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.
Jessica Mallow Gulley's first nine months as executive director of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra have been extraordinary ones. Pulling off a spectular 100th season was supposed to be the first order of business, but the COVID-19 pandemic soon put plans for the season in disarray. Since then, Gulley and the other members of the KSO staff have planned, re-planned, and re-re-planned ways to keep the music alive, and to stay connected to the wider community.
They auditioned from their bedrooms, basements, and backyards to join the WMU School of Music as choral students this year. Dr. Kimberly Dunn Adams, the director of Choral Activities, says she is moved by their tenacity and talent, saying there are reasons for singing that transcend any moment in history and the challenges they represent.
The Battle Creek Symphony, which typically presents around 70 school outreach events every year, responded to the COVID-19 pandemic last spring by offering free online music lessons to all kids in the Battle Creek school system. Now, as music director Anne Harrigan tells Cara Lieurance, it's time to bring the BCSO musicians back to the stage, and give music lovers free access to online events on a pay-what-you-can basis.
The Brass Band of Battle Creek will present a concert release, "Joyous Noise: A Concert For Our Times," on Tuesday at 7 pm at the band's YouTube channel. Shannon Aikins, executive director of the Brass Band of Battle Creek and Jens Lindemann, international trumpet soloist, talk to Cara Lieurance to preview the concert, which was filmed in W.K. Kellogg Auditorium.
An inteview with Jens Lindemann and Shannon Aikens.
Along with Lindemann, the concert brings together brass superstars Wycliffe Gordon, Richard Kelley, Adam Unsworth, and William Russell, with Mike Hyde, Ray Tini, Terry Lower and Keith Hall as the rhythm section. A twice-yearly gathering of brass players like no other on the planet, Lindemann says he wanted to keep the spirit of the event alive, as do his musical colleagues. Aikins says as executive director of the Brass Band of Battle Creek, she was fielding a lot of questions and requests from people who love the BBBC's Winter and Spring concerts, and were hoping to see them again.
Andrew Rathbun is the professor of saxophone at Western Michigan University. He's also a composer and recording artist who's released "around" 15 albums, and a colleague of Jazz Currents host Keith Hall, who teaches jazz drumming at WMU. For the first time in the series, Rathbun persuades Hall to play with him and bassist John Hébert, who joined the WMU jazz faculty in 2019.
Part 1 of a performance interview recorded in the WMUK Takeda Studio. Audio engineer: Martin Klemm.