Miller Auditorium

Courtesy photo

Jon Schmidt grew up in a music-loving family, he tells Cara Lieurance, citing two older siblings who nurtured his talent at a pianist. Hearing Mannheim Steamroller's creative pop-classical crossover arrangements inspired him to continue his path of bridging his classical training and popular entertainment. As the pianist in The Piano Guys, he and cellist Steven Sharp Nelson are featured in instrumental videos that have been viewed over 1.6 billion times.  

The Piano Guys will perform at 7:30 pm Wednesday, Nov 20 in Miller Auditorium


WMU School of Music

Two weeks before school starts in the fall, Western Michigan University music students start marching band practice for the football season. When classes begin, it's also time to work on concert repertoire for the University Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and Concert Bands. The three directors - Dr. Scott Boerma, (Wind Symphony); Dr. Mary Land (Concert Band) and Dr. Trey Harris (Symphonic Band & Bronco Marching Band) - joined Cara Lieurance to let listeners know about two upcoming concerts and their repertoire. 

First up is the Wind Symphony on Sunday, Oct 13 at 3 pm, then the Concert and University bands will hold a joint concert on Monday, Oct 14 at 7:30 pm. Both concerts are free, and will be held in Miller Auditorium. 


Viktor Hartmann

Music director Julian Kuerti and soloist Leticia Moreno, a Spanish violinist, join Cara Lieurance to talk about how three different composers (and one orchestrator) put vivid, personal touches in their music to evoke images and stories. The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will open its 2019-2020 season with Gunther Schuller's 7 Studies on Themes of Paul Klee, Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2, and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, which was orchestrated by Maurice Ravel in 1933.

In the case of Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2, Moreno says the composer was already thinking in the sound-world of his ballet Romeo & Juliet when he was writing this work. She puts herself in a mind-set that brings back her first memories of performing the concerto, as well as young Juliet's passion, when she plays this piece.

Kuerti made a choice to give the musicians of the KSO a chance to show their virtuosity in Schuller's specific, modernist music that can sometimes swing. He says Pictures is fascinating in its original piano version, but as an orchestral showpiece, it excels at extremes.

The concert begins at 8 pm on Friday, Sep 20, at Miller Auditorium. A Prelude talk begins at 7 pm, and the audience is invited to AfterWords, a post-concert visit with the maestro and soloist in the mezzanine.


https://beautifulonbroadway.com/sights-sounds/

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.   


Matthew Murphy

The national tour of The Phantom Of The Opera opens Feb 6 at Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo, giving West Michigan audiences their first chance to see a newly-designed, technologically enhanced production of the beloved 1986 musical by Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber. In the studio with Cara Lieurance, star Eva Tavares (Christine Daaé) and resident director Max Quinlan discuss reasons for Phantom's continued popularity, how the new production changes the experience, and how treating the characters as fully human is the key to making the outsize drama real for audiences.


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