All posts by cdahn

BGSU announces 2010-11 Festival Series

In observance of Bowling Green State University’s 100-year centennial, the 31st season of the College of Musical Arts Festival Series 2010-11 promises to be a year of music worth celebrating.

The series opens Oct. 7 with a special centennial celebration concert featuring Branford Marsalis. The world-renowned saxophonist is an instrumentalist, composer and the head of Marsalis Music (the label he founded in 2002), as well as a three-time Grammy Award winner. In residency at BGSU Oct. 6 and 7, his visit is also part of the Dorothy E. and DuWayne H. Hansen Musical Arts Series and will include workshops and clinics.

On Dec. 3, the Louise F. Rees Memorial Concert begins the holiday season with the return of the Empire Brass with Elisabeth von Trapp (cq) in a special program titled “The Sound of Christmas.”

Empire Brass has built a reputation as North America’s finest brass quintet, known for its virtuosity and the diversity of its repertoire, which includes music from Bach and Handel to jazz and Broadway. The five musicians, all of whom have held leading positions with major American orchestras, perform over 100 concerts a year in cities around the world.

Elisabeth von Trapp, the granddaughter of the legendary Maria and Baron von Trapp, has been singing professionally since childhood. Building on her family’s passion for music, she has created her own artistic style, her repertoire stretching from Bach and Schubert to Broadway and Sting.

The series will continue on Feb. 5 with pianist Robert Levin. An artist renowned for his restoration of the classical period practice of improvised embellishments and cadenzas, his performances of Mozart’s and Beethoven’s works have been hailed for their active mastery of the classical music language. Levin is also a noted theorist and Mozart scholar.

On Feb. 26, in celebration of Black History Month, the Bowling Green Philharmonia and soloists will present a special evening of selections from George Gershwin’s immortal American opera “Porgy and Bess.” Gershwin melded classical music, popular song, jazz, blues and spirituals in this American masterpiece. It tells the poignant story of a crippled beggar, the headstrong woman he loves and the community that sustains them both.

The series will culminate on April 7 with a performance by the nationally recognized River North Chicago Dance Company. The dynamic professional company was founded in 1989 for the purpose of cultivating and promoting Chicago’s wealth of jazz dance talent. With a commitment to creating an accessible, enriching experience for audiences, the company dedicates itself to presenting works that demonstrate depth and sophistication.

All Festival Series performances will be held at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

Season subscription prices are $155, $124 and $90 for adults. A special student section subscription is available to all students for $75.

Single tickets, available Oct. 8, vary from $10 to $47 depending upon the concert.

For subscription information, call the box office weekdays from noon-6 p.m. at 1-800-589-2224 or 419-372-8171; email, and/or visit

Celebration concert features men’s chorus, summer tour choir alumni

The Bowling Green State University Alumni Men’s Chorus and members of seven Summer Tour choirs will come back to campus for an alumni celebration concert on June 27. The event is at 3 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

Under the direction of BGSU Professor Emeritus Richard Mathey, the Men’s Chorus will perform a variety of audience favorites while the Summer Tour Choir will perform selections used on their national tours.

“The alumni returning to sing in the two choirs come to the event with great anticipation,” explained Mathey. “They get to visit with college friends and at the same time prepare a concert of music, music geared for audience members who want to sit back and enjoy a Sunday afternoon of quality singing.”

“The greatest part of the concert will be the 100-plus alumni that will make up the singers,” said Shaun Moorman, who is in charge of the Men’s Chorus Alumni Society. “Many of them are choral directors throughout the State of Ohio and other places in the United States and also professional opera singers and working musicians throughout the country.”

General admission tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the Kobacker Hall Box Office from 1-5 p.m. on June 26 and from noon-3 p.m. on June 27. The BGSU Men’s Chorus Alumni Society provides assistance and support to the Men’s Chorus.

Deadline nears for BGSU Summer Music Institute

Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts will offer music camps for students in grades 7-12 during its Summer Music Institute, which begins June 6. The deadline to register for all camps is May 20.

The institute, taught by experienced faculty, staff and alumni from the college, provides musicianship and enrichment classes, clinics and performances by guest artists intended to engage students of different age and experience levels in a compact, focused music curriculum. With the sessions’ limited enrollment, participants will receive personalized attention that includes private lessons and master classes as well as large and small ensemble participation.

The program is separated into four-, five- and six-day camps for high school and junior high school music students.

The first session, to be held from June 6-11, offers the Brass Camp, led by Dr. William Mathis, an associate professor of trombone and chair of music performance studies, and Vocal Arts Camp, led by Christopher Scholl, an associate professor of vocal studies.

The second session includes the new Percussion Camp, led by Dr. Roger Schupp, a professor of percussion, and Super Sax Camp led by Michael Holmes, a BGSU alumnus, which will run from June 13-18. The popular Musical Theatre Camp, held from June 13-19, will led by Todd Schriber, another alumnus of the University.

The Double-Reed-Making Boot Camp is scheduled from June 13-16 and will by led by Dr. Nathaniel Zeisler, an assistant professor of bassoon, and Dr. Jacqueline Leclair, an assistant professor of oboe.

The third session, from June 20-25, will offer the Recording Studio Camp led by Mark Bunce, director of recording services, and the Piano Camp led by Dr. Robert Satterlee, an associate professor of piano. These camps will run from June 20-25. In addition, the String Orchestra Camp led by Dr. Megan Fergusson, an assistant professor of viola, will be held June 20-26.

The Honors String Quartet is a new addition to the String Orchestra Camp this year. Students accepted into the quartet will arrive on June 19 to work with BGSU string faculty members.

Registration costs vary depending on the camp attended. Space is limited, but late registrations will be accepted based on availability and assessed an additional $25 fee.

Additional Summer Music Institute information, camp registration and scholarship information can be found at

BGSU music faculty to visit SiChuan Conservatory

The ties between Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts and the SiChuan Conservatory of Music in Chengdu, China, will be strengthened this month when 10 BGSU faculty members visit for “American Music Week.” The group will spend May 17-21 in Chengdu, performing at the school and with the Chengdu City Orchestra.

Faculty members performing at the SiChuan Conservatory of Music will be Drs. Thomas Rosenkranz and Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu, both assistant professors of piano; Dr. Robert Satterlee, associate professor of piano; Dr. Charles Saenz, associate professor of trumpet; Dr. William Mathis, associate professor of trombone; Dr. John Sampen, Distinguished Artist Professor and professor of saxophone; Dr. Marilyn Shrude, Distinguished Artist Professor and professor of musicology; Dr. Alan Smith, professor of cello; Vasile Beluska, professor of violin, and Dr. Emily Freeman Brown, director of orchestral activities.

In addition to the American Music Week offerings, Smith and Rosencranz will present a recital of Chopin music for cello and piano, and Brown will conduct a concert with the city orchestra. Besides giving master classes at the conservatory, the group will present five evening performances running the gamut of musical groupings. Brown will conclude the week by conducting the SiChuan Conservatory of Music’s orchestra.

The partnership between the conservatory and BGSU began 10 years ago when Smith visited Chengdu, which resulted in the recruitment of the first student from the school. Subsequently, other faculty have visited and several SiChuan students have come to BGSU.

Mathis and current student Li Kuang began discussing a joint trip to the SiChuan Conservatory back in 2007. While making his plans, Mathis discovered that numerous faculty members were also planning to travel to Chengdu around the same time and contacted the conservatory about coordinating the effort. Thus, “American Music Week” was inspired.

The SiChuan Conservatory was founded in 1939 and has since developed into an interdisciplinary higher education institution.

Final concert closes BGSU Philharmonia season

The Bowling Green Philharmonia will present its final performance of the 2009-10 season at 3 p.m. April 25 in Kobacker Hall of Bowling Green State University’s Moore Musical Arts Center.

The concert is titled “Paris” and will be conducted by Dr. Emily Freeman Brown, BGSU director of orchestral activities. The program will include Claude Debussy’s “La Mer” and Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.”

Debussy’s “La Mer” is a fantastical, Impressionistic vision of the Mediterranean Sea. Renowned as one of the great masterpieces of symphonic literature, each of the piece’s three movements explores the subtle and dramatic elements of the waves, the unexpected shifts in current and the natural forces inherent in the ocean’s movement.

“The Rite of Spring” is a ballet originally choreographed by the great dancer/choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky. The music’s innovative and complex rhythmic structures, timbres and use of dissonance have made it an influential 20th-century composition. The harmonically adventurous and complex music evokes strong images of pagan rituals.

Advance tickets for the event will be $10 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens. If purchased at the door, tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased at the center box office weekdays from noon to 5 p.m. or by calling 419-372-8171 or toll-free 1-800-589-2224.

BGSU alumna wins Pulitzer Prize in Music

It’s been quite a year for BGSU alumna Jennifer Higdon. Just two months after receiving her second Grammy Award, Higdon learned yesterday (April 12) she was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Music for her “Violin Concerto.

The piece premiered on Feb. 6, 2009 with the Indianapolis Symphony. The Pulitzer committee called it a “deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity.” Higdon will receive $10,000.

Back in January, Higdon’s “Percussion Concerto” won a Grammy for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.

After graduating from BGSU in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in flute performance, Higdon received master’s and doctoral degrees in composition from the University of Pennsylvania and an artist diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she is now on the composition faculty. Her work has been commissioned and performed by orchestras across the country, and she has received many prestigious awards and fellowships.
Her teachers at Bowling Green included Dr. Marilyn Shrude, Dr. Burton Beerman, Dr. Wallace DePue, Judith Bentley and Robert Spano, who directed the Bowling Green Philharmonia from 1985-89.