Preview: Student Partnerships in Technology and Performing Arts Showcase

Professor Michael Gurevich is a facilitator.

As the assistant professor and chair of the Department of Performing Arts Technology at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance, it’s Gurevich’s job to help his students make connections between seemingly disparate things, be it computer music and improvisation or tap dancing and video games.

On December 13 at 7:30 pm, the public can watch some of these collaborations at the Student Partnerships in Technology and Performing Arts Showcase, the first event from an experimental pilot course Gurevich developed to bring together artists from the tech side (electronic musicians, coders, etc.) and the traditional arts (dancers, instrumentalists, etc.) Held in the state-of-the-art Chip Davis Technology Studio in the Earl V. Moore Building, the multimedia and performance showcase promises to be a head-twisting exploration of artistic intersections.

In the video below, Pulp editor Christopher Porter interviewed Gurevich and asked him about the showcase -- which is free -- and how it all plays into the University of Michigan’s Third Century Initiative: "As U-M prepares to celebrate its bicentennial in 2017, the Third Century Initiative has been established to inspire innovative programs that enhance the student learning experience and develop creative approaches to the world’s greatest challenges."

Interview: Dr. Thomas Strode and Boychoir of Ann Arbor

PREVIEW MUSIC

Boychoir of Ann Arbor

A past edition of the Boychoir of Ann Arbor chilling in their vestments.

It’s a haunting sound when a group of boys’ voices in the treble range convene.

I’m not talking about performances by boychoirs, which feature the unchanged voices of prepubescent boys, who together make a sound so lovely and pure that the effect is haunting.

I’m talking about the start of boychoir practices and the scary sound created when a gaggle of rambunctious dudes with short attention spans and constant jokes get together to learn the craft of choir singing.

But for 30 years, the ever-patient Dr. Thomas Strode has led the Boychoir of Ann Arbor through innumerable practices, and his ability to keep cool and impart high-quality musical education to a rather wiggly and easily distracted audience is remarkable.

In the common area of Ann Arbor’s St. Paul Lutheran Church, where Strode is the director of music, he teaches boys musical theory and gives singing lessons using a quiet, measured tone of voice. Under Strode's gentle guidance, the boys' constant hum of silliness at the start of practice soon becomes a gloriously soothing sound when they begin to sing.

Strode instructs a prep choir, for newer singers, as well as the performing choir, which features more experienced vocalists and expands the treble boychoir model to also include an SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) choir, with the older boys and their changing voices providing the lower notes.

Dr. Strode really understands how to teach children, which is why Boychoir of Ann Arbor has thrived for three decades. And the kids really do learn to sing beautifully, as listeners will be able to hear at the “A Boychoir Christmas” concerts on December 9 and 10.

These annual shows are highlights for many holiday concertgoers -- but they will also be Strode’s final ones as the choir’s director. He’s retiring at the end of the boychoir’s season, which wraps on June 4 with the “Spring Finale” concert.

With this being Strode’s final Christmas concert, we asked the good doctor to give us a preview of what we will hear and why.

Preview: December Documentaries

PREVIEW FILM & VIDEO

Warren Miller’s Here, There & Everywhere

Warren Miller is Here, There & Everywhere. / Photo by Cam McLeod Photography.

Do you have a God complex? Then documentary filmmaking might not be for you.

“In feature films the director is God; in documentary films, God is the director,” said the deity Alfred Hitchcock.

But the seven documentaries being shown in Ann Arbor this December had directors who put aside any supernatural ambitions they may have to tell real stories.