Monthly Archives: March 2011

Jazz Week 2011 kicks off March 28

Jay Ashby
Jay Ashby

The sounds of piano, trombone and jazz combos will fill the air at Bowling Green State University starting March 28 as Jazz Week 2011 kicks off.

Events run from March 28 to April 1 with performances, clinics and appearances by BGSU jazz students, faculty and special guests Jay Ashby and Russell Schmidt.

Schmidt is the featured piano performer for the first concert, at 8 p.m. March 28 in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Joining Schmidt on a series of selections will be BGSU jazz faculty members David Bixler, alto sax; Chris Buzzelli, guitar; Jeff Halsey, bass, and Roger Schupp, drums.

Schmidt is a previous Director of Jazz Activities at BGSU and holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with legendary jazz pedagogue Rayburn Wright.

As a performer, Schmidt was one of only two American jazz pianists selected to participate in the second Martial Solal International Jazz Piano Competition in Paris. Among his recent recordings are “Season of Change,” which is his debut release as a leader, “Jazz Vespers,” by Paul Ferguson, and “The Surprise of Being – Live at Birdland” by the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra featuring Joe Lovano.

BGSU students in chamber jazz ensembles will take the stage at the Bryan Recital Hall at 8 p.m. March 29.

Russell Schmidt
Russell Schmidt

On March 30, trombonist Jay Ashby and members of the BGSU jazz faculty will perform as part of the Faculty Artist Series. Ashby is a four-time Grammy Award-winning producer whose resume includes over 100 recordings, ranging in style and genre from jazz and pop to world music.

In recent years, Ashby has performed, traveled and recorded extensively with some of the most renowned artists in the industry. His longtime association with trumpet master Claudio Roditi helped develop his strong affinity for “Brazilian Jazz.” As a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nation Orchestra in the early 1990s, Ashby forged relationships with jazz greats Paquito D’Rivera and Jon Faddis. In 1999, in a testament to his versatility, he began his first foray into the pop world as trombonist, percussionist and arranger with pop music icon Paul Simon.

In an educational capacity, Ashby has conducted master classes, residencies and clinics world wide, including annual events in Germany, Brazil and Russia.

BGSU’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble will be featured at 8 p.m. March 31 in Bryan Recital Hall.

On April 1 at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, Ashby will join the Jazz Lab Band I in a program that will include some of Ashby’s own material and arrangements including “The BGSU Blues.”

All events are sponsored in part by Marlene Norton and Jerry Liss and are free and open to the public. To view a schedule of events, click here.

(Submitted by Susan Knapp)

CMA Alum Megan E. Bell, Soprano, Awarded the Edith Newfield Scholarship

Megan E. Bell (M.M. 2008), soprano, was awarded the Edith Newfield Scholarship in the amount of $4,000 at The Musicians Club of Women’s 2011 Annual Music Scholarship Auditions held on Saturday, March 12 at Roosevelt University.  

As of 2010, the club is awarding annual scholarships totaling $67,500 in women’s voice, piano, strings and winds to the winners of an annual competition. In addition to these monetary awards, the club provides performance opportunities to both its scholarship winners and to active performing members of the club in two free public concert series presented in Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center and at the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago.

View more information about Ms. Bell’s engagements at

(Submitted by Megan Bell)

Masters’ Student Jing Lin Advances to the Finals in the Lotte Lenya Vocal Competition

Masters’ Student Jing Lin advanced to the finals in the 2011 Lotte Lenya Vocal Competition. The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music made the announcement on their website, saying, “Twelve exceptionally talented young singer-actors from the United States, United Kingdom and China have been selected to compete for top prizes of $15,000, $10,000 and $7,500 in the finals of the 2011 Lotte Lenya Competition, to be held on April 16, 2011, at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Judges for this year’s finals will be Tony Award-winning singer-actress Judy Kaye, Broadway and Encores! music director Rob Berman, and Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization president and Chairman of the Board of the American Theater Wing, Theodore S. Chapin.”

For more information, click here.

(Submitted by Myra Darlene Merritt)

Dr. Jacqueline Leclair’s ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Performes at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in New York City

Alarm Will Sound ( performed at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in New York City March 10, 2011, an original show entitled, “1969.”

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal published full-length feature articles about Alarm Will Sound and the show before the show.

The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times published highly positive reviews of the event:

(Submitted by Jacqueline Leclair)

Faculty Member Lisa M. Gruenhagen to Present Two Sessions at MENC

Faculty Member Lisa M. Gruenhagen, Ph.D., Coordinator of Student Teaching and Assistant Professor of Music Education will be presenting two sessions at MENC. The sessions will take place Monday, June 27, and Tuesday, June 28, as part of MENC’s Music Education Week in Washington, DC. The titles of the upcoming sessions will be “Listening to Learn: Engaging Children in Active Music Listening Experiences,” and “Explore, Discover, Think, Create: Constructing Meaning through Creating Music.”

For more information, click here.

(Submitted by Lisa M. Gruenhagen)