News and Events from the Mead Witter School of Music
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016
And, now, for a short strings interlude….
In October, violin professor Soh-Hyun Altino made her professional debut as a halftime performer during the UW-Nebraska game at Camp Randall Stadium. “I had never performed at a football game before; in fact, it was my very first football game,” says Altino. “When [assistant director of bands] Darin Olson asked about playing the theme from ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ I thought, ‘Why not,’ and that’s how it got started. Since we didn’t know if the weather was going to cooperate, I couldn’t firmly plan on playing for a while, but on the Thursday before the game, I practiced with the Marching Band outside and got very excited! I have a huge respect for the band members’ dedication and discipline and how they work so well together. It was a fantastic experience. And we won!!”
Early December Concert Highlights
Concerts to suit all tastes
UW/Madison Metropolitan School District Jazz Festival Final Concert Saturday, December 3, 6 PM, Music Hall. Free.
Featuring jazz ensembles from area high schools, the UW Jazz Orchestra, and guests from Gabriel Alegria’s Afro-Peruvian Sextet. Learn more here.
Pro Arte Quartet at the Chazen – Sunday, December 4, 12:30 PM.
Presenting works of Hugo Wolf, Shostakovich, and Dvorák. Learn more here.
The Hunt Quartet Annual Concert – Thursday, December 8, 7:30 PM, Beth Israel Center, 1406 Mound Street. Free.
The Quartet is the graduate string quartet for the Mead Witter School of Music. On the program: Prokofiev, Turina, Webern, and Haydn. Learn more here.
Choral Union Fall Concert Friday, December 9, 8 PM, Mills Hall.
Presenting Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Johannes Brahms’s Nänie, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Mass in C. Learn more here. Ticketed: $15 adults, $8 students. Buy tickets here.
Wingra Wind Quintet Fall Concert – Wednesday, December 14 7:30 PM, Mills Hall. Free. With Stephanie Jutt, flute; Amy McCann, clarinet; Joanna Schulz, horn; Marc Vallon, bassoon; and Aaron Hill, oboe. Presenting works by Pál Járdányi, Paul Hindemith, Jean Françaix, and Emile Bernard. Also featuring guest performers Iva Ugrčić, Emily Knaapen, Emily Borley, Dan Grabois, and Chia-Yu Hsu. Learn more here.
UW Horn Choir Annual Holiday Concert – Chazen Museum Lobby, Saturday, December 17, 1 PM. Music by Gabrieli, Mendelssohn, as well as music from film scores. Learn more here.
Horn teacher Nancy Becknell, longtime member of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet and the Wingra Woodwind Quintet, who also played principal and second horn with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and its predecessor, the Madison Civic Symphony, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 5.
“I was fortunate to be in the Wisconsin Brass Quintet with Nan for many years. Her perpetually sunny perspective, vibrant interest in innovative projects, concert programming, and connecting with a wide variety of audiences in outreach, made her contributions invaluable. Her preparation was impeccable and her research skills were prodigious. She will be missed tremendously.” – John Aley, UW-Madison professor of trumpet and principal trumpet, Madison Symphony.
A memorial service will be held at 2 PM on Saturday, Dec. 3 at Bethany United Methodist Church, 3910 Mineral Point Road, Madison. Read more here.
Save the Date! Wisconsin Day of Percussion to be held at UW-Madison
Saturday, January 21 – All Day, Mills Hall
First time in Madison since 1999 – Myriad clinics, concerts and presentations to more than satisfy the percussionist in all of us
Headlining the day’s events will be Doug Waddell, who performs with the Chicago Lyric Opera and Grant Park Symphony, and Dave Stanoch, a percussionist with notable singers including George Clinton, Sheryl Crow, and Bonnie Raitt. Stanoch is an alumnus of UW-Madison.
Other concert performers will include the UW-Madison World and Western Percussion Ensembles; the Percussion Ensemble of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra; the College All Star Percussion Ensemble, college soloists and selected high school percussion ensembles.
In addition, a high school and middle school Percussion Ensemble Festival will be held in conjunction with the DOP. University faculty will coach the participating schools in 30 minute sessions, providing each school with a meaningful and rich educational experience.
News and Events from the School of Music – May 4, 2016. Next issue: stories about our students!
Please join us for Commencement 2016 on Friday, May 13, 2:30-4:30 PM at Music Hall! We’ll hold our commencement, awards and hooding ceremony for all degree recipients: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral. Guests will include Susan Zaeske, Associate Academic Dean of the Arts and Humanities; alumna Dr. Yi-Lan Niu, DMA, voice professor at St. Norbert College in De Pere; and retiring associate director, Professor Janet Jensen, who will serve as master of ceremonies. We’ll feature live music from our students and a reception. New this year: Empire Photography will be on hand taking personal photographs of every graduate.
Pianist Jason Kutz and Martha Fischer, professor of collaborative piano.
Director Susan C. Cook, and UW Foundation represention Rebekah Sherman.
Commencement 2015.ommencement Ceremony, 2015. Photographs by Michael R. Anderson.
2015 commencement photographs by Michael R. Anderson.
Despite much-too-chilly weather, Sound Out Loud, a student-led contemporary music ensemble, played its inaugural concert on April 29, performing Steve Reich’s monumental “Music For 18 Musicians.” As of May 4, our post on Facebook had reached 2,240 viewers!
The UW Concert Band (Spring) with Mike Leckrone
Last year’s courtyard UW Concert Band performance was rained out, but this year’s was disrupted only by a few blowing sheets of music! Way to go, Band!
“Performing the Jewish Archive” concert earns respect from audience, reviewer
Madison Magazine’s “Classically Speaking” blogger Greg Hettsmanberger attended Monday’s concert of “Performing the Jewish Archive” at the First Unitarian Society, and writes: “An audience of significant size and extraordinary concentration experienced more than a concert. For as we absorbed—or in some cases were battered by, enraptured or flat-out awed—by the music of Schoenberg (as arranged by Webern), Korngold and Bloch, an overarching thought occurred to me: In focused festival events such as these, particularly in the context of artists who paid the price of exile or with their own lives, audience members come with heightened expectations. And the players come with an even sharper sense of purpose, layered onto, as it were, their own creative passion; when the synergy begins to work in the concert venue, the result transcends far beyond the usual ‘I liked that piece’ or ‘They sure played that one well.'” Read the entire review:Madison Magazine “Classically Speaking” PJA Review There’s two more days of events. Learn more here:http://www.music.wisc.edu/performing-the-jewish-archive-may-2016-events/
Youth musicians on stage at Community Music Lessons recital
CML ended its year with a joyous recital! We thank all our participants, our teachers, and coordinator Samantha Sinai for making this happen. Registration for summer classes starts at the end of May. Learn more here: http://www.music.wisc.edu/cml/
$15 public, available at the Memorial Union Box Officeand at the door. Free to students. Note: Seating is limited. We recommend patrons buy ahead of time or arrive early.
Yousif Sheronick, a native of Iowa, discovered the music of Arabian countries when his Lebanon-born mother sang tunes over the drone of the family vacuum cleaner. As a youth, he gravitated toward American rock and was a member of the local drum corps. His natural percussion skills landed him a full scholarship to the University of Iowa, but it wasn’t until he enrolled as a master’s student at Yale University that he really dug into the music of Eastern countries. He traveled to Brazil and studied music of India, Africa and the Middle East.
Kathryn Lockwood, a native of Australia, studied classical viola at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and came to the US in 1991, where she received a master’s degree at the University of Southern California. She then won several awards in succession: the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, Grand Prize at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, Concert Artists Guild Management Award, and awards at solo competitions such as the Primrose Competition, Washington International Competition, and the Pasadena Instrumental Competition. She was an original member of the Pacifica Quartet and co-formed the Lark Quartet in 1985. Along the way she met Sheronick.
The two met, married and formed a new ensemble, duoJalal, that spanned cultures, genres and styles. “duoJalal started organically when a friend and composer offered to write us a piece,” says Sheronick. “We had so much fun we decided to keep going and commissioned more pieces which showcases our unique voice as an ensemble of melody & rhythm.”
Hear duoJalal on SoundCloud:
“duoJalal” was named to honor the cross-cultural poetry of the 13th-century Turkish poet, Jalal al-Din Rumi, whose work Sheronick discovered when he arrived in New York City.
Today, duoJalal performs music ranging from classical to Klezmer, jazz to Middle Eastern. Wrote Toronto Star reviewer John Terauds: “Sheronick applies impeccable technique to a wide range of percussion tools, from the bodhran in the opening piece to a goat-hoof shaker in Glass’s ‘Duo for Solo Viola and Percussion.’ Lockwood is all slow, sensuous allure with her bowing arm one moment, a tempest of notes the next. If this is what world music’s future holds, bring on the party.”
At the School of Music, duoJalal’s concert was suggested by percussion professor Anthony di Sanza and viola professor Sally Chisholm, the long-standing violist with the . “They sit halfway between the Western classical world and global music, and that’s a world I find interesting,” says Di Sanza. “Yousif plays a lot of Middle Eastern percussion music, and we have a good number of students who have been playing Middle Eastern instruments and studying this regularly. And I also like the idea of collaboration with the string area, and with Sally Chisholm.”
“I am certain she will give wonderful feedback to our violists on standard viola repertoire as well as offer her unique perspective on paths musicians can create for themselves,” says Chisholm.
String Master Class: Mon March 14, 12:05 PM, Room 2521- Free
Percussion Master Class: Mon March 14, 12:05 PM, Room 1629 -Free
Presentation/Discussion about Composing Global Chamber Music: Tuesday, March 15, 12PM, Room 2521 – Free
We hope you will join us for one or more events!
Here is the March 14 concert program:
David Krakauer (b. 1956): Klezmer a la Bechet (in the SoundCloud link above)
Evan Ziporyn (b.1959): Honey from Alast
Yousif Sheronick (b.1967): Jubb Jannin
Enzo Rao (b.1957): A Different World
Kenji Bunch (b.1973): Lost & Found (2010)
I. Lost in Time (Dumbek)
II. Found Objects (Djembe)
Somei Satoh (b.1947): Birds in warped time II (1983)
Giovanni Sollima (b.1962): Lamentatio
For more information, please contact the concert manager at 608. 263.5615.
We thank the University of Wisconsin Anonymous Fund for its support of this residency.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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 Ceremonywill 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.
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
UW and Shenyang students rehearse for a concert featuring the music of Chinese composers.
Selfies aplenty after our first concert in Shenyang!
Shenyang Conservatory students during Tony Di Sanza’s darabukka masterclass.
Members of the UW Percussion Ensemble (Megan Hobbs, DeLane Doyle and Jacob Bicknase) after a dinner with our new friends from Shenyang Conservatory.
Shenyang Conservatory and UW-Madison students enjoy a meal together.
At the Shenyang Emperor’s Palace. This was the palace used by the first three Emperors of the Ching Dynasty before the seat of power was moved to the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Vince Mingils, Trevor Maliborski and Lucas Gutierrez trying on the local Manchurian head ware at the Shenyang palace.
Our host in Shenyang and Tony Di Sanza’s dear friend, Professor Qingshan Lu.
(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 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.
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: duoJalalbrings 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!
NEW FESTIVAL TO SHOWCASE LYRICISM AND POWER OF BRASS MUSIC
Audiences will be treated to some of the most beautiful and thrilling brass music ever written–including “Quidditch,” composed for the movie “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” by legendary composer John Williams– at a six-day all-brass festival October 8-13 at UW-Madison.
Watch “In Medias” Brass Quintet performing “Four Sketches” by Anthony Plog, to be performed by the Wisconsin Brass Quintet on Wednesday, October 8.
The festival will feature world-renowned brass musicians performing four concerts, and master classes on all the brass instruments—from trumpet to tuba and everything in between. Students and the general public are encouraged to attend. Guest musicians include virtuoso solo tubist Oystein Baadsvik of Norway; renowned trumpeter and brass composer Anthony Plog; the Western Michigan Brass Quintet; the UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Brass Quintet; and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra horn player Jessica Valeri (BM, UW-Madison, 1997). Click here for the full schedule. All events free to the public except “Brass Alchemy” headline concert, October 11, which is ticketed.
Featured concert: “Brass Alchemy,” October 11, 8 PM, Mills Hall. Click to learn more.A full contingent of our soloists, guests, and students presenting dramatic and inspired works of John Williams, Morten Lauridsen, Juan Colomer, Ennio Morricone, Scott Hiltzik, Kevin Puts, Anthony DiLorenzo, and an original work of Baadsvik’s, “Fnugg.” School of Music professorScott Teeplewill conduct. Tickets for the general public are $25; UW music majors with ID are free; other students, $10.00. Ticketing info here.
Says John Aley, lead organizer and longtime professor of trumpet as well as principal trumpet of the Madison Symphony Orchestra: “Brass instruments are so much more expressive than many people assume. While brass players take great delight in the excitement of filling a concert hall with grandeur and power, it is the lyrical quality of each these instruments that touch the heart of the listener.”
PRO ARTE QUARTET PRESENTS ITS FINAL CENTENNIAL WORLD PREMIERE
Composer Pierre Jalbert’s “Howl” for clarinet and string quartet will receive its world premiere by the Pro Arte Quartet on Friday, Sept. 26, at the Wisconsin Union Theater on the UW-Madison campus. The event, free and open to the public, will be the first classical music concert to take place in the historic theater’s newly refurbished Shannon Hall.
The 8 p.m. concert will be preceded by a 7 p.m. concert preview discussion with Jalbert in Shannon Hall. In addition to Jalbert’s composition, the evening’s program includes the String Quartet No. 2 in A Major (1824) by Juan Crisóstomo Arriga and the Clarinet Quintet in A Major (1791) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The concert will be repeated Sunday, Sept. 28, at 12:30 p.m. in Gallery III at the Chazen Museum of Art, also on the UW-Madison campus. Joining the Pro Arte for both concerts will be clarinetist Charles Neidich, a regular member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and noted guest performer with orchestras and string quartets worldwide. Read about the inspiration behind the commission here.
PROFESSOR STUDIES HOLOCAUST CHILDREN’S OPERA
Hans Krása’s operetta Brundibár became indelibly associated with the Holocaust when the score was smuggled into the Theresienstadt concentration camp, and a production was mounted that lasted for more than 55 performances. Sung and acted by children, Brundibár was held as an example of the cultural programming offered to Jews at the Terezín “show camp” during the 1944 International Red Cross visit and the subsequent propaganda film, The Führer Gives the Jews a City. Associate Professor of Music Education and Jewish Studies affiliate Teryl L. Dobbs recently returned from a sabbatical trip to Prague and Terezín (the Czech name of the garrison town where the Theresienstadt camp was located), where she studied the history of the operetta. Read the full story here.
“SHOWCASE SERIES” CONCERTS TO HIGHLIGHT STUDENT/FACULTY MUSICIANS
Each concert $10.00; season passes available for $60.00; students free. Proceeds to the School of Music. Please note: Only seven concerts are ticketed– Most concerts at the School of Music are still free!
Seven student/faculty concerts will be “showcased” this year, starting with a all-faculty voice recital on November 2. Professors Mimmi Fulmer and Elizabeth Hagedorn, sopranos; James Doing, tenor; and Paul Rowe, baritone, each will sing. The program will include a premiere of a new work by composer and UW professor Les Thimmig, “White Clouds, Yellow Leaves,” a cantata on poems of ninth-century China.
Later in January, pianists Martha Fischer and Bill Lutes will be joined by cellist Norman Fischer of Rice University plus students and faculty for a second “Schubertiade” of chamber music. In early February, join us for a captivating evening of solo student performances as we present our annual concerto winners concert (the “Symphony Showcase”). A reception will follow this concert. Learn about all these special events here.
Tickets for the general public are $10.00, and a seven-concert “pass” is available for $60.00. Students from all schools are free with identification. To save on service fees, buy in person at the box office or on the day of the show. Ticket info here.
INHORNS RECEIVE AWARD FROM MADISON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The inaugural DeMain Award for Outstanding Commitment to Music will be awarded to philanthropists Stan and Shirley Inhorn by the Madison Symphony Orchestra League at its fifth annual gala banquet at the Madison Concourse Hotel on Friday, Sept. 12. Named after music director John DeMain, the annual honor will go to an ardent supporter of the MSO and Madison-based music in general. The Inhorns are longtime and much-appreciated supporters of the UW-Madison School of Music. Read more here.
TANDEM PRESS ANNOUNCES NEW FRIDAY FALL JAZZ SERIES
Beginning this September, Tandem Press will host a concert series featuring several student ensembles from the UW-Madison School of Music’s Jazz Program under the leadership of Johannes Wallmann, Director of Jazz Studies at UW-Madison, and Les Thimmig, Professor of Saxophone.
UW Contemporary Jazz Ensemble, September 26, 5-7 pm
UW Jazz Composers’ Septet, October 24, 2014 – 5-7 pm
UW Blue Note Ensemble & the Latin Jazz Ensemble, November 21, 5-7 pm
Tandem Press is located at 1743 Commercial Avenue in Madison. Concerts are free and open to the public. Free parking is available, and refreshments will be served.
Tandem Press is one of only three professional fine art presses operating within a university in the United States. Founded in 1987, it is affiliated to the UW-Madison Art Department in the School of Education. Each year, a select number of internationally renowned artists are invited to participate in Tandem’s artist-in- residence program, where they collaborate with a team of master printers assisted by UW students to create exclusive editions of prints. Tandem prints hang in museums and corporations throughout the United States and Europe. This program is made possible with support from the Brittingham Fund.
ALUMNI PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE PRESENTS CONCERT AT GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Contemporary chamber ensemble Clocks in Motion brings new music, new instruments, and new sounds to the Grace Presents concert series Saturday, Sept. 20 at 12:00 p.m. with a program that highlights the power and diversity of percussion music. Their free program will include Marc Mellits’ new mallet quintet, “Gravity”; “Music for Pieces of Wood” minimalist pioneer Steve Reich; “Drumming Part 1”, also by Reich; “Four Miniatures,” an original composition by Clocks in Motion member Dave Alcorn; and “Third Construction”, by John Cage. Grace Church is located at 116 W. Washington Avenue, on the Capitol Square.
Formed in 2011, Clocks in Motion began as an extension of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Graduate Percussion Group, and now serves as the ensemble in residence with the UW-Madison percussion studio. In August, the group released its debut studio album, titled Escape Velocity, recorded in Madison, WI, at Audio for the Arts and available as both a digital download and hard copy. Links to purchase both digital and hard copies of the album can be found at Clocks in Motion’s website.
The semester is winding down: we’ve got snow on the ground, there’s a nip in the air, and students are stocking up on cans of Red Bull and 5-Hour energy shots. (Not something we recommend, but we acknowledge.) But before we say farewell to the fall concert season, we’d like to suggest a couple more that might be a nice alternative to usual holiday fare. Both are bold, brassy, sometimes even cacophonous, and altogether exciting.
The first is the School of Music’s resident percussion ensemble, Clocks in Motion, which concludes its fall season this Friday, December 13 with two world premieres at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard St. (7:30 pm, tickets $15/$10 students). On the program: the Percussion Duo, a brand-new work composed by UW SOM alumnus Tom Lang (who now lives in Minneapolis as a professional composer), written for piano and one percussionist playing a stacked keyboard setup of marimba with vibraphone. “The music really treats the piano as a percussion instrument,” says percussionist Sean Kleve, a founder of Clocks in Motion. “Piercing attacked notes in extreme registers of the piano punctuate silence throughout the music. The first and last movement of this three movement piece are quite rhythmically complex and it challenges the two performers to line up unison attacks exactly together.”
The second premiere will be Allhallows, a major work in three movements for five performers composed by John Jeffrey Gibbens. According to Gibbens, the title “is an archaic synonym for the feast of All Saints on November 1, and evokes associations with the onset of winter in Wisconsin, including the commercial holiday of Halloween, the beginning of the new year in the Celtic calendar, the liturgical function of All Saints, elections, and Armistice, now Veterans’ Day. These occasions address our sense of the closeness of uncanny events to everyday life.” Clocks in Motion premiered the first movement of Allhallows in September 2012 and will now premiere the rest of the piece on this upcoming concert.
Their closer will be Iannis Xenakis’ surround sound percussion sextet, Persephassa (1969). “This is an unbelievable experience for audience and performers alike. As one of the foundational pieces in the percussion repertoire, Persephassa is just as shocking now as it was the day it was written,” says Kleve.
Next on our Christmas list is Isthmus Brass, an ensemble formed in 2009 under the direction of renowned tuba professor John Stevens (who retires in May but will continue to conduct this ensemble). The group, comprised of a who’s who from the UW brass faculty and alumni, includes professors of trumpet and trombone John Aley and Mark Hetzler, plus Dave Cooper (DMA), trumpet, Jon Schipper (BM), trumpet, Ricardo Ameida (BM), horn, Dylan Chmura-Moore (DMA), trombone, Mike Forbes (MM), tuba, Keith Lienert (DMA in progress), percussion, as well as Doug Lindsey (trumpet), Mike Dugan and Mark Hoelscher (trombone).
Next Tuesday, Dec. 17, the group will perform a benefit of holiday tunes for Porchlight, a charity for the homeless, at the First United Methodist Church, 203 West Wisconsin Ave., at 7:30 pm. The concert is free but donations to support the Porchlight mission are appreciated.
To most of us acclimated to the world of strings and symphonies, the concept of “percussion ensemble” is somewhat foreign. Percussionists play drums in rock’n roll bands and the timpani in an orchestra. Or, at least that’s what many have thought.
That’s slowly changing, however. In Madison, we have our own Clocks in Motion, an ensemble formed only in 2011 with its roots in UW-Madison. And in Chicago, the groupThird Coast Percussion, formed in 2005, has vaulted to the fore, with a brand-new residency at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center and three CDs, including a retrospective of John Cage and the new “Unknown Symmetry,” which contains a work, “Common Patterns in Uncommon Time,” commissioned for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Taliesin.
Third Coast will visit Madison in October 9 and 10. Events include a seminar on commissioning new works and the business of chamber music: booking performances, writing grants and professionalism (Oct. 9, noon to 1:15 pm, Morphy Hall), followed by a free concert the same evening in Mills Hall at 7:30 pm. On the following day, they’ll offer a master class from 12:15 to 2:15 pm in Room 1321. All events are free and open to the public and are sponsored by the university’s Vilas Trust.
[Please note: Clocks in Motion will open its season this Saturday, Sept. 21, with a free interactive concert in Mills Hall at 3 pm. Bring your keys, cell phone and coin stash! ]
“Third Coast Percussion is one of the most exciting and successful young percussion groups in the United States,” says Tony Di Sanza, professor of percussion and sponsor of TCP’s visit. The members of Third Coast Percussion —Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore—hold degrees in music performance from Northwestern University, the Yale School of Music, the Eastman School of Music, the New England Conservatory, and Rutgers University.
We asked David Skidmore a few questions about TCP.
Can you tell me some history of percussion ensembles?
A very good question! The concept of a group of musicians playing percussion instruments goes back hundreds, maybe thousands of years to African drum ensembles and countless other indigenous cultures for whom percussion was all-important. The idea of a percussion ensemble such as ours, which reads notated music and is more akin to a string quartet than a culturally-specific drum ensemble, is much more recent. The first music for our type of ensemble was written in the 1920s and 30s. John Cage formed a touring percussion ensemble in the 1930s and 40s that was short-lived. In 1962 the first full-time professional percussion ensemble was formed. This group, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, is still playing concerts. A wonderful ensemble called Nexus was formed in Canada in 1971, and they also still play concerts. More recently, So Percussion formed in 1999. To my knowledge, So Percussion and Third Coast Percussion are the only two percussion ensembles in the states who employ their musicians full-time, which is a big step towards continuing to raise the level of performance and visibility of this exciting art form.
“Percussionists-in-residence” seems like a new concept. Are there others like you at other universities?
Actually our title, technically, is “ensemble-in-residence.” While it goes without saying that our chosen instruments go a long way toward defining who we are as an ensemble, our relationship with the University of Notre Dame and their DeBartolo Performing Arts Center focuses more broadly on the relationship between the performing arts and the campus at large. We are not teaching a studio full of percussion students (Notre Dame already has a wonderful percussion instructor); instead we are performing around campus and in the surrounding community, creating collaborative projects that link the performing arts at ND to the college of engineering and college of arts and letters, and in general spreading the word about the amazing creative work being done in the performing arts at Notre Dame.
I imagine that being a percussionist in an orchestra is a bit like being a trumpeter (except when playing Mahler!); you can practically read a book while waiting for your next measure. Is this one of the reasons driving the formation of percussion ensembles?
Haha – yes. We have many friends, mentors, and colleagues who make a wonderful living playing in symphony orchestras as percussionists, but for the four of us in Third Coast, chamber music was a more natural fit. It’s true that you play “more notes” in a chamber ensemble than in a symphonic percussion section, and you get to be master of your own destiny both artistically and administratively. In other words, we have much more of a say about the music we play, the concerts we play, the projects that we undergo than the average symphonic percussionist. We also have to do all the work though!
Can you tell us a bit about the composers on your program?
Owen Clayton (Clay) Condon was a member of Third Coast Percussion for many years and writes beautiful and exciting music for percussion. Much of this music is inspired by his other passion: composing electronic music, which he has done in collaboration with video artists, sculpture, and architecture. Steve Reich is perhaps one of America’s best known living classical composers. He was stuck early on with the label of “minimalism,” but this doesn’t always do justice to the incredibly groovy, exciting, and powerful music that he writes, which happens to work very well on percussion instruments. John Cage was likewise one of the most important creative figures of the 20th century. Cage’s influence spread beyond just music to all of the arts, where he was part of a shift in how artists think about every aspect of creating a new work of art. Finally, Augusta Read Thomas is one of the most sought-after composers working today. She was composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for nearly 10 years, and has written music for most of the major orchestras of the world. But her chamber music is equally powerful, and the piece we are performing of hers entitled Resounding Earth was commissioned for us and premiered by us last September. It is her first piece of music for percussion ensemble, and features over 125 bells from all over the world.
And the master class?
We plan to frame it around the process of commissioning Augusta Read Thomas, as we will be featuring her piece Resounding Earth on the concert. We can hit on many important aspects of commissioning and one example of how a timeline of commissioning a work can unfold, from the initial idea to fund raising, discussing parameters of the piece (including what instruments can be used and other logistics), workshopping the piece with the composer during the composition process (a particular focus of ours now stemming directly from the project with Gusty), premiering the piece, recording it, continuing to perform the piece.
It’s a good time for jazz in Madison! The School of Music’s revitalized Jazz Studies program received a major boost this summer after Chicago-based Downbeat Magazine chose to feature it in their annual “Where to Study Jazz” issue, available in bookstores September 17.
Writer Aaron Cohen visited UW this summer to interview Jazz Studies director and assistant professor Johannes Wallmann, who says he is “absolutely thrilled” with the story. Says Frank Alkyer, the publisher of Downbeat: “We were thrilled to publish it. Susan Lipp, the chairman of Full Compass Systems (and also a board member of the UW-Madison School of Music), is a dear friend in the industry. She invited me up last fall for ‘Jazz Junction,’ a community event in honor of Johannes joining the faculty of UW and the plans for a jazz department. I attended and was blown away by the back story, by donor John Peterson’s generosity, by Johannes and by the local jazz community’s embrace of the new direction the school of music was taking.”
“I knew it would be the cover of our October ‘Where to Study Jazz Guide’ right there and then,” he continued.
An excerpt: “In 2014, Wisconsin will introduce its first Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies program—almost 100 years after the university began offering degrees in music. Meanwhile, the school has benefited from local support, such as a large donation from a local philanthropist earmarked for jazz, and equipment and scholarships provided by local companies like musical instrument retailer Full Compass. New facilities are on the horizon, too, including a $46 million music building to host the university’s concert halls, faculty studios and departmental offices. From all indications, it’s a good time for jazz in the state’s capital.”
Congratulations to Johannes and the UW jazz program!
Meanwhile, last month Tony Di Sanza, professor of percussion, mingled with top percussionists in South Korea as the guests of Akademie Percussion Ensemble (APE), now beginning its 20th year as an ensemble. We asked Tony to write a story about his trip:
Anthony Di Sanza Travels to South Korea to Eat Kimchi (and play a couple of concerts)
“I have been fortunate to be a member of the Galaxy Percussion Group for over ten years. The group was initially formed to accompany Japanese marimba virtuoso Keiko Abe in the early 2000’s. After that the ensemble recorded a CD of works featuring marimba solo with percussion trio with American marimbist Linda Maxey.
“Through the years the ensemble has changed shape, depending on the programs being performed and ensembles with which we were collaborating. At first, the ensemble members were Michael Udow, Roger Braun and myself. In 2010 the group began a relationship with the Akademie Percussion Ensemble (APE) from Seoul, South Korea. APE is the premier professional chamber percussion group in South Korea and they also run a tremendous prep program for developing percussionists. In August 2010, Galaxy traveled to Korea to share a concert tour with APE. Given the repertoire being discussed for the 2010 tour, we decided to add a 4th member to the ensemble. Galaxy welcomed Jamie Ryan as our 4th member for the 2010 tour and the group has been a quartet ever since.
“Galaxy Percussion represents three generations of percussionists. Michael Udow is retired Professor of Percussion at the University of Michigan where Roger and I both studied with him. Roger studied with Mike as an undergraduate and I as a masters and doctoral student. I have had the pleasure to learn from Professor Udow for over 20 years as a student and professional. His influence upon me runs very deep. Jamie Ryan studied with me at UW as an MM and DMA student and he now serves as Assistant Professor of Percussion at Eastern Illinois University. In essence, Mike is Jamie’s percussive grandfather. 🙂
“In 2011, Galaxy and APE toured the Midwest United States, including a performance at UW. During the 2011 tour, APE director Kang-Ku Lee invited Galaxy to perform in Seoul for a celebration of APE’s 20th year in 2013! We, of course, were happy to accept Kang-Ku’s kind invitation.
“Given that Galaxy Percussion members live in myriad parts of the country, rehearsals are done in the days prior to a particular event. We met in Seoul on Aug 6 and had three days to rehearse our program. Most of the repertoire we were performing was new to us, so we each needed to be ready for three intense days of rehearsal (with jet lag). A major portion of Galaxy’s repertoire is music composed by the ensemble members and this program reflected that ethos performing works by Mike, Roger and myself.
“One of the challenges for the ensemble in rehearsals is not getting lost in laughter. The group really gets along well (which is so important when traveling) and has fun making music and hanging out. Sharing the program with APE and Galaxy was a Swiss percussion quartet named QuaDrums. Working with Hans, Thomas, Chris and Rafi was complete blast! Lovely musicians and wonderful people.
“The first concert took place on Aug 9 and included each group performing about 20 minutes of repertoire and closing with two fun works combining all three ensembles. Despite it being a bit like a sauna in the hall, the concert went very well (with a full house attending) and we looked forward to having Saturday and Sunday off. Being that QuaDrums and Galaxy were staying in the same hotel it was easy for us to occasionally share meals and enjoy long conversations with libations.
“On Monday, we rehearsed most of the day and on Tuesday moved into the Seoul Arts Center for the evening concert. The Arts Center is the most high profile concert hall in South Korea and is a tremendous place in which to perform. This was the gala event celebrating APE’s 20th year and we were all excited to perform for the large audience. The concert came off without a hitch and after packing up the party began in a local pub. At 2:00am QuaDrum, having to head to the airport at 5:30am, decided to call it a night. Galaxy stayed until about 3:00am and bid goodnight to our Korean hosts, who, as it turns out, continued the celebration until dawn!
“Having had a wonderful time with our old friends (APE) and new friends (QuaDrums), Galaxy caught various flights from Seoul home. Amazingly, as I was boarding the plane, preparing for the 12-hour flight, I was told that the airline had oversold the flight and I was being bumped up to business class. What a tragedy! While I had a luxurious flight from Asia, Roger got stuck in Toronto and had to spend a night in a hotel after ten hours of waiting in the airport. I felt bad for Roger.”
Are you a Badger fan? If so, you’ll want to read all about one of our newest faculty members, Darin Olson. Darin, who is now our Assistant Director of Bands, comes to us from Wichita Falls, Texas, where he was assistant band director at Rider High School and oversaw all percussion activities, assisted with the concert ensembles, co-directed the jazz band, and taught class piano. He has also held teaching engagements in Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, and South Dakota.
Darin replaces Justin Stolarik, who left during the summer to take a tenure-track position as Director of Athletic Bands and Associate Director of Bands at the University of Oklahoma. Justin had worked at UW for four years.
Darin, who holds a DMA from Ohio State University as well as a master’s in music from the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s in music ed from South Dakota State University, is active in the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) and is a reviewer for Percussive Notes, the official publication of PAS.
We asked Darin a few questions to help us become better acquainted.
Where did you grow up, and were you involved with bands as a youngster? How so?
I grew up in Sioux Falls, SD. My interest in music was sparked at an early age watching my father play drum set in a country/western band. I eventually joined band as a percussionist in the 5th grade and never looked back.
Do you play instruments (I kind of assume so) and which are your favorites? Do you perform now?
One of the best parts of being a percussionist is that I do not have to pick a favorite! Any instrument or object that makes an inspiring sound could be my new favorite of that moment.
Yes, I still perform. Most recently I performed a series of concerts with Dr. Gregory Lyons, Assistant Band Director/Director of Percussion at Louisiana Tech University. Greg and I are both interested in multi-disciplinary collaboration. For these concerts we commissioned Matthew Bain, a layout artist for DreamWorks, to create a real-time, computer realization to accompany one of the works on our program. It turned out to be an audience favorite!
How long were you in Texas? Can you tell us a little about your family?
My family and I lived in Texas for two years. My wife, Samantha, is originally from Fort Worth and has a lot of family in that area. We both grew up in pet-friendly households and continue that tradition ourselves. We currently have two dogs and a cat. I keep reminding my wife that we have a full house, but she always wants to bring more home!
Had you ever seen the UW Marching Band before?
Yes, through televised events. I have always had a great deal of respect for the traditions of Big 10 marching bands. While pursuing my doctorate at Ohio State University I heard a lot about the unique aspects and approaches of all the bands in the conference.
What do you think you offer that will be of particular use to the program?
In addition to my work ethic and a positive attitude, I think I will offer an un-biased perspective on a lot of items. Since I have not been around the program, I will draw on my previous experiences to contribute to the program. Mike Leckrone has established a great deal of traditions and history with the band. I am very excited to be working with him!
What does Wisconsin offer that was attractive to you? Have you seen the team in the Rose Bowl? What other teams or ensembles will you direct?
I was attracted to Wisonsin for several reasons. The opportunity to work with highly respected and accomplished faculty members, the visible and active athletic band program, the energetic and driven students, and a wonderful city! I am a huge sports fan, so yes I have seen the team in the Rose Bowl.
I will be directing the University Band, Volleyball Band, and the Women’s Basketball Band.
What are you most excited about? Can we cop a few free Rose Bowl tickets from you?
To be very general, I am extremely excited to be here. I love teaching, so I am really excited for the year to begin! We have had some productive drumline clinics this summer, now I am ready for regular rehearsals.
As for the Rose Bowl tickets, we will have to see how the football team does!
Never heard of the Color Field Festival? Well, here’s your chance to explore new shades of contemporary music, including a UWSOM vocal workshop and two performances by Madison’s Clocks in Motion percussion ensemble.
We received word of a special event happening in September, sent by Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, a soprano and member of the five-person Color Field Ensemble, a group devoted to contemporary music consisting of Bartlett; saxophonist James Fusik; pianist Karl Larson; percussionist Owen Weaver; and Jeff Weston, composer and string bassist. Here is what Amanda sent to us:
On September 4-7, the Color Field Ensemble returns to Madison to present their fourth annual Color Field Festival for Contemporary Music. Performances will take place at the Frequency, Audio for the Arts, and the Capitol Square. The 2013 festival will feature the performances of four newly commissioned works for the Color Field Ensemble as well as sets by the Anubis Saxophone Quartet from Chicago, the TIGUE Percussion Trio from New York City, Clocks in Motion from Madison, and the Brothers Grimm from Madison. A call for scores has also be release for pieces from Wisconsin student composers.
Currently in its fourth year, the Color Field Festival brings composers and performers from around the country to Madison. The purpose of bringing these creative minds together is both to create a rich cultural event in the city of Madison and to provide young musicians and composers with an opportunity to meet, collaborate, and build lasting professional relationships. Curated by the members of the Color Field Ensemble, the Color Field Festival ties together the group’s outreach, performance, and commissioning goals into a multi-faceted new music event.
About our Festival
The Color Field Ensemble formed in Bowling Green, Ohio, but the members are from around the country – Nebraska, Minnesota, Michigan, and Madison, Wisconsin. We believe that good music should spread and be heard by as wide of an audience as possible, so early on we made touring a priority. We’ve toured the Midwest four times, and love exposing the music of living composers to our home states.
Karl Larson, the pianist of the Color Field Ensemble, was born and raised in Madison, WI, and still has strong ties to the area. His parents live in McFarland, and long-time friends runs the music program at his former high school. In fact, his father, Ron Larson, is a local historian, specializing in the history of the area, and we’ve loved learning about the region.
Before we organized our first festival in Madison, we performed at Bethel Lutheran Church, and the ensemble was so charmed by Madison, we decided to plan a whole festival in the city, celebrating new classical music and introducing artists from around the country to a town we’ve come to love.
This year, we’re bringing artists from Chicago, New York, Phoenix, Minot, and Omaha to work with amazing Madison-based groups. The only problem? Every time we bring groups of musicians to town, they want to come back the next year! We’ve had a lot of repeat guests… : )
Wednesday, September 4 @ the UW Music Hall (free event)
3:30 PM – Workshop with Prof. Mimmi Fulmer’s voice studio members. Members of the Color Field Ensemble discuss contemporary performance techniques and music entrepreneurship.
Thursday, September 5 @ the Frequency:
7:00 PM – The TIGUE Percussion Trio performs original works and Rob Honstein’s An Index of Possibility.
8:00 PM – Color Field Ensemble, TIGUE Percussion Trio, and Clocks in Motion perform Aaron Siegel’s Science is Only Sometimes Friend.
Friday, September 6 @ Audio for the Arts:
7:00 PM – Clocks in Motion perform works by Steve Reich, John Cage, and Marc Mellits.
8:00 PM – The Color Field Ensemble performs new works by Ryan Carter, Ravi Kittappa, and Chris Cerrone. Also, premiere of the winning piece of the student composer call-for-scores.
Saturday, September 7 @ the Capitol Square (free event):
12:00 PM – The Color Field Ensemble performs Anthony Marasco’s new composition derived from Twitter feeds.
Saturday, September 7 @ the Frequency:
7:00 PM – The Brothers Grimm perform a set of original material.
8:00 PM – The Anubis Saxophone Quartet performs music by Donatoni, Reich, and Weber.
About the Ensembles:
The Color Field Ensemble is dedicated to the creation, performance, and promotion of contemporary classical music. We commission, perform, and curate music of the 21st century by emerging composers from diverse artistic frameworks, focusing on multi-disciplinary experiences and works which reflect the interrelationship between the visual and performing arts. (www.colorfieldensemble.com)
We define ourselves as a post-modern chamber ensemble. Rather than conforming to a single aesthetic sensibility, the Color Field Ensemble commissions and performs works by artists and composers operating in a wide variety of genres and artistic philosophies. By doing so, it is our intention to enrich the American contemporary music society by continuing to break down stylistic barriers between various schools of composition and performance.
Anubis Quartet is dedicated to reshaping the saxophone quartet genre and reconceptualizing the way listeners experience the instrument through contemporary music. The quartet acts as a performer, presenter, and educator; through hands-on collaborations with composers, inventive programming and curating, and a business structure as a publicly supported nonprofit arts organization, Anubis Quartet forges a model to meet the demands of 21stcentury artists and composers while engaging new audiences with the saxophone through groundbreaking new works. (www.anubisquartet.com)
From instruments to garbage; from the composed to the improvised, TIGUE Percussion is focused on creating new sounds in every way. TIGUE is the latest project by percussionists Matt Evans, Amy Garapic, and Carson Moody. Founded in early 2012, TIGUE presents new compositions by themselves and their contemporaries through a lens of percussive elements. The three members have performed together extensively over the past 6 years during their studies together at The Ohio State University and the Eastman School of Music, highlighted by performances at PASIC and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This season, TIGUE has appeared at Spectrum, the Contagious Sounds Series at the Gershwin Hotel, and as guest soloists with Ensemble Contemporaneous.
Hailed as “nothing short of remarkable” (ClevelandClassical.com), Clocks in Motion performs new music, builds many of its own instruments, and breaks down the boundaries of the traditional concert program. With a fearless and uncompromising ear to programming challenging and adventurous contemporary percussion ensemble repertoire, Clocks in Motion consistently performs groundbreaking concerts which involve performance art, theater, and often the construction of new instruments. (www.clocksinmotionpercussion.com)
For over a decade the Brothers Grimm have been performing string music together on Guitar, Cello, and Chinese string instruments. Separately, Brian studied Chinese music in Hong Kong and AJ studied Flamenco in Granada, Spain. They draw upon these experiences in addition to contemporary classical music forming flexible approaches in composition and improvisation practices.