Local Music

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


The 42-year career of songwriting team John Kander and Fred Ebb produced two huge musical theatre hits (Cabaret and Chicago), hundreds of songs, and twenty musicals. At Farmers Alley Theatre this month, a cast of five professional actor-singer-dancers perform a wide range of the duo's material in And The World Goes Rounda revue show.


Daniel Brier talks to Cara Lieurance about the many, varied duties of assistant conductor of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and about his debut conducting How The Grinch Stole Christmas in a sold-out performance at Chenery Auditorium. 

  The Wisconsin native says he's pursued conducting from a young age, encouraged by the example of his musician father. He recently graduated from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Kenneth Kiesler.

Early Music Michigan will present three major works of Johann Sebastian Bach on Saturday at Holy Family Chapel, in a program called My Spirit Rejoices: Music of Bach for Christmas

courtesy photo

Director Nicki Poer and Ben Zylman talk to Cara Lieurance about the Kalamazoo Civic's production of Shrek: The Musical, which runs through December 14th.

Ms. Poer says the cast has a remarkable level of camaraderie, and large and small roles alike provide a moments to shine. As an experienced director of children's theater, Ms. Poer shares some advice for first-time actors, and says she thinks the story of Shrek provides a message that resonates with all ages. 

WMUK commentator Jonathan Boyd fills in the peaks and valleys of Scott Joplin's story for listeners who only know him as the "King of Ragtime." 

He emphasizes Scott Joplin's greatest ambition: creating an opera with a compelling African-American heroine who sheds light on the ignorance of others, which could serve to advance race relations in the United States.