BGSU’s Early Music Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Arne Spohr, has been selected by Early Music America to perform at Early Music America’s Young Performers Festival in Berkeley, CA. This nationally recognized festival will be featuring top university early music ensembles from around the United States, including groups from Indiana University, University of Southern California, Case Western Reserve University, and Brigham Young University Idaho. All performances will take place at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church from June 8th – 10th as part of the Berkeley Music Festival.
Eftychia Papanikolaou, Associate Professor of Musicology, and Myra Merritt, Professor of Voice, will present two pre-performance talks at Toledo Opera’s production of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Friday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 14 at 1 p.m. in the Grand Lobby of the Valentine Theatre.
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As its name suggests, the six compositions on trumpeter Charles Saenz’s new CD, “Eloquentia,” share a certain quality of eloquence. Recently released by Beauport Classical, the pieces for solo trumpet and piano “require the musician to understand the intention of each composer and their individual sense of the instrument,” said Saenz, an associate professor of trumpet at BGSU and coordinator of the brass/percussion area.
Although his solo performing repertoire is quite eclectic, Saenz said he has an affinity for these works, several of which are influenced by the Paris Conservatory style of writing, which places great value upon musicianship. The pieces he has chosen — by turns pensive, ebullient, sultry, even worshipful — show his ability with the trumpet’s expressive voice.
“The works on this CD are stunningly performed by a master soloist,” said George Novak, associate professor emeritus and a former colleague on the BGSU trumpet faculty.
“Charles Saenz is the consummate musician,” agreed James Ackley, professor of trumpet at the University of South Carolina, who was the associate producer of the CD. “He takes the time necessary to hone his craft, to delve into the world of the non-absolutes of music making, and comes out with a refined and exciting product every time. His new CD is like that. He takes a few pieces that are not performed often and crafts them into a fine display of music making and trumpet playing, intriguing to amateurs and professionals alike.”
Local audiences can hear Saenz in recital on Feb. 3 in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. The performance begins at 8 p.m. and is free.
Although “Eloquentia” is Saenz’s first solo CD, its six pieces are some that he and longtime collaborative pianist Solungga Liu, music performance studies, have played numerous times throughout the world, from Inner Mongolia to Europe to Brazil and all across the United States. They showcase Liu’s powerful playing and technique and the rapport they have developed together.
“Dr. Liu aptly performs along Charles to create a symbiotic sound palette of colors and nuances — something very difficult to achieve. Their music communication is at an extremely high level,” Ackley said.
Besides being Saenz’s first solo CD, “Eloquentia” represents several other “firsts”: “Variations” by Henri Challan and “Trois Mouvements” by André Waignein are recorded for the first time. “Concertino, Opus 41,” by Joseph Jongen, has previously only been recorded with trumpet and organ. All three were introduced to Saenz by Novak, and have become favorites of Saenz’s.
Another first is “Concerto for Trumpet” by Charles Chaynes, recorded for the first time with the composer’s piano reduction.
“This is something of a signature piece for me,” Saenz said. “It’s a pleasure for me to present my interpretation of this piece in that format. I hope it will serve as a good reference for others.”
He has been studying, performing and teaching the concerto for 20 years. “I grew up listening to the superb recording of it by Maurice André and much later became familiar with the recording by Eric Aubier upon its re-issue on compact disc,” he writes in the liner notes.
The recording opens with “Sonatina” by the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů, a rousing work that Saenz feels is an homage to his national heritage, albeit it a challenging one for the musician.
“I find the final hymn-like statement to be one of the most difficult passages to perform both fluidly and with strength and character,” Saenz said.
The CD concludes with an “exclamation point” in the long glissando that caps off “In the Style of Albéniz,” by Rodion Shchedrin. The short piece begins energetically, soon to turn languid, almost jazz-inflected, with overtones of a Spanish dance, and then ending with a bold toss of the head.
In addition to teaching at BGSU, Saenz is a member of the Tower Brass Quintet, and appears on the group’s latest CD, “Road Trip,” released in May 2015. A frequent performer and recitalist, he has won awards and accolades for this playing, both here and abroad.
“Eloquentia” is available on CD Baby, iTunes and other websites as well as from Beauport Classical.
Another BGSU collaborator also contributed to the production of the CD. The striking photos on the jacket were taken by BGSU doctor of musical arts student Michiko Saiki.
On January 15, Tim Cloeter contributed to the Indiana Music Educators Association Conference with his presentation “Parlez-vous IPA? Tips and Tools for Great Choral Diction.” Modelling an effective and efficient method for teaching the International Phonetic Alphabet and for coaching singer’s diction, Cloeter provided insight, curricular materials, on-line and print resource evaluations, and encouragement for the attendees of this practical session.
On Saturday, January 23, at 10:00 a.m. in the Governors Room of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Cloeter will present this session again as part of the Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids, MI.
From The Sentinel Tribune:
” From physical brawls with his elementary school peers to battling poverty, heartbreak and other composers in worldwide music competitions, DePue has faced it all in his 83 years.
More often than not, he triumphs.
“I’ve had this philosophy since I was young that I caught from my mother. You always have to keep moving, get ahead and think about what you can accomplish next,” he said.
The Bowling Green State University professor emeritus has an impressive list of accomplishments, most recently winning an honorable mention for his opera, “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs,” from The American Prize.
Last year, he won the Gold Medal award from the Boston Metro Opera for his barbershop opera “Something Special,” beating out 625 works submitted by composers from six continents.
“I almost fell off my chair when I saw the results,” DePue said.
But DePue might never have become the composer he is today if not for his scrappy childhood tendencies.
“I was smaller than most of the boys I fought with, but I could fight. That’s not surprising, given my father was a fight trainer and I was an amateur boxer as a teenager,” he said. “I was a fast gun. I usually had a black eye or a cut somewhere and never looked quite healthy. But I stood up to those who tried to take away my pride.”
Read full article here.
Bowling Green State University will be well represented at the 2016 New Music Gathering held at the Peabody Conservatory. The following list includes those from BGSU performing and lecturing during this highly acclaimed new music conference:
- Alumnus Ryan Muncy, part of panels: “Commissioning New Music”, and “New Music and Community Building”
- Faculty member Ryan Ebright, part of panel: “New Music(ology) Gathering: Scholarly Perspectives on American New Music Since 1960”
- Current DMA student Aaron Hynds: performance, 60 minute lecture/demo/question workshop
- Current DMA student Hillary LaBonte: panel, “The Church of New Music: Places of Worship and the New Music Community”
- Alumnae Viola Yip and Ellery Trafford: performance, “Instrumentalists Using the Voice”
BGSU students, faculty, and alumnae will participate in this interdisciplinary event taking place January 6-9, 2016.
From the mission statement of New Music Gathering:
“Even in a culture that thrives on connectivity, the ancient idea of simply being in the same place at the same time to exchange ideas continues to be the most effective, and New Music Gathering fills that need.
Following the conference model, the event will be three days of performances, presentations, and discussions, but as it is to be run not by an organization but by four working musicians – Lainie Fefferman, Daniel Felsenfeld, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Matt Marks – it should be a way to “skip the middleman” and focus on the needs and desires of the community directly.
As it is to be based in a different city annually, aside from bringing together those who write, perform and promote “contemporary classical” music to meet, talk, and develop collaborative relationships, the Gathering will also focus on the dedicated population in that specific region.”