IUP Music Alumna Involved in Grammy-Nominated Performance

Posted on 1/19/2017 9:26:32 AM

On December 6, 2016, the list of this year’s Grammy Award nominations was made public. Under the caption Best Choral Performance was Lloyd: Bonhoeffer — Donald Nally, conductor of the choral ensemble the Crossing (with instrumentalists John Grecia, Rebecca Harris, Thomas Mesa, and Malavika (Mika) Godbole, a graduate of the IUP Department of Music and the Cook Honors College).

Alumna Mika Godbole nominated for GrammyGodbole graduated from IUP in 2003 receiving the degree Bachelor of Arts. Since leaving Indiana, she has completed her Doctor of Music Arts at Rutgers University and has secured a teaching position at York College of Pennsylvania and Westminster Conservatory.

She is a founding member of the well-respected quartet Mobius Percussion, an ensemble which seeks to fuse its members’ interest in fresh sounds with their commitment to high-quality performance and the promotion of new works by emerging composers. Mobius performed on campus last fall sharing a concert with the IUP Percussion Ensemble. Godbole also spent time speaking with Honors College students during her visit.  

How she wound up performing on the CD is interesting. Godbole shares, “This is the second iteration of the Bonhoeffer project. The previous version was premiered by a completely different group of singers. It was still the Crossing, but with a different roster of instrumentalists. It even included dancers. I had been in touch with Donald Nally (musical director of the the Crossing) a few years ago, way back before Mobius had gained traction.  I wanted to work with him and the Crossing, but I had no Mobius website, no videos, nothing to show for anything. As time went by, Mobius developed its reputation and list of accomplishments. When the original percussionist on the project was moving and asked me to play, I naturally moved mountains to make this opportunity work. I got back in touch with Donald and sent him our videos to let him know that I hadn’t forgotten about wanting to work with him. I was glad he remembered me.

“Donald was wonderful to work with. I really respect and admire him. He’s one of those folks that has a beautiful, uncanny musical mind and ear, which can also be intimidating in a high-pressure situation like a recording session. (I admit my brain stopped working a disproportionate number of times in front of him!) The coolest thing about this was that we were able to perform this at the Union Theological Seminary, where Dietrich Bonhoeffer actually worked! (A German Lutheran pastor, theologian, and heroic anti-Nazi dissident, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was imprisoned and eventually murdered by the Nazi regime in the waning days of World War II.)  We recorded it at St. Peter’s Church in the Great Valley outside Philadelphia and then performed it three times the subsequent weekend. I made some very strong bonds with some of the members that will remain with me for a long time. The producer, Adrian Peacock, has ridiculous ears and made me sound so good on the recording.” 

The Grammy ceremony will occur February 12, 2017. It’s certainly a huge honor to receive this nomination, and IUP is justifiably proud of Mika Godbole and her accomplishments.

Department of Music