” said Torrance Vaughn, a student volunteer sorting through a bag of clothing. “Somebody will have a use for it.” The idea is to promote reuse and waste reduction, said Nick Hennessy, director of the BGSU Office of Campus Sustainability. On Monday with the students gone, he and Carina Weed, the intern who organized the event, and a group of student volunteers, were sorting through what was left behind. Last year, Hennessy said, the drive collected almost nine tons of material, and he wasn’t sure if that included the food. All that otherwise most likely would have gone to the landfill. “I would like to think not, but I don’t know where else it would end up.” He added: “What gets really overwhelming when you multiply that by every university. The landfills must just swell this time of year with all this…


BGSU School of Art sees new role for itself

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The School of Art at Bowling Green State University is changing by degrees. Last week the faculty senate gave unanimous approval to a change in the school’s core degree, the Bachelor of Fine Arts. Until now students have received their BFA in either two-dimensional art – drawing, painting, photography and printmaking – or three-dimensional art – sculpture, glass and ceramics. If approved by the university’s Board of Trustees later this spring, the school will offer just one BFA, regardless of discipline. That is just one change of several that marks a shift in philosophy in the school, said interim director Charles Kanwischer. “This is a big step for the school.” “We are a collection of disciplines. … We’ve been pretty good about maintaining the autonomy of those disciplines and giving students and faculty a lot of independence within them.” But forces are pushing them together, he said. For one, the media are blending together. Kai Lee Liu, the student who won best of show honors at the recent Undergraduate Exhibit, won the top prize with an installation that employed video with glass sculptures. Another of her pieces, which was also honored, was a sculpture made of ceramics that included a recording of the artist reading a poem. The disciplines “are bleeding together,” Kanwischer said. Enrollment in the traditional disciplines is declining, a trend seen nationwide. At the same time more students were enrolling to study digital art and graphic design. The changes do not affect the BFA in Graphic Design nor BFA in Digital Arts. The enrollment in the school is actually up. The change in degrees will give students greater flexibility as well as a more early exposure to the traditional disciplines. In the past, depending on what track students followed, they took introductory courses in three of four disciplines, now they will take introductory courses in five of the eight traditional disciplines – painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, metals and jewelry, glass and ceramics. “We’re giving students more choice across those disciplines,” he said. The change also increases…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, Feb. 4-17

Thursday —The Creative Writing Program’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) readings will be presented by graduate students Eric Komosa and Tom Markham at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Thursday —BGSU Student Composers recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Thursday —The season opener for The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Film Theater and Gallery’s International Film Series features “English/Vinglish,” a 2012 feature from India, directed by Guare Shinde. A quiet housewife endures small slights from her well-educated husband and daughter because of her English skills. During a visit to New York, she enrolls in an English course and meets new people who teach her to value herself. Free Saturday —The four student winners of the annual Competitions in Music will perform with the BG Philharmonia during the 49th annual Concerto Concert. Under the direction of Dr. Emily Freeman Brown, the concert begins at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets, available at bgsu.edu/arts or by calling the ticket office at 419-372-8171, are $7 for adults and $3 for students. All tickets on the day of the performance are $10. Sunday —The BGSU School of Art presents the Annual Undergraduate Art & Design Exhibition in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries of the Fine Arts Center. The exhibition opens with a reception from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, and continues through Feb. 21. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays and 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Free Sunday —The Bent Note Duo are guest artists for the College of Musical Arts series. The duo is comprised of saxophonist Allison Balcetis and pianist Sandra Joy Friesen, who began performing together in 2009 during their doctoral studies at the University of Alberta. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Feb. 9—BGSU student brass ensembles will perform at the Wildwood Metropark’s Manor House. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Free. Feb. 10—The Faculty…