Local Music

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


The North American tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical involves a company of 50 performers, musicians and technicians, six of whom are trained to take on all the roles in the production at a moment's notice. These talented chameleons are called "swings," and Kaylee Harwood joined the company in this capacity around a year-and-a-half ago, as did company manager Ryan Lympus. Harwood and Lympus take us behind the scenes of the tour, which stops at Miller Auditorium until Sunday, March 24.   

Peter Warner

Lushh's Eddie Codrington, who wrote the music, and audio/visual artist Peter Warner, who created the visuals, join Cara Lieurance to preview The Archangel Suite, an immersive musical and visual experience which will be offered in two free concerts on Saturday, March 16 at 6 and 9 pm in the Multi-Media Room in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at Western Michigan University.

Codrington explains that he was searching for a theme for a series of pieces, something like Gustav Holsts's The Planets, when the idea of archangels popped into his mind. He began researching the histories of these sacred beings, ultimately choosing four - Raphael, Gabriel, Lucifer and Michael - to compose jazz-based pieces around. Warner was the collaborator on a previous Lushh project, Insight Unsought, and he worked for eight months on creating visuals that relied on both abstract and symbolic images which worked with the theme and the music.

Claudio Papapietro

On Saturday March 16, the Juilliard String Quartet will return to West Michigan to perform on the Fontana series. First violinist Areta Zhulla, the newest member of the group (she joined last year), tells Cara Lieurance that her roots with the Juilliard School and the famous quartet are deep: both were a primary source of learning and mentorship in her life.

Zhulla introduces the pieces on the program (works of Haydn, Bartok and Beethoven), and they discuss the importance of regularly championing and commissioning new works for string quartet.

The Juilliard String Quartet's concert is at the Dalton Center Recital Hall at Western Michigan University on Saturday, Mar 16 at 7:30 pm. 

WMU School of Music

The Southwestern Michigan Vocal Festival, an annual day-long festival that brings over 1000 high-school singers to Western Michigan University for a day of learning, rehearsing and performing, will be held on Thursday, March 14 with a final concert beginning at 7 pm in Miller Auditorium. Dr. Kimberly Dunn Adams will prepare and conduct a concert of joyful works by leading the singers from the stage, facing the main floor where the singers will be standing. The audience sits above in the Grand Tier for the free performance.

Dr. Adams and Carl Doubleday, who served as Director of Concerts at the WMU School of Music until 2010, share their perspectives on the festival, with Doubleday offering historical tidbits from the festival's 81 year existence.

Kalamazoo Recorder Players

On Saturday, March 23 at the Kalamazoo Public Library, the Kalamazoo Recorder Players will perform at noon in a "pop-up" concert, in a Play The Recorder Month event.  Music director Karen Woodworth joined Cara Lieurance to talk about the group, which was formed over 30 years ago. It brings together lovers of the instrument, which comes in a variety of sizes and has a playlist of around 500 years.