Category Archives: Mark Hetzler

School of Music celebrates at Lake & University; Sun Prairie students get tips from Teeple; Hetzler credits UW grants; Falstaff starts this week; Student Recital Highlight

News and Events from the Mead Witter School of Music
University of Wisconsin-Madison
November 9, 2016


Celebration time at Lake & University!

Music is never in short supply at a school of music, and that was happily obvious on October 28 for the groundbreaking of the new Hamel Music Center. Featuring a jazz combo, a sweet-voiced choir and a brass quintet, topped off by our favorite tunes from the UW Marching Band, the ground for a new concert hall was finally broken on October 28, 2016.

L-R: Board of Advisors Co-Chair Pamela Hamel, student Megan Mitchell, Chancellor Rebecca Blank, L&S Dean John Karl Scholz, and George Mead and Susan Feith of the Mead Witter Foundation (with her grandson in between).
L-R: Board of Advisors Co-Chair Pamela Hamel, student Megan Mitchell, Chancellor Rebecca Blank, L&S Dean John Karl Scholz, and George Mead and Susan Feith of the Mead Witter Foundation (with her grandchildren in between). Photograph by Andy Manis.

 

 

 

Under a yawning tent with over 200 guests in attendance, speakers included Chancellor Rebecca Blank, Mead Witter School of Music director Susan C. Cook, Mead Witter Board of Advisors co-chairs Pamela O. Hamel and Robert Graebner, John Karl Scholz, dean of the College of Letter and Sciences, and Megan Mitchell, a double major in the School of Music.

Click here to see a full gallery of groundbreaking ceremony images on our website.

Want to join our euphonious (mellifluous, dulcet, coloratura, take your pick) team?

Naming opportunities are still available for spaces in the new building! For $4 million, we offer a chance to name the lobby, and for $2.5 million, a chance to name the rehearsal space. Donors who would like to have their names prominently displayed on our wall of honor have opportunities at $50,000 or more. For more information, please contact Jon Sorenson at jon.sorenson@supportuw.org or call him at 608.515.3052. Or, contact Rebekah Sherman at rebekah.sherman@supportuw.org or 608.572.2077.


Students from Sun Prairie get prepped for music conference by Scott Teeple, director of concert bands at UW-Madison

On October 27, a group of young band musicians from Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School visited the School of Music with their conductor, Joseph Mesner, to receive tips for their performance at the Wisconsin School Music Association state conference at Monona Terrace on October 28. “They came to campus to work with me, as I was guest conducting a piece on their program,” says Teeple.  “I recruited some UW students to “sit-in” for the rehearsal.  The UW Wind Ensemble students played along with the young musicians, who were in 8th and 9th grade, demonstrated skills and gave feedback to the students during their rehearsals.” Click images to enlarge.


This week at the School of Music:

Student Recital Highlight: Kyle Johnson, piano

Tomorrow, Thursday Nov 10, at 6:30 PM in Morphy Hall, pianist Kyle Johnson holds a doctoral lecture-recital titled “The Music of Birds:  Messiaen’s Musical Ecology.” He writes: “Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux (Catalog of Birds) is a multi-movement work for piano that features hundreds of notated birdsongs and depictions of French landmarks. Although dissonant at times, it is an ecologically-based work that is always imaginative and thought-provoking. Among topics to-be discussed during the lecture portion of the presentation are: the dualism of science and art in the 20th century, extra-musical representation throughout music history, and an interpretation of the movements ‘Chough of the Alps,’ ‘Song of the Lark,’ and ‘The Curlew.’ ”

Falstaff this week!

Don’t miss your chance to see UW-Madison’s novel setting of Falstaff, a “wild, comic romp about a has-been silent movie actor, out of work with the advent of the ‘talkies,’ holding onto his former glory and living beyond his means at the Chateau Marmont.”  Directed by David Ronis, conducted by James Smith. At 6 PM on Friday, there will also be a pre-concert discussion with university colleagues Joshua Calhoun, Assistant Professor of English; Cabell Gathman, Lecturer, Dept. of Gender and Women’s Studies; Steffen Silvis, Dramaturg and Doctoral Candidate in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies; and David Ronis, Karen K. Bishop Director of University Opera.  Susan Cook, Pamela O. Hamel/Music Board of Advisors Director of the Mead Witter School of Music, will moderate.

Falstaff will be presented in Italian with English supertitles for three performances, November 11 at 7:30 pm, November 13 at 3:00 pm, and November 15 at 7:30 pm in Music Hall.

Click here to buy tickets.

falstaffad


Trombonist Mark Hetzler grateful for faculty awards that allow him to realize his artistic goals

Concert Saturday, Nov. 12, 8 PM, Mills Hall

A CD of experimental contemporary chamber music, a second CD of romantic music for trombone and piano, and an upcoming CD of arrangements and original works for trombone ensemble: all the result of UW-Madison arts grants and awards that allowed trombone professor Mark Hetzler to experiment far beyond what would otherwise be possible.

Mark Hetzler
Mark Hetzler

To that pile, add one more CD of experimental and contemporary music, released in 2016.

His most recent recording, Dig., involves considerable new technology, innovative recording techniques and commissions of new music from living composers, all thanks to UW-Madison grants.  “The University is a fantastic means of research support,” says Hetzler. “My teaching and research go hand in hand, and to be able to bring my artistic ideas to life is a huge part of why I love working on this campus.”

In 2012, Hetzler received a H. I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship award of $50,000. Romney awards are funded by WARF to recognize the leadership of the late WARF Trustee President H. I. Romnes. In 2015, Hetzler received a Creative Arts Award of $30,000 from the UW-Madison Arts Institute, which honors extraordinary artistic projects and endeavors carried out by tenured members of the UW-Madison arts faculty.

This Saturday, Nov. 12 at 8:00 PM in Mills Hall, Hetzler will perform his yearly faculty recital with pianist Vincent Fuh, a School of Music alumnus who frequently collaborates with Hetzler. “The music is a retrospective of pieces that I have recorded over the past 14 years, and represents five different recordings,” Hetzler says. “I want to showcase music that I’ve recorded in the past as a way of connecting my students and the Madison public with what I do as a recording artist.”

Music from the following recordings from his Summit catalogue will be represented on this recital: American Voices (2002); Serious Songs, Sad Faces (2003); 20th Century Architects (2004); Three Views (2012); and Blues, Ballads and Beyond (2015). You can learn more about all of Mark’s accomplishments as a musician and as a teacher at his personal website: http://www.markhetzler.com/


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.

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

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

Violist Nobuko Imai joins the Pro Arte Quartet for an evening of chamber music
NobukoImai2
Nobuko Imai

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

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

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

BrassFest8x11Poster2015All events will be held in Mills Hall.

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

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

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

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

Buy tickets to both concerts and save!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FirstRegNullemblem

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

Read David’s full post on Tumblr.

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

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

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

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

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

Alumni News

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

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

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

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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.

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

Where are they going and where are they now?

Music students forge unique paths

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

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

Valerie Sanders
Valerie Sanders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vince Mingils
Vince Mingils

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

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

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

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

Tim Morris
Tim Morris

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

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

 

Amanda Fry
Amanda Fry

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

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

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

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

Jeremy Kienbaum
Jeremy Kienbaum

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


Click here to read the stories about our alumni.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Join us to wish bon voyage to our newest grads!

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

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

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

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

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


Cellist wins Yamaha Young Performing Artists Prize

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


Percussion Ensemble makes new friends and plays music in China

by Anthony Di Sanza

(Click photos for captions)

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


Make Music this Summer with Summer Band!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wingra Celebrates 50 Years

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

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

Main Website

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

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

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

Full concert calendar: http://www.music.wisc.edu/events/

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

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

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

The JACK Quartet. Photo by Henrik Olund.

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

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

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

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

UW Wind Ensemble Performs in Carnegie Hall

by Scott Teeple, Wind Ensemble Conductor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emeritus Percussion Professor James Latimer welcomed at 50th Anniversary Concert

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

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

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

 

Benefit Concert for Brittany Sperberg raises money and her spirits

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

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

Pianist Christopher Taylor solos with Madison Symphony, earns accolades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

HELPFUL LINKS

Main Website

Concert Calendar

Ticketing

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

For our concert calendar and much more, check the main School of Music website: http://www.music.wisc.edu/
STAR NEW YORK VIOLINIST MIRANDA CUCKSON TO HEADLINE A FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC
Cuckson
Miranda Cuckson

Highlighting the music of George Crumb

Four days, four events: Friday through Monday, March 20-23. Full details: http://www.music.wisc.edu/george-crumb/

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

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

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

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


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

Other events include:

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

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

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

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

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

STUDENT SOLOISTS NOW ON SOUNDCLOUD

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

One of those soloists, soprano Anna Whiteway, will appear in University Opera’s production of The Magic Flute, starting this weekend in Music Hall. Shows are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday. Learn more here: http://www.music.wisc.edu/2015/02/12/magic-flute/

And watch Anna here:

MUSIC THEORY, DEMONSTRATED

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

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

http://www.music.wisc.edu/events/rameau-the-theorist-free/

Charles Dill
Charles Dill
STUDENTS IN THE NEWS
Bassist Ben Ferris on the Terrace with James Castaneda, Ty Peterson, Drew Schrieber and Luke Busch. Photo courtesy Ben Ferris.
Bassist Ben Ferris on the Terrace with James Castaneda, Ty Peterson, Drew Schrieber and Luke Busch. Photo courtesy Ben Ferris.
 Save the Date: WINGRA WOODWIND QUINTET COMMEMORATES 50 YEARS WITH A PARTY AND CONCERT
The Wingra Woodwind Quintet, 2013. From left: Kostas Tiliakos, oboe; Linda Kimball, horn; Linda Bartley, clarinet; Stephanie Jutt, flute; and Marc Vallon, bassoon. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.
The Wingra Woodwind Quintet, 2013. From left: Kostas Tiliakos, oboe; Linda Kimball, horn; Linda Bartley, clarinet; Stephanie Jutt, flute; and Marc Vallon, bassoon. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

Free and open to the public!

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

Please RSVP to news@music.wisc.edu

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

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

UW’S WIND ENSEMBLE PLAYS CARNEGIE HALL

Photo by Steve Carmichael.

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

Jamie Wozniak, trumpeter with the UW WInd Ensemble. Photos by Steve Carmichael.
Jamie Wozniak, trumpeter with the UW WInd Ensemble. Photos by Steve Carmichael.
STUDENT CONCERTS AND RECITALS

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

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

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

FACULTY MUSICIANS IN CONCERT

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

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

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

Main Website

Concert Calendar

Ticketing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 UW-MADISON PERCUSSION PROGRAM CELEBRATES 50 YEARS WITH A MARCH 20 CONCERT AND TRIP TO CHINA

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


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

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

HEAR THE MUSIC OF BRITISH COMPOSER CECILIA McDOWALL AND MEET THE COMPOSER, TOO

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

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

Cecilia McDowall
Cecilia McDowall

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

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

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

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

WINNERS OF SHAIN WOODWIND-PIANO DUO COMPETITION ANNOUNCED

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

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

BENEFIT FOR STRICKEN TROMBONIST BRITTANY SPERBERG: MARCH 18


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

Undergraduate trombonist Brittany Sperberg, who performed in the UW’s Dairyland Jazz Band and many other ensembles, is now having serious medical problems and has withdrawn from school. Sperberg was featured in this blog in the fall of 2013.  Her teacher, trombonist Mark Hetzler, has organized a benefit concert on Wednesday, March 18, 7:30 PM to raise donations to assist her family with unmet expenses. Please join us to help wish Brittany a speedy recovery!  Donations may also be made at YouCaring.org. Learn much more at our website: http://www.music.wisc.edu/2015/02/07/sperberg_benefit/

STELLAR SINGING EXPECTED AT UNIVERSITY OPERA’S NEXT SHOW: MOZART’S THE MAGIC FLUTE
On Oct. 14, 2011, costume designers Sydney Krieger (right) and Hyewon Park (left) work on the fit of a costume worn by University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate Caitlin Miller (center) for the upcoming UW Opera performance of "La Boheme." Also pictured is undergraduate Katherine Peck (center left). (Photo by Bryce Richter /UW-Madison)
In 2011, UW costume designers Sydney Krieger (right) and Hyewon Park (left) worked on a costume for La Boheme. Photo by Bryce Richter /UW-Madison.

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

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

Tickets sold at the Memorial Union Box office. Adults $22, seniors $18, $10 UW-Madison students. http://www.uniontheater.wisc.edu/location.html

PRICELESS MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPT NOW ACCESSIBLE AFTER A LAPSE OF 800 YEARS

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

WEB_179r-Darius-Daniel-Daniels-accusers-fed-to-lions-495x400

 

SCHOOL OF MUSIC PHOTO EXHIBIT STARTS MARCH 1, LOWELL CENTER

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

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

HELPFUL LINKS

Main Website

Concert Calendar

Ticketing

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

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

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

Tom Curry
Tom Curry

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

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

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

Tom Curry
Tom Curry

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

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

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

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

Student recitals in full swing; Thimmig & Friends present rarely-heard Morton Feldman work; Perlman Trio + 2 on April 12

Spring means recitals at the School of Music

For musicians in college music programs, spring often means a hectic gathering of resources to produce the ultimate in personal statements: the solo recital. In the next five weeks, we will present dozens of them, offering a smorgasbord ranging from Beethoven to Brazilian.  Most recitals are listed on our calendar; click on “show student recitals” to find them. Selected examples include:

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Mikko Utevsky, conducting the Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra in summer 2013. Photograph by Mike Anderson.

Thursday, March 27, 7:30 PM, Capitol Lakes Retirement Community
Mikko Utevsky, viola
Haydn/Piatigorsky,  Divertimento in D major; Bloch, Suite Hebraïque; Milhaud, Viola Sonata No. 1 (“On anonymous, unpublished 18th-century themes”); Brahms, Sonata for Viola (Clarinet) and Piano in E flat major, Op. 120 No.2. Utevsky also directs the Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra, which is now preparing for summer concerts.

Nicole Tuma
Nicole Tuma. Photo by Michael R. Anderson.

Saturday, March 29, 1:30 PM, Morphy Hall
Nicole Tuma, flute, with Steve Radtke, piano, Rachel Bottner, cello, Allison Kelley, oboe, Rosemary Jones, clarinet, Ross Duncan, bassoon, and Sarah Gillespie, horn.
“Of Flutes and Fauna: Music Inspired by the Animal Kingdom”
Malagigi the Sorcerer, Efrain Amaya; “Goldfinch” Concerto, Antonio Vivaldi; Opus No. Zoo, Luciano Berio; Solo de Pajarillo, Omar Acosta; and Vox Balaenae, George Crumb.

Oxana Khramova.
Oxana Khramova.

Saturday, April 5, 3:30 PM, Morphy Hall.
Oxana Khramova, piano
A DMA solo recital featuring Beethoven’s Sonata op. 10, No. 3 in D Major and Ravel’s Miroirs.

Saturday, April 19, 3:30 PM, Morphy Hall.
Quadrivium Saxophone Quartet, performing transcriptions of works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Grieg, and more.

Jacob Wolbert
Jacob Wolbert
Photograph by Mike Anderson

Saturday, April 26, 1:30 PM, Morphy Hall.
Jacob Wolbert, percussion. Featuring marimba, multiple percussion and Brazilian music, with special guests!
Many more recitals to be found at this link! http://www.music.wisc.edu/calendar  [click “show student recitals]

Perlman Piano Trio (+ 2) presents annual concert

The Perlman Piano Trio + 2.
The 2013-14 Perlman Piano Trio (+ 2). L-R: Madlen Breckbill, violin; Alice Bartsch, violin; Daniel Ma, cello; SeungWha Baek, piano; Jeremy Kienbaum, viola. Photo by Michael R. Anderson.

The free annual performance of the student ensemble, the Perlman Piano Trio (+ 2) will take place on Saturday, April 12, at 3:30 PM in Morphy Hall in Humanities. The original ensemble, formed as a piano trio in 2007, is funded by Dr. Kato Perlman, a retired research scientist who was inspired by former UW-Madison Chancellor Irving Shain, who is also heavily involved with the school of music through his support of several competitions. (One of these, the Beethoven Piano Competition, will hold its annual winners’ recital on April 6 at 3:30 PM in Morphy Hall. Winners have not yet been announced.)

As students graduate, new musicians audition to replace them. This year’s ensemble consists of Madlen Breckbill, violin; Alice Bartsch, violin; Daniel Ma, cello; SeungWha Baek, piano; and Jeremy Kienbaum, viola. Both Madlen Breckbill and SeungWha Baek were previously featured this year as winners of the school’s annual concerto competition, the Symphony Showcase, while Alice Bartsch was a winner two years ago.

The April program will include the 40-minute long Trio No. 1 in B-flat major for piano, violin, and cello, D. 898, written by Franz Schubert (click here to hear audio) and finished in 1828, just before he died.  It will also include the adagio of the piano trio in E flat major, Hoboken XV:22, by Joseph Haydn, written in 1794, as well as the piano quintet op. 81 in A major by Antonín Dvořák, composed in 1887. A public reception will follow the performance.

Thimmig, Hedstrom and Kleve to perform final work in Morton Feldman trilogy

Russian-Jewish experimental composer (1926-1987) from New York City wrote music that was “glacially slow and snowily soft”

On March 30, at 5 PM in Mills Hall, UW professor Les Thimmig (on flute), pianist Jennifer Hedstrom, and percussionist Sean Kleve (the last two both members of Clocks in Motion, UW-Madison’s new resident percussion ensemble), will perform the final work of three trios, “For Philip Guston,” dedicated to Philip Guston, who was a painter and Feldman’s closest friend, who died in 1980. This final installment is a Wisconsin premiere, according to Thimmig, and is four hours long.

American composer Morton Feldman (1926-1987) was first noted for his inclusion in the “Cage School”; in addition to John Cage, the group included Earle Brown and Christian Wolff. Their approach of “letting the sounds speak for themselves” stood in marked distinction to the structuralist side of the early 1950’s avant garde, a group including Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Milton Babbitt, among others. Feldman’s music served as an important influence and guide in the development of the minimalist school of the 1960’s, including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley. A prominent influence on Feldman’s musical development was the work of the painters of the New York school of Abstract Expressionism: Jackson Pollock, Philip Guston, Franz Kline, and Mark Rothko, among others.

Thimmig3

Thimmig and Feldman were acquaintances in New York, Thimmig says. “We sat on bar stools together, we ate dinner together.” Feldman’s music is not often heard, he adds: “It’s important for this to get out. As the years go by, this kind of music goes into the music history dustbin.”

In 2006, writer Alex Ross of The New Yorker published a lengthy analysis of Feldman; you can read it here.

Ross wrote: “The often noted paradox is that this immense, verbose man wrote music that seldom rose above a whisper. In the noisiest century in history, Feldman chose to be glacially slow and snowily soft. Chords arrive one after another, in seemingly haphazard sequence, interspersed with silences. Harmonies hover in a no man’s land between consonance and dissonance, paradise and oblivion. Rhythms are irregular and overlapping, so that the music floats above the beat. Simple figures repeat for a long time, then disappear. There is no exposition or development of themes, no clear formal structure. Certain later works unfold over extraordinarily lengthy spans of time, straining the capabilities of performers to play them and audiences to hear them. More than a dozen pieces last between one and two hours, and “For Philip Guston” and “String Quartet (II)” go on for much longer. In its ritual stillness, this body of work abandons the syntax of Western music, and performers must set aside their training to do it justice.”

Percussionist Sean Kleve says the the trios “are unlike any performance experience I’ve ever had.”

“I’ve had to work on new ways to experience the music in which I allow myself to concentrate in the moment and not permit my mind to think about what is to come and what I have already played,” he added. “At a certain point in rehearsals, I don’t even feel like the music takes that long to play. Rather, it feels like a series of related or unrelated moments which are happening to me. My major role as the performer is to fit in and allow the music to unfold in its natural pace and patient manner.”

“The Annals of Accompanying”: UW pianist Martha Fischer describes the unique skills needed to be a collaborative pianist

Blogger Jake Stockinger presents a two-part series on his website, “The Well-Tempered Ear,” in which he interviewed UW pianist Martha Fischer and UW baritone Paul Rowe about their upcoming concerts (Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch, which they will perform with alumna Julia Foster, who earned a BA in 2003) as well as the qualities required to become a truly good collaborative pianist.

 

Paul Rowe, Martha Fischer, and alumna Julia Foster.
Paul Rowe, Martha Fischer, and alumna Julia Foster.

“No longer are they called ‘accompanists’; today these performances are understood to be much more,” Fischer says. “If we, as pianists, think of it as “just accompanying” — as a lesser experience — then we are perpetuating the stereotype that accompanists are good sight-readers who should stay in the background and be nothing more than pretty wallpaper to the soloist’s great artistry. If we as pianists bring all we have to offer to the table and are as prepared (or more so) than our partners, then we play in a way that demands respect. And that’s where it should all begin.”

Read Part One here.
Read Part Two here.

Concerts:

TONIGHT: Madison, Wisconsin, Wednesday, March 26, 7:30 PM, Mills Hall.

Vermilion, South Dakota, Friday, March 28, 9AM, University of South Dakota (as part of the National Association of Teachers of Singing regional meeting and competition. The three will then serve as judges the following day.) Click here for more info.

 

Musicologists to gather at UW for the Midwest Graduate Music Consortium, April 11 & 12

The Midwest Graduate Music Consortium (MGMC) is a joint venture organized by graduate students from Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. MGMC encourages the presentation of original research and the composition of new music by graduate and advanced undergraduate students. Conferences are held annually on a rotating basis, at Madison, Chicago, or Evanston.

The eighteenth annual MGMC meeting will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and will include paper sessions, a new music concert, and a keynote address delivered by Tamara Levitz. MGMC 2014 is generously funded by the UW-Madison School of Music and the UW-Madison Lectures Committee. For the full program, click here: https://sites.google.com/site/mgmc2014/program

Friday, April 11, 4PM, Room 2650 Humanities: “Riot at the Rite: Racial Exclusion and the Foundations of Musical Modernism,” a talk by Tamara Leivitz, UCLA. Abstract: “The premiere of Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky’s ballet Rite of Spring in Paris on May 29, 1913 had received much attention in scholarly works for the infamous riot that confronted its first performance. The lecture aims to deconstruct the myth of the riot, with the goal of exposing the process of racial exclusion in modernist listening practices that emphasized the work’s newness over its strangeness. Through the proliferation of this myth, Prof. Levitz will show how concert organizers, musicologists, and journalists cemented the practices of racial exclusion that define listening cultures of modern music to the present day.”
Saturday, April 12, 1 PM. New Music Concert at Luther Memorial Church, 1021 University Ave, featuring new works for Clocks in Motion and the woodwind quintet, Black Marigold. 

Faculty oboist Kostas Tiliakos to perform Greece-inspired program with Christopher Taylor and Stephanie Jutt

Pianist Christopher Taylor and flutist Stephanie Jutt will accompany Kostas Tiliakos on oboe and English horn in his only solo recital this year, April 7 at 7:30 PM in Morphy Hall. His program will consist by composers Minas Alexiadis, Anastassis Philippakopoulos, Theodore Antoniou, Jurgis Juozapaitis, and Thea Musgrave. Tiliakos, a visiting assistant professor of oboe, replaced retiring faculty oboist Marc Fink last fall. “The idea was to play music either written by Greek composers or music inspired by Greece and its history and mythology,” Tiliakos says. Three of the pieces were written and premiered by Tiliakos: Alexiadis’ Folk Cadenza No.5 (premiered at the International Double Reed Conference 2013, at University of Redlands, California); and Philippakopoulos’ Syrna and Antoniou’s Trio Lyrico for oboe, flute, and piano. The last two were premiered by Tiliakos in Athens in 2000 and 2008, respectively.

 

Kostas Tiliakos.
Kostas Tiliakos.

New trombone ensemble holds first concert; Mark Hetzler to solo

The Madison Area Trombone Ensemble will present its inaugural concert at 3pm on Sunday, March 30th, at First United Methodist Church, 203 Wisconsin Ave. Founded by School of Music alumnus and Madison freelance trombonist Kevan Feyzi (BM, 2012), MATE is an all-volunteer group is comprised of some of the top trombonists in the community. The program will feature Mark Hetzler, associate professor of trombone, performing David P. Jones’ Bone Moan, a composition for solo trombone with six-part trombone choir and the title track on Hetzler’s eponymous album, released in December on Summit Records. The program also includes compositions by local trombonist Rich Woolworth plus Randall Thompson, Haydn, Duke Ellington, and arrangements by members of the group.

Trombonist Mark Hetzler.
Trombonist Mark Hetzler. Photo by Michael R. Anderson.

Young trombonist finds community–and inspiration–at the UW-Madison School of Music

Hot on the heels of “Trombone Week” in Madison, which featured three famous trombonists performing in town (Trombone Shorty, Papo Vazquez and our own alum Chris Washburne), we now offer a story about a trombonist at the other end of the career spectrum: Brittany Sperberg, a junior from Shawano. Brittany is a recipient of several School of Music scholarships and has put them to good use, having formed her own Dixieland band which has played several concerts in Madison and around the state. She’s also played with the UW Jazz Orchestra (directed by Prof. Johannes Wallmann), the UW Wind Ensemble (directed by Prof. Scott Teeple), the Trombone Choir (directed by Prof. Mark Hetzler), among others.

Brittany Sperberg
Brittany Sperberg.
Photograph by Tori Rogers.

We asked Brittany to describe her time in Madison, and how scholarships have benefited her education.

“My name is Brittany Sperberg and I am a junior music education major.  One of the things that always inspired and guided my education has been my sense of community.  I am from Shawano, Wisconsin, which is a fairly small town and farming community near Green Bay.  In fact, one of my favorite things to do when I go home is to sit outside my house with a view of my barn and vast numbers of trees, and practice trombone. (Sometimes my grandma even sits in her house which is a farmer’s field apart from mine to listen!)   Because I have been so used to having a supportive and small community encouraging my entire grade school music experience, I knew that when I made the jump to college that it was important to go somewhere where I could recreate that atmosphere.  I truly feel that I have found this family here at UW-Madison!

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The Dairyland Jazz Band. Travis Worth, banjo; Jacob Bicknase, washboard; Gavin Garrett, sousaphone; Brittany Sperberg, trombone; Jacob Riederer, trumpet; and Alex Charland, clarinet.
Photograph by Erika Anderson. Missing: Pat Doty, piano.

“The thing that I am most proud of during my time so far at Madison is making my own Dixieland band, The Dairyland Jazz Band.  The Dairyland Jazz Band was created last semester in part of an independent study I did with my trombone professor, Mark Hetzler, as a way for me to learn more about jazz outside of my involvement with the UW Jazz Orchestra.  The independent study required me to write a research paper, put on a Dixieland recital, and present a lecture to my trombone studio.  I was incredibly lucky to find the six musicians that I did to play with me.  I have learned and been inspired by their incomparable talent, professionalism, and enthusiasm.  Leading and playing in this band has been nothing but a fun and challenging experience. Our recital last April was a huge hit and Morphy was nearly filled!  We also played at a cabaret at the bar  “Plan B” on Williamson Street, where we opened for some singer-dancers from the touring group of Mary Poppins. Because we all love working with each other and playing this kind of music, we have since stayed together. Besides myself, the members of my band  include Travis Worth, banjo; Pat Doty, piano; Gavin Garrett, sousaphone; Alex Charland,  clarinet; Jacob Bicknasse, washboard; and Jacob Riederer, trumpet.  Creating this band has taught me to become a better musician and strengthen my leadership and organizational skills.

“In September, my band traveled to Shawano to play two shows in two days.  Our first show was a concert that my former boss hosted at her reception hall, “The Gathering.” The concert went really well and we had nearly 90 people there to simply listen to our music–impressive for a small town!  I was really happy to have such a great turnout because I had been in charge of all the planning of the event from ticket sales, making posters, putting them up, finding repertoire, rehearsing the band, and playing myself.  The next day, my band played at my church’s annual Church in the Barn, which we host in my family’s barn.  Because this type of live music is not often heard there, some people were so strongly affected by the music that they had tears in their eyes.  One person even sent a letter to the Shawano newspaper about our gig and the personal connection he felt with the music.  Recently, the band also played at the Collage Concert.

“Last year I played trombone in the pit for “Space Voyage: The Musical Frontier” (a musical written and directed by School of Music students Nicholas Connors) and can be heard in the album that will be released soon!  I have also played in the touring group, Kids From Wisconsin, for the past two summers.  This group was an amazing opportunity and gave me the chance to perform for audiences as big as 4,000 people!  I also have been a guest college clinician at the Shawano Jazz Festival where this will be my third year performing with such musicians as Wayne Bergeron, Eric Marienthal, and Gordon Goodwin.  My current involvement includes: UWJO (3 years), Wind Ensemble (2 years), Trombone Choir (3 years), substitute trombonist with the Ladies Must Swing (3 years), Dairyland Jazz Band (1 year), and Brass Quintet (1 year), among others.

“I have received various scholarships from the School of Music and the awards ceremony.  At the 2012 awards convocation, I was awarded the Jeanette Ginzl Scholarship . In 2013, I received the Edda Valborg Ofstie Scholarship, Raymond F. Dvorak Music Education Award, and Full Compass Foundation Scholarship. I also receive another scholarship through the School of Music.   I have been truly, truly blessed to have such positive support and encouragement from my school.  If it were not for these scholarships, I am not sure I would have been able to stay at UW-Madison. These scholarships have not only helped me financially, but have also served as a tool to encourage me to follow my musical aspirations.  I am touched by the generosity others have shown me and want to impact others through my music, just as others have influenced me.

“My college experience has been incredible.  I have an endless amount of appreciation and respect for my studio professor, Mark Hetzler.  I think what is so amazing about the School of Music is that we have some of the best teachers and resources.  Professor Hetzler has been an incredible mentor and I am inspired by his dedication and creativity as a performer and teacher.  I really get excited about my lessons every week, and it is great that Professor Hetzler encourages me to explore a variety of genres and musical outlets in my studies with him.  Also, how many people can say that their studio teacher has his or her own metal band, “Sinister Resonance”?  Any prospective students should know how lucky they would be to study under the teachers found here at UW-Madison!

“I am not sure what the future holds for me, but I am excited to see the directions that music will continue to take me!   I would love to go to grad school and get my masters in trombone performance.  After that, I would like to have a career as both a music educator and performer, as I am very passionate about both aspects of music.”

We hope Brittany’s story will inspire others to contribute to scholarships at the UW-MadisonSchool of Music. Click the link to donate!

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Seeking an open culture, New York trombonist Chris Washburne found it in Madison

Why did Columbia University jazz trombonist and professor Chris Washburne, here November 15 and 16 to perform with the UW Jazz Orchestra,  choose UW-Madison for his undergraduate education?

Chris Washburne.
Chris Washburne.

He was originally from the small town of Bath, Ohio (pop. 9,635), so it wasn’t because he called Madison home.

He didn’t know any students here.

He wasn’t offered a scholarship.

He attended UW-Madison because he could see it was a place that would allow him to grow. “I was looking for a school of music where I could expand my horizons,” Chris (BM 1986) said in a telephone interview last summer. “Madison had a good philosophy department, a good forestry department. The campus was beautiful, close to farmland and natural spaces. It was also real funky.”

“It didn’t hurt that the day I visited with my mother, there was a huge rally on the mall with a killer reggae band,” he added, chuckling.

That enterprising quality was also evident in the School of Music, where he found faculty who didn’t try to limit his pursuits to strictly classical or strictly jazz.  “Most music programs have a divide: you’re either jazz or you’re ‘legit.’ But (professor of bass) Richard Davis and (professor of composition and saxophone) Les Thimmig helped me. they said you can do both — just go for it.”

Such cross-training proved to be quite valuable. When he was needed for orchestra–as with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, where he served as principal trombone for a time–he was able to read music with the best of them. But when Bjork called to ask him to play on her soundtrack, he was able to do that, too. And he got a paycheck for both.

“Not many people can do both on the same level. But if you can, you’ll get twice as many employment possibilities,” he added.

Next week at several events, Chris will offer a smorgasbord of ideas about artistry, improvisation, and careers, as well as perform with the UW Jazz Orchestra. Here’s the schedule: On Friday, Nov. 15, Chris will be available to talk to students about careers as part of an informal Arts Enterprise Initiative event from 3 to 4 pm at Coffee Bytes, 799 University Avenue, in University Square. That evening, from 6 to 9 pm, he’ll rehearse in Music Hall with the UW Jazz Orchestra. On Saturday, Nov. 16, he’ll head up a master class on Latin Jazz and Salsa from 1 to 3 pm in Morphy Hall, in the Humanities Building. That evening, Nov. 16, he’ll perform with the UW Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz Composers’ Septet, directed by professors Johannes Wallmann and Les Thimmig.

In 2008, Washburne delved into the history of salsa music in New York City to write “Sounding Salsa,” published by Temple University Press, “a pioneering study that offers detailed accounts of these musicians grappling with intercultural tensions and commercial pressures.” It was that book that brought him to Madison, said Mark Hetzler, trombone professor at the School of Music. “I offered an independent study course on Latin jazz and Salsa last year for one of my outstanding undergrad students, Ty Psterson,” Mark said in an email.  “We read Chris’s book, ‘Sounding Salsa’ as part of the course and I was hooked.”

“Chris has a wealth of knowledge and experience with one of the most energized forms of music ever,” Mark continued. “I wanted to get him here to Madison to hear his artistry in person. I’m very excited to see what expertise and inspiration he’ll bring to our students.”

Chris’s visit is sponsored by the university’s Vilas Trust. The events are free and open to the public.

Chris agreed to answer a few questions about his life and work. Here are his answers, and we hope to see you on Nov. 15 and 16!

I watched “The Inclusion Show” and heard you talk about growing up in Ohio, down the street from Chrissie Hynde. That’s pretty amazing. How did all those rock and rollers end up in Ohio? What’s the likelihood of that?

“Not really sure, must have been the water!  It is quite striking though, and there is a reason why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland.  When I was growing up, it seemed like every other house on my block had a garage band.  In fact, the first band I ever played in was a Led Zeppelin cover band, although it was a bit difficult to sound like Jimmy Paige on the trombone.  I’m still trying to sound like him today.”

You got into the trombone by accident. Please tell that story.

“When I was in 5th grade, I wanted to play the trumpet, because it was shiny and played high notes. There was a night at the local high school where you could go try out all the band instruments and rent them, and I immediately went to the table with the trumpet on it.  I tried to play, and no sound came out.  My mother asked me skeptically, ‘Do you still want to play trumpet?,’ and I said yes.  But she insisted that I try at least one other instrument before we left.  The trombone happened to be on the table next to the trumpet.  When I blew into it, a sound came out.  So the trombone picked me, I didn’t pick it.  I still have ambivalent feelings about that experience.” 

You got into salsa in grad school, so Madison didn’t do much for you there. What did you get from UW-Madison?

“What I got from UW-Madison was an open mind to all musical styles.  I was immediately able to start studying not only with (retired UW trombone professor) Bill Richardson, but also Richard Davis and Les Thimmig, and none of them ever told me that I had to make a choice between musical styles.  They allowed me to experiment and do exactly what I wanted to do, and that was truly a gift, because when I moved to NY, my dream was to become a studio musician, and the one thing you need to be able to do as a studio musician in NY is play all kinds of music.  That’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the last 25 years.  I have been the principal trombone player for the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, a recording orchestra that has made over 50 Classical CD’s, played in jazz groups, recorded for pop bands, hip-hop bands, and all sorts of world music ensembles.  UW-Madison made that possible.”

You got your first salsa gig by accident. It must have taken guts to take on a gig in a genre you weren’t familiar with. Can you talk about that?

“I was practicing late one night at New England Conservatory and there was a knock on the door.  It was a trombonist I barely knew who said he desperately needed a sub that night.  When you’re in college, it doesn’t take guts to accept a gig; a gig is a gig and you accept it.  And as he was walking away, I asked, ‘What kind of music is it?’  He said ‘salsa.’  I said, ‘What’s that?’ He said, ‘Just play loud, and they’re going to love you,’ so that’s what I did.  I guess they did love me because I started working with them regularly.  I didn’t steal his gig, though – he ended up quitting the band and joining another one.”

Your first two records: Eddie Palmieri with Barry Rogers from Brooklyn, playing trombone. Was he your icon? What did you learn from him?

“Barry Rogers transformed Latin trombone playing by combining bluesy, gutbucket style playing with the sharp rhythms of Latin music.  Being someone from outside of Latino culture, he really forged the path for others of us to enter into Latin music and make real contributions.  Like me, his background was jazz, blues and rock, and he was able to fit that aesthetic into Latin music.  I was taken by the fact that he was able to lead an entire Latin band with his trombone sound.  He played the lead guitar role in those bands.  And that’s what I wanted to do.”

Richard Davis was recently chosen as a “jazz master” by the National Endowment for the Arts. Your thoughts about Prof. Davis?

“Richard Davis was a true gift to my musical education, and he has touched so many students at UW.  I was delighted when he won the most prestigious award any jazz musician can receive.  Well deserved.”

How important are improvisational skills to a musician? How do you train that?

“The best improvisers in the entire world are two-year-olds.  Improvisation is one of the most fundamental survival skills that all humans possess.  It is through our educational system that those natural abilities become squelched and unused, or taken advantage of.  I view my job as a music educator to try to tap into my students’ innate abilities and refine them, no matter what kind of music they play.  Sure, jazz uses improvisation a bit more than classical music does, but in performance classical musicians must be flexible and adaptable, and make micro-improvisational choices.  These skills are essential for a successful performing career. The teaching process involves a lot of un-learning and correcting the damage that’s been done in prior educational settings, allowing students to explore their improvisational potential.”

Chris Washburne and his band, SYOTOS.
Chris Washburne and his band, SYOTOS.

Your band “Syotos” means “see you on the other side.” What an amazing story. You made it back from a potentially devastating surgery. That’s crazy difficult. Congratulations to you, and tell us a bit about how you managed to recover.

“Six months post-surgery, I decided that I could not accept never playing trombone again, because it was such an essential part of my self-identity.  So I called my surgeon and told him I was going to try to play.  He told me that he didn’t think it was possible because he had removed all the nerves and muscles from one side of my face.  I told him that I didn’t care, that I was going to try.  On my first day, I played for about one minute and could play one of the lowest notes on the horn, and that was it.  I thought if I could play one note today in one minute, I could play two notes tomorrow for two minutes.  And that’s what I did.  Six months later, I played my first gig back from surgery, retraining myself how to play on one side of my face.  The muscles started to grow back, but the nerves don’t regenerate, so I can’t play by feel, I play by sound.  The human body is very resilient, and we need to remind ourselves how adaptable and strong we really are, because we can get through just about anything.”

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