Cara Lieurance

Announcer & Producer

Cara Lieurance covers local music with live morning interviews, and produces WMUK's Let's Hear It weekday evenings Tues-Fri, showcasing local interviews and performances. She also produces The Pure Drop, an hour of Celtic music, with musician Dave Marlatt.

Email: cara.lieurance (at) wmich.edu

Gilmore Keyboard Festival

Pierre Van Der Westhuizen has an appreciate for pianism born of his own career on the instrument, his familiarity with several generations of top pianists, and his direction of the Cleveland International Piano Competition. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Van Der Westhuizen introduces the six Rising Stars and two Piano Masters of the 2018-19 season of the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, where he is now executive director.

Hailing from the four corners of the globe, the artists appearing on the Rising Stars Series represent some of the brightest young talent of today, from China, Russia, Hungary, Italy, and the United States - all tested under the glare of international competitions. The two piano masters - Gabriela Montero and Murray Perahia - have earned their places in the pantheon of legendary artists due to their unique voices, Van Der Westhuizen says. 


WMU Department of Theater

Many factors - from cast size, costume demands, balancing comedies and dramas, to the experience value for a theater student - go into designing a season of shows at Western Michigan University's Department of Theater. Jay Berkow, WMU's Director of Music Theater, says that occasionally, there's room for a professor's passion project as well. Berkow takes listeners through all 10 productions in the 2018-19 season, including his passion project: the regional premiere of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

C. Lieurance

Farmers Alley Theatre will produce seven plays and musicals and two Children's Series productions in its 11th season, returning full-time to its home at 221 Farmers Alley for the first time since city construction forced the theater company to relocate parts of their seasons to another venue.  Executive Director Adam Weiner and Deputy Director Rob Weiner run down the offerings with Cara Lieurance, explaining the dramatic situations behind each title, which run the gamut from the dramas A Doll's House, Part 2 and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,  to the musicals Avenue Q and Fun Home.

Notable West Michigan directors Kathy Mulay, Sandy Bremer and D. Terry Williams will helm several shows, and the Weiners themselves will each step into directing roles this season. The first show of the season, Beyond The Rainbow: The Judy Garland Musical, takes a thorough look at four stages of the iconic entertainer's life, portrayed by four different actors. For the holidays, The Marvellous Wonderettes returns, packed with 60s and 70s hits.

C. Lieurance

Three of the ten cellists who will perform on the 4th annual Octocelli concert join Cara Lieurance to talk about the variety of music they'll play at 7 pm on Thursday, at the First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo. Composer-cellist Elizabeth Start has four pieces on the program: her solo setting of "Simple Gifts;" a cello duo called "Multiple Choice,"  a cello quartet called "Quatrefoil," and an octet called "Seagull Blues." Composer-cellist Laurie Jarski's "Funky Blues for Four Cellos," a blend of rhythmic techniques and bluesy melodies, will also be featured, along with a setting for cello trio of the classic song "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," by cellist-arranger David Peshlakai. Start, Jarski, and Peshlakai will be joined by seven other cellists to play everything from Dvorak's "Largo" to music from Pirates of the Caribbean. 


Joe Policastro

Near the release of the Joe Policastro Trio's latest album, Screen Sounds,  Jazz Currents host Keith Hall invited bassist Joe Policastro, guitarist Dave Miller, and drummer Mikel Avery to show off their sound in WMUK's Takeda Studio, and have a conversation about the rock, soul, film, and pop influences that appear in their creative arrangements.

One of the unusual things about the trio is they have their own personal "sandbox" for exploring music together: a 3-day-a-week standing gig at the Chicago nightclub Pops for Champagne, which allows them to explore their repertoire to the edges. The three members of the trio talk about their work together and apart, and how they find compelling music in everything from Japanese westerns to daytime soap operas.


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