Inspiring the Michigan Experience

What is a quintessential “Michigan experience”? For many, it’s that initial thrill of seeing the Michigan Marching Band enter the stadium…the stirring pride of hearing a U-M ensemble perform “The Victors”…the buzz of excitement in a packed Hill Auditorium that precedes the start of the annual Collage Concert.

The fact is, a large number of the most fondly remembered and inspirational U-M experiences are directly connected to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. For more than 130 years, SMTD has been a critical part of what makes Michigan Michigan.

In matching the excellence of our students, faculty, and programs with opportunities for young artists and scholars to share their skills with the campus and community, our School stands as one of the key contributors to the creativity that distinguishes U-M.

The hundreds of SMTD student and faculty performances that take place throughout the campus each year contribute essentially to a vibrant performing arts culture for our entire campus and community. In any given week, there are opportunities to experience exceptional performances that range from classical, jazz, big band, electronic, choral, and world music concerts to fully staged plays, musicals, operas, and dance recitals. SMTD is also the primary presenter of the Musicology Distinguished Lecture Series—open to the entire student body and community—featuring celebrated scholars addressing a vast array of arts topics.

The School is deeply invested in providing study and performance opportunities that are open to all students, campus-wide. Courses for non-majors are available throughout the curricula, and the School supports many music ensembles open to any Michigan student, with some designated specifically for non-music students.
All, of course, benefit from the expertise and instruction of SMTD’s inspirational faculty, who teach required courses and conduct rehearsals, concerts, tours, and performances at athletic events.

SMTD’s music ensembles—particularly the University Symphony Orchestra, University Band, Chamber Choir, Symphony Choir, and Jazz Ensemble—are ambassadors for the University with each of their “away” concerts, whether in China, New York, or Detroit. Sharing that honor are the prestigious Michigan Marching Band (MMB) and the Women’s and Men’s Glee Clubs (WGC and MGC), comprising both music and non-music majors. In fact, due to the MMB’s performances in massive football stadiums across the country and MGC’s extensive international touring and sold-out concerts, these two ensembles are frequently charged with representing U-M to the largest audiences. They do so with the highest standards, reflecting the excellence that is the hallmark of SMTD’s training.

The primary goal of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance is to prepare the next generation of exceptional performers and scholars in the performing arts. At the same time, the School also proudly carries the mantle of inspiring the entire University, its alumni, and community through the incomparable medium of performance, in its many manifestations. Please join us as we continue to make spirits soar and inspire the victors in all of us!