Monthly Archives: April 2011

Shrude Wins National Honor as Guggenheim Fellow

ShrudeThis time next year, Distinguished Artist Professor Marilyn Shrude will likely not be thinking of class schedules or her duties as chair of the musicology/composition/theory department. Instead, thanks to support from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, she expects to be deeply immersed in writing music.

Shrude has been named a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow. Designed to help nurture scholarship or creative activity, the prestigious awards are “intended for scholars or artists who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts,” according to the foundation.

Shrude personifies that description. Her compositions have been performed across the United States, in Europe and in Asia, and she has been a guest artist at festivals around the world. Nearly 20 of her compositions have been recorded on various labels.

Guggenheim Fellows are chosen through a rigorous and highly competitive application process that this year yielded 180 fellowships from about 3,000 applications.

Only about 10 fellows were chosen in the music composition category — not all in academia, and about half in jazz. Shrude’s fellow winners include composers from Juilliard, Harvard and New York University. “It’s nice to have Bowling Green State University represented among institutions like these,” she said.

The “planets aligned” for Shrude this time, she said. She had already planned to take a faculty improvement leave next year to write two commissioned compositions. Being free of administrative and teaching duties “is a different mode of operation,” she said. “It lets my imaginative side come out.”

For more information you can read this article, published by the American Composers Alliance.

(Submitted by Susan Knapp)

BGSU Names Dean of College of Musical Arts


Jeffrey Showell

Dr. Jeffrey Showell, a professor and director of the School of Music at James Madison University, has been appointed the next dean of the College of Musical Arts. Dr. Kenneth Borland, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, made the announcement today (March 28) following a national search. Showell’s appointment becomes effective June 30.

“Dr. Showell has the passion, intellect, gifts and outstanding leadership experience to bring the College of Musical Arts into a well-deserved place of national prominence,” Borland said of Showell.

Showell holds bachelor’s and master’s of music degrees from the Eastman School of Music and a master and doctorate of musical arts from Yale University.

As director of the School of Music at JMU, he oversees 45 full-time and 20 part-time faculty members and 450 majors. In the fall of 2009 he worked to create the Harlem Symphony Initiative, a reciprocal exchange of master classes and recitals by JMU faculty and symphony members. JMU also will become the summer home of the symphony.

While at James Madison, Showell was involved with the design, programming, construction and fund-raising for a new, 175,000-square-foot performing arts center that opened in May of 2010, and helped secure $1 million in private donations to help JMU become the first All-Steinway School in Virginia.

For nine years he’s been an Accreditation Visitor for the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), having made accreditation visits to about 15 universities. For the last three years, he’s also been a member of the NASM central accreditation commission.

Before becoming an administrator, Showell was an accomplished violist. He served for eight years as the principal violist for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, was a soloist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and violist in the Rymour String Quartet.

“I am deeply honored by the opportunity to step into Richard Kennell’s large shoes as dean of the BGSU College of Musical Arts, to continue his work in elevating the national profile of this extraordinary College,” Showell said.

(Submitted by Susan Knapp)

Masters’ Student Jing Lin Places Second in the Lotte Lenya Vocal Competition

Masters’ Student Jing Lin placed second in the Lotte Lenya Vocal Competition, held on April 16, 2011, at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. She was awarded $8,000.

Judges for the competition were three-time Tony Award nominee Rebecca Luker, Broadway and Encores! music director Rob Berman, and the Artistic Director of the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau, Germany, Michael Kaufmann.

The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, which sponsors the competition, distributed a record $58,000 in prizes this year. Now in its 14th year, the Lotte Lenya Competition recognizes versatile singing actors, aged 19-30, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide variety of musical theater styles. For the 2011 competition, each contestant presented a diverse program that included an aria from the opera or operetta repertoire; two songs from the American musical theater repertoire (one pre-1968 and one from 1968 or later); and a theatrical selection by Kurt Weill. After a preliminary round of auditions by video submission, twelve finalists were selected from a group of thirty semi-finalists who auditioned in New York City for adjudicator/coaches David Loud, Carolyn Marlow and Vicki Shaghoian.

Previous winners continue to land roles on major opera and theater stages around the world. In the past year, they have performed on Broadway (Zachary James, Morgan James, The Addams Family), at the Metropolitan Opera (Ginger Costa-Jackson, Nixon in China), Deutsche Oper Berlin (Rebecca Jo Loeb, Die Zauberflöte, La Traviata), Houston Grand Opera (Rodell Rosel, Madama Butterfly; Liam Bonner, Peter Grimes), New York City Center Encores! (Lauren Worsham, Amy Justman, Analisa Leaming, Where’s Charley?), Arena Stage (Ariela Morgenstern, The Light in the Piazza), Goodspeed Musicals (Lauren Worsham, Carnival!), Opera Theater of St. Louis (Christopher Herbert, A Little Night Music), Santa Fe Opera (Jonathan Michie, Albert Herring), the Kurt Weill Fest (Alen Hodzovic, Rebecca Jo Loeb), and in the 25th anniversary tour of Les Misérables (Richard Todd Adams, Cooper Grodin). Upcoming performances include featured or starring roles at the Spoleto Festival USA (Rebekah Camm, The Magic Flute), Wolf Trap Opera (Anthony McGee, Margaret Gawrysiak, Edward Mout, Sweeney Todd), Tanglewood (Margaret Gawrysiak, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9), Glimmerglass Opera (Ginger Costa-Jackson, Carmen), Opera Theater of St. Louis (Liam Bonner, Pelléas et Mélisande), Houston Grand Opera (Rodell Rosel, Ariadne auf Naxos), Geva Theatre Center (Analisa Leaming, The Sound of Music), TheatreWorks (Ariela Morgenstern, The Light in the Piazza), and on Broadway (Morgan James, Wonderland).

(Submitted by Richard Kennell )

BGSU Philharmonia to perform final concert of season

The Bowling Green Philharmonia will present its final concert of the spring season at 8 p.m. Wednesday (April 20) in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

Dr. Emily Freeman Brown, director of orchestral activities at Bowling Green State University, will conduct the performance, which will include works by Dmitri Kabalevsky, Ludwig van Beethoven and Paul Hindemith, and will feature the University Choral Society, directed by Mark Munson.

The program begins with the overture to Kabalevsky’s lively opera “Colas Breugnon.” Set in 17th-century France and based on a novel by Romain Rolland, the piece uses French folk idioms in a fresh but traditional way and has become a popular work in the orchestral repertoire.

The University Choral Society will join the Philharmonia in Beethoven’s “Mass in C major.” Although the piece is often overshadowed by his larger works, it shows Beethoven’s innovative style, setting the text in a way that had never been done before and using tympani to accompany the voices.

Hindemith’s “Mathis der Maler” (Matthias the Painter) is among his most famous orchestral works. The symphony is based on themes from his opera of the same name. Hindemith used the themes as a trial run of the music for his opera, which premiered four years later.

Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and $7 for senior citizens, with a $3 increase the day of the performance. Students can purchase tickets for $5 and a canned good. Call the center box office weekdays from noon to p.m. at 419-372-8171 or toll-free 1-800-589-2224.

(Submitted by Susan Knapp)