Cara Lieurance

Wikipedia Commons

The 2015-2016 concert season in West Michigan boasts three performances of Gabriel Faure's Requiem, a serene masterpiece for choir, two vocal soloists, choir and chamber orchestra. In November, Steven White led the work in a concert at Battle Creek's St. Thomas Episcopal Church; later this month, Raymond Harvey will conduct a Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra performance with a larger orchestration. This Saturday, Portage Chapel Hill United Methodist Church music director Caleb Williams will conduct the original version, for singers, solo violin, harp, and organ. Local musicians Ann Marie Boyle and Joel Snyder will be featured as vocal soloists.

In a recent interview, Tom Evans and discussed many fun aspects to music-making with the modern wind band. The list includes raw power, greater variety in percussion, and the chance to premiere new works regularly. They also discuss the KCB's latest concert, "A Renaissance Faire."

Nikki Statler

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra's February 19th Symphonic Series concert featured, unusually, two 20th century concertos.  Concertos are an ever-popular form that pit a solo instrument with and against the forces of the orchestra. 

Ahmed Anzaldua is a Mexican pianist/conductor who lives in Kalamazoo. In 2014, he visited Mexico to perform in one of the country's most prominent music festivals, and the presenters surprised him with an offer to fund a musical recording of his choice.

Even though the offer was unexpected, Anzaldua knew right away what he wanted to do: record the piano music of Mexican composer Miguel Bernal Jiménez (1910 - 1956), most of which has never been recorded before. 

The Brass Rail - a quintet of West Michigan brass players - was created for fun. Mike McMinn (cornet, trumpet), Roger Lynch (cornet, trumpet), Chris Garrett (horn) John Dickey (trombone) and Fritz MacDonald (tuba) have dozens years of music training and hundreds of performances between them. Walking onto the Miller Auditorium stage in formal wear for a Kalamazoo Concert Band performance is an experience familiar to all.