All posts by Tanya Maki

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.


Contemplative Forest Art Walk at Ford Center

A self-guided tour, Contemplative Forest Art Walks is a series of mindfulness meditation stations in the Ford Center Forest. Each station is marked by a hand-painted, nine-foot-tall banner installed among the trees.

Public reception free and with refreshments on (Wednesday) July 31 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Short remarks by artist Anne Befflel, Professor in Visual and Performing Arts, about the project at 6:15 p.m.

More information and a map can be found at www.annebeffel.com


Summer Puppetry Workshops for All Ages

hand puppets with sunglassesAssociate Professor of Theatre in Visual and Performing Arts, Trish Helsel, will be offering a week of puppetry workshops in partnership with the Copper Country Community Arts Center and sponsorship by K. C. Bonker’s the week of August 12-17.

The workshop is the culmination of research and work made possible from a REF grant. The Puppet Project is an initiative to introduce and establish the art of puppetry into our local culture through education and performances.

Students of all ages will learn to construct and manipulate various types of puppets. With themes provided by local poets Hugo Gordillo and Kelsey Carriere, the puppets will come to life telling stories of plants, animals, and music!

Classes are carefully designed for the age groups/school grades designated. Please register your child for the appropriate group. Grades are “rising,” meaning the grade they will enter this fall. A parent or guardian must be present for classes and the recital for children younger than Kindergarten age.

Classes are offered in the Ballroom at the Copper Country Community Arts Center, 126 E. Quincy Street, Hancock. Dress for mess! We recommend you bring a water bottle, especially for longer sessions.

The Saturday Recital (and rehearsal) will be at Michigan Technological University, in the McArdle Theatre, 2nd floor of the Walker Arts and Humanities Center. Wear dark clothing to make your puppets stand out better!

Registration:

To Register, go to the SDC Ticket Office or register online.

Registration fees cover materials and instruction and vary by age group.

$20 – Toddlers: Monday/Wednesday 9:15am – 10:00am
$20 – Preschool (3-4 years): Monday/Wednesday 11:00am – 12:00pm
$20 – K-2nd Grade: Monday/Wednesday 1:00pm – 2:30 pm
$25 – 3rd-5th Grades: Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 9:00am – 11:00am
$25 – 6th-8th Grades: Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 1:00pm – 3:00pm
$25 – 9th-12th Grades: Monday/Wednesday/Friday 4:00pm – 6:00pm
$30 – Adults: Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 6:00pm – 8:00pm

All registrants must sign a Michigan Tech waiver form.

For more information, contact Trish Helsel: (906) 487-3283, helsel@mtu.edu


New Director of Jazz Studies

Visual and Performing Arts announces Adam Meckler as the new Assistant Professor of Music/Director of Jazz Studies.

Mr. Meckler is the third director of the Jazz program that has a 52-year history of Jazz in the Midwest. Originally founded in 1967 under the direction of Don Keranen and continued under the direction of Mike Irish from 1991-2018 the non-major Jazz program at Michigan Tech has thrived at a school largely known for its STEM curriculum.

Dr. Michael Christianson, Director of Bands at Michigan Tech says, “Adam Meckler is a top-class performer and composer, but we were really impressed with his teaching: a great mix of modern and old-school!”

Professor Emeritus Mike Irish also comments, “I am very excited about the hiring of Adam Meckler as the new Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan Tech. He is a young, energetic, and extremely talented teacher/performer who will build on our strong tradition and take it to new levels of achievement. His pedigree is outstanding. I am really eager to have him in town and await the great performances that will ensue!”

© Tim McG Photo & Video

Mr. Meckler expresses his excitement for the post,

“I am humbled and honored to join MTU’s esteemed Faculty, and work with the gifted and bright Visual and Performing Arts students at MTU. I am thrilled to carry the torch forward, striving for the high level of excellence established by my predecessors.”

Mr. Meckler holds degrees from Lawrence Conservatory and the University of Minnesota. A trumpet player, composer, and educator living in Minneapolis, MN, Meckler is an Edwards Instrument Co. Performing Artist and Clinician, and leads The Adam Meckler Orchestra (AMO), an 18-piece big band that plays his original compositions. The AMO’s debut album ‘When the Clouds Look Like This’ was listed among 2014’s Best Jazz Releases by iTunes.

Mr. Meckler will come from faculty positions in trumpet and Jazz at Macalester College, MCTC, and MacPhail Center for Music. He tours and records with The Hornheads (Prince), Youngblood Brass Band, and Nooky Jones, and plays regularly with a host of bands around the Twin Cities including Lulu’s Playground, The Jana Nyberg Group, Jack Brass Band, The Graydon Peterson Quartet, and The Pete Whitman X-Tet.

His latest release Magnificent Madness is available via Ropeadope Records, and on all streaming platforms May 3rd, 2019.


VPA Student Awards

A number of students have received awards at the Visual and Performing Arts end-of-year student awards banquet that was held Tuesday, April 24th in the Rozsa Lobby.

The well attended ceremony was MC’d by VPA Department Chair, Jared Anderson, who raffled off fun and inspiring prizes for the students as we wished them well.

MUB pasties and celebratory cake were served – a good time was had by all.

Here is the list of this years award recipients:

Department Scholar: Sarah Calvert
Woman of Promise: Makenzi Wentela

Henry Sendek – Sound Award

All Arts:  Samantha Palumbo
Art:  Alexander Pohl
Music:  Katya Klebba
Sound: Henry Sendek
Theatre: Hunter Storie
Milton Olsson Music Award: Giselle Ulep

Congratulations and best wishes to all of our graduating seniors.

Rock, Paper, Scissors in gallery b

The department of Visual and Performing Arts announces its semi-annual student showcase, “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” featuring works of art created in Project Learning Lab by Michigan Tech students.

Project Learning Lab is an innovative arts classroom based inside Rozsa gallery b. The exhibition runs through 8 p.m. today (April 22).

The works on display were created by students in Lisa Gordillo’s Traditional Sculpture Studio. Students from many campus disciplines are represented, including business, math, engineering and theatre. Students in the class study sculptural traditions from around the world, and create three-dimensional works using those traditions as a guide.

This year, the class focused on Guatemalan cultures, and created barriletes (giant kites), nawales (personal symbols informed by the Mayan calendar) and Estelas (large carvings).

The student artists are:

  • Ben Baize
  • Nate Evink
  • Abby Kirk
  • Aaron Kruzel
  • Jared Mcdowel
  • Alex Ordakowski
  • Laurel Payne
  • Piper Schlaeppi
  • Brett Schnabelrauch
  • Hunter Storie
  • Traven Thai
  • Alexandra Walker
  • Alex Weber
  • Isobel Wentworth
  • Kitty Williams

Assistant Professor Lisa Gordillo Named Distinguished Teaching Award Finalist

Congratulations to Visual and Performing Arts Assistant Professor, Lisa Gordillo, who was named as a finalist for this years Distinguished Teaching Award.

The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning recognizes outstanding contributions to the instructional mission of the University. Based on more than 50,000 student ratings of instruction responses, ten finalists have been identified for the 2019 awards. The selection committee has solicited comments from students, staff, faculty and alumni to aid in deliberation.

The process for determining the Distinguished Teaching Award recipients from this list of finalists also involves the additional surveying of their spring classes. The selection committee makes the final determination of the award recipients. The 2019 Distinguished Teaching Awards will be formally announced in May.


KSO to Perform ‘Rhapsody in Blue’

Violinists in KSOThe Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra presents George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (April 20) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Popularized in Disney’s “Fantasia 2000,” “Rhapsody in Blue” will be performed along with the haunting ballet music to Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” and the angst-ridden “Chamber Symphony” of Schoenberg.

Joel Neves, conductor for the event, gives a preview, “This is our last concert of the year, so we saved the very best for last. Everyone loves ‘Rhapsody in Blue,’ one of the great jazz-infused orchestra works of all time. ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ features local pianist extraordinaire, Jon Ensminger, who plays the soaring, swinging, sophisticated piano solo. Also on the program is sublime music by Verdi, Schubert, and Schoenberg, as well as Stravinsky’s magical ‘Firebird Suite,’ also featured in Fantasia. You don’t want to miss this fantastic program!”

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 4-5 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 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. The Rozsa Box Office opens two hours prior to performances.


VPA Student Receives Honor

A Michigan Tech student was recognized by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). As a result of eight regional festivals held in January and February, theatre students from around the country have been recognized for outstanding works.

Makenzi Jo Wentala received a scholarship to the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas (SILV). Select students were awarded one-week or multi-week scholarships to the SILV. Summer master classes at the SILV include rigging, digital drafting SFX, automation and “Movers, Media and Rock-n-Roll.”


New Works by Student Composers

Newest of the New,” celebrates the creative musical pursuits of Michigan Tech student composers with performances of their original pieces. This free concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (April 18) in McArdle Theatre in the Walker Arts and Humanities Center.

This year, the event will include compositions by David Brown, Sarah Calvert, Alan Harrison, Tyler Quinn, and Chris Wilson, all of whom are in the composition minor program. The performance pieces will be varied, incorporating a range of instruments and styles, including a string quartet.

“This is the culmination of the year,” says Libby Meyer, (Visual and Performing Arts) director of the Music Composition Program, “It’ll be awesome, and we want everyone to come.”

The event is free of charge, and is open to the public.