BGSU alumna Hilary Maiberger ’10 is living the life of a Disney character and loving every minute of it.
Chosen to play the part of Belle in the national tour of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” Maiberger admits the opportunity is “a dream come true.”
“It’s one of my favorite movies,” said Maiberger, who earned her master’s degree in vocal performance from BGSU. “It’s a wonderful love story about such an unexpected relationship that is based on inner beauty.”
She grew up watching and emulating the various Disney princesses, from Jasmine and Snow White to Cinderella and Ariel. She recently even had played the parts of Jasmine in a Disneyland production and Cinderella in a regional theatre production. Earlier this spring when she saw an audition announcement online about playing Belle in the NETworks national tour of “Beauty and the Beast,” she immediately sent a photo, resume and a video of her singing, knowing full-well her chances might be similar to winning a lottery. However, in a relatively short amount of time, she defied all odds and was selected to play Belle, her favorite Disney princess.
Her initial audition was not face-to-face in New York, “which is virtually unheard of in the industry,” said Christopher Scholl, one of her BGSU music professors.
“She has the talent, intelligence, looks and perseverance to succeed,” he said, adding, “She is one of the most expressive musicians I’ve taught; that will carry her far.”
For Maiberger the role of Belle “is ideal,” she said, explaining the character is “so real, and such a heroine who is funny, smart and has a huge capacity to learn and love.”
Maiberger is especially excited to be performing as Belle, surrounded by the elaborate stage production of the creative team from the original Broadway show. She is lucky that the memorable and award-winning music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice and the late Howard Ashman showcase her musical talents.
The California native has been singing since she was six years old and earned her bachelor’s degree in music from San Diego State University. Her journey to BGSU was started, in part, out of her connection to northwest Ohio. She was familiar with the area because her father was born and raised in Tiffin, 40 miles southeast of Bowling Green.
“Bowling Green was a great fit for me,” Maiberger said. “The faculty all were supportive and believed in my talents, and they encouraged me to audition for operas and theatre.”
“I had never done opera, but I loved it. Mr. Scholl was an incredible teacher who really ‘kicked my butt,’ but was supportive and believed in my talents.
“I didn’t’ realize opera was so hard, but it’s a wonderful foundation to train in a classical way,” she said.
Maiberger also improved her acting skills with the help of one-on-one acting sessions with Dr. Michael Ellison, associate professor of theatre and film.
She realized in her undergraduate years at San Diego State University that singing was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. At BGSU, adding opera and acting to her repertoire “ratcheted up my career,” Maiberger admitted.
Now, as Belle, she is performing in eight shows a week, Tuesday through Sunday, which, she admits, “is a crazy schedule.” But the musical training she received has prepared her for such a rigorous routine.
“She came to BGSU with confidence in her singing,” her music professor recalled, “but BGSU really had an impact on her.
“There were a whole bunch of people who put a ton of work in with her,” Scholl said. “The saying ‘It takes a village’ was true; however, she was so receptive and such a joy to work with. She worked hard, practiced hard and prepared herself for such an opportunity.”
“I am so excited to be a part of something like this; it really is unbelievable. There is something very special about the Disney magic,” she said. And theatre is where she wants to be, she explained. “It’s like playing dress up. It’s being able to affect people, make them laugh and tell a story. There is nothing else really like it.”
Festival Series: KLEZMER MADNESS ! Saturday, September 29, 2012 – 8:00 p.m. – Kobacker Hall – For tickets, visit bgsu.edu/arts
Reflections on Being a 21st Century Klezmer Musician by David Krakauer, clarinetist with Klezmer Madness!
For those of you who are among the uninitiated, klezmer music is the traditional celebration music of Eastern European Jewry. This is the music that was played at weddings (and other festive events) for the Jewishcommunities of Russia, Poland, Byelorussia, Moldavia, Rumania, the Ukraine, the Baltic states, and Hungary,among other countries. Klezmer (which means music in Yiddish) was brought to the U.S. during the great waveof Jewish immigration between 1880 and 1920, and is primarily known to us today through recordings made inNew York beginning in the early 1920s by musicians who came to America during this time period. Because theHolocaust was to eradicate most of Eastern European Jewish culture, klezmer music in America exists as aprecious and important vestige of a varnished world.
It is an incredibly interesting time to be playing klezmer music — with a rise in Jewish consciousness, withEuropeans examining an aspect of the soul of their continent that was destroyed during World War II, with thetremendous excitement of the “world beat” phenomenon, and simply with the joyous “danceability” of this music.In fact, klezmer music has gone through two revivals since the mid-1970’s, and I believe we are now in a tremendously creative post revival period. While those of us playing klezmer today are still constantly studyingold recordings and other source material to retrieve what was almost lost to us there is, at the same time, a new sense of freedom and playfulness with the music that has given rise to a diverse repertoire, tremendousinternational participation and a wide variety of approaches. In my own work, as a 21st century American, I freely incorporate influences of funk, jazz and, most recently through my collaboration with sampling wizard Socalled, hip hop.
For me personally it is important to do two things in playing klezmer. One is to preserve the Jewishness — the inflection of the Yiddish language in the music (that I recognized in the speech inflections of my grandmother),the melodic shapes, the ornaments, the phrasing, the traditional repertoire, and the flavor of the cantor. But the second is to keep klezmer out of the museum — to write new klezmer pieces and to improvise on older forms in a way that is informed by the world around me today. My colleague Alicia Svigals, former violinist of the group The Klezmatics, talks about tradition always being in flux — that there is no such thing as static “tradition.” For example, when I write a more extended composition, I try to keep the feeling of a klezmer melody or ornament –but at the same time abstract that into a single gesture. Or, when I write a new tune, it has tobe danceable, yet full of quirky and weird aspects — in short, Klezmer Madness!
In both brand new pieces and re-interpretations of older standard repertoire, everything I play adheres to (or refers to) the basic forms of klezmer music: the Doina — rhapsodic, cantorial improvisation; the Chosidl — a kind of walking slower dance; the Terkish — a dotted-rhythm dance form from Rumania via Turkey (“oriental” in flavor); the old Rumanian Hora — a slow dance in a limping 3/8; and the Bulgar or Freylekh — an up-tempo dance tune for circle dancing and lifting honored guests up in chairs. This is a music that has been played from a time way before the earliest memories of my great great grandparents in Eastern Europe; and I’m honored to continue this great tradition. So all I can say now is . . . ENJOY!!!
Assistant Professor of Piano, Thomas Rosenkranz was recently in Chengdu, China to present a concert of the music of John Cage as part of the composer’s 100-anniversary year. The concert took place at East Chengdu Music Park, which was once an industrial zone and was recently transformed into one of the Chengdu’s newest cultural districts.
BGSU trumpet professors Charles Saenz and Lauraine Carpenter have announced the schedule for BGSU Trumpet Week. The event is being sponsored by Yamaha and Royalton Music:
James Ackley – Professor of Trumpet, South Carolina, www.jamesackley.net
Sean Jones – www.seanjonesmusic.com. Teaches at Duquesne, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Music Director of Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, has his own small group, etc etc.
James Ackley Master Class Saturday, September 21, 10 am-noon, Conrad Room
James Ackley Recital Monday, September 24, 8pm Bryan Hall
Sean Jones Master Class Wednesday, September 26, 6pm-7:30pm, Choral Room
Sean Jones/FacultyQuartet Wednesday, September 26, 8:30pm-midnight, Club 149
Sean Jones w/Lab I Thursday, September 27, 8pm, Kobacker