Archives—January 2017

From Stevie Wonder to the Count Basie Orchestra

6d0ad8e0a28cd2be005229a55d2f4839342a878aDid you know that as a child prodigy, Stevie Wonder signed with a Motown record label at the age of 11? That after the death of Count Basie, the Pontiac, Michigan native Thaddeus Jones took over the leadership of the legendary Count Basie Orchestra? That students majoring in engineering, chemistry, forestry and business currently also perform in a wind ensemble and take classes in music composition at Michigan Tech?

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and Department of Visual and Performing Arts are proud to present the Superior Wind Symphony in a concert titled “Michigan Music.” The performance will be led by Michigan Tech’s Director of Bands, Michael Christiansonat 7:30 p.m. Friday (Feb. 3) in the Rozsa Center.

According to Christianson, “Michigan Music is a collection of music by Michigan composers, arrangers and communities for wind band. The range of music includes a classic march, Bach for clarinet choir, a piece for hand clappers, powwow music, a piece that captures the inner mind of a single dancer, several beautiful ballads, a joyous Motown tune and a modern Rag.”

Michigan Composers featured will be Pulitzer Prize winner William Bolcom; Grammy Winner Stevie Wonder; Thad Jones; Warren Benson; George Kenny; and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

Tickets for “Michigan Music” are on sale now, $13 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee.

Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Please note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.

By Bethany Jones


Backstage Jazz Celebrates “50 Years of Jazz” at Michigan Tech

23247406793_6d17059fcc_kBackstage at the Rozsa” again opens its doors to the groovin’ sounds of small-combo jazz to celebrate the 50th year of jazz studies at Michigan Tech.

There will be three student ensembles: Jaztec, Momentum with a combination of funk and fusion; AstroSax; and one special guest ensemble: The Dan Fuhrmann and Tim Havens Duo, here for their second guest appearance at Michigan Tech.

The Rozsa stage will become a pop-up jazz club, and the intimate atmosphere is a perfect setting for some funk and fusion and even some standards from these four ensembles.

Join Jazz Studies Program Director Mike Irish and the Michigan Tech Jazz ensembles who bring to life the great sounds from throughout the years. Hot and steamy to cool and mellow.

Join us in Club Rozsa and enjoy the intimate atmosphere reminiscent of the birthplace of jazz. Backstage at the Rozsa is at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Jan. 27/28).

According to Irish, There will be two ‘Backstage Jazz Series’ again this year, culminating in a finale concert on Saturday, March 25, featuring both big bands, guest artists and a return of the always-popular Alumni Jazz Band.”

Tickets for Backstage Jazz at the Rozsa are on sale now, $13 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. (Note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances). Unable to make the performance? You can Listen Live starting at 7:30pm.


Friedrich finalist in Distinguished Teaching Awards

image45288-persThe William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning seeks input for its annual Distinguished Teaching Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to the instructional mission of the University.

Based on more than 50,000 student ratings of instruction responses, ten finalists have been identified for the 2017 awards. The selection committee is soliciting comments from students, staff, faculty and alumni to aid in deliberation.

Mary Carol Friedrich is a finalist in the Associate Professor/Professor Category



Russian National Ballet Theatre at Rozsa

Russian National Ballet bigThe Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts presents two magical nights of incomparable Russian ballet. Direct from Moscow, the Russian National Ballet Theatre, featuring fifty of Russia’s finest dancers, will perform three timeless ballet pieces, “Romeo and Juliet” and “Carmen” on Tuesday, Jan. 24 and “Giselle” on Wednesday, Jan. 25.  Shows start at 7:30 p.m. each evening.

According to Rozsa Center Director of Programming Mary Jennings, “… the Russian National Ballet Theatre is an institution in Russian Ballet. Legendary Bolshoi principal dancer Elena Radchenko, the founder of the Russian National Ballet Theatre, has focused the company on upholding the grand, national tradition of the major Russian ballet works.”

On the first of two nights, they will perform the full-length “Romeo and Juliet” by Sergei Prokofiev based on Shakespeare’s play. Performed in one act, the ballet tells the story of Romeo and Juliet, the quintessential star-crossed lovers. Prokofiev’s music is paired with original choreography by Marius Petipa, the “godfather of Russian ballet.”

In the second act they will perform “Carmen,” a full-length ballet also in one act. Music by Rodion Shchedrin based on the classic opera by Georges Bizet with choreography by Alberto Alonso. Carmen, a passionate, free-spirited woman, is caught in a love triangle between Don José and a bullfighter. The impetus and cause for the creation of the ballet Carmen was the cherished dream of the celebrated Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya to depict the highly strung and riveting character of Carmen in a ballet.

On the second evening, the Russian National Ballet Theatre performs the full-length, tragic ballet “Giselle,” about a peasant girl who dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover is betrothed to another.

“Giselle” was composed by Adolphe Adam, and is a romantic jewel of Petipa. “Giselle” was first seen in Moscow in 1843, just two years after its creation in Paris, and a year after it was staged in St. Petersburg.


Auditions for “West Side Story” Next Week

254a42cd70982e5151df3abca8f4ae95128f4b9dThe Tech Theatre Company will hold auditions for “West Side Story” next week. Auditions for singing, dancing and chorus roles will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday (Jan. 16) and Wednesday (Jan. 18) in Rozsa 120 (choir room).

Auditions for non-singing roles is 7-10 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 17) in Rozsa 120.

To be assigned an audition slot, you must fill out a registration form.

You may sing a song from the show, or from another similar style production. Limit your selection to three minutes. An accompanist will be provided. If you sing something other than West Side Story, bring a copy of your music for the accompanist.

Wear comfortable clothes for dancing. You will sweat. If you have character shoes, bring them, otherwise sneakers are appropriate.

Callbacks will be Thursday (Jan. 19). A callback list will be sent out via email to all who auditioned following the Wednesday evening auditions.