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Of Note with Mike Kowaleski

Of Note with Michael Kowaleski

What would any musical ensemble be without a rhythm section? Michael Kowaleski makes up one half of the group as the snare drum and drum set teacher at Wausau Conservatory, a task he has enjoyed since 1989.

His craft has always been part of his life, studying percussion at the Wisconsin Conservatory College in Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, on to Stranger Percussion Studios of Chicago, then Dorn and Kirchner’s Percussion School in New York. Throughout these years he received private instruction from such artists as Al Prafke, Bobby Koska, Phillip Stranger Tele Lesbines and the world renowned drum set virtuoso, Joe Morello.

These educational experiences led him to studio musician work in Indianapolis with Wolftracs/Pepper productions for commercial work and soundtrack experiences with RCA Studios in Chicago. An aficionado of traditional and smooth jazz, Mr. Kowaleski had opportunity to perform with such greats as Darius Brubeck, Warren Wiegratz from “Oceans”, Daryl Stuermer currently with Phil Collins, Phil Upchurch formerly with the Quincy Jones Band, and Tom Baker with the band “Chicago”. He has also worked with such bands as The Tokens, The Drifters, The Coasters, Jack Jones, Robin Lee, Sylvia St. James – a singer with Stevie Wonder, and the late Del Shannon. He cites his current musical influences to be guitarist Michael Garvin, along with Dave Grusin and Bob James. But this was not the beginning. In high school, his band actually got to tour with the “Rolling Stones”.

Mr. Kowaleski carries his passion for his craft into the classroom. For over 10 years, he worked with the Milwaukee Public Schools, the Wisconsin Conservatory College and Cascio School of Music in Milwaukee before coming to Wausau Conservatory. Many of his students have won high honors for their work including the distinguished Woody Herman Scholarship Award. He “My students mean the world to me,” he states. “I get so excited for them when they get into that drummer’s groove.”

When not holding drum sticks, Mr. Kowaleski can be found holding a golf club or fishing pole to relax.


Making a Mark on Wausau

Making a Mark – Remember Caroline Mark on her birthday week (her 100th)!

Caroline Schumann Mark

Caroline has been described by some who knew her as “unassuming, but she was compassionate, powerful, a force of nature, a force for good.”  (In My Life: Caroline Mark, Kathy Riordan, March 15, 2009)

The young Caroline Schumann from Montclair, N.J and Alice Woodson of Wausau met at school near Washington, DC and formed an enduring friendship. In succeeding years Caroline came west to visit Alice. She liked the community, and in 1956, Caroline and her husband William decided to resettle their family in Wausau, Wisconsin.

Although she was an heiress to family fortune (her father was the president of the General Motors Acceptance Corporation and her grandfather a founder of IBM), Caroline chose to become engaged in purposeful philanthropy, and used her wealth to inspire and spur action in the community she called home.

Making a Mark on Wausau

Caroline and Bill Marks with their children. Photo courtesy of Marathon Co. Historical Society Bob Geisel Collection.

Caroline and her husband, Bill, came to Wausau because they recognized that they could make a difference. She soon found ways to get involved in the community. Deep belief in service and giving, combined with her drive and vision, quickly made her a community leader. She served on the boards of numerous organizations around the Wausau area, as well as the foundations she and her family established. Their family foundations were great patrons of music education, medical research and environmental projects. Additionally, many organization in Wausau have received substantial gifts from them: Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, Boys and Girls Club of Wausau, Wausau Symphony and Band, United Way, Red Cross, North Central Technical College, Marathon Co. Historical Society, Wausau Hospital, Women’s Community and North Central Health Foundation.

Investing for Future Generations

Caroline Mark joined the board of the Wausau Conservatory of Music shortly after it was founded in 1981. As the school enrollment grew, the Conservatory needed a dedicated building to be the first school. Mrs. Marks and other community leaders raised money to acquire the Seymour Street property in 1988. In 1992, she pledged $500,000 to start an endowment fund for the Conservatory, and challenged the community to match her pledge to create the Wausau Conservatory of Music Endowment Fund.   This endowment has made it possible for countless students to receive a quality music education, and continues to support music today.   In 1998, she provided a leadership gift to encourage others to join her in building the 11,900 square-foot addition which led to more teaching studios and the concert hall that proudly bears her name.

The Conservatory’s First School 1988

Students and faculty gathered in front of the first Conservatory School at 404 Seymour Street in 1988. In 1986 the enrollment had grown to over 280 students, prompting the purchase of the school in 1987 and a yearlong renovation.


New Addition Opens 1997

Pianist Edwardus Halim and the late Caroline Mark at the dedication of the new building in 1997. Mrs. Mark invested in the future of the Conservatory by supporting the purchase of the first building and substantial donations for the addition.

Caroline S. Mark Concert Hall

Caroline’s frequently shared this:

” The Greatest Obligation of Freedom is the Voluntary Assumption of Responsibility.”  Montclair Junior League

Announcing the NEW Wausau Conservatory Choirs!

Announcing the NEW Wausau Conservatory Choirs!

A dynamic new choral program has been launched for the youth of our area by the Wausau Conservatory of Music Choral Department. The Wausau Conservatory Choirs provide new opportunities that help develop a love in choral musicianship not found anywhere else in the area. Along with the joy of singing with others, we offer fun and interactive programming that enhances the experience through music education in vocal technique, music theory, and understanding of multiple types of music. As voice and musical abilities grow, so will confidence, discipline and opportunities to use these skills in other avenues in school and the community!

The choral team led by Dr. Judith Durocher Sidlowski includes:  Mr. Joshua Olson as Artistic Director and director for the Intermezzo Choir and Mrs. Tiffany Bucheger as Assistant Artistic Director and director of the Poco Voce Choir. Both come from the music department in the Merrill School District. Olson graduated in vocal and instrumental music from the musically-renowned Luther College in Iowa. Bucheger graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in general and choral music. Pianist Mr. Michael Fischer, a graduate with a Masters from New England Conservatory will accompany the choirs and teach theory. The region is extremely fortunate to have such talented choral directors.

Through the generosity of a Community Arts Grant from the Community Foundation of Northcentral Wisconsin, these new choral programs are now available to youth grades 3-8 who love to sing in central and northern Wisconsin.

Two ensembles:

Poco Voce: for students 3rd-5th Grades and rehearses Wednesdays from 5-6:30 pm.

Intermezzo: for students 6th-8th grades and rehearses Wednesdays 6-7:30 p.m.


For placement in one of the choirs, a simple audition is required. No preparation necessary. You will be asked to do some simple listening and singing exercises by the directors to determine voice and ability level to start out.

Auditions will start at 1 p.m. Sept. 23.   Contact the Conservatory to schedule an audition time for your child. 715.845.6279 x0

The semester tuition is $159 per group.   Tuition assistance will be available from a generous donor, allowing more students to partake in this exciting new program!

Early Child Classes Start next week

Music Together  and Music Explorers preschool programs start next week.  They are perfect classes for a parent or caregiver and one or two preschoolers.  There are openings in both classes.

 Music Explorers is taught by Ann Applegate and has been a long running program that is especially designed for future pianists.  The class gives the option of short piano lessons when the students are ready.  The class meets on Friday mornings.

Music Together, an internationally recognized early childhood music program for infants, toddlers and preschoolers – and the adults who love them.  Music Together is an evidence-based, developmentally appropriate  early childhood music program based on the recognition that all  children are musical. All children can learn to sing in tune, keep a  beat and participate with confidence with early supports in that learning.   Together with parents and/or caregivers, the program provides a rich musical environment in the classroom and adding in musical activities to take home for family participation.   The 10 week Music Together program (Fiddle) is taught by Angela Sedrak at Wausau Conservatory of Music starting Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 10 am – 11 am.   This year’s 10 week classes are:  Fiddle (fall), Drum (spring) Banjo (spring)

 Visit our website under ensembles and classes for more information. 

Register quickly to ensure a space and materials in this fun, enriching class for the family!



Meet new faculty : Rochelle Pearson and Michael Fischer

WCM is proud to announce that Michael Fischer, piano and Rochelle Pearson, traditional and Suzuki Upper Strings have joined the Conservatory’s faculty.   They both have openings in their studios for the fall semester starting September 4, 2018.  To discuss lessons for yourself or a family member  715-845-6279.

Mrs. Rochelle Pearson,  Faculty Teaching Artist


Ms. Pearson and her husband moved to central Wisconsin this summer from the Seattle area where she had a large studio of students.   She is a Certified Suzuki Violin Instructor and has been teaching privately for 30 years, both as a Suzki and Traditional teacher.   She holds a Masters in Music Viola  Performance from the University of Akron and has an extensive performing back ground. She played in the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, which toured S. America, Israel, and Europe, and performed at such venues as Avery Fisher Hall in New York City and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.   She has been named the Assistant Principal Violist for Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra.   Her son Benjamin studies cello at the Cleveland Institute of Music.





Michael Fischer, Faculty Teaching Artist

Michael Fischer is well known to central Wisconsin as a  minister and a well accomplished pianist, an arranger for Bandstock, a musical director of the Wausau West Pop Show, an accompanist for numerous students and a WSMA Solo and Ensemble judicator as well as a clinician for the Conservatory’s Jazz Festival.    What most people most likely do not know is that Mike is he  holds a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music, one of the top piano colleges in the United States.   He also holds a bachelors in piano performance and pedagogy from Drake University.  recently he accepted a full time position at the Conservatory and will teach traditional piano, jazz piano and accompany the Conservatory choirs.     He has three grown children Geoffrey, Amanda and Lucas who have attended UWSP as music majors or music education majors.

Of Note with Jacob Roseman

Dr. Jacob Roseman is celebrating his 19th year with Wausau Conservatory as the teaching and performing artist in flute. His extensive background in music has taken him to Pennsylvania, Florida, Alabama and Wisconsin both as a premier flautist and an instructor. You can learn more about his professional background on the Wausau Conservatory website.

Dr. Roseman’s passion is music – even from a very young age. “I have really never done anything else in the working world – all I wanted to do was play music. I could not think of anything else to do.” It is still all he thinks about and loves on a daily basis.

This passion follows into his personal music collections. He enjoys classical music, especially Baroque and Romantic styles. But, he admits that he also has a side collection of movie soundtracks and classic pop from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s. Current artists of influence include Jean-Pierre Rampal and Julius Baker in flute, but also vocalist Kathleen Battle and violinist Jascha Heifitz.

Jacob and his wife Molly are regular performers at the Conservatory.

It’s almost difficult for Dr. Roseman to think about anything but music. He looks forward to that “wow” moment when a student taps into a piece of music and captures its true essence, its heart. He shares his passion for music with everyone he works with and teaches, encouraging them to catch the “bug” along with him.

Dr. Roseman does admit to one other appetite in his life. “I love to make desserts, especially baking. If not for music, I would be a pastry chef!”

When asked – if you could rule the world for one day, what would you do? He smiled patiently and said, “I would make sure everyone had the means to make their dreams come true – in music and in life.”

Come visit Dr. Roseman’s studio for flute lessons or to join our high school or adult flute choirs!

Mary Stone

Mary Stone volunteered selling raffles, holding celebrity auction and even a Note Boat Float

Wausau Conservatory of Music lost a longtime friend this spring.   Mary Stone recently passed away near her daughter’s home in Illinois and a celebration of her life was held on June 22 in Wausau.   She and her husband George moved to Wausau for his job at Wausau Insurance. They lived in Wausau for thirty years and her memories she created with her daughters Liz and Jennifer at the Wausau Conservatory were near and dear to their hearts.

Mary spent a great deal of time ensuring that young people have opportunities to develop their talents in music. She was a board member of the Wausau Conservatory of Music, serving as fund raising chair for many years.   She volunteered as chair of Una Notte Bella, the Note Boat Float, and as the raffle coordinator.   Her daughters remembers raffle tickets piled on their dining room table, the sprinklers going off accidentally during the Note Boat Float and dressing up at Art in the Park to lure people to buy Conservatory Funnel Cakes. One of Mary’s most proudest moment came when the Wausau Conservatory of Music’s Volunteer of the Year was established in her name.

Mary is one of hundreds of volunteers that have helped keep the school vibrant in our community, but to us she was one in a million! Thank you Mary!

The family has asked memorials be given to support the Wausau Conservatory of Music as well as the Women’s Community in Wausau.




Catch the “Music Bug”

Catch the “Music Bug” this Summer!

by Dr. Jacob Roseman

Summer is a great time to reflect and enjoy pastimes, especially music. I have been teaching music appreciation courses for the last seven years at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon, and have developed a following, which I would like to extend to the Wausau Conservatory of Music this summer.

As a start, I have proposed two music classes entitled, “Summer’s Greatest Classical Hits” and “Do You Hear What I Hear: A Guide to Understanding Classical Music.” These classes will take place June through July, on Monday evenings from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

These mini-courses, a total of three sessions per topic, are a great and fun opportunity to further your listening skills and enjoy some wonderful classical music, as well as meeting others that you may not have a chance to meet in settings such as these.

Most of the classes are built around music videos, which I play clips of in class and then thoroughly discuss. My objective in teaching these courses is to not only introduce classics and further enhance one’s listening, but to also encourage one to attend more concerts due to your renewed appreciation of music – all in all, I want to make classical music contagious to you!

Amidst your busy schedule, I hope you strongly take time to consider taking one, or both, of these short courses to provide some music for your soul and realize what you have potentially missed out on all along. Who knows, you might even become addicted and want to continue further classes in the fall and/or spring. Regardless, I hope to meet you this summer and share my love and passion for music with you!

Two Classes taught by Dr. Jacob Roseman,  Faculty Artist at the Conservatory

Summer’s Great Classical Hits  Sign Up

Summer and music are synonymous, especially music which is more leisurely or light-hearted in nature. Come and join us to explore some of the greatest, and sometimes overlooked, classics which have some sort of connotation with summer. We will explore classics encompassing compositions of Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, De Falla, Rodrigo, and Mendelssohn. And the best part, we are indoors, so no bugs or bug spray needed!

(Mondays, 6/11, 6/18, 6/25, 6:30-8:00 p.m.)  Cost $49

“Do You Hear What I Hear?: A Guide to Understanding Classical Music   Sign Up

Classical music many times can come across as intimidating or misunderstood, but it does not to be so – it really is beautiful and quite simple music to listen to. Join us to develop listening tools to further enjoy classical music and cultivate a deeper understanding of it – this will not only enhance your listening experience, but will take it to a whole other level. Who knows, you might even become a “classical” music buff by the end of the class!

(Mondays, 7/9, 7/16, 7/23, 6:30-8:00 p.m.)  Cost $49






Conservatory Students to perform in Sweeney Todd

Photo by David Junion

Sweeny Todd, Stephen Sondheim’s musical thriller is being presented by the East End Players. Fri.-Sat. 7 pm; Sun. 1 pm. $12 adults, $10 students, seniors. Purchase tickets at the school office  or at the door at Wausau East.Wausau Conservatory students that are in the show are:

David Livingston, Sweeny Todd                       Photo by: David Junion

Featuring Students of Barbara Lattimer:

David Livingston as Sweeney Todd
Allison Weaver as The Beggar Woman
Halle Fischer as Tobias
Also in the cast are the following WCM Students:
Mark Radtke as The Beedle
Molly Anderson
Shaye Kline
Nick Kline—The Quintet
Sarah Landeau
Mae Sann
Lina Zuchner

And Musical Theatre VOCAL  Camp Students:
Sophie Maas as Mrs. Lovett
Meegahn Roesler as Johanna
Colin Smith as Anthony
Will Holmson as Judge
Olivia Egan—The Quintet
Lily Burgess—The Quintet
Kaitlyn Koehler—The Quintet
Jack Rosemurgy—The Quintet
Alaina Goetsch—The Bird Seller
Brenton Kniess–Fogg
Lauren Hinker
Lindsey Smith

Pit Orchestra
Jayda Newman
Rachel Sauer
Shane Templin
Emelia Edmondson
Ellie Geiger
Thomas Euting
Alec Sauer
Paige Kuphal


Pre-order your Roses Now!

Pre-order now for Mother’s Day weekend

Dozens of roses help students.

The Wausau Conservatory of Music’s Annual Mother’s Day Rose Sale is a wonderful way to honor customers, friends, relatives, neighbors, employees and of course mom.  All proceeds from this annual event raises thousands of dollars for youth music scholarships. Reserve your roses today!  The variety “Freedom Roses” are the highest quality roses and grown in South America.  Get a Free Dozen: Buy over 10 dozen,  and we will give you a bonus dozen roses and deliver for free on Friday morning.

Volunteer Bill Owen

Pre-Order your roses today (we have to let the Rose Growers know soon).  Orders will be available for pick up on Friday, May 11 from 9am to 6pm and Saturday, May 12 from 9am to 12pm.  Walk up orders are welcome the day of the sale.


Learn More. Order Roses