Local Music

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

newyorkvoices.com

The 11th annual New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp, a training ground for aspiring jazz singers, is underway at Western Michigan University. Public concerts on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday will be held at 8 pm, and on Saturday, a 4 pm faculty and student concert will be followed by a New York Voices show at 8 pm.

Lauren Kinhan, Darmon Meader, Peter Eldridge, Kim Nazarian are the original members of the New York Voices, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary by recording a new album, Reminiscing In Tempo, which will be released on Aug 16.  They and Gold Company director/camp director Greg Jasperse joined Cara Lieurance to preview the week, and describe how the camp is meaningful to them for bringing the art of vocal jazz into the future.


Edition Peters

Graeme Shields, co-founder of the Vital Organ Project, will offer a free public performance of Organ²/ASLAP (As Slow As Possible) at First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo on Saturday, Jul 27, beginning at 1 pm. (The public is free to come and go at will during the performance.) Shields has trained himself to stretch out the four-page piece into an 8-hour performance, which, he tells Cara Lieurance, isn't the longest performance that has been attempted. There is an on-going performance in Halberstadt, Germany at St. Burchardi Church that began in 2001, and is expected to last 639 years.

Shields talks about John Cage's groundbreaking, visionary works which changed our perception of music, and about how he has learned to hold the sonorities of As Slow As Possible for durations of 15 and 20 minutes before changing to the following notes. When changes happen that far apart, they become extremely potent. He suggests that people drop in as they can, and listen for at least one sonority change to see what it's like.


Mike Broyles, RUFramed Photography

On Sunday, July 28, beginning at 1 pm, nine Kalamazoo Academy of Rock bands will take turns entertaining a crowd in the Old Dog Tavern's outdoor beer garden for their 10th anniversary concert. Cara Lieurance talks to KAR general manager Bob Wallis and two young musicians enrolled in KAR - Kirsten Nelson (guitar, vocals, bass, drums) and Gordie Jennings (keyboards, vocals) - about how the academy gets kids started on the rock & roll path while teaching them valuable lessons about working with others, time management, self-discipline, and more. 

Along with the nine current KAR bands, the celebration will also include an 8-member alumni band, and a surprise mystery guest who will appear on Sunday. The celebration is expect to last until around 8 pm.


Growing up in a very musical family helped steer three of the four Walvoord siblings into professional music careers. Amanda Dykhouse is the concertmaster of the Holland Symphony, Jennifer Walvoord is the concertmaster of the West Michigan Symphony, and Martha Walvoord is the associate professor of violin at the University of Texas at Arlington.

For the first time, the three sisters will perform at the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck in programs at 7:30 pm on Thursday and Friday, July 25 and 26. Joining them are two musical spouses: pianist Drew Le, who co-directs the festival with Jenny Walvoord, and bassist Jack Unzicker, who is married to Martha Walvoord. Martha Walvoord tells Cara Lieurance about her family's love of music, and about how they came up with pieces for multiple violins to play in their sister celebration.


Renee Fleming - Andrew Eccles, DECCA; Evgeny Kissin - Andrew Sebastian Hãnel

On Wednesday, April 15, 2020 in Chenery Auditorium, two classical music stars - American soprano Renee Fleming and Russian-born pianist Evgeny Kissin - will perform a program of songs and solo pieces as part of a handful of appearances in the United States, including stops at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Symphony Center of Chicago. Pierre Van Der Westhuizen, the executive director of the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, talks about the special qualities that made each performer a legend in classical music, and share some of the behind-the-scenes preparation that his organization carries out to help the artists perform at their best.

Tickets for this event will be made available to Gilmore Keyboard Festival donors on Nov 3, 2019, and to the general public in January, 2020.


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