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College of Arts and Sciences Archives

Songwriters share work at virtual roundtable

Zoom meeting screenshot of Joel Roeber with his guitar with faces of other Songwriters Roundtable participants in small frames.As many artists have done in the face of crisis, Joel Roeber, a songwriter and music student at WSU, turned to his art as a way to process his thoughts and feelings about the coronavirus pandemic and to help others cope.

Roeber’s new composition, “Crown of Fear,” is a gently unfolding instrumental jazz tune written in response to the anxiety and hardship brought by the virus. He also named the song in reference to the virus – “corona” means “crown” in Spanish and Latin.

“I’ve been working on it throughout this whole social distancing thing,” he said. “It’s meant to be a reflection of » More …

Four music ensembles to present showcase in Spokane

4 images: A trumpet player, a full orchestra, a group of vocalists, and cast of performers on stage.Jazz, opera, orchestra and choir—like a four-course feast for the ears, the musical showcase by WSU students and faculty on March 3 at the Fox Theatre in Spokane will serve up an array of aural treats.

Four ensembles from WSU’s School of Music in Pullman will travel to the Lilac City to perform selections from several well-known composers and some original music by » 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 …

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 …

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 …

Fulbright takes undergraduate pianist to London

Garrett SnedekerSenior Garrett Snedeker has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance to explore the topic “harnessing music’s ability for social change” in the coming year.

“I’m always happy to perform and share music, but I want to introduce listeners to new ways to process and think about what they are hearing,” Snedeker said. “Thanks to the Fulbright, I will be thoroughly educated to accomplish that goal in a more informed manner throughout my career. I also appreciate the chance to absorb a new and creative environment in the U.K.” » More …

Jazz CD receives bevy of national attention

Greg Yasinitsky YAZZBand Jazz Big Band.“YAZZ Band,” the recently released compact disc from Greg Yasinitsky, Regents Professor of music, has received significant national attention, including a feature in Down Beat magazine — the “Jazz Bible” — and on the Public Radio International show “Jazz After Hours.”

The disc also features WSU School of Music faculty members Sarah Miller, Brian Ward and David Jarvis, along with WSU alumni » More …

WSU professor, students debut at Carnegie Hall

Francis Fay, Gordon Shaw, and Ruth BodenWashington State University students Francis Fay and Gordon Shaw, and faculty member Ruth Boden made their Carnegie Hall debut on Nov. 3 in Manhattan, New York. The three were invited to perform with international cellist Mischa Quint and the InterHarmony Cello Ensemble.

Fay is a junior music major studying cello performance, and Shaw is a sophomore music major studying music composition, cello and guitar. Boden is an associate professor » More …

Professor composes soundtrack for new film

Greg Yasinitsky“The Cross-Up” — a short comedy film about a mafia-like character receiving a visit from God to turn his life around — features music composed and performed by WSU’s Greg Yasinitsky, Regents professor of music, saxophone, composition, and jazz studies.

The entire process for creating the soundtrack took approximately a year, Yasinitsky said. This involved writing the music, recording and having the directors review the soundtrack among other steps. » More …