All posts by Tanya Maki

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.



Closing Reception for Salon!

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Rozsa Center invite you to join local and regional creative thinkers for a conversation on art, literature and other ideas.

This “salon-style conversation” will take place in the Rozsa lobby before Friday’s (April 12) performance of Tech Theatre’s production of “Sunday in the Park with George,” a musical based on the creative life of Georges Seurat.

This event is part of the gallery exhibit, Salon!, bringing together the spring musical and the spring gallery exhibit in a public conversation.

Salon Conversation, with guest speakers, 5:30-6:30pm in the Rozsa Lobby; Gallery Reception, 6:30-7:30pm, Rozsa Gallery A-Space

Edzordzi Agbozo, poetry

Jared Andersonon arts and collaboration

Linda King Ferguson and Dr. Tomas Co, on painting 

Libby Meyer, music

M. Bartley Seigelpoetry

Dana Van Kooyon plantations, colonialism, art, and literature

With music throughout by Mike Christianson and Superior Wind Symphony students.


Air Play at the Rozsa Center

Described as a “visual poem, using no words,” Air Play will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

This fun-for-all ages circus-style event includes flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, giant kites floating over the audience and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen.

Air Play brings to life the very air we breathe. The circus-style adventure follows two siblings’ journey through a surreal wold, transforming ordinary objects in uncommon beauty. Fabrics dance in the wind, balloons have a mind of their own, confetti turns into the night sky and an enormous canopy of hovering silk forever alters their future.

Tickets for Air Play are on sale now at $16 for adults, $6 for youth and free for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech Fee. Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC, by phone at 487-2073 or at the Rozsa Center Box Office the evening of the performance.

Note: The box office opens two hours prior to the start of the show.


Annual Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Concert March 22

The jazz ensembles at Michigan Tech present the annual Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 22 in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

This annual event pays tribute to Keranen, originator of the Michigan Tech Jazz Studies Program. Featured in the concert will be the Jazz Lab Band and the Research and Development Band.

The Jazz Lab Band will perform works by Duke Ellington, including music composed for the film “Anatomy of a Murder.” In addition, it will play music by Gabriel Fauré, Steely Dan, Professor Emeritus Mike Irish (VPA), George Gershwin, Bob Brookmeyer and Chick Corea.

The Research and Development Band will perform works by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Horace Silver and more. Each of the large jazz ensembles will perform a piece featuring vocalist Clara Peterson, a Michigan Tech student. Also featured will be the premier of an original work composed by the Full Send Combo.

Tickets are on sale now, $15 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available online, by phone at 487-2073, in person at the Central Ticket Office in the SDC or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance.

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


Artist Lisa Gordillo Receives ND Human Rights Festival Award

Assistant Professor Lisa Gordillo, Visual and Performing Arts, received an award for “Best Three-Dimensional Work” for her work of art, “Las Cordinadas/The Coordinates,” as part of the 2019 North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival. The work of art, which was first developed on Michigan Tech’s campus as part of Gordillo’s 2017 Rozsa Gallery exhibit, ChickenBus, traveled through North Dakota during the human rights festival this spring.
Gordillo’s sculpture commemorates 26 of the 440 Mayan villages that were destroyed during Guatemala’s 30-year genocide, which was partially funded by the United States. Gordillo worked with her collaborator and partner Hugo Gordillo to develop the piece, which is composed of plaster casts of human hands, and a wall text that lists the villages destroyed and the actions taken to destroy them. The piece will be on display through March in Grand Forks, ND at the High Plains Fair Housing Center.

“Music For a Sacred Space” Sunday

The Michigan Tech Choirs present “Music For a Sacred Space,” an evening of sacred choral music in its natural habitat, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Lake Linden.

The Michigan Tech Concert Choir and conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers combine for a concert of sacred music to benefit the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Conductor Jared Anderson (VPA) said this year’s music selection will be celebratory in nature.

“This event has become a tradition in the community. It’s an opportunity to hear music composed for sacred spaces in one of the most beautiful, resonant places for choral music in the Copper Country.”

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 a cappella performances.

“Music for a Sacred Space” is open to the public. There is no admission, but money collected from free-will offering will be donated to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.