Pro Arte goes on tour; new faculty hires; di Sanza receives award

Pro Arte Quartet Rehearsal with composer Benoit Mernier
Benoit Mernier rehearsed with the Pro Arte Quartet in March. Photo by Michael R. Anderson.

Pro Arte Quartet Plans Belgium Concert Tour

The UW Pro Arte Quartet will return to its roots in May with a concert tour of Belgium, where the group was first formed in 1912.

The trip is the capstone of the Pro Arte’s centennial season and is believed to be the quartet’s first return to its homeland since being stranded in the U.S. when Nazi forces invaded Belgium, and UW responded by creating a residency for the group. The tour will feature the European premiere of the quartet’s latest commission, String Quartet No. 3 by Belgian composer Benoît Mernier.

Mernier’s composition received its world premiere by the Pro Arte on March 1 at Mills Concert Hall in the Mosse Humanities Building on the UW-Madison campus. The European premiere is scheduled for May 26 at the Brussels Conservatory, where the Pro Arte itself originated. Read a review of the Madison concert here.

The Pro Arte will kick off the weeklong tour on May 22 with a performance in Studio 1 of the Flagey Building, home to Belgium’s broadcast industry. The program will include compositions by Mozart, César Franck and Randall Thompson. Studio 1 has historic significance for the Pro Arte, too. An earlier iteration of the quartet recorded a Beethoven cycle there in 1938.

On May 23, the Pro Arte will perform an afternoon concert in the Arthur de Greef Auditorium of the Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels. The library series features works important to the library’s collections, and Pro Arte will present a program featuring works by Bartok and Haydn, since the library holds first editions of these composers. Know any Dutch? If so, you may read the announcement here: http://www.kbr.be/actualites/concerts/programme/23_05_nl.html

On May 24, the Pro Arte will travel to Dolhain Limburg, birthplace of the quartet’s founding violinist Alphonse Onnou for a reception, dinner and performance at Kursaal Dolhain. The evening program will include compositions by Mozart, Franck, Haydn and Alexander Glazunov. The Mernier European premiere at the Brussels Conservatory follows on May 26, along with compositions by Mozart, Thompson and Samuel Barber.

The final performance of the tour on May 27 will take place at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve. In addition to the Mernier work, the performance would include works by Mozart and Barber. In addition, the audience will view a 1975 documentary film about the Pro Arte by Pierre Bartholomée that includes interviews with composers Darius Milhaud, Igor Stravinsky and others.

Final arrangements for the trip are in the works pending the resolution of some current restrictions regarding international travel.

The Pro Arte Quartet issued a commemorative CD last year. Read about the CD here. To purchase it, click here.

Wisconsin Public Television filmed the quartet in concert last year. Watch the video here.

New faculty hired for next year

The School of Music will add three visiting professors next year. One, David Ronis of New York City, will replace retiring opera director William Farlow. A second, Tom Curry, will replace retiring tuba professor John Stevens, And a third, Leslie Shank, will replace violin professor Felicia Moye, who has accepted a position at McGill University in Montreal.

The School has issued separate news releases for all new faculty.

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra violinist Leslie Shank to join UW

School of Music appoints alumnus Tom Curry as visiting assistant professor of tuba

School of Music announces David Ronis as visiting director of opera

 

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Percussion professor wins Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award

Nominated by one of his students

Anthony Di Sanza
Percussion Professor Anthony Di Sanza working with students. Photo by Michael R. Anderson.

Anthony Di Sanza, professor of percussion in the School of Music, has received the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, nominated by percussion student Jacob Wolbert (who was published in this space last summer), who was himself inducted into the society on April 12. Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society and honors undergraduates for outstanding scholarly achievement. Students elected into Phi Beta Kappa are asked to nominate a deserving faculty whose teaching is exemplary and who encouraged their love of learning. Wolbert nominated di Sanza.

“Professor DiSanza found a way to transfer my musical skills into my non-musical ones and has encouraged my endeavors, providing wisdom and guidance even when they are unrelated to music,” says Wolbert. “Overall, he recognizes the value of music in an interdisciplinary education, a crucial tenet of what it means to receive an undergraduate liberal arts education here at UW-Madison.”

“I am deeply honored by this award and even more so by the fact that Jacob Wolbert, this engaged, talented and thought-provoking student, would think highly enough of my efforts to nominate me,” says di Sanza. Read the full press release here.

Speaking of choral: Sing this Summer! Auditions are now open for Madison Summer Choir

The Madison Summer Choir is an approximately 80-voice, auditioned choir performing a cappella, piano-accompanied, and choral-orchestral works, conducted by alumnus Ben Luedcke. We are supported by singers, the larger Madison community, and UW-Madison School of Music. 2014 will be our sixth year keeping summer choral arts alive – please join us on stage or in the audience! Rehearsals start in room 1351 Humanities, Monday May 19th, 5:15-7:15 pm, and are open to all current UW choral singers, as well as the community. The final concert is June 27, 7:30 pm, at First Congregational United Church of Christ. On the program: Schicksalslied, Op. 54, of Johannes Brahms, and Te Deum, by Georges Bizet.

Graduate wins Elliott Carter Rome Prize for music composition

Paula Matthusen, a 2001 graduate in composition who studied with professor Stephen Dembski and is now Assistant Professor of Music at Wesleyan University has received the Elliot Carter Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. The prize is awarded annually to about thirty people “who represent the highest standard of excellence in the arts and humanities,” according to the academy’s website.  Winners receive a fellowship and are invited to live in Rome for up to two years. Read a 2009 review of Paula’s work here.

Selected upcoming concerts at the School of Music

(For a full list, please see http://www.music.wisc.edu/calendar )

Saturday, April 26: Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Vespers” or “All-Night Vigil” performed by Choral Union

Choralunion-111413-8082_WEB
The Choral Union in rehearsal. Photo by Michael R. Anderson.

On Saturday, April 26 at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, UW-Madison Choral Union will perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Vespers” or “All-Night Vigil,” composed in 1915, consisting of settings of texts taken from the Russian Orthodox All-night vigil ceremony. Read about this work in Madison’s blog, The Well-Tempered Ear.

Tickets: $10/Adults & General Public, Free/Students and Seniors. Call (608) 265-ARTS (2787) for ticket info or buy online (surcharge applies; no surcharge if purchased at box office).

Thursday, May 1: Brian Lynch, the UW Jazz Orchestra and the High School Honors Jazz Band

Lynch to offer master classes on Wednesday, April 30 and Thursday, May 1 – see http://www.music.wisc.edu/calendar for details

Grammy-award winning jazz trumpeter Brian Lynch will perform May 1 as a guest of the UW Jazz Orchestra. Lynch, a native of Milwaukee who now makes his home in New York City, will appear in concert with the orchestra and the High School Honors Jazz Band, an auditioned ensemble comprised of the best jazz musicians that Madison-area schools have to offer.  Student tickets $5/general public $10. http://www.uniontheater.wisc.edu/Season13-14/Brian-Lynch.html

Read an earlier post here.

Read an interview with Brian Lynch in the blog, The Cultural Oyster.

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Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra violinist Leslie Shank to join UW

The School of Music welcomes violinist Leslie Shank as visiting assistant professor of violin next fall, replacing Felicia Moye who has taken a position at McGill University in Montreal. Shank is a longtime member of the 55-year-old Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, one of the world’s most renowned chamber ensembles, known for its adventurous programming, commissions and world premieres. This week, the orchestra will premiere a new viola concerto composed by Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis.

Leslie Shank
Leslie Shank

Leslie is well-known to the musicians of Madison’s Pro Arte Quartet, who recommended her appointment. “I couldn’t be happier to welcome Leslie Shank to the UW School of Music this coming fall,” says David Perry, Pro Arte violinist. “Her performance and master classes in recent years have been inspirational, and it will be great for our students to benefit from her broad range of experience on a more regular basis.” Pro Arte violist Sally Chisholm praises Shank’s “wonderful and boundless energy.”

For her part, Shank is thrilled to have the opportunity to work at UW-Madison. “Phenomenal musicians come out of UW,” says Shank, which is not true of all universities, she adds. “I’m honored to be invited to join such amazing faculty. People would give their eyeteeth to be able to work in that department.” Hear Leslie perform in this audio clip from Minnesota Public Radio.

Shank will commute to Madison while maintaining her role as a violinist in St. Paul. She hopes to bring UW’s violinists to the Twin Cities for concerts, she adds.

Ms.Shank has been a member of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra since 1984 and was assistant concertmaster for 24 years. She gave her New York recital debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall as a winner of the Artists International Competition, and was twice re-engaged to perform on its Special Presentation Series. Shank has also performed as soloist with many orchestras, including the Seattle Symphony, the National Orchestral Association (also serving as concertmaster), and the Racine Symphony. Her recital at the celebrated Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago was broadcast on WFMT radio. She has also appeared with the Baltimore Symphony as guest associate concertmaster, and with the Indianapolis Symphony as guest concertmaster.

Ms. Shank currently serves as concertmaster of the “Music in the Mountains” Festival in Colorado, and has performed at numerous other festivals including Aspen, Grand Teton, Mainly Mozart, Marlboro, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Orcas Island Festival, and the Britt Festival, where she served as concertmaster of the festival orchestra. As a member of the prestigious Musicians from Marlboro, she performed several concerts throughout the East Coast. Additionally, she plays both violin and viola as a member of the Hot Dish Trio with pianist, Susan Billmeyer, and clarinetist, Karrin Meffert-Nelson.

On disc, Leslie can be heard on two Centaur releases, Recital for Violin & Guitar, with her husband, classical guitarist Joseph Hagedorn, and the Bartok Violin Sonatas with pianist Heather MacLaughlin. Ms. Shank’s interest in Bartok’s Violin Sonatas resulted in a trip to Hungary with pianist Heather MacLaughlin to study those works and was supported by a grant from the General Mills, Dayton Hudson and Jerome Foundations. The Shank-MacLaughlin Duo also received the prestigious McKnight Artist Fellowship for Performing Musicians.

Leslie received bachelor and master of music degrees from The Juilliard School. Her teachers were Shirley Givens, Felix Galimir, and Dorothy Delay.

School of Music appoints alumnus Tom Curry as visiting assistant professor of tuba

UW-Madison alumnus studied with UW’s John Stevens and Northwestern’s Rex Martin

The UW-Madison School of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Appleton native Tom Curry as Visiting Assistant Professor of Tuba, replacing Professor of Tuba John Stevens who will retire this spring after 29 years in the position.

Tom Curry
Tom Curry

Curry, a former student of John Stevens’, graduated from UW-Madison in 2009 with a degree in music performance and communication arts and was on the Dean’s List for eight semesters with a 4.00 GPA. He subsequently earned a master’s degree in music performance and literature from Northwestern University, studying with Rex Martin, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in music performance there. He is principal tubist of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra and the Evanston Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the Joffrey Ballet, the Chicago Philharmonic, the Ars Viva Symphony, and many other orchestras.

Curry maintains a large studio of private low brass students at several Chicago-area high schools and also teaches supplemental tuba and euphonium lessons and master classes at Northwestern. He has served as a low brass instructor at the University of Wisconsin Summer Music Clinic and as a guest tuba and euphonium instructor at Lawrence University.

In addition to teaching the Tuba/Euphonium Studio, Curry will play in the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, a position he also held during his final semester at UW while John Stevens was on sabbatical.

Tom Curry
Tom Curry

In Chicago, Curry has regularly appeared with several local and national rock and popular acts, including performances with the Grammy-nominated group Foster the People and the local band, Mucca Pazza.

“We’re ecstatic,” says Mark Hetzler, professor of trombone. “There’s an energy about Tom which comes across in how he teaches and plays. And he understands the style of teaching here: the faculty connection with students is extremely important. He’s going to continue that tradition.”

“It’s quite an honor to come back to a place that had such a formative influence on me,” Curry says. “To be in that environment is an incredible opportunity.”

For more information, please contact Mark Hetzler, hetzler@wisc.edu, 608-628-5026.

School of Music announces David Ronis as visiting director of opera

The UW-Madison School of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of opera director David Ronis to serve a one-year term as Visiting Assistant Professor, Director of University Opera, replacing William Farlow, who retires this year after 16 years in the position. His final production of Hector Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict will be staged Tuesday, April 15, in Music Hall.

David Ronis.
David Ronis.

Ronis, a tenor with many singing and acting roles to his credit, is currently on the faculties of the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College/City University of New York, and Hofstra University on Long Island, where he teaches voice, directs opera, and coaches singers on acting and auditioning skills.

“The voice and opera programs are delighted to welcome David Ronis,” says Mimmi Fulmer, professor of voice and opera at the School of Music. “Mr. Ronis will direct two full productions for University Opera during the 2014-15 season, as well as join me in teaching Opera Workshop. He brings a background of a distinguished singing career in both opera and musical theater as well as extensive credits as a director. We are fortunate to have him contribute his artistry and experience to our singers and our audiences. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work together to present another wonderful season of University Opera.”

Ronis’s resumé is impressive. His 2009 and 2011 productions of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Argento’s Postcard From Morocco won first and third place, respectively, in the National Opera Association Opera Production Competition. Other recent productions include L’incoronazione di Poppea, Suor Angelica, La Damoiselle Elue, The Magic Flute, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Dido and Aeneas at Queens College, Rigoletto for the Queens Symphony Orchestra, Cosî fan tutte for OSH Opera, From Berlin to Potsdam: A Kurt Weill Cabaret for the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and a portion of Gregg Wramage’s Death in Summer at the Manhattan School of Music, part of their annual “From Page to Stage” series.

Mr. Ronis is also the co-director of the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College, a faculty member at the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute, and served as the local chair for the National Opera Association’s January 2014 convention in New York City.

Ronis visited UW-Madison in March and says he was “very impressed with the students.”

“Their skill level is very high, they were very engaged, interested and motivated. They asked really difficult questions. I just loved it,” he added.

David Ronis.
David Ronis as “Lumiere” in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”

Mr. Ronis has sung over 50 operatic roles, including performances of the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, the Four Servants in Les Contes D’Hoffmann, Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, Basilio and Curzio in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Goro in Madama Butterfly. He has appeared on stages from Milan’s La Scala to Vienna, New York to Hong Kong. He also has performed as a soloist in the world’s most famous halls and at summer music festivals and has acted in many musical theater productions, independent films and commercials. He is a member of the National Opera Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing, the College Music Society, Actors Equity Association, the American Guild of Musical Artists and the Screen Actors Guild.

Mr. Ronis received his B.F.A. degree from Purchase College of the State University of New York and the M.A.L.S. (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies) in Opera Studies, an interdisciplinary research degree, from Empire State College/SUNY. He also studied at the Conservatoire Americain in Fontainebleau, France, then under the direction of the legendary teacher, Nadia Boulanger. Additionally, he received the Anthony Gishford Award to attend the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, England, where he worked with the late Sir Peter Pears.

For more information, please email or call Mimmi Fulmer, fulmer.wisc@gmail.com. 608/263-1882.

UW Jazz is big winner in Eau Claire; Lincoln Trio to premiere Schwendinger work live on radio; “Save the date” for May 16 grad celebration

UW Contemporary Jazz ensemble wins first place in UW-Eau Claire Jazz Festival

Jazz Orchestra is runner-up in separate category

UW Contemporary Jazz Ensemble. Top row (l-r): Robert Medina, Alex Charland, Dylan Edwards, Johannes Wallmann, Ben Knox; bottom row (l-r): Nat Schwartz, Michael Wedoff

Two School of Music jazz ensembles directed by Assistant Professor Johannes Wallmann were recognized at the 47th Annual Eau Claire Jazz Festival this past weekend: The UW Contemporary Jazz Ensemble won first place in the college combo category (out of ten participating bands), and the UW Jazz Orchestra was the runner-up in the college big band category (out of seven bands). As a result of their first- and second-place finishes, both groups were invited to perform at the festival’s evening concert for an audience of several hundred festival participants and community members.

The UW Contemporary Jazz Ensemble is a sextet consisting of trumpet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano, bass, and drums, that performs pieces composed in the last couple of decades by significant jazz artists, UW visiting guest artists, ensemble students, and its director. The ensemble’s winning set included London-based trumpeter Kenny Wheeler’s “Foxy Trot,” Wallmann’s “Arbutus,” and the ballad “Jurre” by Chicago guitarist Zvonimir Tot, who had performed as a guest artist with the ensemble in March at UW. The ensemble was founded in 2012 by Prof. Wallmann when he joined the faculty of the School of Music.

The UW Jazz Orchestra was first established in 1968 in the classic big band format. Its present incarnation focuses on repertoire from the 1950s to today, with an emphasis on the music of guest composers and performers. The UWJO’s festival set included New York trombonist Pete McGuinness’s “The Swagger,” Thad Jones’s “Cherry Juice,” and Wallmann’s “Your Silence Will Not Protect You.”

Alex Charland (tenor sax), Peter Garofalo (piano), Ben Knox (alto sax), and Erik Olsen (trombone) all received outstanding soloist awards at the festival. This marks the second year that UW jazz ensembles have participated in the Eau Claire jazz festival. Last year’s ensemble came in second and third in their respective categories. Congratulations to all!

Noted jazz trumpeter to perform with college and high school students on May 1

Meanwhile, in Mills Hall at 7:30 PM on May 1, Grammy-award winning jazz trumpeter Brian Lynch will cap off the jazz season as a guest of the UW Jazz Orchestra. Lynch, a native of Milwaukee who now makes his home in New York City, will appear in concert with the orchestra and the High School Honors Jazz Band, an auditioned ensemble comprised of the best jazz musicians that Madison-area schools have to offer. Scroll to the bottom of this page for a list of every high school student who will perform in the orchestra.

Brian Lynch.
Brian Lynch. Photo copyright Tomoji Hirakata.

Lynch went to Nicolet High School, and learned from local artists first hand. After graduating from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Lynch moved to New York, where he performed with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and the Horace Silver Quintet, and collaborated with greats such as Hector Lavoe, Eddie Palmieri, Benny Golson, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lila Downs, and Prince. Click here for a 2007 New York Times story about Lynch and Eddie Palmieri performing at the 92nd Street Y.

Going on to produce 15 albums and teach as Professor of Jazz Trumpet at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, Lynch has made a name due to his ability to draw from a wide range of jazz styles and inspirations. “I think that to be a jazz musician now means drawing on a wider variety of things than 30 or 40 years ago,” Lynch says. “Not to play a little bit of this or a little bit of that, but to blend everything together into something that has integrity and sounds good.” This concert is presented by Wisconsin Union Directorate’s Performing Arts Committee and Isthmus Weekly and supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. WORT 89.9 FM is the media sponsor. This event is ticketed: prices range from $5 for students to $15 for adults. For tickets, click here.

Please note: Lynch will offer a master class on May 1 at 1:30 PM, Mills Hall. The public is welcome.

 

World premiere of new Schwendinger work to be broadcast live on WFMT radio

Laura Schwendinger
Laura Schwendinger

The Grammy-nominated Lincoln Trio will premiere Laura Elise Schwendinger’s Arc of Fire, commissioned in 2012 by Chamber Music America, on Saturday, April 19, 2014 at Gottlieb Hall at the Merit School of Music in Chicago.  It will also be broadcast live on WFMT’s show, “Relevant Tones.”  The Lincoln Trio will also be playing Stacy Garrop’s Sanctuary. in 2012, Schwendinger won the extremely competitive award with the Lincoln Trio, hailed in FANFARE Magazine as “one of the hottest young trios in the business.” Arc of Fire, composed in August, 2013, is dedicated to the memory of Gene Chinn, Schwendinger’s father-in-law. It is an intense and virtuosic 22 minute work that follows the stages of fire:

I. incipient… spark II. smoldering III. flames… IV. inferno V. false ebbing… VI. flare up VII. ebbing… (decay) and VIII. memento mori (melancholy waltz) for what has been lost, IX. decay…embers.

Meanwhile…save the date! The world premiere of Laura Schwendinger’s “Creature Quartet,” performed by the JACK Quartet, will be held on Friday, May 8, 2015, 8 pm at the renovated Shannon Hall, Wisconsin Union Theater, as part of the theater’s celebratory 75th anniversary.

New professor Jerome Camal augments growing “global music studies” program

With the appointment of Professor Jerome Camal, a faculty appointment in the Department of Anthropology, this semester marked a new beginning for ethnomusicology at UW-Madison’s School of Music. The new initiative, a “global music studies” program, examines music’s constitution as a cultural force woven into the social and political fabric. The university will offer courses and certificates at both the undergraduate and graduate levels with the expectation of initiating formal degrees in the future. It is made possible through support from the Mellon Foundation.
Click here to read more.

“Grace presents” Baroque music for a Saturday at noon

At the Square on Saturday for the just-opened Farmers’ Market? Stop in to Grace Episcopal Church, 116 W. Washington Avenue, for an hour of free R&R. On April 26, the church will offer a concert of new plus historic music for baroque flute, featuring Mi-Li Chang and Danielle Breisach on baroque flute; John Chappell Stowe on harpsichord; Stephanie Jutt on modern flute; and Eric Miller on viola da gamba. The program will include compositions by David MacBride, Robert Strizich, François Couperin, and Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as UW-Madison composers Stephen Dembski and Marc Vallon.

Javanese music and dance in Mills Hall, April 26

The Gamelan Ensemble, 2001. Photograph by Michael Forster Rothbart.
The Gamelan Ensemble, 2001. Photograph by Michael Forster Rothbart.

On Saturday, April 26 at 3:00 pm in Mills Hall, the University of Wisconsin School of Music, Department of Dance, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, and Indonesian Students’ Association present “Across Regional Boundaries: A Javanese Music and Dance Concert. The program is a collaboration between the UW Javanese Gamelan Ensemble in its first year under the direction of Steve Laronga and the UW Javanese Dance troupe, directed by Prof. Peggy Choy. The concert will present the closely related but sharply contrasting repertories and performance styles of the Central Javanese court music tradition of Yogyakarta and the lively popular traditions of East Java. Joining the UW Javanese Gamelan will be guest artists Prof. Christina Sunardi (University of Washington), an expert on East Javanese dance, and Yogyanese music and dance experts Prof. Roger Vetter (Grinnell College) and Val Vetter (Grinnell College). For more information, please contact Steve Laronga at smlaronga@wisc.edu.
Read more. 

School of Music to hold a combo awards & graduation celebration

School of Music graduate Ami Yamamoto in December 2013, with her parents, Tatsuhiko and Mami.
School of Music graduate Ami Yamamoto in December 2013, with her parents, Tatsuhiko and Mami.

The School of Music will be honoring and celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2014 as well as recipients of student awards on Friday, May 16, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. in Music Hall.

All graduates and award recipients are encouraged to attend this special recognition along with their family, friends and guests.  Members of the School of Music administration, faculty, and staff will be hosting the event.  Other guests of honor are the School’s generous scholarship and award donors, the School of Music Board of Visitors, members of the School of Music Alumni Association, representatives from the UW Foundation, and the School’s Academic Associate Dean from the College of Letters & Science.  A catered reception of hors d’oeuvres and light refreshments will follow the ceremony.

Parking on campus will be free and open to the public starting at 12 p.m. on Friday afternoon.  Guests are welcome to park in any UW-Madison parking ramp and surface lot. To view a map of parking options, please click here.

Music Hall offers accessible seating. Please call 263-1900 to specify your needs for accessible seating so we are able to accommodate you.

The College of Letters & Science will host a pre-commencement reception in the Field House at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday, May 17, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  Please click here for more details.

Hyperion Fox Trot Orchestra to hold reunion concert May 19

A benefit for the Karlos and Melinda Moser Opera Ticket Fund

Mills Hall, 7:30 PM. Tickets: $20 from Vilas Box Office, 265-2787.  www.arts.wisc.edu

Melinda Moser (at piano), Karlos Moser, and Rick Mackie.
Melinda Moser (at piano), Karlos Moser, and Rick Mackie.

The original Hyperion Oriental Fox Trot Orchestra was a “hot dance” revival orchestra, complete with strings, which performed an eclectic survey of early Twentieth Century popular American music. From Ragtime classics, through the transitional Tin Pan Alley idiom which names the orchestra, to masterpieces of the Jazz Age, the repertoire is sourced from collections of original published scores and manuscripts and includes a few transcriptions from famous recordings of the times.

The orchestra was very popular in Madison gigs in the 1970’s. Spearheaded by former University Opera director Karlos Moser and Madison Symphony Orchestra executive director Rick Mackie (who will both reprise their original roles in this 15-person orchestra) the May 19 concert will celebrate the Hyperion’s original debut at the Grand Benefit Ball for the Wisconsin Ballet on April 4, 1974. The program will be a mélange of New Orleans music and some famous derivatives, featuring music of Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, and Duke Ellington. Karlos Moser will open the concert with Magnetic Rag, Scott Joplin’s last, a poignant end to the era of ragtime as jazz kicked-in the door. Special Guest Jacqueline Colbert will perform several vocals expressing the influence of the blues which was and is so pervasive in jazz. Hyperion will have audience dancing in the aisles with a playlist including Joplin’s “Magnetic Rag”; Jelly Roll Morten’s “New Orleans Blues,” “Jungle Blues,” and “I Wish I Could Shimmy like My Sister Kate”; Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’ “; and Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing.”

This concert will reunite artists who have played with the orchestra over the decades, including six of the original members present at its debut performance. Violinists Karen Smith (now with the Milwaukee Symphony), Wendy Buehl (Madison Symphony) and Leyla Sanyer (formerly Madison Symphony) were there from the beginning, with Buehl taking on the special task of cataloguing the unique collection of rarities in the orchestra’s library. Originals Melinda Moser, piano, Rick Mackie, drums and Pete Deakman, bass, also join Moser for this performance. The reed section will include tenor saxophonist Dick Lottridge, another UW School of Music faculty veteran best known as professor of bassoon and former principle bassoonist of the Madison Symphony. Lottridge has been a member since 1980, the year in which violinist Diane Mackie made her first Hyperion appearance. UW Professor of Trumpet John Aley has been in the first chair since 1982. Download press release: Hyperion Press release

Below: Watch Karlos and Melinda Moser perform in a “Music in Performance” class at the School of Music, Spring 2013, a one-credit class popular with non-majors and the community that seeks to introduce newcomers to the varied genres of music. To learn more about this class, see http://music.wisc.edu/mip.

 

Former percussion professor and studio to hold summer reunion

Students of Professor Emeritus Jim Latimer have planned an all-percussion reunion of former students (and their families) and are trying to spread the word to reach as many former students as possible. This includes students of the applied area, percussion ensemble and techniques classes.

Jim Latimer was professor of music, head of the percussion area and director of the UW Percussion Ensemble at UW-Madison from 1968 until his retirement in June 1999. He was also timpanist with the Madison Symphony for the same 31 years. From 1972 to 1978, he was Music Director of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras and took the orchestras on the first out-of-state tours, including representing Wisconsin at the Bicentennial Parade of American Music and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in 1976. He has conducted one of Wisconsin’s finest concert bands, the Capitol City Band, since 1981 and continues to play concerts in the park with CCB each summer. He also conducts the volunteer community band, the VFW Band, is the founding member of the Madison Marimba Quartet and plays percussion with his own dance ensemble. He can be reached at jhlatime@wisc.edu

Saturday, June 28, 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm (open mic at 4 pm).
Rennebohm Park, 115 N Eau Claire Ave, Madison, WI
RSVP by May 1 to one of the following alums:
MaryJo Biechler hop2it@uwalumni.com
Connie Coghlan concog@aol.com
Nancy (Kath) Riesch-Flannery nancysue1@aol.com
David Pedracine at pedracine@yahoo.com

Did you know that the School of Music Alumni Association has its own website? Here’s where you can read and contribute news of alumni, become a member, find out about special events, and contribute money toward much-needed student scholarships at the School of Music. http://uwsomaa.org/

The 2014 High School Honors Jazz Band

Performing Thursday, May 1, Mills HAll, with Brian Lynch and the UW Jazz Orchestra.

Edgewood High School – teacher: Carrie Backman
-Benjamin Drummond, alto saxophone (alumnus of UW Summer Music Clinic)
Madison Memorial High School – teachers: Ben Jaeger (bands) & Ben Ferris (jazz, SoM UW ’13 Music Ed alumnus)
-Gabriel Guglielmina, trombone
-Lindsey Kermgard, trumpet
-Kameron Kudick, drums/percussion
-Sam Szotkowski, trumpet
Madison West High School – teacher: Dr. Scott Eckel
-Marie Kaczmarek, trumpet (alumna of UW Summer Music Clinic)
McFarland High School – teachers: Joe Hartson and Benjamin Petersen
-Maria Hilgers, baritone saxophone
Middleton High School – teacher: Brad Schneider
-Eli Bucheit, piano
-Burton Copeland, trumpet
-Tanner Tanyeri, drums/percussion
Sun Prairie High School – teacher: Steve Sveum
-Ryan Kruger, bass trombone
-Sam Olson, bass
-Xavier Payne, tenor saxophone
-Alexander Valigura, trombone
Stoughton High School – teacher: Dan Schmidt
-Lucas Myers, guitar
Verona Area High School – teachers: Paul Heinecke (jazz) and Eric Anderson (band)
-Philip Rudnitzky, tenor saxophone
Waunakee High School – teachers: Sam Robinson and Ryan Gill (UW SoM music ed alum)
-Andrew Maxfield, alto saxophone

 

 

 

 

New professor Jerome Camal augments growing “global music studies” program

Interviewed by Nicole Tuma, MM 2014 flute & voice

With the appointment of Professor Jerome Camal, a faculty appointment in the Department of Anthropology, this semester marked a new beginning for ethnomusicology at UW-Madison’s School of Music.  The new initiative, a “global music studies” program, examines music’s constitution as a cultural force woven into the social and political fabric. The program was the brainchild of professor Ronald Radano, Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities, and former UW ethnomusicologist R. Anderson Sutton, now Dean of the School of Pacific and Asian Studies and Assistant Vice Chancellor for International and Exchange Programs at the University of Hawaii-Mānoa.

Jerome Camal.
Jerome Camal.
Photograph by Katherine Esposito.

The university will offer courses and certificates at both the undergraduate and graduate levels with the expectation of initiating formal degrees in the future. It is made possible through support from the Mellon Foundation.

Camal came to Madison from the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was part of the Mellon Postdoctoral Program in the Humanities, Cultures in Transnational Perspective. Prior to that, he studied at Webster University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies; then earned a master’s in jazz performance from the University of New Orleans; and followed up with a Ph.D in musicology with an emphasis in ethnomusicology and a certificate in American Culture Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.

Up to 2011, he performed regularly on saxophone,  clarinet and flute as a freelancer in New Orleans and Saint Louis as well as in Guadeloupe and subsequently in France. Now, Camal’s research focuses on music and politics in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe where he has been studying gwoka, a drum and dance tradition peculiar to that island.

This semester, Professor Camal is offering a graduate-level seminar on the subject of “Caribbean Music: Mobile Sounds, Creole Identities.” Next fall, he teach Anthro 104, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. In the spring, he’ll teach two music- related seminars in the spring, one of them on the anthropology of dance. His summer plans include writing a book and getting married!

I spoke to him about the intellectual journey that brought him from his home in Nancy, France to the United States, first to pursue a career as a jazz saxophonist, and then to undertake formal academic studies.

When did you decide that you wanted to go into musicology and ethnomusicology? Had it been coming for a while, or was there a moment when you started getting really interested in it?
Well, I realized after a while that the musician’s life and lifestyle was just not for me. I’ve always enjoyed intellectual pursuit, and that was missing from my life. I really enjoyed the artistic stuff, and that was great, but the reality is, when you’re trying to make a living as a musician, a lot of times you end up doing the kind of music that you don’t care about, and you can’t do the music you really care about because you wouldn’t get paid for it. Artistically it wasn’t totally fulfilling, intellectually it was a complete vacuum, and financially it was disastrous, so I decided to apply for a graduate program, and honestly at the time I had no idea what I wanted to do. I initially wanted to do this thing on jazz scenes, but it didn’t sound like a terribly exciting topic. Then I got really interested in the Civil Rights Movement, and I started to do a little bit of research on the SNCC Freedom Singers. SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) had these vocal groups that raised money. And I wrote a paper about them, and I began to contact some of them, I was gung-ho, I was going to do some interviews…and then Ingrid Monson came out with a book about jazz in the Civil Rights Movement, right then.  “Well, there goes that idea,” I thought.  And then eventually I found all of this stuff going on in the Caribbean, and because I am bilingual I was in a really good position to do this work.

So you found your way to the study of Caribbean music through jazz?
Well yes, sort of. When I went down to Guadeloupe to do my field work the first time, my idea was to work on the musicians who mixed the local traditions with jazz, and then when I got down there I interviewed a lot of musicians, but they were saying, “Stop with your jazz crap already, why don’t you just focus on our music?” And I discovered that there were some really interesting things going on politically, and that music played a big part in the political questions that were being debated in Guadeloupe. Now I’ve gone 360 degrees because I’m actually working on a big paper on jazz and gwo ka, which is the traditional music. What I’m looking at is the power relationships that are taking place when you have American musicians who go down to Guadeloupe and work with local musicians there, and then they put out a CD. What happens? Who gets to control what the music sounds like, whose name is actually out there?

You’ve also taught some classes on popular music.
That’s the reality of a teaching position, right? I taught at UCLA for a few years, which is a program that’s really into popular music, so one of the courses that I had proposed was on Caribbean popular music, and especially on a side-by-side study of hip hop, Jamaican dance hall and reggaeton. So they thought that I was a popular music person, and so they asked me to teach the history of rock ‘n roll, so I became a rock ‘n roll guy. I did that twice, and I really, really enjoyed it. This year, I’m on the committee for the International Association for the Study of Popular Music conference, and it feels like a good fit. The questions that people who study popular music are asking are the questions that I am interested in learning about.

Jazz, the Caribbean, rock ‘n roll…how did your appointment as an anthropology professor come about?
I was the first hire in Ron Radano’s plan to put together the Global Music Studies Initiative, and they had a really well-defined job announcement. They were looking for someone who did African Diaspora, either the Caribbean or Latin America. It just fit very well with what I do. I’m really happy; I love the anthropology department. It’s cool, because I get to learn something new. It’s also very liberating to teach courses that have nothing to do with music. When I was at UCLA the very first class that I taught was a graduate seminar on music and nationalism, and now, this coming semester I’m going to do a seminar just on ethnicity and nationalism where I may talk about music at some point, but it’s an anthropology course, so I can really deal with some of the theories and read more stuff, read it differently, and not necessarily worry about applying them to music. I’m also affiliated with the School of Music; half of my teaching has to be cross-listed with the School of Music so that I can continue to contribute to the ethnomusicology curriculum. I’m also affiliated with LACIS (Latin American Cultural and Iberian Studies).

Beyond music and anthropology, what are you interested in bringing to the classroom?
I received a Madison Institute for Learning Excellence Fellowship to help me develop hybrid pedagogical tools for bringing technology into the classroom, especially in large, lecture-based courses, and using social media tools in the classroom, figuring out how to use these technologies to actually increase student engagement in lectures that can be totally boring and impersonal.

What sort of tools do you think have the most potential in that respect?
I’ve experimented with Twitter. I created an account for a class, and students would tweet questions, or I would ask them something and I’d ask them to tweet answers back. And I would periodically check the feed and answer questions orally during the class. And then after class we would keep the conversations going. We’d sometimes exchange videos, or articles that we found – you know web pages, anything. That was pretty successful, so I’m probably going to continue working with that. There are also instant polling websites…it’s basically the idea of a clicker, but much more sophisticated because you can ask students to type full sentences. My attitude is, “If you’re going to be on your computer, I’m going to disrupt your Facebooking by asking you to do things online that actually have something to do with what we’re talking about.” Not only do we have professors who are not good at thinking or knowing about some of the things that can be done with these tools, but we have a lot of students that aren’t good at them either. It’s important to think about how to use social media beyond “Here’s a picture of my friends and me at the bar last night,” and to teach students to use online tools like Wikipedia in a way that makes sense.

In terms of your own teaching, what courses are you planning on offering in the future?
I’m not entirely sure. I may end up teaching the “Musics of the World” class. Also, no one is teaching a seminar in ethnomusicological methods right now, so that’s something I’m probably going to do in the future. And I may start to think in terms of undergraduate courses on global popular music. I think that would be fun, and it’s also something that no one is offering right now, so it might be a good idea in terms of relevant courses that could attract a large undergraduate population to the School of Music. I taught a seminar last semester that was an introduction to the anthropology of the Caribbean which I’m going to be revamping to become a more lecture-based 200- or 300-level course for undergrads, an introduction to the Caribbean as a region. I cannot just offer courses on the Caribbean because there’s not enough interest, so I’m thinking about offering things on popular music, topics in anthropology, theoretical topics in anthropology…I’m really invested in post-colonial studies, so I’ll maybe develop a course along those lines. It sort of depends on what the different departments need and where they’re hoping to go. I hope we can find a happy medium.

Reach Professor Camal on campus:

Office: 5313 Sewell Social Science Bldg.
Email address: camal@wisc.edu

Visit his personal website: http://tanbouolwen.com/

Read more about his research in these books of essays:

American Creoles

Sun, Sea and Sound: Music and Tourism in the Circum-Caribbean

 

 

 

 

Ukraine, Russia and China represented among winners of piano competition

All good friends at the 29th Annual Beethoven Piano Competition, sponsored by Emeritus Chancellor Irving Shain

Sunday, April 6, 3:30 PM, Morphy Hall. Reception to follow.

2014 Beethoven Piano Competition winners Oxana Khramova, Yana Groves and Zijin Yao. Photograph by Katherine Esposito.
2014 Beethoven Piano Competition winners Oxana Khramova, Yana Groves and Zijin Yao. Photograph by Katherine Esposito.

When its comes to beautiful music, political differences are all but irrelevant. That will be nicely shown this Sunday at the annual winners recital of the Beethoven Piano Competition, in which UW-Madison School of Music pianists from Ukraine, Russia and China will perform their winning works.

The competition was held last weekend and is now in its 29th year. It is sponsored by former University Chancellor Irving Shain. Winners receive cash honoraria.

The winners are Zijin Yao of China; Oxana Khramova, a Russian native; and Yana Groves, a native of Ukraine. Zijin Yao is a doctoral student in piano performance and pedagogy who studies with professors Martha Fischer and Jessica Johnson. Oxana Khramova is a doctoral student in piano performance and pedagogy who studies with Professor Christopher Taylor. Yana Groves will finish her master’s degree this spring and begin doctoral studies next fall in the studio of Christopher Taylor.

All will perform music composed by Ludvig van Beethoven. The program will include Sonata in D Major, Op. 10 no. 3 (Khramova); 15 Variations and Fugue in Eb Major, op. 35 (“Eroica”) (Zijin Yao); and Sonata in Eb Major, Op. 27 no. 1 (Groves).

The winners will appear in recital on Sunday, April 6 at 3:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall. Admission is free, and there will be a post-concert reception for audience and musicians.

The judge for the competition was Karen Boe from UW-Whitewater, who also awarded an honorable mention to Haley O’Neil, who studies with Christopher Taylor.

Here are biographies of the winning students.

Pianist Zijin Yao was born in China’s Hubei province and received her bachelor’s degree at China Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 2010. In the same year, she was admitted by the Graduate School of China, Conservatory of Music on a full scholarship and received a master’s degree in 2013. A passionate performer, Zijin is the winner of the 2013 Beijing Piano Festival, recipient of the Gold Award of the Piano Group at the 2012 National Music and Dance Competition in Beijing. A committed piano teacher, she has focused on exploring piano pedagogy alongside the art of piano performance. She has published six articles on piano performing and teaching in several major academic journals in China during the last three years.

Oxana Khramova began her musical career at the age of seven. During her studies, Oxana played many solo and chamber music recitals and was a prize winner at the All Russian Piano Competition in 1996. In 2010 Oxana moved to the United States and completed her master’s degree in piano performance at the University of Northern Iowa. Oxana is a teaching assistant at the School of Music, and a piano instructor for the Piano Pioneers program and at Farley’s House of Pianos.

Yana Groves is originally from Kharkiv, Ukraine, where she attended Music School # 9 and studied with Glazirina Tatiana, majoring in piano performance. She began her US studies with Dr. Karen Becker at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2007 and has participated in master classes with Evgenia Tzarov and Helen Huang. In the spring of 2011 Groves made her debut as soloist with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 488. She completed her bachelor’s degree with a double major in music and accounting in May 2012, graduating summa cum laude. In the spring of 2013, Yana and flutist Danielle Breisach were the winners of the Annual Shain Woodwind-Piano Duo Competition.