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College of Arts and Sciences Music

Music professor blends community, culture, choral conducting

Lori Weist sitting at a desk.Lori Wiest may be a professor of music and director of choral activities, but her interests and involvements extend far beyond the WSU School of Music.

Wiest did not start her undergraduate career as a music major, but added it on to her chemistry track at the end of her sophomore year, she said. She later taught music and chemistry while she decided what she wanted to do.

“I was thinking about that, even as an undergrad, how important it was » More …

A new take on the WSU Fight Song

Smiling member of the Cougar Marching Band.From Devo’s quirky take on the Rolling Stones’ “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” to Daughtry’s acoustic cover of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” musicians often reimagine popular tunes in their own style. In honor of the WSU Fight Song’s 100th anniversary, the Cougar Marching Band will perform four different arrangements of the beloved tune during the WSU football halftime show on Saturday, Nov. 16, in Martin Stadium. » More …

Dr. Universe: Why do people like different kinds of music?

Dr. UniverseHumans have been experimenting with all kinds of sounds, lyrics, and instruments for thousands of years. There are hundreds of genres of music, so while you might like one kind, a friend might like something completely different. Or maybe you became friends because of your similar taste in music.

My friend Horace Alexander Young is a WSU musician and professor. When I went to visit him, » More …

WSU tuba professor releases third solo album

Chris Dickey holding a tubaWSU tuba professor Chris Dickey recently released his third solo album, titled “Inventions,” under the Emeritus Recordings label. The album was recorded in the WSU Recording Studio by recording engineer David Bjur. Karen Savage, Sarah Miller, and Martin King joined Dickey for the project.

“Inventions” represents Dickey’s ongoing commitment to inclusive programming in art music. The album demonstrates » More …

Studio of notes

David Bjur at the recording studio desk.The first thing you might notice about the Washington State University recording studio is the silence. It starts when Dave Bjur, studio manager and chief engineer, closes the hallway door, sealing off the random din of the Kimbrough Music Building’s top floor. Then he closes a second door and a weird sensation settles into the ears that, when you think about it, is rare in the modern world.

It’s an anti-sound, the audio version of true black, » More …

Tuba professor teaches and performs in China

Chris Dickey.WSU tuba professor Chris Dickey traveled to Tianjin, China in August to perform and teach at the 2019 JinBao International Low Brass Festival, an event that attracted approximately 450 performers from throughout China.

Dickey, clinical associate professor of music, participated on an international faculty featuring artists from the United States, Denmark, China, Switzerland, and Austria. He worked with Chinese students ranging from advanced high school players to university-level and conservatory-trained students. Throughout the week, Dickey coached students who qualified » More …

WSU professor works with music educators in India

Dean Luethi holding a small toy rickshaw.This past summer, Dean Luethi, associate professor and director of the School of Music, made his second trip to India to provide educational materials and training to music teachers.

“They’re eager for western pedagogies,” Luethi said. “They hear western music, they want to perform western music, and they want help to be able to teach it.”

The National Association for Music Education started the Western Music Educators » More …

Center for Arts and Humanities fellowship awards

Fine Arts Center and Museum of Art.The WSU Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH) and the Office of Research awarded  2019 fellowships to eight faculty representing fine arts, history, and music, as well as politics, philosophy, and public affairs, and design and construction.

Each award supports faculty professional goals and advances university‑wide arts and humanities initiatives. The fellowships will support exhibitions, music recordings, research travel, and course releases. Many of these activities will lead to publications. In addition » More …

A new tune: combining jazz and classical piano

musician in rehearsal roomCuban-born master’s student Raul Blanco has long been interested in combining Cuban music with other types of music, such as Scottish bagpipes. But combining Cuban music and jazz piano is special because it bridges his years of learning classic piano in his homeland with his personal interest in jazz.

“Raul has written music for several ensembles and has led both our Latin Jazz ensemble and Jazz Wires, our top jazz combo. He is an excellent teacher and mentor to undergraduate students in » More …

Top Ten Senior Awards include five from CAS

For more than 80 years, WSU has recognized ten seniors in each graduating class. These women and men represent the highest standards in specific aspects of the college experience, including academics, athletics, campus involvement, community service, and visual and performing arts.

Meet the five CAS seniors selected for Top Ten recognition: » More …