Category Archives: Concerts Off-Campus

Our faculty and students perform all over, not just in the School of Music!

Coming up soon: Harbison Viola Sonata; Music of Frigyes Hidas; Percussion Concert with Film, Flowerpots and Drums

February 12, 2019

A very busy two weeks for the Mead Witter School of Music!

University of Wisconsin-Madison
455 North Park Street, Madison Wisconsin 53706
https://www.music.wisc.edu/

This weekend: World Premiere of John Harbison’s Viola Sonata with Sally Chisholm and pianist Timothy Lovelace

Sunday, February 17, 7:30 PM, Mills Hall. $25. Buy tickets here.

Learn about the event here.

The concert includes solo performances by Chisholm and Lovelace and the full Pro Arte Quartet.

Read a recent Isthmus review of the Pro Arte Quartet.

On Sunday, Feb. 10, the Wisconsin State Journal published a story about the upcoming John Harbison events in Madison. Read the story here.


UW Wind Ensemble with soloist Midori Samson

Sunday, Feb. 17, 2:00 PM, Mills Hall.

With Scott Teeple, conductor and Cole Hairston and Ross Wolf, graduate conductors. This concert will be livestreamed. Check this page for updates: https://www.music.wisc.edu/video/

Midori Samson

Presenting doctoral bassoonist Midori Samson, winner of the inaugural Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition. Midori, student of Professor Marc Vallon and recipient of a Collins Fellowship at the school of music, has a secondary focus in social work. She holds roles as second bassoon in the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and principal bassoon in the Beloit-Janesville Symphony. She previously was a fellow in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and has performed in several Chicago Symphony Orchestra family concerts, as well as with the Austin, Charleston, and New World Symphonies, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Pacific Music Festival. Midori holds degrees from The Juilliard School and the University of Texas at Austin.  Midori will perform the Concerto for Bassoon (1999) of Frigyes Hidas . Click to see full program.


UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra, featuring works of composer Augusta Read Thomas

Thursday, February 14, 7:30 PM, Mills Hall – Free

Augusta Read Thomas

With Chad Hutchinson, conductor, and graduate conductors Michael Dolan and Ji Hyun Yim. Click to see full program.

Augusta Read Thomas will be in residence at UW-Madison for this concert. Join us for a master class with Ms. Thomas, Feb. 14, 2:00 to 5:00 PM, Morphy Hall.

Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Thomas founded the University of Chicago’s Center for Contemporary Composition: “a dynamic, collaborative, and interdisciplinary environment for the creation, performance and study of new music and for the advancement of the careers of emerging and established composers, performers, and scholars.” An influential teacher at Eastman, Northwestern, Tanglewood, and Aspen Music Festival, she is only the 16th person to be designated University Professor at the University of Chicago.  From 1997 through 2006, Thomas was Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony, working with conductors Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez.


UW-Western Percussion Ensemble with guest composer Elliot Cole and percussionist Peter Ferry

Wednesday, February 20, 7:30 PM, Mills Hall

Ticketed – Children $7 – Adults $17. Buy tickets here; also sold at door.

Presenting a three-day residency by composer Elliot Cole and percussionist Peter Ferry, who will perform with the UW-Western Percussion Ensemble. Works on the program will include “The Future is Bright” for soloist, film, and percussion ensemble and “Hanuman’s Leap” for percussion group, digital playback, and voice. Learn more here.

Elliot Cole is a composer and “charismatic contemporary bard” (NY Times).  He has performed his music with Grammy winners Roomful of Teeth, Grammy nominees A Far Cry and Metropolis Ensemble, as well as the Chicago Composers Orchestra, New Vintage Baroque, the Lucerne Festival Academy, and as a member of the book-club-band Oracle Hysterical.  His percussion music has been performed by over 250 percussion ensembles all over the world.  In 2017 he was invited by Talks at Google to share his unique approach to music through computer programming.  He is on faculty at New York’s The New School and Juilliard’s Evening Division, and is program director of Musicambia at Sing Sing prison, where he works with a music school for incarcerated men.


University Opera and University Theatre: Sondheim’s Into the Woods

From February 21 through 24, University Theatre and University Opera, in partnership with the Wisconsin Union Theater, will co-present Into the Woods at Shannon Hall in the Memorial Union, marking the first time in twelve years that the Mead Witter School of Music and the Department of Theatre and Drama have collaborated on a production.  David Ronis, Karen K. Bishop director of opera, will direct, and Chad Hutchinson, orchestra director, will conduct.

Five performances are planned: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30 PM, and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.
Read about the show.
Buy tickets here.


Guest Artist: Rhea Olivaccé, soprano, with Martha Fischer, piano

The Black Voice – A Collection of African American Art Songs and Spirituals

Recital: Saturday, February 23, 6:30 PM, Morphy Hall
Master class: February 22, 5:00 PM, Morphy Hall
Free and open to the public.
Read more. 


In New York: Laura Schwendinger’s Artemisia

March 5–9, 2019
Trinity Church Wall Street
St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway and Fulton Street, New York City

The Time’s Arrow Festival continues its commitment to amplifying the voices of female artists across multiple mediums. The festival includes the fully staged world premiere of the new opera Artemisia by UW-Madison faculty composer Laura Schwendinger. Artemisia tells the story of the Baroque artist who portrayed herself as Susanna in her famous painting Susanna and the Elders.

Schwendinger’s “High Wire Act” praised in Boston

From the Boston Classical Review: “If one needed to be reminded that a program of contemporary music can be engaging – even riveting – on its own terms, Collage New Music’s concert’s Sunday night at Pickman Hall was the place to be. CNM music director David Hoose led a reading of High Wire Act that brimmed with personality. Sarah Brady’s realization of Schwendinger’s brilliant flute writing was particularly compelling: precise, nimble, and fiery.” Read the review here.


Our Full Concert Calendar

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 the School of Music.


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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UW alumni help launch strings education in Door County; pro arte in mills hall tomorrow; Christopher Taylor next weekend

February 1, 2019

News and Events from the Mead Witter School of Music


University of Wisconsin-Madison
455 North Park Street, Madison Wisconsin 53706
http://www.music.wisc.edu/


UW-Madison alumni form 3/4 of new strings education quartet in Door County

Executive director also an alumna

The first time UW-Madison’s Hunt Quartet played in Door County for Midsummer’s Music, a Door County summer chamber music festival, it was in response to an emergency.

The renowned Pro Arte Quartet had long been booked to play, but the quartet had to cancel. Midsummer’s artistic director James Berkenstock scrambled to fill the void.

The Griffon String Quartet. L-R: Roy Meyer, Ryan Louie, “Vini” Sant’Ana, and Blakeley Menghini. Photograph by Ben Menghini.

David Perry, violinist with the Pro Arte, had a solution: Hire the Hunt, the graduate string quartet at UW-Madison. “David said that this particular configuration of the Hunt Quartet was superb,” says Berkenstock. “He said they already had a program and would do a great job.”

Read the full story here.


Classical pianist Christopher Taylor continues his Liszt/Beethoven cycle

Franz Liszt was a superstar pianist. He was a virtuoso who invented the orchestral tone poem, taught 400 students for free, conducted and composed. Musicologist Alan Walker wrote three volumes about Liszt, shedding light on all of Liszt’s work but especially his genius for transcription. Writes Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times, “The best of these works are much more than virtuosic stunts. Liszt’s piano transcriptions of the nine Beethoven symphonies are works of genius. Vladimir Horowitz, in a 1988 interview, told me that he deeply regretted never having played Liszt’s arrangements of the Beethoven symphonies in public.”

Few pianists have tackled all nine Beethoven transcriptions. Christopher Taylor is one. On Saturday, February 9, at 8:00 PM in Mills Hall, Taylor will perform his sixth transcription – Beethoven’s 8th Symphony. Saturday’s concert will also include six preludes by Nikolai Kapustin, a whose works span both classical and jazz, and the Fantasy in C Major, D. 760 (“Der Wanderer”) of Franz Schubert.

Christopher Taylor. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

In 2020, Christopher Taylor will celebrate Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with performances of the Franz Liszt transcriptions of Beethoven’s symphonies, in Madison and beyond. In Boston, Taylor will perform the entire set in five concerts at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Tickets for Taylor’s Feb. 9 concert ($17 adults, $7 children) may be purchased online or in person.

Purchase options here:
https://www.music.wisc.edu/about-us/tickets/

Or, purchase online directly at this link.


Pro Arte Quartet this Saturday

February 2 @ 8:00 pm, Mills Concert Hall, 455 N. Park St.

Program: String Quartet D Major, Op. 50 No. 6 “The Frog”(1796) – Franz Joseph Haydn String Quartet No. 9 in Eb Major, Op. 117 (1964) – Dmitri Shostakovich String Quartet in A Major, Op. 41 No. 3 (1842) – Robert Schumann


“Schubertiade” charms audience once again

Isthmus’s John Barker wrote, “A carefully prepared program and a multi-page handout with the full German song texts, with English translations, allowed the audience to become fully immersed in the music.

“And what absolutely wonderful music!”

Check our Facebook page for images from the January 27 concert.

The Perlman Trio following their performance of Schubert’s Piano Trio No. 2, second movement: Mercedes Cullen, Kanwoo Jin, and Micah Cheng. With Bill Lutes at piano. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

Upcoming Concerts

Jazz Composers Group and Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble  February 1 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Tandem Press, 1743 Commercial Avenue 
Wingra Wind Quintet in Richland Center February 3 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 26625 Crestview Dr Richland Center, WI  Members of the Wingra Wind Quintet in concert, presented by the Richland Concert Association at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Richland Center.
UW Jazz Orchestra & the Billy Childs Quartet February 9 @ 8:00 pm Memorial Union-Shannon Hall, 800 Langdon Street WI  Jazz pianist Billy Childs, the 2018 Grammy Award winner for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, will join the UW Jazz Orchestra on stage for an exciting opening act prior to his appearance with the Billy Childs Quartet.
UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra, with composer Augusta Read Thomas February 14 @ 7:30 pm Mills Concert Hall. With Chad Hutchinson, conductor, and graduate conductors Michael Dolan and Ji Hyun Yim.  Program: Jean Sibelius- Valse Triste; Augusta Read Thomas- Of Paradise and Light; Augusta Read Thomas- Prayer and Celebration; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart- Symphony No. 39 in Eb. Major, K. 543. Augusta Read Thomas will be in residence at UW-Madison for this concert. Join us for a master class with Ms. Thomas, Feb. 14, 2:00 to 5:00 PM, Music Hall. 

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 the School of Music.


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.

Music Lessons after 55; Remembering Irv Shain; Perlman Concert April 14; Student Creates & Conducts

News and Events from the Mead Witter School of Music


University of Wisconsin-Madison
455 North Park Street, Madison Wisconsin 53706
http://www.music.wisc.edu/

Reminder: The UW Wind Ensemble concert this Saturday, April 7, will be streamed live. The start time is 7:30 PM. Click here for the link.
A panoramic view of the Hamel Music Center under construction, March 2018

The Hamel Music Center, March 18, 2018. Photograph by Katherine Esposito.

 

 

 

 

 

Music Lessons after 55!

Retired physician Tim Shaw has a new hobby: taking violin lessons from UW-Madison doctoral student Paula Su. “I’m lucky to have found Paula as a violin teacher,” he says. “She inspires me.” Shaw, who’s currently practicing the well-known tune, “Danny Boy,” says he discovered the Community Music Lessons program via an online search.

Tim Shaw and Paula Su. Photograph by Katherine Esposito.

Paula writes: “I was born in Taiwan, and I completed most of my education in Taiwan. After my master’s degree in violin performance and chamber music at University of Michigan, I played in Civic Orchestra of Chicago and also taught in the String Preparatory Academy in University of Michigan. Knowing that I enjoy teaching and also have some experience, Professor David Perry recommended that I join the CML program. The students in this program are very diverse. Some of them are undergraduate college students, some are PhD students, some are Epic employees, Tim is a retired doctor.”

“It is really fun to interact with different ages of people from different backgrounds. I draw much inspiration from my students and can also view myself through the teaching process.”

The Community Music Lessons program was founded in 1968 to help college students acquire experience teaching applied music lessons for children and adults. Lessons are provided by undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the School of Music who are overseen by individual faculty members, an experienced graduate coordinator, and a staff supervisor. Lessons are taught on campus, in the Mosse Humanities Building.

The program plans an informal recital on Sunday, April 29 in Morphy Hall from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.

Farewell and thank you to Irving Shain

Chancellor Irving Shain with the UW Symphony Orchestra, undated photograph.

Last month, we bade farewell to former Chancellor Irving Shain, who passed away on March 6 at the age of 92. Chancellor Shain was a champion of the piano, founding both the Shain Piano/Woodwind Duo Competition (recent concert on March 4) and the Beethoven Piano Competition, now in its 33rd year with a winners’ recital concert scheduled for April 15 at 3:30 PM in Morphy Hall. His contributions to the School of Music were significant. We have missed his presence at these concerts and we remember him with fondness.

Read more about Chancellor Shain at this link

Annual Perlman Trio concert April 14

With Kangwoo Jin, piano; Luke Valmadrid, violin and viola; Micah Cheng, violoncello; Suzanne Beia, violin; and Chang En Lu, violin.

Saturday, April 14, 3:30 PM, Morphy Hall.

The Perlman Piano Trio is comprised of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is generously supported by Kato Perlman who loves the magnificent piano chamber music repertoire. Members of the group are chosen on the basis of their outstanding work in the chamber music program at the University.

The program will include Haydn’s Piano Trio in C Major, Hob. XV:27; Schumann’s Piano Trio no.1 Op. 63; and Brahms’s Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25.

Student recitals in abundance

Morphy and Mills Hall and other venues (many off-campus) are now packed with student recitals.  Upcoming performers include pianist Eric Tran, a recent winner of our concerto competition; Zachary Pulse, an oboist incorporating electro-acoustic methods into his music; and singer Talia Engstrom, performing music by Grieg, Mozart, Rossini, and others. See events calendar here.

Student at the podium

Flutist Anna Fisher-Roberts was inspired to create her own orchestra, and will present her first concert on Sunday, April 15 at 3:30 PM in Mills Hall. The program consists of one work: Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

Anna Fisher-Roberts (left, with flute) and members of the Milwaukee High School of the Arts in an outreach concert, Spring 2017. Photograph by Katherine Esposito.

“This project has been an exciting and enlightening journey,” writes Anna. “I came to music school intending to become a conductor, but since there are no undergraduate conducting programs, it’s difficult to get podium experience. I decided to put this project together mainly to get some time in front of an ensemble, but also for the opportunity to conduct Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, one of my favorite pieces in the orchestral repertoire. This 13-piece orchestra is entirely Mead Witter students, and is run solely by me and the members of the ensemble.

“I have been soaking up as much conducting as I possibly can; I’ve been taking a conducting class since the beginning of the school year and took over conducting the flute ensemble in January. It’s very different being on the podium than sitting within the orchestra! I am looking at the music in a very different way than I do as a flutist, thinking about how to communicate gesturally and soundlessly to convey musical ideas. Throughout this process, I have had the privilege to work with conductors at the university: Scott Teeple, Chad Hutchinson, and Beverly Taylor. All have generously set aside time to help me to learn the score, and Dr. Hutchinson and Professor Teeple have even reviewed my video footage of my rehearsals and helped me to improve my rehearsal strategies and baton technique. I have also requested and welcomed suggestions from the musicians about how I can be more helpful to them as a conductor, and they always have excellent advice. As I continue in my career, I want to stay in touch with the musicians in my ensembles, to make the music as evocative as it can be.

“I plan to continue my conducting ventures this summer, starting with the Vienna Summer Music Festival Conducting Institute. This is a three-week program where I will work with conductors in front of a live orchestra, as well as take classes and have private lessons. In August, I will attend the Lyceum Music Festival in Utah as a conducting student of Kayson Brown, a conductor with whom I’ve worked in festivals before and who I greatly respect. For next year at UW-Madison, I would also like to create and conduct another student ensemble. I hope that this will be a continuing tradition, as it’s a wonderful opportunity for students interested in conducting to learn and receive feedback.”


Our Full Concert Calendar

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.

Concerto Winners on stage March 18; Meet Satoko Hayami from “Sound Out Loud”; Jazz Orchestra 50th anniversary podcast

March 2, 2018

News and Events from the Mead Witter School of Music

University of Wisconsin-Madison
455 North Park Street, Madison Wisconsin 53706
http://www.music.wisc.edu/


“Symphony Showcase” Coming Soon!

Sunday,  March 18, 7:30 PM, Mills Hall

We’ve announced this before, but here’s a reminder: Our annual concerto winners solo recital (a/k/a Symphony Showcase”) takes place at 7:30 PM on March 18 in Mills Hall.

Our 2018 winners are Kaleigh Acord, violin (Beethoven, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, first movement); Aaron Gochberg, percussion (Keiko Abe, Prism Rhapsody); Eleni Katz, bassoon (Mozart, Bassoon Concerto in B flat major); Eric Tran, piano (Bach, Concerto No. 4 in A Major); and Mengmeng Wang, composer (premiere: “Blooming”).

Tickets are only $10 for adults, free to students, and there’s a free reception after the show in Mills Hall. Buy tickets here or at the door.


Meet Satoko Hayami, graduate pianist

Satoko, a doctoral student in Professor Martha Fischer‘s studio,  is a member of Sound Out Loud, a recent winner of The American Prize.  Here’s an excerpt from our recent Q&A with Satoko:
“The idea of starting a contemporary chamber music ensemble came to me in searching for ways to better connect with more diverse audiences. I felt that the diverse musical language in contemporary repertoire might have as much or even more potential to be relevant to the different kinds of audiences including young people and non-classical music fans than older repertoire, if presented in appropriate ways. I wanted to team up with people who are open to different, sometimes unconventional ways to present music, and was lucky to find people who share the similar interests, openness and enthusiasm right away.”

Read more here.

Satoko Hayami


James Latimer wins award

Emeritus Professor of Percussion James Latimer won a Lifetime Achievement Award at annual Wisconsin Days of Percussion event, January 27, 2018 in Milwaukee. While at UW-Madison, Latimer spearheaded a Duke Ellington Festival, started the Madison Marimba Quartet, initiated the first of 300 Young Audience Concerts held in public schools from 1969 to 1984, and hosted the Wisconsin Percussive Arts Society “Days of Percussion.”


Shain Woodwind/Piano Duo winners concert

3:30 pm, Sunday, March 4,  Morphy Hall

A competition and recital sponsored by former UW-Madison Chancellor Irving Shain
Winners were announced on Tuesday, February 27. They include: Juliana Mesa-Jaramillo, bassoon and Satoko Hayami, piano;
Anna Fisher-Roberts, flute and Eric Tran, piano.

Read more here.

Local arts reviewers loved “La Boheme”

University Opera’s production of LA BOHEME. Foreground, left to right: Claire Powling (Musetta), Michael Kelley (Waiter), Jake Elfner (Alcindoro) Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

“University Opera’s “La Bohème” proves a complete success on all counts – from the staging and the costumes to the singing and the orchestra”
Larry Wells, The Well-Tempered Ear, Feb. 27.

“Ronis’ able hand was evident in the players’ acting. The cast was consistently believable, and consequently I was drawn into their world and suffered along with their despair over love’s inconsistencies and death’s sting. Using my acid test for a performance’s success, I never glanced at my watch either night. I was fully engaged.

“The orchestra was a marvel. Conductor Chad Hutchinson let it soar when it was appropriate, but the orchestra never overshadowed the singers. In fact, the key term that kept occurring to me both evenings was balance. The acting, the back-and-forth between the singers, and the interplay between the orchestra and the singers were consistently evenhanded.

“As for the singers, the primary roles were double cast. Friday’s Mimi was Shaddai Solidum whose first aria “Mi chiamano Mimi” was a lesson in the mastery of legato. Saturday’s Mimi was Yanzelmalee Rivera who possesses a bell-like voice of remarkable agility.”

Read the entire review here.

Yanzelmalee Rivera as Mimi in University Opera’s production of LA BOHEME. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

University Opera Offers a Gem in a Bejewelled Setting
Greg Hettsmanberger, What Greg Says, 2.27.18

“Again we have been given much to look forward to; certainly it is unrealistic to see University Opera in Shannon Hall every season, but we can hope that it becomes a semi-regular occurrence. The greater lesson from Sunday’s performance however is this: wherever Ronis and his “kids” show up, the audience is in store for some memorable opera. The national awards and recognition that the program are consistently earning are richly deserved, and our town is clearly the richer for what these folks are giving us.”

Read the full review here.

Johannes Wallmann and Jazz at UW-Madison

“Bucky’s Jazz Savior,”  Madison Magazine, February 2018

“It was that combination of vision, leadership and expertise as a pianist and composer that quickly pushed him to the top of UW–Madison’s list of candidates for director of jazz studies. During [Director of Jazz Studies Johannes] Wallmann’s first year of teaching here, in 2012-2013, he sought out and performed with many local jazz musicians as a means of building relationships and moving the music program forward.

“In less than five years, Wallmann took the Jazz Studies undergraduate program from zero enrollees to 17. It’s an important part of the efforts to revitalize Madison’s jazz community.”

Read the story here.

Announcement: The UW Jazz Orchestra is turning 50! April’s annual Jazz Fest will celebrate this anniversary with three concerts featuring guest trumpeter Marquis Hill, winner of the 2014 Thelonious Monk Competition. Learn about the history of the Jazz Orchestra with our new six-episode podcasts with Les Thimmig, longtime composer and saxophonist. Listen to Episode 1 on our SoundCloud channel.


The American Prize first-place vocal winner coming to Madison on March 19 & 20

Vocalist Kristina Bachrach, recent winner of The American Prize in Vocal Performance and the Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, will perform a concert on March 20 at 7:00 PM in Music Hall. Accompanied by faculty pianist Daniel Fung, she’ll sing selections from “The Recovered Voices Initiative,” started by James Conlon and Los Angeles Opera, which focuses on musical works and musicians that were either suppressed or killed by the Nazi regime in World War II.

Kristina Bachrach

Read about Kristina, the Initiative, and The American Prize at this link.

Our Full Concert Calendar

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.

Meet New Faculty: Alex Noppe, trumpet

New trumpet adjunct professor Alex Noppe came to UW-Madison this fall to teach both classical and jazz trumpet. While he hails from Green Bay, his career has taken him all over the world, as a member of the Mirari Brass Quintet, which he co-founded, of the Louis Romanos Quartet, which plays new Orleans-style jazz, and as a performer and soloist in orchestras and as a clinician at brass conferences. He’s also a composer and arranger. In Madison, Alex is a member of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, which recently returned from a Big Ten performance tour, and will next perform in Rhinelander (February 22); and in Madison (February 24).  Click here to read Alex’s full biography.

Interview conducted by Kyle Johnson, a dissertator in piano performance.

Alex Noppe. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.


What approaches do you take when teaching jazz trumpet vs classical trumpet?

I don’t really treat different styles of music all that differently.  In my opinion, the “umbrella” under which all study is organized is trumpet fundamentals—all of the skills, concepts, and techniques that go into becoming an excellent player on your instrument.  Underneath that are various bins of styles & repertoire that get studied individually—baroque, jazz, orchestral, mariachi, etc.  But the techniques for learning each individual style don’t really differ that much.  I suppose jazz players tend to do a lot more ear-development exercises, but that’s something that everyone else should be doing as well.

You’ve had a diverse array of performance opportunities, which include orchestras, chamber groups, and jazz ensembles. Do you have a preference for any one type of performance setting or musical style? 

Not particularly.  I’m at my happiest when I’m involved in a variety of different performing activities, so I enjoy the challenge of rapidly switching back and forth between genres and groups.  Having said that, the majority of my playing these days is in small chamber groups.

The Mirari Brass Quintet. L-R: Stephanie Frye (tuba); Sarah Paradis (trombone); Matthew Vangjel (trumpet); Jessie Thoman (horn); Alex Noppe (trumpet).

Tell us about the Mirari Brass Quintet (pictured above).

Originally, it was a group of graduate students at Indiana that formed the group, but over the years we changed a few members (adding Stephanie Frye, UW-Madison MM 2010 & DMA 2013).  We’ve always had a bit of an interesting model in that we live in four different states scattered across the country, which definitely presents some challenges for rehearsing and performing.

Mirari is in its ninth season together and we spend most of our time doing concert tours, educational residencies, and new music commissioning.  We play a fairly eclectic mix of music that we’ve affectionately dubbed “stylistic whiplash”–everything from Renaissance to jazz to contemporary classical to Latin to musical theater, and on and on.  At this point we’ve performed in about 30 states and did our first international concert tour this past summer in China.  We have one album out from a few years ago and another one being released in just over a month on Summit Records.

What works have you arranged for Mirari?

I do the bulk of the in-house composing and arranging for the group, and at this point I’ve probably contributed about 20 pieces to our book. I’ve done a few jazz arrangements from composers like Charles Mingus, Thad Jones, Chick Corea, and Pat Metheny, some original compositions, a piece for quintet and vocals, one for quintet with piano, and one for quintet and wind ensemble.

Above: The Mirari Brass Quintet performing “Spires,” a commissioned work from Rome Prize winner and Guggenheim Fellow Eric Nathan. “Spires” may be heard on Mirari’s 2012 CD, also called “Spires.”

What is your most memorable musical experience? What is your most embarrassing musical experience?

Tough question—not sure if I have only one answer for this!  Some of the more memorable performances include performing in Thailand and China with my chamber groups, a jazz festival in Maui that included a home-stay with not one but two infinity pools, and getting to work with an amazing array of great musicians including Leonard Slatkin, Wycliffe Gordon, John Clayton, Randy Brecker, and many others.  Oh yeah, and sharing a duet on an album with “Yes” lead singer Jon Anderson.

As for embarrassing experiences—probably too many to count, but they definitely include dressing up as pop star Michael Jackson for an orchestra concert, passing out while playing a high note during my freshman year of college, and recording a marching band version of “Spider-Pig” (yes, from the Simpsons movie!).

Your bio lists that you were a “cellophonist” in a concerto for cellphones and orchestra. What was that?

Definitely one of the more entertaining gigs.  My mentor in grad school, David Baker, was commissioned to write a concerto for cell phones and orchestra—especially amusing since he could barely use his own.  My role included juggling 3-4 different phones at the front of the stage and triggering off various ringtones, accompanied by the orchestra and several hundred phones from the audience.  The music director of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra coined the term ‘cellophonist’, and I’ve found it hilarious ever since.

Contact Alex for a visit and/or a sample lesson: noppe@wisc.edu

Meet New Faculty: Matt Endres, Jazz Drums & Jazz History

In September, we welcomed Matt Endres as a new adjunct professor teaching jazz drums and jazz history. Matt is from Sauk City,  and received his bachelor’s of music degree at UW-Stevens Point, his master’s degree in jazz studies from the University of Illinois, and his doctoral degree in jazz studies and ethnomusicology at the University of Illinois. He’s been a bandleader, a sideman, and played drums with the Downbeat award-winning group “Old Style Sextet.” He’s heard on multiple albums and has worked with many well-known musicians, including trumpeter Doc Severinson. Read Matt’s full bio here.

Interview conducted by Kyle Johnson, a dissertator in piano performance.


What is one topic in jazz history that you find most important to share with your students? 

I don’t focus solely on major artists who would be considered “hallmarks” in my courses. I find it more relevant to emphasize what was happening socially, racially, economically, and politically in the US from the 19th century to present day. These are the things that shaped what we know today as the purely American music of jazz. After all, these topics act as the main artery that powered the evolution of this music. Note: Next spring, Matt will teach the class “Jazz Innovators: Armstrong, Ellington and Beyond,” Tuesdays & Thursdays from 1 to 2:15 PM. Learn more in the Course Guide.

What types of opportunities would you like our students to have?

Playing gigs is definitely the best arena for personal development as a musician. We live in a city that is very rich in the musical sense. There are many opportunities to play in Madison and I stress the importance of getting out, being heard, and creating with as many musicians as possible.

What was it like working with Doc Severinsen?

Doc is one of the most professional people I’ve ever worked with. Any horn player that complains about their chops after a gig, I have no sympathy for. Doc is 90 years old and has more stamina than anyone. He still performs with true effortless mastery. A true sweetheart and a giant influence.

Click here to read a story in the Sauk Prairie Eagle about Matt’s appointment to the School of Music.

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.  Within the jazz department specifically, Johannes Wallmann has a very clear vision on what this young department will be, and what he has created thus far is extraordinary. The opportunities he provides for the students is very inspirational. I’m very honored to have the privilege to work along side him and he has exposed me to many different academic arenas.

Share one memorable and one embarrassing musical experience. 

My most memorable experience also acts as my most embarrassing one. In October of 2014, in Macau, China, I dropped a stick in the middle of one of my solos in the finals of a music competition. I made it out alive and was able to develop it into a formative arrangement. That remains to be one of my most creative experiences I’ve had playing to this day.

What are some of the highlights from your career thus far?

I’ve had the pleasure of playing with many world class musicians/composers and created a lot of fantastic music.  I’m fortunate to have success internationally on music charts with a handful of these records. Still, the most memorable and rewarding aspect of recording has been noticing the personal progress in my own playing after cutting a record.

Where can we hear you in Madison?

I’ll play Thursday, December 7, with the Tony Barba Quartet at Madison’s (119 King St.) from 8-11 PM; Sunday, December 17 for Madison Jazz Jam at The Rigby (119 E. Main Street) from 4-7 PM; and Friday, December 29, at North Street Cabaret with the Tony Barba Quartet, 8 PM.


Want to meet Matt and /or request a sample lesson? Reach him at mcendres@wisc.edu.

Welcome back, everyone!

Welcome to the 2017-2018 academic year at the Mead Witter School of Music!

We hope you had an enjoyable, relaxing and productive summer.  We’re ready to begin the fall semester with plenty of news and events.

New faculty

Introducing Alicia Lee, assistant professor of clarinet; Alex Noppe, adjunct professor of trumpet; Matthew Endres, adjunct professor of jazz drums & jazz history; Timothy Hagen, adjunct professor of flute; David Scholl, instructor of double bass; and Chad Hutchinson, adjunct professor of instrumental conducting, director of orchestras and conductor of University Opera.  Read their biographies here.

New digital music studio

This fall, the Mead Witter School of Music will add a new studio to Humanities: the Electro-Acoustic Research Space (EARS). Located in a former classroom, EARS will be stuffed with the latest electronic music equipment, and will be available to faculty, students, and collaborators within the School of Music and in other departments. Read the announcement here.

Grand opening: Friday, September 15, 7:30 PM, Room 2401 (street level), Mosse Humanities Building, 455 North Park Street.

Prof. Dan Grabois in the new EARS studio, being interviewed by a writer from the local weekly, Isthmus.

Ten Years of the Perlman Piano Trio!

Last spring marked the tenth year of the Perlman Piano Trio, a student ensemble founded and supported by Kato Perlman. Learn more about the history of the trio with this special slideshow.

https://spark.adobe.com/page-embed.jsTen Years of the Perlman Piano Trio

New book about the Pro Arte Quartet

Local historian emeritus and classical music reviewer John W. Barker has penned an authoritative biography of the Pro Arte Quartet, with a comprehensive look at the members and the music.  Titled “The Pro Arte Quartet: A Century of Musical Adventure on Two Continents,” it is the first full biography of the quartet, which is comprised of members David Perry, Suzanne Beia, Sally Chisholm, and Parry Karp. The 353-paged book, published by Boydell & Brewer, Limited, will be available for purchase on November 15th. The book was commissioned in 2011 by the School of Music. Learn more here.

Music Education program scores high in online magazine

College Magazine, an online publication founded as a print magazine in 2007 by a student at the University of Maryland, placed UW-Madison above such luminaries as Johns Hopkins and Berklee.

The Madison approach to music ed emphasizes community outreach, research, and social justice, says Associate Professor Teryl Dobbs, chair of the music education program. “We recently created an entire revision of the entire undergraduate music ed degree and teacher licensure program… for 21st century students and the diverse students that our own students will teach,”  Dobbs said.  The story was sponsored by the National Association of Music Merchants.  Read the story here.

Over the past several years, Prof. Dobbs has traveled the world presenting her research into the Holocaust and music education as part of the “Performing the Jewish Archive” project. In Vienna last spring, she joined with former visiting professor Elizabeth Hagedorn to present ideas on curriculum revisions to develop deeper understandings of music outside the usual university canon.

On Sept. 17, hear Prof. Dobbs along with Prof. Rachel Brenner of the Center for Jewish Studies and Jessica Kasinski, recent DMA graduate, in a “University of the Air” program with Emily Auerbach and Norman Gilliland. “Why Teach the Holocaust?” will air from 4 to 5 PM on the Ideas Network of Wisconsin Public radio. It will be archived at https://www.wpr.org/programs/university-air

This September, Prof. Dobbs will travel to South Africa for more presentations and eventsRead about “Performing the Jewish Archive” here.

New classes offered this fall

The School of Music will offer two new classes this fall. Please contact the instructor (click the name below) to learn if you may register or possibly audit. Non-majors are welcome.

Music 497 – Jazz History

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 AM- 12:15 PM, room 2411 Humanities. With Matthew Endres, adjunct professor of jazz history & drums
This course focuses on cultural influences on the western development of jazz. By exploring historical and ethnographic works by scholars in ethnomusicology, history, anthropology, and communication, this course examines cultural aspects that influenced traditional and contemporary genres of jazz. Along with learning about the music that has influenced today’s popular genres through interactive participation and conversation, you’ll also develop tools to create case & field studies to study music through culture, and vice versa. Limit: 30 students.

Music 268, Lab 3 – Drumming the World Ensemble

Wednesdays, 1:20 to 3:15 PM, room 1321 Humanities.  Open to all  students; required for music education majors.

With Todd Hammes, percussion instructor. Drumming the World Ensemble is a structured drum circle wherein the music will be created by the class based on the study and application of drumming traditions from around the world. Instruments provided and will include Djembe, Conga, Dumbek, Darabuka, Bells, Rattles, and found objects. Limit: 15 students.

Upcoming concerts – September only

For future listings, please click here for our concert calendar. Our semesters are very full!

Concerts are free admission unless otherwise indicated.

Canceled: Annual Labor Day Karp Family concert

Faculty Recital: Mimmi Fulmer, voice, with guest pianist Craig Randal Johnson. September 10 @ 1:30 pm. Music celebrating Finland’s 100th anniversary of independence.

Faculty Recital: Paul Rowe, voice; Martha Fischer, piano. September 15 @ 8:00 pm.  A program of German art songs, in partnership with the German Department.

Faculty Recital: Jeanette Thompson, soprano, with guests Thomas Kasdorf, piano; and Paul Rowe, baritone. September 22 @ 7:00 pm. Lieder and spirituals.

Faculty Recital: Christopher Taylor, piano. September 23 @ 8:00 pm. $5 – $15. SOM students and faculty free admission.

Christopher Taylor performing in Mills Hall, Feb. 2015. Photo by Michael R. Anderson.

Pro Arte Quartet – September 24 @ 7:30 pm.  David Perry and Suzanne Beia, violin; Sally Chisholm, viola; and Parry Karp, cello.
An all-Mozart program with guest cellist Jean-Michel Fonteneau
and guest clarinetist Alicia Lee.

Our Full Concert Calendar

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 24-page newsletter/calendar that is printed and mailed every August. To receive a copy, click here to send us your postal address in an email.


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.