Local Music

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

WMU School of Music

The two winners of the 2017 Western Michigan University Concerto Competition - flutist Trey Sims, a junior, and violinist Jordan Curry, a senior - join Cara Lieurance and University Symphony Orchestra music director Bruce Uchimura to talk about the works they've prepared for Sunday's performance in Miller Auditorium. Curry, who will continue his graduate studies at the University of Denver next year, will play the Violin Concerto in D minor by Jean Sibelius. Education major Trey Sims, who also participated in an exciting season with Bronco Marching Band, will play a French piece called Fantaisie, by George Hüe. They tell their stories about how they became musicians, and what drew them to the School of Music at WMU.


Wikimedia Commons

The final concert of the 2016-17 Kalamazoo Concert Band season, "Off The Shelf," features works that were inspired by great stories, going as far back as the pre-Biblical Gilgamesh, up to 1998's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Director Thomas Evans previews the music with Cara Lieurance, and gives an appreciation of flute soloist Lauren Whitaker, the winner of the Kalamazoo Concert Band Youth Soloist Competition, who will perform with the band in the concert.


LHI Live: The Last Gasp Collective

Apr 13, 2017
C. Lieurance

WMUK contributor Craig Freeman hosts a session at WMUK with The Last Gasp Collective, whose energetic live shows are drawing bigger and bigger crowds in southwest Michigan. The group's blend of hip-hop, soul, R&B, jazz, and funk draws upon the eclectic talents of the group, which is fronted by two vocalists:  Jay Jackson and Ashley Hicks.  Interwoven in the mix are solo cellist Jordan Hamilton, Xavier Bonner on flute/saxophone, Jon Boyd on keyboards, Joel Pixley-Fink on bass, Terrence Smith, drums, and Nicholas Baxter, auxiliary percussion. 

The Last Gasp Collective performed a wide selection of songs in a live performance at WMUK, including "Saving Grace," Small Town," Surgeon General," and "Boom." Martin Klemm was the sound engineer.


farmersalleytheatre.com

Director Larry Raben, who originated a lead role in the original production of the popular musical Forever Plaid, says the musical The Andrews Brothers is a close cousin, bringing popular songs of the 1940s, endearing, funny characters, and comedic antics to the stage. This is the second Farmers Alley Theatre show Raben has directed in two years, having previously led a production of Forever Plaid in the 2015-16 season. 

The Andrews Brothers tells the story of three brothers stationed on a small island in the Pacific during World War II, who get involved with the production of a USO show that goes wildly off track. Paul Castree plays Max Andrews, Jeffrey Scott Parsons plays Patrick Andrews, Jeremy Koch, a founder of Farmers Alley Theatre, plays the third brother, Lawrence, and Denene Mulay Koch, his wife, plays USO performer Peggy. Raben, Catree, and Parsons joined Cara Lieurance for a preview. And yes, the famous singing Andrews Sisters are a major plot point in the show...


On May 18 and 19, 1963, saxophonist Stan Getz recorded one of the best selling jazz albums of all time with two Brazilian Bossa Nova innovators: João Gilberto and Antonio Carlo Jobim. The album, Getz/Gilberto, hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Charts and produced the most famous Bossa Nova sung by Astrud Gilberto called “The Girl from Ipanema.” Keith Hall looks into how they created crossover magic in this collection of songs, on  Jazz Currents


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