Faculty News

Andrew BishopTim Cheek's New Book Jessica Hahn's Costumes for RagtimeKenneth KieslerJosh MajorCelebration for Marilyn Mason

From top: Andrew Bishop; Tim Cheek's New Book; From Ragtime, costumes by Jessica Hahn; Kenneth Kiesler; Josh Major conducts Cunning Little Vixen;Celebration for Marilyn Mason

Steven Ball (carillon and organ) released two new recordings, Fox Noel and 1001 Nights, celebrating the 80th anniversary of Atlanta’s Fox Theater.
His recent scholarship on the life and music of Rene Louis Becker led to the gift of his complete works to the music library. Ball conducted a premiere of Becker’s Mass for Sts. Peter and Paul and will record his complete organ works on the original instrument at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit, where Ball succeeds him. Ball designed a class in bell founding, in collaboration with professors from engineering and art & design, the first of its kind to involve three schools.

Judith Becker (ethnomusicology emeritus) published "Ethnomusicology and Empiricism in the Twenty-First Century" in the fall 2009 Ethnomusicology (vol. 53, no. 3). At Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, in February she presented a public lecture for the Program in Culture, Brain, and Development, and, at a faculty seminar, "Action-in-the-World: Musical Emotion and Musical Motion." At a U-M Interdisciplinary Music Forum in March she spoke on the topic "What does it mean to be 'moved' by music?" She will be the keynote speaker at Hofstra University, Long Island, NY, in May, for a conference on "The Hermeneutics of Sikh Music (rag) and Word (shabad).”

Andrew Bishop (jazz and contemporary improvisation) recently recorded as a multi-instrumentalist with Gerald Cleaver’s group Uncle June. He performed with another Cleaver group, Violet Hour, in Paris, Braga, Portugal, and New York City. His own trio Bishop/Cleaver/Flood has performed widely; their new recording of Bishop’s De Profundis is scheduled for a fall release. Bishop was featured on Ellen Rowe’s Wishing Well, and, as composer and arranger, received three commissions from the new music group Opus 21, who he performed with in a concert of the music of Frank Zappa. That concert was profiled in Chamber Music Magazine (March/April 2010).

William Bolcom (composition emeritus) and Joan Morris (musical theatre emeritus) celebrated the launch of their new CD Someone Talked: Memories of World War II, at the U-M Graduate Library in November. Students from Joan’s cabaret class joined the duo in performances from that CD, along with tenor Robert White and narrator Hazen Schumacher. Bolcom & Morris continue to tour, with stops for CD signings along the way. In April, Morris narrated Walton’s Façade with theatre & drama faculty member Philip Kerr and the Michigan Chamber Players. May and June will find them at the American Spring Festival in Prague for performances of both Bolcom’s work and theirs as a duo. Bolcom’s Romanza was premiered by the New Century Chamber Orchestra with violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg in San Francisco and his Billy in the Darbies by baritone Stephen Salters and the Lark Quartet at Stanford, Bolcom’s alma mater.

Evan Chambers (composition) will see the release of a new recording of his orchestral song cycle, The Old Burying Ground, in June. The disk features the U-M Symphony Orchestra under Kenneth Kiesler. Chambers’ Concerto for Saxophone and Band was premiered, toured, and recorded by the West Point Band; it was also highlighted at the University of Georgia during the North American Saxophone Alliance conference. Chambers was in residence for three days of performances of his music at Texas Tech University; he will be a guest at the Utah Arts Festival and at the Lindesfarne Fellowship in Santa Fe New Mexico.

Amy Chavasse (dance) premiered Hunger for the Longing, (a biased history of seduction), inspired by Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land, for (Re)Visionary Dances at the Power Center. She will create a new dance and teach for Ann Arbor Dance Works and return to Florence Summer Dance and Pro Danza Italia for a fourth summer. She will travel to Bari, Italy for a short residency with Res Extensa, a contemporary theater/dance company, between engagements in Florence and Castiglioncello. Chavasse Dance & Performance will present two works at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Beckett (MA), with U-M alums, current students, and past collaborators.

Colleen Conway (music education) presented sessions during winter 2010 at the Michigan Music Conference, American Educational Research, and the Music Educators National Conference. Her “Instrumental Music Education Student Perceptions of Tensions Experienced During Their Undergraduate Degree” appeared in the Journal of Research in Music Education this semester, and “The Role of Graduate and Undergraduate Interactions in the Development of Pre-Service Music Teachers and Music Teacher Educators: A Self-Study in Music Teacher Education” was published in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. She has been traveling to promote her new Handbook for the Music Mentor.

Anthony Elliott (cello) guest conducted the San Antonio Symphony, featuring works by Joan Tower and Coleridge Taylor Perkinson. His performance of Perkinson's Lamentations Suite is now touring in an exhibition by painter Mark Priest, featuring scenes from the life of Harriett Tubman. Recent U-M alumna Marcia Porter (DMA ’02, voice) was on the same program, performing Samuel Barber's Knoxville, Summer of 1915. Other recent engagements include the Sphinx Symphony and the New York, Florida, Alaska, and Washington All-State Orchestras. He also appeared as cello soloist with the Ann Arbor Symphony, University Symphony Orchestra, and the Grosse Point Symphony.

Walter Everett (chair, music theory) visited Princeton University in April to present his lecture, "Of Harry Pa(r)tch and Other Challenges to Tonal Centricity in Early 21st-Century Rock." Albin Zak's review of Everett's book, The Foundations of Rock (2009), appears in the Journal of the Society for American Music.

Kate Fitzpatrick presented a session at the 2010 Michigan Music Conference entitled "Less can be more: Fostering student musical independence from the podium." In March, she was invited to serve as the "Women in Music" speaker for the North Central Division convention of the band service organization Tau Beta Sigma, where she also conducted the conference reading band. This spring, she will present papers at the “Establishing Identities” conference in Urbana-Champaign and the CSEME conference in Evanston, Illinois, and in March was elected chair-elect of the Society for Research in Music Education Social Sciences special research interest group.

Jane Fulcher (musicology) had her article, "Du Classicisme reactionnaire à celui de la resistance française," published in L’Action Française. Culture, Societé, Politique, ed. by Michel Leymarie. She was featured in an interview at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris for the PBS program, Paris, the Luminous Years: the Birth of the Modern, scheduled to air this fall through WNET. In addition to chairing a session at the American Musicological Society conference in Philadelphia, Fulcher presented “Born Like a Phoenix from the Ashes? The 'Renewal' of French Music 1870-1918” as part of the U-M Museum of Art exhibition "Painters of the Normandy Coast."

Charles Hiroshi Garrett's (musicology) book Struggling to Define a Nation: American Music and the Twentieth Century, published by University of California Press in 2008, was awarded the Irving Lowens Memorial Book Award by the Society for American Music. The book also received an honorable mention for the Woody Guthrie Award, presented by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, U.S. branch.

Joseph Gramley (percussion) toured the top European festivals last fall with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, whose CD Songs of Joy and Peace, on which Gramley performs, won a Grammy. In recent months, Gramley has appeared as a guest artist with the Vanderbilt University Wind Ensemble, where he was in residence with composer Joseph Schwantner, performing his percussion concerto. Other concerto appearances included marimba concerti with the Bozeman and the Wyoming Symphonies and concerts as guest principal timpanist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Gramley is off on another major Silk Road tour, this time of Asia, in April.

Jessica Hahn (theatre & drama costume design) has had a very busy year while recovering from knee replacement surgery. In addition to designing Uncommon Women and Others in the fall, she was busy working on the costumes for the April Musical Theatre production of Ragtime. With a cast of 40 and over 180 costumes, Jessica has been spending much of her time in the costume shop. She is also curating Women in White, an exhibit of Turn-of-the-Century women's gowns that were on display in the Power Center Lobby in April.

Caroline Helton (voice) and Kathryn Goodson (DMA ’05), collaborative pianist for voice, winds and percussion, are pleased to announce that their CD Voices of the Holocaust will be available on iTunes as of April 2010. A collection of art songs by Jewish composers whose lives were affected by the events surrounding World War II, including pieces by Kurt Weill, Robert Kahn, Erich Korngold, Darius Milhaud, and Oskar Morawetz, it was recorded on the BlockM record label.

Michele Johns (organ) was honored as the founder and first dean of the American Guild of Organists Ann Arbor chapter during their year long 40th year celebration. She spearheaded an event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Karl Wilhelm mechanical action pipe organ at Ann Arbor’s First Congregational Church, a project for which she was educator and consultant. The church also celebrated the 25th anniversary of its organist, Marilyn Mason. Dr. Johns continues as administrator of the Brown Bag Organ Series at the U-M School of Public Health, and bringing music to new audiences on U-M’s medical campus.

James Kibbie (organ) played two recitals in January for the Associazione organistica del Lazio in Rome. In March, BBC radio featured his recently completed cycle of Bach recordings (www.blockmrecords.org/bach) in a broadcast hosted by James Jolly, former editor of Gramophone. Kibbie and six of his current and former students recreated Mendelssohn’s all-Bach recital of 1840 in performances at Calvin College in Grand Rapids and St. Jude Catholic Church in Detroit.

Last fall, Kenneth Kiesler conducted the University Opera Theatre production of Marriage of Figaro, led several concerts with the University Symphony Orchestra, and the Berlioz Requiem with the University Choir and Chamber Choirs. While on sabbatical this spring, he was a visiting artist at the Royal Academy of Music, in London, where he taught the studio of conductors. He also conducted Mahler's Resurrection Symphony at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in New York City, and led an international group of conductors in a week of master classes in Germany with the Berlin Sinfonietta.

Nancy Ambrose King (oboe) presented a solo recital as part of the Pick-Staiger Concert Series at Northwestern University, appearing with Sylvia Wang, piano, and Gail Williams, horn. She presented master classes at Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin, Oklahoma State University, the University of Illinois, and Florida Gulf Coast University. She performed David Mullikin’s Concerto for Oboe with the Dearborn Symphony and served as an adjudicator of the Chicago Symphony Young Artist Competition. As a graduate of U-M in 1980, King will be inducted into to the School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s Alumni Hall of Fame at this fall’s annual reunion.

Andy Kirshner (Performing Arts Technology, Art and Design) has completed the screenplay for his feature-length film, Liberty's Secret, a "national security musical" that satirizes contemporary political propaganda. This summer, he will record some of the music he has composed for the movie with faculty members Ellen Rowe, Michael Gould, Andrew Bishop, and Katri Ervamaa (Residential College), along with recent grads Tim Flood (BFA ’98, jazz, MA ’06, media arts) and Brad Phillips (BFA ’07, jazz). The film is planned for release in the 2012 the election season, but you can hear musical samples and read script excerpts at http://www.libertysecretmovie.com

Paul R. Lehman (music theory emeritus) has remained active since his retirement, authoring more than forty articles in professional publications and delivering more than two-dozen addresses to professional organizations, including as keynote speaker at the 2007 Centennial Congress celebrating the 100th anniversary of MENC: The National Association for Music Education. He was inducted into the Music Educators Hall of Fame, sponsored by MENC, in 2000, and in 2002 was made an Honorary Life Member of the International Society for Music Education. He now lives Georgetown, TX, with his wife Ruth; together they have traveled extensively.

Stephen Lusmann (voice) sang Logan Skelton’s Anderson Songs and the world premiere of his Clyburn Songs, with the composer at the piano, at Northwestern University, where he also presented a master class. A recording of these songs, along with Skelton’s Ohr Songs, will be released this fall. At the U-M Museum of Art, he sang Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, with Martin Katz conducting. Lusmann conducted alumni of the U-M Men’s Glee Club for their 150th anniversary concert and adjudicated the Dayton Opera Competition, was a member of the Road Scholars Tour, and returns for his tenth summer to the Seagle Music Colony.

Jeffrey Lyman (bassoon) will perform this summer with the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, and will immediately after join colleagues Nancy Ambrose King, Chad Burrow, and Amy Cheng in a recital at the 2010 Conference of the International Double Reed Society in Oklahoma. This past March, Lyman presented a selection of recently composed works, including two U.S. premieres, on his recital "Refrigerate After Opening: Fresh New Music for Bassoon."

Joshua Major (opera) recently directed a successful production of The Cunning Little Vixen for the Cape Town Opera and the University of Cape Town. He also completed a production of Lucia di Lamermoor at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, featuring recent Michigan graduate, Michael Fabiano (BM ’05). He continues into his seventh season as artistic director of the Pine Mountain Music Festival based in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. This summer Major will direct La Traviata for the Festival and Les Mamelles de Tirésias for the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal.

Marilyn Mason (organ) has been invited to lecture at the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Washington D.C. this July. She will lecture on new music, including works by Jerry Bilik (BM ‘55, MM ’61) and Albert Fadak, among others, which will appear in Volume Five of her collection of commissioned works. She was celebrated at the 25th anniversary of the Karl Wilhelm organ at the First Congregational Church, with the organ builder in attendance. The occasion also marked her 25th year as church organist. Her colleagues and students performed in her honor.

Marie McCarthy (chair, music education) presented papers at the 2010 Biennial Music Educators National Conference in March and the Michigan Celebrates Motown: The Symposium held on campus in February. She serves as extern examiner at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, for this academic year. Her most recent publications appear as book chapters in Music Education for Changing Times: Guiding Visions for Practice, and Music in Compulsory Schooling: Comparative Historical Perspectives. She submitted several contributions for the Second Edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music.

Gustav Meier (conducting emeritus) has released a new book, The Score, the Orchestra, and the Conductor (Oxford U Press), which “demystifies the conductor’s craft,” explaining and showing what a conductor must know to be successful. From the conductor’s first rehearsal with an orchestra on up, the book covers the full range, from rudimentary to sophisticated. The book includes, among other things, a glossary of orchestral instruments in four languages.

Virgil Moorefield (performing arts technology) announces the publication in paperback of his The Producer As Composer (MIT Press). He also contributed a chapter about covers, remixes, and mash-ups to the new Recorded Music: Performance, Culture and Technology (Cambridge U Press). His recent intermedia piece Five Ideas about the Relation of Sight and Sound (2008), composed by Moorefield with techno-artistic contributors Rob Alexander (BFA ’07, MA ’09) and graduate student Devin Kerr, enjoyed success at the Windsor Festival of Canadian Music. The piece consists of five tableaux, each exploring a particular facet of the interplay between image and sound.

Christianne Myers (theatre & drama) designed costumes for University Productons’ Tartuffe, The Marriage of Figaro and Our Town. Professionally, designs included the world premiere of Gravity and Boeing, Boeing, both at the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea, and an original design of Rigoletto for the Florentine Opera.

Louis Nagel (piano) performed Beethoven's Choral Fantasy with the Dexter (MI) Symphony Orchestra in December. In January, he and his wife Julie Jaffee Nagel collaborated on a presentation on Mozart's Piano Sonata in A Minor, K. 310, later repeated for the New Orleans-Birmingham Psychoanalytic Institute. His interview with Alan Walker on Chopin appeared in the December/January American Music Teacher and a review of Walker’s biography of musicologist Hans von Bülow is forthcoming in the same publication. Nagel visited the campus of Presbyterian College (SC) for a solo recital and master class. This summer, he will perform at Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor.

OyamO (theatre & drama) lectured on central campus at an Adelia Cheever event in the Helen Newberry Residence Hall and at the U-M Humanities Conference. He did a voice-over for the National Marrow Donor Program and his I Am a Man, based on the sanitation strike that culminated in MLK’s death, was read for the Working Theater's 25th Anniversary in New York City. He published Hopwood Award-winner Seth Moore's play Jonesin’, staged by University Productions last season. He was chosen to be a faculty fellow at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and produced Playfest, staged readings of student plays.

Amy Porter (flute) performed world premieres written specifically for her: The Shadow Of Sirius Concerto, by Joel Puckett (DMA ’04), commissioned by the U-M Symphony Band; David Sampson’s Undercurrents for solo flute; Christopher Caliendo’s The Ghost Sonata for flute and piano; and Michael Daugherty’s The Trail of Tears Concerto for flute and orchestra, which she performs with the Omaha, Delaware, Ann Arbor, and Tupelo symphonies, and the American Composers Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall. In May, she visits Slovenia for the 8th Slovenian Flute Festival, the Texas Flute Society, and performs a recital at the National Flute Association Convention in Anaheim, CA.

Paul Rardin (choral conducting) led the Men's Glee Club in an invited performance at the American Choral Directors Association Central Division Conference in Cincinnati in February. He served as guest conductor for the Michigan Music Conference TTBB Honors Choir in January and for the West Virginia All-State Mixed Choir in March. His composition Sound Off, recently published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing, was performed by the Colorado All-State Men's Choir in February. Rardin also edited two forthcoming publications celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Men's Glee Club, the CD Michigan, Remember and the songbook Sing to the Colors.

Ellen Rowe (chair, jazz and improvisation) celebrated the release of her quartet’s CD, Wishing Well, with special guest trumpeter Ingrid Jensen. In September, her arrangement of guitarist John Scofield's Go Blow was premiered with John and the Westchester Jazz Orchestra in New York. She completed a three-week residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts’ Leighton Artist Colony. Other recent activities include conducting the California All-State Jazz Ensemble and guest artist appearances at the Lafayette (CA) and the University of Kentucky Jazz Festivals. Last fall, she won the women's division of the inaugural Rockhead Trail Marathon, coming in fourth overall.

Stephen Rush (performing arts technology and dance) has been the course coordinator for new class Creative Process, which explores creativity with and theories from Taoism and Meister Eckhardt. In August, Rush will take students from SMTD to India for to study music, dance, and yoga. This fall, his Tango Symphony will be premiered by Leonard Slatkin and the DSO. He looks forward to the release of his new Yuganaut album Sharks, a recording with faculty members Joe Gramley and David Jackson of his chamber work Inner Rebellion, and the DVD Pauline Oliveros with the U-M Digital Music Ensemble.

Yizhak Schotten (viola) taught last summer at the Chautauqua Music Festival in New York, the Domaine Forget Festival in Quebec, and at the Montecito Music Festival in Santa Barbara. This year he has given master classes at the Eastman School of Music, at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Bowling Green University, and at Stanford and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He also was a master class clinician and gave a session on "Practicing and Sound Production" at the American String Teachers National Conference in Santa Clara, California. He performed recitals with Katherine Collier (piano) at Chautauqua, Eastman, Bowling Green, Stanford, and San Francisco, in addition to several faculty recitals at the SMTD.

George Shirley (voice emeritus) played King Alonso in The Tempest and Duke Senior in As You Like It at the 2009 Michigan Shakespeare Festival. He visited the University of Cape Town for master classes and presented the opening master class at the National Opera Association National Convention. He was soloist in Lift Every Voice with the Amarillo Opera, in the premiere of a new anthem by Kelly Hale at the First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, and in a Black Pioneers Concert, at Claflin (SC) University. He adjudicated the George London and American Traditions Competitions in New York City and Savannah, respectively.

Peter Sparling (dance) has been awarded a four-month residency this fall at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. He will make new screen dances, attend screen dance festivals, continue a comparative study for video of male dance improvisers, and write articles for Ballet Review. He recently performed in Pittsburgh with The Glue Factory Project’s A Seat at the Table, directed by U-M dance alumna Beth Corning (BFA ‘78) and featuring five professional dancers over the age of 40.

Michael Udow (percussion) toured Asia for seven weeks, performing concerts as soloist in Seoul and with Keiko Abe and Takako Nakama in Kagoshima, Japan. He presented master classes, clinics, and lessons at colleges and universities in Korea, Japan, and China, and a two-week intensive course at Taiwan National University and a composition class at Taipei University. He premiered his 25-minute multiple-percussion concerto, Moon Shadows, with colleague Michael Haithcock and the University Symphony Band. This summer, he will perform with Galaxy Percussion Group on a two-week tour in Korea, with Anthony DiSanza (MM ’92, DMA ’03), Roger Braun (BM ’90), and Christopher Froh (BM ’97, MM ’98).

Stephen West (voice) makes his debut this June with the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, singing Dr. Schön, the lead baritone role in Berg's opera, Lulu, a co-production with the Opera de Lyon and the Wiener Festwoche in Vienna. July will find him as soloist in Mahler's Das Klagende Lied with the Orquestra Sinfónica de Minería in Mexico City, then teaching voice for the School’s MPulse intensive. He will appear with the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam as Mephistophélès in Pascal Dusapin's Faustus, the last night, a role he created for the American premiere of this work at the Spoleto Festival USA in 2007.

Betty Anne Younker (music education) continues as president of the Michigan Music Educators Association and as board member for the International Society for Improvised Music, the International Society for Music Education, and the Society for Music Teacher Education. Publications include two book chapters, one of which is with Dr. Pamela Burnard (Cambridge, UK). In fall 2009, she presented papers at the College Music Society and National Association of Schools of Music, and as one of three invited panelists at the Society for Music Teacher Education.