WMU News

'Friends' concert series features faculty musicians

July 3, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- As part of Seminar 2002, Western Michigan University's summer music camp for high school students, the School of Music will present a series of three evening concerts featuring faculty artists.

The series titled "Relax, You're With Friends" features pianist Lori Sims and violinist Renata Artman Knific Monday, July 8, the Western Wind Quintet Thursday, July 11, and a percussion quartet led by Judy Moonert Monday, July 15. All three concerts are free and open to the public and begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Dalton Center.

Piano and Violin Duet
Monday, July 8

Renata Knific and Lori Sims open the series in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. The duo has programmed music by three composers, including a set of French dances from the Baroque era by Marin Marais (1656-1728), the violin sonata by impressionist Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), and three short pieces by Polish composer Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937). Sims won the First Prize Gold Medal at the 1998 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. She has performed throughout America, Europe and China. In 2000, she appeared as a recitalist at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and debuted at Alice Tully Hall in New York City. Knific has performed in Great Britain with the English Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician. Her U.S. recitals include the premier performance of a work by C. Curtis-Smith at Town Hall in New York City and two performances at Carnegie Hall with the Merling Trio, a resident faculty ensemble in the WMU School of Music.

Western Wind Quintet
Thursday, July 11

The second concert features the Western Wind Quintet performing in the Dalton Center Multimedia Room. The concert is a sneak preview of the program being prepared for the quintet's performance at the International Double Reed Society convention to be held later this summer in Banff, Alberta, Canada. In January, the quintet presented a "Tropical Winds" concert of Latin American music. A portion of this program will be resurrected on July 11 when the ensemble performs Paquito D'Rivera's "Aires Tropicales." Also among the program repertoire will be selected movements from a new work by WMU composer Richard Adams commissioned by the quintet for its Banff concert. Members of the Western Wind Quintet are Margaret Hamilton, horn; Michael Miller, oboe; Wendy Rose, bassoon; Christine Smith, flute; and Bradley Wong, clarinet. Hamilton is assistant director of the School of Music and director of advising for the College of Fine Arts. Miller, Rose, Smith and Wong are members of the music faculty.

Percussion Ensemble
Monday, July 15

The third and final concert, in the Dalton Center Recital Hall, features Judy Moonert, percussion professor, and three of her colleagues. The ensemble will preview the concert they are preparing for the Fontana Concert Society's 2002 summer festival. Percussion ensemble music is unique, because it's both visually and musically interesting as the performers command several instruments simultaneously. In addition to Moonert, the group includes Timothy Church, a Kalamazoo area musician, and Greg Secor and Marc Churchill, both music graduates of WMU and former students of Moonert. The quartet will perform the music of John Cage, Toru Takemitsu, and Minoru Miki.

"Relax, You're With Friends" is made possible by grants to Seminar 2002 from the University Cultural Events Committee, College of Fine Arts, and School of Music.

Media contact: Kevin West, 269 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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