New trumpet adjunct professor Alex Noppe came to UW-Madison this fall to teach both classical and jazz trumpet. While he hails from Green Bay, his career has taken him all over the world, as a member of the Mirari Brass Quintet, which he co-founded, of the Louis Romanos Quartet, which plays new Orleans-style jazz, and as a performer and soloist in orchestras and as a clinician at brass conferences. He’s also a composer and arranger. In Madison, Alex is a member of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, which recently returned from a Big Ten performance tour, and will next perform in Rhinelander (February 22); and in Madison (February 24). Click here to read Alex’s full biography.
Interview conducted by Kyle Johnson, a dissertator in piano performance.
What approaches do you take when teaching jazz trumpet vs classical trumpet?
I don’t really treat different styles of music all that differently. In my opinion, the “umbrella” under which all study is organized is trumpet fundamentals—all of the skills, concepts, and techniques that go into becoming an excellent player on your instrument. Underneath that are various bins of styles & repertoire that get studied individually—baroque, jazz, orchestral, mariachi, etc. But the techniques for learning each individual style don’t really differ that much. I suppose jazz players tend to do a lot more ear-development exercises, but that’s something that everyone else should be doing as well.
You’ve had a diverse array of performance opportunities, which include orchestras, chamber groups, and jazz ensembles. Do you have a preference for any one type of performance setting or musical style?
Not particularly. I’m at my happiest when I’m involved in a variety of different performing activities, so I enjoy the challenge of rapidly switching back and forth between genres and groups. Having said that, the majority of my playing these days is in small chamber groups.
Originally, it was a group of graduate students at Indiana that formed the group, but over the years we changed a few members (adding Stephanie Frye, UW-Madison MM 2010 & DMA 2013). We’ve always had a bit of an interesting model in that we live in four different states scattered across the country, which definitely presents some challenges for rehearsing and performing.
Mirari is in its ninth season together and we spend most of our time doing concert tours, educational residencies, and new music commissioning. We play a fairly eclectic mix of music that we’ve affectionately dubbed “stylistic whiplash”–everything from Renaissance to jazz to contemporary classical to Latin to musical theater, and on and on. At this point we’ve performed in about 30 states and did our first international concert tour this past summer in China. We have one album out from a few years ago and another one being released in just over a month on Summit Records.
What works have you arranged for Mirari?
I do the bulk of the in-house composing and arranging for the group, and at this point I’ve probably contributed about 20 pieces to our book. I’ve done a few jazz arrangements from composers like Charles Mingus, Thad Jones, Chick Corea, and Pat Metheny, some original compositions, a piece for quintet and vocals, one for quintet with piano, and one for quintet and wind ensemble.
Above: The Mirari Brass Quintet performing “Spires,” a commissioned work from Rome Prize winner and Guggenheim Fellow Eric Nathan. “Spires” may be heard on Mirari’s 2012 CD, also called “Spires.”
What is your most memorable musical experience? What is your most embarrassing musical experience?
Tough question—not sure if I have only one answer for this! Some of the more memorable performances include performing in Thailand and China with my chamber groups, a jazz festival in Maui that included a home-stay with not one but two infinity pools, and getting to work with an amazing array of great musicians including Leonard Slatkin, Wycliffe Gordon, John Clayton, Randy Brecker, and many others. Oh yeah, and sharing a duet on an album with “Yes” lead singer Jon Anderson.
As for embarrassing experiences—probably too many to count, but they definitely include dressing up as pop star Michael Jackson for an orchestra concert, passing out while playing a high note during my freshman year of college, and recording a marching band version of “Spider-Pig” (yes, from the Simpsons movie!).
Your bio lists that you were a “cellophonist” in a concerto for cellphones and orchestra. What was that?
Definitely one of the more entertaining gigs. My mentor in grad school, David Baker, was commissioned to write a concerto for cell phones and orchestra—especially amusing since he could barely use his own. My role included juggling 3-4 different phones at the front of the stage and triggering off various ringtones, accompanied by the orchestra and several hundred phones from the audience. The music director of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra coined the term ‘cellophonist’, and I’ve found it hilarious ever since.
Scroll down to read about our 38th Karp Family Concert, Brass Fest 3 including audio of the Stockholm Chamber Brass, new pages on our website, and alumni news!
For a full calendar of events, see
August 30, 2016
Welcome to the beginning of a new year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Mead Witter School of Music, and our first issue of A Tempo!
Here’s what happened over the summer:
Music Hall, the home of University Opera and many percussion and jazz concerts, was repainted. It looks terrific.
Our school was renamed, thanks to the Mead Witter Foundation of Wisconsin Rapids, who contributed $25 million to the new concert hall.
We remodeled the display cases in Mills Hall lobby. They now contain stunning images of our students, taken by photographers Michael R. Anderson and Bryce Richter.
We bade farewell to faculty members Richard Davis, Stephen Dembski, and Janet Jensen. And we added faculty. Please help us welcome Leo Altino, classical bass instructor; Nick Moran, jazz bass instructor; Louka Patenaude, jazz guitar instructor; Eric Siereveld, jazz trumpet instructor; Aaron Hill, oboe; Amy McCann, clarinet; Gino Deluca, Wisconsin Singers artistic director; Daniel Fung, vocal coach; Jeanette Thompson, voice; and Matthew Richardson, musicology. Learn about them on our faculty page.
On tap for early fall….
The 38th Annual Karp Family Labor Day concert – Monday, Sept. 5, 7:30 PM, Mills Hall. This annual treat will feature a tribute to the late UW-Madison pianist Howard Karp, commissioned from composer Joel Hoffman by Howard’s son, Christopher. Free concert.
BRASS FEST III with Stockholm Chamber Brass, making their first United States tour. One of Europe’s greatest quintets, SCB will perform a solo concert on Friday, Sept. 30 and will be joined on Saturday, Oct. 1 by the Wisconsin Brass Quintet and selected college and area high school students in a “Festival Brass Concert.” Both concerts will begin at 8 PM and are ticketed. Our third BRASS FEST will also feature displays from Wisconsin vendors of musical instruments and sheet music , T-shirts featuring our brand new logo, and a reception!
Concert Sat, Oct. 1, 8 PM, Mills Hall: Festival Concert with the Stockholm Chamber Brass, the Wisconsin Brass Quintet and college/high school students. Meet the musicians at a free reception following the concert. Ticketed: $15 adults; $5 students & children. Buy tickets here.
Hear Stockholm Chamber Brass perform one of the works to be played on September 30: Malcolm Arnold’s “Brass Quintet”:
Introducing our “Meet the Students” webpage
Here’s where newcomers to the School of Music can learn about the varied and fascinating people who call themselves students in our school. It’s not a page for awards (find that here) nor a page for graduates (that is here) but a place where ongoing students describe who they are and why they have chosen to study music. Let them tell us in their own words!
Jessica Johnson holds out hope for pianists with small hands
How big are your hands? If you aspire to be a professional pianist, that’s an important question. On average, women have smaller hands than men, and are frequently stymied when trying to stretch their fingers to reach the larger octaves written into many major concertos, such as those by Liszt and Rachmaninoff. That simple fact bears on another simple fact: There are fewer women in the top echelons of professional concert pianists. Injuries are also common.
On Sat., Feb. 20, Jessica Johnson, professor of piano and piano pedagogy, will hold a full day of all-free events to demonstrate what has been working for her: The adoption of a specially sized piano that is 7/8 of normal size. Made by Steinbuhler & Co., one of these is now owned by the School of Music, and Prof. Johnson has found that playing it has been a “life-changing” experience.
Join us on Feb. 20 at 2:30 for a workshop, master class, hands-on demonstrations, and concert, all featuring the Steinbuhler DS 5.5 7/8 piano. Learn more here. And watch for an article about this revolutionary new approach in an upcoming story by Gayle Worland, in the Wisconsin State Journal.
Trumpeter & Cuban Music Expert Mike Davison to perform with the UW Jazz Orchestra
Master class: Mon Feb 22, Mills Hall; Concert: Weds., Feb. 24, 7:30 PM, Music Hall. Read more here.
Even after a semester with Juan de Marcos, we’re still feeding on Cuban music! This month, we’re bringing Mike Davison (DMA, trumpet performance 1987) to campus from the University of Richmond, where he teaches and performs. He’ll join the UW Jazz Orchestra, the Waunakee High School Jazz Ensemble I and the UW Latin Jazz Ensemble in an evening of rousing Caribbean tunes. Davison’s bio includes concerts around the world, four recorded jazz CDs, and performances with well-known singers, musicians, and even for a pope.
UW Wind Ensemble travels to Verona and west Madison for concerts
Find the UW Wind Ensemble in your corner of Dane County! Last December, the Wind Ensemble made an appearance at the Sun Prairie High School and will continue its out of town concerts this spring. Find them at Verona High School on Feb. 19, at Oakwood Village – West (Mineral Point Road) on March 31, and of course at the School of Music as well (Feb. 20). Both February concerts will feature Tom Curry, adjunct professor of tuba, in a work titled “Heavy Weather,” by the composer Jess Turner.
Summer Music Clinic registration now underway
Registration is open through May 2 for UW-Madison’s legendary Summer Music Clinic, which offers dozens of classes in all kinds of musical skills for kids completing grades 6-8 (junior session) and 9-12 (senior session). For one week, students live in UW dorms and attend classes that they choose from a lengthy list, including band, orchestra and choir; sight-singing; jazz improvisation; opera; swing dance; yoga; and even specialized classes on subjects ranging from the music of film composer John Williams to Stephen Sondheim to rock’n roll. Instructors are all highly skilled; many are university professors or other working professionals. Taste the fun by visiting SMC’s Facebook page! For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below: Summer Music Clinic photographs by Michael R. Anderson.
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
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.
All 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!
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
On our website: News from John Aley, Laura Schwendinger, Tony Di Sanza, Wesley Warnhoff and Dan Grabois. Click here to read.
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.
CHORAL UNION CONCERTS FEATURE FIRST-EVER PERFORMANCE OF DVORAK’S “TE DEUM”
This weekend, the UW-community partnership that is the Choral Union will present its first concerts of the year. On the program: Antonin Dvorak‘s Te Deum; the Flos Campi of Ralph Vaughan Williams, with Pro Arte violist Sally Chisholm as soloist; and Giuseppe’s Verdi’s Te Deum. “The two Te Deums are very different settings of an ancient liturgical song of praise,” says Beverly Taylor, Choral Union conductor.
The concerts are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 22 at 8 PM, Mills Hall, and Sunday, Nov. 23, 7:30 PM, Mills Hall. Both events are ticketed: $15 general public, $8 students and seniors. You can buy ahead of time and also at the door. Ticket information is here. Parking information is here. (Free parking on Sundays at Grainger Hall!) (To view these on our events calendar, click here.)
The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus perform Dvorak’s Te Deum at the BBC Proms in 1996.
CELEBRATING JAZZ THROUGH PARTNERING WITH THE MADISON SCHOOLS
On December 4-6, 2014, the UW School of Music will host the 4th Annual UW/MMSD Jazz Festival, an educational jazz festival featuring workshops and performances by high school big bands from Madison and Middleton, the UW Jazz Orchestra and UW Contemporary Jazz Ensemble, UW jazz faculty, and New York trumpet star Ingrid Jensen.
Highlights will include two master classes on jazz trumpet and improvisation, a Friday night concert with Jensen and the Johannes Wallmann quintet, and a Saturday concert with the UW orchestra, jazz bands from all four schools, UW faculty and Ingrid Jensen. There will also be clinics for the area high schools.
All events are free. For more information, contact Johannes Wallmann, professor of jazz studies.
GENEROUS LOCAL PHILANTHROPIST PLAYED DOWN HER DONATIONS– UNTIL RECENTLY
TheUW-Madison Annual Fund is now underway. Gifts from alumni and friends are welcome, and will be directed toward university research, student scholarships, faculty retention and recruiting, and so much more. Only 16% of UW-Madison’s budget is funded by state support, so your support is valued more than ever before. Click here to donate!
APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR SUMMER CELLO INSTITUTE AT UW-MADISON
Announcing the 2015 “Your Body is Your Strad” Summer Programs
The National Summer Cello Institute (May 30 – June 12, 2015) is a unique program tailored for professional, graduate, and advanced undergraduate cellists. The focus of the program is on the close relationship between effective use of the body and musical communication. Twenty two cellists who are selected by audition submission delve deeply into the connection between body awareness and cellistic proficiency, musical expression, effective teaching, and injury prevention. All selected participants attend the full two week Your Body Is Your Strad program, which include the Feldenkrais for All Performers component. They are exposed to a range of performance and pedagogical topics, represented by internationally acclaimed faculty. This year’s program will feature guest teachers Timothy Eddy of The Juilliard School, Paul Katzof New England Conservatory, as well as founders and returning faculty Uri Vardi,cello professor at UW-Madison, and Hagit Vardi, a UW-Health Feldenkrais practicitioner.
The Feldenkrais for All Performers program (May 30 – June 3, 2015) is for all instrumentalists, singers, actors, and dancers dedicated to exploring the intimate relationship between body awareness and artistic expression, while learning to prevent injuries. The program will feature musicians and Feldenkrais practitioners, Uri and Hagit Vardi, and presentations by specialists in Integrative Health, Authentic Performance, Mind-Eye Connection, Stage Anxiety, and Improvisation.
KLEZMER WORKSHOPS AND CONCERT THIS WEEK AT UW-MADISON
TheMayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture presents several events this week that continue its mission to study and preserve historical Yiddish music and culture. The events include a public workshop with founder Sherry Mayrent on Yiddish music performance on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 7:30 PM at the Pyle Center (702 Langdon St.) , and a second one for students, Friday, Nov. 21, at 2 PM at the School of Music, 2411 Humanities. Learn more here. Registration is requested; check link for details.
Music Theorists Present Papers: Ten current and former students of the graduate program in music theory recently spoke at the joint meeting of the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory. Read more here.
Laura Schwendinger receives residency grant from League of American Orchestras
“The program provides $7,500 grants, underwritten by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to cover weeklong residencies during which each participating orchestra will perform a work from the resident composer’s catalog, ” according to the New York Times. Schwendinger will be paired with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra.
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.
UW Contemporary Jazz ensemble wins first place in UW-Eau Claire Jazz Festival
Jazz Orchestra is runner-up in separate category
Two School of Music jazz ensembles directed by Assistant Professor Johannes Wallmann were recognized at the 47th Annual Eau Claire Jazz Festival this past weekend: The UW Contemporary Jazz Ensemble won first place in the college combo category (out of ten participating bands), and the UW Jazz Orchestra was the runner-up in the college big band category (out of seven bands). As a result of their first- and second-place finishes, both groups were invited to perform at the festival’s evening concert for an audience of several hundred festival participants and community members.
The UW Contemporary Jazz Ensemble is a sextet consisting of trumpet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano, bass, and drums, that performs pieces composed in the last couple of decades by significant jazz artists, UW visiting guest artists, ensemble students, and its director. The ensemble’s winning set included London-based trumpeter Kenny Wheeler’s “Foxy Trot,” Wallmann’s “Arbutus,” and the ballad “Jurre” by Chicago guitarist Zvonimir Tot, who had performed as a guest artist with the ensemble in March at UW. The ensemble was founded in 2012 by Prof. Wallmann when he joined the faculty of the School of Music.
The UW Jazz Orchestra was first established in 1968 in the classic big band format. Its present incarnation focuses on repertoire from the 1950s to today, with an emphasis on the music of guest composers and performers. The UWJO’s festival set included New York trombonist Pete McGuinness’s “The Swagger,” Thad Jones’s “Cherry Juice,” and Wallmann’s “Your Silence Will Not Protect You.”
Alex Charland (tenor sax), Peter Garofalo (piano), Ben Knox (alto sax), and Erik Olsen (trombone) all received outstanding soloist awards at the festival. This marks the second year that UW jazz ensembles have participated in the Eau Claire jazz festival. Last year’s ensemble came in second and third in their respective categories. Congratulations to all!
Noted jazz trumpeter to perform with college and high school students on May 1
Meanwhile, in Mills Hall at 7:30 PM on May 1, Grammy-award winning jazz trumpeter Brian Lynch will cap off the jazz season as a guest of the UW Jazz Orchestra. Lynch, a native of Milwaukee who now makes his home in New York City, will appear in concert with the orchestra and the High School Honors Jazz Band, an auditioned ensemble comprised of the best jazz musicians that Madison-area schools have to offer. Scroll to the bottom of this page for a list of every high school student who will perform in the orchestra.
Lynch went to Nicolet High School, and learned from local artists first hand. After graduating from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Lynch moved to New York, where he performed with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and the Horace Silver Quintet, and collaborated with greats such as Hector Lavoe, Eddie Palmieri, Benny Golson, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lila Downs, and Prince. Click herefor a 2007 New York Times story about Lynch and Eddie Palmieri performing at the 92nd Street Y.
Going on to produce 15 albums and teach as Professor of Jazz Trumpet at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, Lynch has made a name due to his ability to draw from a wide range of jazz styles and inspirations. “I think that to be a jazz musician now means drawing on a wider variety of things than 30 or 40 years ago,” Lynch says. “Not to play a little bit of this or a little bit of that, but to blend everything together into something that has integrity and sounds good.” This concert is presented by Wisconsin Union Directorate’s Performing Arts Committee and Isthmus Weekly and supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. WORT 89.9 FM is the media sponsor. This event is ticketed: prices range from $5 for students to $15 for adults. For tickets, click here.
Please note: Lynch will offer a master class on May 1 at 1:30 PM, Mills Hall.The public is welcome.
World premiere of new Schwendinger work to be broadcast live on WFMT radio
The Grammy-nominated Lincoln Trio will premiere Laura Elise Schwendinger’s Arc of Fire, commissioned in 2012 by Chamber Music America, on Saturday, April 19, 2014 at Gottlieb Hall at the Merit School of Music in Chicago. It will also be broadcast live on WFMT’s show, “Relevant Tones.” The Lincoln Trio will also be playing Stacy Garrop’s Sanctuary. in 2012, Schwendinger won the extremely competitive award with the Lincoln Trio, hailed in FANFARE Magazine as “one of the hottest young trios in the business.” Arc of Fire, composed in August, 2013, is dedicated to the memory of Gene Chinn, Schwendinger’s father-in-law. It is an intense and virtuosic 22 minute work that follows the stages of fire:
I. incipient… spark II. smoldering III. flames… IV. inferno V. false ebbing… VI. flare up VII. ebbing… (decay) and VIII. memento mori (melancholy waltz) for what has been lost, IX. decay…embers.
Meanwhile…save the date! The world premiere of Laura Schwendinger’s “Creature Quartet,” performed by the JACK Quartet, will be held on Friday, May 8, 2015, 8 pm at the renovated Shannon Hall, Wisconsin Union Theater, as part of the theater’s celebratory 75th anniversary.
New professor Jerome Camal augments growing “global music studies” program
With the appointment of Professor Jerome Camal, a faculty appointment in the Department of Anthropology, this semester marked a new beginning for ethnomusicology at UW-Madison’s School of Music. The new initiative, a “global music studies” program, examines music’s constitution as a cultural force woven into the social and political fabric. The university will offer courses and certificates at both the undergraduate and graduate levels with the expectation of initiating formal degrees in the future. It is made possible through support from the Mellon Foundation. Click here to read more.
“Grace presents” Baroque music for a Saturday at noon
At the Square on Saturday for the just-opened Farmers’ Market? Stop in to Grace Episcopal Church, 116 W. Washington Avenue, for an hour of free R&R. On April 26, the church will offer a concert of new plus historic music for baroque flute, featuring Mi-Li Chang and Danielle Breisach on baroque flute; John Chappell Stowe on harpsichord; Stephanie Jutt on modern flute; and Eric Miller on viola da gamba. The program will include compositions by David MacBride, Robert Strizich, François Couperin, and Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as UW-Madison composers Stephen Dembski and Marc Vallon.
Javanese music and dance in Mills Hall, April 26
On Saturday, April 26 at 3:00 pm in Mills Hall, the University of Wisconsin School of Music, Department of Dance, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, and Indonesian Students’ Association present “Across Regional Boundaries: A Javanese Music and Dance Concert. The program is a collaboration between the UW Javanese Gamelan Ensemble in its first year under the direction of Steve Laronga and the UW Javanese Dance troupe, directed by Prof. Peggy Choy. The concert will present the closely related but sharply contrasting repertories and performance styles of the Central Javanese court music tradition of Yogyakarta and the lively popular traditions of East Java. Joining the UW Javanese Gamelan will be guest artists Prof. Christina Sunardi (University of Washington), an expert on East Javanese dance, and Yogyanese music and dance experts Prof. Roger Vetter (Grinnell College) and Val Vetter (Grinnell College). For more information, please contact Steve Laronga at email@example.com. Read more.
School of Music to hold a combo awards & graduation celebration
The School of Music will be honoring and celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2014 as well as recipients of student awards on Friday, May 16, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. in Music Hall.
All graduates and award recipients are encouraged to attend this special recognition along with their family, friends and guests. Members of the School of Music administration, faculty, and staff will be hosting the event. Other guests of honor are the School’s generous scholarship and award donors, the School of Music Board of Visitors, members of the School of Music Alumni Association, representatives from the UW Foundation, and the School’s Academic Associate Dean from the College of Letters & Science. A catered reception of hors d’oeuvres and light refreshments will follow the ceremony.
Parking on campus will be free and open to the public starting at 12 p.m. on Friday afternoon. Guests are welcome to park in any UW-Madison parking ramp and surface lot. To view a map of parking options, please click here.
Music Hall offers accessible seating. Please call 263-1900 to specify your needs for accessible seating so we are able to accommodate you.
The College of Letters & Science will host a pre-commencement reception in the Field House at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday, May 17, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Please click here for more details.
Hyperion Fox Trot Orchestra to hold reunion concert May 19
A benefit for the Karlos and Melinda Moser Opera Ticket Fund
The original Hyperion Oriental Fox Trot Orchestra was a “hot dance” revival orchestra, complete with strings, which performed an eclectic survey of early Twentieth Century popular American music. From Ragtime classics, through the transitional Tin Pan Alley idiom which names the orchestra, to masterpieces of the Jazz Age, the repertoire is sourced from collections of original published scores and manuscripts and includes a few transcriptions from famous recordings of the times.
The orchestra was very popular in Madison gigs in the 1970’s. Spearheaded by former University Opera director Karlos Moser and Madison Symphony Orchestra executive director Rick Mackie (who will both reprise their original roles in this 15-person orchestra) the May 19 concert will celebrate the Hyperion’s original debut at the Grand Benefit Ball for the Wisconsin Ballet on April 4, 1974. The program will be a mélange of New Orleans music and some famous derivatives, featuring music of Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, and Duke Ellington. Karlos Moser will open the concert with Magnetic Rag, Scott Joplin’s last, a poignant end to the era of ragtime as jazz kicked-in the door. Special Guest Jacqueline Colbert will perform several vocals expressing the influence of the blues which was and is so pervasive in jazz. Hyperion will have audience dancing in the aisles with a playlist including Joplin’s “Magnetic Rag”; Jelly Roll Morten’s “New Orleans Blues,” “Jungle Blues,” and “I Wish I Could Shimmy like My Sister Kate”; Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’ “; and Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing.”
This concert will reunite artists who have played with the orchestra over the decades, including six of the original members present at its debut performance. Violinists Karen Smith (now with the Milwaukee Symphony), Wendy Buehl (Madison Symphony) and Leyla Sanyer (formerly Madison Symphony) were there from the beginning, with Buehl taking on the special task of cataloguing the unique collection of rarities in the orchestra’s library. Originals Melinda Moser, piano, Rick Mackie, drums and Pete Deakman, bass, also join Moser for this performance. The reed section will include tenor saxophonist Dick Lottridge, another UW School of Music faculty veteran best known as professor of bassoon and former principle bassoonist of the Madison Symphony. Lottridge has been a member since 1980, the year in which violinist Diane Mackie made her first Hyperion appearance. UW Professor of Trumpet John Aley has been in the first chair since 1982. Download press release: Hyperion Press release
Below: Watch Karlos and Melinda Moser perform in a “Music in Performance” class at the School of Music, Spring 2013, a one-credit class popular with non-majors and the community that seeks to introduce newcomers to the varied genres of music. To learn more about this class, see http://music.wisc.edu/mip.
Former percussion professor and studio to hold summer reunion
Students of Professor Emeritus Jim Latimer have planned an all-percussion reunion of former students (and their families) and are trying to spread the word to reach as many former students as possible. This includes students of the applied area, percussion ensemble and techniques classes.
Jim Latimer was professor of music, head of the percussion area and director of the UW Percussion Ensemble at UW-Madison from 1968 until his retirement in June 1999. He was also timpanist with the Madison Symphony for the same 31 years. From 1972 to 1978, he was Music Director of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras and took the orchestras on the first out-of-state tours, including representing Wisconsin at the Bicentennial Parade of American Music and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in 1976. He has conducted one of Wisconsin’s finest concert bands, the Capitol City Band, since 1981 and continues to play concerts in the park with CCB each summer. He also conducts the volunteer community band, the VFW Band, is the founding member of the Madison Marimba Quartet and plays percussion with his own dance ensemble. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, June 28, 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm (open mic at 4 pm). Rennebohm Park, 115 N Eau Claire Ave, Madison, WI
RSVP by May 1 to one of the following alums:
MaryJo Biechler email@example.com
Connie Coghlan firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy (Kath) Riesch-Flannery email@example.com
David Pedracine at firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that the School of Music Alumni Association has its own website? Here’s where you can read and contribute news of alumni, become a member, find out about special events, and contribute money toward much-needed student scholarships at the School of Music. http://uwsomaa.org/
The 2014 High School Honors Jazz Band
Performing Thursday, May 1, Mills HAll, with Brian Lynch and the UW Jazz Orchestra.
Edgewood High School – teacher: Carrie Backman
-Benjamin Drummond, alto saxophone (alumnus of UW Summer Music Clinic) Madison Memorial High School – teachers: Ben Jaeger (bands) & Ben Ferris (jazz, SoM UW ’13 Music Ed alumnus)
-Gabriel Guglielmina, trombone
-Lindsey Kermgard, trumpet
-Kameron Kudick, drums/percussion
-Sam Szotkowski, trumpet Madison West High School – teacher: Dr. Scott Eckel
-Marie Kaczmarek, trumpet (alumna of UW Summer Music Clinic) McFarland High School – teachers: Joe Hartson and Benjamin Petersen
-Maria Hilgers, baritone saxophone Middleton High School – teacher: Brad Schneider
-Eli Bucheit, piano
-Burton Copeland, trumpet
-Tanner Tanyeri, drums/percussion Sun Prairie High School – teacher: Steve Sveum
-Ryan Kruger, bass trombone
-Sam Olson, bass
-Xavier Payne, tenor saxophone
-Alexander Valigura, trombone Stoughton High School – teacher: Dan Schmidt
-Lucas Myers, guitar Verona Area High School – teachers: Paul Heinecke (jazz) and Eric Anderson (band)
-Philip Rudnitzky, tenor saxophone Waunakee High School – teachers: Sam Robinson and Ryan Gill (UW SoM music ed alum)
-Andrew Maxfield, alto saxophone
With out-of-state tuition a challenge for many students and families to afford, every contribution from the university makes it more possible that a student will attend. Here’s one more story in our series for Share the Wonderful, about Benjamin Davis, an undergraduate trumpeter in the studio of John Aley, who has taught at UW-Madison for 32 years and is also principal trumpet in the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the Wisconsin Brass Quintet. For 16 years, John has also taught high school students at theInterlochen Arts Camp.
Ben, a native of Richmond, Virgina, is one of two recipients of the Raymond F. Dvorak Scholarship and also is receiving a four-year School of Music scholarship.
Thank you to all who have given Ben the support that allows him to pursue his dreams. We hope you will enjoy his story!
“My name is Ben Davis and I am a senior trumpeter and composer from Richmond, Virginia studying Music Education here at UW. Being at UW has allowed me to become involved in so many different musical experiences that have been invaluable to my growth as a musician, educator, and student. I have been able to put on so many different hats in my career here between teaching music in practicum, being the Associate Director of the Isthmus Jazz Series with the Wisconsin Union Theater last year, performing with large ensembles and in brass quintet, and working as an ensemble librarian. I have been incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the great instrumental, composition, and music education faculty here and collaborate with graduate and undergraduate colleagues.
“Recently, what I have been doing has been an eclectic mix of activities. This summer was the second time I had the pleasure to be a teaching assistant in the brass area at Interlochen Arts Camp where I got to coach chamber music with the high schoolers, conduct the Intermediate Brass Ensemble, play with the Faculty Brass Ensemble and Big Band, help teach the brass component of instrument exploration, and make connections to artists on faculty and staff from all over the country. At UW, I am finishing up my coursework in the final semester before I student teach next semester, so things are very busy in my life currently. Like most semesters, I have the privilege to work with and learn from esteemed trumpet guru John Aley, whose unbelievable sound and great teaching attracted me to UW as a high schooler. I am also enrolled in a number of general education courses. However, this semester’s work also happens to include learning flute, cello, bass, and percussion all of which have been very enjoyable!
“Outside of my courses for school, I study composition with Filippo Santoro, a current DMA candidate, who has been a great mentor and very important to my development as a composer. Over the last few months, I had the great opportunity to collaborate with current artist-in-residence at Kennesaw State University and trumpet extraordinaire Doug Lindsey (DMA ‘12). I wrote a new piece for trumpet and stacked percussion (vibraphone and marimba) for him called Impressions that will be played next semester. Next semester will also bring the premier of the quartet Dig. for Trombone, Vibraphone, Piano, and Cello, written for UW senior and trombonist Ty Peterson. It is influenced by ideas of rhythm and groove in free jazz and is structurally informed by the panels of visual artist Sol LeWitt’s All One-Two-Three and Four Part Combinations of Lines in Four Directions and in Four Colors (1976). I am currently working on a piece for orchestra in four movements called freezes, flows and am in the relatively early stages of analysis of Katharina Rosenberger’s octet parcours III.
“The scholarships I have received from the School of Music and the Raymond F. Dvorak Scholarship have been very important for my family. Because I am not from Wisconsin or Minnesota, I pay out of state tuition for my schooling which is expensive. The financial assistance provided through these scholarships really have been of much use in reducing the net cost of my schooling and that has allowed me to be able to continue experiencing all of these great things that I have been able to do up here at UW, so I am extremely thankful!”