The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: University of Wisconsin School of Music’s spring season culminates with many reunion concerts during alumni weekend and the coming week

April 26, 2011

By Jacob Stockinger

Get out your datebooks and pocket calendars.

This coming weekend is a big one – make that a BIG one – for the University of Wisconsin School of Music in Madison.

The alumni weekend features programs – faculty, student and community — that take place once every five years.

But you don’t have to be an alumnus or alumna to attend.

Here is the summary send by Concert Manager Rick Mumford:

“Every five years, the School of Music Alumni Association (SOMAA) holds a reunion on campus at which alumni reconnect with classmates and their alma mater via a variety of events and concerts. The last reunion took place in October 2005.

“When the time came to plan the 2010-11 reunion, SOMAA board members met with staff of the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) who proposed a joint venture that would embrace all UW-Madison alumni and capitalize on the programmatic, marketing and technological resources at WAA’s disposal.

“It did not require much consideration for SOMAA officers to realize the benefits of this new model.  SOMAA would not be saddled with the need to plan or promote an entire weekend through predominantly volunteer effort, time and expense; music alumni could take advantage of campus-wide presentations, receptions and tours; and non-music alumni could choose from a rich offering of concerts at the School of Music.

“The resulting collaboration will come to fruition with Alumni Weekend on Thursday, April 28, through Sunday, May 1.  Alumni from all departments, schools and colleges are warmly invited to the following concerts and recitals at the School of Music; all have free admission except for the two performances by UW Choral Union with the UW Symphony Orchestra:

“Friday, April 29 at 8 pm, Mills Hall—Wind Ensemble (below, in a photo by Jessica Moore), conducted by Scott Teeple and former Wind Ensemble conductors H. Robert Reynolds, Michael Leckrone and James Smith.  For this end-of-semester program, Teeple has invited all Wind Ensemble and Concert Band alumni to perform side-by-side with current students.  More than 20 have already signed up to do so, representing classes from the 1950s to 2008.  They will participate in a rehearsal at noon for the evening program of music by Richard Strauss, Michael Daugherty, Leckrone, UW composer John Stevens, Ralph Vaughan Williams and others, along with Gustav Holst’s classic showpiece for band, “First Suite in E-flat.”

“Saturday, April 30 at noon, Music Hall—World Percussion Ensemble (below), directed by Anthony Di Sanza, performing music from Brazil, Cuba, and the Middle East.

“Saturday, April 30 at 3:30 p.m., Morphy Hall—Perlman Piano Trio, an advanced undergraduate trio supported through the generosity of Dr. Kato Perlman, a retired UW-Madison research scientist.  The trio was organized in the fall of 2007 and has given spring concerts each year since, to enthusiastic audience acclaim.  Thomas Kasdorf, the original pianist, will graduate this spring; other current members are senior violinist Eleanor Bartsch and junior cellist Taylor Skiff.  For this program, they will be joined by senior violist Daniel Kim, who also receives support from Perlman.  The program includes piano trios by Beethoven and Chausson and the “Piano Quartet in E-flat major,” Op. 47 by Schumann.  A reception for musicians and audience will follow the concert.

“Saturday, April 30 at 4 p.m., Mills Hall—Javanese Gamelan Ensemble (below), directed by R. Anderson Sutton.  The annual concert features two dances and a variety of musical selections. The dancers include Peggy Choy (Dance Department), visiting artist Valerie Mau Vetter and members of Choy’s Javanese dance class.  The musicians, in addition to the ensemble, include guest artists Roger Vetter (Grinnell College) and Mary Jo Wilson, UW-Madison Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

“Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m. AND Sunday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m., Mills Hall—The Choral Union and UW Symphony Orchestra (below), directed by Beverly Taylor, performs Mendelssohn’s oratorio “Elijah.”  The 160-voice choir and 66-piece orchestra will be joined by baritone soloist Paul Rowe, portraying Elijah; tenor James Doing, Obadiah; sopranos Celeste Fraser and Kristin Schwecke; and mezzo-soprano Jamie Van Eyck. Tickets for this concert, at $15 (general) and $8 (senior/student) are available at the door or through Campus Arts Ticketing at (608) 265-ARTS or

“Sunday, May 1 at 1 p.m., Mills Hall—Concert Band, directed by Michael Leckrone (below).

“Sunday, May 1 at 3:00 p.m., Mills Hall—University Bands, directed by Justin Stolarik, Erik Jester and Matthew Schlomer.

In addition, eight student-degree recitals are scheduled during the four-day weekend, including five pianists, a tenor and trumpet and horn performers.

For a complete schedule of the weekend’s concerts, see and check the box marked “Show student recitals available.”

Posted in Classical music

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