WMU

Dominic Gladstone

Andrew Rathbun is the professor of saxophone at Western Michigan University. He's also a composer and recording artist who's released "around" 15 albums, and a colleague of Jazz Currents host Keith Hall, who teaches jazz drumming at WMU. For the first time in the series, Rathbun persuades Hall to play with him and bassist John Hébert, who joined the WMU jazz faculty in 2019. 


WMU School of Music

Dr. Keith Kothman (pronounced KOHTH-mun) left his position as director of the Montana State University School of Music to join the Western Michigan School of Music in late June under extraordinary circumstances: the COVID-19 pandemic and a reckoning of racial injustice sparked by the death of George Floyd. 


David Swan

For Alison Swan, nature is more than a place outdoors. Nature isn’t a place apart. It’s part of who she is, and she is a part of it.


Courtesy of OCBA Landscape Architects / https://ocba.com/

"I've never felt closer to my colleagues around the country," says Scott Boerma, director of bands at Western Michigan University, describing how the COVID-19 crisis was met by a coordinated, science-based response by the College Band Directors Association. It resulted in studies, new research and guidelines for making music without spreading the virus.


courtesy of the artist

Before the COVID-19 crisis began, longtime Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra music director Bruce Uchimura asked Andrew Koehler, a prominent regional conductor and a professor of music at Kalamazoo College, to conduct the symphony for the 2020/21 season. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Koehler says he was thrilled at the chance to work with an ensemble of dedicated young players on canonical repertoire.  Now, with the pandemic threatening to disrupt school openings, Koehler is navigating restricted paths for music-making at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, and as director of the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra. He discusses some of the solutions, and the repertoire that will be remembered by the players as music that got them through the pandemic.


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