Anne Beffel to Chair VPA

Ann Beffel
Ann Beffel

Bruce Seely, dean of Michigan Tech’s College of Sciences and Arts, announced the appointment of three new department chairs. On July 1, Anne Beffel will assume chairmanship of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

Beffel is an artist who works in many forms and media, including the visual and performance arts. She replaces Roger Held, who is completing seven years as chair of VPA. Beffel joins Michigan Tech from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, where she has taught since 2000. She defines herself as a “time artist,” which she says means that she is deeply interested in connecting art and social context in time, using all forms and media.

“Anne’s interests as an artist intersect with every area of expertise and emphasis within the department,” Seely said. “She seems an almost perfect fit to guide the department forward.”

All three new department chairs, Seely added, have had distinguished careers that demonstrate academic and administrative accomplishments and a commitment to education that promises success in their new roles. “I am deeply gratified at their willingness to take on one of the hardest roles in academic administration. But I am even more excited about the chance to work closely with these three energetic and enthusiastic new chairs,” the dean said. “I ask the campus community to help them feel welcome as they arrive in Houghton over the next month.”

Read more at Tech Today, by Bruce Seely.

Concert Choir Tour of Eastern Europe

Concert Choir in Croatia 2013The former area of Yugoslavia conjures up images of war and civil unrest for many people, but for some members of the Michigan Tech Concert Choir, the Eastern European region is where many great memories were recently made.

“It was a lot of preparation, a lot of logistical and administrative kinds of things we had to prepare for, but the tour was very successful from beginning to end,” said Jared Anderson, third-year director of the choir. “… There were remnants of communism in some ways, but you could also see some countries really flourishing.”

The choir, previously under the leadership of Milton Olsson, has taken trips to Mexico City, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Brazil and China, and Anderson said the group will likely travel again in three to four years.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Stephen Anderson.


Dancers Fly in “Beautiful” at the Rozsa June 19


As a part of FinnFest 2013, Michigan Tech’s Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts presents three nights of “Beautiful: A Cirque-Tale of How the Butterfly Grew Her Wings,” Wednesday, June 19, 9 p.m.; Thursday, June 20, 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, June 21, 7:30 p.m. Creator/Producer/Director Jennifer Kelly describes “Beautiful” as “A metaphysical and visceral experience inspired by the life cycle of a caterpillar.”

“Beautiful” is the brain-child of Kelly and Aerial Choreographer Jason Whicker. Whicker’s aerial work surpasses flight originally created for any show on or off Broadway. Featured guest choreographers include “So You Think You Can Dance” finalist Robert Taylor, Jr., and Dreya Weber, Pink’s Aerial choreographer.

Read more at Tech Today.

‘Beautiful’ — a tale of transformation

Most everyone knows of the wonder and spectacle that Cirque du Soleil shows can bring, now residents of the Copper Country and beyond can experience “Beautiful,” a cirque-style show that will be premiering next week at the Rozsa Center.

“It’s a woman’s transformative journey,” she said. “It’s about how we’re either paralyzed by (change) or transformed by it, but ultimately if we embrace our own hero story, we’ll become transformed.”

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Scott Viau.

Theatre Students in Michigan Tech Magazine Spring 2013

Katy EllenichThe article Faking It by Jennifer Donovan concerns Tech theatre students and the art of illusion.

Each year, students and professionals who work in theatre technology—sound, lighting, costumes, stage effects—gather at the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) annual conference.

“Each year, there is usually one, maybe two student presentations, ordinarily by graduate students,” says Mary Carol Friedrich, associate professor and director of theatre design and technology programs at Michigan Tech. “That our students, all undergrads, were chosen to present speaks to the strength of the very practical and professionally relevant work they are doing in the degree programs in the visual and performing arts department.”

A bent for swordsmithing is about Matt Willett, a Michigan Tech theatre technology student who had dabbled in magic when he was in high school and had seen a sword trick or two.

Willett’s teacher, Assistant Professor Kalen Larson, was so impressed with Willett’s creation that he invited the student to write a paper about it with him.

OMG! From wet head to up-do in five minutes is about Elizabeth LaRouche, who is working as costume shop manager in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

Sew faux: painted embroidery for the Shakespearean stage is about Katy Ellenich, a Calumet native who worked at the Calumet Theatre all through high school.

Making every new glove old again is about Morgan Nelson, a third-year costume design student from Cadillac.

Read more at Michigan Tech Magazine, by Jennifer Donovan.

For more color photos, including a high flying performance in Stealing Fire, view the PDF or Flash versions.

Learn more about the BA program in Theatre and Electronic Media Performance and the BS program in Theatre and Entertainment Technology.

Christopher Trevino Receives Gilman Scholarship

Gilman ScholarshipFive Tech Students Win International Scholarships

Four Michigan Tech undergraduates applied for Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships this year, and all four received the competitive awards.

Sound design major Christopher Trevino received a Gilman Scholarship for international study.

The Gilman Scholarship program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad by supporting undergraduates who otherwise might not participate in international study due to financial constraints. The grants to Michigan Tech students total $18,000.

Read more at Tech Today.

Service Recognition for Beckwith and Bruch

Michigan Tech Employee Service Recognition Event

On May 15, faculty and staff members, along with their guests, gathered at the Memorial Union Ballroom for an awards dinner recognizing 25, 30, 35, and 40 years of service to Michigan Tech.

Associate Professor of Theatre Debra Bruch was recognized for 25 years of service.

Emeritus Professor of Art Mary Ann Beckwith was recognized for 40 years of service.

Read more at Tech Today.

Michigan Tech Concert Choir Tour 2013

Concert Choir Bosnia 2013The Michigan Tech Concert Choir is currently touring the Dalmation Coast.

Watch a video of the Concert Choir in Bosnia. (Video courtesy of Debra Bruch.)

T.V. coverage of Monday’s choir concert (MICHIGAN TECH CONCERT CHOIR – KONCERT U SABORNOM HRAMU U TREBINJU 13. MAJA 2013.) includes a playlist of choral segments:

Dean’s List Fall 2012

Fall 2012 4.0
Johns, Lindsey L SR SFSD
Nanney, Matthew S SR SFET
Rautiainen, Lotta M SU SFAT
Schumaker, Courtney L JR SFSD

Fall 2012 3.99-3.50
Borel, Corinne P JR SEMP
Guess, Austin B JR SFET
Koch, Anthony K FR SFSD
McCloskey, Luke T FR SFSD
Nellis, Daniel S FR SFAT
Putzig, Renata M SR SFAT
Rocco, Jacqueline M JR SFET
Scott, Jason A SO SFET
Stack, Victoria M SO SFSD
Trevino, Christopher A SR SFSD
Villa, Andrew B JR SFSD

REF for Kalen Larson

Kalen LarsonResearch Excellence Fund Awards Announced

The vice president for research is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Research Excellence Fund Awards, and would like to thank all of the review committee members for participating in this important internal award process.

In the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Kalen Larson received a Scholarship and Creativity Grant.

Read more at Tech Today.

Springtime Voices with Concert Choir and conScience

Springtime Voices2012-13 Concert Season finishes with “Springtime Voices”

The first half of the concert will feature the Chamber Choir, “conScience,” a 12-member, student-only, auditioned ensemble, and focuses on what director Jared Anderson calls “Aspects of Imagination.”
The chamber choir’s selections will include the six chansons of Paul Hindemith, “staples of the chamber choir repertoire,” according to Anderson.

The second part of the concert will feature the Concert Choir, an 85-member group split about equally between students and community members, and will feature “a real eclectic mix” of songs. The first set is a “mystical kind of set,” including “Lion of the Heart,” another setting of a Rumi text composed by J. David Moore, as well as a piece called “Past Life Melodies” by Australian composer Sarah Hawkins.

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

Welcome Spring with “Springtime Voices” at the Rozsa!

According to Jared Anderson, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities at Michigan Tech, “…the concert will include both sacred and secular music from peoples and places around the globe–with a mix of traditional classical standards to more contemporary music for the stage and concert hall.”

From Tech Today.