Category Archives: Graduates

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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“Sounding Beckett” with Cygnus Ensemble; Jazz at UW 50th Birthday; Wind Ensemble Concert April 7 to be livestreamed

March 15, 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/

“Sounding Beckett” – The Intersection of Music and Drama, featuring the Cygnus Ensemble

Friday, March 23, 7:30 PM, Mills Hall.

An event focused on music inspired by the Nobel Prize-winning playwright, Samuel Beckett. Featuring a concert by New York’s Cygnus Ensemble, instrumental master classes, a lecture and panel discussion with Patricia Boyette, UW-Madison professor of theatre & drama and Laura Schwendinger, UW-Madison faculty composer and professor of composition.

Samuel Beckett


With its pairs of plucked strings, bowed strings and woodwinds, Cygnus has a precedent in the Elizabethan “broken consort.”
  The members –Tara Helen O’Connor, flute; Robert Ingliss, oboe; William Anderson and Oren Fader, classical and electric guitars/mandolin/banjo; Calvin Wiersma, violin; Susannah Chapman, violoncello–are all virtuoso players with a great wealth of experience with some of our most cherished musical institutions, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Players.

Read more here.


Celebrating a milestone with students, faculty and special guest, trumpeter Marquis Hill

This April, UW-Madison’s annual Jazz Week will celebrate the 50th anniversary season of the UW Jazz Orchestra, the first jazz ensemble at UW-Madison’s Mead Witter School of Music.

Jazz Week 2018 will feature performances by the UW Jazz Orchestra, the UW Jazz Composers Group, the UW Contemporary Jazz Ensemble, the UW High School Honors Jazz Band, and a faculty jazz quartet, all to be joined by special guest trumpet soloist Marquis Hill, the winner of the 2014 Thelonious Monk Competition.

Hill is a Chicago native who now makes his home in New York City. “His music crystallizes the hard-hitting, hard-swinging spirit of Chicago jazz,” writes Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune. “Hill commands a nimble technique, a fluid way of improvising and a pervasively lyrical manner.”


Marquis Hill

UW’s Jazz Week 2018 features three concerts:

  • Tuesday, April 24: Marquis Hill with the UW Jazz Composers Group and the UW Contemporary Jazz Ensemble. Morphy Hall, 7:30 PM. Free concert.
  • Thursday, April 26: Marquis Hill with a faculty jazz quartet led by pianist and Director of Jazz Studies Johannes Wallmann with Les Thimmig, saxophones; Nick Moran, bass; and Matt Endres, drums. Morphy Hall, 8:00 PM. Ticketed concert: $15 adults, $5 non-music majors.
  • Friday, April 27: Marquis Hill with the UW Jazz Orchestra and the UW High School Honors Jazz Band. Music Hall, 8:00 PM. Ticketed concert: $15 adults, $5 non-music majors.

The UW High School Honors Jazz Band is an auditioned 18-member big band for high school students from about a dozen Madison-region schools who are looking for an additional opportunity to perform advanced jazz repertoire.

To buy online, click this link.

You may also purchase in person or at the door. For more information about ticketing and parking options, click here.


“We don’t want THAT word uttered in OUR school”: Listen to our audio stories on SoundCloud about the history of jazz at UW-Madison and at American colleges. With university saxophonist and professor Les Thimmig, who arrived at UW-Madison in 1971, just as the jazz program was getting started. To listen, click the icon below.

Speaking of jazz:

Alumnus trumpeter Eric Siereveld releases debut CD

In 2015, trumpeter Eric Siereveld was wooed from New York City to become the instructor of jazz trumpet and director of the Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble at the School of Music. In 2017, with a brand-new DMA under his arm, he returned to New York City to pursue a multi-pronged career, including performing with his Organic Quintet, working as a private instructor at the United Nations International School in Manhattan, gigs on and off Broadway, and playing in many small groups and big bands.

He’s just released his debut CD, titled “Walk the Walk,” on Shifting Paradigm Records.

Eric writes: “As a DMA student at UW-Madison, I was provided the opportunity to pursue the musical endeavors that I felt a personal connection to. Under the guidance of tremendous professors like Johannes Wallmann and John Aley, they taught me to focus my energy toward musical pursuits that were both professionally and artistically fulfilling. It’s with that spirit that I approached this debut recording. This album reflects the creative spirit and artistic integrity at UW. The compositions on “Walk the Walk” are deeply rooted in the musical process I was going through while completing my DMA. I am particularly proud that this album was recorded, mixed and mastered in Madison and Milwaukee. Without the support of my professors and colleagues at UW and Madison, I do not believe this recording would have been as successful. I hope my teachers, mentors and colleagues at UW-Madison enjoy this recording and that the university shares this album with incoming DMA students. “Walk the Walk” is an example of the type of creative thinking that the DMA program at the Mead Witter School of Music allows its candidates to pursue.”


April 7 Wind Ensemble concert to be livestreamed on YouTube

The UW Wind Ensemble. Photograph by Megan Aley.

Livestreaming in the Humanities building has always been a challenge, but new technology has made this a bit easier. So, on April 7, set your dials (a/k/a your browser URLs) to the School of Music’s YouTube page. There, you’ll find the UW Wind Ensemble with conductor Scott Teeple overseeing a concert of music by emeritus composer John Stevens, Francis Poulenc, Cindy McTee, Gustav Holst and Gerard Schwartz.  Livestream Link Here

Click now, and set a reminder for April 7!


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.

Hamel Music Center gets attention; Student News; “La Bohème” Feb 23-25; Flute & Keyboard Days

Tuesday, February 6, 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/

“What are those crazy round windows in the Hamel Music Center? It’s a question Gary Brown has gotten a lot lately.”

To answer it, UW-Madison’s Käri Knutson wrote a story for Inside UW, the weekly e-newsletter of UW-Madison.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“…They’re not windows, explains [Brown], the director of campus planning and landscape architecture. They’re sound chambers. And it’s just one of the features that will help the Hamel Music Center hit all the right notes. ‘It’s going to be amazing,’ Brown says. ‘The architecture and design is something we haven’t seen on this campus. It will really create a major gateway feature to campus.’ “

Read the full story here
View our ongoing construction photograph blog

Three-day “La Bohème” run at the Union’s Shannon Hall only three weeks away

The first University Opera production staged at the Union in 15 years, “La Bohème” features 56 cast members and a set designed by Madison’s dean of theater design, Joseph Varga.
In the Union’s “Green Room” blog, read Director David Ronis‘s description of his role as director: “What really interests me [in La Bohème] is seeing how the characters are changed from the beginning of the piece to the end,” Ronis writes. “They are forced to grow up; they become less self-involved; they learn about the fragility of life. Their sense of time changes – they won’t live forever – they learn the hard way how precious life and love are. For me, that’s the fundamental story we’re telling.”

The opera will be staged Friday, February 23, 7:30 PM start time; Saturday, February 24, 7:30 PM start time; and Sunday, February 24, 3:00 PM start time.

Buy tickets here

Fellowship string quartet and pianist heads to Florida

Once a year, a quartet or quintet comprised of graduate fellowship recipients travels to Florida to perform a private concert for  longtime School of Music donor Paul Collins. This year, they will perform works of Haydn, Beethoven, Manos Hadjidakis, Debussy, Liszt, Dvorak, and a passacaglia by Handel-Halvorsen.  Collins not only supports ten graduate students at the school, but also contributed $5 million toward the new Hamel Music Center. The new recital hall will be named for him.

Fellowship quartet
The 2017-2018 Fellowship String Quartet, L-R:
Ariel Garcia, viola; Kaleigh Acord, violin; James Waldo, cello; Richard Silvers, violin.
Pianist Anna Siampani

Harmony in performance: Violin Prof. Soh-Hyun Altino and cellist husband Leonardo Altino interviewed by the Wisconsin State Journal

“The Altinos, married in 2002, were born on opposite sides of the world. They had successful, growing, separate careers when they met and discovered two common languages between them: English and music.

Leo and Soh-Hyun Altino

“The couple came to Madison in 2015 when Soh-Hyun Park Altino was hired as assistant professor of violin at UW-Madison. Leo Altino now commutes from their West Side Madison home to Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, near Chicago, to teach three days a week.”

The Altinos were profiled by reporter Gayle Worland prior to their joint concert debut on January 26 with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.

Read the full story

Synching science and music

Luke Valmadrid. Photograph by Sarah Morton.

Double degrees are hard, but a triple degree?  “Luke Valmadrid has forged a rigorous path pursuing degrees in chemistry, biochemistry and violin performance — and the dedicated senior wouldn’t have it any other way.”  Luke studies music with Prof. Altino, above. Written by UW-Madison’s Katie Vaughn.

Read the full story

Polish your playing skills at our annual Flute or Keyboard Days

Flute Day,  Sunday, February 11, includes performances by guest artist, flutist George Pope, as well as by UW-Madison flute faculty Timothy Hagen and the UW-Madison Flute Ensemble. In addition, participants will be offered a brief seminar on making practicing more effective and enjoyable. Most importantly, there are opportunities for younger participants to perform in master classes and mock auditions in preparation for WSMA Solo and Ensemble Festivals and other solo performances.

Keyboard Day, Saturday, February 17, will include workshops by UW-Madison piano faculty, including Artistic Pedaling Techniques for the Developing Pianist and Poems at the Piano: How Songs and Poetry Help Us Understand  a Composer’s Mind, Heart and Fingers. Guest pianist Marina Lomazov (Friday, Februrary 16 concert in Mills Hall) will offer a master class.


Music TA wins campuswide teaching award

We congratulate choral conducting graduate student Chris Boveroux, one of only 15 UW-Madison teaching assistants (out of 2,000 total) to win a Graduate School CampusWide Teaching Award. Not only has Chris TA’d in music, but also in mathematics, political science, and integrated liberal studies.

Chris Boveroux

Hire a (Student) Musician!

Not sure where to look for that wedding string quartet, an Easter trumpeter, a church pianist, or maybe you need an arts intern? Post your request on our Hire a Musician blog, about two to four months prior to your event. Recent listings include a request for a quartet for a 50th anniversary party, summer internships available at Bravo! Vail music festival, and a jazz vocalist.


Selected Upcoming Events

  • Guest artists: Anna Hersey, soprano & Alan Johnson, piano. February 11, 1:30 pm, Morphy Hall.
  • Guest artist: Blaise Magniere, violin. February 11, 7:30 pm, Morphy Hall.
  • Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, contemporary classical works. February 15, 8:00 pm, Mills Hall.
  • Master class with Alban Gerhardt, cello. February 16, 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm, Morphy Hall.
  • Guest artist: Marina Lomazov, piano. February 16, 8:00 pm, Mills Hall. Part of UW-Madison Keyboard Day.
    View full calendar for more events.
  • Graduate composer Nathan Froebe, composer winner of the 2016-2017 concerto competition, offers two performances in the next month. February 19: Lecture recital on Pierre Jalbert’s “The Invention of the Saxophone,’ based on the poem of the same name by Billy Collins. Nathan Froebe, narrator; Patrick Specht, alto saxophone; and Kyle Johnson, piano. March 3: “Addiction’s Actuality,” for trombone, piano, and pre-recorded sounds. “Addiction’s Actuality” explores the topic of alcohol and drug addictions, from a person’s descent into addiction, through recovery, and life after. Disclaimer: This piece contains mature themes and content. Nathan Froebe, composer/electronics; Thomas Macaluso, trombone; and Vincent Fuh, piano.

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.

“La Bohème” in Shannon Hall – “Sound Out Loud” wins first prize – “Schubertiade” on Jan. 28

January 11, 2018

Welcome to 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/

University Opera to stage “La Bohème” at Memorial Union’s Shannon Hall

University Opera takes over the Wisconsin Union Theater for a three-day run of Puccini’s masterpiece

Read full news release here.

On February 23, 24 and 25, University Opera, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Union Theater, will present a special production of Giacomo Puccini’s timeless masterpiece, La Bohème, at the Wisconsin Union Theater’s Shannon Hall. This marks the first time in over 15 years that University Opera has staged a production at the Union Theater and the first bona fide opera production in the space since the theater’s renovation in 2014. Conducted by interim UW-Madison Director of Orchestras, Chad Hutchinson, and directed by Karen K. Bishop Director of Opera, David Ronis, the production will be performed in Italian with English supertitles. It will take full advantage of the many upgrades to Shannon Hall, in particular, the expanded orchestra pit which will accommodate the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra.

Friday, Feb. 23 @ 7:30 PM
Saturday, Feb. 24 @ 7:30 PM
Sunday, Feb. 25 @3:00 PM

Tickets are $38 for premium seating, $30 general admission, $25 senior tickets, $15 non-UW-Madison students and $10 UW-Madison students and are available in advance through the Campus Arts Ticketing office at (608) 265-ARTS and online at https://union.wisc.edu/events-and-activities/event-calendar/event/la-boheme/. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 12:00-5:00 p.m.

Because shows often sell out, advance purchase is recommended. If unsold tickets remain, they may be purchased at the door beginning one hour before the performance.

Says longtime University Opera supporter Kathleen Harker: “I am excited to see opera return to Shannon Hall at the Union with the University Opera’s lavish production of Puccini’s La Bohème. I have fond memories of seeing my first opera, a touring Metropolitan Opera production of ‘Madama Butterfly,’ at the Memorial Union in 1965.”



Above: Maria Callas sings “Quando me’n vo” from La Bohème, 1958


Sound Out Loud Ensemble wins first prize in national competition

The School of Music congratulates the Sound Out Loud Ensemble for its first place award from The American Prize in chamber music performance, university division. Sound Out Loud! is a new music ensemble currently comprised of pianists Kyle Dee Johnson and Satoko Hayami, violinist Biffa Kwok, flutist Iva Ugrčić, clarinetist Pedro Garcia III, and composer/cellist Brian Grimm. All but Grimm are either former or current graduate students at UW-Madison.

Sound Out Loud. L-R: Biffa Kwok, Iva Ugrčić, Satoko Hayami, Brian Grimm, Kyle Johnson and Pedro Garcia III.

The group specializes in contemporary music from the early 20th century to the present, as well as commissions new works to be written for it. Having drawn inspiration from numerous performance ensembles (such as Eighth Blackbird, Silk Road, and the International Contemporary Ensemble), the group seeks to expand the realm of possibilities within the chamber ensemble repertoire through the implementation of experimental techniques, the incorporation of a variety of instruments and musical styles from the Middle East and Asia, innovative performance practice, and the use of live electronics.

The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit national competitions in the performing arts providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels. Administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Danbury, Connecticut, The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually. The competitions of The American Prize are open to all U.S. citizens, whether living in this country or abroad, and to others currently living, working and/or studying in the United States of America, its protectorates and territories.


Our Annual “Schubertiade” only three weeks off!

This year’s Schubertiade will present at least one work from each year of Schubert’s all-too-brief but brilliant career. Beginning with one of his earliest piano duets, written when he was 14 years old, and ending with songs from his final year, this 5th Annual Schubertiade at the Mead-Witter School of Music will take place on Sunday afternoon, January 28, 2018 at 3pm in Mills Concert Hall.  All are invited for a post-concert reception in the University Club.

Once again, pianists Martha Fischer and Bill Lutes will be joined by School of Music faculty, students, and guest mezzo-soprano Rachel Wood, professor of voice at UW-Whitewater. Ms. Wood is a mezzo soprano whose performance credits include opera roles in Europe with Accademia Europea dell’Opera in Lucca, Italy and with Opera Studio Nederland, as well as numerous appearances in opera and recital in the US and Canada.

Rachel Wood

Tickets: $15/$5 students. Free to Mead Witter music majors, staff and faculty.

Ticket information here.


Please check our concert calendar for many other noteworthy upcoming events!

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..


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

Violinist David Kim & UW-Madison Strings; Alumni News; Images from Concert Hall Construction; Brass Quintet embarks on Big Ten Tour

News and Events from the Mead Witter School of Music
University of Wisconsin-Madison
October 10, 2017

“From Prodigy to Professional – A Life in Music” Talk & Concert with David Kim

From oboist to organist, whether one performs pop or Prokofiev,  every musician has a story of an intricate and sometimes unsettling pathway to a professional career.

Violinist David Kim, who will visit the School of Music on October 16 and 17, is no different. Since 1999, Kim has been the concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

On October 17 at 7: 30 PM in Mills Hall, Kim will offer a talk, “From Prodigy to Professionalism – A Life in Music.” He’ll describe his experiences and struggles to reach the pinnacle of his career. interspersed with performances of some of Mr. Kim’s favorite works. It will be a humorous, sometimes jarring, and often poignant story not to be missed.

Kim’s talk will be followed by a concert with UW-Madison strings and pianist Thomas Kasdorf. The program will include Sonatensatz by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897); Banjo and Fiddle by William Kroll (1901-1980); Meditation from Thais by Jules Massenet (1842-1912); and The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741).

“I’ve always shared anecdotes about my crazy upbringing,”  Kim wrote in an email. “From the beginning, my story seemed to resonate, especially with parents. After all, who doesn’t have a story of an overzealous parent from some stage of life! Now I share my story numerous times each season and have been urged by many to write a book – a la the widely-read book, ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom.’ But that will probably never happen as I prefer speaking during my concerts and love seeing the audience react in person.”

Join us for our “Conversation & Concert” with David Kim, our strings players and pianist Thomas Kasdorf. Only $15  adults, $5 students, except Mead Witter music majors, who receive free admission. Buy tickets here. They will also be sold at the door, starting at 6:30 PM.

Additional Events:
Violin Master Class: Monday, October 16, 7 PM, Morphy Hall
Strings Orchestral Excerpts Master Class: Tuesday, October 17, 11 AM, Morphy Hall
Both classes are free and open to the public.

Learn more here: http://www.music.wisc.edu/event/david-kim-vivaldis-four-seasons/


Alumni Updates

Flutist Reunion was August 2017

L-R: Kathy (Cook) Moss (MM ’82, DMA ’91); Peggy Vagts (MM ’78); Cathy (Collinge) Herrera (MM ’84); Leslie Goldman Maaser (MM’85); and Wendy Mehne (DMA ’92).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A group of five flutists who studied under Robert Cole performed in August at the 45th Annual National Flute Association Convention held in Minneapolis. Peggy Vagts (MM ’78), Kathy (Cook) Moss (MM ’82, DMA ’91), Cathy (Collinge) Herrera (MM ’84), Leslie Goldman Maaser (MM’85) and Wendy Mehne (DMA ’92) played as part of the annual Flutopia Initiative-NFA “Play It Forward” charitable concert.

Educator John Kuehn just can’t retire

John Kuehn earned both his bachelor’s of music education in 1964 and master’s of music in 1972 at UW, studying with Glenn Bowen. He has taught instrumental music at every level from kindergarten through master’s degrees and loves it all. John retired in 2014, but was wooed back onto the stage.

Read more and view images at this link:
http://www.music.wisc.edu/alumni-news/


The Wisconsin Brass Quintet. L-R: Matthew Onstad, trumpet; Mark Hetzler, trombone; Tom Curry, tuba; Daniel Grabois, horn; Alex Noppe, trumpet. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

Wisconsin Brass Quintet on Tour

This month, the Wisconsin Brass Quintet embarks on a Big Ten Tour! If you live in Illinois, Michigan, or Indiana, you’ll have an opportunity to see the WBQ in concerts and master classes, starting Oct. 17. Additionally, at selected locations, trombonist Mark Hetzler will offer lectures & demos on electroacoustic music, and hornist Daniel Grabois will present horn technique master classes. They’ll return for a final concert in Madison on Nov. 15.

Learn more here: http://www.wisconsinbrassquintet.com/


VIEW: The Hamel Music Center Under Construction, March – October 2017




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.

Two More Opera Awards; Jazz Program Highlighted; Student Spotlight; Opportunities for Community Members

Happy New Year from the Mead Witter School of Music! And welcome to the first issue of A Tempo! for 2017

Two More Awards for UW-Madison University Opera

University Opera scores again with national recognition

Awards for two shows in 2015-2016

UW-Madison’s University Opera is on a roll. Both shows from last year, Transformations and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, have won awards in the National Opera Association’s (NOA) Opera Production Competition for 2015-2016. It is the second year in a row that UW-Madison has garnered an award from NOA, and the first time that each production was separately recognized. University Opera produces only two operas each year.

William Ottow and Rebecca Buechel in Transformations. Image by Michael R. Anderson.
William Ottow and Rebecca Buechel in Transformations. Image by Michael R. Anderson.

October 2015’s Le nozze di Figaro, with orchestra conducted by James Smith, placed second in Division IV, and March 2016’s Transformations, conducted by graduate assistant conductor Kyle Knox, garnered a first place award in Division III.

Both productions were directed by David Ronis, inaugural Karen K. Bishop Director of Opera, who is now a six-time winner of the competition. His previous awards occurred while he worked at Queens College in New York.

Read the full news release.

UW-Madison Jazz Program highlighted- twice!

In December, Madison’s weekly newspaper Isthmus devoted a cover story to our burgeoning jazz program and its director, Johannes Wallmann

“By bringing more jazz to the university and beyond, Wallmann hopes to promote the notion that jazz isn’t just about the past, with its storied history and legendary names. It’s now also about highly trained musicians pushing the boundaries of the genre,” wrote author Jane Burns in her story, “Making a Scene.”

“ ‘Look up any end-of-the-year Top 10 list on NPR, Downbeat or The New York Times, and listen to what this generation of 20- and 30-somethings are up to, it’ll blow your mind,’ ” Wallmann says. “ ‘We want to prepare our students to be part of that.’ ”

…meanwhile, Wisconsin Public TV spotlights the jazz program as part of its “Young Performers” Initiative

For over a year, a dedicated crew from WPT – including alumna Megan Aley, who served as a producer – filmed Wallmann and his staff as they shepherded high school students through auditions for the UW High School Honors Jazz Band. The videos are intended to help aspiring musicians prepare for professional careers and college auditions.

New videos from Making Jazz web series will be released each Monday through Feb. 6. Learn more about the Young Performers Initiative and sign up for weekly releases of the jazz videos.

Meet our students: Juliana Mesa-Jaramillo, bassoonist

Juliana Mesa-Jaramillo came from the country of Colombia to study bassoon performance with Marc Vallon, professor of bassoon.  We asked her how she became involved in music, with the bassoon, and why she chose Wisconsin.

Juliana Mesa-Jaramillo
Juliana Mesa-Jaramillo

“I did my undergrad in music performance in the University El Bosque in Bogotá. I studied with Leonardo Guevara, the principal bassoonist of the National Symphony Orchestra. I learned very much while at school and I was able to play with many chamber ensembles when I was still in school. My first job as a bassoonist was in the Symphonic Band of Cundinamarca, and I worked there for a year during my last year of school. It was challenging, but I learned very much from this experience.

“In 2010, I received a master’s in bassoon performance with Saxton Rose at the University of North Carolina-School of the Arts. As I started to look into going back to school, I talked him, and he recommended that I applied to study with Marc Vallon at UW-Madison. I think it is one of the best decisions I have made in my life!”

Read Juliana’s story here, and click the arrow to learn about more of our students.

Two Community Opportunities – Deadlines Included

Sing with Choral Union this spring! Drop-in auditions will be held on January 18 for community members interested in singing a rare work: Paul Hindemith’s When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d. A rarely done work because of its difficulty, this is an outstanding setting of Walt Whitman’s poem written about the death of Abraham Lincoln, and the train that carried his body to Springfield, Illinois.  The work was commissioned by Robert Shaw in memory of Franklin Roosevelt, whose funeral train carried his dead body from Georgia back to Washington.  The work is in memory of “those we loved.”  Two concerts, April 29 & 30. Learn more here. 

Inviting high school pianists to take part in Pathways to Artistry: From the Practice Room to the Stage. A free, day-long event featuring workshops, masterclasses and performances hosted by UW-Madison’s keyboard faculty. High school pianists are encouraged to participate in the master classes and an honors recital.  More information and registration is at the link below. The deadline to register is January 31.

http://www.music.wisc.edu/event/pathways-to-artistry-uw-madison-keyboard-day/

pathways-to-artistry-graphic

Two Concerts – Seats Available

Sunday, January 22, 4 PM, Mills Hall

Sonatas for Violin and Piano

Violinist Soh-Hyun Altino and pianist Christopher Taylor, both faculty artists, perform the Sonata for Violin and Piano by John Corigliano (1963) and the Sonata in A Major by Gabriel Fauré (1875-76). Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for non-UW music students.  Learn more here.

Sunday, January 29, 3 PM, Mills Hall

Our Annual Schubertiade: “Circle of Friends”

This year’s Schubertiade with pianists Martha Fischer and Bill Lutes will feature acclaimed alumna soprano Emily Birsan.  The concert will be followed by a reception (included in the ticket cost) at the University Club. Tickets are $15 per adult and $5 for non-UW music students. The concert is sponsored by Madison resident Ann Boyer, an admirer of Franz Schubert’s music and the musical talents of Fischer and Lutes. Learn more here.

Emily Birsan
Emily Birsan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alumni News

We want to hear from you- please click the link to read about our graduates and send your news!

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.


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.