Local Music

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


Benje Daneman, co-director of the Jazz & Creative Institute, joins Cara Lieurance to spread the word about the newly-founded Kalamazoo Jazz Youth Orchestra. It's seeking young musicians in 9th - 12 grades, who will meet every other week to rehearse for a spring concert at Western Michigan University. Daneman says the kids will have to keep their parts prepared and do some focused listening between rehearsals. In addition, they will have several opportunities to be mentored by professionals.  

Jacqueline Hanna

The Western Michigan University Symphonic Band will start its season with a free concert on Sunday at 3 pm in Miller Auditorium, featuring the intriguing tone poem Anahita, by Roshanne Etezady, William Schumann's classic George Washington Bridge, and William Bolcom's joyful Concerto Grosso for saxophone quartet, which will feature the Prism Quartet as special guests. Director of bands Scott Boerma previews the concert with Cara Lieurance.

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Birds on a Wire is the WMU School of Music's "Pierrot ensemble" with a core lineup of flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano. The label comes from a piece by Arnold Schoenberg, "Pierrot Lunaire," which premiered in 1912. Dr. David Colson, who has directed the ensemble for nine years, previews a concert which will take place Wednesday at 7:30 pm in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. It features a work for electronic sounds and video, Socavino, by Richard Johnson, who also joins the conversation.


On Sunday, Qing Yu Chen performed Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra, the same work she played last May at the Stulberg International String Competition. Chen, conductor Bruce Uchimura, and Stulberg director Margaret Hamilton previewed the concert with Cara Lieurance.


Harvey de Souza, principal first violinist of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, considers himself fortunate to have spent a career making music with the famous touring and recording orchestra, founded in 1958 by Sir Neville Marriner. De Souza, who joined the group in 1993, talks to Cara Lieurance about the late conductor's vision for the group and his generosity with the players, and they preview the works on Saturday's Fontana program: the Sextet by Korngold, two pieces for octet by Shostakovich, and Mendelssohn's Octet in E-flat.