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Countdown to ‘From the Top’ at Bowling Green State University


BOWLING GREEN, O.—Fans are counting down the days for the live public taping of “From the Top,” the preeminent showcase for young musicians, presented by Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts. The popular National Public Radio program, hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O’Riley, is part of the BGSU Festival Series and will feature the performances and personal stories of talented young classical musicians from across the country at 8 p.m. on Sept. 28 in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center.

Quartet Lumiere, first-place winners of the Junior Division of the 2013 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, will perform the first movement from String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26, by Edvard Grieg. Based at The Academy at the Music Institute of Chicago where Marko Dreher is their coach, members include 18-year-old violinist Rebecca Benjamin, 16-year-old violinist Gallia Kastner, 15-year-old violist Mira Williams, and 15-year-old cellist Josiah Yoo. Quartet Lumiere will also perform the fourth movement, “Salamandrae (Fire),” from String Quartet No. 1, “Elemental,” an original composition by 17-year-old composer Chason Goldfinger from Malvern, Penn., who will also appear on the show.

Also on the broadcast: Patrick Pan, a 15-year-old pianist from Houston, is the 2013 winner of BGSU’s David D. Dubois Piano Competition. A student at Clear Lake High School, Pan studies piano with John Weems. Fifteen-year-old contrabassist Lena Goodson from York, Penn., attends Central York High School and studies bass with Devin Howell, the principal bassist of Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra. Fifteen-year-old violinist Sein An is a student at Temple Music Prep and is a recipient of From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award.

For tickets and information, visit the Top” may be heard locally on WGTE 91.3 FM Sundays at noon. This episode will air on Nov. 4, 2013.

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.

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.


“All Hands on Deck” part of Independence Day festivities

BOWLING GREEN, O.—It’s “All Hands on Deck” at Bowling Green State University for a memorable Independence Day this year. BGSU is calling all community members to the lively, patriotic musical revue.

“All Hands on Deck” is part of the city of Bowling Green’s Independence Day celebration. The performance begins at 6 p.m. July 3 in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center, before the community fireworks display at Doyt Perry Stadium.

The family-friendly, 1940s-style program transports the audience back to July 4, 1942 and a real war-bond drive and live radio show. On air antics, classic commercials, timeless songs and hilarious, impromptu skits power the radio show until the performance comes full circle with a big patriotic finish that pays tribute to both active duty and veteran members of our armed forces. Featuring over 40 classic Big Band hits in original arrangements, All Hands on Deck is reminiscent of Bob Hope’s famed USO shows.

On hand will be the show’s co-creator Jody Madaras, who has appeared on and off Broadway and on TV, and was recently part of the first national tour of the award-winning “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

A Pemberville native and former artistic director of the Pemberville Opera, Madaras is known for his acting, singing, directing and choreography. He will be the guest artist at BGSU’s Musical Theatre Camp, which runs through July 3. Selected students from the camp will perform in “All Hands on Deck.”

Tickets are on sale at the BGSU online box office, or call 419-372-8171. Parking is free.

Media sponsorships include WBGU, WGTE and Toledo Blade.

Lillios to teach electracoustic performance in Greece as Fulbright scholar

BOWLING GREEN, O.—As Dr. Elainie Lillios goes about preparing for the end of the semester at Bowling Green State University, getting ready for a premiere of her work in South Carolina in June and for her commission to compose in Paris this fall, she is also spending some time each day learning Greek.

Lillios, an associate professor of composition specializing in electroacoustic music, has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to teach a seminar and conduct research at the Municipal Conservatory at Thermi in Thessaloniki, Greece, next fall.

“I’m a composer, but I’ll be exploring a new area of instruction,” she said. “I’ll be teaching performers how to perform with technology.”

A prolific composer, Lillios is well known in the electroacoustic world. In 2009 she won first prize in the “music with instruments” section at the 36th annual Bourges International Competition in France for her composition “Veiled Resonance,” written for soprano saxophone and live electronics. Last year she became only the second American composer in the history of the prestigious Groupe de Recherches Musicales musical research group in Paris to be awarded a commission. Lillios’s new work will be premiered in October as a featured piece on the group’s “Multiphonies” concert series. She will perform it at La maison de Radio France in the Salle Olivier Messiaen, on the organization’s famous “Acousmonium,” an orchestra of 80-plus loudspeakers arranged throughout the concert space.

In her invitation to Lillios to come to Thermi, Artistic Director Erato Alakiozidou said the conservatory was interested in “your expertise on integration of new technology in composition, performance and repertoire selection. Quite recently, our conservatory started a contemporary music and music technology department and there are already 20 students interested in attending such a seminar.”

“The conservatory students who attend the seminar play traditional instruments, but want to learn to integrate technology into performance,” said Lillios. “We’ll investigate performers who specialize in technology, and I’ll show them how to use microphones, how to prepare pieces employing technology, and how to work with sound systems. The seminar’s capstone event will be a concert where students will perform technology-mediated pieces they select and rehearse in collaboration with their studio instructor.”

Integrating technology calls for a specific type of composition, and one of Lillios’ goals is “to leave the conservatory with the beginnings of a technology-mediated score repository so that they have the resources to continue after I’m gone.

“Many contemporary composers create music combining live and acoustic instruments with technology,” she said. “It could be saxophone with fixed media (what we used to call tape), or flute with computer – which listens to the music and reacts to it.”

To gather the necessary materials, she will put out a call for scores, and all submissions will go to Greece for student and faculty use.

In many ways, the trip to Greece is a reconnection for Lillios, whose father was Greek and who still has family in the Thessaloniki area. She taught in a weeklong electroacoustic composition workshop in Corfu during a 2007 sabbatical.

The connection with the Thermi conservatory, though, is with a BGSU alumnus from Greece, Theofilios Sotiriades, who was a graduate student in Distinguished Artist Professor John Sampen’s saxophone program. Sotiriades now teaches at the conservatory.

“When he (Sotiriades) was at Bowling Green, he took the music technology class and loved it. He’s been championing me to come to Greece ever since,” Lillios said, adding that while there is a lot of electronic music in the country as a whole, “I’m bringing something new to the conservatory, and I hope to get the students and the faculty excited about it.”

In addition to teaching and composing, “I plan to travel and lecture in various parts of the country,” Lillios said. “With the Fulbright, I will be a diplomat to build bridges in my field between creative people in Greece and creative people here.”

She plans to renew her connections with the Corfu faculty and arrange to lecture there as well. “I want to recruit for our program and build connections. I want to collaborate with Theofilios (Sotiriades) and compose a piece for the resident faculty ensemble.

“I’m looking forward to working with students and faculty at the Municipal Conservatory, connecting with family and immersing myself in Greek culture,” she said.