Entries by Eric Murtaugh

Prof. Les Thimmig celebrates 50 years

By Teddy Larson Les Thimmig never planned on spending his career in Madison. Born in Santa Maria, California and originally from Chicago, Thimmig first visited Madison when he was four. Driving down State Street with his family, he was in awe when he saw the lit-up capitol. But in his early career, he thought New […]

Students make music and friends at Summer Music Clinic

Every year, hundreds of young musicians in grades 6–12 attend UW–Madison’s Summer Music Clinic to expand their musical horizons, learn from experienced music educators and meet new friends from all areas of Wisconsin and beyond. Mount Horeb high schooler Ally Hansen, a brass instrumentalist, has attended Summer Music Clinic for several years. “The days at […]

Former percussion students on a mission to show teacher appreciation

How do you say “thank you” to a professor who has changed your life? Former students of retired Professor James H. Latimer found a way. Initiated by two anonymous $5,000 gifts, a team of 10 former students and two friends gifted more than the necessary $25,000 required to establish a permanent endowment in Latimer’s name […]

Statement on Atlanta shootings

As members of the Mead Witter School of Music Equity and Inclusion Committee, we wanted to respond to the violent shootings of eight people, six of whom were of Asian descent and seven women, on Tuesday, March 16 in Atlanta. We mourn for the victims of this attack and we stand in solidarity with our […]

Abstract ghost story DESCENDED explores life’s deepest questions

What good is a ghost story if it doesn’t make you question a few things in life? Professor of Trumpet Jean Laurenz’s abstract ghost story DESCENDED does just that, as it takes viewers on a journey through writer Lafcadio Hearn’s themes of haunting supernaturality, marginalization, and the macabre. Inspired by the 19th-century writer’s spiritual themes, […]


Nominations for Distinguished Alumni Award now open

The Mead Witter School of Music Alumni Association and the Distinguished Music Alumni Award Committee welcome nominations for the School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who is making, or has made, an outstanding contribution to the music profession in service or in artistic impact. Eligibility requirements […]

Soprano Sarah Brailey wins Grammy Award

The world premiere recording of composer Dame Ethel Smyth’s 1930 masterwork, The Prison, released on Chandos Records, has won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album. The recording features soprano and doctoral student Sarah Brailey and bass-baritone Dashon Burton as soloists, and is conducted by James Blachly with his Experiential Orchestra and Chorus. […]

Saxophonist Arun Luthra selected as IARP artist-in-residence

The Division of the Arts’ Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program (IARP) selected two artists-in-residence to teach a 3-credit interdisciplinary course and host public events in Madison for their respective residencies in the 2021-22 academic year. Arun Luthra will teach in the fall 2021 semester and Judy Frater will teach in the spring 2022 semester. Saxophonist Arun Luthra is […]

Incoming talent and shifting priorities guide University Opera’s upcoming repertoire

  This article originally appeared in Madison Magazine By Michael Muckian Social circumstances often govern the fate of performing arts companies. Consider 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many local and national groups to postpone or cancel productions outright. Some troupes, made more nimble by necessity, can and do successfully adapt as conditions warrant. David […]

Two Wisconsins: The chasm between the lived realities of African-American and white children in Wisconsin

According to recent data published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 70% of all children residing in Wisconsin are identified as white, while 9% of the state’s children are identified as non-Hispanic Black. Yet Black children in Wisconsin face grave, disproportionate risks that include residing in families who live below the federal poverty level, experiencing […]

No Spring Varsity Concert in 2021

Given the continued and necessary restrictions on gathering sizes for rehearsals, classes, and gatherings (indoors and outdoors), the Spring 2021 Varsity Concert will not take place.  Read the full announcement >>

MEMF, School of Music announce administrative partnership

The Madison Early Music Festival (MEMF) is moving from its administrative home in the UW-Madison Division of the Arts to a new administrative home in the Mead Witter School of Music as of February 2021. The festival will be known as the Madison Early Music Festival, a program of the Mead Witter School of Music.  […]

Summer Music Clinic registration now open

Learn more and register Badger Precollege is excited to introduce the 2021 virtual Summer Music Clinic (SMC) experience. This year, SMC will run a series of 3-day intensives designed to help students grow as musicians and build authentic community connections. Students may select from an array of performance-based classes and electives in band, orchestra, choir, […]

Division of the Arts announces 2021 Creative Arts Awards recepients

By DotA staff A two-year long photographic essay project by Darcy Padilla (Art Department) examining the profound economic and social disparities experienced by Americans caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A contemporary art exhibition by Roberto Torres Mata (Art Department) at the Chazen Museum of Art spotlighting the complex issues of migration from both human and animal perspectives. A premiere of a […]

Jeanette Ross, former professor of piano, passed away

We are saddened to learn that Professor Jeanette Ross died Dec. 21, 2020. Professor Ross earned music degrees from Northwestern University School of Music and the American Conservatory of Music before joining the music faculty at Monticello College in 1946. She would later join the School of Music faculty in 1957, where she played an […]

Hamel Music Center: The structural key to outstanding performances

  The Hamel Music Center was featured in the January 2021 issue of Structure magazine. “A balance between the structural, acoustic, and architectural designs resulted in a world-class music facility right on the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus. Little does the musician or event-goer know that, to achieve acoustic perfection, three separate buildings were designed – […]