Let's Hear It | WMUK

Let's Hear It

Colin Howe / Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra resumed in-person concerts  this summer by holding outdoor performances in Bronson Park and at the Gilmore Car Museum. The series will end at 8 pm Saturday, Aug 14 at the Gilmore Car Museum with a program filled with historic and contemporary meaning. Cara Lieurance welcomed music director Julian Kuerti, mezzo-soprano Melody Wilson, tenor Ben Gulley, and bass Scott Connor to the studio to talk about it. 


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Opening on Broadway in 2017 and earning 12 Tony nominations, Spongebob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical is getting the Barn Theatre treatment this month in one of its first regional runs. Shows are at 8 pm Tuesday-Saturday and at 5 pm Sundays through August 15. Director Eric Morris and actor Patrick Hunter (Patrick Star) joined Cara Lieurance for a preview. 


C. Lieurance

John Stites, who recorded over 3000 albums at his Kalamazoo home studio from the mid-1980s to the mid-2010s, was one of the most highly regarded sound engineers in West Michigan. He often worked with top jazz artists and was recognized for his meticulous and warm recordings. After his death in 2019, a group of friends and supporters including his partner Sandy Schaefer formed a board and set out to fulfill John's desire to help jazz music flourish by creating the John Stites Jazz Awards.


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The Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck continues at 7 pm tonight with a virtual concert called "Connecting With The Knifics." As bassist Tom Knific, professor emeritus of Western Michigan University, tells Cara Lieurance, he and violinist Renata Knific have been appearing on the series for three decades and were glad to continue the tradition even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their son Gene Knific, a prolific composer and arranger, will join them on piano. The concert can be streamed through a link at the CMFS website. Following the concert, the audience is invited to a post-concert chat on Zoom.


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The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra will take the stage at the Shadowlands Pavilion on Silver Beach in St. Joseph at 6:30 pm Saturday, July 17. The guest conductor, Matthew Aubin, will lead a program called "Belting Out Broadway," with special guest vocalist Nicole New. Aubin, a finalist for the position of music director with the SMSO, talked to Cara Lieurance for a preview of the concert.

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