Faculty recital showcases music department

Band director Norman Wika plays the trombone for his faculty recital on Sept. 20 in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. He was accompanied by Ling Lo on piano. Vanguard Photo Editor | Justin Kruskie

The Saginaw Valley State University Music Department presented a recital by several professors in the department on Sep. 20.

The recital, which lasted from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m, headlined music department chair Dr. Norman Wika on trombone as well as professor Ling Lo on the piano, and professor Stefan Stolarchuk on the bass trombone.

The ensemble performed Frank Gulino’s “Sonata No 1”, Ralph Vaughan Williams “Six Studies in English Folk Song” (arranged by Ralph Saucer), Lauren Bernofsky’s “Two Latin Dances” and Douglas Yeo’s adaptation of Eric Ewazen’s “Pastorale”.

Dr. Wika, department chair and associate professor, explained a bit about his musical background:

“I enjoyed band in the fourth grade, and ended up playing through high school,” Wika stated. “I decided that I wanted to be a band director then, I did my undergrad at University of Miami and my master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Connecticut.”

Earlier in his career, Dr. Wika taught at institutions such as Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, and Providence College in Rhode Island.

WIka shared his experiences at SVSU as well:

“Here at SVSU, I have a chance to be a performer as well as a teacher and musician,” he explained. “Ears and eyes are open to the musical world and being able to see [my students] achievements is the most satisfying part of teaching.”

Professor Stolarchuk also chimed in on his musical experiences:

“Back as far as elementary school, I had fantasies of being in a rock band,” he said. “From there I got into orchestra and jazz”

Professor Stolarchuk elaborated on how he currently invests his free time into performing on trombone in independent bands, which eventually lead him to joining SVSU’s staff:

“Dr. Wika and I met at concert band during games, he encouraged me to apply to SVSU and I was really interested in the chance to reach students,” Stolarchuk explained.

Professor Stolarchuck shared a closing thought on his relationship with Dr. Wika

“I performed with him for several years, he is an wonderful player and did an excellent job tonight.”

For more information on upcoming concert and events through SVSU’s music department, please visit https://svsu.edu/musicdepartment/

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