Monthly Archives: August 2013

Jennifer Higdon’s latest CD

Pulitzer Prizer/Grammy award winner and BGSU alumna Jennifer Higdon’s latest CD has been issued on the Naxos American Classics Series.  It contains her Sky Quartet (string quartet), Amazing Grace” (arr. for string quartet),  Dark Wood  (bassoon, violin, cello, piano),  Viola Sonata, and String Trio (violin, viola, cello), performed by the Serafin String Quartet with Charles Abramovic (piano) and Eric Stomberg (bassoon).

BGSU, WGTE Public Media, WFMT Radio launch ‘new music’ radio series

 BOWLING GREEN, O.—The College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University, a leading institution in the study and promotion of contemporary music and technology, has announced its collaboration with WGTE Public Media and the WFMT Radio Network on a new, nationally syndicated radio series dedicated to contemporary music.

“New Music from Bowling Green” is a 13-part series of hourlong episodes drawing on live concert recordings from the BGSU New Music Festival and Music at the Forefront series, as well as commercial recordings from the Bowling Green Philharmonia and the BGSU Wind Symphony. It is the only nationally syndicated radio program in and from a university setting, and will be internationally syndicated next year.

Hosted by award-winning producer and WGTE radio personality Brad Cresswell, the series originates from the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, part of the BGSU College of Musical Arts, in northwest Ohio. Designed with the mainstream classical music listener in mind, the program features audience-friendly modern works that are introduced by their composers and the musicians who bring those works to life.

The list of composers featured on “New Music from Bowling Green” includes notable artists such as Samuel Adler, Caleb Burhans, Michael Daugherty, David Lang, Kevin Puts, Shulamit Ran, Steven Stucky, and Christopher Theofanidis. The show also features Jennifer Higdon, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music and BGSU alumna, who is one of the world’s most-performed living composers. Other highlights of the series include a program of award-winning works by student composers and a concert by the BGSU New Music Ensemble recorded live at New York City’s celebrated new-music cabaret Le Poisson Rouge.

“I’m honored to be a part of this radio program, not only because of my connection to BGSU, but because of the fantastic variety and quality of music offered,” Higdon said. “My hope is that the program will introduce listeners across the country to these vitally important works of living composers, which represent the future of our classical music industry.”

For more than 40 years, the College of Musical Arts at BGSU has been at the edge of contemporary music as an active and prolific contributor to the national and international new music scene. Its large and well-known composition faculty developed the nearly unique degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in Contemporary Music, whose graduates have gone on to thriving careers in composition, conducting, and performance.

“The College of Musical Arts at BGSU of course knows that contemporary compositions are the future of classical music, and the radio series will go far in introducing them to listeners, both sophisticated and new, in a way that makes them both accessible and enjoyable,” said Dr. Jeffrey Showell, dean of the college.

Interest has been strong, with markets including Atlanta, Omaha and St. Louis carrying the series. Additionally, beginning in January 2014, the program will be marketed overseas to English-speaking countries, including Australia, England, Ireland and New Zealand.

“New Music from Bowling Green” will air locally on WGTE 91.3 FM, Sundays at 1 p.m., beginning Oct. 6. Listeners may contact their local NPR station to request the show. For more information, and to listen to a preview of the show, visit



About the WFMT Radio Network

The WFMT Radio Network is a premier creator of radio programs that are syndicated to hundreds ofradio stations throughout the United States and internationally, with a focus on classical music, jazz, folk, science and world culture. It is the home of prestigious classical concert series such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic; the renowned daily music appreciation series “Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin”; a national opera series; “Jazz from Lincoln Center”; Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; “The Midnight Special”(folk music with a sense of humor); hourly modular classical and jazz series (Beethoven Satellite Network and Jazz Satellite Network), and dozens of other programs that range from ongoing weekly series to one-time radio specials. The WFMT Radio Network continually travels the world to develop new programming, having produced series from places such as Austria, South Africa, Scotland, Israel and many other locations.

About WGTE Public Media (The Public Broadcasting Foundation of Northwest Ohio)

Founded as an educational institute in 1952, WGTE is a nonprofit organization and a center of learning and education for northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. From its entertaining, informative and educational programs that air on WGTE TV, FM 91, and to its professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers and preschool day care providers, WGTE is committed to making its listening area a better place to live.

Chris Albrecht, trumpet alumnus, placed well in international competition

Chris Albrecht,  Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance (2009), was a finalist in the International Trumpet Guild Orchestral Excerpts Competition this past summer.  The conference was held from June 11-15, 2013 in Grand Rapids, MI .  Chris was the overall second place winner.   He received his MM from the University of Michigan and is completing a DMA at Arizona State University.

BGSU announces first three performers for “From the Top”

BOWLING GREEN, O.–The first three performers have been announced for “From the Top,” National Public Radio’s popular program. The preeminent showcase for young musicians will come to Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts at 8 p.m. Sept. 28 to record a radio broadcast in Kobacker Hall.

Hosted by pianist Christopher O’Riley, the show is heard locally Sundays on WGTE-FM and features the performances and personal stories of extraordinary young classical musicians from across the country.

The show will feature 15-year-old contrabassist Lena Goodson from York, Pa.; 15-year-old pianist Patrick Pan from Houston, Texas, and the Quartet Lumiere, based at The Academy at the Music Institute of Chicago.

Goodson attends Central York High School and studies bass with Devin Howell, the principal bassist of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.

Pan is the 2013 winner of BGSU’s David D. Dubois Piano Competition. A student at Clear Lake High School, he studies piano with John Weems.

Marko Dreher coaches Quartet Lumiere, first place winners of the Junior Division of the 2013 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Members include violinist Rebecca Benjamin, violinist Gallia Kastner, violist Mira Williams and cellist Josiah Yoo.

For tickets and information, visit

Sunny Boys Quartet shines at international competition

Sunny Boys

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University continued its longstanding tradition of excellence in vocal performance this July when The Sunny Boys placed second in the collegiate quartet division at the Barbershop Harmony Society’s International Convention in Toronto, Canada — despite the far-flung group members’ having had to rehearse together largely online, through Skype.

The annual competition draws over 10,000 present barbershop singers, many of whom are choral directors from around the world. In addition, thousands of others watch the competition through online streaming.

BGSU student Nicholas Gordon helped form the quartet with bassist Christian Diaz, tenor Edward Mejia, and lead Alberto Rico.

Sunny Boys’ coach Douglas Wayland, an assistant professor of voice in music performance studies, has coached other winning groups, including BGSU’s 2011 first-prize winning quartet, Prestige, of which Gordon was also a member. Wayland received the 2012-13 Distinguished Faculty Award, and has helped promote appreciation of barbershop quartets.

For a quartet to compete at the international level, it must get through the difficult preliminary qualifier round, which is held in dozens of districts throughout the U.S. and in other participating countries. Although barbershop singing began as an American genre, it has become international. Winners have come from Sweden, Canada and New Zealand. Quartets are scored based on three categories: singing, musical, and performance.

The only member from BGSU, Gordon met Diaz while working and singing together in Disney World, Fla., last winter. Diaz knew the other two men from previous singing experiences. Before long, the quartet read different pieces and saw potential.

According to Wayland, one of the key ingredients of putting a successful quartet together is having four exceptional voices that can blend well.

“Our blend was so promising that we decided to stay together and compete,” Gordon said.

Despite their talent and musical rapport, The Sunny Boys faced obstacles in their rehearsals. With the members living in different states, the only solution they found to rehearsing was through Skype. They were only able to rehearse in person a few days prior to the competition, with the help and direction of Wayland.

Luckily, all four men had extensive barbershop experience. The three non-BGSU members had been in a quartet called “Spanglish” that received third place in the collegiate division in 2010. Wayland was confident the quartet had prepared adequately.

“When you work with students who come with that kind of experience and preparation, you only have to tweak and make suggestions to fix minor problems — just like a conductor who works with an orchestra that is already musically prepared,” he said.

The Sunny Boys won the most points in the singing category and only lost 30 out of a possible 1,800 points.

Gordon spoke fondly of the support Wayland has shown him through the years. “Doug has been there for every single one of my competitions. He’s traveled to California, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Florida and now Toronto in order to support me,“ Gordon said, “He realized early on that I had a deep passion for barbershop singing and he’s helped me sing it in the healthiest way possible.

“We had no idea what the outcome would be, and we couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishment. Barbershopping has taken me to so many places I never could’ve imagined.”

The group was also fortunate to receive financial support from Pro Musica, a Bowling Green organization that helps student musicians travel to outside performances and conferences.

“With the incredible support of Pro Musica, I have been able to keep barbershop in my life and it has helped me grow exponentially, not only as a musician, but as a human being,” Gordon said.