Thursday, February 22, 2018

Congratulations Weston!

Recently announced by the Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association was the student placements for the 2018 All-State Ensembles Program. This year the program—via recorded auditions—selected from a pool of 2,614 students to fill 393 slots in the programs five ensembles. Our very own Weston Welch, concertmaster for the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, is among the student placements. Weston Welch, a junior violinist from P-CEP, earned a spot on the All-State High School Orchestra. Weston along with five other students from P-CEP joined the rest of the All-State High School Ensembles in Grand Rapids late January where they rehearsed for two and a half days with nationally recognized conductors before performing at the Michigan Music Conference. Congratulations to Weston Welch as well as all the other student placements for this years All-State Ensembles Program!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Guest Composer Zhou Tian

His work being described as both “lush and distinctive”, Grammy-nominated composer Zhou Tian (JOH TEE-en; Zhou is his last name) has had his works performed by leading orchestras and performers across the United States and the world. Raised in a musical family (his father was a commercial composer in China), Zhou started playing piano in recording sessions and arranging all kinds of music when he was 12 years old. Zhou, originally from Hangzhou, China, studied at Shanghai Conservatory, Curtis Institute of Music, Julliard School, and USC Thornton School of Music but his style is not restricted by borders, culture, or language. 

Zhou’s music is described as a seamless blend of cultures that connects performers and audience members on a higher level. Known for not only his classical compositions but for also his film, dance, and crossover music, Zhou has earned an Honorable Mention for his Jazz Composition Duet, critical acclaim for his filming scoring in the major Chinese feature film Eternal Beloved, and his Concerto for Orchestra was also nominated for a 2018 Grammy Aware for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. 

Dr. Zhou will be joining the Philharmonic for our Tchaikovsky Spectacular concert on March 18th. Zhou will be joining Music Director and Conductor Nan Washburn for a pre-concert chat where they will discuss—among other things—his piece “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers” that the Philharmonic will be performing during the Tchaikovsky Spectacular. 


Friday, January 19, 2018

Rock, Pop & Soul!

Get to know Lonnie Reed

Lonnie Reed, a Texas native, recently finished his Master’s in Vocal Performance at the University of Michigan, School of Music.  Lonnie served as tenor section leader at First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, MI, where he has been one of the featured solo artists in all of the ministry’s fundraising events and concerts, which included Camille Saint-Saens’ Oratorio de Noel.  Lonnie will conclude his time at FUMC as tenor soloist with Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. 

As he continues his studies at the University of Michigan, Lonnie received private voice instructions from the gifted performer and scholar Dr. Scott Piper. Under his direction, Lonnie was featured as a soloist for the School of Music’s Chamber Choir Fall Concert in 2013, as he rendered a choir/duet performance of “Soon ah Will be Done/I Wanna Die Easy” by Craig Hella Johnson. During that same Fall term, he was featured on a combined choir and orchestral work composed by Christopher Theofanidis: Here and Now, performed at the historical Hill Auditorium.

He has performed for the Arbor Opera Theater’s 15th Anniversary Gala where he sang the role of Basilio in a scene from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and as Arturo in a most notable sextet, “Chi mi frena in tal momento,” from Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti. Lonnie was previously featured as a tenor soloist in a performance of Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass in May of 2015; and, with Arbor Opera Theatre, where he sang the role of Gastone in the company’s production of Verdi’s La Traviata in June 2015. Come hear Lonnie 

Music Arrangements
"Rock, Pop & Soul" concert are songs straight from the artist like Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” or Selections from Michael Gore’s Fame. Other pieces, however, are medleys or collections that have been arranged by a more recent composer. But what is an arranger? Arranging music can often be confused with orchestrating music and less often confused with composing music, but the distinction is very clear. 

Composing music of course is the creation of music from nothing. The bringing together of ideas from within the mind of the composer to create a new piece of art. Whereas orchestration is the assignment of notes from a previously composed piece to new instruments to make the composition accessible to a wider variety of performers, arrangement is the reimagining—to a degree—of a previously composed piece of music. Where arrangement does make use of orchestration techniques, it is a more in-depth process that also uses reharmonization, paraphrasing, and changes in development to add variety to an already existing melody.

The arrangers in our "Rock, Pop & Soul" concert took several songs by different artists and turned the collection into one cohesive piece per artist. By doing this, the arrangers like Patrick Roszell and Victor Lopez turn multiple songs into one interconnected, enjoyable, and comprehensible piece of music. Be sure to join us a for night of The Doors on Tour, The Eagles on Tour, A Whitney Houston Tribute, and many more. Only at the Michigan Philharmonic’s "Rock, Pop & Soul".

Next Concert

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Hail to the Veterans!

Pairing the music of conflict against the voices of innocence, the Michigan Philharmonic is excited to feature three children’s choirs during our “Hail to the Veterans” concert. The largest of the choirs is the Detroit Children’s Choir. Made up of over 300 children, their diverse collection of members come from many cities in Southeast Michigan. In addition to having the opportunity to perform on a plethora of stages in the metro Detroit area, choir members also receive training in music literacy, sight reading, and vocal techniques. Joining us as well is Plymouth’s own Main Street Opera Children’s Chorus. Located just upstairs from the Philharmonic at P.A.R.C., the Children’s Chorus plays an important role in the performances by the Main Street Opera Theater. The third choir joining us will be Our Lady of Good Counsel’s own Plymouth Counselors Youth Chorale, an ensemble for the elementary and middle school students from the parish and school. Additionally, the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra–Sinfonia will be joining the Philharmonic for a side-by-side performance during our “Hail to the Veterans” November 10th concert. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Our Veterans

Most everyone is familiar with the role that the military plays in peacekeeping, but many people don’t realize the role that the military plays in offering disaster relief and aid work. Military personnel are involved in many humanitarian aid projects, often being the first major support forces at the scene of a disaster. Following Tsunamis in Japan and Indonesia, and deadly earthquakes in Haiti, U.S. naval ships are the first to provide aid, supplies, and relief for those impacted by such disasters. 
As we approach Veterans day, it is important to remember the sacrifices our veterans and activity duty military personnel have made to protect our freedoms, but also to save countless lives and provide support for those affected by disasters worldwide. 
The Michigan Philharmonic honors and celebrates the work of these tireless military personnel both here and abroad with a concert featuring memorable music of wartime and peacetime.  “Hail to the Veterans” on Friday, November 10th, 2018 will bring together orchestra and three children’s choirs for a memorable concert on Veterans weekend.  For tickets and information:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Veterans Day: Honoring our Service Men and Women

Veterans Day is coming in just a few short weeks, and we take that time to honor and thank the veterans of our Armed Forces for the sacrifices they make to keep us and our country safe. In addition to remembering and honoring our veterans’ sacrifices, we also take time to recognize the struggles and challenges that some veterans experience when returning home from war. 
According to a 2014 study, military personnel are five times more likely to suffer from major depression, and fifteen times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder than civilians. An effective form of therapy to help individuals cope with mental illness is music therapy. In 1950 the American Music Therapy Association was founded—largely in part because of the impact of music that volunteer musicians witnessed in the rehabilitation of WWII veterans. Music therapists work with military personnel and their families during all phases of service. Another organization, Guitars for Vets, provides 10 weeks of instruction and a free guitar for veterans who take part in their programs. 
Music has been shown in numerous studies to reduce stress, manage depression, and help individuals coping with trauma. Join us November 10th for “Hail to the Veterans” to honor our veterans and experience the healing power of music. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

National Art in Education Week Post“Arts education, comprising a rich array of disciplines including dance, music, theatre, media arts, literature, design, and visual arts, is a core academic subject and an essential element of a complete and balanced education for all students.”

With these words, the U.S. House of representatives designated the week beginning with the second Sunday of September as National Art in Education Week. The Michigan Philharmonic, with our CLASSical Music Outreach Third Grade Program, Visiting Artists workshops, and of course the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra is proud to nurture, support, and recognize the importance of arts education in Michigan. 

National Art in Education Week in September 10-16 this year. Share your stories of an important arts teacher or arts class that you have had with the hashtag #BecauseOfArtsEd.