Local Music

Hear interviews with guests on music programs produced here at WMUK, as well as program news.

Ken Watters

Kalamazoo Concert Band conductor Tom Evans and guest artists Harry and Ken Watters visited WMUK's studio to preview the Dec 7 'Holiday Spectacular' concert at Miller Auditorium with host Cara Lieurance. During the interview, the Watters added to the seasonal spirit by playing flugelhorn and trombone duos of popular Christmas carols.  

Corrina Van Hamlin

Kittel & Co, headed by Michigan-born fiddler Jeremy Kittel, will appear with the Battle Creek Symphony's Celtic Christmas on Saturday, Dec 8 at 7:30 pm in W.K. Kellogg Auditorium. Anne Harrigan and Cara Lieurance preview the performance, which also features The Founding, a modern Celtic band formed at Western Michigan University, and Christopher Layer, a specialist on the Irish Uillean pipes and Irish flute.

Edward Peters, via Flickr

The Kalamazoo Singers will present an afternoon of baroque Christmas favorites by Bach, Handel, Buxtehude and others on Sunday, Dec 9 at 3 pm, at First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo. Director Rick Phelps tells Cara Lieurance that although the pages of German text can be a challenge to prepare, the joy and dance-like character of Baroque music is a pleasure to perform. They also preview the Kalamazoo Singer's upcoming concerts in the new year.

Kiristina Servant, via Wikimedia commons

The annual 'Christmas in Kalamazoo' concert - a collaboration between the Kalamazoo Male Chorus, Kalamazoo Ringers, and for the first time, the Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra - will be held Tuesday, Dec 4 at 7:30 pm at Centerpoint Church. Martha Matthews received the reigns from the Kalamazoo Ringers' founder, Janet Van Valey, at the beginning of their 38th season. Also beginning his tenure with the Kalamazoo Male Chorus is Eric Jacobson, who replaced long-time director Michael Palmer. The Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra was founded in 2017 by Benje Daneman, and now boasts two 18-member big bands made up of young players from West Michigan.  The three directors join Cara Lieurance to discuss the collaborative concert and share some of the selections and surprises in store.

Katherine Mumma

CORRECTION: The article originally stated that The Marvelous Wonderettes opened on Nov 30. It opens Dec 7. We regret the error.

Actresses Julia Burrows, Whitney Weiner, Missy Karle, and Mallory King play best friends as the Marvelous Wonderettes in Farmers Alley Theatre's December production of The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On A popular juke-box musical series, in this incarnation the Wonderettes are throwing a retirement party for their favorite high school teacher in 1969. Time jumps ahead for the second act, as they return for their 20th high school reunion in 1979. Twenty-six classic songs are woven into the storyline, including hits by Donna Summer, Stevie Wonder, Traffic, Sly and the Family Stone, and many more.  The Wonderettes and Farmers Alley deputy director Rob Weiner join Cara Lieurance to discuss their favorite musical highlights and share some personal holiday traditions. 

The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On opens Dec 7 and runs through Dec 30. Tickets and more information at farmersalleytheatre.com.