Local Music

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


Horn player/composer Jeff Scott and bassoonist Monica Ellis of Imani Winds joined Cara Lieurance for an update on their latest adventures before their concert in Western Michigan University's Dalton Center Recital Hall on Wednesday night. The groundbreaking ensemble, responsible for implementing new music, energy and identity to the classical wind quintet, has visited Kalamazoo a number of times in its 21-year existence, inspiring many young musicians in their workshops, master classes, and school visits.

West Michigan Opera Project

On Friday in downtown Kalamazoo during the monthly Art Hop, the West Michigan Opera Project will be in the thick of things at First Presbyterian Church, offering a free performance of Puccini's one-act opera, Suor Angelica. If you don't know the story, that's okay, says soprano/director Sarah Faasse - the words will be projected on a screen during the action. Faasse and contralto Camille DeBoer share personal stories of how this opera - one of the works closest to Puccini's heart - has changed and even mirrored their own lives.

The performance begins at 7:30 pm at First Presbyterian Church.

The Gilmore Keyboard Festival

Pierre van der Westhuizen, who started his position at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival last month, says he fell in love with the festival when he visited Kalamazoo while serving as director of the Cleveland International Piano Competition. The administrative experience he brings to his new role is matched by his experience as a performer - he and his wife, Sofié van der Westhuizen, formed a professional piano duo in 2007. Westhuizen joins Cara Lieurance to introduce himself to listeners, and reveal a late addition to this spring's festival - the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, led by pianist Oscar Hernández.

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Music director Rick Phelps talks to Cara Lieurance about the compelling integrity of folk music, and they cover some of the choral arrangements of folk songs and spirituals the Kalamazoo Singers will feature on its Sunday concert, including "Shenandoah," and "Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho." The program begins at 3 pm, at First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo Symphony

Andrew Grams, who is music director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and one of the finalists for the music director position with the Kalamazoo Symphony, talks about the many facets of the job in a pre-concert interview with Cara Lieurance. Joining them is cellist and finalist of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, Pablo Ferrandez-Castro. He will perform Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major. During the concerto, Ferrandez-Castro will improvise his cadenzas, a skill common in Haydn's time, but less so today. Mozart's Overture to the Magic Flute and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 are also on the program. The concert begins at 8 pm Saturday, in Chenery Auditorium.