Local Music

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

courtesy of the artist

A leading star in contemporary Gospel music, Freddy Washington, Jr. is accustomed to visiting big congregations around the country to lead musical services, a mission that grew out of his years as lead soloist for the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. At 7:30 pm on Saturday, Dec 14 at W.K. Kellogg Auditorium, he'll give a Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra audience a taste of his faith-based artistry in "A Gospel Christmas." It will include appearances by local luminaries Carolyn Ballard and Altamiece Ballard, and the Sojourner Truth Gospel Choir, and the Battle Creek Girls Chorus. Washington, Jr and Battle Creek Symphony music director Anne Harrigan join Cara Lieurance to preview the concert and share some highlights.


Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra resident conductor Daniel Brier and Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus director Chris Ludwa join Cara Lieurance to preview Sounds of the Season, the symphony's annual holiday concert, which will be held at 8 pm Friday, Dec 13 at Chenery Auditorium. Brier and Ludwa talk about their two groups teaming up to perform part 1 of Johann Sebastian Bach's  Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, a joyous work which includes three soloists, chorus, and orchestra. 

After the oratorio, the program becomes a variety pack of holiday music and special guests, including the 2019 KSO Youth Soloist competition winner, Alyssa Waswick. The alto saxophonist will be featured in a movement of Glazunov's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Strings. The Kalamazoo Children's Chorus will join the orchestra for carols like Little Drummer Boy and maestro Kuerti's own arrangement of Coventry Carol. 


kalfilmsociety.net

Two top organizers of the Kalamazoo Film Society -- Dhera Strauss and Mike Marchak -- join Cara Lieurance for a monthy update on the group's activity. They discuss the final showings of director Bong Joon Ho's Parasite and director Taika Waititi's Jo Jo Rabbit (both ending 12/12) and discuss some of the top films of the year.


Cara Lieurance talks with Fred Sang, the long-time artistic director of the Kalamazoo Children's Chorus and conductor of the Touring Choir. After a weekend performing with a production of The Nutcracker ballet, the young singers will be part of a Kalamazoo Symphony holiday concert on Dec 13, and then host their own holiday concert at 3 pm, Sunday, Dec 15 in Chenery Auditorium.

This is the last season for Fred Sang, who will step down as artistic director in the spring. Sang shares some of his favorite memories from his time with the chorus, which offers young people the opportunity to sing at a variety of levels. Sang also discusses the newly formed Coro de Ninos, a choir for children for whom Spanish is their first language.


courtesy of the Kalamazoo Singers

The Kalamazoo Singers will begin their season with "A Merry Mosaic," at 5 pm on Saturday, Dec 14 at First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo, led by their music director, Rick Phelps. Cara Lieurance spoke to Phelps about the pieces on the program, which features works that combine voices, brass, and piano, as well as a personal selection written by a composer friend, Gerald Custer. Another highlight is a setting of the Magnificat by modern choral composer Arvo Part, who created a new movement of choral minimalism based on bell tones and silence.


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