Category Archives: student news

Toledo Symphony Orchestra featured in BGSU’s composer reading session

TSO reading_15

BOWLING GREEN, OH— Orchestral compositions written by Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts students will be read, rehearsed and recorded by Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) musicians on Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 3:30-6 p.m. in BGSU’s Kobacker Hall. Michael Lewanski, a prominent figure on the international contemporary music scene, will lead the orchestra while acclaimed composer, conductor author and educator Samuel Adler will be present to observe the session and give comments in an evening masterclass.

After a review of the submitted scores, the following works were selected for the session:

– Richard Arndorfer       Aurora
– Andrew Binder           Endleofan
– Emily Custer               Seelenruhe
– Matthew Ramage        Mutability
– Jacob Sandridge           I-77

The TSO will be bringing its largest complement of players to BGSU, 72 musicians in all. “Few academic institutions can offer this kind of professional experience, making this a unique opportunity for BGSU students,” said Christopher Dietz, a faculty member in musicology, composition and theory and organizer of the session.

The event is open to students, faculty and staff of the BGSU College of Musical Arts and invited guests. Members of the public who would like to attend should email faculty liaison Christopher Dietz ( to be included on the guest list.

International Choral Bulletin spotlights BGSU composition student


Adam D. O’Dell’s article discussing The Influence of Gregorian Chant on Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium was recently featured in IFCM’s International Choral Bulletin. A fragment of his article is quoted below.

“Morten Lauridsen is one of the most frequently performed living composers. His works span a number of disciplines and influences, including trumpet concertos, orchestral works, and chamber works. His most influential works, however, are undoubtedly his choral pieces. His choral works are based on sacred and secular texts alike, and each of them carries influence from the era in which the texts are written. His most purchased and most performed work is his setting of the O Magnum Mysterium  text.

He wrote the O Magnum Mysterium  setting as a commission from the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 1994. The now deceased director of the chorale at the time, Paul Salamunovich, according to Lauridsen, was “one of the great practitioners of Gregorian chant”, 4 and consequently, Lauridsen decided to “use the conjunct melodic ideas of chant as a base” in his setting. These influences included the use of Greek voice leading rules, the use of a “keynote,” and nods to melismatic text setting.”

The International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM) is an international association founded in 1982 to facilitate communication and exchange between choral musicians throughout the world. IFCM has around 900 members from all continents. The members are individuals, choirs, organizations, or companies. Through the organizations and choirs IFCM plays a role in choral music and choral events in the world.

O’Dell (b.1992) is currently pursuing his MM in Composition at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, studying with Dr. Chris Dietz, and working as a theory teaching assistant. He recently graduated with a BA in Music from Clarke University in Dubuque, IA, where he studied composition with Dr. Amy Dunker, and piano with Nancy Lease and Dr. Sharon Jensen. His research interests include Biomusicology and the study of older styles on modern composition, including Sacred Harp. He has won awards from the Kennedy Center and Make Music Inc. His works have been performed across the United States, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. He is a member of ASCAP and SCI, and is a licensed PARMA artist.

Fulbright award to take BGSU grad to Berlin


1435330504658By Bonnie Blankinship

When recent Bowling Green State University graduate Rebekah Nelson of Wapakoneta arrives in Berlin later this summer as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, she will bring with her an unusual wealth of experience for someone her age, along with a great deal of enthusiasm. Nelson is one of three BGSU students chosen for the Fulbright program this year.

Nelson, who was a double major in German and piano performance through BGSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, will teach English to elementary schoolchildren at the Carl Schurz-Grundshule in the Spandau neighborhood on the westernmost side of the city.

It will not be the first time she has had to be in front of a class of German-speaking students, she said. During her academic year abroad as a BGSU student in Salzburg, Austria, in 2012-13, she had an internship in a “gymnasium,” a school for students from about age 11-18, in which she gave presentations in German on American music.

During her upcoming year in Berlin, she hopes to continue her involvement with music. “I’d love to work as a collaborative pianist with a local theater company or church group,” said Nelson, who teaches private piano lessons at a performance studio in Perrysburg. “It would be another way to engage with my host country, which is one of the goals of the Fulbright program.”

Her experience teaching younger students in piano should be helpful in working with the elementary school children, as will the “communicative approach” used in her current job with ELS Language Services at BGSU, she said.

The service provides intensive English language classes and is often used by people who plan to attend a university and need to meet the English proficiency requirements. “It’s a very interactive, hands-on approach to learning language that incorporates authentic texts and real-world activities, and I think it will be great preparation for working with children.”

In addition to teaching young children, “I also hope to get involved with a nearby high school to set up a cultural exchange program for students who are preparing for study in the U.S.,” she said. “It would also give them some extra speaking experience.”

While at BGSU, Nelson volunteered with Global Connections, a local nonprofit group devoted to helping international students and families adjust to life in the United States by providing cultural and social experiences and support with language skills.

“I like to dip my feet into as many different pools as I can,” Nelson said. “It seems like many of my experiences will directly or indirectly lend themselves to the Fulbright year.”

She hopes to take noncredit classes in Berlin at Humboldt University in linguistics or research methodology. Her dual interests have led to a curiosity about the role of musical aptitude in language acquisition, something she might like to study in future.

Nelson knows firsthand and “second-hand” what it is like to be a student in another country.  When she was growing up, her family hosted several German exchange students who came to Wapakoneta through a sister-city exchange.

“I thought of them as my older, cool siblings,” she said. “Having them definitely influenced my ideas of what it would be like to live or study in a different country.”

That exposure also influenced her to choose German when in eighth grade it was time to pick a foreign language.

Her language skills improved further when, as a high school junior, she spent a semester in North Rhine-Westphalia living with the family of one of her family’s former exchange students. “I took an intensive ‘German as a Foreign Language’ class after school, and the family’s kids spoke English so they helped me, too,” she said.

“With that experience, I began a minor in German when I got to BGSU,” she said. She again took the opportunity to further her language skills by studying in Salzburg with the BGSU German program. That led to her being able to declare a full major in German, as well as music.

“Dr. Stephan Fritsch, who was the faculty supervisor that year, is a native Austrian,” she said. “He helped me arrange the internship in the ‘gymnasium.’

“He was one of the amazing mentors I had at BGSU,” she said. “He was so helpful in Salzburg and is a former Fulbright EU scholar. I also learned so much from Dr. Kristie Foell, who was my only German teacher at BGSU. She had also had Fulbright awards in the past. And Donna Dick (tutorial coordinator) in the Learning Commons was wonderful when I worked as a German tutor there.”

Nelson will join about 140 other Fulbright fellows at an orientation in Cologne, Germany, at the end of August before commencing her teaching assignment.

She is looking forward to life in Berlin and being able to walk or ride a bike anywhere or take the excellent public transportation, she said. Being stationed in Germany will also enable her to travel about Europe during school holidays.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. The program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.

BGSU performers in Jakarta

Fidelia Esther Darmahkasih and Hilary Maiberger will both be performing in Jarkarta, Indonesia this month. Esther, a current BGSU student will be singing a concert in the Goethe House May 30. She will be assisted by Jacqueline Berndt ( flute major at BGSU) and Ivana Tjandra ( former piano major also from BGSU). Hilary, a former voice major at BGSU will be singing Belle with the international tour of Beauty and the Beast in the Ciputra Artpreneur Theater from May 26 to June 30.

Nathan Williams ’07 named Junior High Director of Bands at Odem-Edroy ISD

Nathan Williams, BGSU alumni ’07, became the Junior High Director of Bands at Odem-Edroy ISD (Odem, TX) in fall 2014.  He earned sweepstakes, which is a I in Concert and a I in sightreading in his first year with his Junior High Symphonic Winds as well as the High School Symphonic Band.  His Sweepstakes with the High School Symphonic Band combined with the High School Wind Ensemble Sweepstakes made Odem one of only two AAA schools in Texas to have multiple bands earn sweepstakes.

Ten40 in tune with joys of singing


David Dupont of the Sentinel Tribune writes:

“Ten40 Acappella is a Bowling Green State University tradition in the making.

The 17-voice ensemble has been around five years, and traces it roots back four more years to the HeeBeeBGs, an ensemble that sprang from the men’ choir.

As the spring semester nears its end, and almost half the singers will be graduating, Ten40 is confident the ensemble will continue to strike a chord with campus and community audiences.

Ten40 will perform Saturday during Literacy in the Park in the Stroh Center. The event runs 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At the event they will debut a brand new Disney medley. The number, which lasts more than seven minutes, took Will Baughman, one of the group’s two arrangers, all summer to arrange.

It’s the kind of challenge that Baughman and the group’s other arranger Michael Barlos, also current director, like to take on. And the current batch of singers are more than up for it.

“We know we can arrange the crazy stuff we hear in our heads because we have guys to do it,” Baughman, an Otsego High graduate, said during a recent interview.

“I don’t mind pushing the boundaries,” said Elias Dander, of Gibsonburg, who sings bass. “I like the challenge and the other guys do as well.”

They’re not afraid to employ all 12 voice parts.

The success of the group relies on more than vocal skill.

“The most important component  to having a successful student organization is having a connection that’s deeper than just I’m in a club with this guy,” Baughman said.

“The stronger the bonds are off stage, the stronger the music sounds on stage,” Barlos said.

That was evident with the current edition from the start.

During auditions, “we look at the way they come in and interact with us, how they carry themselves,” Baughman said. “It’s about 60 percent of what we look for.”

That’s fostered by regular meet ups outside of rehearsal time, and dinners after rehearsals.

Dandar said regular socializing pays off when Ten40 gets down to work. “It allows us to have more focused rehearsal time because we know we can go out afterward.”

Ten40 also benefits from another special ingredient, its advisor Pat Pauken.

Pauken got involved with Ten40 after he heard the group perform for BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey.

Baughman relishes giving Pauken’s full name – “Dr. Patrick David Pauken,” then adds “teacher, mentor, coach, friend.”

“He was that extra push we needed,” Barlos said.

Ten40 traces its roots to the HeeBeeBGs, an a cappella ensemble that started as part of the BGSU Men’s Chorus.

As the ensemble’s popularity grew, the members wanted to do more and more independent gigs, Barlos said. So it was suggested the ensemble split off and become its own student-run organization.

This spring Ten40 won the quarterfinals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella held in Bowling Green. Then the group placed third in the semifinals in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That gave them a sliver of a chance to win a wild card spot in the finals held in New York City.

Their repertoire is broad ranging from Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair” to current  rock hits by Switchfoot, Foo Fighters  and Mutemath.

“We have to keep up with what’s popular,” Baughman said. “We pride ourselves on being well rounded.”

That will come to the fore when Ten40 hits the road May 18, for a six-day tour that will take them into the Cleveland area and southern Michigan. They will sing in a variety of venues – churches, arts centers, classrooms, school auditoriums and on May 22 the Toledo Mud Hens game.

The ensemble, Barlos said, sees itself as promoting BGSU and the College of Musical Arts, though not all the members are music majors.

The tour also helps the ensemble make contact with potential members. Baughman said he first heard Ten40 at his high school.

Being involved in singing provides joy that extends well beyond the college years.

All three men said they expect to continue singing all their lives.

Dandar said, he’ll keep at it “as long as someone wants to sing with me.”