Category: Conservatory

Values, Customs, Beliefs Explored in Academy of Music Girl Choir Concert

This year’s Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir’s annual December concert will have a personalized meaning for the more than 300 young voices in the program.

Two performances of “I Believe” will be staged Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.  Tickets, at $12 for adults and $8 for students/seniors, are available through the Academy, 100 W. Water St., Appleton or 920-832-6632.

Using choral music as the lens through which to explore individual and community values, beliefs or customs, five choirs will sing a variety of sacred and secular repertoire. Program notes will explain how each selection was used within the rehearsal process to explore the concert’s “I Believe” theme.

“As we move into the darker months of the year, people tend to be more reflective and introspective,” said Karen Bruno, director of the Academy of Music and conductor of the Bel Canto choir. “Preparing for this concert gave the girls an opportunity to explore what they stand for, what they hold dear and how the compositions they sing connect to those ideas.

“We look forward to sharing the emotions, ideas, and values expressed within the repertoire and within our community of singers with our audience,” Bruno added.

The concert features girls in grades 3-12 in five different choirs, including the high school component Bel Canto Girl Choir (grades 9-12), which earned second-place honors in the 2012 national American Prize in Choral Performance competition and the Cantabile Choir (grades 7-9) which performed at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 2011 as part of the National Youth Choir.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Five Lawrence University Students Win State Titles at Annual NATS Competition

Tory Wood won her third consecutive state title and Ian Koziara won his second straight as Lawrence University claimed five first-place finishers at the 2012 Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition held Nov. 2-3 at UW-Whitewater.

Wood, of Escanaba, Mich., shared first-place honors with classmate Anna Valcour, Burr Ridge, Ill., in the senior women’s division. Both are students of Joanne Bozeman.  Koziara, Wheaton, Ill., won the junior men’s division.  He studies in the voice studio of Steven Spears.

Also earning first-place awards in their respective divisions were Garrett Medlock, Bloomington, Ill., freshman men and Luke Randall, Edina, Minn., senior men. Medlock and Randall are students of Spears and Kenneth Bozeman, respectively.

Forty-seven Lawrence students participated in the competition with 16 of them advancing to the finals. In addition to the five winners, five Lawrence students earned second-place honors and five were awarded third place. The first-place finishers each received $150 for their winning efforts, while second- and third-place finishers received $125 and $100, respectively.

The 2012 auditions drew nearly 400 singers from around the state. The competition features 20 separate divisions grouped by gender and level. Depending upon the category, NATS competitors are required to sing two, three or four classical pieces from different time periods with at least one selection sung in a foreign language.

Other Lawrence finalists with their place finish, category and (teacher) include:

SecondPlace Honors
• Brian Acker, upper college music theatre (Karen Leigh-Post)
• Alex York, junior men (Steven Spears)
• Graycen Gardner, junior women (Joanne Bozeman)
• Martin Kulstad, sophomore men (Steven Spears)
• Elizabeth Vaughan, sophomore women (Joanne Bozeman)

ThirdPlace Honors
• John Canfield, junior men (John Gates)
• Zoie Reams, junior women (John Gates)
• Joshua Eidem, sophomore men (Steven Spears)
• Kirsten O’Donnell, sophomore women (Teresa Seidl)
• Paul Gutmann, freshman men (Steven Spears)

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Lawrence University Students Earn Musical Accolades

Alto saxophonist Joe Connor ’15

Lawrence University student saxophonist Joe Connor won first-place honors Oct. 20 in the college division at the Green Bay Civic Orchestra’s 2012 Miroslav Pansky Memorial Concerto Competition. A sophomore from Oregon, Wis., and the only saxophonist in the competition, Connor received a $500 cash award.

He will reprise his winning performance of Darius Mihoud’s “Scaramouche” in a Feb. 16, 2013 concert with the Green Bay Civic Orchestra.  The Pansky competition is open to vocalists and orchestral instrumentalists through the age of 21 from Northeast Wisconsin.

Earlier this year, Connor performed as guest artist with the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble after earning second-place honors in the 24th annual Lakeshore Wind Ensemble Young Artist Competition held last November in Manitowoc. He is a student of Professor of Music Steven Jordheim.

Tubist Trevor Litsey, a junior from Birmingham, Ala., earned second-place honors in the Pansky competition for his performance of Ralph Vaughn Williams’ “Concerto in F minor for Tuba.” He is a student of Instructor of Music Marty Erickson.

The Pansky competition is open to vocalists and orchestral instrumentalists through the age of 21 from Northeast Wisconsin.

Dan O’Connor ’13

Daniel O’Connor, a senior from Dallas, Texas, has been awarded $3,000 for winning the 2012 Ruth and Paul Manz Organ Scholarship. The national competition is conducted via submitted recorded audition.

Conducted annually since 1992, the Manz scholarship was established by Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minn., to honor 37 years of service of Paul and Ruth Manz to the congregation.

The Manz scholarship is the latest among numerous awards O’Connor has earned for his musicianship, including:

• first-place honors in the 2009 American Guild of Organists’ regional competition for young organists in Albuquerque, N.M.

• first-place honors in the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Guild of Organists’ 2010 young artists organ regional competition in Minneapolis, Minn.

• first-place honors in the 2011 Wisconsin National Federation of Music Clubs’ Biennial Student/Collegiate Competition.

He is a student of university organist Kathrine Handford.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Lawrence University Orchestral Studies Director Named Conductor-in-Residence of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival

Lawrence University’s new director of orchestral studies Octavio Mas-Arocas has been appointed conductor-in-residence of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.

Octavio Mas-Arocas

Mas-Arocas, who joined the Lawrence Conservatory of Music faculty this fall as conductor of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra and opera productions, will direct the education, programming and performance of the Cumberland Orchestra — a 90-member youth ensemble — during next summer’s month-long festival (June 22- July 21).

“It is wonderful to see Octavio selected for this prestigious position,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory. “Sewanee clearly saw in Octavio all the outstanding qualities — musicianship, leadership and commitment to education — that we at Lawrence saw when we made him our director of orchestral studies. High visibility appointments such as this are great for both Octavio and Lawrence.”

Prior to joining the Lawrence faculty, Mas-Arocas spent four years as music director and conductor of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra in Michigan.

Established in 1957, the internationally acclaimed Sewanee Summer Music Festival combines a month-long program for advanced music students with a professional concert series.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Composer Claude Debussy’s 150th Birthday Celebrated with Day-long “Carnival”

From colonialism to issues of racism, the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music piano department commemorates the 150thbirthday of French composer Claude Debussy Sunday, Oct. 28 with a day-long, multimedia examination of the social and cultural history of Paris that influenced Debussy’s work.

Music, art, theatrical readings, a dance competition, a gamelan demonstration and even a circus act will be featured in the “Debussy Carnival.”  The celebration begins at 11 a.m. and continues throughout the day in Harper Hall of the Music-Drama Center. All events are free and open to the public.

In conjunction with various presentations (“Humor in Debussy,” “Race and the Cakewalk”) and demonstrations of early Parisian courtly dances, the Lawrence student piano majors will perform nearly all of Debussy’s works for piano, many of which are short (2-3 minutes) pieces.

Professor Catherine Kautsky

“This celebration promises to be fascinating on every front,” said Professor of Music and keyboard department chair Catherine Kautsky, who will perform a 1 p.m. faculty recital as part of the day’s activities with conservatory colleagues Joanne Bozeman (soprano), Wen-Lei Gu (violin) and Steven Spears (tenor).  “No composer absorbed more from his surroundings than did Claude Debussy. We will be transported to his Paris of 1880-1918, complete with its circus acts, gamelan performances, as well as the political ambiguities arising from new colonies, visiting minstrel shows and a constant simmering resentment against the Germans.

“Debussy’s music is by turns funny and infinitely evocative— my hope is that the slides, readings and dances with which we surround it will well communicate all that imagination!”

An exhibition of art works that inspired Debussy’s compositions will be on display in the Harper Hall lobby from 11-7 p.m.  Following the celebration, the works will be exhibited Oct. 29 – Nov. 2, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Quirk Print Gallery in the Wriston Art Center.

A cakewalk dance competition will be held at 3 p.m. with a fresh-baked cake awarded as a first-place prize to the winning couple. The competition is open to all interested campus and community participants. Interested dancers are invited to a cakewalk instruction/practice session from 10-11 a.m.

For a complete schedule of events, visit http://go.lawrence.edu/debussy.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Cellist Matt Haimovitz, Pianist Christopher O’Riley Open Lawrence University’s 2012-13 Artist Series

Combining individual virtuosity into a musical collaboration that blends classical and pop music genres, world-renowned cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley open Lawrence University’s 2012-13 Artist Series Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Tickets, at $22-20 for adults, $19-17 for seniors, and $17-15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, or by calling 920-832-6749.

Based on their 2011 two-disc CD “Shuffle.Listen.Play,” the concert will showcase the award-winning talents of Haimovitz and O’Riley as collaborators and soloists in an eclectic program featuring works ranging from Bach to Astor Piazzolla and Igor Stravinsky to Radiohead.

Cellist Matt Haimovitz
Photo: Steph Mackinnon

Since making his musical debut at the age of 13 with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic, Haimovitz has established himself as a musical pioneer and visionary, widely known for his trademark solo cello recitals, performed with many of the world’s most prestigious musical ensembles, among them the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic and the English Chamber Orchestra. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in a string quintet alongside Isaac Stern, Shlomo Mintz, Pinchas Zukerman and Mstislav Rostropovich.

This will be Haimovitz’ second appearance at Lawrence. He performed as a 19-year-old Princeton University freshman in April 1990 with pianist Robert McDonald, a 1973 Lawrence graduate.

“We are thrilled to have Matt Haimovitz back on campus after a 22-year absence,” said cellist Janet Anthony, George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professor of Music. “A passionate, intellectually curious and adventurous cellist, he has made a name for himself by bringing Bach to an entirely new audience in coffeehouses and nightclubs while also stretching the boundaries of the traditional concert hall. By blending styles and genres and making connections between classical repertoire and up-to-the-minute pop music, this will be a very special and exciting musical experience.”

Performing on a Venetian cello made in 1710 by Matteo Gofriller, Haimovitz drew raves for his Bach “Listening-Room” Tour in which he took Bach’s beloved cello suites out of the concert hall and into clubs across the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The Boston Globe called Haimovitz a musician who “plays with great concentration, nobility of expression and technical panache.”

Pianist Christopher O’Riley
Photo: Wendy Lynch

O’Riley, who subscribes to the Duke Ellington adage “there are only two kinds of music, good music and bad,” is one of the leading interpreters of popular contemporary music. His discography includes two CDs of his own versions of Radiohead songs, a tribute to the works of singer/songwriter Nick Drake and 2009’s “Out of My Hands,” which was inspired by the works of various artists, among them Nirvana, REM, Pink Floyd, Tori Amos and Portishead.

A native of Evanston, Ill., O’Riley began classical piano studies at the age of four. He interests shifted to pop music and in the sixth grade started his own band. In addition to his touring schedule, O’Riley hosts the National Public Radio program “From the Top,” which spotlights rising young classical musicians.

“Chris has gained a lot of respect within the musical community for his wide-ranging repertoire, inventive programming and support of young talent through his radio program” said pianist Michael Mizrahi, assistant professor of music at Lawrence. “I’m very much looking forward to both his performance and his master class.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

 

Lawrence University Pianist Wins State Music Competition

Lawrence University junior Michael Gold earned first-place honors Saturday, Oct. 15 in the 2012 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Wisconsin state competition conducted at Lakeland College.

Gold, a piano performance major from Oak Park, Ill., won the young artists (19-26 years of age) piano competition. He advances to the MTNA’s five-state East Central Division competition January 4-6 at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Winners at the division competition advance to the MTNA’s national competition March 9-13 in Anaheim, Calif.

Gold is the 12th Lawrence piano student in the past 15 years to win the Wisconsin MTNA piano competition. He is a student in the studio of Catherine Kautsky.

Lawrence pianists dominated the competition, which featured a total of 11 students. Besides Gold’s first-place finish, senior Drew Donica earned alternate (second place) honors while senior James Maverick and sophomore Elizabeth Vaughan earned honorable mention recognition.

Two other Lawrence musicians will represent Wisconsin at the division competition. Senior saxophonist Phillip Dobernig and freshman pianist Gabriella Makuc advanced in the young artist woodwinds and senior performance (ages 15-18) competitions, respectively, as the only entrants in their categories.

The MTNA performance competitions recognize exceptionally talented young artists and their teachers in their pursuit of musical excellence.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Lawrence University Tubist Wins International Music Competition

Lawrence University student Trevor Litsey earned first-place honors in the recent International Tuba and Euphonium Association’s “Mock Orchestra Audition Competition” held at the Brucknerhaus in Linz, Austria.

Trevor Litsey '14

A junior tuba performance major from Birmingham, Ala., Litsey was named the winner from among four finalists, earning a first-place prize of 600 euros. He later performed in concert with the North Austrian Wind Ensemble during the ITEA’s international conference June 23-30.

Litsey was one of 20 musicians invited to Austria from among nearly 60 applicants worldwide who auditioned originally via taped recording.  The semifinals and finals were adjudicated by judges representing orchestras in Germany and the United States, including Carol Jantsch, principal tubist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

A student in the tuba studio of Lawrence lecturer in music Marty Erickson, Litsey is the fourth Lawrence tubist in the past six years to win a prize in a major national or international competition.

On the heels of his winning performance in Austria, Litsey is spending July in Washington, D.C., as the only tuba player selected for the National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute. He is participating in chamber music activities at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and receiving private lessons with National Symphony tubist Steven Dumain.

During the month-long program, Litsey is performing in side-by-side concerts with the National Symphony in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. He was chosen for the prestigious program based on a recorded orchestral excerpt presentation.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

 

Student Flutist Leo Sussman Wins National Competition in San Francisco

Lawrence University’s Leo Sussman earned first-place honors in the recent 2012 San Francisco Flute Festival competition.

A sophomore at Lawrence, Sussman was one of four flutists selected for the finals of the national competition via submitted video audition.

Leo Sussman '15

In a live, 10-minute finals recital conducted June 17 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Sussman performed “Sonata Appassionata” by Sigfrid Karg-Elert and Robert Muczynski’s “Sonata for Flute and Piano, Movement IV: Allegro con Moto.”

For his winning performance, Sussman received a $250 prize and an invitation to perform as a soloist with a flute choir at the 2013 San Francisco Flute Festival next June.

This was the first time Sussman, a San Francisco resident, had entered the competition, which features both an adult (over 18) and youth (under 18) division.

A double degree candidate pursuing majors in flute performance and physics, Sussman is a student in the studio of assistant professor of music Erin Lesser.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Don’t Look Back: Composer Fred Sturm Pays Musical Tribute to Baseball Legend Satchel Paige

Lawrence University award-winning composer and baseball lover Fred Sturm has combined his two loves in a musical tribute to Hall of Fame pitcher Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige.

The Baseball Music Project is releasing “Don’t Look Back,” a newly commissioned work written by Lawrence’s director of jazz studies and improvisational music that pays homage to the legendary pitcher and Negro Leagues superstar and some of his most celebrated quotes.

Named in honor of what is arguably Paige’s most famous line — “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” — the work is being released July 7 in conjunction with what would have been Paige’s 106th birthday.

Director of Jazz Studies and Improvisational Music Fred Sturm

Wisconsin musician Woody Mankowski provides the vocals and plays saxophone on the piece and is accompanied by Lawrence Conservatory of Music faculty members Bill Carrothers, piano, Dane Richeson, drums and Mark Urness, bass.

“Don’t Look Back” is Sturm’s most recent contribution to the BMP, which is part symphony concert, part musical American history lesson. Sturm’s “A Place Where It Would Always Be Spring” made its world premiere with legendary Yankees shortstop Tony Kubek serving as narrator. A 16-minute, nine-movement tour de force inspired by prose and poetry about baseball, the piece was written in 1994 for a commission by five American symphony orchestras.

“Add Satchel’s joyful swagger, humor and down home wisdom to the greatest pitching record in baseball history and you get the stuff of an American icon,” said Sturm, who serves as artistic director for the BMP. “I worked my favorite Paige quote into the song’s lyrics: ‘Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.’ That falls somewhere between Mark Twain and Yogi Berra.”

A 1973 graduate of Lawrence, Sturm was honored with DownBeat magazine’s 2010 Jazz Education Achievement Award and was the 2003 recipient of the prestigious International Association for Jazz Education and ASCAP Commission in Honor of Quincy Jones. His works have been performed by ensembles worldwide, printed by eight international publishers and issued on four recording labels.

Leroy "Satchel" Paige

Paige was legendary for both his blazing fastball — Joe DiMaggio called him “the fastest pitcher” he had ever faced — and his storytelling. He spent most of his career in the Negro Leagues, becoming one of the league’s most colorful characters, baffling hitters and entertaining crowds with an assortment of creatively named pitches, including the “Bat Dodger” and this famous “Hesitation Pitch.”

In 1948, at the age of 42, Paige became the oldest rookie in Major League history, making his debut with Bill Veeck’s Cleveland Indians and helping them win the pennant. Although he officially retired in 1953, Paige made a special, three-inning appearance for the Kansas City Athletics in 1965, becoming MLB’s oldest player ever at the age of 59. He was elected to baseball’s coveted Hall of Fame in 1971.

The brainchild of music producer Bob Thompson, the BMP was launched in 2006 with help from Hall of Famer Dave Winfield. Through concerts, recordings and other events, the project seeks to raise awareness of the cultural lineage and historical significance of the more than 2,500 songs written about baseball.

Winfield has appeared as narrator with the BMP in performances by the Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego and Seattle Symphonies, among others. A goal is to have it performed in every American community that supports both a professional baseball team and a symphony orchestra.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.