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WMUK Culture

Culture and Happenings from the WMUK Listening area! 

Cedille Records

Leo Sowerby was born in 1895 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and died in 1968, the composer of over 500 classical works and the organist-choirmaster at Chicago's St James' Episcopal Church for 35 years.  Today, the Avalon String Quartet released an album on the Chicago-based label Cedille Records that brings attention to little-known works Sowerby wrote in the early 1920s when the Jazz Age was in full swing. Cara Lieurance previewed the new album with Anthony Devroye, violist of the Avalon Quartet.

Colin Howe / Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra resumed in-person concerts  this summer by holding outdoor performances in Bronson Park and at the Gilmore Car Museum. The series will end at 8 pm Saturday, Aug 14 at the Gilmore Car Museum with a program filled with historic and contemporary meaning. Cara Lieurance welcomed music director Julian Kuerti, mezzo-soprano Melody Wilson, tenor Ben Gulley, and bass Scott Connor to the studio to talk about it. 


Opening on Broadway in 2017 and earning 12 Tony nominations, Spongebob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical is getting the Barn Theatre treatment this month in one of its first regional runs. Shows are at 8 pm Tuesday-Saturday and at 5 pm Sundays through August 15. Director Eric Morris and actor Patrick Hunter (Patrick Star) joined Cara Lieurance for a preview. 

Kalamazoo Kids In Tune Facebook page

At 11:00 am Wednesday, August 4, Kalamazoo Kids In Tune will present its annual Community Play Day in a free concert in Bronson Park. 

C. Lieurance

John Stites, who recorded over 3000 albums at his Kalamazoo home studio from the mid-1980s to the mid-2010s, was one of the most highly regarded sound engineers in West Michigan. He often worked with top jazz artists and was recognized for his meticulous and warm recordings. After his death in 2019, a group of friends and supporters including his partner Sandy Schaefer formed a board and set out to fulfill John's desire to help jazz music flourish by creating the John Stites Jazz Awards.