When I was no more than three, I would ask my parents if we could watch the “Guy Sleeping” movie again - otherwise known as my favorite part of Fantasia 2000, Rhapsody in Blue. George Gershwin’s concerto was an essential part of my early love for music. I’ve played piano for most of my life, but never expected that I would end up here and be able to do this for a living. I am now a piano performance major in my junior year at WMU; this past December, I got to live out my childhood dream performing as the soloist in Rhapsody in Blue!
The halls are once again filled with energy, campus is reawakened with bustling students, and spring semester has officially begun. But as we open up new textbooks and enter another exciting season of events and activities, let's not forget that it is still a time for the arts.
Why? We asked a few of our students to share their take. Here's what they had to say:
2017 School of Music Distinguished Alumnus Alex Jokipii has held the position of Principal Trumpet with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for nearly two decades. In addition, he has appeared as a soloist on countless occasions, and he has performed as a guest Principal Trumpet with numerous world-class symphonies and orchestras. But according to Alex, his success was far from instant.
In our interview with Alex, he touches on the struggles of totally reinventing the way he played trumpet when he arrived at WMU in 1988. He also talks about learning harsh lessons of time management and hard work, and he discusses how persistence played a part in breaking through as a professional (Mary Brodbeck, 2017 Frostic School of Art Distinguished Alumna, also asserts that persistence is the key to success as an artist. We're noticing a theme here...).
Learn what - and who - contributed to Alex's great success as a musician in his responses below.
The College of Fine Arts is beginning the 2017-18 academic year with a simple message: Now is a time for the arts.
The arts have long been a vital part of the human experience. Whether watching the Kabuki of Japan or classic ballet of France, taking in works showcased at MoMA, or absorbing the distinctive sounds of jazz, the act of engaging with the arts provides us an opportunity to examine our lived experiences and encourages us to be more creative, more observant and more aware.
It’s been about two weeks since the University Chorale returned from our ten-day competition and concert tour of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Chorale is made up of singers from all different backgrounds and walks of life, but I think it’s safe to say that this tour was the adventure of a lifetime for every single one. We all set out on this adventure wanting the same things: to forge new connections with singers from around the world, to experience a set of cultures with deep roots in the choral tradition, and to better ourselves as musicians through exposure through these cultures. But I don’t think that any of us could have anticipated the life-changing experiences that waited for us there in the Baltics, or just how far beyond our own expectations this trip would take us.
2 majors, 18 credit hours, 10 classes, 2 part-time jobs and countless clubs and extracurricular activities. We don't envy Caitlin Borke's schedule this semester, but the passion she maintains throughout it all is music to our ears.
With aspirations of someday merging her passions of language and music as the director a refugee choir, Caitlin is truly using her voice to make a difference. Accompany Caitlin through a day in her life in the video below to hear and feel her passion:
As the 2016-17 academic year decrescendos to a close, we’re reflecting on the milestones and memories from these melodious months. As of April 20, the 2016–17 year has brought about 600 total events including approximately 140 solo student performances, 60 master classes with guest artists, 125 guest artist performances, 65 off-campus performances by faculty and students, and many more!
Topics: School of Music
From the Valley to Western Heights, the Student Ghetto to Fraternity Village, there are endless options when it comes to housing at Western Michigan University. Each residence hall boasts its own perks, and each neighborhood offers its own quirks.
College of Fine Arts students have yet another housing option available to them: the Fine Arts House. If for you, home is where the art is, then this Living Learning Community might be a perfect fit. Located in Draper/Siedschlag Hall, the Fine Arts House offers a great opportunity for those with a love of visual and performing arts to live together.
Meet Jules and Tracey, two current College of Fine Arts students. Though their artistic interests and pursuits couldn't be more different, they both found home in the Fine Arts House at Draper/Siedschlag. Get a sense for the Fine Arts House experience through their memories and accounts.
As the saying goes, if you choose a job you love, you'll never have to work a day in your life. Julie Guy, an alumna of WMU's music therapy master's program, will attest that this is indeed the case.
After discovering music therapy and finding it to be the perfect marriage of her two passions, music and service, Julie has gone on to achieve great success and fulfillment.
It's been an incredible year for the Western Michigan University football team. Not only are the Broncos a ranked team with a perfect 12-0 season, but ESPN College GameDay even made a trip to campus this Fall, shining a national spotlight on our hometown team. And on top of that, the Broncos are headed to the MAC championship game tonight at Ford Field.
We know that PJ Fleck's undefeated team has put in countless hours of practice and preparation this season, but they're not the only ones with a rigorous schedule. The Bronco Marching Band, who will also be taking the field in Detroit this evening, have attended daily rehearsals, endured long hours, memorized scores of music, and mastered fast-paced drill movements for a number of half-time shows, all to support the team and delight Bronco fans with the Sound of Western.