Monthly Archives: March 2010

BGSU music education student wins national award

A Bowling Green State University senior music education major took home first place in the brass category at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) national Young Artist Competition. The ceremony on March 22 was part of the MTNA annual conference in Albuquerque, N.M.

John Gruber, a Bowling Green native and trombone student, received a $3,000 cash prize and performed in the Winner’s Concert on March 23. Gruber is a student of Dr. William Mathis, associate professor of trombone and chair of music performance. Gruber has also worked with Garth Simmons, adjunct associate professor of trombone, for the past year.

Gruber, accompanied on piano by Sara Young, a graduate student from Clinton Twp., Mich., performed a 40-minute recital that included various styles from the baroque, classical and contemporary periods

“This is a well-known organization,” said Mathis. “To have a student get to that level is a great way to promote the school and our program. We can tell potential students that we have students performing at a national level.

“The same thing goes for the entire college—to have students leave campus and go out and be measured against a national standard is important for our students and us to make an assessment on how we’re doing and the students we’re recruiting.”

MTNA performance competitions are designed to provide education experiences for students and teachers and to recognize exceptionally talented young artists and their teachers in their pursuit of musical excellence.

Gruber has been a member of BGSU’s Wind Symphony, the Falcon Marching Band, Jazz Lab Band I, University Men’s Chorus and the Athletic Band.

BGSU bestows Lifetime Achievement Award on music dean

In his 30 years in Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts, Dean Richard Kennell has been a driving force behind tremendous growth and change. In recognition of his myriad contributions to the college and the University, Kennell received the Lifetime Achievement Recognition from Faculty Senate March 22 and with it, a $1,000 cash prize.

“His activities over these 30 years have resulted in significant advances for the college,” said Dr. Vincent Corrigan, a professor of musicology, composition and theory. In 2005, the college added a doctoral program in contemporary music, making it one of the only institutions in the country with such an offering. “This degree is the most important academic advance for the College of Musical Arts since the approval of graduate study in music in the late 1960s, and without his support it would not have been approved and probably would not even have been developed,” Corrigan asserted.

The college enjoys a robust enrollment, thanks in large part to an innovative method of graduate recruitment Kennell developed. The system has attracted national attention, and Kennell is frequently invited to speak at major conferences and is a well-respected authority on the subject, noted Distinguished Artist Professor Marilyn Shrude. On another level, “I often see him going out of his way to talk with parents and those auditioning to help them feel welcome in what can be an overwhelming and complex experience,” she added.

International recruitment has also been strong, his nominators noted, and Kennell was instrumental in establishing a summer program with Ionian University in Greece, allowing Bowling Green faculty and students to teach and learn there and students from Corfu to come to BGSU.

But perhaps he is most known for his promotion of collaboration among the arts. He was a founder of the Arts Roundtable, which unites art leaders at BGSU and around northwest Ohio, wrote Dr. William Mathis, chair of the music performance studies department.

Kennell’s extensive work with colleagues in the School of Art, theatre and film and even the College of Business Administration have helped create the Center of Excellence in the Arts that BGSU has become, his nominators agreed.

His “passion, discipline, resourcefulness and ingenious ideas, not just in theory but put into practice,” have earned him the respect and support of his peers, said Dr. Alan Smith, a former associate dean.

Young People’s Concerts series concludes with Funharmonia

The 2009-10 season of Young People’s Concerts at Bowling Green State University will conclude on Saturday (March 27) with “Funharmonia.”  The performance begins at 11 a.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

The final program of the season by the Bowling Green Philharmonia, conducted by Dr. Emily Freeman Brown, director of orchestral activities, will include a special young people’s introduction to the instruments of the orchestra and will feature a performance of Saint Säens’ “The Carnival of the Animals.”

Also featured on the performance will be “The Sabre Dance” from Khachaturian’s “Gayne Ballet” and an excerpt from Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours.” The performance will culminate with the “Lone Ranger Theme,” which members of the audience will be invited to conduct.

Drs. Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu and Thomas Rosenkranz, both assistant professors of music performance studies, will be the featured soloists during the performance. Dr. Simon Morgan-Russell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will narrate.

In celebration of the “Carnival of the Animals,” the Toledo Zoo will also be on hand before and after the performance, offering a petting zoo with small animal friends as well as artifacts and fossils for children to touch and experience.

Admission is $1 for children and $2 for adults and is payable at the center’s box office the morning of the event. The box office will open at 10:30 a.m.

The Young People’s Concerts are recommended for children ages 5 and up, but younger music fans are welcome to attend. For more information, call the Moore Musical Arts Center box office at 419-372-8171 or 800-589-2224.

BGSU announces 30th annual Summer Music Institute

Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts will offer music camps for students in grades 7-12 during its Summer Music Institute, which begins June 6.

The institute, taught by experienced faculty, staff and alumni from the college, provides musicianship and enrichment classes, clinics and performances by guest artists intended to engage students of different age and experience levels in a compact, focused music curriculum. With the sessions’ limited enrollment, participants will receive personalized attention that includes private lessons and master classes as well as large and small ensemble participation.

The program is separated into four-, five- and six-day camps for high school and junior high school music students.

The first session, to be held from June 6-11, offers the Brass Camp, led by Dr. William Mathis, an associate professor of trombone and chair of music performance studies, and Vocal Arts Camp, led by Christopher Scholl, an associate professor of vocal studies.

The second session includes the new Percussion Camp, led by Dr. Roger Schupp, a professor of percussion, and Super Sax Camp led by Michael Holmes, a BGSU alumnus, which will run from June 13-18. The popular Musical Theatre Camp held from June 13-19 will led by Todd Schriber, another alumnus of the University.

The Double-Reed-Making Boot Camp is scheduled from June 13-16 and will by led by Dr. Nathaniel Zeisler, an assistant professor of bassoon, and Dr. Jacqueline Leclair, an assistant professor of oboe.

The third session, from June 20-25, will offer the Recording Studio Camp led by Mark Bunce, director of recording services, and the Piano Camp led by Dr. Robert Satterlee, an associate professor of piano. These camps will run from June 20-25. In addition, the String Orchestra Camp led by Dr. Megan Fergusson, an assistant professor of viola, will be held June 20-26.

The Honors String Quartet is a new addition to the String Orchestra Camp this year. Students accepted into the quartet will arrive on June 19 to work with BGSU string faculty members.

Registration costs vary depending on the camp attended. The deadline for all camps is May 1. Space is limited, but late registrations will be accepted based on availability and assessed an additional $25 fee.

Additional Summer Music Institute information, camp registration and scholarship information can be found at

Accomplished jazz pianist, composer and educator comes to BGSU

Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts celebrates Jazz Week with a visit from acclaimed pianist, composer and educator Arturo O’ Farrill.

O’Farrill will have a busy schedule starting with a master class at 4 p.m. March 24 in Kobacker Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center followed by a performance with the Faculty Jazz Group at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of Moore Center.  On March 26, O’Farrill will participate in high school Jazz Day clinics at Kobacker Hall and will perform with the Jazz Lab Band I at 8 p.m. in the same location.

“He brings a different perspective in jazz, coming from an Afro-Cuban tradition,” said David Bixler, an assistant professor in Jazz Studies. “We do a more mainstream form, and he will provide a new angle both musically and culturally, which is good for students in the Midwest.”

“This will be a great experience for both the students and faculty of the Jazz Studies area,” explained Jeff Halsey, a professor and director of Jazz Studies. “O’Farrill is one of those rare individuals who bridges Latin-influenced music with mainstream jazz, and he is a powerful piano performer and bandleader.”

O’Farrill was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. He created the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and was Grammy nominated in 2006 for his debut album “Una Noche Inolvidable.”  In 2003, he was awarded the Latin Jazz U.S.A. Outstanding Achievement Award.

As a solo artist, O’Farrill has worked with a number of well-known jazz artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Belafonte.

Annual Peatee art song competition coming up at BGSU

Forty duos will participate in the 11th annual Marjorie Conrad Peatee Art Song Competition at Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts on March 27.

The first round of the competition will begin at noon and end around 5 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Finalists will be announced at 6 p.m., and the final round, in the form of a formal evening concert, will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall.

The Dr. Marjorie Conrad Peatee Art Song Fund provides monetary prizes for the singers and their collaborative pianists in two divisions, undergraduate and graduate.

The students will compete for two first prizes of $1,500, two second prizes of $1,000 and two third prizes of $750. The first-prize winning duos will present a recital on the “Music from Bowling Green at the Manor House” series, an outreach program of the college, on March 30 at Toledo’s Wildwood Metropark.

The goal of the competition is to encourage students enrolled at BGSU to approach the art song in a serious and intense manner and enhance their learning experience.

All rounds of the competition are free and open to the public.