Local Music

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

Joy Rhine

Suggestions from players, dream lists compiled the year before, and plenty of research go into designing programs for the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck, says Drew Le, co-artistic director and pianist on the upcoming "Brahms & Co." program this Thursday and Friday at 7:30 pm at the Saugatuck Woman's Club. He'll be joined by his wife and co-artistic director Jennifer Walvoord and cellist Alicia Eppinga to play the program's centerpiece, the Trio in B major Op 8 by Johannes Brahms. There are two obscure but worthy pieces by Brahms' contemporaries, Carl Reinecke and Heinrich von Herzogenberg, which round out the program. 


Katherine Mumma

The disreputable bust-and-boom Broadway adventures of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom in the record-breaking, 12 Tony award-winning musical The Producers are coming to the Farmers Alley Theatre July 20-Aug 5. Stars Stephen Wallem and WMU alum Tony Humrichouser, the real-life couple playing Max and Leo, and director/choreographer Bill Burns join Cara Lieurance to preview the production, which will be the biggest production yet in Farmers Alley Theatre's ten-year history. Wallem and Humrichouser talk about the experience they bring to their roles and praise director/choreographer Bill Burns, who worked directly with the team that launched the original stage adaptation of The Producers, including Mel Brooks, Susan Stroman, and Thomas Meehan.


Trey Jones

Works for groups of four, five, and six players promise an escalating evening of music on Thursday and Friday at the Saugatuck Woman's Club. Cara Lieurance talked with the one musician who will be a part of all three groups: oboist Sarah Southard of Hope College, who is looking forward to appearing on the 31st season of the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck


Johnny Rodgers

Johnny Rodgers began his life as a performer in theatre - singing, writing songs on piano, and dancing - when he was a boy growing up in Florida, egged on by his music-loving grandmother.  But he credits Western Michigan's Gold Company, and director Steve Zegree, with some of the most critical training for his career. Today he is an acclaimed one-man-band performer about whom the Chicago Tribune wrote: "He plays piano better than most singers. He sings better than most pianists. And he writes songs better than most singer-pianists." (Reich, Howard. "Johnny Rodgers: A Singer-Pianist For All Seasons." Chicago Tribune. Nov 25, 2014).  

Rodgers joined Jazz Currents host Keith Hall in the studio at WMUK during a visit to his alma mater in December 2017. He plays his own songs, "Home To Mendocino," "The Best of You And Me," and "Mid-Day Moon," as well as the popular song, "What a Wonderful World."


Dario Acosta

The Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck returns for its 31st season with concerts by the renowned Tesla Quartet on Thursday and Friday. Violinist Ross Snyder spoke with Cara Lieurance about the quartet's debut album (which will be released in September), and about the special works planned for the festival. They include Beethoven's String Quartet Op. 18/3, the String Quartet No. 1 in C major by Karol Szymanowski, Arvo Pärt's Fratres, and the String Quartet No. 5 by Philip Glass.

Music begins at 7:30 pm July 5 and 6 at the Saugatuck Woman's Club.


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