The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Funeral service for Madison Opera’s Ann Stanke is Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m.

May 20, 2011

By Jacob Stockinger

When I received news late Thursday afternoon about the death of Madison Opera founder Ann Stanke (below) — she died Wednesday of Lou Gehrig’s Disease at 76 — I didn’t yet know funeral details.

Now I do.

A funeral service will be held at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, at 1 p.m. Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 11 a.m. until the time of service.

I have added them to my other post, but also want to post them separately for those who read the other post but don’t know about the service.

I expect the service will be well attended.

Ann has so many friends and admirers.

Me among them.

Rest in peace, Ann.

Posted in Classical music

Classical music Q&A: Student flutist Maggie Schenk talks about music education and performing with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras this Sunday night

May 20, 2011
Leave a Comment

Editor’s note: This year, I am featuring music education as a spotlighted topic. Starting Wednesday and continuing yesterday and today, student performers, concerto competition winners, answer questions about themselves and music education.

By Jacob Stockinger

On Sunday, May 22, 2011, more than 300 talented young musicians will celebrate the arrival of the new season with the Eugenie Mayer Bolz Family Spring Concerts in Mills Concert Hall (below) in the UW Humanities Building, 455 North Park Street, Madison.

At 1:30 p.m., WYSO’s string orchestra, Sinfonietta (below), will open the concert series with performances of Holst’s “St. Paul’s Suite” and Dvorak‘s “Bagatelle.” The Concert Orchestra will follow with a popular film score favorite, “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Procession of the Nobles.”

At 4 p.m., WYSO’s Philharmonia Orchestra (below) will showcase the talents of Concerto Competition winner Christie Cheng, who will perform the third movement — with her own cadenzas — Mozart‘s Piano Concerto No. 13 in C  Major, K. 415, accompanied by her fellow orchestra members. Philharmonia will also bring a few audience favorites to life, including Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony, and Bernstein’s Overture to “West Side Story.”

The Youth Orchestra — WYSO’s premier performing group — will take the stage following the Harp Ensemble at 7 p.m. and will also highlight the Concerto Competition winners.

Maggie Schenk, 18, will perform the first movement of Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 1; Paul Sekulski, 17, will perform the first movement of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto; and Megan Whip, 16, will play the first movement of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. All three soloists will be accompanied by the Youth Orchestra.

The evening concert will also feature the world premiere of a special piece, “Fanfare for an Uncommon Man,” composed by UW School of Music professor John Stevens to honor WYSO’s 94-year-old founder, Marvin Rabin, who will receive the third Lifetime Achievement award from the Wisconsin School Music Foundation on Saturday night.

For a profile about Marvin Rabin, visit:

For information about WYSO, visit:

To see my interview with composer John Stevens about the Rabin piece, visit:

WYSO concerts are generally about an hour to an hour and a half in length, providing a great orchestral concert opportunity for families.

Tickets are available at the door, $8 for adults and $5 for children under 18 years of age. WYSO was founded in 1966 and has served nearly 5,000 young musicians from more than 100 communities in southern Wisconsin.

These concerts are generously supported by the Eugenie Mayer Bolz Family and the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation, the Evjue Foundation, Inc., the charitable arm of The Capital Times, and the Overture Foundation.

This project is also funded in part by additional funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board, the State of Wisconsin, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Today’s interview is with Maggie Schenk, below in a photo by Lloyd Schultz):

What is your name? How old are you and when did you start studying music?

I am Maggie Schenk, and I am 17. l started when I was seven years old.

What grade are you in now and what school do you go to?

I am a high school senior, home-schooled, and attend Madison College (MATC) part-time.

What are your favorites subjects? Do you have other areas of interest?

I have always enjoyed science, especially chemistry. Also, I’m currently in my fourth semester of Spanish study at MATC and hope to continue this in college and beyond.

Throughout most of middle school and high school, I have been involved with theater. I participated with the Young Shakespeare Players and with Quick and Dead Productions, a youth-formed and -directed company that performs Shakespeare and other classics as well as original, cast-written plays.

I also enjoy reading, yoga and biking.

What are your plans for higher education and a career?

I plan to major in flute performance in college and pursue a professional music career.

Who is your music teacher?

Mary Wilkosz for flute and Beth Wilson for piano.

Do you have a favorite composer and favorite pieces to listen to or to play?

No, but recently I’ve been listening a lot to the  violin and cello sonatas by Brahms (below).

Why is playing music important to you and what does playing music teach you?

Music is both an escape from everyday life and a medium through which I can more deeply understand life.

What different kinds of music do you listen to and like?

Right now I listen mostly to classical music.

Was there an Aha! Moment or turning point – perhaps a certain performer or piece — when you knew you wanted to be very serious about pursuing classical music?

WYSO actually motivated me to start playing music. I went to a WYSO concert when I was very young (maybe 6) and remember feeling very inspired and thinking, “Someday I’m going to play in that orchestra.”

With WYSO’s help, I had the opportunity to attend Interlochen Arts Camp (below) for two summers, and here I had a six-week long “aha” moment. Playing with such talented and motivated peers challenged me to improve my own playing, and especially to reexamine why I play music. Because the level of playing was so high, we were able to transcend the notes and physical difficulties of playing and actually communicate meaning, emotion through the music.

This changed my perception of why I wanted to play music professionally: not because it was an “extra-curricular activity” I happened to enjoy, but because it is an incredible means of emotional communication, transformative for both the musicians and, most importantly, the audience.

What advice would you give others, students and adults, about studying music?

Play because you love the music. Don’t get caught up in petty things like playing “better” than the person next to you or winning a competition. Instead, look at the competitive side of the music world simply as incentive to better your musicianship in order to more meaningfully connect with your audience.

How important do you think music education is in relation to other areas of education?

Extremely. As far as “practical” uses, I think studying music helps to order the rest of your academic life and improve time management.

But more importantly, it is a wonderful outlet for emotional, artistic, spiritual development. This is something not always so readily available in some other areas of academic life, but in my opinion is just as essential (if not more) to education as is memorizing facts and formulas.

What does getting the chance to perform a concerto with and orchestra mean to you and why?

Having the opportunity to perform this concerto with this orchestra is very important and exciting for me.

The piece is a staple of the flute repertoire, something I will probably play for the rest of my life. I feel lucky to be able to collaborate with an orchestra now; this experience will give me confidence for any future performances of this piece I play.

WYSO has been a huge part of my musical education (this is my eighth year and I’ve played in each of the three full orchestras throughout the years).

This will be my last WYSO concert of my last WYSO season, in my last year of high school, so for me it is really a culmination of all of my musical studies to this point, in regard to both my own work and to the incredible amount of support I’ve received from my parents, family, friends, teachers, and, of course, WYSO!

Posted in Classical music

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,259 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,317,061 hits
%d bloggers like this: