Local Music

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


New York-based artist Steffani Jemison will perform a new version of her work, Recitatif, at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts on Friday, Oct 4 at 5:30 and 7 pm. It's a piece she created from her study of Solresol, a 19th century utopian language expressed through musical tones, created by French philosopher and musician François Sudre. It's renewed for each performance by texts of author Toni Morrison, who wrote the short story for which the piece is named. Jemison will partner with cellist Jordan Hamilton in her Kalamazoo performances.


Cara Lieurance talks to Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra music director Anne Harrigan, who opens the season on Oct 5 with a dance-filled concert of Argentine style tango music featuring traditional tango and Tango Nuevo. Guest artists include Hector del Curto, a renowned bandoneonist, and award-winning tango dancers Ana Padron and Andrés Bravo. Selections include El Choclo, Por Una Cabeza, La Cumparsita, works of Piazzolla, Falla's Three Cornered Hat, and the infectious Malambo from Estancia.

Timothy Jansen, director of music and organist for St. Anthony of Padua Church in St. Louis, MO, visited with Cara Lieurance to preview his Sep 30 concert. Jansen and Tom Fielding, the founder of the Sacred Music at the Cathedral Series and organist at St. Augustine Cathedral in Kalamazoo, shared their thoughts about the works on the program and the unusual "above and beyond" requirements of being an organist. 

Kat Mumma

Based on T.H. White's Once and Future King novels of the 1930s and 40s and adapted by Lerner & Loewe as a musical in 1961, Camelot's story of King Arthur, Guenevere, and Lancelot is getting a new, more intimate adaptation in a Farmers Alley Theatre production which starts Oct 4. In the studio with Cara Lieurance, Dave Vogel (Arthur), Sara Ellis (Guenevere), and Kevin Toniazzo-Naughton (Lancelot) - all New York-based Equity actors - shine a light on their characters' nobility, foibles, and passions. Jeremy Koch, Farmers Alley's artistic director, adds details on the local  theater professionals and performers bringing their talents to the show. 

Camelot will run until Oct 27 at Farmers Alley Theatre. 


Tonight at 7:30 pm, eight Western Michigan University scholarship students will be featured in a free recital of songs, spirituals, and arias in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. They are recipients of Diether H. Haenicke Scholarships for study at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Four of them - soprano Caitlin Borke, mezzo soprano Katherine Short, tenor Travis Williams, and bass-baritone Samuel Macy, joined Cara Lieurance to talk about their experiences in Graz, and the ways their voices and musicianship have grown over the summer.