“New Music for a New Year: Music from the North Woods,” a festival of three unique concerts will take January 19th and 20th. The event is presented by the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and Libby Meyer (VPA) director of the Music Composition Program.
The festival is a series of concerts of contemporary music written by composers either from or who have lived in the Upper Peninsula. The concerts feature Houghton native Elena Ruehr, composer and award-winning faculty member at MIT.
There will be a Master Class presented by Ruehr at 3 p.m. January 19th in the McArdle Theatre in the Walker Arts and Humanities Center, featuring a recital of music by student composers.
The festival continues that evening with an intimate evening “Backstage” performance at 7:30 PM in the Rozsa Center, featuring the music of Evan Premo, Libby Meyer, Thomas LaVoy, Abbie Burt Betinis, Carrie Biolo, Patrick Booth, Christopher Plummer and featuring Elena Ruehr’s Third String Quartet.
The final concert will take place at 3 p.m. January 20th in the McArdle Theatre with music by Griffin Candey, Josh Loar, Sarah Rimkus, Milton Olsson, Stephen Rush and featuring the piece “Lucy” by Ruehr.
The Upper Peninsula has produced and inspired many talented composers and performers. “New Music for a New Year” will feature a number of these composers whose work is as diverse and beautiful as the landscape that inspired them.
Ruehr’s recent two-CD release was selected as Gramophone Critic’s Choice in December. Gramophone, the world’s leading classical music publication, described Reuhr as “A new, living master of the quartet medium.”
The concert will feature the Superior String Alliance String Quartet, ConScience Chamber Singers, and two works by Ruehr performed by her Third String Quartet (Saturday) and “Lucy” (January 20th) a work which will feature ConcertCue, a web application developed at MIT for streaming synchronized program notes during a live musical performance.
Meyer’s interest in natural soundscapes, conservation of special places and curiosity about the relationship between the arts and the natural world fuel her work. She is a co-founder of the Keweenaw Soundscape Project established to aurally document the Keweenaw region and surrounding lands for ecological, social and artistic value, has served as an Artist in Residence at Isle Royale National Park and has written a number of compositions inspired by the landscape.
Note the Saturday matinee concert is free. Tickets for the Saturday evening and Sunday New Music for a New Year festival concerts are on sale now. Tickets are $15 General Admission, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee.
Tickets are available by phone at 487-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC or at door before the performance. The box office opens approximately one hour prior to performances.
When longtime local resident Ken Steiner passed away suddenly two years ago, family, friends, and the entire community came together for a memorial to celebrate all the lives he touched through his decades of good work to make the Keweenaw, and the world, a better place. From a long list of friends playing the music to the majority of area restaurants where he worked providing food, there was an overwhelming outpouring of love, support and good will. And, above all a strong sense that the work Ken championed, the positive energy and creative spirit he inspired, would continue, carried forward by those who knew and loved him.
This year, the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, Michigan Tech’s Dining Services, the Visual and Performing Arts Department, and National Honorary Musical Fraternity Mu Beta Psi, want to extend that spirit and good will, by hosting the second annual benefit in Ken’s honor for his favorite charity: Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, featuring good food, a cash bar, and once again a host of Ken’s friends and former band mates making the music, on Friday, January 11 at 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm, in the Rozsa Center Lobby. Ticket prices are in a range of “donation levels,” so that everyone who attends can support the fundraiser at a level they choose.
- Tom Katalin at 7:00 PM
- Uncle Pete’s All Star BBQ Blues Band at 8:15 PM
- The Mike Christianson Quartet at 9:30 PM
Ticket prices are: $10/$20/$30/donation of your choice. 100% of ticket sales will be donated in Ken’s name to Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly.
Tickets are available online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC, by phone at 7-2073 or at the Rozsa Center box office the night of the concert.