Category: Announcements

Theatre Auditions for Musical Comedy Murders and Romancing Horror

Musical Comedy Murders
The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

Auditions are: September 4 and 5, in McArdle Theatre, Walker 207, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm.

We will audition folks on both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Anyone auditioning should plan to stay for the entire time on one of the two evenings.

Auditions will be readings from the scripts of the two plays: The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, and Romancing Horror.

No preparation or experience is necessary to audition, though scripts are available to borrow from the VPA office.

A little information about each production:

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

October 25-27, Rozsa Theatre, 7:30 p.m. (Possibly remounting in January for Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival)

A hilarious “who done it” that pokes fun at 1940s movie thrillers and campy musical comedies.

The creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop (in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious “Stage Door Slasher”) assemble for a backer’s audition of their new show at the Westchester estate of a wealthy “angel.” The house is replete with sliding panels, secret passageways and a German maid who is apparently four different people—all of which figure diabolically in the comic mayhem which follows and the “Slasher” unmasked—but not before the audience has been treated to a sidesplitting good time and a generous serving of the author’s biting, satiric when the infamous “Slasher” makes his reappearance and strikes again—and again. As the composer, lyricist, actors and director prepare their performance, and a blizzard cuts off any possible retreat, bodies start to drop in plain sight, knives spring out of nowhere, masked figures drag their victims behind swiveling bookcases, and accusing fingers point in all directions. However, and with no thanks to the bumbling police inspector who snowshoes in to investigate, the mystery is solved in the nick of time and refreshingly irreverent wit.

Romancing Horror
Romancing Horror

Romancing Horror: the Tales of HP Lovecraft

November 29-30, December 1, McArdle Theatre, 7:30 p.m. (Possibly remounting in January for Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival)

A special performance featuring original sound designs and music.

Growing from the fertile soil of the Romantics and the symbolist poets, HP Lovecraft surpassed his predecessor, EA Poe, in perfecting the classic horror story. Since then every horror film concocted in Hollywood from the subtly and intrigue of Hitchcock to the evil of “Chucky” have followed Lovecraft’s mystery mantra. In the sedate salon of their New England home, Professor Rodney C. Phillips, world authority on horror fiction, and is somewhat eccentric but charming wife, Edith Abigail, conjure theatrical life into Lovecraft’s tales for their friends. Of course, there will be a surprise ending.

Rozsa debuts 2012-13 season

Jazz Club Cabaret
Jazz Club Cabaret

Interspersed throughout the season are also numerous local classical music concerts, with multiple concerts by the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, which will also perform with the Hampton [Rock] String Quartet. Jazz aficionados can attend the Jazz Showcase in the fall or the Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Concert in the spring, and there will also be a pair of choral concerts by the Tech Concert Choir and the Michigan Tech Chamber Singers.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Zach Kukkonen.

Engineers Make Great Artists: Rozsa Center Makes A Case for the Arts

Rozsa Exterior 2012-13
Rozsa Center

The 2012-2013 Arts Marketing Plan will promote the relevance of art at Michigan Tech, focusing on arts as they relate to the Michigan Tech STEM mission. This includes continuing to cross-promote VPA and Rozsa events.

Engineers make great artists make great engineers” is a theme that will appear throughout the campaign. Design elements will focus on da Vinci drawings.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Jennifer Donovan.

Rozsa, VPA Announce 2012-13 Season

Rozsa 2012-13
Rozsa 2012-13 Season

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts announce their 2012-13 season.

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts will produce five plays, capping the year with a production of “Fiddler on the Roof” in April.

Subscription sales begin the first week of August. Single ticket sales begin the first week of September. To purchase tickets, contact Ticketing Services at 487-2073, or go online at .

Read more at Tech Today, by Bethany Jones.

Dean’s List Spring 2012

4.0 Students (SFAT, SFSD, SEMP, SFET)
Doerr-Newton, Collin K JR SFSD
Johns, Lindsey L SR SFSD

3.50-3.99 Students (SFAT, SFSD, SEMP, SFET)
Borel, Corinne P JR SEMP
Goddard, Russell J SR SFAT
Gray, Kevin R JR SFSD
Grietsell, Alec M JR SFET
Hammersley, Jess M SR SFAT
Hunter, Nathan SR SFAT
Kirby, Paul R JR SFSD
Laban, Chloe A SR SFSD
Olsen, Zachary L SR SFET
Palma, Alex F SR SFSD
Pittsley, Alison M SR SFAT
Prusi, Grant D SR SFAT
Putzig, Renata M JR SFAT
Schumaker, Courtney L SO SFSD
Trevino, Christopher A SR SFSD
Williams, Dmitri SO SEMP

Director of Bands Vacancy

Title: Instructor or Visiting Assistant Professor/Director of Bands

Department: Visual and Performing Arts (

Status: Full-time/Non-tenure Track

Description: Michigan Technological University seeks a dynamic conductor-educator to fill the position of Director of Bands for an annual appointment renewable for up to two additional years beginning August 2012.  The position entails directing a growing and innovative band program with a 250-member pep band, an auditioned wind symphony, and a non-auditioned concert band.  Other activities include coaching chamber ensembles, advising student organizations, and participating in yearly regional tours.  The successful candidate will demonstrate a high level of conducting ability, thorough knowledge of the band repertoire, significant experience in recruitment and retention, proven ability to innovate and grow a successful band program, and a strong commitment to music education.

Teaching Responsibilities: Conduct Superior Wind Symphony, Campus Concert Band, and Huskies Pep Band.  Teach music theory and other music courses.

Required Qualifications: Masters degree in music completed by July 2012.  Evidence of successful teaching and conducting experience.

Preferred Qualifications: Doctoral degree in music.  Experience teaching academic music courses at the university and/or secondary level.  Advanced skills on a band instrument.

To Apply: Screening begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  Candidates will email: 1) letter of application, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) phone and email for five references, and 4) video clip (preferably YouTube) of representative conducting in both performance and rehearsal to  Questions may be referred to Dr. Joel Neves, Search Committee Chair, via this email or phone (906-487-2859).

Other Information: The Visual and Performing Arts Department—comprised of visual art, theatre, sound, and music divisions—is one of the most innovative and successful arts organizations in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Michigan Technological University (, established in 1885, is a nationally recognized research university and a leader in science and engineering education. Michigan Tech ranks in the top tier of national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest edition of America’s Best Colleges. Michigan Tech is located in Michigan’s scenic Upper Peninsula, on the south shore of Lake Superior.  Houghton and the surrounding Keweenaw Peninsula are well known for natural beauty and abundant outdoor activities in all seasons.  Recently, Houghton was ranked in “The 100 Best Small Towns in America.”  Houghton provides a unique setting where natural beauty, culture, education and the diversity of residents from around the world come together to provide a superb living experience.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/ Equal Opportunity Employer.

Director of Bands Vacancy – VPA – Michigan Tech (PDF)

Kalen Larson Involved in Off-Broadway Production

Assistant Professor Kalen Larson (VPA) is helping to prepare the world premiere of Tennessee Williams’ play, “In Masks Outrageous and Austere,” for its off-Broadway opening in New York.

The play runs from April 23 through May 26.

Award-winning actress Shirley Knight stars, and David Schweitzer directs.

The production includes a video system, 60 LED panels and 11 projectors. Larson is involved in the production process through The Culture Project.

Spring Choral/Orchestral Concert “Dona Nobis Pacem”

Dona Nobis Pacem, an emotional experience for all

Both the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra and the Michigan Concert Choir finished their 2011-12 concert seasons on Saturday, April 14 with a joint concert, Dona Nobis Pacem. The concert, which ran for a little less than two hours, was divided into three parts. In the first part, the KSO performed Camille Sant-Saëns’ “Bacchanale” and Claude Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” under the direction of Dr. Joel Neves. In the second, the Concert Choir performed Jonathan Dove’s “Ring Out, Wild Bells” and Concert Choir founder Milton Olsson’s “Moments” under the direction of Dr. Jared Anderson. Following an intermission, the KSO and Concert Choir combined under Dr. Anderson for the featured performance of Dona nobis pacem, with Lara Neves as mezzo-soprano and Nathan Herfindalh as baritone soloists.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Lode, by Nick Blecha. Note: The captions and photos for Joel Neves and Jared Anderson are switched.

An exciting two days of music at Michigan Tech

The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra rehearses Friday at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts for its concert with the Michigan Tech Concert Choir at 7:30 p.m. today at the Rozsa.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Stacey Kukkonen.

Dona Nobis Pacem. “Grant Us Peace”

The main piece of the upcoming Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra and the Michigan Tech Concerts Choir concert has a rich history behind it. Vaughan Williams, the composer, wrote this song based on the poetry of Walt Whitman. Both men served the wounded in war, Williams in the trenches of World War I and Whitman in a Washington D.C. hospital during the American Civil War.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Lode, by Nick Blecha.

Orchestra, Choir Present “Dona Nobis Pacem” and More

The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra and the Concert Choir will perform Ralph Vaughan Williams” war cantata, “Dona Nobis Pacem,” at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 14, in the Rozsa Center.

Conductor Jared Anderson states, “Vaughan Williams’ orchestral colors and lush instrumentation make this piece a real pleasure to perform. We are excited to have two first-rate soloists join us in this monumental work. The singers and instrumentalists from Michigan Tech have been working very hard to make this performance an experience to remember.”

Soprano Lara Neves and baritone Nathan Herfindahl will join in the performance of this gripping portrait of warfare and heartfelt plea for peace.

Read more at Tech Today, by Bethany Jones.