MTD Performance Season Preview: Fall 2016

MTD Performance Season Preview: Fall 2016
MTD Performance Season Brochure
The performance season brochure is available on the MTD homepage

Our students and faculty are back on campus, working hard and rehearsing so they can fill our performance spaces with glorious sights and sounds. We also have an impressive lineup of guest performers, directors and choreographers ready to work with our students and entertain you. For a full listing of performances please visit our website and check our online calendar. You can also view a PDF of our 2016-2017 Season Brochure

We really do have music to suit all tastes. The Oakland Symphony Orchestra has two dates in the fall, October 2 and November 6. The November concert may be of particular interest to lovers of more modern symphonic music, since it features music by Leonard Bernstein, Mason Bates, Aaron Copland and George Gershwin.

The fall University Chorus and Oakland Chorale concerts will take place on November 18 and November 19 off-campus, at St Irenaeus Catholic Church. The Chorale will tour Europe in summer 2017.

Once again jazz lovers will be able to enjoy artist-in-residence Regina Carter, who will play with the Oakland Jazz Quartet on September 10. This special concert will feature interpretations of themes and compositions from the classical canon.

On September 20 the Judd Family Endowed Fund is sponsoring the Ben Wendel Group featuring Gerald Clayton, Joe Sanders and Henry Cole. Come ready to enjoy an evening of modern improvisational music in support of Ben's new album What We Bring.

The season features more new music on October 29, when the Ongi Suo Saxophone Duo, Noa Evans and Phil Pierick, will perform in Varner.

World Music will feature guest Dr Paschal Yao Younge in their November 4 concert, and Dr Younge will also join OU’s Akwaaba African Ensemble for a free community workshop at the Pontiac Creative Arts Center on November 5.

The award-winning OU Brass Band has invited Rex Martin, professor of tuba and euphonium at Northwestern University, to join them for their October 16 concert.

As they always do, our student ensembles will perform throughout the semester. This year, the piano faculty is performing alongside their students. They have chosen October 29 as the date of their concert and they invite everyone to come along in costume and Celebrate Halloween. They also have a guest, pianist Mary Vanhoozier-Rodriguez, appearing in Varner on October 19.

Tian Tian
Dr Tian Tian will be playing
with the Juilliard String Quartet


Piano faculty member Assistant Professor Tian Tian has been invited to play with the Juilliard String Quartet when they return to Varner Recital Hall on October 9 as part of our Chamber Music Society of Detroit (CMSD) at Oakland University Series. Dr Tian, who is a Juilliard graduate, will perform Brahms’ beloved Piano Quintet. We anticipate a sell-out audience for this event; please purchase your ticket in advance! The second fall CMSD concert will be Heidi Grant Murphy, soprano and Kevin Murphy, piano on November 13.

The theatre season offers two main stage shows which could not be more different in the challenges they present our students and the entertainment they offer our audiences. The musical The Scarlet Pimpernel will offer eleven performances between October 6 and October 16. It’s a story of love and heroism, set against the backdrop of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, as a secret society of English aristocrats rescues Frenchmen condemned to the guillotine.

There will be nine performances of The House of Bernada Alba, Federico García Lorca’s final play, between November 10 and November 20. Two performances (November 13 at 2 pm and November 19 at 8 pm) will be Shadow-Signed for the Deaf by Synergy-on-Stage. In the play, drama ensues because Bernada is imposing a long period of mourning on her five daughters, and tension builds throughout the play as their desires turn to frustration and anger.

The theatre program is also hosting a guest artist, David Gaines, who will present his show A Little Business at the Big Top on September 16. It’s a fast-paced solo performance presenting a spectacular circus comedy that is full of danger and romance. In just one hour the audience will meet aerialists, animals, clowns and the ringmaster.

Other theatre highlights this fall include two second stage productions: bare: a pop opera on November 28 and 29 and Alice, a musical liberally adapted from the books by Lewis Carroll, on  December 4 and 5.

This fall, two dancers from the internationally renowned and critically acclaimed Batsheva Dance Company, one of Israel’s foremost cultural institutions, will be at OU. The company was founded by Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, who enlisted Martha Graham as its first artistic adviser. Ohad Naharin, one of the world’s preeminent contemporary choreographers, is the current artistic director. Guest artists Catherine Coury, who is a graduate of the University of Michigan, and Mario Bermudez Gil, originally from Spain, will work with the students to aid their transition to dance professionals. The resulting choreography will be presented during the four Oakland Dance Theatre and OU Repertory Dance Company concerts on December 1 through December 3.

Guest artists, the always popular Eisenhower Dance, will appear in On The Move with two performances on October 22 and October 23.

Finally, we want to remind you of our annual Black and Gold Performing Arts Extravaganza, which this year is on September 24, the Saturday of OU’s Homecoming Weekend. Everyone is welcome to join us at this free event and at the reception that follows.