Local Music

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

The Twin Cities-based choral group Border CrosSing, founded by Dr. Ahmed Anzaldua, a graduate of Western Michigan University, will offer a free community sing and a public concert in Kalamazoo this week. 

In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Anzaldua explains that the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, which is sponsoring the Border CrosSing tour, was one of the reasons he chose to apply to school in Kalamazoo, where he earned a master's degree in piano and another in choral conducting. For his PhD in choral conducting, Anzaldua moved to the Twin Cities to attend the University of Minnesota. That's where he founded a choir to showcase the rich music of Latin American composers from the 1500s to the 2000s, drawing on his personal and scholarly background. Border CrosSing was recognized as an important project from the start, as a model for how music and community can learn from each other. 

kalfilmsociety.net

Mike Marchak and Madeline Cimini of the Kalamazoo Film Society join Cara Lieurance to share their reactions to the Academy Award nominations, and preview the award-winning films they're sponsoring this month at Celebration Cinema. One is Uncut Gems, featuring a surprising dramatic performance by Adam Sandler. The other is 1917, Sam Mendes' WWI front-line tour-de-force. The whole film appears to be shot in one long take.  

The Kalamazoo Film Society and Crossroads Cinema Celebration in Portage partner to present at least one showing a day. For tickets and more information, visit the Kalamazoo Film Society website or the theater's website


"Theatre is not dead!" is Gordon Bolar's emphatic answer to the question posed by Paul Simon in the Simon & Garfunkle song, "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme." The WMUK theater reviewer and Cara Lieurance highlight some of the upcoming productions, Jan - Jun 2020, offered by the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, Farmers Alley Theatre, WMU Theatre, Kalamazoo College, Queer Theatre Kalamazoo, and Miller Auditorium.


WMU School of Music

A concert of works for two pianos is set for 7:30 pm Wednesday, Jan 15 in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at WMU. School of Music professors Lori Sims and Yu-Lien The will play Ravel's Rhapsodie espagnole, Debussy's En blanc et noir, and Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (arr. John Musto). They talk to Cara Lieurance about the ease of their chemistry and their choice to situate the pianos side-by-side, rather than facing the other. 


Kalamazoo Civic

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre's production of Tick, Tick...Boom! opens Jan 10 at the Parrish Theatre. It's the autobiographical musical of the late Jonathan Larson, who died at the age of 35 in 1996, just as his groundbreaking rock musical Rent began its first public performances. 

In Tick, Tick...Boom! the character "Jonathan" is an artist who has yet to find success, but isn't ready to give up his dream, explains director Michael P. Martin. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Martin, actor Josh White, music director Lori Hatfield, assistant stage manager Val Glasscock and Civic marketing director Janet Gover each add their perspectives on the aspects of the show that involve them, from Hatfield "rocking out" with the band, to Glasscock staying 10 minutes ahead of  the action at all times, to White's character "Michael" putting Jonathan's decisions into stark relief.

Performances will run through Jan 26 at the Parrish Theatre.


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