On April 21, 2015, two ensembles from the WOU Music Department left for Berkeley, CA for their annual Spring Tour. The two ensembles, the Western Hemisphere Orchestra and the Western Hemisphere Voices, represent part of the groups that play popular music in the WOU Music Department.
The Western Hemisphere Orchestra (WHO), directed by Dr. Keller Coker is a big band that performs jazz, rock, and soul music. The Western Hemisphere Voices (WHV), directed by Sherry Alves, is a choir that performs jazz, pop, rock, soul, and gospel music. Together the two groups had a mixed set featuring the music of Radiohead, Chicago, Allen Toussaint, and Mel Torme.
During the tour the WHO and WHV performed at two locations in Berkeley and San Francisco. The first performance was located at a local church in San Francisco, Noe Valley Ministry. The second and final performance took place at the Berkeley Arts Festival, located near University of Southern California Berkeley.
The groups participated in a workshop with Philip Greenlief, a local saxophonist, composer, and teacher. Greenlief focused on improvisation during the workshop, selecting several pieces for the groups to perform together. The pieces featured different playing techniques, unison notes, poetry readings, and improvised solo playing.
Students were also able to see jazz legend Charles Lloyd perform at the SFJazz Center. Lloyd presented the West Coast premiere of Wild Man Dance Suite, a new suite of compositions written for the meeting of the American, Hungarian, and Greek musicians onstage.
To see the WHO & WHV perform locally, watch them at their upcoming shows at Rice Auditorium, located on the WOU campus.
Western Hemisphere Voices
Tuesday June 2, 2015
Western Hemisphere Orchestra
Friday June 5, 2015
$3 general/$1 students & senior citizens/WOU students free w/ID
– By Erin Westfall