Paul Henning ’98 didn’t set out to be a professional musician. “I swore up and down I wasn’t going to be a music major or study music—but then, look what I did!” he says.
He moved to Los Angeles where he made a lot of phone calls looking for work as a session player, orchestrator, or proofreader of musical scores—and ended up working with John Williams on the music for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Over the course of 60 years, John Williams has scored over 100 films and taken home five Oscars. All his scores, Henning says, start with Williams at the piano … » More …
Doug Bradley ’74 and Craig Werner
University of Massachusetts Press: 2015
Music is embodied, a word that means it grabs you by the guts until you do something: dance, weep, make love … something. Music is visceral in another way, too: We connect the dots of our personal histories based on the tunes we were listening to at the time.
For a veteran, that might be more than she … » More …
Dave Hagelganz, Saxophone; Dru Heller, drums; Scott Steed, bass; Brian Ward, piano
WSU Recordings: 2014
Tenor saxophonist Dave Hagelganz leads a quartet of highly compatible musicians in this overdue self-titled debut album, joined by fellow professors Brian Ward (Washington State University) and Scott Steed (Eastern Washington University, Whitworth University), as well as young lion Dru Heller from Spokane. On the surface, this album appears as a humble offering to today’s jazz scene. What can … » More …
In Yakima’s Garfield Elementary School, Principal Alan Matsumoto ’75 is hearing music ring through the halls after school. With 100 percent of the students facing poverty, the afterschool Yakima Music en Acción (YAMA) gives them the opportunity to transcend their circumstances with instruments.
YAMA, based on a Venezuelan program called El Sistema, brings professional musicians to the school to teach Garfield students how to play violins, cellos, and other instruments in ensemble groups.
The program launched four years ago with just seven students. Matsumoto says he first heard about El Sistema from Stephanie Hsu, who had recently graduated from training and now leads YAMA. … » More …
88 Squared Piano Duo
Albany Records: 2015
WSU piano faculty members Jeffrey and Karen Savage are the formidable pianists of 88 Squared, a critically acclaimed piano duo. This remarkable recording of Liebermann’s music for two pianos will only add to their international reputation. Liebermann’s piano music requires keen attention to color, texture, balance, and lyricism. His ample use of counterpoint requires absolute precision between the four hands.
88 Squared … » More …
Michael Kirkpatrick ’01
The human voice is our oldest acoustic instrument and it’s still one of the most captivating. Add a few well struck strings—just a few chords even—and you have a remarkable symphony of bass, harmony, lyrics, and emotion.
This is the beguiling formula of Michael Kirkpatrick ’01. He’s a troubadour, both self-described and according to the 2014 Telluride Troubadour Competition, which he won. Performing some 150 dates a year from his Fort Collins, Colorado, base, he writes his own tunes and for the most part plays all the … » More …
Said & Done
Elder Crow, 2014
Tyler Morgan ’03 and his band crank up some old-school rock and roll in their debut album. The Vancouver, Washington, group blends lyrics of social justice and civil rights with roaring guitars and solid drumming straight out of the ’60s and ’70s. Morgan, a high school history teacher in Camas, sings lead and plays rhythm guitar alongside drummer Eddie Esparza, bassist Eric Fernandez, and … » More …