Category: Music

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Annual Huskies Pep Band Concert Tomorrow

Pep BandThe Huskies Pep Band Annual concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Oct.. 30) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. This year’s concert is “Respite for the Spitball” or AKA “Stop the Insanity? Never!“

The Huskies Pep Band presents one concert every year in the lovely Rozsa Center, complete with stripes, horns, cowbell and their usual hijinks. The Pep Band is conducted by Michigan Tech’s director of bands Mike Christianson. The title surrounds the theme of “doing things the rest of the world may prefer the Pep Band cease doing,” similarly to how the spitball was outlawed in baseball, but some pitchers, “grandfathered in,” were allowed to continue the questionable practice.

There will be Huskies Pep Band SWAG available for purchase at this event. Yes, that’s right, the very SWAG that is no longer allowed to be sold at games will be at a lower price than you could get from the Bookstore.

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 7-2073, 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 is only open one hour prior to the performance.

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Harmonie Sacre: KSO in Concert Tomorrow

Marble statue with Harmonae Sacrae textThe Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra (KSO) returns to the historic Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lake Linden for “Harmonie Sacre,” an all-German program of sublime religious works. The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 25) at 701 Calumet St. in downtown Lake Linden.

The KSO, under the direction of conductor Joel Neves, joined by Guest Conductor Brandon Matthews, presents a program of Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” Brahms’ “Saint Anthony Variations” (“Variations on a them by Haydn”), and “Wagner’s “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral from Lohengrin.”

The concert also features Mendelssohn’s “Reformation Symphony” (Symphony No. 5 in D major, Op 107). Mendelssohn composed the symphony in the winter of 1829-30, completed the work in April, and conducted the first performance on Nov. 15, 1832, in Berlin. The score calls for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons and contrabassoon, two horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani and strings. In 1830, the Lutheran Church was marking the 300th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession, a fundamental document of the Protestant faith. Mendelssohn decided to participate in the celebration by writing a grand symphony incorporating Martin Luther’s chorale “Ein’ feste Burg” (“A Mighty Fortress”).

Founded in 1970, the KSO is the Upper Peninsula’s oldest orchestra. It 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 both the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, and In St. Joseph’s Church.

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 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the door of the church the evening of the performance. Note the ticket staff will be present at the church only one hour prior to the performance.

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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.

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Participate in Haunted Mine Tour

Quincy Mine with Northern LightsAre you interested in working on the annual Quincy Haunted Mine Tour? We need actors, crew, builders and overall ghouls, ghosts and goblins who want to help us scare people silly. The Haunted Mine will begin building very soon, installs will start Oct. 20, and runs October 24, 25, 26 in the evenings.

If you want to get involved, email Professor of Practice Josh Loar (VPA).

Note: VPA students already involved do not need to email again, unless you haven’t signed up yet.

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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.

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