Faculty Celebrate Power of Music with “Spring Finale” To Close Music Mosaics Series

(College of Arts and Communication, Department of Music, UW-Whitewater submission)—The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Spring ‘21 Finale Concert will feature four award-winning faculty members as they perform a variety of works to celebrate the power of music and the end of the Music Mosaics concert season. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased online by visiting tickets.uww.edu. Single viewer tickets are $13.00, and family viewing tickets are $26.00. Ticket holders will be sent a link to the performance via email on Thursday, April 15, 2021, which they can use to access the performance until Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

The final concert of the 20/21 Music Mosaics series, this concert features mostly contemporary works by composers Joseph Turrin, Kim Scharnberg and Missy Mazzoli as well as one classic work by Mozart.

N.O. Rising by Kim Scharnberg begins with a slow build full of clashing notes and tension. The work was written to reflect the hardship that hurricane Katrina inflicted on the people of New Orleans. It is a testament to their culture, history, legacy and perseverance.

The composer, Missy Mazzoli used inspiration from a well-known composer to create her featured work in this concert. “’Dissolve, O my Heart’ begins with the first chord of Bach’s Chaconne, a now-iconic d minor chord, and spins out from there into an off-kilter series of chords that doubles back on itself, collapses and ultimately dissolves in a torrent of fast passages. The only direct quote from the Partita is that first chord, which anchors the entire piece even as it threatens to spiral out of control. The title comes from an aria in the St. John’s Passion, but has many potential “interpretations.”

“While Mazzoli notes the title is open for interpretation, the text from the aria means ‘Melt, my heart, in a flood of tears.’” says violinist Leanne League. “In the context of this year, I believe it captures the sometimes disorienting, sometimes dramatic, sometimes angry, sometimes melancholy experience of the pandemic. A friend once said to me that he treasured the concert experience as a way to be alone, together.  We each experience the music through our own very personal way, deeply and beyond words, while sharing the experience of that time of reflection together.”

“Fandango”, composed by Joseph Turrin, is described by Dr. Dugan as “a 6-minute piece for trombone, trumpet and piano that explores the rhythmic, melodic and syncopated elements of the Spanish fandango dance.” The work divides itself into three sections: The first is a combination of lively melodic and articulated interplay between the trumpet, trombone and wind symphony. There is a stately chorale in the woodwinds that opens section two. The trombone adds itself to this material culminating in a short cadenza leading into the third section. Section three is a basic recap of the opening material, but this time the soloists work the themes into a canon. There is a brief return of the chorale, this time for full ensemble, and then a fast coda reiterating the work’s various rhythmic elements.

Mozart’s Sonata for Violin and Piano will be the only classical piece performed at the Spring Concert. This 14-minute composition is broken into three movements. The first movement begins the piece with a fast, bright melody at an allegro tempo. The second movement contrasts the first with a much slower andante tempo, and the last movement returns with an extremely fast, intense melody.

On trumpet is Dr. Mathew Onstad. A Wisconsin native, Onstad teaches applied trumpet, coaches chamber music, performs with the Whitewater Brass Quintet, and teaches World of the Arts. He has been Principal Trumpet with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra since 2016. While earning his DMA and MM degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Onstad served the Mead Witter School of Music as a Project Assistant performing with the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, a faculty ensemble-in-residence. He holds the rank of Sergeant in the 132nd Wisconsin Army National Guard Band and has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Iowa, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and the Isthmus Brass.

Dr. Mathew Onstad

On trombone is Dr. Mike Dugan, a native of St. Charles, Illinois, joined the music faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2009. Currently, Dr. Dugan is the Department Chair, teaches applied trombone, directs the Trombone Ensemble, and plays in the Whitewater Brass Quintet. In addition to his teaching duties, Dugan is an active freelance artist in the Upper Midwest. He is currently a member of the critically acclaimed Isthmus Bass Ensemble and is the per-service principal trombone of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Other recent engagements include the Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as many fine regional orchestras throughout Wisconsin and Iowa. Other performances include the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble, Thunder Bay (Ontario) Symphony, Elvis Costello, Audra McDonald, Doc Severinsen, Johnny Mathis, Irish Tenors, and The Four Tops in various capacities. Dr. Dugan has performed and been on faculty at the American Trombone Workshop, International Trombone Festival, Big 12 Trombone Conference, and the Upper Midwest Trombone Summit.

Dr. Mike Dugan

On violin is Dr. Leanne League. She is associate concertmaster of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and assistant concertmaster of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.  Her performances include chamber music and orchestral performances in Italy, Austria, Amsterdam, Costa Rica, and Slovenia, and cities throughout North America. From 1996-1999, she was a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida where she performed as concertmaster and principal second violin.  She earned her M.M. in performance from UW-Madison, studying with Vartan Manoogian and holding an assistantship at UW as a violinist in the Strelow String Quartet. Her undergraduate studies were completed at The Florida State University and Eastman School of Music.  On the Baroque violin, Leanne has studied with Karen Clarke and has performed with Nicholas McGegan, Max von Egmont, the Tallahassee Bach Parley, the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble, and the Madison Bach Musicians.

Dr. Leanne League

Pianist and Professor Dr. MyungHee Chung, has been a faculty member at UW-Whitewater since August 1995. Dr. Chung received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in music at the Juilliard School where she studied with Martin Canin.  She continued her studies with Gary Graffman at the Manhattan School of Music where she received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree.  Her teachers include Andre Watts, Tong-Il Han, Chung-Choo Oh and Kisun Yun.Dr. Chung is a recipient of numerous national and international awards, including first prize at the 1977 William Kapell Maryland International Piano Competition, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Performer’s Competition, Portland Symphony Orchestra Competition, and The Juilliard Concerto Competition.  She was a prizewinner in the 1980 Gina Bachauer International Competition and a finalist in the 1981 Busoni International Competition. 

Dr. MyungHee Chung (photo by Craig Schreiner)

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased online by visiting tickets.uww.edu or by calling (262) 472-2222. Single viewer tickets are $13.00, and family viewing tickets are $26.00. Ticket holders will be sent a link to the performance via email on Thursday, April 15, 2021, which they can use to access the performance until Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

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