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Learning from the best

Students in a new music survey course are getting front-row seats to video performances by top WSU faculty.

“I think we have recorded faculty or students from every area, and these include jazz, traditional instrumental works, percussion ensemble and opera scenes – which are quite theatrical,” said Keri McCarthy, an internationally known oboist, master-class teacher, Fulbright scholar, and professor for the new online course.  Read the full story story →

Sax student, composer showcased in Jazziz magazine

Matt Lanka
Matt Lanka

Washington State University saxophonist and composer Matt Lanka is showcased in a recent issue of Jazziz magazine, one of the top jazz publications in the world. A recording of Lanka’s composition “Howl,” performed by the WSU Jazz Big Band, is included on the CD “Fall Into Jazz,” distributed internationally in the fall 2012 issue of the magazine.

The CD also features recordings from new releases by top jazz figures David Sanborn, Al Jarreau, Béla Fleck, Marcus Miller, the Bad Plus, and Bob Mintzer.

“Lanka is an excellent saxophonist and gifted composer with a bright future,” said Greg Yasinitsky, director of the WSU School of Music. “This is the 10th year in a row that WSU students have been featured in Jazziz, and it is gratifying to see our School of Music honored in this way.”

Lanka is an M.A. candidate and teaching assistant in the School of Music. He studies saxophone with Dave Hagelganz and composition with Yasinitsky and performs in the WSU Jazz Big Band under Yasinitsky’s direction. The recording was made last spring in the WSU Recording Studio with Dave Bjur, engineer.

Travel with Garrison Keillor: the gig of a lifetime

By Becky Phillips, Marketing and Creative Services

Band members were grinning as their raucous beer medley swung its way around the audience seated in the St. Louis Fox Theatre. Polka music flirted and twirled. Fiddle player Richard Kriehn raised his violin to take a solo, but in that moment, his bow slipped and snagged itself on the violin microphone. With four million listeners also tuned in via National Public Radio, crunching and screeching filled the air as Kriehn struggled to pry the bow loose.

“Great…” thought Kriehn, who was on his debut tour with the band. “I just wanted to crawl under a rock at that point.”

After a few embarrassing seconds, the show went on and so too did Kriehn, who travels with Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” radio road show as a member of the Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band.

Kriehn, a highly accomplished musician, is the academic advisor for the School of Music at Washington State University. He advises all music majors and minors. Continue story →