Category: News

Meckler to Headline Two Major Jazz Festivals

Adam Meckler

Adam Meckler (VPA) has been tapped to headline two big national jazz festivals in the next few days. First, Meckler will head to Coe College, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for the largest annual jazz festival in Iowa, the Coe College Jazz Summit today (Feb. 27) through Saturday (Feb. 29).

More than 90 high school bands participate, and Meckler will coach the high school bands for the first few days of the festival. He will then rehearse and perform as the featured guest artist with the Coe College Jazz Ensemble, doing a mix of his original compositions and other big band music for the big Grand Finale Concert at 7 p.m. (CST) Saturday in Marquis Hall on the Coe College campus.

Then on Monday (March 2), Meckler will travel to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for Augustana College’s 46th annual Jazz on the Upper Great Plains Festival, set for Monday and Tuesday in Augustana’s Hamre Recital Hall.

The festival features Meckler and host of PBS’s Sound Field, Arthur “L.A.” Buckner. Buckner is one of the top drummers and educators in Minneapolis and is gaining national recognition for his drumming and his work with PBS. Interestingly, Buckner is a former student of Meckler’s at McNally Smith College of Music, his previous teaching position.

Buckner and Meckler will perform Meckler’s compositions with the Augustana University Jazz Ensemble after a few days of tag-team coaching area high school groups who attend the festival.

Meckler’s compositions being performed are: “Sparkly Eyes” (which Lab Band will perform on the Don Keranen Jazz Concert at the Rozsa Center on March 20) “Tao of Heavy D” (from his 2019 album on Ropeadope Records, “Magnificent Madness”), “Magnificent Madness” (title track from same album) “Jennsong” (from the same album) “Open Your Eyes” (from Meckler’s critically acclaimed 2014 release “When The Clouds Look Like This”) and “Once Upon a Sunrise” (which the Research & Development Band will perform at its March 20 concert).

For more information about both festivals, concert dates, and tickets, please visit their websites: 

‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!’ Tonight and Tomorrow

silhouette of two persons kissing

The Michigan Tech Theatre Company’s production of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!” continues tonight and tomorrow (Feb. 28/29). Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. in the McArdle Theatre in the Walker Arts and Humanities.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children, and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. To buy your tickets, call 7-2073, visit mtu.edu/rozsa, in person at the Central Ticketing Office, or at the McArdle Theatre the night of the show. 

Note: This show contains adult language and situations.

KSO to Perform Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Tomorrow

Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra in the lobby of the Rozsa

The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, its director Joel Neves, and special guest conductor Xun Sun bring you a captivating evening of orchestral masterworks, including Borodin’s “Polovtsian Dances” and Tchaikovsky’s thrilling “Symphony No. 4.”  The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Feb. 29) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Since 2001, Xun Sun has been director of Orchestral Activities at Southern Utah University where he conducts the University Symphony Orchestra and String Ensemble and teaches courses in both conducting and playing music. He has conducted the Henan Symphony Orchestra, Anhui Symphony, Hunan Symphony, Hubey Symphony Orchestra, and the world-renowned China Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Sun comes from Taiyuan, China, where he began showing his musical talents at a very young age. When he was 11, he began training at the Wuhan Conservatory of Music, an intensive education that led him to further studies in the United States. He earned his Master’s degrees in Instrumental Conducting and Violin Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and his Doctoral degree in Education from Teacher’s College in Columbia University. He continues to play, conduct, and educate at Southern Utah University today.

Neves and the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra have been awing the Midwest with music ranging between orchestral masterworks, choral-orchestral, music theatre, ballet, opera, and pops since its founding in 1971. It is made up of Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff, and community members, and is one of five symphony orchestras around Lake Superior.

Tickets are $19 for adults, $6 for children, or no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. To buy your tickets, call (906) 487-2073, go online, or in person at the Central Ticketing Office or Rozsa Box Office.

Please note: The Rozsa Box Office is only open two hours prior to performances.

Rozsa Receives Grant

Surround Sound Music Festival to Receive $10,000 National Endowment for the Arts Grant

National Endowment for the Arts logo

Libby Meyer (VPA), Director of Music Composition Program, and Mary Jennings, Rozsa Programming and Development Director, were awarded a $10,000 Challenge America Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the Surround Sound Music Festival.

The Surround Sound Music Festival is a two-day event that encourages audiences to listen differently. The festival will feature Audio Pharmacy, a Native American Hip Hop band, Evelyn Glennie, a world-class percussionist who has been deaf since the age of 12 and Vieux Farka Touré, a Malian blues guitarist. The Surround Sound Music Festival will take place April 3-4.

The purpose of the Challenge America grant is to support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations. NEA has approved 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million in the first round of fiscal year 2020 funding to support arts projects across the country. The Sound of Music Festival is one of 145 Challenge America grants included in this announcement. The Challenge America funding category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Each grant is for a fixed amount of $10,000 and requires a minimum $10,000 cost share/match.

“The arts are at the heart of our communities, connecting people through shared experiences and artistic expression, The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects like the Surround Sound Music Festival.”

—Mary Anne Carter, Arts Endowment Chairman

Puppet Workshops and Performance Open to Ages 6 and Up

puppets lined up

A puppetry workshop will be held from 3 – 4:30 p.m. tomorrow (Jan. 25) in Walker 208. We will be creating puppets for a performance with the Superior Wind Symphony at 7:30 p.m. February 15.

Puppeteers should be available to rehearse at the following times:

  • 3 – 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1
  • 3 – 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8
  • 8 – 9:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10
  • 8 – 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12

Contact Trish Helsel to reserve a spot, or for further information.

Volunteer To Usher

Users posing for a photo in the Rozsa theatreThe Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts is looking for volunteer ushers to help with events in the new year. The Ken Steiner Memorial Fundraiser is 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, on the Rozsa stage. The Rozsa Center, together with the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Michigan Tech’s Dining Services, and other community partners are hosting an evening of great music and good food in Ken Steiner’s honor to benefit his favorite charity: Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly. The evening will feature good food, a cash bar, and a host of Ken’s friends and former bandmates making the music, including Keweenaw Brewgrass and Uncle Pete’s BBQ Blues Band.

The U.P. North-South Music Festival: “Music from Both Ends of 41,” takes place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17 in the McArdle Theatre; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18 on the Rozsa backstage; and 3 p.m Sunday,  Jan. 19,  in the McArdle Theatre.

“Music from Both Ends of 41” is part of the Surround Sound Music Series. In addition to local, regional and national new music composers and performers, the Pulse New Music Ensemble from Miami, Florida will be heading North to present a concert of music by living composers in a festival of new music featuring concerts, workshops and masterclasses.

Volunteer ushers play an important role at the Rozsa, welcoming and assisting student and community visitors with every aspect of their experience at the largest performing arts venue in the region.

Volunteers are needed to greet and guide guests as they enter the building, take tickets and assist with seating in the theatre, answer questions about Rozsa facilities and programs, and help create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all Rozsa visitors.

No previous experience is necessary. Interested individuals can contact Samantha Hoover for more information, or go here to sign up to usher for an event at the Rozsa. We look forward to seeing you at the Rozsa in 2020.

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.

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.

Tech Theatre and Sound Students Present “A Haunted Mine: The Lost Labs of Dr. Z”

Quincy Mine at nightThe Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Quincy Mine Hoist Association present their spooky Halloween collaboration “A Haunted Mine: The Lost Labs of Dr. Z”

Tours will run from 6 to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow (Oct. 24/25) and from 4:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 26) in the Quincy Mine on U.S. 41 north of Hancock. Ages 13 and up are $12 per person, 12 and under are $6.

Tours after 6 p.m. are not recommended for small children. All children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Footwear for muddy, snow and bloody conditions is advised.

Students are the performers in the mine and have designed sound, lighting, props, scenery and costumes for this one-of-a-kind Halloween scare. All proceeds will benefit the Quincy Mine Hoist Association.

For more on how we haunt a mine read our article in Michigan Tech News.