WMU News

Centennial CD captures the full range of School of Music

Dec. 9, 2003

KALAMAZOO--With everything from a Brahms' sonata to the Bronco Fight Song and performances by nearly every faculty and student ensemble, the new "Centennial" CD captures the full range of the internationally regarded School of Music at Western Michigan University.

Commemorating this year's celebration of the 100th anniversary of WMU's founding, the two-disk album includes 28 tracks of instrumental and vocal selections, ranging from Mozart's "Trio in G Major" to a vocal jazz arrangement of the 1960s hit "Spinning Wheel." There are both vocal and instrumental versions of the WMU alma mater, and the Bronco Marching Band performs the fight song.

"This recording accurately represents the breadth of our music program and the exceptional talents of our faculty and students," says Dr. Richard O'Hearn, director of the school. "Many of our ensembles and faculty members have recorded CDs, and we've even had albums that represented jazz studies or another area within the school. However, this recording captures the essence of the entire School of Music."

Faculty ensembles included are the Merling Trio, Western Brass Quintet, Western Jazz Quartet and Western Wind Quintet. Pianist Lori Sims offers a solo performance of Frederic Chopin's "Ballad in G Minor;" baritone Carl Ratner sings two pieces, by Handel and Korngold, with piano accompaniment; violist Igor Fedotov and pianist Gary Hammond combine for Johannes Brahms' "Sonata for Viola and Piano;" and Renata Artman Knific is the featured violin soloist in piece written by Trent Kynaston and performed by the Western Jazz Quartet.

In addition to the Bronco Marching Band, student ensembles represented on the "Centennial" CD are Gold Company, University Chorale, University Jazz Orchestra, University Percussion Ensemble, University Symphonic Band and University Symphonic Orchestra.

The centennial album was produced by the School of Music and the Centennial Celebration Committee and coordinated by Christine Smith, professor of music. Engineering was supervised by the Western Sound Studios' John Campos, director, and Rachel Flanigan, assistant director.

The double-disk "Centennial" CD costs $15, plus tax and shipping, and is available in the WMU Bookstore or with credit card by calling (269) 387-3930 or (800) 922-6794.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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