HISTORY, ETHNO & NEW MUSIC
Sidra Lawrence, director
The BGSU Afro-Caribbean Ensemble performs traditional songs, percussion music and dance from sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. During the academic year, performances are given on campus and in neighboring communities. Enrollment is open to all students.
Arne Spohr, director
For more than 40 years, the BGSU Early Music Ensemble has been a vital part of the diverse performance culture in the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University. The ensemble usually consists of 15–20 students, with a group of string players, a recorder consort, a vocal group, chamber ensembles in varying formations, and a harpsichordist. We perform once or twice per semester in venues on and off the BGSU campus. The ensemble has worked with internationally acclaimed early music specialists such as Bob Wiemken, David Douglass and the Ensemble REBEL. Its director, Arne Spohr, holds a PhD in music history from the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Köln (Germany), where he also studied recorder with Wolfgang Dey.
The group performs repertory from the Middle Ages to the late eighteenth century. Concert programming has centered on topics that tell “music histories,” not necessarily found in textbooks or music history lectures. These include programs such as The Travels of John Dowland: A Musical Journey through Europe c. 1600, Improvisation and Variation in Renaissance and Baroque Music, and Images of Orpheus. In 2016, the ensemble was chosen to perform at the Young Performers Festival of the Berkeley Early Music Festival, with the program Fringe Music: Music from the Peripheries of Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Europe, a musical journey of discovery through Portugal, Denmark and the Czech Lands. In 2017, the group was expanded into a Baroque orchestra to perform J.S. Bach’s St John Passion in collaboration with the BGSU University Choral Society and faculty soloists.
Here’s a link to a video of our performance at the Berkeley Early Music Festival, filmed by Early Music America:
Allison Eckardt Merrill, director
Taiko is a form of Japanese Ensemble drumming that has become popular across Japan, then United States, and around the world. Students will perform in the ensemble, learning multiple pieces and performing in World Percussion Night. Music is learned aurally, so music reading ability is not necessary, but you should be ready for lots of physical movements.
Kurt Doles, director
Kusuma Sari (Inner Flower) is the gamelan gong kebyar orchestra from Bali, Indonesia, housed at the College. Consisting largely of gongs and metallophones, the gamelan performs the dynamic traditional music of Bali as well as modern compositions by American and Balinese composers. Kusuma Sari is directed by David Harnish and presents biannual concerts, performs at community events, and occasionally goes on tour. Enrollment is open to all students.
Robert Desmond, director
Composed of undergraduate and graduate students, the new Steel Drum Ensembles (founded in 2007) perform music ranging from traditional Caribbean tunes to modern jazz arrangements. Students learn instruments ranging from bass pan up to lead tenor as well as “engine room” percussion—drum set, timbales, congas, shakers, etc. Steel Drum Ensembles are open to all students.
Susan Nelson, Director
The Bassoon Ensemble performs a variety of music and musical styles. Begun in 1996, the ensemble has presented concerts on and off campus.
Andrew Pelletier, director
The Horn Club, founded by the late Herbert Spencer and now under the direction of Andrew Pelletier, is comprised of students, staff, alumni and community members performing a wide variety of music of transcribed and original music for horn ensemble. The group performs several times annually, both on and off campus, including educational outreach concerts.
William Mathis, director
The Trombone Choir, under the direction of William Mathis, is comprised of undergraduate and graduate trombone majors in the college performing a wide variety of music of transcribed and original music for large and small trombone ensembles. This group maintains both a performance and pedagogical mission, where students of all levels perform together and learn from each other. The ensemble performs regularly on- and off-campus and has been featured at churches, public schools and universities in Ohio and Michigan.
Charles Saenz, director
The BGSU Trumpet Ensemble was founded in 1983 by Edwin Betts, Professor Emeritus of Trumpet, and several graduate trumpet students at the College. The ensemble is under the direction of Charles Saenz, Professor of Trumpet, and is comprised of 15-20 students. The Trumpet Ensemble meets from 6-8pm on Wednesday evenings during the academic year and functions as an extension of the Applied Lesson experience. This ensemble provides an opportunity to develop chamber ensemble skills such as intonation, balance, and tone-production through the performance of literature for the trumpet ensemble. The group performs on a regular basis on and off campus including regular trips to perform at the annual meetings of the Ohio Trumpet Guild. Recent performances include the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Columbus, Georgia and the International Trumpet Camp in Monterrey, Mexico.