Faculty Interviews, Part 1; Choral Union presents Mozart’s C Minor Mass; Take a class on Japanese music; Alumni News

December 1, 2017

News and Events from the Mead Witter School of Music

University of Wisconsin-Madison
455 North Park Street, Madison Wisconsin 53706


Post-Thanksgiving greetings, and welcome to Part 1 of a two-part end-of-semester newsletter!

Choral Union presents Mozart’s Great C Minor Mass and Brahms’ Schicksalslied (“Song of Destiny”)

With Beverly Taylor, conductor, the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra, and soloists Sarah Richardson, soprano; Chelsie Propst, soprano; Wesley Dunnagan, tenor; and Matthew Chastain, baritone. Event webpage.

Saturday, December 9, 8 PM and Sunday, December 10, 7 PM. $15 adults, $8 students.

The Great Mass in C-Minor “represents a super-human leap in the capacity of Mozart’s style. Someone once defined two kinds of genius: the person who is like us, only ten times better; the person whom nobody could predict. In the mass, Mozart becomes the second – in effect, a magician.” — Steve Schwartz, Classical.net

The Schicksalslied (“Song of Destiny”) is based on poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin, an 18th-century German poet, and “portrays the brush between spiritually blinded, self-doomed mortals and the Elysian spirits.” — Carol Tailback, San Francisco Choral Society

Click here to see buying and parking options.

Curious about our new faculty?

We’ve posted interviews with several new faculty members on our WordPress blog. Read about their views on teaching, what excites them and even their most enjoyable and embarrassing moments in their musical histories. Interviews conducted by Kyle Johnson, a dissertation in piano performance. Here are a few quotations from our interviews (click the links to read the entire interview).

Double bassist David Scholl:
You’ve described Madison as “crunchy.” Define “crunchy.”
” ‘Crunchy’ is a term that comes from the type of health-conscious people who eat lots of granola, and the connotations that are associated with granola consumers, such as being environmentally conscious and having a more do-it-yourself lifestyle. Madison has a lot of great health food with all of its great restaurants, co-ops, and farmers markets; and with the thriving bike and artistic culture here the word seemed to fit. I meant it as a term of endearment, as I myself strive to be crunchier everyday.”

David Scholl

Flutist Timothy Hagen:
“One final point I try to impart to my students that I learned from Jim Walker: being the best musician you can be is not a guarantee of success. There is nothing wrong with capitalizing on every skill you have. This mindset has not only led me to career success in areas outside playing and teaching the flute, such as community outreach, composing, and curriculum design, but it also has enriched my artistic life and my personal life.”

Timothy Hagen

Jazz drummer & jazz history instructor Matthew Endres:
What’s the most rewarding thing about teaching the students here at UW?   “These kids work and have a real passion for music. I’ve noticed substantial maturity in their playing in a very short period of time. They have a hunger for progress and the standards put onto them by faculty elevate their musicality immensely. I’m very honored to be working with world class educators here within the Mead Witter School of Music.”

Matthew Endres

In two weeks: Clarinetist Alicia Lee, orchestra conductor Chad Hutchinson, and trumpeter Alex Noppe.

Take a class on Japanese music (or other topics)

Musicology instructor Matthew Richardson (Ph. D, Northwestern University, 2016) has developed a brand-new class called “Music in Japan.” It’s an overview of the stylistic and historical depth of music in Japan, including traditional genres like classical court culture, kabuki, and geisha performance, as well as modern J-pop, film music, and anime music. “What Japanese hear in Japanese music is different from what Americans often hear in Japanese music,” he says. “And when Japanese fans listen to American music, it often means something different to them, too. One good example might be punk rock. In the US, that sort of sound is associated with rebellion and counterculture. But in Japan, a lot of artists use it as simply an energetic, youthful style without intending any of the political and meanings it has in the US.”
Read our complete blog post here.

Artist: Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period, Late, 1789-1868. Courtesy Harvard Art Museum.

Additional classes offered next semester (please check with the instructor; not all classes are open to non-majors):

  • MUSIC 416: Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century with Professor Susan C. Cook
  • MUSIC 542: Choral Literature and Performance Practices of Today with Associate Director of Choral Conducting Bruce Gladstone
  • MUSIC 546: String Literature with Artist-in-Residence and Pro Arte Quartet Violinist Suzanne Beia
  • MUSIC 319: Topics in Music and Ethnicity in the United States (Delta Blues) with Professor Charles Dill
  • MUSIC 318: Cultural Cross Currents: West African Dance/Music in the Americas with Associate Professor of Dance Christopher Walker

and a variety of Special Topics courses (all MUSIC 497):

  • Opera Production with Assistant Professor David Ronis
  • Electro-Acoustic Ensemble with Associate Professor Daniel Grabois
  • Advanced Aural Skills: From the Conservatoire with Professor Marc Vallon
  • Marching Band Techniques with Assistant Director of Bands Darin Olson
  • Acting for Singers with Assistant Professor David Ronis
  • Jazz Innovators: Armstrong, Ellington and Beyond with Adjunct Professor Matthew Endres
  • Music, Critical Pedagogy = Social Change with Associate Professor Teryl Dobbs
Learn more about “Music in Japan” and other music courses available this spring by checking the “Public Search” option at this website.

Alumni News

Nathaniel Wolkstein
Allyson Fleck
Nick Connors
CHROMOS Tuba Quartet

The Chromos Tuba Quartet.

Click here to read.

Our Full Concert Calendar


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. To receive the brochure, please send your postal address to newsletter editor..

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

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