Archives—September 2017

Faculty Present Listening to Parks, an NEA Imagine Your Parks Project

Photo taken at Isle Royal, by Christopher Plummer
Photo taken as part of the recording project on Isle Royale, by Christopher Plummer

What do you hear when you walk in the woods? What are the natural sounds and rythms of the forest? The lakes? The skies?

Christopher Plummer, Elizabeth Meyer, and Kent Cyr, faculty members in the Visual and Performing Arts Department of Michigan Tech, opened a multimedia and soundscape installation at the Duluth Children’s Museum this week, on Monday, September 25, 2017, in Duluth, MN, as a part of their “Listening to Parks” project, to explore those questions. The exhibit will be on display through October 15. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Park Service (NPS) announced $1,067,500 in support of 50 grants in 27 states, including an award of $20,000 to Michigan Technological University to support Listening to Parks, an Imagine Your Parks project. Visual and sound artists collaborated to create an immersive multimedia installation based on collected images, video, and audio recordings from the Keweenaw National Historic Park, Isle Royale National Park, and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The installation will tour to sites in the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan, and then will culminate in an exhibition in the Rozsa Gallery A-Space, at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts in December. There will be an opening reception on Friday, December 2 from 5:00 -6:30 PM, which is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are M-F 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM and 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM on Fridays. The recorded sounds from this project will also be used for a composition for orchestra by Libby Meyer to be performed by the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra at the Rozsa Center on Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 PM.

 

NEA Chairman Jane Chu says “As part of the NEA’s 50th anniversary, this year we are celebrating the magnificence of America’s national cultural treasures through art, the Imagine Your Parks grant program unites our mission with the National Park Service by connecting art projects with the natural, historic and cultural settings of the National Park System and will inspire a new generation to discover these special places and experience our great heritage.”  “The ‘Imagine Your Parks’ grants are really helping us celebrate the NPS Centennial and the NEA’s 50th Anniversary with some incredibly diverse and interesting projects that continue to inspire more Americans of all backgrounds to connect with their national parks,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The grants already awarded are already demonstrating the success of the program through a variety of inspiring projects. A new generation of artists is connecting to national parks through their work, and motivating others to do the same.”

 

According to Dr. Jared Anderson, Chair, Department of Visual and Performing Arts, “I am very proud to announce that Christopher Plummer, Elizabeth Meyer, and Kent Cyr, faculty members in the Visual and Performing Arts Department of Michigan Tech, received the first-ever award for Michigan Tech from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Parks Service as a part of the “Imagine your Parks” initiative.  This project will consist of gathering soundscape recordings from Isle Royale National Park and other National Parks in this region.  The recorded sounds will then be used for a composition for orchestra by Libby Meyer to be performed by the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra.  The sounds will also be integrated into a traveling multi-media art installation that will be presented at various park visitors centers and the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts in 2017.”

 

Please visit the Listening to Parks website for more details.   Follow “Imagine Your Parks” on Twitter @NEAarts and @NatlParkService, #ImagineYourParks #NEASpring16.


Music-O-Rama: Celebrating Musical Variety at Michigan Tech

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 8.32.41 AMPlease join us for Music-O-Rama, an annual musical variety concert, celebrating the diversity, history, and variety of music at Michigan Tech. Performers from all of the major Michigan Tech music ensembles:  Jazz Lab Band, Superior Wind Symphony, Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers, Michigan Tech Concert Choir, and AstroSax; will appear throughout the hall, playing music from around the globe:  From America to  Latvia, France to Mexico, Brazil to Italy.

The concert will begin on a patriotic note with Igor Stravinsky’s arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner, for band and choir. Then enjoy more band and folk music selections including Yankee Doodle, Old Man River, and a Brazilian folk song, Samba-lelê, to stir memories and evoke bygone days. The Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents Music-O-Rama on Saturday, September 30, at 7:30 PM in the Rozsa Center.

This concert features performances from all of the auditioned music ensembles at Michigan Tech and shows how talented our students are.  Music-o-rama has become an audience favorite for the past number of years for its fast pace and varied repertoire.  I know that the audience will love the show.” There will be something for every musical taste, with composers including Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Ottorino Respighi, and Arturo Márquez.  The concert will end with the Superior Wind Symphony and the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra combining for a performance of “The Pines of the Appian Way” from Respighi’s Pines of Rome. — Jared Anderson, associate professor of music, director of choral activities, and chair of vpa

Superior Wind Symphony, from their 2016 concert "Be Here Now. Mike Christianson, Director of Bands, conducting.
Superior Wind Symphony, from their 2016 concert “Be Here Now”. Mike Christianson, Director of Bands, conducting.

Tickets 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 (906) 487-2073, online at mtu.edu/rozsa, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or the night of the show at the Rozsa Box Office, which opens two hours prior to performances.


Rozsa Center Architect Dies at 92

George and Rozsa Plans 20170713_0023Latvian-born architect Gunnar Birkerts, known for dramatic expressionist buildings and elegant use of light, died Tuesday (Aug. 22), of congestive heart failure.
 
The internationally acclaimed architect’s projects include the Museum of Glass in Corning, New York; the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and the US Embassy in Venezuela.
 
A protégé of Finnish-America architect Eero Saarinen, Michigan Tech’s Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts is his only Upper Peninsula project. Read the full obituary in the Washington Post. 
by UMC

“Rise of the Robots” Author to Speak Saturday

dc949b9fe2e6a870c79416e412a5891fa7461e76Do robots want your job? Martin Ford, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author of the New York Times best-selling book, “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future,” will answer that question when he presents a public lecture at the Rozsa Center at Michigan Technological University on Saturday (Sept. 23).

He will also present a program for students on emerging trends in robotics and artificial intelligence and one for faculty on artificial intelligence and industry trends. The student program, “Pasties and Robots,” is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday on the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts stage. Space is limited, and students are asked to sign up in advance at the Career Services office, Administration Building 220. Visit the Rozsa Center’s Community Engagement page if you would like to help with student activities.

From 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, faculty from across campus are invited to join Ford on the Rozsa Center stage for a discussion about emerging industry trends in robotics, artificial intelligence, and the future of personalized learning. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided.

Ford will give a public lecture at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Rozsa Center. His topic is “Disruptive Technology: Do Robots Want Your Job?” Admission is free. A Q&A and book-signing will follow.


Yearning to Breathe Free: Free Outdoor Band Concert on the Rozsa Lawn

36a3759f5b9f1ed8feb3d9d1573255db7f254918Bring your lawn chairs, bring your blankets: The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts is proud to present “Yearning to Breathe Free,” a free outdoor concert put on by Michael Christianson, Michigan Tech’s Director of Bands, with performances by the Superior Wind Symphony, in which they will celebrate the music of great composers who emigrated to the United States. Come spend a beautiful fall evening full of band music on Sunday, September 24th, 7:00 PM, on the Rozsa/Walker lawn. If it rains, the show will be inside, in the Rozsa Center.

According to Christainson, “Many of the great composers of iconic American band music came to the United States from overseas. They were drawn by the words of Emma Lazarus, inscribed in 1883 on the base of the Statue of Liberty:

 “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 

We will perform mostly original works for winds by great composers who were immigrants to the US: Irving Berlin, Antonin Dvorak, Sergei Prokofiev, Darius Milhaud, Paul Hindemith, Igor Stravinsky, Percy Grainger, Chen Yi, Tania Leon , plus a Sousa march dedicated to his overseas friends! Bring your blanket, your dinner, and spread out on the lawn as you enjoy a classic Band moment with Michigan Tech’s Superior Wind Symphony! Concert starts at 7:00PM, sunset starts at 8:01.”

For more information please visit us online at mtu.edu/rozsa


Mike Christianson Plays the Lincoln Center this Weekend

Mike Christianson, left, with the Superior Wind Symphony.
Mike Christianson, left, with the Superior Wind Symphony.

Mike Christianson plays trombone at the outset of this mini-documentary…

Michael Christianson, Michigan Tech’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts Director of Bands, will perform in “Jazz at the Lincoln Center” with the legendary Fred Hersch, Kurt Elling & Kate McGarry in a performance titled “Leaves of Grass,” in the Appel Room at the Lincoln Center in New York City, this Friday and Saturday, at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM nightly.  Christianson, trombonist and fifth generation band leader, came to Michigan Tech from New York City in 2012. Originally from Fargo, ND, Mr. Christianson moved to the NYC area to become a low brass performer after finishing his degree in Moorhead. He has built a varied, interesting and successful career as a musician, recording, touring, and performing with the greatest musicians of his time: From Ray Charles to Philip Glass. He has also performed in over 30 Broadway shows, is an active participant in the NYC free-lance scene where he established the Gotham Wind Symphony, continues to make special new music performances including Philip Glass’ The Bacchae in Central Park, Henry Brant’s Orbits for 80 trombones at the Guggenheim, and Anthony Braxton’s Composition #19 for 100 tubas at the World Financial Center.

Notable accolades for Mike’s performances include:

“Among the instrumental high points: …Mike Christianson’s plunger-muted trombone on ‘My Lovers Suffocate Me’”. -Don Heckman- Los Angeles Times

“…superb Tricky Sam is now plunger-muted trombone by Mike Christianson.” -Marc Meyers- All About Jazz (CD review)

“…trombonist Mike Christianson playing elegant solos, …” –           Will Stewart- Ann Arbor News

“…top honors for the brass section go to Mike Christianson, whose sexy growl highlighted “Part X: My Lovers Suffocate Me”…” -Greg Haymes- Albany Times Union

According to the Lincoln Center, “Originally premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2005, Leaves of Grass celebrates the life and poetry of the American bard Walt Whitman, whose work redefined American poetry and had a significant, life-affirming impact on Hersch. In this Appel Room performance, vocalists Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry will reprise their acclaimed roles from the original project, presenting Whitman’s words with grace, emotion, and a lyrical sweetness that would have made Whitman proud. An eight-piece ensemble, featuring trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis, trombonist Mike Christianson, multi-reedist Bruce Williamson, tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, cellist Jody Redhage, bassist John Hébert, and drummer John Hollenbeck, will assist them in evoking the sweeping melodicism for which Hersch is renowned. It’s been over 160 years since Whitman wrote his epic masterwork, “Song of Myself,” which forms the centerpiece of Hersch’s Leaves of Grass, and its messages seemed almost alien in our society at the time. Now, its promotion of unapologetic love for one’s true self, appreciation of the present, wonder at the miracle of nature, and the openhearted love of all beings is especially timely and important. It is a powerful and unique experience to witness this profound poetry spun into song by one of today’s leading musical visionaries.”  For more information about the Leaves of Grass event, please visit Jazz at the Lincoln Center online at jazz.org

Grammy-winning composer and pianist Fred Hersch, who has been described by the New York Times as “a master who plays it his way” will travel to Houghton in March 2018. The Rozsa Center will present a film based on his life titled “The Ballad of Fred Hersch” on March 22, and The Fred Hersch Trio will perform on the Rozsa stage on March 24th. For tickets and more details about the Fred Hersch events at the Rozsa Center, please visit mtu.edu/rozsa.


Work of Katie Hargrave in Rozsa Gallery

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 5.22.55 PMWho owns the wind? The leaves on the trees? When a paper company cuts down a 75-year-old tree, or a landowner clears brush for a better view of the lake, how is an entire ecosystem affected? What ethical, cultural and social questions are raised?

Artist Katie Hargrave, a professor of art at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, explores these questions in her exhibition, “It’s nothing personal (space).

The exhibition opens at the Rozsa Center’s gallery A-Space, on Friday, Sept. 22. “It’s nothing personal (space)” is an exploration of the competing ideas of ownership and stewardship as they relate to public and private land, trees and deserts, and individual and corporate voices.

Inspired by a road trip to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, the site of militia protests during the winter of 2016, the exhibition includes fiber, audio, video and drawings.

A reception which features a discussion of her work by the artist will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. The show will remain open through Nov. 11. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 8 p.m. Saturdays.


Rozsa Calendars for 2017-18 Season Now Available

20170911_122723Rozsa Center calendars for the 2017-2018 season are now available — both full-size wall calendars and the handy pocket/desk calendars!

Featured this year are 12 Rozsa Presenting Series events, more than 33 Visual and Performing Arts events including music, theater and visual arts and the ever-popular 41 North Film festival.

Season Ticket Packages are on sale now, with the best discounts available on all the season has to offer! There are four Season Ticket Package options this year, offering savings of 18 to 37 percent off single-ticket prices.

Single-ticket sales begin Sept. 1. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Michigan Tech Ticketing Services at the Central Ticket Office (SDC), at 7-2073, or visit our website.

You can pick up one of each or both at the Rozsa Center or at any of the more than 120 local Houghton and Hancock businesses who display and distribute them each year.

For Michigan Tech faculty and staff, we would like to make it easy for you to get your copies of the calendars. If you would like a calendar delivered directly to your campus mailbox, please click on this link and fill out the google form. We will gladly send a calendar to you in inter-campus mail.