Let's Hear It | WMUK

Let's Hear It

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An entire concert of baseball-themed music? The Kalamazoo Concert Band's April 14, 2018 performance at Chenery Auditorium came close. In the studio with Cara Lieurance, Dr. Tom Evans shared highlights from a program he titled "Fun & Games." Highlights include running-inspired One With The Wind by Matt Conaway, The Addison Red Line by Jeremy Bell, Rookie of the Year by Bill Conti arr. Daehn, and a hilarious musical setting of Casey At The Bat by Randol Alan Bass, narrated by Fritz MacDonald. 


Richard Bowditch

The Stulberg International String Competition for ages 20 and under ends on Saturday, May 22 with the announcement of the three medalists. The outcome has been determined by a panel of three adjudicators who watched the semifinalists' video performances. One of the adjudicators was Cynthia Phelps. The principal violist of the New York Philharmonic, Phelps told Cara Lieurance it was wonderful to watch the players and "witness the sheer musicianship and skill" on display. They also discussed the pros and cons of a "virtual" competition. As an adjudicator Phelps is looking for a contestant to have "something deep to say, using every tool in their box."


public domain via Flickr user Abaicus.

Megan Yankee, the executive director of the Stulberg International String Competition, sat down with Cara Lieurance to preview a week of semifinalist showcases, ending in the announcement of the three medalists on Saturday, May 22. 

Each semifinalist will be featured during the week at 7 pm starting May 17, when their adjudicated performances will be streamed. At 7 pm Friday, May 21, semifinalists perform Bach selections and the Bach Prize winner will be revealed. On Saturday May 22, six finalists will be named and new performances will begin at 10 am. At 7 pm Saturday, the three medalists will be announced and full concerto performances by two of the top prizewinners will round out the competition.

Yankee learned a lot about putting a music competition online in 2020. One of her 2021 edjustments was to provide a stipend for a professional recording to each finalist. She's excited to expand the competition to a full week. Concerts are pay-what-you-can, and can be viewed for 23 hours after the 7 pm start times.

Janice Carissa

Avery Gagliano won the National Chopin Competition on March 1, 2020 at age 18. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Gagliano says that winning the competition was "unreal" and felt more like part of a process rather than an end point. She says she is eager to travel and be in front of audiences again, after spending a pandemic year practicing and learning new repertoire. 

At 4 pm Sunday, May 16 Gagliano will come to Kalamazoo to give a livestreamed performance on the Rising Stars Series presented by the Gilmore Keyboard Festival. She previews the Chopin, Bach, Beethoven and Dett that make up the music on her program.

Face Off Theatre

"If you know family, especially in the African-American community, you know these people," says Face Off Theatre Artistic Director Marissa Harrington about the new play "I Am Grace," by local playwright Vickie G. Hampton. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Harrington and Hampton preview the world premiere production, which will be staged at the Dormouse Theatre May 21-23. Both in-person seating and online viewing passes are available.


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