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Jennifer Hidgon awarded Koussevitzky Commission

BGSU music alum Jennifer Higdon has received a rare Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress to compose a work for string quartet and soprano, for the Cypress String Quartet and soprano Christine Brandes, on texts by W.S. Merwin (former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer winner). For further information, see:


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

Dec. 9 to be BGSU evening of the arts

Art will be the focus at Bowling Green State University on Dec. 9 with the gala opening of the Wolfe Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. and the annual Arts X extravaganza from 6-10 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center.

During Arts X, the community can stroll the halls shopping and viewing faculty and student glasswork, jewelry, ceramics, prints, cartoons and more while enjoying art-making demonstrations, music and readings from Prairie Margins and Mid-American Review literary journals. The sounds of happy feet from the Tap Dance Troupe will resound in a first-floor hallway, while on the second floor, contemporary dance and more music and theatre performances will be going on.

Kids are invited to make their own art projects in rooms 130 and 132, led by the Student Art Education Association. Visitors can commemorate the evening with photos of themselves at two locations.

The annual Faculty Art Exhibition is on display in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries, and Akiko Jones will demonstrate a Japanese tea ceremony in the Hiroko Nakamoto gallery.

The art continues outside the building, with student film works projected on an exterior wall and the debut of the latest TARTA buses covered in wraps designed by BGSU students.

After viewing a virtual Wolfe Center for the Arts in the Fine Arts Center main lobby, visitors may walk over at 8 p.m. to tour the real thing. Highlights include the open lobby with its grand staircase, the 400-seat Donnell Theatre and the newly restored third-century Antioch mosaics (formerly located in McFall Center) in the lobby outside the new Eva Marie Saint Theatre.