Local Music

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

Tonight at 7 pm at First United Methodist Church, area cellists will assemble to play in various groups of two to twelve, in a concert called "A Salute To Mary Butler." Jeffrey Butler, the son of Mary Butler and a cellist in the Houston Symphony, and Anne Sherfield, a Battle Creek Symphony player, join Cara Lieurance to preview the concert and share some stories about Ms. Butler's influence as a teacher and musician.

This is the third and final part of Jack Perlstein's conversation with Ransom Wilson, now Music Director of the Redlands Symphony Orchestra.  Discussion in part 3 centers around coming up with programs for orchestra concerts.  Ransom also talked about Felix Mendelssohn's 1834 version of the Symphony No. 4, "Italian".


On Saturday, at 7:30 pm at the First United Methodist Church, the Kalamazoo Singers will perform its final concert of the season, featuring works by a wide range of composers, including Mozart, Duruflé, Britten, and Mack Willberg - all including voices and organ, the "King of Instruments." Rick Phelps visits with Cara Lieurance to preview the program.

Ashley Daneman

Last August, after several months spent composing a jazz suite commissioned by Sparks & Echo ArtsBenje Daneman recorded the tracks for his new album, Light in the Darkness Joining him on the project were vocalist Ashley Daneman, saxophonist Greg Ward, pianist Rob Clearfield, bassist Andrew Vogt, and drummer Jon Deitemyer. Tomorrow night, Michigan audiences will get a chance to hear the album performed live, and purchase the album before its world-wide release on August 31.

In the studio with Cara Lieurance, Benje and Ashley talk about the work that went into the album, and the themes of inspiration that were used. Although the pieces he composed are mostly instrumental, they are a reflection of his spiritual thinking, and about how to find the light in oneself and each other. 

Tickets for the concert are available in advance through the artist's website, and additionally, supporters can participate in a Kickstarter campaign which will help take the project to wide release. Benje Daneman can also be found on Facebook.

Nikolaj Lund

Gregor Sigl, the violist of the Artemis Quartet, talks about the program for their Saturday night performance on the Fontana series, which will be held in Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College. The concert begins with Beethoven's String Quartet Op 18 No. 3, his favorite of the Op 18 set. It feels "spring-like," and often serves to center the players in their music at the beginning of a performance, he says. 

The next piece on the program, Bartok's String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, was written during the first world war, and it remains an unsettling masterwork that maintains its relevance. Sigl says audiences sometimes take time at intermission to talk and release pent-up emotions about the piece. The concert ends with Robert Schumann's Quartet Op 41 No. 1, and Sigl reflects on how Schumann's music reflects what we know of his personality.