CWUNews FeedNews Feed 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 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>Musica Anitqua Presents Winter Concert, 08 Jan 2015 08:26:27<p>The CWU Department of Music presents the second of this year’s Musica Antiqua concerts in the McIntyre Music Building Recital Hall, on Sunday, January 11th at 4 PM.&nbsp; This Musica Antiqua program is titled "in stil moderno," and presents music written in the early seventeenth-century in a style that is both virtuosic and expressive. This early baroque ensemble music is organized on principles of rhetoric, where the meaning of the words take priority over musical form. Featured instruments are cornetto and baroque trombone, were common in early seventeenth-century Italy, but rarely heard today. Our guest artists are members of the early music group Ensemble Primo Seicento: Charlie Hankin, baroque violin, Bodie Pfost, baroque trombone and Doug Sears, cornetto. Melissa Shiel, CWU faculty member, is featured vocal soloist and Musica Antiqua director Margret Gries will be organist for this program. &nbsp;</p>PDQ Bach to Speak at CWU, 07 Jan 2015 14:28:01<p>Peter Schickele (aka PDQ Bach) will be presenting a humorous lecture entitled “Why Music is Funny” in the Jerilyn S. McIntyre Music Building Concert Hall on Friday, January 16 at 2:00 PM.&nbsp; Peter Schickele is internationally known as a composer, musicologist, multifaceted performer, radio host, and recording artist.&nbsp; Since 1965 the tireless Professor has kept audiences in stitches with his presentation of P.D.Q. Bach’s uniquely typical music.&nbsp; In addition to his annual concerts in New York City, he has appeared with over fifty orchestras, ranging from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic to the New York Pick-Up Ensemble; and his self-contained show The Intimate P.D.Q. Bach (featuring the Semi-Pro Musica Antiqua) has played in cities and on campuses from Maine to California.&nbsp; He has released 11 albums, his book entitled “The Definitive Biography of PDQ Bach” is in its eleventh printing, and he has numerous DVDs and music compositions that are performed all over the world.&nbsp; Admission is free and open to the public.</p><p><img alt="" src="/music/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 246px;"></p>JOHN PICKETT, PIANIST, IN RECITAL at CWU, 19 Dec 2014 12:22:45<p>CWU Piano professor John Pickett will perform a special recital dedicated to the last 3 Piano sonatas of Beethoven on Friday, January 9, at 7 p.m. in the McIntyre Music Building Concert Hall.&nbsp; Professor Pickett will introduce each of these last sonatas that show Beethoven to be at his expressive and compositional peak.</p><p>John Pickett has performed in recitals worldwide and has been noted for his “perfect sound balance, great intuition and sensibility,” and following his Carnegie Recital Hall debut, The New York Times praised his “impeccable” pianism.</p><p>This recital is free and open to the public.</p>CWU on Stage Features Unique Range of Musical Offerings, 12 Dec 2014 14:07:35<p><img alt="" src="/music/sites/" style="width: 422px; height: 320px;"></p><p>Nikolas Caoile, CWU’s Director of Orchestras, will host <em>Central On Stage</em> at 7:00 p.m. Monday, December 15, on KCTS-TV, the local public broadcasting station. It is a recording of the Symphony Orchestra’s June 8 concert.</p><p>The program covers a range of musical periods and styles, from Franz Krommer’s <em>Concerto in E-flat Major for Two Clarinets and Orchestra, Op. 91</em>, written in 1815, to Leonard Bernstein’s <em>Symphonic Dances from West Side Story</em>, which debuted in 1957.</p><p>Also featured are students Monica Freshley and Alisyn Christensen as conductors. Music student Matt Grey is the trombone soloist in Ferdinand David’s <em>Concertino for Trombone and Orchestra, Op. 4</em>. Professor Joseph Brooks, and his son, Jeff, are the clarinetists in Krommer’s <em>Concerto for Two Clarinets</em>.<br><br>Below is the program:</p><p>Grand Pas de Trois from <em>Les Corsaire</em><br>Adolphe Adam (1803-1856)<br>I. Grand Pas de Trois<br>II. Variation: Male<br>III. Variation:Female<br>IV. Variation:Conrad<br>V. Coda<br>Monica Freshely, graduate conductor</p><p><em>Concertino for Trombone and Orchestra, Op. 4</em><br>Ferdinand David (1810-1873)<br>I. Allegro maestoso<br>II. Marcia funebre (Andante)<br>III. Allegromaestoso</p><p>Matthew Grey, trombone (2013 Concerto Competition Winner)<br>Alisyn Christensen, graduate conductor</p><p><em>Concerto in E-flat Major, for Two Clarinets and Orchestra, Op. 91</em><br>Franz Krommer (1759-1831)<br>I. Allegro<br>II. Adagio<br>III. AllaPolacca</p><p>Joseph &amp; Jeff Brooks, clarinets</p><p><em>Symphonic Dances from West Side Story</em><br>Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)</p><p>I. Prologue<br>II. Somewhere<br>III. Scherzo<br>IV. Mambo<br>V. Cha-cha<br>VI. Meeting Scene<br>VII. Cool Fugue<br>VIII.Rumble<br>IX. Finale<br>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>CWU Alumna performs on Good Morning America, 05 Nov 2014 11:20:27<p>Heather Thomas, a multitalented percussionist who honed her skills at Central Washington University, recently hit the road again with singer-songwriter Mary Lambert for Heart on my Sleeve, Lambert’s first headlining tour.</p><p>On Tuesday, Thomas was behind the drums and providing backup vocals during a live performance of Secrets on Good Morning America. The song is the opener on Lambert’s new album Heart on my Sleeve, released the same day.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">See the video here</a></p>CWU Musicians in Korea!, 03 Nov 2014 09:17:41<p>String professors Carrie Rehkopf (violin), John Michel (cello), Tim Betts (viola), and Jon Hamar (bass) were joined by string alumni Michelle Vaughn, Rachel Nesvig and Vanessa Moss (violins), Jessica Jasper (viola), and Casey Felt (cello) on a trip to South Korea in October.&nbsp; They, along with current CWU student oboist David Hershfeldt were invited by Dr. Eduard Zilberkant to join him and the Fairbanks Symphony for a three concert engagement at the 3rd Gumi International Music Festival.&nbsp; Maestro Zilberkant regularly performs with the CWU's Kairos String Quartet, as well as with other CWU faculty members.&nbsp; He also performed Rachmaninov's 3rd Piano Concerto with the University Symphony Orchestra several years ago.</p><p><a href="">CWU Music</a></p><p><img alt="" src="/music/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;"></p>