While the plummeting temperatures have announced winter's arrival in Michigan, things are heating up at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) as students prepare for Collage, the school's annual all-encompassing showcase concert.
One of SMTD's most popular presentations, the 2016 Collage Concert takes place on Saturday, January 16 at 8:00 p.m. at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. Tickets are available at the League Ticket Office; at tickets.music.umich.edu; or by calling 734-764-2538.
Now in its 39th year, Collage is presented in a seamless, non-stop format that celebrates the vast spectrum of performance disciplines at SMTD. As many as 30 or more short acts are featured in rapid succession, with each performance followed by one that is vastly different in both discipline and mood. A ten-minute Collage interlude might include a jazz trio, an opera soloist, a theatre scene, a trombone octet, and a full orchestra. Applause is held until the end of each half of the program.
As always, audiences can expect the unexpected, with unique ensembles, a mix of popular and unfamiliar repertoire, and collaborations that showcase the multi-disciplinary opportunities that abound at SMTD. Music acts include soloists and duos along with multi-faceted chamber ensembles, big bands, techno artists, and large ensembles such as the University Symphony Orchestra, University Symphony Band, Chamber Choir and Men's Glee Club.
Approximately 400 students are involved in the collaborative production, which utilizes not only the breadth of performing talent at SMTD, but also a highly skilled team of behind-the-scenes professional and student technicians. Planning for the performance begins in September and this year is under the co-direction of Ellen Rowe, chair of the Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation, and Eugene Rogers, associate director of choirs and associate professor of conducting.
"Putting the Collage Concert together has been very exciting for us," said Rowe. "The opportunity to craft a show featuring so many of our amazing students has reminded us, once again, of the depth of talent at the school. The difficult part was selecting the 15 or 16 submissions out of so many wonderful entries. We wanted to try and include more dance and theatre students this year, so the audience can expect a very diverse program and lots of surprises."