Archives—September 2018

Volunteers Needed for the 41 North Film Festival

41 Film Festival logoBe a part of the action and volunteer with 41 North Film Festival. This year’s festival will take place Nov. 1 through 4 and we need your help to make it happen. We welcome film enthusiasts, members of the campus community and local area residents. Our volunteers help us keep 41 North free and open to the public.

The 41 North Film Festival spans four days and showcases award-winning independent films and filmmakers from around the region, country and world. Its mission is to provide Michigan Tech students and the surrounding community with an opportunity to critically engage films that are currently in distribution and under discussion, as well as the chance to interact with filmmakers, producers and other industry professionals about the art and business of cinematic storytelling.

Volunteers are needed for any and all of the four days of the festival (Thursday through Sunday). Volunteer for a few hours or volunteer for the whole festival—it’s up to you. Volunteers will attend a brief training prior to the festival and are provided with a free t-shirt. All volunteers will also be invited to attend a post-festival thank you reception. We couldn’t do it without you.

If you have questions about volunteering or would like to sign up, contact Volunteer Coordinator Allison Neely.


WWI Symposium Keynote Speakers

WW1CC logo with Quincy MineTwo speakers are featured this weekend with the WWI symposium “Armistice and Aftermath.”

John Morrow, Jr. (University of Georgia) will present “African American Experience in WWI and Aftermath” from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday (Sept. 28)in the Rozsa Lobby. Lynn Dumenil (Occidental College) will present “Women and the Great War” from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 29) in the MUB Ballroom. Both talks are free and open to the public.

Morrow’s talk will address how African Americans understood and participated in the war effort on the home and fighting fronts and how white Americans responded to their efforts. He will explore how the war affected race relations and the conditions of African American life in the postwar United States.

Dumenil’s talk will focus on popular culture images of women in World War I, especially the attention given to how American women challenged gender conventions. She will explore claims that the war transformed traditional gender roles as well as the persistent power of expectations about women’s traditional roles.

Morrow Jr. and Dumenil will be on campus all day Friday (Sept. 28). If you are interested in meeting with either of them, email ww1cc@mtu.edu.

The visits have been supported by the Visiting Women and Minority Scholars program. The public lectures are part of “World War I in the Copper Country,” an extensive program of events and exhibits commemorating the WWI Armistice. Sponsors include Michigan Technological University Institutional Equity office, the Departments of Humanities, Social Sciences and Visual and Performing Arts, Finlandia University, the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw and the Michigan Humanities Council.


Superior Wind Symphony Presents Free Outdoor Concert

Superior Wind Symphony playing bassonsBring your lawn chairs, bring your blankets. The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents a concert by the Superior Wind Symphony (SWS), titled “Europe, America and the World,” a celebration of the music of WWI era band leader from Harlem, James Reese Europe.

The SWS will perform a free outdoor concert at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28 on Walker Lawn.

If it rains, the concert will be held inside the McArdle Theatre, second floor of Walker Arts and Humanities Center.


Ensemble Recreates Mine Sound in Rozsa during Masterclass

Copper Mine, Keweenaw CountyIn an unusual turn of events, the University of Michigan Digital Music Ensemble (an experimental ensemble using electronic means to create sound art/concerts) is invited to perform in the Delaware Mine in Delaware, MI on October 7, 2018, which is located in the heart of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The ensemble will be presenting two concerts at the Delaware Mine, one at 6:00 and one at 7:30pm. Wine and Cheese reception above ground starting at 5:30pm. Space is limited to 40 people.

The group will rehearse in a “virtual mine” during September, and will write music during the Music in the Mines – Masterclass in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 10:30am to 12:00pm and then perform the arrangement in the Delaware mine and in Ann Arbor – emulating the ambiance of the mine in sight, sound, and smell.

Director, Stephen Rush, Professor of Music, University of Michigan, has visited the mine already, doing an impulse response which means capturing the acoustical behavior of the performance space/Delaware mine digitally – for reproduction in the Rozsa and in Ann Arbor. This means that during classes/rehearsals at U-M will “sound” like the mine. The students will also be reading two books, The History of the Delaware Mines and Life of Douglas Houghton by Steve Lehto. In these books, they will learn three major things: the economic and geological history of Michigan, the importance of specifically copper mining to the United States and Michigan, and a new aspect on the history of the University of Michigan.

As a Michigan native, I am deeply interested in the Copper industry (central to the founding of the state as well as the U-M) as well as the acoustical properties of the Mines that gave birth to the industry (and to the founding of the State).  Digital Sonic Analysis of unique spaces is still considered cutting edge technology, and unbeknownst to our students (and faculty) a subset of a standard musical program we now teach called “Logic©”, has an “impulse response” Plug-in, meaning that such digitization of interesting sonic spaces are including in the course materials of every student in our program (over 150 – majors and non-majors), but not necessarily taught.  Lecturer Jeremy Edwards and I have undertaken study of “impulse responses” as a preparation for this project – a new research area for me, and delightful. — Steven Rush

As discussed above, new approaches to both physical and historical context in music making will be delivered through this project. Through the support materials the students will have an expanded understanding of local/Michigan history as well as institutional history (University of Michigan).  This will be complemented by an exploration of Sonic appreciation of place, due to a new “angle” in the curriculum, a digital emulation of unique spaces. Every student will now be able to explore unique sonic spaces and emulate them digitally.

The students, as part of this project, will travel to the Upper Peninsula, live in a Yurt for three days, perform in an underground Copper Mine and collaborate with Michigan Tech faculty, students, and the Keweenaw community. Equally, students will be interacting with geologists, and historians. They will also learn about digital emulation of unique sonic spaces and a vastly expanded appreciation for the history of the state of Michigan and the University which they attend. The technology used by the class to emulate the mine in rehearsal will quickly transfer to the entire PAT (Performing Arts and Technology) community. It is a unique if non-complicated, technology. It will allow all students to explore the sound of the spaces they experience more fully.

Most students, down to the last one, have not even been in the Upper Peninsula and no student has performed in a mine before. They will also be living and cooking in the community for 4 days in a Yurt in a remote part of the Upper Peninsula.

The challenge is to address space and place. Rush notes “real listening is on the decline – due to headphone usage.  Actually listening to rivers, woods, trees, or large spaces, man-made or natural; cathedrals or caves is rare.  What is equally rare is the digitization of those spaces, history seems currently subject to opinion. The students will be asked to study the history, their own context, of our State and our University.”

During the masterclass, new music will be created specifically in reaction to the performing space. No such classes have been offered at the School of Music in the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor that dealt with the creation of new music for the space. There certainly has been location performances (UMMA/the Arb, etc.) to address this issue. Only the Dance Department has really explored this genre deeply. Site-specific performances are an extremely important genre in the Arts, even a sub-genre/category for NEA grants, etc. and new faculty lines that feature this as a specialty. This is literacy and experiential learning combined.

The concert in the Mine will recorded but the concert will be recreated in Ann Arbor with visual projections, the music that we performed in the mine (complete with digital emulation of the mine itself, as described above) and an attempt to create the musky smell of the mine.  The Michigan Muse (the alumni magazine of the school that reaches 11k alums) is also writing an article about the project.  In addition, the performance in Ann Arbor as well as at the mine will be shown/broadcast on YouTube.


Fundraiser Celebrates 25th Anniversary of VPA

Circle with Gala surrounded by colored splashesThis academic year, we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Michigan Tech. We will hold a celebratory 25th Anniversary Gala beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Celebrate with an evening of cocktails, dinner and live arts entertainment. The VPA 25th Anniversary Gala will feature intimate performances in the lobby and on stage, and live auction supporting the Marian and John Irish Award for Environmental Art, the Visual and Performing Arts Department Theatre Scholarship Fund and the Rozsa Center’s Class Acts Program.

Come dressed for celebration. There will be a cocktail hour (cash bar), full dinner, live music throughout the evening both in the lobby and on stage, an auction of unique arts experiences, artists working during the gala and more.

Tickets for the evening are $75 per person. We will also be selling corporate tables (seating eight) for $1,000. Tickets can be purchased by calling the SDC Ticket Office at 7-2073 or following this link. More information can be found here.


Scary Ideas Sought for Haunted Mine Tour

Quincy Mine with Northern LightsThe Quincy Mine Hoist Association and the Michigan Tech Visual and Performing Arts Department are teaming up to offer the best Haunted Mine event ever. In preparation, the production team is looking for creative ideas for awesome and scary scenes. All are invited to toss ideas to the production team via an “idea pitch.”

Ideas will be selected based on feasibility and potential for the ultimate scare. Scenes will be under the direction of a professional theatre director and actors will be auditioned to fill the necessary roles.

This year’s theme is “Secret Portal to the 90th Level.” Tourists have been disappearing, only to reappear having passed through the eerie depths of the mine unseen for years. Tours will be Oct. 25-27. There will be some rehearsing this year that will require a few hours of commitment before the actual mine experience. Technical load-in will be Oct. 21-24.

There will be a mandatory meeting for all volunteers from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 20) in McArdle Theatre, Walker 207.

For more information, contact Patricia Helsel, 7-3283.

Fill out an information form prior to attending the meeting.

The team is looking for a very brief description of a mini-plot or scenario that might take between one and five minutes. These scenarios are partly improvised situations where one or more individuals interact with each other and/or the customers who enter the mine during the tour. Envision costumes, lights, props, sounds, special effects, etc. Individuals, partners and groups are all invited to submit ideas. There is no limit to the number of ideas.

If your idea is chosen, you and two friends will be invited to a special sneak preview of the whole mine tour before the event opens to the public.

If you are interested only in being a part of the Haunted Mine experience, just answer the survey questions in the form.


Rozsa Calendars Now Available

A stack of Rozsa 2018-2019 season calendarsThe Rozsa Wall Calendars are here. Pick one up at the Rozsa Center or at any of the more than 120 Houghton and Hancock businesses who display and distribute them each year. For Michigan Tech faculty and staff, we make it easy for you to get your copies of the calendar. If you would like a calendar delivered directly to your campus mailbox, fill out this form. We will gladly send a calendar to you in inter-campus mail.

Featured this year are 12 Rozsa Presenting Series events, more than 33 Visual and Performing Arts events including music, theatre and visual arts events, and the ever-popular 41 North Film festival.  From comedy, to dance, to all-around spectacle, you will enjoy the variety and over-the-top fun of the 2018/19 Rozsa Visual and Performing Arts Season.

We have so much ballet this year. Two nights to experience the magic of the “Nutcracker” in November and December, then the world-famous Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo in February. —Bethany Jones, Rozsa Center Marketing Manager

Season Ticket Packages are on still on sale, offering savings of 18-37 percent. The popular “Pick 6” Season Ticket Package has returned and is an even better value this year. We brought back both a “Pick 3” option, and the very popular “Family Pack” option that will help you bring the whole family to a big show at an affordable price. We hope there is a package that works for you. Thank you to all of our long-time season ticket holders, we’re holding your seats. For new season ticket buyers, welcome, we look forward to seeing you this season. Not interested in a Season Ticket Package? Single-ticket sales began last month.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Michigan Tech Ticketing Services at the Central Ticket Office (SDC), call 7-2073 or go online.


Olé at the Rozsa: Food, Music and Laughter on Saturday’s Menu

Three guitaristsGuitar playing and juggling require nimble fingers, and the audience will witness both when Parade of Nations headliner—the madcap international act Olé!—performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 15), at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

The performance caps off a day of festivities that begin when the 29th annual Parade of Nations steps off at 11 a.m. Saturday in Hancock. The flag-flying procession, including floats, horses, marchers in the traditional ceremonial clothing of their countries and the Huskies Pep Band, make its way across the Portage Lake Lift Bridge to Dee Stadium on the Houghton waterfront.

At the Dee, the Multicultural Festival features 11 international performances on the main stage and 22 food booths serving cuisine from around the world at affordable prices. Pony rides, a book sale and art projects from local youth add to the fun. Outdoor dining will again be available this year to ease traffic congestion, and a projection screen is designed to make viewing activities on the main stage more accessible. Trivia contests and prizes will be awarded throughout the day—the biggest of which is a drawing for a Chicago getaway package.

Read the full story on mtu.edu/news.


Auditions for “On the Verge” Tonight and Tomorrow

Silhouette of a person's head with test "Auditions" in the backgroundThe Michigan Tech Theatre Company will hold auditions for “On the Verge” by Eric Overmyer at 6:50 p.m. today and tomorrow (Sept. 11/12) in the McArdle Theatre on the second floor the Walker Arts and Humanities Center.

On the Verge” has roles for three women and up to eight men. This is an open call; no preparation is required. “On the Verge” is a whimsical comedy featuring three determined women, who set off to explore the remaining unknown territories of Africa, South America, the Himalayan Mountains and the ice-bound poles of the earth in the 1900’s.

They encounter strange people: the crew of a German dirigible expedition, a mysterious Dragon Lady, and an abominable snowman to name a few. To their surprise, they discover they are not only exploring the wilds of space but the slippage of time. By the end of the play, they find themselves in a Las Vegas Nightclub circa 1955, courted by bikers, dancing the Tango and tumbling toward the 1970s.


Heather Abbott to Appear at Rozsa Tomorrow

Heather AbbottThe Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion present Boston Marathon bombing survivor Heather Abbott. She will present “Disabilities in Today’s Workforce: How Trauma Shaped One HR Executive’s Business Practices,” at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 12) at the Rozsa Center.

At the time of the Boston Marathon bombing, Abbott enjoyed a high-powered career as a human resources executive with a Fortune 500 company. Little did she know that one day she would become the very kind of employee she was entrusted to protect.

On April 15, 2013, on what is referred to as Marathon Monday in Boston,  Abbott, of Newport, Rhode Island, set out on an annual tradition with six friends. They would attend the Red Sox game, followed by a walk over to the finish line to watch the runners. But that day changed her life forever.

Abbott was struck by shrapnel from the second of two bombs, severely injuring her left foot. After three surgeries in four days, Abbott was faced with an agonizing decision—should she try and save her left foot or amputate her leg below the knee. With the help of other amputees, and the support from thousands around the country, Abbott made the difficult decision, at the age of 38, to live her life as an amputee.

Abbott has remained a model of strength and resilience and is determined to help other victims of limb loss. She is a certified Peer Counselor for the American Amputee Coalition and is helping other amputees adjust to their “new normal,” as others helped her. By starting the Heather Abbott Foundation, she has another chance to continue to pay it forward for all amputees.

This lecture is presented as part of the Social Justice Lecture Series and Van Evera Distinguished Lecture Series. Tickets to this lecture are free, however, due to limited seating tickets are required, and are available by phone, 7-2073, online at mtu.edu/rozsa, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box office the night of the show. Please note the Rozsa Box Office is only open two hours before performances.