Category Archives: Music

Bon Voyage: South Africa!

Map and Flag of South Africa. Source: "World reference atlas" [url=/search/lightbox/5890567][IMG]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3574/3366761342_e502f57f15.jpg?v=0[/IMG][/url]The Rozsa Center welcomes the choirs of Michigan Tech which will present their year-end concert, “Bon Voyage South Africa,” at 7:30 p.m. tonight (April 21).

The concert will feature music that has been prepared for the Michigan Tech Concert Choir international tour to South Africa.  According to Choirs Director Jared Anderson“The evening will include performances of sacred motets, African-American spirituals, American folk songs, music about the displaced as well as beloved songs from South Africa.


South American Symphonies, Spanish Jazz, and Afro-Cuban Rhythms: Michigan Tech Bands Present Music with Heat

Bali, Indonesia - June 5, 2013: Traditional Balinese Kecak dance white monkey Hanuman in fire at Uluwatu TempleThe two wind bands of Michigan Tech, Superior Wind Symphony and Campus Concert Band, will present their yearly combined concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (April 20) in the Rozsa Center.

This year’s theme is “En Fuego!” — a concert featuring music that is imbued with heat. Mike Christianson, director of bands, will first lead each band individually, finishing with the two combining into a “megaband” of 120 musicians.

According to Christianson, “The music is by composers who hail from exotic climes such as Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, France, Germany and Saginaw.” Music will range from South American symphonies, Spanish jazz arrangements, Afro-Cuban and Latin music, and even a favorite by Stevie Wonder.

Highlights include Handel’s “Overture from Music for The Royal Fireworks,” “Mambo in F” arranged by Cico O’Farrill, “Cucurrucucu Paloma” with a guest performance by Jared Anderson-voice, “The Maids of Cadiz” featuring guest Aaron Christianson on trumpet and favorites “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing,” by Stevie Wonder, “Amparito Roca” and “Malaguena.”

Tickets for “En Fuego!” 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. Note that the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.


“West Side Story” Opens at Rozsa

1491917630

WLUC TV6 ran a story on the Michigan Tech Theatre Company’s production of “West Side Story.” The show opened last night at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts with additional performances tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Watch the TV6 story.

The Michigan Tech Theatre Company and the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra bring the musical “West Side Story” to the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The legendary musical opens today with additional performances Friday and Saturday. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. each evening.

West Side Story” changed the very nature of American musical theatre. With music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by a young Stephen Sondheim, the play was grounded in a distinctively modern sound with a passionately poetic statement — place where everyone can grow beyond the confines of hate and poverty, a safe and beautiful place.

A modern adaptation of a quintessential tale of star-crossed lovers, “West Side Story” isn’t performed often for a very good reason. According to director Patricia Helsel, “It’s simply a very difficult play to perform. The show requires many different dance styles ranging from jazz, to 50s “hipster beat,” to Latino and ballet. The music is also challenging with complex rhythms and styles for the ensemble, matched with a call for operatic technique for the young lovers. Overall, this is not your typical, run-of-the-mill golden era musical comedy.”

The subject matter is highly charged with racial tension, fear, hate and love — some pretty intense emotion that is intricately woven in textures throughout the play, taking the audience on a meaningful journey.

Comedy plays a matching role in the show, with memorable numbers like “Officer Krupke” and “America.”

Tickets are on sale now, $19 for adults, $6 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 in the Student Development Complex or the night of the event, one hour before show time, at the Rozsa Center Box Office.


“Orchid Ensemble” Performs Saturday

maxresdefaultJoin us for a concert featuring the renowned Canadian group “Orchid Ensemble,” who will join conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber singers, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (April 1) in the McArdle Theatre, on the second floor of the Walker Arts and Humanities Center.

Established in 1997, the JUNO-nominated Orchid Ensemble is comprised of Lan Tung on the erhu/Chinese violin, Yu-Chen Wang on the zheng/Chinese zither and Jonathan Bernard on percussion.

The ensemble blends ancient musical instruments and traditions from China and beyond, creating a beautiful new sound. They have embraced a variety of musical styles to thier repertoire, ranging from the traditional and contemporary music of China, world music, new music to jazz and creative improvisation.

The energetic yet endearing performance style of the ensemble consistently intrigues and delights its audiences. Acclaimed as “One of the brightest blossoms on the world music scene” (Georgia Straight), the Orchid Ensemble has been tirelessly developing an innovative musical genre based on the cultural exchange between Western and Asian musicians.

Students from conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers will join the ensemble for three selections in the concert.

Tickets are on sale now, $22 for adults, $6 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 in the Student Development Complex or at the Calumet Theatre Box Office.


50 Years of Great Jazz at Michigan Tech

Don KeranenCelebrate “50 Years of Great Jazz at Michigan Tech — The Gold Standard” at the annual Don Keranen Memorial Concert, the final jazz concert of the performance season, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (March 25) at the Rozsa Center. There will be a reception following the concert in the Rozsa Lobby.

According to Mike Irish, director of jazz studies at Michigan Tech, “Don originated the Jazz Lab Band in 1967, and since then, it has grown into one of the most respected non-major jazz programs in the country. We have so much to be thankful for from these 50 years. We hope that you enjoy this evening’s concert on many levels. Please join us for a reception in the Rozsa lobby following the concert.”

Tickets for the Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Concert are on sale now, $22 for adults, $6 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 in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. The Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.


Marimba Concert and Poetry Night

A background of marimba and malletsWhat is a Marimba? Think of a very large wooden xylophone, the national instrument of Guatemala.

The Rozsa Center and Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents Guatemalan writer Hugo Gordillo, and collaborator Zach l’Italian, who will read selections of Gordillo’s new poems (in Spanish and English) in a “Marimba Concert and Poetry Night” at 6 p.m. Thursday (March 23) in the Rozsa lobby.

This event was developed in collaboration with Michigan Tech music students and conducted by Mike Christiansen, Michigan Tech’s Director of Bands. The Marimba Concert and Poetry event are free and all are welcome.

The Michigan Tech Marimbist Band will play several marimba selections, arranged by Christianson. This event is the closing reception for “ChickenBus: a U.S. Guatemalan Experience,” a Rozsa gallery exhibit by Lisa Gordillo.

Several poems in Hugo Gordillo’s collection inspired the art in this exhibit. The exhibit will be open before and after the concert.


Michigan Tech Choirs Present Benefit Concert: Music for a Sacred Space

4b28237239a321097593c2690bd79a0921788025Join the Michigan Tech Choirs for an evening of sacred choral music presented in its natural habitat, the local treasure that is the magnificent space of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Linden. The concert will feature music of many different countries and cultures, with devotional music ranging from South Africa, Germany, England, Canada and 19th-century America.

The Michigan Tech Concert Choir and conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers, Jared Anderson, conductor, present “Music for a Sacred Space” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 19th, St. Joseph’s Church, Lake Linden.

Free-will donations in any amount are welcomed.


Rozsa Gallery A Space Presents “ChickenBus: A U.S. — Guatemalan Experience”

Antigua - Guatemala - January 24, 2013: Traditional Guatemalan local "Chicken Bus" station in Antigua, Guatemala. It is located behind the busy street market in Antigua.What is a ChickenBus? A chicken bus is a bright, loud, jostling work of public transportation in Guatemala.

The Rozsa Center and Department of Visual and Performing Arts present the Rozsa Gallery A Space show, “ChickenBus,” featuring work by VPA faculty member Lisa Gordillo.

“ChickenBus” is the first U.S. exhibit of works inspired by Gordillo’s long-term collaboration with Guatemalan artists and writers. The exhibit will run from Saturday (Feb. 25) to Friday, March 24 and will travel to Guatemala this summer

There will be an opening reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 25), including a conversation with Gordillo at 6 p.m.

There will also be a second event, a “Marimba Concert and Poetry Night,” developed in collaboration with Michigan Tech music students and conducted by Mike Christiansen (VPA), Michigan Tech’s Director of Bands, at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 24 in the Rozsa lobby.

This is a special concert and poetry reading that will combine marimba music with readings by Gordillo’s husband, Guatemalan writer Hugo Gordillo, whose collections, “Trench(era)” and “Para Escapar de la Muerte,” were key inspirations for “ChickenBus.”


Winter Carnival Concert Celebrates Movie and Video Game Music

4c37abffaf2081582a05746c0fc6e90a01802732The Rozsa Center welcomes the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra (KSO) in a special Winter Carnival Matinee concert titled “The Greatest Movie and Video Game Music,” at 2 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 11).

The KSO partners with Winter Carnival in a celebration of the greatest movie and video game music. “We wanted to present a pops concert of music that everyone knows and loves,” says KSO Music Director, Joel Neves. “Filmgoers will enjoy the music to ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and the original ‘Star Wars’ suite.

“Gamers will absolutely love the themes to ‘World of Warcraft,’ ‘Super Mario Bros’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ It’s got something for everyone.”  The concert is dedicated to the memory of Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in several ‘Star Wars’ films. Fisher died on Dec. 27 at the age of 60.

The performance is an official event of the Michigan Tech 2017 Winter Carnival. Tickets are on sale now, $19 for adults, $6 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 in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box Office the afternoon of the performance.  Note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.


Jazz Musicians on tour!

Picture1From Bruce Seely, Dean of the College of Sciences and Arts:

Every January, jazz musicians from the Department of Visual and Performing Arts visit schools around the upper Midwest to carry the word about the importance of music, while at the same time giving many people another important reason to know about Michigan Tech. Mike Irish, director of the jazz programs and the key inspiration to the jazz musicians here, has coordinated the January tours for many, many years. This 2017 tour spanned January 3-6 and included concerts at Munising, Newberry, Roscommon, the State Theater in Bay City, Bay City Central and Bay City Western high schools, and Harrison. Just for good measure, the Jaztec group played an evening gig in a restaurant in Bay City.

I have had several students ask about the programs that your school has to offer outside of music clubs since this event.

The music directors and principals of the schools where our students play often tell me they were blown away by these performances. Predictably, they are impressed by the quality of music from performers not pursuing music degrees. Mike has this special knack for cultivating and guiding student musicians for whom jazz becomes a passion. Putting this outcome on display helps the local music educators make the case for the value of music in small and sometimes cash-strapped schools. The high school students see the passion and commitment of jazz musicians drawn from every major on Tech’s campus, conveying the powerful message that it is possible to be both a musician AND a great student in the demanding fields of study offered at MTU. Michigan Tech appears in an amazingly good light by showing our commitment to educate the whole person and our effort to integrate all areas of knowledge and learning.

The director of bands at Harrison captured the full impact of these visits. He told me he was “delighted at how excited [Tech’s students] were to perform, being that our show was the last one on their tour and it was awfully early in the morning! What a special group of musicians they all are to perform so amazingly well before 9:00am! …The entire group stayed for awhile after the performance to talk to our band students, who were so very grateful for the time with them. They answered all of the students’ questions and were very patient with students who have never been enrolled in a music course. Not one performer rushed to pack up their materials. They showed our students so much respect by carving out a great deal of time to educate them. I have had several students ask about the programs that your school has to offer outside of music clubs since this event…. Please keep these types of programs a possibility for our area high school students! Your school has gained many fans through this wonderful experience that you have generously provided to us.”

For a long time we have known that students are Tech’s best ambassadors, but the jazz players are the best. Their dedication is outstanding, as shown by their schedule on just the first day. They departed the SDC at 6:30AM, played a concert in Munising at 10:00, another at Newberry that afternoon, and then rode the bus south of the bridge to their overnight stay near Roscommon. It certainly helps to be young and energetic! And that energy explains why we these tours will continue. But we should remember that the players gain as much from the visit as their audiences. So we owe the students and Mike a big thanks for their continued excellence and commitment. They represent Michigan Tech and the college very well. Well done!

Bruce Seely

February 8, 2017

Photos below are courtesy of Michael Robb (Ohno Design in Bay City), father of bass player, Tristan Robb.

Picture1

Jazz lab band at the Historic State Theater in Bay City. Originally constructed in 1908 and remodeled most recently in the early 2000s, the acoustics are exquisite, as the audience of 600 discovered.

 

 

 

 

Picture2

Mike Irish in “full teacher mode” at the State Theater, Bay City. “I love sharing stories about the band, MTU, and the pieces that we are playing! I guess it shows.”

 

 

 

 

Picture3The drummer is Libby Welton, a December 2016 MTU grad in Mechanical Engineering. She started her first job in Wausau, WI immediately after the tour was over.

 

 

 

 

Photos from Bay City Public Schools SPOTLIGHT, January 13, 2017.

Picture5 Picture4