Author: Tanya Maki

Backstage Jazz Cabaret Friday and Saturday

Trumpet and vintage microphone

Michigan Tech’s newest director of Jazz Studies, Adam Meckler, presents another backstage jazz experience at the Rosza Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, January 24/25. Student jazz combos and a few guest artists will play pieces from across the genre’s history, dipping into traditional jazz, hard bop, funk and more. The Rozsa’s main stage will be converted into a classic jazz club complete with café tables and refreshments. The club atmosphere will help the bands guide you through this colorful history and flex their creative muscles, telling the story of the art as it has evolved through time.

“Our four Jazz combos will perform music by artists such as Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk, Thundercat, Louis Cole, Roy Hargrove, Snarky Puppy and more. We will transform the stage into a classic jazz club atmosphere. Enjoy some drinks and popcorn while you soak it all in!” – Adam Meckler

This will be the first home show for the Jazz Band after they toured Chicago. In early January, the Michigan Tech Jazz Lab Band went on a road trip down to Chicago to play with the Adam Meckler Orchestra, one of Meckler’s other many projects, at the fast-growing Chicago performance and art space, the Fulton Street Collective. The Lab Band opened the first set for the orchestra, which plays Meckler’s own original compositions. The new director says the experience was a paradigm shift for the band; he believes the group is now reaching a new level of music since experiencing the big city jazz scene.

Meckler joined the Michigan Tech Visual and Performing Arts faculty as the Director of Jazz Studies in the fall of 2019 after a decade-long career playing, writing, and teaching music out of Minneapolis. The Adam Meckler Orchestra’s debut album was listed on 2014’s Best Jazz Releases by iTunes. As a freelance trumpeter, he has worked with artists like The Temptations, The Four Tops, Cory Wong of Vulfpek, and other big names. 

Tickets are on sale now: $15 for adults and $5 for youth, or no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. To buy your tickets, call 906-487-2073, go online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC or go to the Rozsa Center box office within two hours prior to the performances. 

In the News: Michigan Tech to hold Jazz Cabaret concerts

Continue Reading


Student Awards at KCACTF

Last week, Visual and Performing Arts students attended the Kennedy Center / American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF Region 3) in Madison, WI. A number of our students did well at the festival.

Sage Moser, Reece Parsons, and Moira Van Loon were all finalists for the KCACTF unrealized regional sound design competition.

Maddy Hunt was the winner for realized design (for sound design for in Michigan Tech’s production of Eurydice) and will have an expenses-paid trip to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC for the national festival. While at the festival she will have opportunities for feedback from professional theatrical sound designers and she will compete for other national awards.

Continue Reading


Ken Steiner Memorial Benefit Concert Friday

When longtime local resident Ken Steiner suddenly passed away three 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 goodwill. Above all, there was 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, Michigan Tech’s Dining Services, Visual and Performing Arts Department, Roy’s Pasties & Bakery, Mu Beta Psi, Fifth & Elm Coffeehouse, and the Bonfire Bar & Grill, want to extend that spirit and goodwill by hosting the third annual benefit in Ken’s honor for his favorite charity: Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly.

The event, from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday (Jan. 10) in the Rozsa Center Lobby, will feature good food, a cash bar, and once again a host of Ken’s friends and former bandmates making the music.

Ticket prices are: $20/donation of your choice. 100% of ticket sales will be donated in Ken’s name to Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly.

Musicians featured:

  • 6:30 p.m. — The Steve Jones Trio
  • 7:15 p.m. — Keweenaw Brewgrass
  • 8:15 p.m. — Bob Hiltunen All Stars
  • 9:15 p.m. —Uncle Pete’s All-Star BBQ Blues Band with special guest John Peiffer

To purchase tickets, call 906-487-2073, go online, or visit Ticketing Operations at Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC). Tickets will also be available at the Rozsa Box office on the evening of the benefit.

Continue Reading


Trombone Choir Holiday Concert Thrusday

The Michigan Tech Trombone Choir will present its annual December concert at 6 p.m. tomorrow (Dec. 12) in the Rozsa Center lobby. As always, the event is free of charge.

The Trombone Choir is a volunteer ensemble of non-majors that meets in the fall semester for one hour each week, culminating in this performance. We have 16 players this year and are excited to bring you the following program:

  • Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Mvt. 1- Mozart/Forbes
  • Back to the Fair- Trad. arr B. Reichenbach
  • Salvation is Created- Chesnokov arr. M. Christianson
  • Christmas Suite- Steve Tyler
  • It Came Upon the Midnight Clear- R.S. Willis/T. Pederson
  • Achieved is the Glorious Word- Haydn/D.G. Miller
  • Mira- J.J. Johnson/arr. M. Christianson
  • Passacaglia- Lauren Bernofsky
  • Tiger Rag-arr. Jack Gale
  • Suite of 5 Carols- arr. Wilbur Collins

This performance, like all Michigan Tech performances this year, should also be available via video and audio streaming.

Continue Reading


Michigan Tech Choirs and KSO Present Mozart Requiem Saturday

The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra (KSO) and the Combined Choirs of Michigan Tech present Mozart’s “Requiem”, one of the most beloved masterpieces in the choir/orchestra repertoire.

Unfinished at the time of Mozart’s death, the work was finished by his student Franz Xaver Süssmayr. Featured in the film Amadeus, it is one of the most highly recognized pieces of Western classical music. The choirs and orchestra will also perform Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” another beloved work in the choral/orchestral canon.

The concert will feature guest soloists Karen Beacom (soprano), Sandra Loy (alto), Robert Skylis (tenor), and Nathan Herfindahl (bass). Join us for Mozart Requiem, Saturday (Dec. 14) at 7:30 pm, in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

The Michigan Tech Concert Choir is composed of 60 voices from the college community, with 24 singers comprising conScience. The concert will feature Leslie Dukes on the organ for three numbers, accompanying the concert choir, and will also have a number of acapella performances.

Founded in 1970, the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra is the Upper Peninsula’s oldest orchestra. The KSO is a college-community ensemble comprising Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff, and community musicians. Most of the musicians pursue something other than music as a career, with engineers, scientists, mathematicians, educators, and retirees filling the roster. Students occupy about 60 percent of the orchestra; none are music majors.

The KSO presents four to five concerts per year—including choral-orchestral, opera, ballet, and pops—in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

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 906-487-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance.

Note: The Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.

Continue Reading


Famed Radio Show “Selected Shorts” Comes to the Rozsa Stage Saturday

The Rozsa Center is pleased to present an evening of warmth, holiday cheer, and storytelling by the tour of Public Radio International’s hit radio show “Selected Shorts” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 7).

Selected Shorts, a weekly public radio broadcast, has a simple approach: great actors read great fiction in front of a live audience. The acclaimed national radio program airs on 150 public radio stations in 29 states, attracting over 300,000 listeners each week through the live show and podcast. Featured actors include Mike Doyle, Boyd Gaines, and Kirsten Vangsness. Part of this special evening of storytelling will include a showcase reading on stage by one of the featured actors of a local writer’s “UP Winter Story” who is the winner of the “Selected Shorts Story Contest.”

Mike Doyle has appeared on screen in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Green Lantern, A Gifted Man, Jersey Boys, The Invitation, Conviction, Odd Mom Out, The Accidental Wolf, The Romanoffs, Narcos: Mexico, City on a Hill, and New Amsterdam. Recent stage credits include The New Century at Lincoln Center and Betrayed with the Culture Project. Doyle wrote and directed the forthcoming romantic comedy Sell By, starring Kate Walsh, Patricia Clarkson, and Scott Evans.

Boyd Gaines is a four-time Tony Award-winning actor for his roles in The Heidi Chronicles, She Loves Me, Contact, and the 2008 revival of Gypsy. Additional Broadway credits include Cabaret, Twelve Angry Men, Journey’s End (Tony nomination), Pygmalion, Driving Miss Daisy, and An Enemy of the People. He has also appeared in numerous films, including Fame; Porky’s; The Sure Thing; I’m Not Rappaport; Lovely By Surprise; No Pay, Nudity; and The Independents. His television credits include One Day at a Time, L.A. Law, Fraser, The Good Wife, and American Odyssey. Gaines can currently be seen in the film The Goldfinch.

Kirsten Vangsness is best-known as Penelope Garcia on the CBS drama Criminal Minds; however, she can be found in other places, including a few podcasts (Selected Shorts and Voyage to the Stars), the film noir spoof Kill Me Deadly, and Curtains, the animated short she created, which will be released in 2020. She was nominated for Playwright of the Year by LA Weekly and is a company member of Hollywood’s Theater of NOTE. Vangsness recently returned from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where two of her plays, Mess and Cleo, Theo and Wu, were performed at Assembly Rooms. In her spare time, Vangsness buses tables at the Blinking Owl Distillery, which she co-owns, in Santa Ana.

To enhance the holiday mood of the evening, a handbell choir will play in the Rozsa lobby prior to the show. Tickets to Selected Shorts are on sale now: Adult: $22.00, Youth: $10.00, and Michigan Tech Students at no charge with Experience Tech Fee. Tickets are available by phone, (906) 487-2073, 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.

This event is made possible with funding from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Crane Group.

Continue Reading


‘Stars of American Ballet’ Comes to Houghton

Acclaimed Dancers of the New York City Ballet at the Rozsa Saturday

Ballet at the Rozsa Center is always a major event. This year, the Rozsa is proud to host a very special performance of “Stars of American Ballet,” bringing the nation’s top ballet dancers from the New York City Ballet to the Rozsa stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 26).

“Stars of American Ballet” travels to cities nationwide and offers top-notch choreography with principal and soloist-level dancers from major American companies. Founded and directed by New York City Ballet principal dancer Daniel Ulbricht, who works alongside Executive Director Andrew Robertson, “Stars” also sponsors dance education programs, consisting of masterclasses, pre-performance lectures and community outreach projects, to build better awareness and overall experience with the art form.

This event is made possible with funding from the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Crane Group.

With performances billed as “An unapologetic showcase of virtuosity.” —The Boston Globe and “An intoxicating evening even for the non-dancers” — The Pittsburgh Star-Tribune, the event promises sheer athleticism and beautiful artistry by principal dancers, soloists and members of the corps de ballet from the New York City Ballet: Daniel Ulbricht , Brittany Pollack, Teresa Reichlen, Ask la Cour, Unity Phelan, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Alec Knight, and Baily Jones. Featuring works by Balanchine, la Cour and Knight.

There will also be a master class for local dancers, held at the Superior School of Dance when local dancers will have the opportunity to work with “Stars of American Ballet” dancers on Saturday afternoon. For more details about the master class, contact the Rozsa Center administrative offices at 906-487-2858.

Tickets to Stars of American Ballet are Adult: $25.00, Youth: $12.00, and Michigan Tech Students no charge with Experience Tech Fee, and are available by phone, 906-487-2073, online 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. Also, in celebration of World Ballet Day on Wednesday, October 23, the Rozsa Center will offer a special limited-time “Buy One Get One Free” ticket promotion, for one day only: From 11:59 p.m today (Oct. 22) to 11:59 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 23)  Use “BalletDay” promo code and select at least two tickets, to receive one free. This applies to both adult and youth tickets, and there is no limit on the number of BOGO tickets purchased.

Continue Reading


Pioneer Pilot Lt. Colonel Olga Custodio Presentation

Pioneer pilot Lt. Colonel Olga Custodio will present “Querer es Poder: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way” at 6:30 p.m. today (Oct. 21) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Custodio, who after being turned away from flight school because she was a woman, became a pioneer as the first woman — and Latina — to complete United States Air Force military pilot training and become a USAF pilot, and later the first Latina commercial pilot for American Airlines. Now retired, she continues to lead and inspire, championing STEM and motivating women and girls to pursue aviation and male-dominated professions.

This event is part of the Social Justice Lecture Series and Van Evera Distinguished Lecture Series. Tickets are free, but required for all public events at the Rozsa. Tickets are available by phone at 906-487-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or the night of the event at the Rozsa Center box office. Doors open one hour prior to performances.

Continue Reading


Music-O-Rama Saturday at Rozsa Center

Join us for Music-O-Rama, an annual musical variety concert, celebrating the diversity, history and variety of music at Michigan Tech. Performers from many of the major Michigan Tech music ensembles such as Jazz Lab Band, Superior Wind Symphony, conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers and the Michigan Tech Concert Choir; will appear throughout the hall, playing music from around the globe.

Music-O-Rama will be presented by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, (Oct. 5) at the Rozsa Center. The concert is an annual crowd favorite. Come and listen to new music composed by Tech students as well as performances by Tech students and community members.

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 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.

Continue Reading


Rozsa 2019-20 Single Event Tickets on Sale Now

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts is pleased to announce their 2019-20 single event tickets are on sale today (August 1)! Discount season ticket packages went on sale July 1, with the best discounts available on all the season has to offer, and now you can buy single tickets to every event! For new season ticket buyers, welcome, we look forward to seeing you this season.

Featured this year are 12 Rozsa Presenting Series events, opening with a circus on the Rozsa stage in September. From the incredible Cirque Mechanics in “42FT—A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels,” the latest invention from the creative minds of Cirque Mechanics, to the final Rozsa Presenting events in April with the brand-new “Surround Sound Music Festival”—A festival celebrating cultural diversity and encouraging listening in new ways, featuring Audiopharmacy, a Native American hip hop/reggae fusion band from the Bay Area; Vieux Farka Touré, a traditional guitarist and singer from Mali; and keynote speaker Evelyn Glennie, a virtuoso percussionist and TED speaker—In addition, there will be Stars of American Ballet, broadway theater with Aquila’s “1984,” five distinguished lecturers, and more than 33 Visual and Performing Arts events including music, theater, and visual arts events, and the ever-popular 41 North Film festival. This season promises to deliver spectacle and excitement, beauty and creativity, as grand as any in the Rozsa Center’s history. For full season details and to purchase tickets, contact Michigan Tech Ticketing Services at the Central Ticket Office (SDC), at 906-487-2073, or go online at mtu.edu/rozsa.

Continue Reading