Violist Nobuko Imai joins Pro Arte Quartet Oct. 7; Brass Fest II features solo trumpet, Oct. 9-11; UW Opera presents “Figaro,” Oct. 23-27

News & Events from the UW-Madison School of Music – September 29, 2015

Violist Nobuko Imai joins the Pro Arte Quartet for an evening of chamber music
Nobuko Imai

Nobuko Imai is considered to be one of the most outstanding viola players of our time. She’ll join the Pro Arte on Wednesday, October 7 at 7:30 PM for a free evening of chamber music. On the program: Mozart’s String Quintet in C Minor, K. 406/516b and Mendelssohn String Quintet in B-Flat Major, Op. 87. There will also be a master class with Nobuko Imai on Tuesday, October 6, Morphy Hall, 7:30 PM. Click here for event info.

Brass Fest II features an eclectic mix of voice, jazz trumpet, and brass quintet: October 9-11

From October 9 to 11, the UW-Madison School of Music will present its second brass music festival, following a spirited event last year that was enthusiastically received by students and the community. See photos here.

BrassFest8x11Poster2015All events will be held in Mills Hall.

This year, “Brass Fest II” has added a vocalist to the mix: Elisabeth Vik, a Norwegian singer who mixes jazz tunes with pop and folk music from the Middle East, Bulgaria, Spain and India. The three-day festival will also features two brass quintets and Adam Rapa, a solo trumpeter.

Friday: Chicago’s Axiom Brass Quintet. 8 PM. With Dorival Puccini, Jr., trumpet; Jacob DiEdwardo, horn; Kevin Harrison, tuba; Orin Larson, trombone; Kris Hammond, trumpet. The award-winning Axiom Brass Quintet has quickly established itself as one of the major art music groups in brass chamber music. Their repertoire ranges from jazz and Latin music to string quartet transcriptions, as well as original compositions for brass quintet. Tickets $15, students and children free admission.

Saturday: Festival Brass Choir Concert Brass Festival Concert. 8 PM. Guest artists Adam Rapa and Elisabeth Vik will be featured on a program that showcases the combined sounds of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet and their guests, the Axiom Brass Quintet, conducted by Scott Teeple of the School of Music. They’ll perform music of Anthony DiLorenzo, James Stephenson, Richard Strauss, and a tour de force performance by the expressive and technically agile Adam Rapa of Weber’s Clarinet Concerto, arranged with a twist. The program will also feature Daredevil by UW alumni composer and tubist Michael Forbes, and Vik/Rapa will join talents in a shimmering piece by Swedish composer Evert Taube arranged for brass choir by Rapa. Tickets $15, students and children free admission. Meet the performers at a reception following the concert!

Sunday: Elisabeth Vik and Adam Rapa, duets on trumpet and voice.  7:30 PM. Rapa and Vik have perfected a creative blend of jazz and folk vocals with solo trumpet.  Free concert. Hear them here:

Buy tickets to both concerts and save!

University Opera presents “The Marriage of Figaro” Oct. 23-27

After the unprecedented success of last spring’s sold-out run of The Magic Flute, this fall, University Opera will present four performances of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.  This new production will be directed by returning interim opera director, David Ronis, and James Smith will conduct the UW Symphony Orchestra.  The production will involve over 80 UW singers, instrumentalists, and stage crew. Read the full news release on the School of Music website.

15-037 Figaro Pstr-Fnl_Hi-Res(1)

The opera will be performed in Italian with projected English supertitles in Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall, on Friday, October 23 at 7:00pm, Saturday, October 24 at 7:00pm, Sunday, October 25 at 3:00pm, and Tuesday, October 27 at 7:00pm.  Tickets are $25.00 for the general public, $20.00 for senior citizens and $10.00 for UW-Madison students, available in advance through the Campus Arts Ticketing office at (608) 265-ARTS and online at

Please check our calendar for many other concerts in October, many free. All are held on campus unless indicated otherwise. Selected events are listed here:  UW Wind Ensemble, October 2; “An Evening of Opera Arias,” Capitol Lakes Retirement Community, October 10;  Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, October 14; Contemporary Jazz Ensemble & Jazz Composers Septet, October 15;  Javier Calderon, classical guitar, October 17; Choral Collage, October 18; and many more.

UW Wind Ensemble. Photo by Michael R. Anderson.
UW Wind Ensemble. Photo by Michael R. Anderson.
Opera Benefit Concert with Brenda Rae and UW-Symphony Orchestra delights all

On Sunday, Sept. 27, alumna soprano Brenda Rae and the UW Symphony wowed an audience of about 400 in Mills Hall with spectacular performances. Read a review by John Barker, professor emeritus of history.

On Friday, UW-Madison staff photographer also shot photos of Brenda’s master class. View all of them here.

UW student Alaina Carlson (right) performs during a Brenda Rae opera master class held in Music Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Sept. 25, 2015. During the class, students performed for a public audience and received helpful critiques from UW School of Music alumna Brenda Rae (left). (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)
UW student Alaina Carlson (right) performs during a Brenda Rae opera master class held in Music Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Sept. 25, 2015. During the class, students performed for a public audience and received helpful critiques from UW School of Music alumna Brenda Rae (left). (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)
UW student Alaina Carlson (right) performs during a Brenda Rae opera master class held in Music Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Sept. 25, 2015. During the class, students performed for a public audience and received helpful critiques from UW School of Music alumna Brenda Rae (left). (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)
UW student Alaina Carlson (right) performs during a Brenda Rae opera master class held in Music Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Sept. 25, 2015. During the class, students performed for a public audience and received helpful critiques from UW School of Music alumna Brenda Rae (left). (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)
From the Archives: UW-Madison Archivist David Null uncovers band stories from 1915

Did you know…. that in 1915, the University First Regimental Band took a long train ride to California to help celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal?


The UW-Madison Archives at Steenbock Library houses thousands of memories from UW-Madison’s past. Over the summer,  UW-Madison Archivist David Null dug down and found clippings, photos and letters documenting UW Bands’ concert at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco and 19 other cities, including Lewiston, Montana.

Read David’s full post on Tumblr.

Composition/business undergrad double major wins national prize for best musical

Congratulations to Nicholas Connors, a composition student of Les Thimmig, Laura Schwendinger, and Stephen Dembski, who in August won the college division grand prize in Showsearch, the nationwide search for new musical theatre writers put on by Festival of New American Musicals. His new musical Here, In The Park will be premiered next summer in New York City by a professional cast and production team. He’ll also receive a financial award and professional mentoring.

While in Madison, Nick founded Intermission Theatre and produced his first musical, SPACE VOYAGE: THE MUSICAL FRONTIER. He also served as music director  for Tony Award-winning Karen Olivo’s  Madison debut at Overture Center. Nicholas is now in England finishing his business classes and will graduate this fall from UW-Madison with degrees in music composition and marketing.

Nick Connors, center, with the cast for his musical, "Here, in the Park," about a struggling writer who meets an investment banker/painter in a big city.
Nick Connors, center, with the cast for his musical, “Here, in the Park,” about a struggling writer who meets an investment banker/painter in a big city.
Faculty News

On our website: News from John Aley, Laura Schwendinger, Tony Di Sanza, Wesley Warnhoff and Dan Grabois. Click here to read.

Alumni News

On our website: News about “Hill’s Angels”; MiLi Chang, flutist; Nebojsa Macura, composer, and more. Click here to read.

The School of Music offers a smorgasbord of performances each year; we invite you to visit our website and click on our events calendar. We also publish a season brochure that is mailed every August.

Personalize your calendar view! Click on the “view as” link on the right of our calendar page.


You received this newsletter because you either signed up at or directly at this blog. You can also follow us on our very active Facebook page and hear our music on our SoundCloud page.

“Sensual” soprano returns for Opera Benefit; “Buena Vista Social Club” legend on campus to teach and perform

Coloratura soprano Brenda Rae returns to alma mater to raise funds for University Opera

Gazing at herself in a bewitched mirror, she is obsessed with her radiant beauty; she caresses her own face and simpers at an imagined lover. That would be Brenda Rae in Seattle Opera’s February production of Handel’s “Semele,” where she was described by Opera News as “sensual,” “dazzling,” and “moving.”

Above: Brenda sings “Myself I shall adore” in Seattle Opera’s Semele.

Discover the dazzle for yourself on September 27, when Appleton native and School of Music/Juilliard alumna Brenda Rae – who has spent most of the last decade performing in Frankfurt, Berlin and other major European opera halls  – visits Mills Hall at 7:30 PM to sing a benefit concert for University Opera. She’ll be paired with the UW Symphony Orchestra as she sings Gliere’s Concerto for Coloratura Soprano, having just finished a run in Milwaukee Symphony’s Cosi fan Tutti.  She’ll then fly to Paris’s  du Théâtre des Champs-Elysées to sing Zerbinetta in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos. 

Brenda’s return is part of a larger three-day fund drive to place University Opera – which has existed at UW-Madison for 57 years, but relies mostly on ticket sales and donations to finance productions  – on secure financial footing. On Friday, there will be a free master class in Music Hall from 5-7 PM. On Saturday, two special donor events are planned: the first, a VIP dress rehearsal followed by a private University Club reception for event sponsors. The weekend’s events comprise a fund drive that honors opera alumna Karen K. Bishop, who passed away in January. Her husband, Charlie Bishop, donated $500,000 to the opera program in her name, now matched by a $1 million gift from the Morgridge Fund and local supporters. Read a story in the Wisconsin State Journal about the larger effort.

Brenda Rae. Photo credit: Kristin Hoebermann.

You are invited to join the many others in Madison who love opera and who have supported University Opera for all or part of its history. Please consider becoming a sponsor:

The Impresario
Includes admission for you and one guest to the private University Club reception with Brenda Rae on Saturday and two tickets to the Sunday concert in a prime seating area.

The Prima Donna
Includes the benefits of the Impresario level, plus your name(s) will appear in the concert program as a master class sponsor.

The Bishop Circle
$1,000 or more
Includes the benefits of the Prima Donna level, plus your name(s) will appear in the concert program as a concert sponsor. You and one guest will also receive admission to the VIP dress rehearsal on Saturday.

Table Sponsorship
Give a gift of $2,500 or more, and you will receive a reserved table in your name for a maximum of eight people at the private University Club reception on Saturday. This includes all the benefits of the Bishop Circle level for the named sponsor, so your name will appear in the concert program at the Bishop Circle level.

– See more at:

Tickets for the Sunday evening concert are $25 for adults, and are available online now; they will also be sold at the door, day of show. Students are free. We invite you to pack Mills Hall and see her now… before she hits the stratosphere!

Legendary “Buena Vista Social Club” musician Juan de Marcos here to teach, perform and inspire

UW-Madison will host legendary Cuban musician, Juan de Marcos González, a driving force behind the Buena Vista Social Club, as the Fall 2015 Arts Institute’s Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence.

Juan de Marcos Gonzalez. Photo credit Tom Ehrlich.
Juan de Marcos Gonzalez. Photo credit Tom Ehrlich.

During his residency, notable Cuban artists and groups including Afro-Cuban All Stars, Telmary Diaz, Pellejo Seco, and musical members of his family (who also are part of Afro-Cuban All Stars) will perform in Madison. He will present numerous lectures on the history of Cuban music and teach a lecture course called “Afro-Cuban Music: Roots, Jazz, Hip Hop” and a production course “Music Production: Afro-Cuban and Hip Hop Music.” A complete schedule of classes and performances is listed at this website:

Juan de Marcos González was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up surrounded by music. As a musician, composer, and producer, it is his mission to showcase the wealth, diversity, and vitality of Afro-Cuban music to the world. Through his work with the Afro-Cuban All Stars, the Buena Vista Social Club, Rubén González, Ibrahim Ferrer, Sierra Maestra, and others, he has made an extraordinary contribution to raising the profile of Cuban music throughout the world. He has been nominated for a Latin Billboard Award and multiple times for Grammy Awards. During his career, Juan de Marcos has arranged, conducted, produced/co-produced, and/or performed on more than twenty-five albums.

Juan de Marcos González’s residency is presented by the UW-Madison Arts Institute and is hosted by the School of Music and the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI). Additional co-sponsors and supporters are listed here.

The School of Music offers a smorgasbord of performances each year; we invite you to visit our website and click on our events calendar. We also publish a season brochure that is mailed every August.

Personalize your calendar view! Click on the “view as” link on the right of our calendar page.


You received this newsletter because you either signed up at or directly at this blog. You can also follow us on our very active Facebook page and hear our music on our SoundCloud page.


Say goodbye to another summer and hello to UW-Madison

Greetings from the UW-Madison School of Music!

The fall semester begins next week: Wednesday, September 2. We hope all our readers enjoyed a wonderful summer with just enough activities to allow you to feel rested, but not exhausted.  We have much to tell you and many invitations to enjoy performances and events at Mills, Morphy, and Music Halls this year.

Students travel the world during summer

We asked our students to tell us what they did during the summer — and now we all wish we could have joined them! Here are a few stories.

Joshua Junig, a tenor and a student of Elizabeth Hagedorn, spent the last few weeks in Rock River Repertory‘s production of “Miss Saigon,” portraying the role of Thuy. Directed by Jim Tropp, the show ran for two weekends at the Edgerton Performing Arts Center in Edgerton, Wisconsin. This year, Joshua plans to take music theory, vocal instruction and piano, and graduate in 2018 with degree in choral music education.

Joshua Junig
Joshua Junig

For eight weeks, Elliot Stalter, a violin performance major in the studio of Professor David Perry, attended the Aspen Music Festival and School.  He enjoyed studying privately with Paul Kantor and playing in weekly orchestral concerts as well as attending masterclasses and concerts.  This year he looks forward to taking classes in world music and conducting and will graduate in 2017.

Andrew Briggs
Andrew Briggs

DMA cellist Andrew Briggs, student of Uri Vardi, spent the summer performing music and traveling in Europe. In late June, he worked with cellist Lluis Caret at the Master Classes at Fontfroide (download 2 MB PDF) (Narbonne, France) and attended the Holland Music Sessions (Bergen, Netherlands) in July and August. Between the courses, he traveled to Paris and Berlin, and played chamber music with his musical relatives in Amsterdam.

Timothy Young, an instrumental/general music education major and bassoonist, spent a week on a production crew assembling, operating, and tearing down staging, audio, and lighting for the inaugural Eaux Claires Music Festival. The rest of his time was spent practicing, working as a sound and lighting technician for the Wisconsin Union, counseling at UW-Madison’s Summer Music Clinic, and visiting family and friends.

Alannah Spencer
Alannah Spencer. Alannah is also the new Concert Office Assistant for 2015-2016. Welcome, Alannah!

In July, voice performance major Alannah Spencer, a student of Paul Rowe, attended the Illinois-based young artist program, the Midwest Institute of Opera. Here she worked with coaches and teachers from around the U.S. and performed the role of La Bergere/La Chouette in Ravel’s opera “L’enfant est les sortileges.” This year Alannah will be wrapping up both her music and her anthropology degrees while serving as the concert office assistant for the School of Music.

Recent alumna and flutist Hinano Ishii (B.M., 2015), who plans a career in arts administration, enjoyed her summer working as an operations and education intern at Bravo! Vail Music Festival in Colorado. Her responsibilities included coordinating logistics and assisting on-site production for the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and various quartets. In addition, she worked closely with guest artists and conductors including Alan Gilbert, Midori, Augustin Hadelich, Alisa Weilerstein and Christopher O’Riley.

This summer pianist Ian Tomaz, a student of Martha Fischer, spent six weeks at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina as a participant in the 79th Annual BMC Summer Music Festival, where he studied with Elisabeth Pridonoff and Donna Lee, working on new repertoire in addition to participating in recitals and masterclasses. This semester he will be taking classes in piano and vocal repertoire, “Survey of the Classical Era” with musicology professor Charles Dill, and a philosophy course entitled “The Meaning of Life”, in addition to chamber music and lessons. He will graduate with a BM in piano performance in 2017.

Ian Tomaz.
Ian Tomaz (second from left) , with friends in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.

Isidora Miranda, a PhD candidate in Historical Musicology and a student of Pamela Potter, recently concluded a six-month research trip to the Philippines. Her research took her to various archives in Manila, looking at zarzuela and operetta scores from the first two decades of the 20th century, and perusing rare documents from the early American colonial period. Before heading back to the Midwest, Isi gave a presentation on the 1904 zarzuela Minda Mora at the European Association for Southeast Asian Studies held on August 12, 2015 at the University of Vienna.

In June, DMA saxophone student Steve Carmichael, a student of Les Thimmig, attended the James Houlik Saxophone Retreat and the Wild Acres Flute Retreat  in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, where he studied with classical saxophone virtuoso James Houlik and baroque flute expert Stephen Preston. He performed new works for saxophone, as well as the music of Toru Takemitsu. Steve also performed recitals through out the Midwest and southern states. This year he plans to present four recitals and take Music of the Romantic Period, saxophone instruction, and perform in the Wind Ensemble and Contemporary Composers Ensemble.

We also placed the following photo and paragraph on our Facebook page, which is steadily acquiring new fans! (are you one?)


Tom Kelly, Sarah Gillespie, and Gavin Waid.
Tom Kelly, Sarah Gillespie, and Gavin Waid

Junior trombonist Tom Kelly won the concerto competition at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. DMA horn candidate Sarah Gillespie traveled to the Max Planck institute in Germany to take real-time MRI video of the vocal folds of horn players as a pilot study for her dissertation.  Master’s student and baritone Gavin Waid learned the role of the Count for UW-Madison University Opera’s upcoming production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.

Meet our new faculty: Violinist Soh-Hyun Park Altino and Clarinetist Wesley Warnhoff
Soh-Hyun Park Altino. Photo by Caroline Bittencourt.
Soh-Hyun Park Altino. Photo by Caroline Bittencourt.

A warm welcome to our new assistant professor of violin, Soh-Hyun Park Altino, who moved here in July to take the tenure-track position previously held by Prof. Felicia Moye, who now teaches at McGill University in Toronto. In Memphis, where she served on the faculty of the University of Memphis for fourteen years, Prof. Altino performed with the Ceruti Quartet and also in the Dúnamis Trio with pianist Victor Asunción and cellist husband Leonardo Altino. Prof. Altino has traveled worldwide to give master classes and participate in educational programs. Read about Prof. Altino on our website.

And reserve November 13, 8 PM in Mills Hall, for your first chance to hear Prof. Altino in concert. She will perform works of Bach, Brahms, and Ives, accompanied by Martha Fischer, professor of piano. Tickets $12 adults/students free. Buy here or at the hall day of show.

Wesley Warnhoff
Wesley Warnhoff

We also welcome Dr. Wesley Warnhoff, new adjunct professor of clarinet, who replaces the now-retired Linda Bartley, former professor of clarinet. Dr. Warnhoff is a founding member of the VCP International Trio, a violin, clarinet, piano trio that advocates new music performance, and he is also the principal clarinet of the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra in Michigan. In Madison, he will perform with the Wingra Woodwind Quintet. Read about Dr. Warnhoff here.


The world rediscovers long-lost works of Jewish performance, literature and visual art – starting this weekend in Madison

Performances on Sunday, August 30.

For complete information, click here.

Researchers from the University of Leeds in England fly into Madison this week to participate in the first event of a yearlong foray to explore and discover previously unknown works of Jewish art from the early part of the 20th century, including works created during the Holocaust. School of Music music education professor Teryl Dobbs is the Madison link to the worldwide project, which continues in Minneapolis in September and then back to Madison in May, plus many performances and discussions in England and Ireland next spring and summer.

The Wisconsin State Journal’s Gayle Worland published an article last week about the upcoming Madison events. Download PDF here (240 KB).

The August 30 events consist of a brunch with researchers ($12); a “Sound Salon” with the Mayrent Institute; a concert with the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society; and a two-act cabaret evening. Please note: Some venues may have reached capacity. Check link here.

37th Annual Karp Family Concert this Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7

7:30 PM, Mills Hall. Free

Family patriarch and emeritus piano professor Howard Karp passed away last summer, and pianist Frances Karp is injured, but the family will carry on with its end-of-summer tradition of family concerts. Performers will include Isabel Karp, narrating a Shakespeare poem to the music of viola (Katrin Talbot) and cello (Parry Karp). Pianist Christopher Karp and Parry Karp will perform Beethoven’s Sonata in A Major for Piano and Cello, and Parry Karp will present several solo works for cello.

Click here for complete information.

Helpful Links

Our main website:

Our concerts and events calendar:

A page on parking options, include free lots on weekends:

A Tempo! is published every three weeks, give or take, during the academic year. We hope you enjoy our news!


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News from our Grads & Alumni; Pictures from Percussion in China; Sneak Peek at 2015-16 Guest Artists

Where are they going and where are they now?

Music students forge unique paths

Our final issue of the 2014-2015 academic year contains news about a few new graduates and updates from some already out in the working world. We never fail to be inspired by all of the creative ways that music students both indulge their passions for the art form and their obligation to support themselves. Music may not be a sure ticket to fortune, but for most it is a ticket to personal growth and happiness, provided students are motivated and receive support from teachers, friends and family. We are proud to present these stories about graduates of the UW-Madison School of Music.

Valerie Clare Sanders (B.M., violin performance, 2015). Student of Felicia Moye (now at McGill University) and Leslie Shank.

Valerie Sanders
Valerie Sanders

In September, I will be moving to London, England to study with Simon Fischer at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in their postgraduate Orchestral Artistry program. This program is a partnership with Guildhall, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Barbican Centre, and it involves intensive side-by-side training with members of the London Symphony Orchestra.

I’ve been a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra for three years, have served as acting concertmaster of the Middleton Community Orchestra and was also a member of the Perlman Piano Trio, which is sponsored by longtime School of Music supporter Kato Perlman.

As a violinist I maintain a strong love for performing and continuing to develop my interpretive facility but am also become very passionate about exploring classical music in the context of a larger cultural discourse, joining and starting new conversations about why musicians do what they do, how they can learn to do it in new ways, and exploring the psychological nature of what it means to be a classical musician today. UW has proved to be a great springboard for this sort of inquisitive energy.

Duangkamon Wattanasak (B.M., keyboards, 2015). Student of John Chappell Stowe. 

This fall, Duangkamon will attend the State University of New York at Stony Brook to pursue a master’s degree in harpsichord performance. This past year, she received a Hilldale Undergraduate Faculty Research Fellowship this past academic year to work on a project editing German Baroque music with Prof. Jeanne Swack.  She presented part of her research in the form of a performance of Sebastian Bodinus’s Sonata for Flute and Basso continuo in E minor at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 16 in Union South with Mi-Li Chang, Baroque flute and Andrew Briggs, Baroque cello.

Hinano Ishii (B.M., flute performance, 2015). Student of Stephanie Jutt.

Hinano Ishii. Photo by Jeff Miller.
Hinano Ishii. Photo by Jeff Miller.

Four years ago around this time, I was preparing for my concerto debut at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center and certain about pursuing a career in music. Now, I’m looking forward to my post-graduation plan: working in operations and education at Bravo! Vail, a summer music festival in Colorado featuring the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony and many other renowned musicians.

My enthusiasm for arts administration, sparked by an Arts Enterprise course taught by my flute professor Stephanie Jutt, quickly led to my election as president of Arts Enterprise at UW-Madison. I produced a series of workshops on topics including grant writing and arts law, and founded an Arts Career Resource Center on campus. From the connections I made through UW, I took on positions as the Programming and Community Engagement Intern at Overture Center and Marketing Assistant for PROJECT Trio. Eager to advance my skills, I also worked at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. as a National Symphony Orchestra Operations Intern. This gave me the opportunity to assist in planning rehearsals, concerts, and events including two nationally broadcasted performances at the U.S. Capitol. In my final year on campus, I was the assistant to Katherine Esposito, the School’s concert manager and publicist, helping to organize festivals and concerts, while also working at the Overture Center as the Development Intern.

Meanwhile, I’ve pursued my flute studies, performing with the symphony orchestra and in solo recitals. In my junior year, I was featured on UW-Madison’s homepage with an article highlighting my accomplishments and performed on a PBS annual science show hosted by UW-Madison’s chemistry professor, Bassam Shakashiri.

It is with mixed emotions to be leaving this wonderful university. I am extremely lucky to have found what I love doing best and having all the resources and connections available in Madison to create opportunities in arts administration. Although I am a music performance major, the environment allowed me to pursue my aspiration while also advancing my flute playing which makes UW-Madison an extraordinary educational experience. I am happy to have taken full advantage as a student and thankful for my mentors, parents and friends who have supported my work for the past four years! On Wisconsin!

Vince Mingils (M.M. 2015, percussion performance). Student of Anthony Di Sanza, Todd Hammes.

Vince Mingils
Vince Mingils

Mingils, a recipient of a Paul Collins Distinguished Graduate Fellowship at the School of Music, will move to Florida to serve as the Director of Percussion Studies and Assistant Director of Bands at Matanzas High School and Indian Trails Middle School in Palm Coast. Mingils also holds a bachelor of music education degree summa cum laude from Stetson University.

In addition to performing with the percussion ensembles at UW-Madison, Vince coached ensembles and occasionally joined UW-Madison’s resident/alumni percussion ensemble, Clocks in Motion. He also traveled with the UW Wind Ensemble to Carnegie Hall and Beijing and Shenyang, China for the studio’s first international tour (see story below). In addition to studying classical percussion, his UW teachers helped foster his burgeoning interests in composition, improvisation, Middle Eastern music, and hand drumming.

Tim Morris (B.M., music performance and political science). Student of Matthew Mireles, John Stevens (emeritus) and Tom Curry.

This fall, Tim will pursue a master’s degree in euphonium performance at the University of Georgia. While in Madison, he played in the Wind Ensemble, Low Brass Ensemble and competed in the Leonard Falcone Euphonium Student Competition and the International Tuba Euphonium Conference’s Young Artist Euphonium Competition. He also spent two years as a legislative intern in the Wisconsin State Senate, leading to a better understanding of the political process and the issues facing the State of Wisconsin.

Tim Morris
Tim Morris

“The School of Music has provided me with countless life-changing experiences,” Tim writes. “I have benefited tremendously from an extremely talented and supportive faculty who have helped me realize many of my musical goals. With their guidance I have been fortunate enough to participate in international music competitions, perform for many people and travel all over the world in the process. I have no doubt that I would not be the same musician I am today without the teachings of my mentors as well as the support of the musicians here that I have the distinct privilege of calling my friends and colleagues.”

Amanda Fry (B.M., music performance, horn). Student of Daniel Grabois.


Amanda Fry
Amanda Fry

Next fall, Amanda will attend the University of Maryland at College Park to work toward a master’s degree in horn performance, studying with Gregory Miller. At UW-Madison, she performed with the UW Symphony, the Wind Ensemble, and the UW Horn Choir. As a member of a student brass quintet, she completed a residential clinic at a middle and high school, performing and conducting master classes, and coached small chamber ensembles as they prepared for the state Solo and Ensemble competition. She also spent a semester in Vienna through the Study Abroad program, and feels “incredibly fortunate” to have played on stage this spring at Carnegie Hall with the UW Wind Ensemble.

“Studying in Vienna was incredibly valuable in many ways,” Amanda says. “Not only did I gain confidence from living on my own in a foreign country, but I also met a lot of amazing people and made some awesome friendships. I was incredibly fortunate to explore new places around the world and experience other cultures – albeit for a short amount of time.  As for my experience at UW, I am very happy with my choice to study here. I’ve had opportunities here that have been invaluable to my growth as a global citizen. I couldn’t be happier about my decision to earn a degree from this university.”

Jeremy Kienbaum (B.M., music performance, viola/violin.) Student of David Perry (violin) and Sally Chisholm (viola).

Starting in September, I will be attending The Juilliard School to study viola with Samuel Rhodes, the former violist of the Juilliard String Quartet and chair of the Juilliard Viola Department. I am very honored to work with him, and excited to learn from and be surrounded by exceptional musicians.

Jeremy Kienbaum
Jeremy Kienbaum

I am eternally grateful for this opportunity to have studied with two fantastic professors, Sally Chisholm and David Perry; my musicality and technical facility have developed immensely through their teaching and guidance. Studying chamber music with Pro Arte quartet cellist Parry Karp has also been a rare treat; the devotion and joy he brings to coaching students makes every lesson meaningful, not to mention the wealth of musical knowledge he has shared with me over the last four years. I am truly in debt to all of my professors and colleagues here, who have helped to deepen my love and passion for music. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to take in all the arts New York City has to offer, but I’ll miss all of my friends at UW and cheese curds at the Terrace.

Click here to read the stories about our alumni.

Daniel Black (B.M., composition, 2002), received a 2015 Career Assistance Award from the Solti Foundation U.S.. Former student of Joel Naumann (emeritus, composition); Stephen Dembski (composition) and David Becker (conducting, now at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas).

Sergio Acosta (BM, flute performance, 2011; MM, bassoon performance, 2013) now with The U.S. Army Field Band. Former student of Stephanie Jutt and Marc Vallon.

Jamie-Rose Guarrine (MM in vocal performance, 2002; DMA in vocal performance, 2005), will join the faculty of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst as Assistant Professor of Voice. Former student of James Doing.

Ben Davis (B.M., music education, 2014), now in a master’s composition program at DePaul University and will participate in the Summer Academy for Young Composers at Akademie Schloss Solitude. Former student of John Aley (trumpet); also studied composition with Stephen Dembski and Filippo Santoro, DMA 2014.

Paola Savvidou  (MM in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, May 2008; DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, May 2012) is Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Missouri. Former student of Jessica Johnson.

Jonathan Kuuskoski (MM in piano performance & pedagogy, 2009), now Director of Entrepreneurship and Community Programs at the university of Missouri. Former student of Christopher Taylor and Jessica Johnson.

Julia Marion (BM, bassoon performance 2008), was a member of the inaugural class of The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance Program and now freelances extensively in Europe and the U.S. Former student of Marc Vallon.

Chris Van Hof (DMA, trombone performance, 2013), is the tenure-track Assistant Professor of Trombone and Euphonium at Colorado State University. Former student of Mark Hetzler.

Join us to wish bon voyage to our newest grads!

The School of Music Graduation & Awards Recognition Ceremony will be held in Music Hall on Friday, May 15, 2015 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Please join us to recognize our generous donors and the fortunate and talented student recipients of scholarships and awards, as well as all the graduates of the School of Music who plan to walk at Camp Randall this May, in summer, or in winter of 2015. We’ll follow with a light reception of hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.

At the 2014 School of Music Awards ceremony: Assistant Director Benjamin Schultz, Director Susan Cook, and graduate XXXXX
At the 2014 School of Music Awards ceremony: Assistant Director Benjamin Schultz, Director Susan Cook, and graduate David Glickstein.

Parking on campus is free starting at noon on Friday until Sunday morning.

Click here for information about the official UW-Madison commencement ceremony at Camp Randall Stadium, Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16.

Cellist wins Yamaha Young Performing Artists Prize

Kyle Price, 22, a first year master’s cello student at UW-Madison and artistic director and founder of the Caroga Lake Music Festival, was recently announced as a prize winner of the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition. As a Yamaha Young Artist awardee, he will be invited to attend an all-expense paid weekend at the Music for All Summer Symposium and receive a once in a lifetime performance opportunity in front of thousands. Additional benefits include national press coverage, recording and photos of the live performance, and participation in workshops designed to launch a professional music career. Winners also enjoy many of the privileges of a Yamaha Artist, including services and communication with Yamaha’s Artist Relations department. Among other recent accomplishments, Kyle was also named a finalist in the G. Gershwin International Music Competition 2015 and semifinalist in the Maurice Ravel International Composition Competition (Italy). Kyle Price is a student of Prof. Uri Vardi and a Distinguished Paul Collins Fellow at the UW-Madison.

Percussion Ensemble makes new friends and plays music in China

by Anthony Di Sanza

(Click photos for captions)

On April 4, after a solid year of planning, fundraising and marathon rehearsals, the fourteen members of the UW-Madison Percussion Program–celebrating its 50th year– and its three faculty members traveled to Beijing and Shenyang, China, for their first international concert tour. They were invited by percussion professor Lu Qingshan of the Shenyang Conservatory, whose former student, Zhang Yuqi, is now a master’s candidate at UW-Madison. Faculty members from UW-Madison included Prof. Anthony Di Sanza and instructors Todd Hammes and Tom Ross. Concerts included music of the United States, Brazil, El Salvador, and China, plus a collaboration with Shenyang students on two jazzy percussion works.

While in China, the students also visited Tiananmen Square and the Beijing Olympic Park, and even snuck in some Badgers basketball updates while walking the Great Wall. As they moved from one location to another, they received practical lessons in how to set up and dismantle bulky percussion equipment, how to rehearse in unfamiliar concert halls, and how to create a seamless performance on a tight schedule with musical strangers (who then became friends).

“The best thing was just watching our students interact with the Chinese students,” says Prof. Di Sanza. “They went to lunch together, shopped together, drank together, rehearsed together, gave each others nicknames, and a bunch of us went to a pool hall late one night.” They even took selfies with each other (see above photos).

“We will treasure the relationships we built along the way,” he adds.  “None of this would have been possible without the support of our sponsors in the United States, including the UW China Initiative, The UW-Madison Division of International Studies, Dr. and Mrs. Robert W. Graebner and the UW-Madison School of Music. We are forever grateful for their support and confidence.”

UW’s Contemporary Jazz Ensemble wins a first prize in Eau Claire

On April 17, the CJE, directed by Assistant Professor Johannes Wallmann, won first place in the college combo category at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival. The group performed compositions by saxophonist Joshua Redman and trumpeter Dave Douglas, and “Bon Voyage – An Ode to Adventure,” a new composition by the ensemble’s saxophonist Geoff McConohy, a UW senior from Menomonie. Because the ensemble finished first in its category, the group performed on the festival’s evening concert for an audience of a thousand at Eau Claire’s State Theater that featured headline artists The New York Voices. Student performers in the ensemble include students from the School of Music, the College of Engineering, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and the School of Business. The Eau Claire Jazz Festival, now in its 48th year, is one of the oldest jazz competitions in the country, with participating middle school, high school, and college and university bands from around the Midwest.

University Opera secures Morgridge Grant and private bequests to create endowed directorship
Karen Bishop
Karen Bishop

Karen Bishop returned to school later in life to pursue her love of opera, earning a master’s and DMA from UW-Madison Opera. In January, she died of cancer. Her late husband, Charlie Bishop, has carried out her wish to support the program by providing funds which will be matched by the University’s Morgridge Fund. Donations are still being accepted. Read the full April 21, 2015 news release here.

Make Music this Summer with Summer Band!

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the ending of the Civil War and historical Camp Randall with this free annual favorite, the UW–Madison Summer Band conducted by Prof. Scott Teeple.  Community members, teachers, students alike can join in this music-making experience.  Seven rehearsals and a single performance make this ensemble an exciting way to keep your musical chops in working order.  The program will focus on music of the Revolutionary War and that time period to honor the anniversary.  Click here to learn more.

 We are pleased to announce a sneak peek at several guest artist/School of Music events planned for next year: please save these dates!
(Please note: Concerts may be ticketed. More information will be available in late summer.)

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 7:30 PM, MILLS HALL: Brenda Rae,  alumna soprano, sings Reinhold Glière‘s Concerto for Coloratura Soprano (1943) with the UW Symphony Orchestra. Benefit for University Opera. Tickets $25, on sale in July at the Memorial Union Box Office.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 7:30 PM, MILLS HALL: Renowned violist Noboku Imai performs with the Pro Arte Quartet.

OCTOBER 8-11, MILLS HALL: Celebrate Brass 2015! Festival with Axiom Brass and UW faculty & students. Ticketing & event details to come.

NOVEMBER 5-6, MILLS HALL with second venue TBA.  Alumni Composers Festival with Andrew Rindfleisch, Paula Matthusen, Jeffrey Stadelman, Bill Rhoads, and Kevin Ernste. Some of UW-Madison’s most distinguished alumni composers return for colloquia and concerts of their music.  Ticketing & event details to come.

JANUARY 19-24, MILLS & MORPHY HALLS: Student Recital Festival. A full week of free performances by our own talented students! Check back in fall for details.

MONDAY, MARCH 14, 7:30 PM, MORPHY HALL: duoJalal brings its mix of classical, Middle Eastern, jazz and Klezmer music to Madison. With Kathryn Lockwood on viola and Yousif Sheronick on percussion.  Ticketing & event details to come.

APRIL 26-29, MILLS & MORPHY HALLS: UW Jazz Festival with Bob Sheppard, LA-based multi-woodwind performer, recording artist, and jazz musician. Ticketing & event details to come.

AUGUST 30,  2015 & MAY 2-5, 2016: “Performing the Jewish Archive”: The U.S. component of a major international research project led by the University of Leeds, in England, will shine new light on forgotten works by Jewish artists. In Madison, partners include the UW-Madison School of Music (Prof. Teryl Dobbs, chair of music education, faculty lead) as well as the Center for Jewish Studies, the Mayrent Institute, and the Arts Institute at UW-Madison, and Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society. Click here for more information.

Wingra Celebrates 50 Years

The Wingra Woodwind Quintet honored itself with a party and short concert on April 25 at the University Club. Many former members were in attendance. They also bid farewell to hornist Linda Kimball and clarinetist Linda Bartley. Stay tuned for the group’s roster next year!

Front row: Les Thimmig (occasional member), Marc Fink, Douglas Hill, Robert Cole, Nancy Becknell, Glenn Bowen. Back row: Richard Lottridge, Linda Bartley, Kostas Tiliakos, Linda Kimball, Stephanie Jutt. Photo by Hinano Ishii.
Front row: Les Thimmig (occasional member), Marc Fink, Douglas Hill, Robert Cole, Nancy Becknell, Glenn Bowen.
Back row: Richard Lottridge, Linda Bartley, Kostas Tiliakos, Linda Kimball, Stephanie Jutt. Photo by Hinano Ishii.

Main Website

Have a wonderful summer– We’ll return with a new issue of A Tempo! in late August!

JACK Quartet Premieres Schwendinger Work; Perlman Piano Trio & Beethoven Winners in Performance; Jazz Showcase April 29

We’re headed into the home stretch at the School of Music! Here are highlights from the next month; please check our full calendar for many more concerts (including the Pro Arte Quartet, the Low Brass Ensemble, student recitals, and many others). Next month’s newsletter will be devoted to short stories about students and alumni; keep watch for that!

Full concert calendar:

Late-breaking news: The School of Music announces winners of the 30th annual Beethoven Piano Competition, sponsored by former university chancellor Irving Shain. The winners are Kangwoo Jin, SeungWha Baek, and Luis Alberto Peña. The all-Beethoven winners recital will take place this Sunday, April 19, at 3:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall, with a reception to follow. 

JACK Quartet Premieres Work of Laura Schwendinger at Memorial Union-May 8

New York City’s JACK Quartet, stalwart champions of of contemporary music, will come to the Memorial Union’s Shannon Hall to present a new work written  by UW-Madison composer Laura Schwendinger called “Creature Quartet.”

The JACK Quartet. Photo by Henrik Olund.

Schwendinger, a Guggenheim winner and the first composer recipient of the Berlin Prize, wrote the Creature Quartet, a one-movement work for string quartet, with “portraits in music” of extinct, mythological, or endangered creatures.

“Each of the quartet’s movements feature different creatures such as extinct birds, like the ivory billed woodpecker, the passenger pigeon, the marvelously funny looking dodo bird as depicted in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well as mythological creatures like the Yeti, Chupacabra, and the famous ‘sea monster’ Nessy,” says Schwendinger. The music will be accompanied by an animated video created by Pauline Gagniarre.

The JACK Quartet has recorded the music of John Luther Adams, Huck Hodge, Amy Williams, György Ligeti, Iannis Xenakis, and Helmut Lachenmann, among others. The Washington Post’s Stephen Brooks recently described the quartet as the “go-to quartet for contemporary music, tying impeccable musicianship to intellectual ferocity and a take-no-prisoners sense of commitment.” The group had just performed music by composer Morton Feldman at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Click here to learn more about the concert and purchase tickets. Note: the JACK Quartet will offer a separate concert on May 7 at Shannon Hall.

UW Wind Ensemble Performs in Carnegie Hall

by Scott Teeple, Wind Ensemble Conductor

On Monday, March 9, the UW Wind Ensemble took the stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City to perform the closing concert for the New York Wind Band Festival.  The UW–Madison Wind Ensemble is the first UW-Madison School of Music  student ensemble to receive an invitation to perform in what is arguably the most recognized venue in the world and, what a debut!

Jamie Wozniak
Principal trumpeter with the UW Wind Ensemble, Jamie Wozniak, warmed up in the hotel just before taking the stage at Valparaiso High School in Indiana. “I am very excited to perform this evening and share our music with these outstanding high school students and the community,” he said. Photo by Steve Carmichael.

Planning began a year before the trip. Students raised a portion of the funds needed; donors included Lau and Bea Christensen; Roger and Lynn White; the UW-Madison School of Music Alumni Association; Michael George; John Stevens; Michael Keller, and Heid Music. Many thanks to all who donated.

On the way to New York, the Wind Ensemble also performed at Valparaiso High School in Indiana and State College Area High School in State College, Pennsylvania.  While in State College, Penn State University Director of Bands Dennis Glocke met with and guest conducted the ensemble.  Mr. Glocke is a graduate of the UW–Madison School of Music, a former clarinet player with the UW Wind Ensemble and, early in his career, was a public school music teacher at Oconomowoc Middle School.

At the New York performance, we held a celebratory reception for UW alumni, School of Music donors, friends and family members. The program included Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovich, Blue Shades by Frank Ticheli, and The Frozen Cathedral by John Mackey.  The ensemble performed magnificently, filling every corner of the hall with a beautiful, lush sound. “It was honor and a fantastic way to bring a close to my stay at Madison,” said Amanda Fry, a senior horn player.

Are you an adult musician in the area?  Would you like to perform with the musicians who played on stage at Carnegie Hall? The ensemble will play its final concert this season on Friday, April 24th at 7:30.  You are invited to perform with the UW Wind Ensemble for the second half. Please contact Barb Douglas in the UW-Madison band department for information.  Space is limited.

Emeritus Percussion Professor James Latimer welcomed at 50th Anniversary Concert

On March 20, the UW Percussion program celebrated its 50th year of existence with a concert that returned its founder, emeritus professor James Latimer, to the stage. Latimer conducted an ensemble performing Carlos Chavez’s Toccata for Percussion, which was performed at the inaugural concert in 1965. The concert also included ensembles of varying sizes performing works by Fan Zheming, Steve Reich, Michael Camilo, and UW-Madison percussion instructor Todd Hammes, as well as several others.  A week later, the ensemble departed on a tour of China to perform at two conservatories in Beijing and Shenyang. More about the China trip in our next issue!

Read an article in the Wisconsin State Journal about the 50th Anniversary concert.

A beaming James Latimer enjoys a post concert reception in the Mills Hall lobby.
A beaming James Latimer enjoys a post concert reception in the Mills Hall lobby.


Benefit Concert for Brittany Sperberg raises money and her spirits

The School’s March 18 mostly-brass concert for ailing trombone student Brittany Sperberg not only raised nearly $3,000 in donations, but boosted her spirits as well, says her teacher, trombone professor Mark Hetzler. Combined with an online donation website, about $6,000 has been contributed to help her family defray medical expenses.

Sperberg was stricken last fall with an as-yet-undiagnosed illness that caused her to withdraw from school. Writes Hetzler: “She and her family were absolutely overjoyed by the event. Her aunt was telling me that the greatest thing about the concert was getting to see Brittany smile again. I am so proud to be a part of a School of Music with folks who care so deeply for each other.”

Pianist Christopher Taylor solos with Madison Symphony, earns accolades

UW-Madison’s Christopher Taylor captivated the crowd this past weekend with his performances of J.S. Bach’s Clavier Sonata No. 4 and  Franz Liszt’s Concerto No. 1 for Piano. “Taylor’s intellectual and expressive approach to the music was as supple as his technique. The resulting performance was intense yet intimate, deeply emotional but never stagey,” wrote Capital Times reviewer Jessica M. Courtier. Click here to read the review.

Wingra Woodwind Quintet celebrates 50 years with a short concert and party: April 25

RSVP now for this unique anniversary celebration featuring past and present members of the Wingra Woodwind Quintet!
Wingra Woodwind 50th Anniversary Invitation

The event will feature a short concert of works written or arranged by former members of the quintet, plus appetizers and drinks. Former members who have already responded include Glenn Bowen, Marc Fink, Richard Lottridge, and Douglas Hill. Students are welcome! The party will be held at the University Club, 803 State Street, in Madison, from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. If your name isn’t yet on this list, send your RSVP to

Chorale, Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers Combine Forces – April 17

On April 17 at 7:30 PM, three UW-Madison choirs, under the direction of conductor Bruce Gladstone with assistance from graduate conductor Sara Guttenberg and harpsichordist John Chappell Stowe, will sing a joint concert at Luther Memorial Church, 1021 University Avenue. The program is called “Transfixed, Transported, Transformed:  The Consequence of Beauty,” and will feature a wide range of works, including the traditional song Shenandoah;  Lady, When I Beheld, written by 16th century composer John Wilbye; and Missa “O Pulchritudo” by Gian Carlo Menotti, taken from the Roman Catholic Mass. Download the full program here.

Writes Bruce Gladstone: “As artists and specifically, musicians, we at times are so focused on the work we do – the perfecting our craft, the research and rehearsals, the programming and the public relations – that we sometimes lose sight and connection with the beauty of our art. Beauty surprises, enchants, shocks, tempts, disconcerts, soothes, awakens, haunts, entices, lifts, and sends us; this concert seeks to offer in word and music, a glimpse of those moments when beauty has done just that.” 

Perlman Piano Trio (+Two) in Concert- April 18
The Perlman Trio + Two. L-R: Keisuke Yamamoto; Valerie Sanders; Daniel Ma; Jeremy Kienbaum; Seungwha Baek. Photo by Tori Rogers.

Mark Saturday, April 18 for the annual concert of the Perlman Piano Trio, a classical ensemble supported by retired scientist Kato Perlman. This year’s free concert and reception is scheduled for Saturday, April 18, at 3:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall. The members include SeungWha Baek, piano, Valerie Sanders, violin, and Daniel Ma, violoncello, with violinist Keisuke Yamamoto and violist Jeremy Kienbaum performing with the trio on two works. The program will include Haydn’s Piano Trio in Eb Major, Hoboken XV: 29; Arensky’s Piano Quintet in D Major, Op. 51; and Brahms’ Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8 (original version).

UW Jazz Hosts the High School Honors Jazz Band- April 29

The third annual High School Honors Jazz Band, an auditioned big band ensemble comprised of 18 students from the greater Madison and southcentral Wisconsin, will join the UW Jazz Orchestra in what has evolved into a very festive annual concert. This year’s concert (click here for info)  will be held Wednesday, April 29, at 7:30 PM in Music Hall. This is our only ticketed jazz event of the year and promises to be a festive event for high school musicians, their families and the School of Music. Tickets are $10.00 for adults, free to students of all ages. You can buy tickets here or at Music Hall the day of the show.

The High School Honors Jazz Band, Spring 2013. Photo by Mike Anderson.
The High School Honors Jazz Band, Spring 2013. Photo by Mike Anderson.


This year’s featured soloist will be trumpeter Greg Bush, a freelance jazz trumpet player, arranger and composer. Greg has performed with his own band in jazz clubs, concert halls and jazz festivals across Canada, Australia, Fiji, Germany and in Switzerland at the famous Montreux Jazz Festival. Bush is currently professor of music at Vancouver Island University (British Columbia, Canada), where in addition to conducting the VIU Wind Ensemble he heads the trumpet studio, teaches Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Composition, Instrumental Conducting and Pedagogy. Learn more about the Honors Band at this link:

Speaking of jazz, retired jazz professor, pianist and music theorist Joan Wildman reminisced recently about the “sorry state” of jazz back in 1985, which led to the founding of the Madison Music Collective. The MMC held a reunion concert on April 12 at the Brink Lounge. Both Isthmus and the Wisconsin State Journal carried stories about Wildman and jazz’s early days in Madison.


Main Website

Concert Calendar


Star violinist heads up George Crumb fest; Audio website showcases student solos; Wingra Woodwind Quintet plans 50th anniv. party/concert; more

For our concert calendar and much more, check the main School of Music website:
Miranda Cuckson

Highlighting the music of George Crumb

Four days, four events: Friday through Monday, March 20-23. Full details:

The “economical and elegant” music of Grammy and Pulitzer winning avant-garde composer George Crumb will be on display at the School of Music when violinist Miranda Cuckson comes to town. The festival — a total of four concerts over four days — is sponsored by UW-Madison resident composer Laura Schwendinger, whose work “The Violinists in My Life” will be on Cuckson’s program.

“Crumb’s music, economical and elegant from the start, has mesmerized and enchanted broad audiences as well as fellow composers and musicians. He has made us think about time and sonority in new ways and has forged contemporary links between music, sentiment, and ideas…” — Leon Botstein, from his American Symphony Orchestra website.

Cuckson will also perform works by composers George Crumb, Augusta Read Thomas and Sebastian Currier.

Over the past five years, Miranda Cuckson has drawn rave reviews from music critics at the New York Times, including Anthony Tommasini, Allan Kozinn, and Zachary Woolf, who wrote only recently: “Her tonal luster and variety of touch enliven everything she plays.” She will perform on Sunday, March 22, 7:30 PM, in Mills Hall. Tickets: $20.00 adults, students free. Buy here.

Hear Miranda Cuckson perform a new work by composer Michael Hersch.

Other events include:

MONDAY, March 23, 8PM, Morphy Hall: Due East, a duo consisting of Erin Lesser on flute and Greg Beyer on percussion.  Due East will be joined by New York City-based harpist Jacqui Kerrod and musicians from Dal Niente, vocalist Amanda deBoer and bassist Mark Buchner, in a multi-media interpretation of George Crumb’s well-known Madrigals, Books 1-4. In Due East’s performance, a set of three video screens and projectors are set at odd-angles in and amongst the musicians and create a triptych video montage that becomes a magical and powerful “environment.” Tickets: $10.00 adults, students free. Buy here.

Click here to view a video and description of the Madrigals Project.

SATURDAY, March 21, 7:30 PM, Music Hall: UW’s Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, featuring cellist Parry Karp performing Crumb’s Sonata for Solo Cello.  Free concert.

FRIDAY, March 20, 8 PM, Music Hall.  Lakeshore Rush, a Chicago-based new music ensemble co-founded by music alumni Erin K. Murphy and Laura McLaughlin, will perform Crumb’s Vox Balaenae by contemporary composer George Crumb. Free concert.

NOTE: Watch for a preview of the George Crumb Festival in Isthmus, on newsstands and online this week.


Those wonderful performances you heard (or perhaps missed, to your regret!) back on February 8 can now be heard on our SoundCloud audio channel (a YouTube for audio).  They include Keisuke Yamamoto, violin; Adam Betz, composition; Ivana Ugrcic, flute; Anna Whiteway, voice; and Jason Kutz, piano. Audio provided by Lance Ketterer.  Click here to listen:

One of those soloists, soprano Anna Whiteway, will appear in University Opera’s production of The Magic Flute, starting this weekend in Music Hall. Shows are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday. Learn more here:

And watch Anna here:


Our year-long analysis of the music of 18th-century composer Jean-Philippe Rameau continues with a discussion of his lasting influence on tonality, harmonic progression, and harmony. On Wednesday of this week (March 11), with chemist Rod Schreiner, music theorist Lee Blasius, and harpsichordist John Chappell Stowe. Meet them in the Chemistry Building, Room 1315,  at 7 PM. Free.

Says Charles Dill, lead organizer and Rameau expert: “If you hit a note loudly enough on a piano, with the dampers off, other, different notes will ring sympathetically. That’s because they share certain overtones in the harmonic series.”

Charles Dill
Charles Dill
Bassist Ben Ferris on the Terrace with James Castaneda, Ty Peterson, Drew Schrieber and Luke Busch. Photo courtesy Ben Ferris.
Bassist Ben Ferris on the Terrace with James Castaneda, Ty Peterson, Drew Schrieber and Luke Busch. Photo courtesy Ben Ferris.
The Wingra Woodwind Quintet, 2013. From left: Kostas Tiliakos, oboe; Linda Kimball, horn; Linda Bartley, clarinet; Stephanie Jutt, flute; and Marc Vallon, bassoon. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.
The Wingra Woodwind Quintet, 2013. From left: Kostas Tiliakos, oboe; Linda Kimball, horn; Linda Bartley, clarinet; Stephanie Jutt, flute; and Marc Vallon, bassoon. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

Free and open to the public!

Mini-Concert & Party, April 25, 4 — 6 p.m. University Club, 803 State Street.

Please RSVP to

The Wingra Woodwind Quintet [click here to read new bio] turns 50 this year and plans a party! Embodying the Wisconsin Idea and serving as role models to our students, the Wingra Quintet has a rich tradition and will honor current and former members. Former members who plan to attend are Robert Cole, flute, Marc Fink, oboe, Glenn Bowen, clarinet, Richard Lottridge, bassoon, Douglas Hill, horn, and Nancy Becknell, horn. A short program of 20 minutes is planned and then we will celebrate with hors d’oeuvres and beverages catered by the University Club. Everyone is invited to enjoy the food, music, and good company of current and former members of the Wingra Quintet. On the program:

Oodles of Noodles – Jimmy Dorsey, arr. Glenn Bowen
Ode to a Toad – Ray Pizzi. arr. Glenn Bowen
Suite Française – Francis Poulenc, arr. Richard Lottridge


Photo by Steve Carmichael.

Last week, the UW Wind Ensemble trekked to the East Coast in a double-decker bus to play a series of concerts in several states and in Carnegie Hall as part of the New York Wind Band Festival.  “I am very excited to perform this evening and share our music with these outstanding high school students and the community,” said principal trumpeter Jamie Wozniak, warming up in the hotel as he prepared for a performance at Valparaiso High School in Indiana.

Jamie Wozniak, trumpeter with the UW WInd Ensemble. Photos by Steve Carmichael.
Jamie Wozniak, trumpeter with the UW WInd Ensemble. Photos by Steve Carmichael.

Recitals: We encourage our students to list their recitals on our concert calendar: search “recital” in the upper right side spotlight box to find them. All are free and open to the public.

Coffee Houses: Many students also perform in coffee houses across Madison. The Jason Kutz Quintet plays at Ancora Coffee (112 King Street) each week in March – Friday 3/13, Friday 3/20, and Thursday 3/26. This group features Eric Siereveld (trumpet), Jeff Williams (bass), Ed Dewey (trombone), Nat Schwartz (drums), and Jason Kutz (piano).

The Hunt Quartet, a graduate string quartet funded by the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the School of Music, will perform on Thursday, March 26, at 6:30PM in Morphy Hall. The Hunt Quartet regularly plays music for elementary children in the public schools as part of the Up Close & Musical! program of the Madison Symphony Orchestra.  Click here for info; full program will be posted soon!


Trombonist Mark Hetzler and his group Sinister Resonance debut their newest CD at the High Noon Saloon, Monday, March 16, 8:30 PM. This recording features original compositions by Mark Hetzler and Todd Hammes, as well as arrangements of rock, classical and experimental electro-acoustic styles. Click here to learn more.

Flutist Stephanie Jutt presents “Flautistico!” at the Overture Center’s Promenade Hall, Friday, March 20, 8 PM.  A one-time-only performance including flute plus piano, voice, clarinet, three tango dancers, and beautiful visual installation and film. Click to learn more and buy tickets.

Mike Anderson
(Who’s that sneaky guy behind the camera?)
That would be Mike Anderson, who’s been shooting our students and faculty for two years. If you find yourself on Langdon Street this spring, step inside the Lowell Center to view his brand-new exhibit of School of Music photos.

Main Website

Concert Calendar













Percussion Ensemble Celebrates 50 Years; UW Rallies to Help Stricken Student; Opera to Stage Magic Flute; Photo Gallery


“Fifty years is not a long time in the world of classical music, but it’s a very long time in the world of formal percussion studies. In the 1960s and before, the very notion of teaching percussion beyond the basic orchestral instruments caused music educators to simply shake their heads in disbelief.” So what happened? Read the full story on our main website here.

The University of Wisconsin Madison World Percussion Ensemble performs the Olodum classic A Visa La (May 2013). The arrangement was created by Nininho and A. Di Sanza.

Concert: March 20, 8 PM Mills Hall. Tickets sold at the Memorial Union Box office and in Mills on day of show. Adults $10, all-age students free.


Heard any new choral music lately? You’ll get your chance this week when Cecilia McDowall, winner of the 2014 British Composer Award for her choral work, Night Flight, comes to Madison.

Please note: On Wednesday the 18th at noon, McDowall will be featured live on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Midday show with host Norman Gilliland (88.7 FM). On Thursday on WORT Radio (89.9 FM), host Rich Samuels plans a half-hour special on McDowall that he pre-recorded with organizer John Aley. At 7:15 AM.

Cecilia McDowall
Cecilia McDowall

Thursday, noon, Mills Hall: Colloquium with the composer. How does she impart those whispery Antarctic sounds into her music? Come to ask and find out how!

Friday, 8 PM, Mills Hall: We’ll feast on McDowall’s choral and instrumental music for ensembles and soloists, including her work about the ill-fated expedition of polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott. Selected faculty and student performers will include pianist Christopher Taylor, tenor James Doing, the UW Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers, and mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Hagedorn.  Mike Duvernois of UW-Madison’s IceCube Antarctic research project will update us on the state of polar research today (hint: they don’t need sled dogs anymore). Tickets sold at the Memorial Union Box office and in Mills on day of show. Adults $20, all-age students free.

Saturday, 8 PM, Mills Hall: A concert devoted to smaller ensembles, including a trio with violinist Eleanor Bartsch, cellist Kyle Price, and pianist SeungWha Baek. They’ll perform “The Colour of Blossoms,” a meditation by McDowall after a 13th century Japanese story. Free concert. Listen here:

Sunday, 9:15 and 10:30 AM, Luther Memorial Church, 1021 University Avenue. Forum (9:15) and Church Service (10:30) featuring McDowall’s music, with the composer present.


Our 2015 winners are Kai-Ju Ho, clarinet and SeungWha Baek, piano, and Iva Ugrcic, flute and Thomas Kasdorf, piano. Pedro Garcia, clarinet and Chan Mi Jean, piano, received honorable mention.

The competition is sponsored by former UW-Madison Chancellor Irving Shain. The winners will perform this Sunday, Feb. 22, at 3:30 PM in Morphy Hall. A reception will follow.


The Dairyland Jazz Band, with Sperberg on trombone, plays Ory’s Creole Trombone.

Undergraduate trombonist Brittany Sperberg, who performed in the UW’s Dairyland Jazz Band and many other ensembles, is now having serious medical problems and has withdrawn from school. Sperberg was featured in this blog in the fall of 2013.  Her teacher, trombonist Mark Hetzler, has organized a benefit concert on Wednesday, March 18, 7:30 PM to raise donations to assist her family with unmet expenses. Please join us to help wish Brittany a speedy recovery!  Donations may also be made at Learn much more at our website:

On Oct. 14, 2011, costume designers Sydney Krieger (right) and Hyewon Park (left) work on the fit of a costume worn by University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate Caitlin Miller (center) for the upcoming UW Opera performance of "La Boheme." Also pictured is undergraduate Katherine Peck (center left). (Photo by Bryce Richter /UW-Madison)
In 2011, UW costume designers Sydney Krieger (right) and Hyewon Park (left) worked on a costume for La Boheme. Photo by Bryce Richter /UW-Madison.

University costumers are already busy sewing Victorian bustle skirts and the classic South Asian attire known as the shalwar kameez for next month’s University Opera production of The Magic Flute.  It’s all a product of visiting opera director David Ronis‘s imagined East-west setting for the show. Read the complete news release on our website.

New this spring: four performances, not just three, allowing for even double casting of all lead roles. The show dates are Friday, March 13, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 14, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 15, 3:00 p.m.; and Tuesday, March 17, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets sold at the Memorial Union Box office. Adults $22, seniors $18, $10 UW-Madison students.


For the first time in history, a formerly inaccessible manuscript of the medieval composer Guillaume de Machaut will become widely available for study, thanks to a new hardbound facsimile version just released by the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM) in Oxford, England. The publication of The Ferrell-Vogüé Machaut Manuscript, one of six such illuminated manuscripts and long unavailable to scholars, renders complete the source material for the 14th Century French composer many consider to be the greatest musical and poetic influence of his day, according to Lawrence Earp, professor of musicology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music and the world’s foremost scholar of Machaut’s manuscripts. Read the complete story on our website. 




Our friendly helpful photographer Mike Anderson has enlarged and framed about 25 images of student musicians to be placed on display in the Lowell Center Gallery, 610 Langdon Street. The exhibit runs from March 1 to April 30, and there will be a small reception on March 8. Read more here.

Below are a few of Mike’s images taken at our concerto winners concert (“Symphony Showcase”) that was held on February 8. (More information here.) Please check back this fall for our next winners recital date, and join us; it is always a joyous event!


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