Kalamazoo College

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Conductor Andrew Koehler programmed two big works for his March 2 program with the Kalamazoo Philharmonia: the Symphony No. 1 by Johannes Brahms, and Alexander von Zemlinsky's Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid). Koehler tells Cara Lieurance the latter is based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, and is a forgotten masterwork by a composer who was caught between old and new Viennese musical trends at the turn of the 20th century. The older Brahms, who worked on his first symphony for over 20 years, also found himself in a quandary: trying to embrace the new Romanticism while refusing to reject the legacy of Beethoven and other past masters.

The concert "A Tale Of Two Cities" will be held March 2 at 8 pm in the Dalton Theatre of the Light Fine Arts Center at Kalamazoo College. 

Gordon Evans / WMUK

Bianca Washington says theater should help encourage conversations, even if they are uncomfortable. Washington, guest artist and visiting faculty member at Kalamazoo College is directing a production of the play Student Body at the Festival Playhouse of K-College. Performances will be presented February 21st through the 24th.

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Kalamazoo College visiting faculty member and guest artist Bianca Washington says the play Student Body has caused her to recall some experiences from her past, and she says it may do the same for the audience. Washington is directing the play, which examines how 10 college students react to the discovery of a video that includes evidence of a sexual assault. It will be staged at the Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo College Thursday February 21st through Sunday February 24th. 

The play written by Frank Winters, takes place in one long scene. K-College freshman Grace Erway, who plays Liz, says with little off-stage time the actors have to be engaged. Psychology Major Jared Pittman, who plays Malcom, says the audience will also have be on their toes. He says the interactive nature of the play means the audience is trying to figure out what to do along with the characters.

WMUK file

Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College are joining Kellogg Community College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Southwestern Michigan College in closing their campuses today, Wednesday, Feb. 13.

Initially, WMU and K-College had called for a three-hour delay in classes. But as the weather worsened this morning, they announced the closures during the 8 o'clock hour.

Note: Today, WestSouthwest replays two interviews related to education that aired in 2018. This interview originally aired June 9.

A college campus can be culture shock for some urban students, says Deborah Bial, founder of the New York City-based The Posse Foundation. In its 29 years, her group has recruited more than 8,000 promising inner-city students to attend the nation's top colleges in groups, or "posses" and provides a support program once enrolled to increase their chances of success. This fall, Kalamazoo College marked 10 years of participating in the Posse program. Bial was its commencement speaker in June. WMUK's Earlene McMichael interviewed Bial in advance of her appearance.