Local Music

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

Ricardo André Frantz, via Wikimedia Commons

Directors Eric Strand and Ann Marie Boyle join Cara Lieurance to talk about Light and Love: Music for a Season of Peace. They say this concert will feature favorite works picked from the past 20 seasons of Early Music Michigan.


Guillaume Piolle, Wikimedia Commons

The three founders of Christmas In Kalamazoo join Cara Lieurance to talk about their 8th annual program, set for Tuesday, November 29, 7:30 pm, at the Centerpoint Church of Kalamazoo. 


kotulas.com

Did you know that the classic movie A Christmas Story had been turned into a Tony-nominated musical? According to artistic director Todd Espeland, who helms the Kalamazoo Civic production opening on Friday, all your favorite things from the movie are still there - Ralphie's obsession with getting a BB gun for Christmas, facing scary mall Santa, father winning the leg lamp -  but they've been heightened. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Espeland, along with 13-year old Liam Fagan (Ralphie), Sharon Bradford (Mother) and Tim Kilmarten (The Old Man), discuss their roles and how the large cast has brought the show together in a six-week rehearsal process.


Jeremy Daniel

The Farmers Alley Theatre production of Million Dollar Quartet, which opens on December 2 at the Little Theatre, is based on the true-life story of four soon-to-be legends meeting as a group for the first time. The place was Sam Phillips' Sun Records in Memphis. The date was December 4, 1956. And the musicians were Johnny Cash, age 24; Elvis Presley, age 21, Carl Perkins, age 24, and Jerry Lee Lewis, age 21.  

Producer Sam Phillips was able to get the superstar Presley, newly-minted star Cash, Rockabilly’s frontman Perkins, and a then-unknown Lewis to lay down tracks deep into the night.  Million Dollar Quartet takes that premise and explores the personal stories and interactions between the four musicians, the producer, and Elvis' girlfriend. Scott Moreau, who has played the role of Johnny Cash in the national touring production over 800 times, is directing the Farmers Alley run. Kalamazoo native Nat Zegree, now living in New York, is playing Jerry Lee Lewis and music directing the show. They discuss their roles in a conversation with deputy director Rob Weiner and Cara Lieurance.


Michael Palmer

The Messiah Sing, a community sing-along of highlights from Handel's oratorio, has been an annual event in Kalamazoo for over 20 years. First Congregational Church music director Michael Palmer is leading the sing for the third time. Each year, he re-thinks which portions to sing, and how. For example, this year he's decided to turn over some of the most famous solo songs into unison section singing.

One of Michigan's most experienced early music performers, Eric Strand, will return as harpsichordist. He says  it was the Americans, and not the British, who came up with the sing-along tradition of performing the Messiah. Palmer, Strand, and new section leader for the altos, Tami Snyder-Knutson talk with Cara Lieurance about what makes singing Handel's Messiah such a rewarding experience.


Pages