CWUNews FeedNews Feed Honored as a 2015 Distinguished Professor, 28 May 2015 11:09:18<p><img alt="" src="/music/sites/" style="width: 201px; height: 250px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;"><span style="line-height: 1.4;">The designation of Distinguished Professor is the highest award attainable at Central Washington University and represents the highest level of performance. Each year, nominations are sought in four categories—teaching, service, and research/creative expression for tenured professors, and a non-tenure track distinguished faculty award for teaching. Maria </span>Roditeleva-Wibe<span style="line-height: 1.4;">, music, was selected as the Distinguished Professor for teaching, non-tenure track faculty.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Roditeleva-Wibe, is currently a senior lecturer in the Music Department at CWU, specializing in music history, music theory, and world music.</p><p>“Since coming to Central she has distinguished herself as a brilliant, knowledgeable, versatile, and innovative teacher,” noted her colleagues. She brings an immense store of knowledge to the classroom and brings it alive for her students in a variety of courses. Her teaching approach is inclusive and interdisciplinary, and designs music courses that incorporate historic context and cultural insights, and delve into diverse disciplines such as anthropology, sociology and religious studies. Using a variety of teaching methods, Roditeleva-Wibe creates a classroom environment in which students from diverse backgrounds and with different learning skills can all increase their knowledge. A noted pianist, she commemorated the opening of the new McIntyre Music building in 2004 by playing Franz Liszt’s Transcendental Etude in F minor No. 10, the first public performance held in CWU’s new Concert Hall.</p><p>Distinguished professors will be recognized at the Honors Convocation on June 12.</p></span style="line-height: 1.4;"></span style="line-height: 1.4;">CWU, Yakima Orchestras and Choruses to Perform Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, 08 May 2015 10:49:32<p><img alt="" src="/music/sites/" style="width: 240px; height: 160px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;">Gustav Mahler’s epic masterpiece, Symphony No. 2, the “Resurrection,” will be celebrated in a joint performance by the CWU Symphony Orchestra and members of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, along with the Yakima Symphony Chorus, and CWU Men’s and Women’s Choruses. The work will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on May 16 in Yakima, and at 4:00 p.m. on May 17 at Central Washington University.</p><p>This will be the second time that the YSO and the CWU Symphonies have joined forces. Previously, the two collaborated on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in 2013.</p><p>“It was so great that we decided to continue with the partnership,” said Nikolas Caoile, CWU director of orchestras. YSO conductor Lawrence Golan will lead the Saturday night performance and Caoile will conduct the Sunday afternoon performance.</p><p>“This is an extremely challenging piece to conduct,” said Caoile. “Logistically, we are dealing with an extremely large orchestra, soprano and alto soloists, large choir, and off-stage musicians,” adding that there are approximately 120 singers in the chorus, 2 vocal soloists, and 112 orchestra musicians.</p><p>“And, musically, we are trying to comprehend five large scale movements of decidedly different styles. For the orchestra this takes physical endurance, but also mental endurance—to be able to sustain the drama over a long period of time, with few breaks.”</p><p>The piece can be compared to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony—another symphony that combines instruments and voices, continued Caoile. While Beethoven’s Ninth focuses on the idea that all men are created equal, Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony focuses on the meaning of life. At first it seems meaningless and trivial, but over the course of the piece’s 70 minutes, it becomes clear that life means more. Some of the final words uttered, “I come from God, to God I return,” underline the spiritual content of the piece.</p><p>The YSO will perform at 7:30 p.m. on May 16 in The Capitol Theatre. Prior to the concert will be ConcerTalk with Jeffrey Snedeker, CWU associate chair and professor of music, at 6:30 p.m. in the Robertson Room. To purchase individual tickets online for the YSO, please go to and select “Tickets” or call the Capitol Theatre at 509-853-ARTS.</p><p>The Central Washington University performance will take place at 4:00 p.m. on May 17, in the McIntyre Music Building Concert Hall. Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $10 for students w/ID, seniors, and children. Advanced purchase is recommended. To purchase tickets go to Tickets may also be purchased by calling 509-963-1429, or in person at the Wildcat Shop Customer Service at the Student Union and Recreation Building.</p><p>Parking in CWU lots is free after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends, except in residence hall lots and in specifically designated spaces.</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>May 6, 2015</p></br></br>Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Opens May 2 at CWU, 28 Apr 2015 09:31:51<p><em>The Marriage of Figaro</em>, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is one of the most performed operas in the world and appeals to both the opera lover and the first time operagoer. This uproarious tale of class warfare has no shortage of scandal, revenge, affairs, plot twists, and general mayhem. Central Washington University’s hilarious and exciting production will be fully staged and presented in English.</p><p>“This is comedy. It’s something everyone can relate to,” said Gayla Blaisdell, director and CWU professor of voice and opera.</p><p>CWU’s award-winning Opera Ensemble will perform in avant-garde rococo costumes on an abstract set, giving a unique spin to the 18th century opera. The production will be performed in collaboration with the CWU Chamber Orchestra directed by Dr. Nikolas Caoile.</p><p><em>The Marriage of Figaro</em> will be performed at 7:00 p.m. on May 2, and at 2:00 p.m. on May 3 in the McIntyre Music Building.&nbsp; For more information or to purchase tickets go to Tickets may also be purchased by calling 509-963-1429, or in person at the Wildcat Shop Customer Service at the Student Union and Recreation Building.</p><p>Parking in CWU lots is free after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends, except in residence hall lots and in specifically designated spaces.</p><p>The CWU Opera Ensemble will perform&nbsp;<em>The Marriage of Figaro </em>at the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts in Leavenworth, Washington at 7:00 p.m. on May 9, and at 2:00 p.m., May 10. Visit: for ticket information for the Icicle Creek performances.</p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>April 28, 2015</p></br>CWU’s Bella Notte 2015 is a Sing-ular Musical Event, 14 Apr 2015 09:24:02<p>Prepare for an evening of gustatory and auditory delights at Bella Notte 2015, featuring an Italian dinner, music, and silent auction. The event, sponsored by Central Washington University’s student chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 18 at Gallery One, 408 Pearl St. in Ellensburg.</p><p>There will be a fabulous Italian dinner catered by Yellow Church Cafe as well as a brilliant program of Italian song, performed by CWU student vocalists. Tickets are $30, and may be purchased online at (Tickets will not be sold at the door.)<br><br>The many musical selections include Donizetti’s “Regnava nel silenzio” from Lucia di Lammermoor, sung by Caitlin Stave; Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro” from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, sung by Alyssa Henniger; and "Non siate ritrosi" from Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte, sung by Josh Johnson.<br><br>The proceeds of the event will help CWU vocal students pay for competition/travel fees for the annual NATS voice competition, support visiting clinicians and help fund the CWU Opera Ensemble for their spring production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br></br>CWU’s Jazz Band 1 Top Group at National Next Generation Jazz Festival, 31 Mar 2015 13:34:10<p><img alt="" src="/music/sites/" style="width: 427px; height: 320px;"></p><p>Despite formidable competition from larger schools, Central Washington University’s Jazz Band 1 was named the best college big band at the Next Generation Jazz Festival held March 27-29 in Monterey, California. Now they will play at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival, the longest continuously running jazz festival in the world, in September.</p><p>Jazz Band I is the premiere jazz ensemble at CWU, and focuses on performing big band music from the 1940s to the present.</p><p>“The students were really psyched-up for playing after learning who the judges were,” said Chris Bruya, director of CWU Jazz Studies and leader of Jazz Band 1. “When they stood on the stage on Sunday, they knew they were playing for their heroes.”</p><p>The judges included Terell Stafford, jazz trumpeter and director of Jazz Studies at the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University; and Luis Bonilla, Grammy-winning jazz trombonist, and professor of music at Temple University, Manhattan School of Music and the Aaron Copeland School of Music, Queens College.</p><p>The band performed three pieces: “Rhythm-a-ning” by Thelonius Monk, arranged by Bill Holman; “St. Louis Blues”, by W.C. Handy, arranged by Bob Bookmeyer; and “Nutville” by Horace Silver, arranged by Greg Hopkins.</p><p>“The second piece was a special challenge,” continued Bruya. “It was a signature piece for the Village Vanguard Band, one of the best professional big bands in the world, of which both Luis Bonilla and Terell Stafford were members. It was both terrifying and exciting to perform a piece that the judges knew intimately.”</p><p>The group received a standing ovation after their set. In addition to the group’s first place award, trombonist Beserat Tafesse received the soloist award of a full scholarship to the prestigious Stanford Jazz Workshop.</p><p>“Your sound, compared to the other bands, was <em>monstrous</em>!” said CWU President James Gaudino to Bruya after the concert. Both Gaudino and his wife, Katie, attended the competition.</p><p>After receiving the first place prize, the band was “ecstatic, jumping up and down,” said Bruya. “It was so rewarding to go up against larger schools like the University of Southern California and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and come out on top.” Bruya also noted that unlike other bands in the competition, Jazz Band 1 members were primarily undergraduates.</p><p>“It goes without saying that we got tremendous support from Central, the music department and our donors, and it was a collective effort to get us to this place,” said Bruya. “And the best part is knowing that this is going to be one of the greatest things these students have ever done. This will live with them forever.”</p><p>Members of Jazz Band 1 are: Robert Rutherford, trumpet; Darin Greif, trumpet; Braden Waddell, trumpet; Pavel Spichak, trumpet; Dan Baker, trombone; Tanner Cornell, trombone; Beserat Tafesse, trombone; Audrey Stangland, trombone; Ryan Donnelly, bass; Lucas Simpson, alto sax; Brian Lawrence, alto sax; Kevin Lane, tenor sax; Austin Hass, drums; Alex Worland, tenor sax; Conor Jonson, baritone sax; Drew Medak, piano; Skyler Floe, trumpet; and Chris Bruya, Director.</p><p>Annually, more than 130 groups apply to the Next Generation Jazz Festival, and from these the very best compete to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September. Introduced in 1971 as the California High School Jazz Band Competition by Monterey Jazz Festival Founder Jimmy Lyons, the competition was conceived as a way to bring talented student groups to Monterey, and to cultivate musicians for the future.</p><p>The Monterey Jazz Festival was co-founded by Jimmy Lyons and Ralph J. Gleason in 1958. Since then, the nonprofit event has presented nearly every major artist in the world—from Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, and Miles Davis, to contemporary masters Diana Krall, Wynton Marsalis, Trombone Shorty, Esperanza Spalding, and Terence Blanchard.</p><p><br>Audio from the performance can be found at</p></br>Musica Antiqua Presents Final Concert of Academic Year, 30 Mar 2015 13:42:35<p>The CWU Music Department will present the final Musica Antiqua concert of the year on Wednesday, April 1 at 7 PM in the McIntyre Music building Recital Hall.&nbsp; This concert will feature two of J.S. Bach's most well known secular cantatas, the Peasant and Coffee Cantatas. Written in a most unusual style for Bach, the Peasant Cantata consists of about twenty short recitatives and arias, sung by a peasant boy and girl to each other, commenting on the potential benefits and pitfalls of a new ruling lord, about to be instated in the village's manor.&nbsp; The Coffee Cantata presents an argumentative dialogue between an old fashioned father and his upstart daughter, who is insisting, much against her father's wishes, on participating in the latest fashionable craze to sweep 17th Century Europe, drinking coffee.&nbsp; In the version used for this concert, the father-daughter conflict has been changed to a mother-daughter argument, and the language updated to reflect current vernacular. Indeed, it will be presented as "The Latte Cantata."</p>CWU Saxophone Professor Reaches Classical Heights, 05 Mar 2015 08:50:40<p><img alt="" src="/music/sites/" style="width: 140px; height: 186px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: left;">When CWU adjunct music professor Adam Pelandini was ten years old, he put his hands on a saxophone for the first time. “After assembling it,” he admits with embarrassment, “I paraded up and down the driveway of my family’s home on Bainbridge Island making terrible honking sounds.”</p><p>Fast forward to February 2015 when a <em>Boston Globe </em>music critic reviewed the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Milhaud’s <em>La Création du monde</em> and wrote, “Led by Adam Pelandini’s sinuous saxophone, the 18-piece ensemble rocked.”</p><p>Sinuous. That’s a far cry from honking like a goose.</p><p>“In my 34 years at CWU, no music department faculty or former student has received his level of national classical acclaim,” says Larry Gookin, CWU’s director of bands since 1981.</p><p>And saxophonist and CWU Professor Joseph Brooks adds, “When the Boston Symphony Orchestra needs a fine classical saxophonist, they call Adam Pelandini in Ellensburg, Washington—and they can hire anyone in the world.”</p><p>After Pelandini graduated from CWU’s music department in 2009, he earned advanced degrees from the Boston University College of Fine Arts and the New England Conservatory of Music, where he graduated with academic honors. He’s now a rare outlier in the world of the saxophone.</p><p>The symphony orchestra was long established before the saxophone family was created in the 1840s. That’s probably why the sax has never secured a consistent voice in symphonies. Even today, the saxophone player is driven to soulful blues, or jazz, or avant-garde music where its voice is strong and forceful. But oddly, Pelandini finds his slice of home with cellos and violas in a symphony.</p><p>“The saxophone is capable of amazing things,” he says, “and can bridge and blend the dynamic sounds of brass with the lyrical sounds of strings and the warmth of reeds.”</p><p>While earning his undergraduate degree at CWU, he says, “I learned how to play in an ensemble, blending style and developing strong fundamentals and analytical techniques. That skill and knowledge have made a difference. I have taken what I learned, applied it wherever I went, and continued learning.”</p><p>Pelandini now teaches his CWU students that a musician who only plays jazz is missing out. “My main focus is to teach students that celebrating the many possibilities of saxophone performance—from jazz to classical, traditional to the avant-garde, solo to the symphony orchestra—will multiply their opportunities so much more than if they focus on one style."</p><p>Blowing on his new sax at the age of ten as he marched up and down the driveway of his family’s home might have been Pelandini’s first rehearsal at playing a saxophone in a place some might think unusual. But it was only a start.</p><p><br>For more information, contact Jackie O'Ryan at</p></br>CWU’s Singh Celebrated in February’s Central On-Stage, 11 Feb 2015 08:44:06<p><img alt="" src="/music/sites/" style="width: 220px; height: 330px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: right;"><span style="line-height: 1.4;">Prolific composer and renowned voice professor Vijay Singh will be highlighted in the February 16 broadcast of Central On-Stage. The concert, “Sing Songs of Singh,” will air at 7:00 p.m. on </span>KCTS-TV<span style="line-height: 1.4;"> or your local public broadcast station.</span></p><p>Four Central Washington University choirs, plus groups from Walla Walla High School and Union High School (Vancouver, Washington) will perform a concert of Singh’s musical compositions.</p><p>“Vijay is a prolific composer, whose works are performed all over the world,” said Gary Weidenaar, CWU director of choral studies. “I am pleased to have coordinated this event—to help bring his music to a wider audience. With more than 200 compositions for choir, Singh has a very wide range of subject, style and difficulty—always finely crafted and some as challenging as anything a choir can tackle.”</p><p>Singh is an active performer, composer, teacher, conductor, and clinician at Central Washington University. He has gained international attention for his eclectic musical compositions, performances, workshops and conducting appearances. Singh currently teaches voice, choral arranging, jazz pedagogy, directs the University Chorale, and award-winning CWU Vocal Jazz 1, and oversees two jazz choirs in the vocal jazz program. His student ensembles at CWU have been honored as some of the finest in the nation with invitations to perform at prestigious national IAJE, MENC/NAfME, ACDA, and JEN conventions.</p><p>As a composer, Singh writes for all levels in both the classical choral and jazz idioms. His “MASS with Orchestra” received its world premiere at Lincoln Center in New York City, in May 2011.</p><p>An active performer, Singh has appeared as featured bass-baritone soloist with such notable groups as the Robert Shaw Chorale, Male Ensemble Northwest, Choral Cross Ties, the Oregon Symphony, David Byrne (Talking Heads), Clark Terry, the Disciples of Groove, and as a member of the award-winning a cappella jazz quartet Just 4 Kicks. He has appeared in professional opera and musical theatre productions, and maintains an active career in oratorio, recital and contemporary music.</p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,</p></span style="line-height: 1.4;"></span style="line-height: 1.4;">Brahms sonatas on strings, piano at CWU, 23 Jan 2015 11:55:03<p>CWU professors Denise Dillenbeck, violin, and violist Timothy Betts along with guest cellist, Kevin Hekmatpanah, will join CWU faculty pianist John Pickett in presenting a recital of the duo chamber sonatas of Johannes Brahms on Sunday, February 1, at 1:00 p.m., in the McIntyre Music building’s Concert Hall.&nbsp; The sonatas of Brahms represent the composer at the peak of his melodic and technical writing and are considered some of the greatest works in the string/piano repertoire.</p>Stirring Rendition of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” Airs January 19, 16 Jan 2015 10:35:38<p><img alt="" src="/music/sites/" style="width: 204px; height: 247px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;"><span style="line-height: 1.4;">The best-known choral piece in history—Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”—will be aired on “Central On-Stage” on January 19.</span></p><p>Nikolas Caoile, Central Washington University’s Director of Orchestras, will host “Central On Stage” at 7:00 p.m. Monday, January 19, on KCTS-TV, on your local public broadcasting station.</p><p>The program showcases the CWU’s Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Choir performing the second part of Handel’s Messiah. All solos are sung by music students at CWU.</p><p>Part II is the most dramatic part of the oratorio, starting with Jesus’ persecution and ultimate crucifixion, and following the story through the resurrection. The “Hallelujah Chorus” is the final number of the broadcast.</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,</p></span style="line-height: 1.4;"></br>