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U-M UpstART Festival Begins


The University of Michigan kicks off the first annual UpstART Festival, which runs from March 31 - April 3, 2014, to celebrate the arts at Michigan. The UpstART Festival, sponsored by the U-M Arts Consortium, celebrates all forms of artistic expression and features arts-related activities on the U-M campus including music, visual arts, dance, poetry, theatre, and film.

Over the four-day festival, SMTD students, faculty, and alumni will be an integral part of the festivities. Students will be featured speakers and will showcase their work, culminating with a free student show at the Power Center on April 3 at 7:30 PM. Distinguished SMTD alumni and faculty will address audiences in "MTalks," on a variety of topics, at the Mendelssohn Theatre.

 SMTD student, faculty and alumni presenters include:

 SMTD alumni speakers:

  • Alex Kip (musical theatre): "The Community in Art"
  • Sam Lips (musical theatre): "Theatre is My Job"
  • Dominique Morisseau (theatre & drama): "Arts, Activism, and Becoming Fearless"
  • Deb Mexicotte (theatre & drama): "Engaging in the Arts at U-M: What Every Student Needs to Know (and What We Need to Know About Our Students)!"

SMTD faculty speakers:

  • Lester Monts (musicology)Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Senior Counselor to the President for the Arts, Diversity and Undergraduate Affairs, and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Music
  • Jessica Fogel (dance), "Sensing the Spirit of Place: Creating Site Dances"
  • Anita Gonzalez (theatre & drama), "Global Theatre, Diversity and International Collaborations"
  • Annette Masson (theatre & drama): "The Art of Talking: What Do Presenters and Performers Need to Know to Achieve Clear and Articulate Dialogue When it is Fast Disappearing From Our Culture"
  • Sile O'Modhrain (performing art technology): "Feeling is Believing: Perception, Action and Interaction Design"
  • Ed Sarath (jazz & contemporary improvisation): "Improvisation, Creativity, and Consciousness"

SMTD student speakers and performers

  • Adrian Slywotzky (conducting): “Where Music and Medicine Meet”
  • Brian Garcia (interarts performance)
  • Melissa Golliday (theatre & drama)
  • Jonathan Hulting-Cohen (saxophone), Christopher Haddlesey (music) & Henry Nettleton (musical theatre): "Connecting the Campus Through the Arts."
  • Henry Nettleton (musical theatre)
  • Charlie Reischl (double bass): "The Importance and Endurance of Gathering in Ann Arbor"
  • Garrett Schumann (composition): "Composers Are People Too: Exploring the Connection Between Social Activity and Music"
  • Rheme Sloan (voice)



For a full list of UpstART events, times and locations, please visit  


past news

September 2017
March 2014

U-M UpstART Festival Begins 03/31/2014

Students Present "Wall-to-Wall Theatre Festival" 03/27/2014

First-Ever SMTD Chamber Music Competition Launches April 5 03/27/2014

Doctoral Fellow Named MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year 03/26/2014

Theatre Student Lands Major TV Role 03/25/2014

Elizabeth Batiuk (ethnomusicology) has been chosen as a fellow at the Sweetland/Rackham Dissertation Writing Institute for spring 2014 and James McNally (ethnomusicology) received a summer and academic year FLAS for the study of Portuguese.    03/17/2014

Musicology graduate student Elizabeth McLain has been awarded a prestigious Lurcy Fellowship for research in France during the 2014-2015 academic year.   03/14/2014

December 2013

SMTD students Zoe Kumagai, Stephanie Aboukasm, and Adam DesJardins are among students profiled in an LSA article about the "Michigan in Washington" program, in which students intern at various Washington, DC organizations and businesses, including the National Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center, and the Washington Performing Arts Society.    12/10/2013

October 2013
August 2013

Evan Zegiel, a sophomore who studies with Fritz Kaenzig, was the First Place winner in the Tuba Student division of the 2013 Leonard Falcone International Euphonium & Tuba Festival.     08/21/2013

July 2013

Professor Ashley Lucas and three Theatre & Drama students are engaged in an intensive exchange program with UniRio in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this summer, where they are blogging about their experiences in UniRio's prison arts program and more.   07/12/2013

November 2011
August 2011
June 2011
Current Student News
DMA Piano Students Perform with Ann Arbor Symphony more
2018 SMTD Concerto Competition Winners Announcedmore

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower