Author: College of Engineering

Sue Hill is the Digital Content Manager for the College of Engineering.

Joel Neves Places Third for The American Prize

Joel Neves
Joel Neves

Joel Neves, assistant professor in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, was awarded 3rd place in The American Prize in Conducting – College/University Orchestra Division. The submission included videos of him conducting the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra in Brahms, Debussy, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Shostakovich.

The American Prize is an annual national music competition for American musicians and musical organizations, ranging from opera companies to choirs to bands to composers to conductors. Joel’s division includes conductors of college and college-community orchestras.

KSO director wins award

Winning this prize is merely a side effect of all the passion Neves puts into his work. “I love music, it’s in my DNA and I love people. Being able to work with people to make music is a glorious calling. I go home happy,” said Neves. He has been conducting for 13 years now and has taken KSO to many new places during his career at MTU.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Lode, by Andrea Spencer.

Merit Response for Baby with the Bathwater Production

Baby with the BathwaterBaby with the Bathwater,” a Michigan Tech Theatre Company production, received its Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival response last week. The respondent is awarding the following:

  • Certificate of Merit in Lighting Design—Jason Scott
  • Certificate of Merit in Sound Design—Steve Green
  • Certificate of Merit in Music Composition—Ben Holtz
  • Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Nominations—Dollcie Webb and Scott Murphy

Additionally, the respondent nominated scene I-2 with Helen, John and Nanny to be considered for the Region III festival. (“Rose and the Rime,” which was presented by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts last February, is also under consideration.) Results will be announced after the first weekend in December.

The respondent also noted the strength of the production in technical direction (Josh Maiville) and in the system sound design (Jason Pew). The stage managers were recognized in the response.

“Baby with the Bathwater” is directed by Associate Professor Patricia Helsel, with set and costume design by  Professor M. C. Friedrich (VPA).

The show plays today and tomorrow and contains adult language and situations.

From Tech Today.

KSO Fantasies and Fairy Tales on Thursday

KSO Music RecitalKeweenaw Symphony Orchestra Fall Recital Series
Fantasies and Fairy Tales
Thursday, October 16, 2014, 7:00 pm
Portage Lake United Church

“The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra presents a free Fall Music Recital. This recital’s theme—Fantasies and Fairy Tales—invites beautiful and compelling vocal and instrumental music, including performances of Canadian fiddle, opera arias and art songs, woodwind quartet, string quartet, piano solo, and flute solo.

There is no ticket price for the recital, but a $5 donation toward the KSO and PLUC is accepted at the door. There will be a nice reception after the performance.”

Performing with Wayne Newton

Mike Christianson (director of bands, trombone), Libby Meyer (VPA music composition, viola) and Mike Irish (director of jazz studies, guitar) were hired as members of the Wayne Newton Orchestra and performed with Wayne at the Lake of the Torches Resort in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin this past weekend. The show consisted of an 18-piece orchestra, 4 backup singers and Newton.

From Tech Today.

Meyer and Plummer Host Suzuki Performance

Two VPA Instructors to Perform at PLDL Tomorrow

Visual and Performing Arts instructors Libby Meyer and Amanda Plummer will host a Suzuki stringed-instrument performance, “Big Violins for Little People,” Tuesday, September 23, 2014, at the Portage Lake District Library, from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.

Children will enjoy an hour of music-making, dancing and learning about what makes these instruments so much fun to play. Children of all ages are encouraged to attend. After the performance, participants will also have an opportunity to try out the instruments as part of a big violins “petting zoo.”

Library presentations are free, and everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, call the library at 482-4570 or visit Portage Lake District Library.

From Tech Today.

Auditions for Alternate Realities

Auditions for Alternate Realities

Sunday, 21 September, Monday 22nd, Tuesday 23rd 7:30pm Callbacks .
McArdle Theatre
Rehearsal begin 28 September

An ensemble, demonstrating a variety of abilities, of 12 or more men and women will be cast for this set of zany and serious plays. Actors will likely move some scenic units Plays are listed below.

Wear comfortable clothes for dashing about jumping using the floor, in some fast paced plays.

Be prompt, arrive fifteen minute early to complete audition information and scheduling information.

Auditions for Alternate Realities

Film Festival Celebrates 10 Years with a New Name, Big Lineup

41 North Film Festival
41 North Film Festival

The 41 North Film Festival (formerly Northern Lights Film Festival) celebrates its 10th anniversary with a name change and an outstanding slate of recent award-winning films and special guests. It will be held Oct. 23-26 in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Kicking off the festival this year will be director Mark Levinson and his documentary “Particle Fever,” which follows six scientists involved in the launch of the Large Hadron Collider—the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet. The film provides an unprecedented window into this major scientific breakthrough as it happened. Edited by Academy Award–winner Walter Murch, the film celebrates human discovery and raises important questions about the limits of human knowledge.

For more, see the article on the Department of Humanities website.

From Tech Today.

The event is sponsored by the Humanities Department, the Visual and Performing Arts Department, the Office of Institutional Equity, and the College of Sciences and Arts. It is free and open to the community.

Rozsa Center announces 2014-2015 performance lineup

“We’re hoping that there’s something to fit everybody’s taste,” says Rozsa Center director Mary Muncil. “From the Class Acts Program where we’re reaching out to our local school district to get our students in the theater and excited about what’s happening on stage, to our V.P.A. (Visual and Performing Arts) productions of Anitgone, to the Acting Company’s Macbeth.”

Read more at Upper Michigans Source, by Sarah Blakely.

Rozsa 2014-15

Auditions for Baby with the Bathwater!

Christopher Durang’s


When:  Tuesday, September 2, and Wednesday, September 3,  7:00-10:00 pm (Choose one.)
Where:  McArdle Theatre, Walker 207
Who:  Any student, faculty, or community member!

  • Arrive at 7 pm to fill out a contact form.
  • We will begin a group audition at 7:15 pm, followed by readings from the script.
  • You are welcome to perform a prepared scene, up to 5 minutes, with a partner, otherwise you will simply read from the script.
  • Tips:
    • Familiarize yourself with the script so you understand the plot and characters.
    • Practice so that you can make the most of eye contact when you read with a partner.  (Try to glance at the script and deliver the line to the other person and really listen and respond to them.)
  • Scripts are available in the VPA office, Walker 209.  You may check out a script for 24 hrs. or for a weekend.  (We need to keep them available for all.)

Performances will be October 16-18, and October 23-25.

Rehearsals are Sunday-Thursday, 7:00-10:00 pm beginning September 4.  We will also rehearse Friday and Saturday October 10-11.  Rehearsals during “Tech Week” (Oct 8-15) may be extended.  A cast list will be sent via email late Wednesday evening.

About the play:

Characters –

  • Helen, the mother
  • John, the father
  • Nanny, the nanny
  • Cynthia
  • A woman in the park
  • Another woman in the park
  • Mrs. Willoughby, the principal
  • Miss Pringle, a teacher
  • Young Man
  • Susan

Contact Patricia Helsel


Larson is a Creative Canvas Course Contest Winner

Last spring, the Center for Teaching and Learning’s second annual Creative Canvas Course Contest (C-4) saw students nominate Canvas courses from almost every department that they felt were intuitive and easy to navigate, provided convenient access to course information and materials, and offered resources and activities that helped them succeed.

Of the nine courses were selected, one was by Kalen Larson:

* FA3650, Assistant Professor Kalen Larson (VPA)

Read more at Tech Today.