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            newsletter                          January 2013         Volume 23                                                                                              
Is it Opera or is it Musical Theatre?
Is opera the grandmother of musical theatre? Is nineteenth century "light opera" an evolutionary step between the two? Or are the two art forms unrelated? This is a topic of hot debate on the web and elsewhere. Whatever your belief about the origins of musical theatre, you probably know the ways in which the two art forms are different. Musical theatre productions are usually performed in the language of the audience and they often (though not always) have spoken dialogue and dancing. In contrast, in the U.S. opera is most often performed in the language in which it was originally written. And while opera houses usually project translated English supertitles above the stage, many audience members prefer to familiarize themselves with the storyline ahead of time so they can follow the plot and then concentrate on enjoying the music and the voices, which are the real glory of the opera.
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January News
This month we welcomed back from sabbatical Associate Professor Mike Mitchell, director of the music program. Recently returned from Europe, we feel sure Mike is refreshed and ready to attack the new semester with even more than his usual gusto. But, of course, we have said bon voyage to faculty leaving to take a sabbatical. Professor Karen Sheridan is already hard at work as a teacher trainee with the prestigious Shakespeare and Company in the Berkshires, in Lenox, Massachusetts. She is assisting with a month-long intensive that focuses on the Shakespearean text. After she has completed this program, Karen plans to spend some time in Doha, Qatar, observing the programs offered by the Northwestern University campus located there. Also on sabbatical this semester is Professor John-Paul White, who in January will attend the 2013 Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities
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The Dance Community Comes to OU
Months of planning will come to fruition in February when Oakland University's Dance Program hosts the 2013 American College Dance Festival Association East-Central Conference. We are delighted to be hosting, and especially since this is the 40th anniversary conference. From Wednesday, February 20 until Saturday, February 23 there will be approximately 450 participants on campus, representing more than 25 college dance programs, including the University of Alaska – Anchorage.
They will perform for some very distinguished adjudicators -- Randy Duncan, Gerri Houlihan and Heidi Latsky. Randy Duncan is a multi-award winning leading light of the Chicago dance scene. His choreography combines elements of ballet, jazz, African and modern dance. 
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Mark Stone: A Life in Music
Mark Stone graduated from Waterford Kettering High School with a full scholarship to study engineering at the University of Michigan. During his freshman year of college he did take some engineering classes, but by his sophomore year he had given up all pretense of a future as an engineer – along with his scholarship. He switched to percussion performance and never looked back. Mark is the world music and percussion coordinator at OU. He began his life as a musician at age six when a neighbor, Phil Shutes, offered to teach him to play the marimba. Or as Mark more accurately notes, "The marimba and chess." In a neighborly kind of way, the Stone and Shutes families traded favors. Mark's father helped Phil, who had multiple sclerosis and was in a wheelchair, around the house, and Phil, a professional percussionist and music therapist, gave his neighbor's son free lessons. Mark still recalls standing at the marimba next to Phil's wheelchair playing challenging musical pieces.
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Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance

207 Varner Hall
2200 North Squirrel Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4401
(248) 370-2030
Upcoming Events


Saturday, 1/5
Double Reeds Day with
Detroit Symphony Bassoon Quartet

Sunday, 1/6, 9 am
Strings Day

Thursday, 1/17, 6 pm
Gianni Schicchi
Suor Angelica

Saturday, 1/19, 8 pm
Gianni Schicchi
Suor Angelica

Saturday, 1/19
Voice Day

Saturday, 1/26
Percussion Day with
Miguel Gutierrez

Saturday, 1/26, 8 pm
Southpaw Isle Steel Band

Thursday, 1/31-
Sunday, 2/10
Legally Blonde

Saturday, 2/2
Piano Day

Sunday, 2/3, 1pm
Regina Carter & the OU
Jazz Quarter
Family Jazz Concert

Monday, 2/4, 7pm
OU Chamber Orchestra

Thursday, 2/7, 6pm
Take Root

Friday, 2/8, 8pm
Take Root

Sunday, 2/10, 3pm
Oakland Symphony Orchestra 16th Annual
David Daniels Young Artists Concert

Wednesday, 2/13, 8pm
Symphonic Band &
Brass Band

Thursday, 2/14, 1pm
Kris Davis Group

Thursday, 2/14, 6pm
Wind Symphony

Tuesday, 2/26, 7pm
Guitar Studio Recital

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