Category Archives: events

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

“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.

Series tickets on sale for Festival Series

BOWLING GREEN, O.—The College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University invites the community to “Experience the Top” during the 2013-14 Festival Series. Highlighting performances in a variety of categories, the series features artists who are rising to the top. Series tickets are available now online at the BGSU box office.

The series begins on Sept. 28 in Kobacker Hall, where guests can listen to outstanding young musicians at a live taping of the popular National Public Radio show “From the Top,” hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O’Riley, who also performed as a soloist in the 2012 BGSU Festival Series.

What began as a radio experiment in 2000 quickly became one of the fastest growing and most popular weekly classical music programs on public radio. Broadcast on nearly 250 stations nationwide to an audience of more than 700,000 listeners each week, “From the Top” celebrates the performances and stories of America’s best pre-college classical musicians.

“‘From the Top’ gives young musicians the stage but lets them act their age. It’s serious music but classically kids,” said The New York Times.

Continuing the series, guests will experience an extravaganza of BGSU’s top artistic talent on Dec. 6 at a special holiday concert that will be part of the annual ArtsX event. In the first ever such large-scale collaboration, the College of Musical Arts, the School of Art, and the departments of theater and film, creative writing, and dance will present an artistic showcase themed “Wonderland.” The concert will include ensembles from the University and community, as well as readings, performances and artistic expressions celebrating the season from students and faculty in theater, film, dance and fine art. This is a holiday event that encompasses all the talents among the arts at BGSU, and will be an evening for all ages.

In the spring of 2014, Festival Series will welcome one of today’s top pianists, Jeremy Denk, performing on Feb. 15. “Mr. Denk, clearly, is a pianist you want to hear no matter what he performs, in whatever combination – both for his penetrating intellectual engagement with the music and for the generosity of his playing,” said the New York Times.

An American pianist with an international reach, Denk has steadily built a reputation as an unusual and compelling artist, with a broad and thought-provoking repertoire. He has appeared as soloist with many major orchestras in the United States and around the world. But beyond that, Denk is also known for his witty and personal music writing, which has appeared in The New Yorker and Newsweek, on the front page of the New York Times Book Review, on the NPR Music website and in his widely read blog.

The Festival Series concludes April 5, 2014, on a comic note with the renowned Improvised Shakespeare Company (ISC). Based on an audience suggestion, the company creates a fully improvised play in Elizabethan style. Each of the players has brushed up on his “thee’s” and “thou’s” to produce evening of off-the-cuff comedy using the language and themes of William Shakespeare. Any hour could be filled with power struggles, star-crossed lovers, sprites, kings, queens, rhyming couplets, insults, persons in disguise and all that we’ve come to expect from the pen of the Great Bard. The night could reveal a tragedy, comedy, or history. Nothing is planned out, rehearsed, or written. Each play is completely improvised, so each play is entirely new.

The Improvised Shakespeare Company, founded in 2005, has been performing its critically acclaimed show every Friday night at the world-famous iO Theater in Chicago and entertains audiences around the globe. It has been named Chicago’s best improvisation group by both the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Examiner and has received a New York Nightlife Award for “Best Comedic Performance by a Group.”

The Festival Series is one of the oldest running performance series at BGSU, and is made possible by the support of the community. Series tickets range from $58-$147 and are available online, or by calling the Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171. Individual event tickets will be available in August. Visit the Arts Box Office website for specific ticket prices and event times.

BGSU issues call for young musician applicants for “From the Top”

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Accomplished young classical musicians from northwest Ohio are invited to audition for a chance to appear on National Public Radio’s popular program “From the Top.” Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts will host a live taping of the preeminent showcase for young musicians, to be recorded at the Moore Musical Arts Center Sept. 28. The event will lead off the college’s 2013-14 Festival Series.

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.

Regional musicians can submit an application and recording by mail. Applications can be downloaded at and are due by June 28 to be considered for the BGSU taping.

Classical musicians ages 8-18 who have not yet graduated from high school are eligible for the program. Young performers can audition as soloists (including vocalists), instrumental or vocal ensembles, or as composers who have a piece they wish to have performed. While the show focuses mostly on classical repertoire, from time to time it will feature other genres, especially if the piece connects with the heritage of the regional taping.

There is a $50 application fee which can be paid online or by check. The fee is waived for students with financial need who are also applying for the show’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award scholarship.

In addition to being a radio program, From the Top is an independent, Boston-based nonprofit. Each year, it partners with the Cooke Foundation to award about 20 scholarships of up to $10,000 to pre-collegiate classical musicians who appear on the show. Students must demonstrate high levels of artistic achievement as well as financial need to be eligible for the award. Interested applicants apply for the scholarship in tandem with their application to appear on the radio program. More information about the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award can be found on the “From the Top” website.

What began as a radio experiment in 2000 quickly became one of the fastest growing and most popular weekly classical music programs on public radio. Broadcast on nearly 250 stations nationwide to an audience of nearly 700,000 listeners each week, “From the Top” has been described by the Boston Globe as “an entertaining, accessible and inspirational mix of outstanding musical performances, informal interviews, skits and games; the show is a celebration of extraordinary musicians who happen to be teenagers leading fairly normal lives.”

Annually, the program’s live tapings reach more than 20,000 audience members of all ages. In conjunction with its national tour, From the Top offers leadership training to young artists and conducts classroom and community programs leveraging the power of its performers as role models for younger students. Through the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the program has invested more than $1.6 million in support of pre-college students since 2005. Learn more at

The heartbeat of new music

Pop, rock, country, alt country, classical, jazz … today’s music can usually be classified by genre. But what exactly is “contemporary” or “new” music?

Defying musical definition, contemporary music composers often write pieces for classical instruments but take advantage of the technological advancements of today, creating sounds that can both emotionally move and challenge audience perceptions of what music can and should be.

New music is also currently enjoying a resurgence driven by younger composers and younger audiences looking for something new, said Kurt Doles, director of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music (MACCM) at Bowling Green State University.

For more than 40 years, BGSU’s College of Musical Arts has been at the leading edge of new music. As home to MACCM, an award-winning organization devoted to the study and promotion of contemporary music and technology, the University has been an active and prolific contributor to the national and international new music scene.

Faculty and graduate students from the University’s renowned contemporary music program will be taking that musical style from the Midwest to the Big Apple when they perform on April 3 at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City’s Greenwich Village, presenting a program of varied and challenging new music. The music club is a venue for both nontraditional music and interactive media, which often go together.

The New York performance is a continuation of BGSU’s tradition. The program will include works by composers such as Sebastian Currier, Iannis Xenakis, Jon Christopher Nelson, Leroux, Jonathan Harvey, BGSU faculty composer Christopher Dietz and BGSU alumna Jennifer Higdon, winner of Pulitzer and Grammy awards. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m.

“The mix we’re bringing is a broad range of music that showcases the versatility of the genre and the strength of the performers,” Doles said. “We have a good mix of both accessible and challenging works.”

Creating and performing new music requires a distinct musical skill set – the technical and creative demands are beyond typical classical music. In many ways, it is tied to the indie-rock movement, and while there has always been a small but loyal audience, the people finding it now are a younger, thoughtful, educated crowd interested in something unique, Doles said.

BGSU has developed one of the top programs in the country. Along with MACMM, Bowling Green maintains a robust composition program, a vibrant new-music-focused Doctor of Musical Arts in Contemporary Music curriculum, and hosts the annual Bowling Green New Music Festival, now in its 34th year, which has brought some of the leading lights of the new music world to campus. The New York performance represents the beginning of a greater outreach for the program.

Tickets to the show are $10, and are available at Le Poisson Rouge’s box office website, LPR is located at 158 Bleecker St., on the site of the former Village Gate nightclub.

For more information, contact the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at 419-372-2685.