Tag Archives: Faculty

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

December 1, 2017

News and Events from the Mead Witter School of Music

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to see buying and parking options.

Curious about our new faculty?

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

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

David Scholl

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

Timothy Hagen

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

Matthew Endres

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

Take a class on Japanese music (or other topics)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alumni News

Nathaniel Wolkstein
Allyson Fleck
Nick Connors
CHROMOS Tuba Quartet

The Chromos Tuba Quartet.

Click here to read.

Our Full Concert Calendar


The School of Music offers a smorgasbord of performances each year; we invite you to visit our website and click on our events calendar. We also publish a season brochure that is mailed every August. To receive the brochure, please send your postal address to newsletter editor..

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

Meet New Faculty: Double bassist David Scholl

The bass section of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. L-R: Carl Davick, Zachary Betz, Robert Rickman, Mike Hennessy, David Scholl, Brian Melk, August Jirovec, and Jeff Takaki. Photograph by Katrin Talbot.

Double bassist David Scholl, a native of Bellevue, Washington, is new to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently serves as principal bass of the Madison, Quad City, and Dubuque Symphonies; is a frequent substitute in the Elgin, Rockford, and South Bend Symphonies; and was once a member of the Illinois Symphony and Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He’s performed as a guest artist on Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW series, University of Chicago’s Contempo series, and with the Spektral Quartet. In addition to maintaining a bass studio, he is on faculty at UW-Madison’s Summer Clinic, and presents in public schools. David received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University, where he studied bass with Bruce Bransby.

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

Do you vary your approach to music change based on the style, genre, or setting?

To be honest, for the most part my overall approach does not change. As a bass player my role is often harmonic, so understanding the form and melody is important in any style. Depending on context I will vary my articulation or volume, but the fundamental concerns are the same across genres.

Tell us your most memorable and embarrassing musical moments.

Most memorable: While I was in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago we gave a conductorless performance of Beethoven 6. The concert was the brainchild of Yo Yo Ma, and it felt a lot like chamber music, we made a lot of our own musical decisions, and there was a heightened energy in the hall that one doesn’t experience everyday.

Most embarrassing: While playing out of tune or coming in at the wrong time is still embarrassing to this day, the memory that comes to mind is playing bass on “I Hope You Dance” with my high school’s all-girl choir. The music was not to my taste and the girls teased me about my floppy hair in all the rehearsals. I was painfully shy. Come to think of it, this may have been what pushed me into becoming a more strictly classical player.

What ensembles are you currently playing with and what upcoming performances can locals plan to attend?

I am principal bass of the Madison, Quad City, and Dubuque Symphonies. I also sub frequently with other ensembles such as Elgin, Rockford, and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Locals can see me in most Madison Symphony concerts, also I am playing with WCO for its Nutcracker run in December. Additionally I am giving a solo recital in Morphy Hall on January 29th.

What it’s like to be in a “freeway orchestra” member (a musician who travels from city to city to perform)?

Some orchestras such as Milwaukee or Chicago give concerts every week and the musicians are employed full-time in one city, but for those of us that play in groups that perform less frequently, we have to travel around from town to town playing with many different groups to have a full schedule. Some musicians affectionately call it the “Freeway Philharmonic” as there is a substantial commute, and you will see many of the same faces in each group. Commuting takes a toll on us physically and mentally. The hardest aspect for me is the food: hotel rooms don’t have a kitchen and you will be lucky if it has a fridge, so there is a lot of eating out which is expensive and not the most health conscious. There are some real benefits to freelancing however. You have more freedom to pursue other projects, you get a variety of groups to perform with, and it a great way to get to know some other towns.

You’ve described Madison as “crunchy.” Define “crunchy.”

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

David Scholl offers sample lessons to all college and pre-college string bass students.  Contact him at dscholl2@wisc.edu.

On Monday, January 29, David Scholl will present a solo recital of works by Gliere, Faure, and Brahms. Morphy Hall, 8 PM.

Say goodbye to another summer and hello to UW-Madison

Greetings from the UW-Madison School of Music!

The fall semester begins next week: Wednesday, September 2. We hope all our readers enjoyed a wonderful summer with just enough activities to allow you to feel rested, but not exhausted.  We have much to tell you and many invitations to enjoy performances and events at Mills, Morphy, and Music Halls this year.

Students travel the world during summer

We asked our students to tell us what they did during the summer — and now we all wish we could have joined them! Here are a few stories.

Joshua Junig, a tenor and a student of Elizabeth Hagedorn, spent the last few weeks in Rock River Repertory‘s production of “Miss Saigon,” portraying the role of Thuy. Directed by Jim Tropp, the show ran for two weekends at the Edgerton Performing Arts Center in Edgerton, Wisconsin. This year, Joshua plans to take music theory, vocal instruction and piano, and graduate in 2018 with degree in choral music education.

Joshua Junig
Joshua Junig

For eight weeks, Elliot Stalter, a violin performance major in the studio of Professor David Perry, attended the Aspen Music Festival and School.  He enjoyed studying privately with Paul Kantor and playing in weekly orchestral concerts as well as attending masterclasses and concerts.  This year he looks forward to taking classes in world music and conducting and will graduate in 2017.

Andrew Briggs
Andrew Briggs

DMA cellist Andrew Briggs, student of Uri Vardi, spent the summer performing music and traveling in Europe. In late June, he worked with cellist Lluis Caret at the Master Classes at Fontfroide (download 2 MB PDF) (Narbonne, France) and attended the Holland Music Sessions (Bergen, Netherlands) in July and August. Between the courses, he traveled to Paris and Berlin, and played chamber music with his musical relatives in Amsterdam.

Timothy Young, an instrumental/general music education major and bassoonist, spent a week on a production crew assembling, operating, and tearing down staging, audio, and lighting for the inaugural Eaux Claires Music Festival. The rest of his time was spent practicing, working as a sound and lighting technician for the Wisconsin Union, counseling at UW-Madison’s Summer Music Clinic, and visiting family and friends.

Alannah Spencer
Alannah Spencer. Alannah is also the new Concert Office Assistant for 2015-2016. Welcome, Alannah!

In July, voice performance major Alannah Spencer, a student of Paul Rowe, attended the Illinois-based young artist program, the Midwest Institute of Opera. Here she worked with coaches and teachers from around the U.S. and performed the role of La Bergere/La Chouette in Ravel’s opera “L’enfant est les sortileges.” This year Alannah will be wrapping up both her music and her anthropology degrees while serving as the concert office assistant for the School of Music.

Recent alumna and flutist Hinano Ishii (B.M., 2015), who plans a career in arts administration, enjoyed her summer working as an operations and education intern at Bravo! Vail Music Festival in Colorado. Her responsibilities included coordinating logistics and assisting on-site production for the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and various quartets. In addition, she worked closely with guest artists and conductors including Alan Gilbert, Midori, Augustin Hadelich, Alisa Weilerstein and Christopher O’Riley.

This summer pianist Ian Tomaz, a student of Martha Fischer, spent six weeks at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina as a participant in the 79th Annual BMC Summer Music Festival, where he studied with Elisabeth Pridonoff and Donna Lee, working on new repertoire in addition to participating in recitals and masterclasses. This semester he will be taking classes in piano and vocal repertoire, “Survey of the Classical Era” with musicology professor Charles Dill, and a philosophy course entitled “The Meaning of Life”, in addition to chamber music and lessons. He will graduate with a BM in piano performance in 2017.

Ian Tomaz.
Ian Tomaz (second from left) , with friends in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.

Isidora Miranda, a PhD candidate in Historical Musicology and a student of Pamela Potter, recently concluded a six-month research trip to the Philippines. Her research took her to various archives in Manila, looking at zarzuela and operetta scores from the first two decades of the 20th century, and perusing rare documents from the early American colonial period. Before heading back to the Midwest, Isi gave a presentation on the 1904 zarzuela Minda Mora at the European Association for Southeast Asian Studies held on August 12, 2015 at the University of Vienna.

In June, DMA saxophone student Steve Carmichael, a student of Les Thimmig, attended the James Houlik Saxophone Retreat and the Wild Acres Flute Retreat  in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, where he studied with classical saxophone virtuoso James Houlik and baroque flute expert Stephen Preston. He performed new works for saxophone, as well as the music of Toru Takemitsu. Steve also performed recitals through out the Midwest and southern states. This year he plans to present four recitals and take Music of the Romantic Period, saxophone instruction, and perform in the Wind Ensemble and Contemporary Composers Ensemble.

We also placed the following photo and paragraph on our Facebook page, which is steadily acquiring new fans! (are you one?)


Tom Kelly, Sarah Gillespie, and Gavin Waid.
Tom Kelly, Sarah Gillespie, and Gavin Waid

Junior trombonist Tom Kelly won the concerto competition at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. DMA horn candidate Sarah Gillespie traveled to the Max Planck institute in Germany to take real-time MRI video of the vocal folds of horn players as a pilot study for her dissertation.  Master’s student and baritone Gavin Waid learned the role of the Count for UW-Madison University Opera’s upcoming production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.

Meet our new faculty: Violinist Soh-Hyun Park Altino and Clarinetist Wesley Warnhoff
Soh-Hyun Park Altino. Photo by Caroline Bittencourt.
Soh-Hyun Park Altino. Photo by Caroline Bittencourt.

A warm welcome to our new assistant professor of violin, Soh-Hyun Park Altino, who moved here in July to take the tenure-track position previously held by Prof. Felicia Moye, who now teaches at McGill University in Toronto. In Memphis, where she served on the faculty of the University of Memphis for fourteen years, Prof. Altino performed with the Ceruti Quartet and also in the Dúnamis Trio with pianist Victor Asunción and cellist husband Leonardo Altino. Prof. Altino has traveled worldwide to give master classes and participate in educational programs. Read about Prof. Altino on our website.

And reserve November 13, 8 PM in Mills Hall, for your first chance to hear Prof. Altino in concert. She will perform works of Bach, Brahms, and Ives, accompanied by Martha Fischer, professor of piano. Tickets $12 adults/students free. Buy here or at the hall day of show.

Wesley Warnhoff
Wesley Warnhoff

We also welcome Dr. Wesley Warnhoff, new adjunct professor of clarinet, who replaces the now-retired Linda Bartley, former professor of clarinet. Dr. Warnhoff is a founding member of the VCP International Trio, a violin, clarinet, piano trio that advocates new music performance, and he is also the principal clarinet of the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra in Michigan. In Madison, he will perform with the Wingra Woodwind Quintet. Read about Dr. Warnhoff here.


The world rediscovers long-lost works of Jewish performance, literature and visual art – starting this weekend in Madison

Performances on Sunday, August 30.

For complete information, click here.

Researchers from the University of Leeds in England fly into Madison this week to participate in the first event of a yearlong foray to explore and discover previously unknown works of Jewish art from the early part of the 20th century, including works created during the Holocaust. School of Music music education professor Teryl Dobbs is the Madison link to the worldwide project, which continues in Minneapolis in September and then back to Madison in May, plus many performances and discussions in England and Ireland next spring and summer.

The Wisconsin State Journal’s Gayle Worland published an article last week about the upcoming Madison events. Download PDF here (240 KB).

The August 30 events consist of a brunch with researchers ($12); a “Sound Salon” with the Mayrent Institute; a concert with the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society; and a two-act cabaret evening. Please note: Some venues may have reached capacity. Check link here.

37th Annual Karp Family Concert this Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7

7:30 PM, Mills Hall. Free

Family patriarch and emeritus piano professor Howard Karp passed away last summer, and pianist Frances Karp is injured, but the family will carry on with its end-of-summer tradition of family concerts. Performers will include Isabel Karp, narrating a Shakespeare poem to the music of viola (Katrin Talbot) and cello (Parry Karp). Pianist Christopher Karp and Parry Karp will perform Beethoven’s Sonata in A Major for Piano and Cello, and Parry Karp will present several solo works for cello.

Click here for complete information.

Helpful Links

Our main website: http://www.music.wisc.edu/

Our concerts and events calendar: http://www.music.wisc.edu/events/

A page on parking options, include free lots on weekends: http://www.music.wisc.edu/about-us/parking/

A Tempo! is published every three weeks, give or take, during the academic year. We hope you enjoy our news!


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.