WMU News

Concerto Concert is capstone for School of Music season

April 12, 2005

KALAMAZOO--The School of Music at Western Michigan University presents its 46th annual Concerto Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 17, in Miller Auditorium. The performance features the University Symphony Orchestra with guest conductor John Varineau and three outstanding student soloists. The concert is free and open to the public.

The three soloists are the winners of this year's School of Music concerto competition: violist Justin Eichler, a graduate student from Fairbanks, Alaska; saxophonist Aaron Kruziki, a senior from Stevens Point, Wis.; and singer Robert Potsic, a junior from Alsip, Ill.

Justin Eichler will perform the first movement from Bela Bartok's "Concerto for Viola and Orchestra." A student of Professor Igor Fedotov, Eichler will receive his master's degree in performance from WMU this April. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, graduating with honors. His previous teachers include Kathleen Butler-Hopkins and Jo Roberts, and he has participated in master classes with Michael Kugel and Antoine Tamestit. As an orchestral musician, Eichler has performed with the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Southwest Michigan and Anchorage symphonies. In addition to winning WMU's concerto competition, he was named a winner of the Fairbanks Concerto Competition. He has attended summer music camps at the Meadowmount School of Music and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. He is the son of David and Amy Eichler of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Aaron Kruziki has selected Heitor Villa-Lobos' "Fantasia for Soprano Saxophone and Small Orchestra" for the April 17 concert. Kruziki has participated in several WMU ensembles including the University Symphony Orchestra, University Symphonic Band, University Jazz Orchestra and University Jazz Lab Band, as well as the Wind Symphony assembled to perform on a South American tour and a student group, the Bartosz Hadala Quintet, which performed at the 2003 International Association for Jazz Education Conference. Kruziki has also performed with various groups at numerous venues around Southwest Michigan. He will receive a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz studies from WMU this summer. He is a student of Professor Trent Kynaston and has also studied with William Sears and David Hastings. Kruziki is the son of Jim and Gretchen Kruziki of Stevens Point, Wis.

Robert Potsic, a baritone, is a student of Dr. David Little, professor of music. At home in the realm of opera, Potsic was recently seen as the thief in WMU's production of "The Old Maid and The Thief." His competition credits include a third-place award at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Michigan state competition this April and division one ratings during his four years of high school in Illinois. Also while in high school, Potsic sang in the Illinois Music Education Association district chorus for three years and in the IMEA all-state chorus his senior year. His plans for the coming summer include advanced schooling at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and a tour of Italy and Bulgaria with WMU's University Chorale. Potsic is the son of Robert and Joann Potsic of Alsip, Ill.

In addition to the soloists' works, the April 17 program will include two works for the orchestra: a new composition by Alexander Miller titled "Fireworks" and Richard Strauss' famed "Tod und Verklarung" (Death and Transfiguration). John P. Varineau, associate conductor of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and conductor of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, is guest conductor in the absence of WMU Professor Bruce Uchimura, who is on sabbatical leave.

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

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