Category Archives: Music

Superior Wind Symphony Celebrates Contemporary Composers

Three rows of eight of people silhouettes The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and Department of Visual and Performing Arts present a concert by the Superior Wind Symphony and Campus Concert Band under the direction of Mike Christianson (VPA).

The concert, “Right Now,” is a celebration of music written by contemporary composers. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (April 21) in the Rozsa Center.

The Superior Wind Symphony and Campus Concert Band once again combine for their year-end wind concert, ‘Right Now,’ the music of living composers. These 14 composers are people who walk among us and who you could conceivably meet. Join us for a fresh and invigorating evening. Two have been on this campus, two are jazz bassists and they range in age from 33 to 94.

I have met five of them and performed with two of them. They write in a wide range of styles, so there is bound to be something you will love. The composers include John Mackey, Shelley Hanson, Chris Brubeck, Eric Whitacre, Michael Daugherty, Fred Hersch, Rufus Reid, Esperanza Spalding, Radiohead, Bjork, Andrew Boysen, Jr., Tan Dun and Sammy Nestico. – Mike Christianson

Tickets for “Right Now” 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 87-2073, 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.

Can’t make the performance? You can listen via our live-streaming!


Michigan Tech Choirs Present “Beyond the Veil”

Singers in a choir during a performanceThe Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and Department of Visual and Performing Arts present “Beyond the Veil,” a concert by the Michigan Tech Choirs: conscience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers and the Michigan Tech Concert Choir. The concert takes place at 7 p.m. Friday (April 20) in the Rozsa Center.

Jared Anderson, chair of VPA and the choir’s director, says, “The choirs at Tech have been working hard to prepare a concert that includes a number of interesting themes. The title of the concert refers to themes that seem to be opposites as if on two sides of a veil: love and loss, life and death, health and sickness, slavery and freedom, youth and old age.”

Anderson says there will be something for everyone at the concert, “love songs, spirituals, folksongs and sacred motets.”

Tickets for “Beyond the Veil” 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 only opens two hours prior to performances.

Can’t make the performance? You can listen via our live-streaming!


Rozsa Center Listed Among Best in US

Rozsa Center exterior in the summerMichigan Tech’s Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts has been named one of the best university performing arts centers in America.

The 1,067-seat venue was among “The 35 Best University Performing Arts Centers in the US” as chosen by the website ClickitTicket.com.

The centers were listed alphabetically and not ranked in any particular order.

In listing the Rozsa, the website said, “This awe-inspiring facility schedules performances by both national and University performers in the mediums of dance, theatre, music and film.“

The venue’s ability to withstand harsh Keweenaw winters did not escape notice. “This 80,000 square-foot facility might be the toughest building on our list. Its roof can hold 450 pounds of snow per square foot.”

The listing also includes a photograph of a “Backstage at the Rozsa” performance. The Rozsa Center was the only university performing arts center in Michigan to make the ClickitTicket list.


Scrap Arts Music Presents “Children of Metropolis” at the Rozsa

Musicians standing in a circle beating drumsScrap Arts Music, Canadian-born and globally enjoyed, has performed in more than fifteen countries on five continents for audiences of all backgrounds, with a family-friendly presentation of music and movement. Innovation. Energy. Rhythm.

If you’re looking for a feel-good, adrenaline-packed experience—look no further. Take some scrap, transform it through the arts with welding, sculpture and choreography, and then—with five extraordinary and athletic percussionists—create beautiful music. The result? Musical works that are intricate, playful and powerful, and that delight the eyes and the ears.

The Rozsa Center is proud to present the US debut of their latest production, new in 2018, “Children of Metropolis,” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28.

Scrap Arts Music is deeply rooted in an eco-friendly sensibility: all their instruments are hand- made from industrial scraps. Often compared to STOMP and Blue Man Group, Scrap Arts Music’s philosophy is a bit different—they insist on building full-blown artistic instruments from literal pieces of scrap. Each instrument is a one-of-a-kind creation that doubles as both music-maker and artistic sculpture.

High energy original choreography makes artistic director and instrument maker Gregory Kozak’s nuanced compositions powerfully come to life—performed with passion by Scrap Arts Music’s five award-winning multi-instrumentalists. Each production is a rich blend of serious, sophisticated ensemble percussion music paired with humorous moments that fill theaters with laughter.

Tickets for Scrap Arts: “Children of Metropolis” at the Rozsa Center are on sale now, $22 for adults, $10 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 night of the show. Please note that the Rozsa box office opens only two hours before performances.


Jazz Legend Fred Hersch Headlining Michigan Tech Jazz Festival

Fred HerschThe three-day festival celebrates more than 50 years of jazz at Michigan Tech. Things get started Thursday, March 22, with the showing of the film “The Ballad of Fred Hersch,” at 7:30 p.m. in the Rozsa Center. The documentary recounts Hersch’s role as a jazz pianist icon — he’s led and co-led more than 30 albums and received eight Grammy nominations — and his experience coming out as gay and HIV-positive in the early 90s. The New York Times described Hersch as “singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of this borderless, individualistic jazz — a jazz for the 21st century.”

The Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Festival will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23 in the Rozsa Center. The festival features the Research & Development Big Band and the Jazz Lab Band. According to Mike Irish, director of jazz studies, “Don originated the Jazz Lab Band in 1967, and since then, it has grown into one of the most respected non-major jazz programs in the country.”

The festival will conclude with a performance by the Fred Hersch Trio at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24, offering a chance to see “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade” in action, as per Vanity Fair magazine.

Tickets for the film “The Ballad of Fred Hersch” are free; tickets for the Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Concert are $15 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets for the Fred Hersch Trio concert are $22 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee.

Tickets are available by phone 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC, or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.


Carnival of the Animals Concert Saturday

Art with pigs, cow, chickens dancing to a squirrel playing a violinThe Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra presents “Carnival of the Animals,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 24) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

One of the great zoological works in the orchestral canon, “Carnival of the Animals,” by Camille Saint-Saëns, includes humorous depictions of elephants, donkeys, lions, hens, roosters, tortoises, kangaroos and the famous “swan” for solo cello.

This concert also features two Russian masterworks: Dimitri Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture” and Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

Tickets are $19 for adults, $6 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech Fee. Tickets are available online, by phone at 7-2073, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Center Box Office the evening of the performance. The Rozsa Box Office opens two hours prior to performances.

This concert is sponsored by a gift from John and Biruta Lowther.



Mardi Gras Party Friday

Colorful face masks with feathers on topThe Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents a musical Mardi Gras Party Friday. The Superior Wind Symphony, under the direction of Michael Christianson, will present a concert celebrating grooves born in the US.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Feb. 16) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets are $13 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech Fee.  Tickets are available online, by phone 7-2073, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC or at the Rozsa Center box office the evening of the performance.


Diversity in Jazz at ‘Club Rozsa’

32454304261_38295e8c57_mJoin Jazz Studies Program Director Mike Irish and the Michigan Tech Jazz ensembles for a Rozsa Club Jazz Showcase: Backstage at the Rozsa at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Jan. 26 and 27).

According to Irish, “Diversity in Jazz. That’s what you get with the Jazz Combos Backstage at the Rozsa. Three dynamic small jazz groups will be featured. The mainstream jazz offering will be handled by JazTec, featuring two horns and a four-piece rhythm section. Momentum is a funk and fusion ensemble with three horns out front and an electric rhythm section. The guest group for both evenings will be the Dan Fuhrmann Trio, providing the best in piano trio jazz. Music by some of the greatest names in Jazz including Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane and many others. There will be something for every taste. Live jazz provides energy, creativity, surprises and is a treat for all of the senses. Join us and immerse yourself in the diversity.”

Tickets are on sale now, $15 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee, available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. The Rozsa Box Office opens two hours prior to performances.


Faculty, Students Win at Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

IMG_1272.JPGKent Cyr was recognized at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region III with a faculty service award for Innovative Teaching. The KCACTF Region III festival was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, January 9-14 at the University of Indianapolis. The goal of the festival is to encourage, recognize, and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs.

Also, a number of our Visual and Performing Arts students were recognized. Congratulations!

Design Storm!

Student consults with other designers, dramaturg, and director to create a key scene in a play, prepare initial sketches, basic ground plan/rendering, and discusses how the design illustrates personal ideas and production intention/concept.

  • Hunter Storie (Scene Design) and Ethan Troyer (Dramaturgy) Most Wretched Deathbed Dreams of Edgar Allen Poe

Regional Design Projects

Regional Design Projects are intended to serve Region III student designers with the opportunity to showcase their work for non-realized design projects, and to receive a response to their work that will help them improve their design skills and grow as designers. Seven students presented in Sound Design and two in Costume Design.

  • Sarah Calvert (Winner), His Dark Materials, Sound Design
  • Noah Schumaker (Finalist), Insurrection, Sound Design
  • David Brown (Finalist), Galileo, Sound Design

Realized Design Projects

National-eligible for consideration in all design areas. Winners are invited to present at the Kennedy Center National Festival in April.  Three students participated and two were finalists.

  • Chris Wilson (Finalist), Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Music Composition
  • Alex Weber (Finalist), West Side Story, Lighting Design

Tech Olympics Individual Best Times

Performance is judged on time and/or accuracy in setup, skill, and performance.

  • Kity Williams and Brendan Espinosa, Sound
  • Ryan Nickolas and Hunter Stori, Lighting
  • Alex Weber and Jack Horrigan, Knots
  • Lexa Walker and Jason Scott, Costumes and Props

The Games of The Technological Olympiad Overall

  • Alex Weber and Jack Horrigan, Third Place
  • Ryan Nickolas and Hunter Storie, Second Place
  • Lexa Walker and Jason Scott, First Place