Faculty News

Tchaikovsky CoverMarilyn in Paris Anthony Elliott with School KidsAmy with Dorfman

Cover of John Wiley's new book; Marilyn Mason in Paris; Anthony Elliott at University Prep in Detroit; Amy Chavasse dances with David Dorfman

William Bolcom (composition emeritus) and Joan Morris (musical theatre) performed at the Mohawk Trail Concerts in Charlemont, MA in July for the 34th time! Bolcom, who retired in the spring from teaching, has hardly been idle. The premiere of his Lady Liberty, with poetry by longtime collaborator the late Arnold Weinstein, was performed simultaneously in Michigan and Massachusetts by the Ann Arbor Vocal Arts Ensemble and The Master Singers of Lexington. His Introduzione e Rondo:  Haydn Go Seek was premiered in Eisenstadt, Austria, by Haydn Trio Eisenstadt, as part of a festival commemorating Haydn’s 200th anniversary. In November, his Searchlight Soul, will be premiered by the U-M Men’s Glee Club, under choral conductor and colleague Paul Rardin, at Hill Auditorium. As a duo, Bolcom and Morris are releasing a new CD, Someone Talked!  Memories of World War II, with tenor Robert White and narrator Hazen Schumacher, set for a November 11 release party at U-M’s Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library.

William Campbell (trumpet) was director and coordinator for a week-long U-M International Trumpet Institute, held at L’Abbaye de Pontlevoy in France. The institute focused on French and American music for the trumpet. Four students from SMTD participated: Jason Bergman, DMA candidate, and Scott Copeland, Alex Fioto, and Dan Nesbitt, seniors. Campbell and the institute participants performed five recitals, including a culminating trumpet ensemble concert. In addition, noted French soloist and teacher, Eric Aubier provided a master class focusing on many stylistic issues present in French works such as Jolivet Concertino and Concerto no. 2, Honegger’s Intrada, and Bozza’s Caprice no. 2.

Amy Chavasse (dance) taught a master class at The American Dance Festival’s WFSS series and completed her third summer teaching, choreographing, and performing at Florence Dance Week and Pro Danza Italia. She worked with students from Italy, Spain, and the U.S., creating a new student work and completing work on a new solo, with performances at Parco Anconella in Florence and the Anfi Teatro Romano in Fiesole. In the fall, she will work with Paul Matteson (Bill T. Jones) to re-work the 2005 solo, Rock Steady, created for her. The July issue of Dance Magazine included an article about her re-staging of Laura Dean’s Impact.

Timothy Cheek (voice and diction) served as opera conductor for Le nozze di Figaro at the Bay View Music Festival in Petoskey, MI, in July and August. U-M performers were clarinetist Andrew Kobalka, Jonathan Christopher as Figaro, Jennifer Gordon as Barbarina, and Kate Wakefield as Cherubino. In October, Cheek helped coach The Cunning Little Vixen in Czech at the Cape Town Opera, South Africa. Noted Czech composer Sylvie Bodorová has written a new song cycle on the poetry of Jan Skácel, called Apple Train, for Cheek, soprano Laurie Lashbrook, and dancer Bohuslava Jelínková, commissioned by Czech and Lashbrook, called.

Colleen Conway (music education) presented a lecture on careers in music at the Bloomfield Hills (MI) International Academy in September. Also in September, Conway was in Greensboro, NC to present two research papers at the meeting of the Society for Music Teacher Education. She has research articles appearing this fall in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education and Research Studies in Music Education. A book review and a guest editorial appear in the fall issue of the Journal of Music Teacher Education. Her next book, Handbook for the Music Mentor (GIA, 2010) will be available in December.

Anthony Elliott (cello) took a group of his students to University Prep Academy in Detroit in May. They performed a number of pieces for the students, including a performance of Jericho, a cello ensemble piece Elliott commissioned from Augustus Hill (Ph.D. ’02). The performance was followed by a question and answer session, then the U-M students and Elliott broke up into smaller groups, working with quartets and sometimes even two on one with individual students. “It was an extraordinarily uplifting experience for all involved,” Elliott says. “The students at the academy were enthusiastic, eager, and extremely grateful for our visit.”

Kate Fitzpatrick (music education) presented a session at the biennial meeting of the Instrumental Music Teacher Educators entitled “Do You Hear What I Hear? The Development of Scaffolding Techniques to Guide Students’ Perceptions of Musical Performances and Rehearsals.” She also organized the inaugural Chamber Music Day at the University of Michigan, which brought public school students to campus for a day of chamber music coaching and performance with the members of the Phoenix Quartet. This fall, Dr. Fitzpatrick presented a paper on preparing students for successful urban teaching at the meeting of the Society for Music Teacher Education in Greensboro, NC.

Beth Genné (dance) presented her research on Diaghilev and Balanchine at Columbia University’s symposium on Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and at Boston University gave a paper on the Russian Revolution’s effect on Diaghilev’s dancers. Both papers will be published in volumes devoted to each symposium.  Genné’s “Vincente Minnelli and the Film Ballet” was published in Vincente Minnelli:  The Art of Entertainment and singled out for praise in the cinema journal Sight and Sound. Genné’s obituary and appreciation for dancer Cyd Charisse was published in The Dancing Times (London). Genné also gave two presentations as a visiting scholar at Ohio State University.

Joseph Gramley (percussion) began a busy summer of concert appearances in New York, where he performed with the Knights Chamber Orchestra at five different venues, in advance of their trip to open the Dresden Festival, where Gramley also performed, with Dawn Upshaw, Jan Vogler, and Christina Courtin. In July, Gramley directed the tenth annual Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar and a few weeks later joined pianist Richard Goode for a series of performances at the Marlboro Music Festival. This summer he also welcomed ten high school percussionists from across the U.S. to U-M’s campus for the first annual Mpulse Percussion Institute.

Christopher Harding (piano) was in residence at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China, in October to help mark that institution’s 50th anniversary. In addition to teaching, he presented a performance of the Brahms D Minor Piano Concerto with the Sichuan Symphony. His recordings of American Piano Music by Barber, Bolcom, Gershwin, and Copland will be released by Block M Records through Apple iTunes this fall, as well as the complete sonatas for piano and violin by Brahms, with violinist Stephen Boe.

Joan Raeburn Holland (harp) played with the Toledo Symphony this year, along with her usual contracted performances with Michigan orchestras. In the summer, she performed with the Interlochen Arts Camp Faculty Chamber Music Series and gave a chamber recital for flute, viola, and harp on the Otis Pottery Art and Chamber Music Concert in Petoskey (MI). She will be a soloist for the Lexington (MI) Bach Festival, performing Rodrigo’s Concerto de Aranjuez, arranged for harp by the composer. In August 2009, Holland assisted with the Encuentro of Bogotá, Colombia, a festival of string orchestras made up of youths from all over the country.

Michele Johns (organ), chair of the Ann Arbor branch of the American Guild of Organists, coordinated Ann Arbor Day at the regional convention in June, part of AGO’s International Year of the Organ, culminating in a performance at Hill, featuring Yale’s Martin Jean, organ, with John William Trotter (DMA ’09) conducting, with the Michigan Sinfonietta in a performance of Barber’s Toccata Festiva and a Handel organ concerto. She also organized the MARILYN MASON GALA, an AGO-sponsored recital and reception, attended by national AGO members and dignitaries, in recognition of Mason’s immense achievements in the field of organ performance and teaching.

In addition to playing, conducting, and teaching, Martin Katz (collaborative piano) is now a first-time author. The Complete Collaborator was published in June by Oxford University Press. “It’s a big thrill to hold an opus one in your hand,” says Katz, Artur Schnabel Professor. “Now I must ensure that my teaching conforms to the book!!” Summer of 2009 was the usual checkerboard of activities for Katz:  Songfest, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, and Tanglewood all hosted his classes. Recitals in Scandinavian capitals rounded out the schedule.

James Kibbie (organ) recorded 55 works of Johann Sebastian Bach on two historic organs in Germany, completing his three-year project to record the complete Bach organ works on original baroque organs. This fall, Kibbie taught a graduate seminar on Bach’s Clavierübung III, one of five university seminars in connection with a new edition of Bach’s organ works. Also this term, he joined alumnus Joseph Balistreri (BM ’08), Andrew Herbruck, and current students John Beresford, Richard Newman, Diana Saum, and John Woolsey, in recreating Mendelssohn’s Bach recital of 1840 at St. Jude Catholic Church in Detroit and Calvin College in Grand Rapids.

Nancy Ambrose King (oboe) was the featured guest artist at the Czech Oboe Festival in Ostrava, Czech Republic, in May. She appeared as soloist in Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto for Oboe with the Orchestra of the Swan at the historic Town Hall in Birmingham, England as part of the International Double Reed Society conference, as well as performing the world premiere of Isao Matsushita’s Tisarana. She also performed and taught at the Sarasota and Idyllwild Music Festivals, as well as the Michigan City Chamber Music Festival.

Jeffrey Lyman (bassoon) participated in a consortium commission spearheaded by bassoonist Peter Kolkay that resulted in a new work for bassoon and piano by Katherine Hoover. As one of the principal commissioners, Lyman presented the work in advance of its publication, giving the Ann Arbor premiere in October. In addition to completing recordings with his project El Bajon en México this summer, Dr. Lyman had a new article published by the International Double Reed Society in a festschrift in honor of renowned bassoonist William Waterhouse, “La Guerre des Bassons: How Constructive Criticism Helped Change Bassoon History.”

Marilyn Mason (organ) led her 56th UM Historic Tour to Spain and France this summer. While in France, she visited at St. Etienne-du-Mont, the church where she studied with Maurice Duruflé while she was at the Ecole des Americans in Fontainebleau, Nadia Boulanger’s famous school.

Louis Nagel (piano) performed at the memorial of Joseph Bloch, long-time faculty member of The Juilliard School, and a concert to benefit Parkinson’s research in White Plains, NY. In August, he adjudicated a duo piano competition and performed a recital at the Pedagogy Conference in Chicago. This fall, he presented a recital in Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown Concert House and was adjudicator and performer at the Liszt-Garrison Festival and Competition in Baltimore. In October, he returned to his hometown of Louisville, KY to play a recital upon his being inaugurated into his high school Hall of Fame.

John Neville-Andrews (theatre & drama), artistic producer of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, is pleased to report that the 15th anniversary season was most successful. The plays this year were Shakespeare’s As You Like It and The Tempest, a presentation of the acclaimed musical revue Side by Side by Sondheim, and a free show for young people, Laffin’ School. The shows were well received by the press, playing to large, enthusiastic, and sold-out audiences, and the Festival’s new educational outreach program, Free Shakespeare for Kids!, triumphantly ensured that young people between the ages of 7 and 17 could experience Shakespeare without payment.

Amy Porter (flute) spent her summer performing recitals and master classes for the San Diego Flute Club, Cal State Long Beach, and Cal State Fullerton; participating in the 2009 ARIA International Summer Academy at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts; and coaching at the Vianden Festival in Luxembourg. Meanwhile, in Ann Arbor, her Anatomy of Sound Workshop was held in June with U-M Professor Jerald Schwiebert and guest Marianne Gedigian. Porter was also the master teacher at the MPulse High School Summer Flute Institute at SMTD. In the fall, she will visit Oklahoma State University and the Raleigh (NC) Area Flute Association.

Paul Rardin (choral conducting) served as headliner clinician for the Indiana Choral Directors Association Summer Conference in Indianapolis in July, where he presented sessions on choral artistry, conducting technique, and repertoire. His composition Sound Off was published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing and will be performed by the Colorado All-State High School Men’s Chorus in February. He led the Men’s Glee Club on a seven-concert tour of the east coast, featuring a collaboration in New York City with Glee Club alumnus Bob McGrath (BM ’54, voice) of Sesame Street fame, all culminating in a headliner appearance at the Baltimore Boychoir Festival.

Ramon Satyendra (music theory) was invited to Ohio State University to deliver the 20th William Poland Lecture in Music Theory. His topic was the philosophy of music analysis. He served as chair of the jazz session at the Society of Music Theory regional conference held at the University of Minnesota, and on the editorial board at the Mathematics and Computation in Music conference at Yale University. His article “Musical Actions of Dihedral Groups” (co-authored with Alissa Krans and Thomas Fiore) appeared this past June in the American Mathematical Monthly.

Last summer, Stephen Rush (dance and performing arts technology) led seven students from the SMTD on a trip to Mysore, India—his fourth trip—to study music, dance, and yoga.  The students enjoyed Indian life in an immersive way, studying yoga every morning, then venturing to their guru’s home to study voice, violin, nadaswaram (a huge Indian oboe), or veena. They gave concerts to school children in the jungle, attended a Buddhist-Jain wedding, and visited sustainable hospitals, Montessori schools, and organic farms. They also enjoyed over a dozen concerts, many of them in temples, the natural setting for South Indian music and dance.

Jerry Schweibert (theatre & drama) collaborated with colleague Annette Masson to create Bon Soir, Françoise, a performance project at the U-M Museum of Art around a Picasso work called “Françoise.” Taking their cue from the farcical style of playwright Dario Fo, the theatre piece incorporated “fun facts, fiction, and truths” about the complex relationship between Picasso and his long-time love Françoise Gillot. The performance featured three theatre students—Charlotte Raines, Lee Tyler, and Devin Lytle—and was performed in rotation opposite the painting in the gallery. It was so well received that the museum requested an encore presentation for the following week.

Bright Sheng (composition) was guest conductor with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, an occasion marked by The Detroit Free Press as a highlight of the 2008-2009 season. His new harp concerto Never Far Away, co-commissioned by four symphonies, had its premiere with the San Diego Symphony in October of 2008 and has been released by three orchestras on disc. He was composer-in-residence at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC, where he conducted both his own music and the music of Dvorak and Tchaikovsky. His marimba concerto Colors of Crimson will be performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as part of Carnegie Hall’s Ancient Paths, Modern Voices festival.

George Shirley (voice emeritus) was the featured guest at a master class at Armstrong Atlantic State University in May. The Armstrong Atlantic and Savannah communities, as well as area high school music students, turned out for this three-hour session.

Donald Sinta (saxophone) recently appeared with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in Ravel’s Bolero, Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto, and George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, all under the baton of DSO conductor Leonard Slatkin. He also le a master class at the Hartt School in Connecticut and received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Hartford. His two-week saxophone workshop for passionate high school students, part of the School’s annual summer MPulse program, was most rewarding

Stephen West (voice) appeared in April as Dr. Schön in Alban Berg’s Lulu with the Opera National de Lyon, a co-production with Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and the Vienna Festwoche, venues where he will appear this coming spring.  During the 2008-2009 season, West sang the role of Papageno in Mozart’s Magic Flute with the Ann Arbor Symphony, was the Wizard of Oz in Wicked in Denver, and presented a master class at Oberlin. He recorded Cinco Canciones de Tijuanensis with colleague and bassoonist Jeffrey Lyman, performed Poulenc’s Le Bal Masqué with the Chamber Music Society, and presented as soloist with Martin Katz.

E.J. Westlake (theatre & drama) had her co-edited anthology Political Performances: Theory and Practice published this last July. She also traveled to Lisbon the same month to present her current research on narrative and the Billy the Kid exhumation controversy at the annual congress of the International Federation for Theatre Research. Her article “No Hint as to the Author Is Anywhere Found:  Problems of Using 19th-century Ethnography in Latin American Theatre History” will appear in the University of Michigan Press Theatre Historiography: Critical Questions in the spring.

John Wiley (musicology) has released a new book, Tchaikovsky, from Oxford University Press. In a review, The Washington Post noted that the book “is the rare volume that ought to satisfy professional musicians and general readers alike. Wiley tells us a story, and a poignant one, yet this is also a substantial examination of Tchaikovsky’s work, colorfully described and authoritatively judged.” Wiley’s area of interest covers 19th century music from Beethoven to Mahler, with special research interests in Russian music and ballet of the period.

Leigh Woods (theatre & drama) gave the prelude lecture on Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost to the University Musical Society gathering that will see the play performed by the Globe Theatre of London in October.

Leigh Woods (theatre & drama) gave the prelude lecture on Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost to the University Musical Society gathering that will see the play performed by the Globe Theatre of London in October.