Faculty News

Catherine AdamsChristi-Anne CastroPaul DooleyFritz KaenigAndy KirshnerJames KibbieJohn PasqualeCynthia Kortman Westphal

 

From top: Cahterine Adams, Christi-Anne Castro, Paul Dooley, Fritz Kaenig, Andy Kirshner, James Kibbie, John Pasquale, Cynthia Kortman Westphal

 

FRITZ KAENZIG RECEIVES THURNAU PROFESSORSHIP

Fritz A. Kaenzig (tuba and euphonium) has been honored for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education with an Arthur F. Thurnau professorship, a title he will retain throughout his career at the University. Kaenzig was chosen for maintaining the highest standards of teaching while inspiring colleagues and students. Thurnau professorships annually recognize and reward a select group of tenured faculty members for their outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. The award is named for alumnus Arthur F. Thurnau, and is supported by the Thurnau Charitable Trust, which was established through his will. Recipients receive $20,000 to support teaching activities, including travel, books, equipment, and graduate student support.

 

A recipient of the 1999 Harold Haugh Award for excellence in studio teaching, Kaenzig’s tuba/euphonium studio is acknowledged as the finest in the country. Many of his former students serve as professors at major schools of music or play in the world’s top orchestras, including Carol Jantsch, principal tubist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the first woman ever to hold a principal tuba chair in a major American orchestra.

 

Catherine Walker Adams (musical theatre) is the recipient of a Gilbert Whitaker: Stage 1 Grant, designed to support curriculum reform through new and innovative teaching strategies and technology. As part of the grant, Adams will pursue certification in the Estill Voice Training System, an innovative instructional strategy that teaches stage performers how to control all vocal parameters (pitch, diction, and voice quality) in both singing and speech. The strategy codifies the vocabulary needed to communicate with singers and actors as they work to inhabit a variety of styles and unique characters in live performance. The project includes both departmental and interdepartmental faculty collaboration.

 

Andrew Bishop (jazz and contemporary improvisation) performed with Chris Lightcap’s Big Mouth, premiering Lightcap’s new work “Lost and Found in New York” at the Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle, WA; at the Redwood Jazz Alliance Concert Series in Arcata, CA; at Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz, CA, which was broadcast on NPR’s Jazzset with Dee Dee Bridgewater; at the Kalisz Jazz Piano Festival in Poland; at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris with Gerald Cleaver’s Violet Hour; and with David Bixler’s I75 Ensemble at the gala concert of the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 5 Conference in Bowling Green, OH.  He led master classes at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA; Bowling Green State University; and the Interlochen Arts Academy. 

 

Over the winter, William Bolcom (professor emeritus, conducting) and Joan Morris performed in Ann Arbor, Miami Shores, FL, and Indianapolis (including residencies at the latter two). They participated in an all-day seminar on American popular song at WTTW-FM/Chicago and in a reading of Anne Carson’s translation of Sophocles’ Antigonick in Ann Arbor. Bolcom did residencies at New England Conservatory and Shenandoah University and two of his recent works were premiered: The Jersey Shore at Wigmore Hall/London by soprano Christine Brewer and pianist Roger Vignoles in November; and Suite No. 2 for Solo Violin by Gil Shaham in several U.S cities in February. Bolcom’s one-act opera, Lucrezia, was performed at Northwestern University in November.

 

Chad Edward Burrow (clarinet) released Clarinet Romance: Music of Brahms and Schumann for Clarinet and Piano, with pianist Amy I-Lin Cheng. Recent recitals included the universities of Iowa, Northern Iowa, North Texas, and Western Illinois; Central College (Pella, IA); and Florida State, Miami (OH), Texas Tech, and Western Michigan Universities; the Village Concerts (Houston, TX); Summer Music from Greensboro (VT); and the Alpenkammermusik Festival (Liesing, Austria). Other performances include Weber’s Clarinet Concerto no. 2 with the University Philharmonia and a residency with Community Music Works (Providence, RI). He was co-artistic director (along with Amy I-Lin Cheng) for the Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma, where he performed as a member and oversaw production of 14 concerts, including the group’s first summer music festival.  

 

Christi-Anne Castro (musicology) won the 2012 Global Filipino Literary Award for Non-Fiction for her monograph Musical Renderings of the Philippine Nation (Oxford 2011). As a result, the book will be assigned “special cataloguing” status in the Library of Congress Southeast Asian Collection and housed in the Asian Reading Room.

 

Timothy Cheek (voice) taught a master class and performed a recital with tenor Mark Beudert at the DeBartolo Concert Hall, University of Notre Dame, in October. In January, he was a guest at his alma mater, Oberlin Conservatory, where he taught a month-long project on Czech art song for nine singers, culminating in a group recital. In February, he joined mezzo Sarah Meredith to perform her lecture/recital on Czech and Slovak song at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts in Green Bay, WI, and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he also taught master classes on art song and opera arias. Cheek appeared with soprano Margaret Barron and narrator George Shirley in a presentation of opera arias at the Toledo Museum of Art in March.

 

Colleen Conway (music education) served the state of Michigan as a member of the Planning Committee for the Michigan Music Conference held in Grand Rapids in January. She presented two sessions at the Texas MEA in February and was a keynote presenter for the New Hampshire MEA in April. Conway presented three papers (one with three current Michigan PhD students as co-authors) and was a discussant for two sessions at the American Educational Research Association in San Francisco in April. Her most recent publication (“Movement to Facilitate Beat Competency in Instrumental Music”) will appear in an upcoming issue of the Music Educators Journal.

 

Paul Dooley (performing arts technology) was commissioned by the American Bandmasters Association and the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra and received the 2013 Jacob Druckman Award for orchestral composition from the Aspen Music Festival. His Run for the Sun (2013) was premiered by the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall; Point Blank (2011) for orchestra was performed by the Charlotte Symphony; and Point Blank (2012) was performed by U-M’s Symphony Band, USC’s Thornton Wind Ensemble, and at the College Band Directors National Association National Conference by Baylor University. Pomo Canyon Air (2005) was performed several times by the Atlantic Classical Orchestra. Recent composer residencies include Baylor University, Illinois State University, and Sonoma State University.

 

In October, Karen Fournier (music theory) presented a paper entitled “Classifying Gender and Gendering Class in Female Punk” at the Centre for the Study of Music, Gender, and Identity at the University of Huddersfield, UK. While in England, she traveled to neighbouring Manchester where she undertook research for an upcoming project on the “Madchester” music scene that centered around the city’s Haçienda Club and Factory Records in the 1980s and '90s. In March she presented a paper entitled “Performing Hysteria in 1970s British Punk” at CUNY-Lehman College. Fournier continues work on her second book monograph, The Music of Alanis Morissette, which will be published in 2014 as part of the Praeger Singer-Songwriter series.

 

In September, Joseph Gramley (percussion) performed a solo recital at West Liberty University and directed a faculty recital in Stamps Auditorium that included 10 U-M students performing works from the percussion canon now being covered in Gramley's Percussion Literature course. In November, under his direction, the U-M Percussion Ensemble released its most recent CD, Locally Grown. During the fall Gramley performed in Chapel Hill, Chicago, and Stevens Point, WI with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. He mentored Chicago Civic Orchestra musicians during a three-day residency and, in December, returned to Harvard to workshop three new compositions with the Silk Road Project, whose musicians' Leadership Council he continues to chair.

 

Michael Gurevich (performing arts technology) delivered a keynote address to the International Congress on Research in Design in Cali, Colombia in October, where he also performed a new realization of Cage’s Rozart Mix in conjunction with Videosónica. He has been active in developing telematic music performances, in which performers in distant geographic locations play together over high-speed data networks. He presented a lecture-recital at the Net Music Symposium at Stanford in January, performing remotely with Stephen Rush (performing arts technology) and members of the Digital Music Ensemble, and while in Colombia participated in that country’s first multi-site telematic performance with musicians at Stanford and U-M.

 

Christopher Harding (piano) has released two CDs through Equilibrium Records: a solo disc of American piano music by Barber, Copland, Gershwin, and Bolcom; and a collaborative disc with Amy Porter, professor of flute. The latter, titled American Art, features flute and piano duos by Burton, Robert Beaser, Christopher Caliendo, and a duet for flute, alto flute accompanied by piano, and chimes by U-M composer Michael Daugherty.

 

Michael Hopkins (music education) had articles accepted for publication in American String Teacher, Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Educators’ Journal, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, and String Research Journal. He was the MASTA Headliner at the Michigan Music Conference, presented two sessions at the Illinois ASTA Fall String Teachers' Clinic, and at the national ASTA conference. Hopkins completed a commissioned composition for the Farmington High School Orchestras and had three works published by Alfred Music Publishing and Kendor Music Publishing. He was a guest conductor for the Ohio District 2 Festival, and was a clinician at the National Orchestra Festival in Providence, RI, the MSBOA conducting symposium, and for the Birmingham and Grosse Pointe, MI orchestras.

 

Fritz Kaenzig (tuba & euphonium) recently performed as guest artist at the University of Memphis and Ball State University Low Brass Days, where he also led master classes and performed recitals. He adjudicated at Memphis and was joined by DSO bass trombonist Randall Hawes in performance at Ball State. In January, Kaenzig and Professor Kathryn Goodson (piano) performed recitals at U-M and at Ohio State University where he was chosen as the OSU School of Music’s Outstanding Alumnus of 2012. In honor of Kaenzig’s mentor, Robert T. LeBlanc, who died in December, they performed “Romanza,” from Vaughan Williams’ Concerto for Bass Tuba. This May, Kaenzig will be a guest artist for the third time at the Hokkaido Euphonium and Tuba Association’s Music Camp in Japan, performing nightly and teaching lessons and master classes.

 

James Kibbie (organ) appeared as a soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the UMS Choral Union in a January concert celebrating the centennial of Hill Auditorium and its Frieze Memorial Organ. In March, he presented a recital and workshop in Las Vegas for the Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He performed a recital in Indiana, PA in April and judged the Carol Teti Memorial Organ Competition, directed by SMTD alumna Christine Clewell. He will travel to the Czech Republic in May to judge the International Organ Competition of the Prague Spring Festival. In June, he will present a recital and master class for the AGO Region VI Convention in Springfield, MO.  

 

Nancy Ambrose King (oboe) presented recitals and master classes at the University of Kansas, DePaul University, San Francisco Conservatory, Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, Florida State University, and Schoolcraft College. She performed with the Mariinsky Orchestra on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring on their tour through Ann Arbor, as well as several performances with Michigan Chamber Players. King will be performing recitals and a concerto, as well as presenting master classes, in Taiwan and Hong Kong in May. Her e-book, recently published by Apple for iTunes, Reed Making Start to Finish with Nancy Ambrose King, continues to enjoy healthy sales and critical acclaim.

 

Andy Kirshner (performing arts technology) recently shot a trailer for his musical film, Liberty’s Secret: The 100% All-American Musical. SMTD students Devon Perry (musical theatre) and Allison Brown (theatre & drama), who performed in the trailer, will also star in the feature when it’s shot later this year. Kirshner’s social and political satire follows the course of a campaign romance between a fundamentalist preacher’s daughter and her public relations spin-doctor—who happens to be another woman. An original “girl meets girl” musical, Liberty’s Secret features song, dance, comedy, and over-the-top spectacle—all the things you would expect from a modern political campaign.

 

Christopher James Lees (conducting) was one of four conductors selected worldwide, and only the second American, for a Gustavo Dudamel Conducting Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he debuted in April 2013. This summer he returns to the Aspen Music Festival and School as assistant conductor after receiving the Aspen Conducting Prize, the Festival's highest honor, and will appear in performance with, among others, the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra in August, and with pianist Jeremy Denk playing the Stravinsky Piano Concerto in July. Additionally, this year he served as assistant conductor for performances with the LA Philharmonic, as well as with the Atlanta, St. Louis, Charlotte, and Kansas City symphonies.

 

Stephen Lusmann (voice) started the year by performing Paul Schoenfield’s “Camp Songs” with SMTD colleagues for the Michigan Chamber Players series. He performs the role of Der Musiklehrer in Richard Strauss’ opera Ariadne auf Naxos for the Fort Worth Opera in May. During the months of July and August he returns for the 12th summer to the Seagle Music Colony, the oldest summer vocal training program in the United States, as a principal voice teacher.

 

Christian Matijas-Mecca (dance) presented a paper on Debussy at the annual conference for the European Association of Dance Historians (Paris, France), a paper on performance practice at the special topics conference for the Society of Dance History Scholars (Toronto, Canada), a paper at U-M’s Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and a set of lectures at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on Le Sacre du Printemps. Matijas-Mecca also performed the scores to Apollon Musagete and Le Sacre du Printemps (with U-M alum Ilya Blinov) in concerts in Toronto, at Susquehanna University (PA), and at U-M.

 

In March, Christianne Myers (theatre & drama) attended the USITT National Convention and presented a poster on the technology used in the costume design for A Midsummer Night's Dream. She is busy in preproduction for a new production of Julius Caesar for the Florentine Opera in spring 2014.

 

In November, the Department of Theatre & Drama produced Wisbom, a play by OyamO (theatre & drama) based on the 1968 bombing on the Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin and commissioned by the Madison Repertory Theatre. The play explores the lethal incident, in which a physics professor was killed when the bombers mistakenly planted the bomb on the wrong side of the Army Math Research Center, resulting in the total destruction of the physics lab. In February, in preparation for a major production, the Lorraine Hansberry Theater in San Francisco conducted a staged reading of I Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, OyamO's adaptation of Maryse Conde's novel of the same name.

 

John Pasquale (conducting) presented a clinic at the 66th Annual Midwest Clinic, an International Band and Orchestra Conference, in Chicago in December. The session was entitled, "Teaching Ensemble Fundamentals within the Music: An Approach to Maximize Rehearsal Efficiency." In January, Pasquale was named the new director of the Michigan Marching and Athletic Bands, associate director of bands, and the Donald R. Shepherd Chair in Conducting, effective June 1.

 

In November, Amy Porter (flute) performed Michael Daugherty’s concerto,

Trail of Tears (written for her), with the Evergreen Symphony in the National Concert Hall in Taiepei, Taiwan, the Florence (SC) Symphony, and at the National Flute Association Convention in Las Vegas. She was the only American recitalist featured at the 2012 British Flute Society Convention in Manchester. She was featured in recital and taught master classes at Hamilton College, University of Arkansas, the Lamont School at Denver University, the University of Northern Colorado, and the University of Colorado in Boulder. In January Porter debuted her latest CD, American Art, with Christopher Harding (piano) featuring works by Burton, Beaser, Daugherty, and Caliendo.

 

Stephen Rush (composition) and his band, Crystal Moon Cone (with alums Chris Peck and Jon Moniaci), are celebrating the release of their new album Escape Beam3 on POGUS Records with a 10-city tour. Rush recently performed with members of the Rochester Philharmonic on his piece Taming the Ox (a graphic score with his watercolors). The work was also performed telekinetically with musicians from the Digital Music Ensemble (DME) at a conference at Stanford University. In April he premiered his Woodwind Quintet (Memories of Dizzy G.) and Piano Trio (Trio Samyana) with U-M student groups. With Brigham Young carillonneur Neil Thornock, he is recording his six carillon works, including a new piece based on his research of “Dark Energy” with artist James Cogwell and physicist Greg Tarlé, which was awarded an M-Cubed Grant ($60,000).

 

This fall, Eugene Rogers (conducting) served as music panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts, guest-conducted the British Columbia Provincial Honour Choir (HS), and guest-lectured for the British Columbia Music Educators' Association Conference in Vancouver. He was guest conductor for the NAfME All-Northwest High School Mixed Honor Choir in Portland, OR and the International Association of Southeast Asian American High Schools Mixed Choir in Singapore. In Michigan, Rogers worked with students from the Detroit School of Arts and Mattawan High School; adjudicated a High School Men's Choral Festival in Owosso; was artist-in residence at the First United Methodist Church (Ann Arbor), where he performed with the University Choir and the FUMC Chancel Choir on choral music of East Africa and the African Diaspora; and prepared a chamber ensemble to perform on the UMS production From Cass Corridor to the World.

 

Ed Sarath (jazz and contemporary improvisation), and director of the Program in Creativity and Consciousness, continues his work as performer, composer, and author on national and international scales. Recent activities include travels to Siberia, India, and China to present his work; the release of a new book called Improvisation, Creativity, and Consciousness (SUNY/Albany); publication of several articles, and performances of compositions for choir, strings, and jazz soloists in the 25th anniversary concert of the Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation.

  

Dr. Louise K. Stein, Professor of Musicology (also Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Latin American Studies, and European Studies) has won the 2013 John H. D'Arms Faculty Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities, presented by Rackham Graduate School. The award honors Dr. Stein's immense breadth of scholarly work, her many successes as a scholar and teacher at the U-M, and, most importantly, her exceptional mentoring of her doctoral students. The John H. D'Arms Faculty Award, honoring John H. D’Arms, Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (1985–1995), recognizes scholars of extraordinary depth and breadth who have provided students with support characterized by remarkable learning and boundless generosity of spirit.

 

Cynthia Kortman Westphal (musical theatre) spent the fall semester in New York working as associate music director for the new Broadway production of A Christmas Story.  Music and lyrics for the musical were by U-M musical theatre department graduates Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. In addition to the composers, there were seven other SMTD graduates involved in the production, which opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre to rave reviews. In addition to her work on the Broadway production, Kortman Westphal played two concerts of 4-hand piano with pianist Elizabeth DiFelice at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in December. Repertoire included works by Mozart, Brahms, Schickele, Bernstein, Beach, Debussy, and Bach.

 

Robin Wilson (dance) was the 2012–13 recipient of the Shirley Verrett Award presented by the Women of Color in the Academy Project at a ceremony in January at the Walgreen Drama Center. The annual award, established by the Office of the Senior Vice Provost, honors the legacy of internationally acclaimed opera singer Shirley Verrett (1931–2010), who served as the James Earl Jones Distinguished University Professor of Voice at SMTD. The award, which includes a $5,000 stipend, recognizes a U-M faculty member whose work has supported the success of women in creative fields who come from diverse cultural and racial backgrounds, and advances diversity as part of the University's educational mission.