Monthly Archives: March 2012

BGSU Men’s Chorus appears on national television

The members of the Bowling Green State University Men’s Chorus had a busy spring break. Not only did they perform in the New York and Massachusetts areas, they capped off the week with not one, but two national television appearances.

The group arrived in New York City on March 7 and made plans to visit the set of “Good Morning America” on March 8. About 30 members got up early and found a spot in the crowd about four rows back from the front.

“We thought, well, we’re here, we might as well get noticed,” said chorus President Benji Cates, a junior majoring in music education from Mansfield. “We started singing some a cappella songs, but the lady who was the ‘crowd wrangler’ for the show didn’t seem fazed at all. But the tourists were all getting their video cameras out and taping us, they thought it was great!”

Cates says they saved one song to sing when newsreader Josh Elliott and weatherman Sam Champion came out to greet the crowd.

“As soon as they came out we started singing ‘Brothers Sing On.’ They both started gravitating towards us and said we’d be the entertainment for the weather segment. We got pulled onto the blue carpet and stood in formation for about five minutes waiting for our cue to start singing. “

“I didn’t think we’d get on TV — the Marquette University cheerleaders were there, too, and they’re cuter than us. But we stole the show.”

Minutes after their live national debut, Facebook pages and cell phones started lighting up with messages from family and friends.

“It was crazy,” said D.J. Zippay, a junior majoring in vocal music education from Edgerton, and chorus secretary. “I called Professor Cloeter, our director, two seconds before we were on and yelled at him to turn on the TV. While we were singing my phone was just buzzing.”

“Everyone had a ton of Facebook messages,” Cates said. “The University even mentioned us on its Facebook page. We felt really big time.”

“It was pretty awesome,” Zippay said. “I didn’t think we’d get on TV — the Marquette University cheerleaders were there, too, and they’re cuter than us. But we stole the show.”

The national exposure didn’t end there. Cates says a producer for the ABC’s “The Chew” handed them tickets to that day’s show. About 12 members headed to the studio. This time, it was one member’s unusual hairdo that got them noticed, not their singing.

“One of our members has a crazy red afro and Carla Hall, one of the hosts, saw it,” Cates said. “During a break she came up and was playing with it and dancing with him. After the show we went up to her and started singing the same song we sang on GMA. When we were done the executive producer came up and asked if we knew ‘Danny Boy.’”

Call it the luck of the Irish. It turns out “Danny Boy” was part of their tour repertoire. They were asked to stick around for the next show taping, which would be St. Patrick’s Day themed, and sing. The show aired March 16.

“This time we were right up front. We got a signal to stand up and just start singing and it went great.

“It was such an awesome experience to be on national television,” said Cates.

Clarinetist’s legacy lives on at BGSU

Renowned clarinetist and Eastman School of Music professor Stanley Hasty saw greatness in BGSU’s College of Musical Arts. Hasty had presented master classes at Bowling Green in 2001 and 2008, and he chose to leave a collection of materials, music and instruments to Kevin Schempf, his former student who currently is sharing his version of a Hasty education with clarinet students at BGSU.

“Mr. Hasty was aware that our College of Musical Arts and its faculty are known for turning out great graduates and professionals,” Schempf said about Hasty’s connection to BGSU. “He loved to teach, and he knew that teaching our students is what we do best here.”

Hasty was a masterful teacher, and he demanded the very best from his students, Schempf said. “He had a unique gift for making the music understandable and sound beautiful by breaking down the mystery of music into simple principles.“

While Hasty was arguably one of the best clarinet teachers of the 20th century, he also was a man of few words, Schempf recalled. “He didn’t teach us to be like him, but he would first teach us to read and perform music in his way and then help us find a way to make it our own,” he added.

And making music his own is exactly what Schempf has done following his Eastman School of Music education with Professor Hasty. Schempf started his professional career as a member of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and the United States Coast Guard Band, and he has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Toledo Symphony, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. He recently performed for two weeks with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and appeared with them at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City… He also has played internationally in Germany, Russia, Sweden, China and Japan, and serves as solo clarinetist with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. However much like his Eastman professor, Schempf has discovered his real passion is teaching. He has been teaching clarinet at BGSU for 13 years and loves the opportunity to work with talented young musicians.

It is that strong commitment to teaching that most likely contributed to Schempf and BGSU being gifted the collection. “I am honored to have the collection in my possession,” he said, because admittedly it could have gone to any number of other Hasty protégés who have had acclaimed careers. He believes it was because Hasty knew “BG is one of those schools where faculty and students are part of a melting pot with a significant amount of diversity and a passion for excellence,” Schempf said. Hasty also didn’t want the collection to be about him, so BGSU’s College of Musical Arts, where education is at the core of the curriculum, seemed to be a good fit.

The collection includes one or two boxes of Hasty’s personal scores, three volumes of hand-written orchestral books, the canes and equipment he used to craft clarinet reeds, an untold number of recordings of his and his students, and his prized clarinet. As humble and private as Hasty was, Schempf wants to make sure his greatness is not forgotten. The recordings and scanned copies of the music scores will be shared with the BGSU Music and Sound Recordings Archives in the William T. Jerome Library. Eventually, Schempf will hand off the actual scores and the clarinet to the next generation of great clarinetists whose lives were forever changed because of the impact of his great clarinet professor.

Morgen Stiegler and The BGSU Jazz Faculty Group To Preform for WBGU’s “Live Wire” at The Clazel Theater

Vocalist Morgen Stiegler and the BGSU jazz faculty group will be performing a 45 minute show for the WBGU/PBS program “Live Wire” at the Clazel Theatre in downtown Bowling Green at 11 pm on March 22nd. This performance is part of BGSU Jazz Week 2012. The event will be taped live and then air as a 30 minute television show. It is a night full of many local and regional acts, which include jazz, folk, and pop genres. This 11pm show follows the BGSU Vocal Jazz Ensemble Concert, also part of Jazz Week 2012 that starts at 8pm in Bryan Recital Hall. Come out for a night of jazz (and after hours jazz)!

For more information on the Live Wire performances that night visit:

Viola student wins MTNA competition

Yoobin Lee, viola is the winner of the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Strings Competition, east central division. She will advance to the national finals on March 26, 2012 to be held in New York. NY. Yoobin Lee is a Graduate viola student of Professor Matthew Daline.

Trumpet Ensemble to perform at the Ohio Trumpet Guild Conference

Trumpet Ensemble to perform at the Ohio Trumpet Guild Conference

The BGSU Trumpet Ensemble will be performing at the annual conference of the Ohio Trumpet Guild on March 31, 2012 at Miami University in Oxford, OH. Guest artists for the event are Stephen Burns and Carl Saunders. In addition, Professor Charles Saenz will perform with Mr. Burns on his afternoon recital.

The trumpet ensemble will premiere James Stephensen’s Gilded Fanfare as part of the OITG 2012 Fanfare Project

For more information about the event, please go to