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Pianist Christopher O’Riley of NPR performs on BGSU Festival Series

Musical boundary-crossing pianist Christopher O’Riley will give a solo performance as the next artist in Bowling Green State University’s Festival Series. Hosted by the College of Musical Arts, his concert begins at 8 p.m. Feb. 11 in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

Since the triumphant release in 2003 of “True Love Waits,” O’Riley’s reimagining of works by such performers as Radiohead, Elliott Smith and Nick Drake have garnered critical accolades and international acclaim, including the only four-star review ever given by Rolling Stone magazine to a classical pianist.

His latest White Tie Classics/Mesa-BlueMoon release, “Out Of My Hands,” includes music of R.E.M., Portishead, Cocteau Twins, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, The Bad Plus, The Smiths and Tears for Fears, as well as material from Radiohead and a newly released song by Elliott Smith.

As host of the popular NPR music program “From the Top,” O’Riley is well known for his eloquent and compelling musings on music and popular culture. His most recent performances stretch the piano beyond the classical repertoire and into the rich, uncharted territory of contemporary and alt-rock. Announcing the program from the stage allows him to share musical discoveries, letting the music flow seamlessly from one genre to another, from the familiar to the fresh.

O’Riley is recognized as one of the leading American pianists of his generation, touring extensively as a recitalist and chamber musician and appearing with major orchestras in the U.S. and abroad. The illustrious group of conductors with whom he has collaborated includes Michael Tilson Thomas, Semyon Bychkov, JoAnn Falletta, Krystof Penderecki, Kurt Mazur, Christopher Hogwood and Leonard Bernstein.

O’Riley’s visit will also include a master class for BGSU piano students and his serving as a judge for the final round of the David D. Dubois Piano Competition for talented high school students.

For tickets, call the College of Musical Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171 or email

Dubois Semi-Finalists Announced for 2012

The 2012 Dubois Semi-Finalists are:

Ningjialu Liu
Demi Fang
Michael Lenahan
Cindy Zhao
Vanessa Haynes
Yuanzhe Zhong
Bryan Ho
JiaKung Victor Feng
Arata Kaku
Joseph Vaz
Vivian Anderson
Megan Lee
David Belkovski
Zi Yi Yang
Jeffery Huang
Cathy Li
Meiling Lin
Phoebe Pan
Grace Yi
Albert Wang
Miguel Morrissey

Champion quartet brings campus more Prestige

Three hours turned into an anxious eternity for the members of Prestige. The barbershop quartet from BGSU had to perform first in a lengthy international competition in Kansas City this past summer . . . and then wait throughout a tension-filled evening while 20 other groups tried to oust them from the lead.

“That part was absolutely terrifying,” said quartet member Nick Gordon. “It was the longest time — I just couldn’t watch.”

When the final singers completed their performance, the judges awarded the gold medal and the distinction as the top college quartet in the world to the group from Bowling Green.

“There was a moment of shock, then a whole lot of extreme joy,” Gordon said. “It was something we had worked very hard for, but you never know what might happen. Sometimes, I still can’t believe it.”

The group — Gordon, Drew Ochoa, Dave Parrett and Gordie Howe — had finished second in 2010 and fourth the previous year. They were close friends prior to arriving at the University, where their singing talents were melded and nurtured within the College of Musical Arts and by Doug Wayland, assistant professor of voice in music performance studies.

“Prestige is a collection of the right individuals,” Wayland said. “They are all fabulous singers, but what’s just as important is they are also very good friends. Barbershop is all about the blend and it’s some of the most difficult harmony singing there is, but they excel at it.”

The Harmony Foundation International Collegiate Barbershop gold medal Prestige won joins a remarkable collection at BGSU. Since retired professor Richard Mathey started the men’s chorus in the 1970s, BGSU’s various singing groups have been awarded nearly 35 gold medals.

“Bowling Green’s got the most, there’s no doubt about it,” Mathey said. “Nobody else in the country is even close. There’s a very strong tradition here in barbershop singing. It’s been a contagious type of thing — it got into the system and it’s never left. And Doug’s done a very good job with this particular quartet.”

The major competitions attract choral directors from colleges and high schools across the country. “People hear the name Bowling Green and associate it with good singing,” Wayland said. “There’s a significant payoff for winning all of these championships.”

[View Magazine Flipbook for complete article, flipbook pages 24]

BGSU Festival Series features Roman carnival spectacular

Jeffrey Pollock
The Bowling Green State University Festival Series begins the new year with a “Roman Carnival Spectacular” featuring the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, BGSU’s Wind Symphony, and The Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps. The performance takes place at 8 p.m. Jan. 19 at BGSU’s Kobacker Hall in Moore Musical Arts Center.

The exciting program begins with Toledo Symphony resident conductor Jeffrey Pollock conducting Berlioz’s “Roman Carnival Overture.” Dr. Bruce Moss, a professor of music education and director of band activities at BGSU, then leads the Toledo Symphony and the BGSU Wind Symphony in Corigliano’s wild “Circus Maximus.” The program concludes with Pollock conducting the Toledo Symphony in Respighi’s beautiful “Pines of Rome,” featuring the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps.

Pollock is an international conductor, now in his second year with the Toledo Symphony where he crafts all of the orchestra’s 50-plus community concerts, pops offerings and family events. He has worked with orchestras all across North America and with headliners such as Roberta Flack, Randy Newman and Winona Judd.

In addition to his BGSU position, Moss since 1980 has been music director of the Wheaton Municipal Band in Illinois, a professional summer ensemble regarded as one of the finest of its kind in the nation. It was recently featured in the WGBH-TV Public Broadcasting Service’s American Experience documentary “If You Knew Sousa.” His many years of public school teaching were honored when he served as co-conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with Leonard Slatkin, in a special work featuring his high school students.

Ticket prices range from $12 to $30, with group tickets available. For tickets, call the College of Musical Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171, or email