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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 music education student wins national award

A Bowling Green State University senior music education major took home first place in the brass category at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) national Young Artist Competition. The ceremony on March 22 was part of the MTNA annual conference in Albuquerque, N.M.

John Gruber, a Bowling Green native and trombone student, received a $3,000 cash prize and performed in the Winner’s Concert on March 23. Gruber is a student of Dr. William Mathis, associate professor of trombone and chair of music performance. Gruber has also worked with Garth Simmons, adjunct associate professor of trombone, for the past year.

Gruber, accompanied on piano by Sara Young, a graduate student from Clinton Twp., Mich., performed a 40-minute recital that included various styles from the baroque, classical and contemporary periods

“This is a well-known organization,” said Mathis. “To have a student get to that level is a great way to promote the school and our program. We can tell potential students that we have students performing at a national level.

“The same thing goes for the entire college—to have students leave campus and go out and be measured against a national standard is important for our students and us to make an assessment on how we’re doing and the students we’re recruiting.”

MTNA performance competitions are designed to provide education experiences for students and teachers and to recognize exceptionally talented young artists and their teachers in their pursuit of musical excellence.

Gruber has been a member of BGSU’s Wind Symphony, the Falcon Marching Band, Jazz Lab Band I, University Men’s Chorus and the Athletic Band.

BGSU bestows Lifetime Achievement Award on music dean

In his 30 years in Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts, Dean Richard Kennell has been a driving force behind tremendous growth and change. In recognition of his myriad contributions to the college and the University, Kennell received the Lifetime Achievement Recognition from Faculty Senate March 22 and with it, a $1,000 cash prize.

“His activities over these 30 years have resulted in significant advances for the college,” said Dr. Vincent Corrigan, a professor of musicology, composition and theory. In 2005, the college added a doctoral program in contemporary music, making it one of the only institutions in the country with such an offering. “This degree is the most important academic advance for the College of Musical Arts since the approval of graduate study in music in the late 1960s, and without his support it would not have been approved and probably would not even have been developed,” Corrigan asserted.

The college enjoys a robust enrollment, thanks in large part to an innovative method of graduate recruitment Kennell developed. The system has attracted national attention, and Kennell is frequently invited to speak at major conferences and is a well-respected authority on the subject, noted Distinguished Artist Professor Marilyn Shrude. On another level, “I often see him going out of his way to talk with parents and those auditioning to help them feel welcome in what can be an overwhelming and complex experience,” she added.

International recruitment has also been strong, his nominators noted, and Kennell was instrumental in establishing a summer program with Ionian University in Greece, allowing Bowling Green faculty and students to teach and learn there and students from Corfu to come to BGSU.

But perhaps he is most known for his promotion of collaboration among the arts. He was a founder of the Arts Roundtable, which unites art leaders at BGSU and around northwest Ohio, wrote Dr. William Mathis, chair of the music performance studies department.

Kennell’s extensive work with colleagues in the School of Art, theatre and film and even the College of Business Administration have helped create the Center of Excellence in the Arts that BGSU has become, his nominators agreed.

His “passion, discipline, resourcefulness and ingenious ideas, not just in theory but put into practice,” have earned him the respect and support of his peers, said Dr. Alan Smith, a former associate dean.

Young People’s Concerts series concludes with Funharmonia

The 2009-10 season of Young People’s Concerts at Bowling Green State University will conclude on Saturday (March 27) with “Funharmonia.”  The performance begins at 11 a.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

The final program of the season by the Bowling Green Philharmonia, conducted by Dr. Emily Freeman Brown, director of orchestral activities, will include a special young people’s introduction to the instruments of the orchestra and will feature a performance of Saint Säens’ “The Carnival of the Animals.”

Also featured on the performance will be “The Sabre Dance” from Khachaturian’s “Gayne Ballet” and an excerpt from Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours.” The performance will culminate with the “Lone Ranger Theme,” which members of the audience will be invited to conduct.

Drs. Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu and Thomas Rosenkranz, both assistant professors of music performance studies, will be the featured soloists during the performance. Dr. Simon Morgan-Russell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will narrate.

In celebration of the “Carnival of the Animals,” the Toledo Zoo will also be on hand before and after the performance, offering a petting zoo with small animal friends as well as artifacts and fossils for children to touch and experience.

Admission is $1 for children and $2 for adults and is payable at the center’s box office the morning of the event. The box office will open at 10:30 a.m.

The Young People’s Concerts are recommended for children ages 5 and up, but younger music fans are welcome to attend. For more information, call the Moore Musical Arts Center box office at 419-372-8171 or 800-589-2224.