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August 27, 1969 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1969-08-27

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Wednesday, August 27, 1969

THE MICHIGAN GAILY

% Page Mine

Wednesday, August 27, 1969 THE MICHIGAN DAILY ~Page Nine

music

UMS
By R. A. PERRY
Contributing Editor
Although big enoughsto ex-
hibit many of the sins of
American urban life and still
small enough to be ruled by a
rural paranoid mentality, Ann
Arbor is neither a- very swing-
ing nor enlightening city. As a
university town, it lacks the fe-
brile intellectualism that is the
ambient of Cambridge and is
too mid-western to admit the
colorful and open-air life styles
of Berkeley. Ann Arbor is a one
Pat Olezku town. Most of the
movie houses here dedicate
themselves to the worst trips

Casting

pearls

before

available, exciting shopping is
limited to the flashing red light
at K-Mart, and student creative
endeavors are often curtailed by
the high cost of doing anything
in this All-American city.
So, unless you are a freak or
a frat, both poles being rather
monochromatic and predictable,
there are only four cultural
and entertaining possibilities in
Ann's arborial gardens: 1) the
presentations of the University
Musical Society, 2) the perform-
ances of the APA company, 3)
the letters to the editor in the
Ann Arbor News, and 4) your
own private hashish dreams.

300 concerts:
A 1l for free
The music school does something that no other school, has
been known to do: It entertains.
Throughout the year, the school sponsors over 300 concerts,
including faculty performances, student recitals, and performances
by the many University musical groups.
These groups include two full symphony orchestras; seven
bands, one a jazz band; and several choral groups, notably the
Choral Union, with hundreds of members, and the Chamber Choir,
which was invited as choir-in-residence for last year's Spoleto
Festival in Italy.
In addition, the school sponsors three fully staged operas
and an opera workshop performance. And faculty members in-
dividually have spun off into many fine groups, like the Stanley
Quartet, the Baroque Trio, the Duo Concertante and the Woodwind
Quintet.
One of the highlights of the music year is the Contemporary
Directions Series of concerts, featuring the Contemporary Direc-
tions Ensemble, a University group which last year received a
supporting Rockefeller Foundation grant. Modern or premiere
works are featured, and the series also includes special performances
by well-known musicians in the Contemporary Music Festival con-
certs.
The school also boasts its own composer-in-residence, Ross Lee
Finn ey.
There is something happening almost every day in the music
school, and best of all, everything is free.
A complete list of al coming events in the music school is
published every month and posted around campus. Students can
also pick up copies in the Union and in the lobby of the music
school on North Campus.

This brief disquisition concerns
the University Musical Society.
Gail Rector, president of the
UMS, believes that his organi-
zation helped put Ann Arbor on
the map, and in many ways he
is correct. In its 91 years of ex-
istence, the UMS has brought to
town just about every famous
performing musician who ever
lived or was lured to America.
Hill Aud. has resounded to the
voices of Calve, Gadski, Flag-
stad, Rethberg, Ponsell, Bjoer-
ling, Gigli, Martinelli (nine
times), Melchior, McCormack,
Kipnis, and Pinza, to name but
a few. Pianists Gabrilowitsch,
Hofmann, Paderewski, Rach-
maninoff, and Schnabel, not to
mention just about every con-
temporary pianist of renown,
have appeared under the aus-
pices of UMS. Violinists Elman,
Enesco, Heifetz, Kreisler, and
Szigeti came to Ann Arbor be-
cause of the UMS, as did the
greatest cellist of all time,
Emanuel Feuermann. Leopold
Stokowski appeared as organist
in 1936. If one could travel back
in time, 1940 would have been
a good year to be in Ann Arbor:
Schnabel, Szigeti, Feuermann,
Kipnis, Pons, and Maynor all
graced the town.
The amazing insistence on
musical quality continues to
dominate the UMS concert ser-
ies. For the coming 1969-1970
season, Rector has signed up
Vladimir Ashkenazy, Joan Suth-
erland, Andre Watts, Jean-
Pierre Rampal, Misha Dichter.
the New York Pro Musica, and
more esoteric but no less anti-
cipated ensembles as the Phak-
avali Dancers from Bangkok,
the NHK Symphony Orchestra
from Japan. the Osipov Bala-
laika Orchestra from Russia,
and the Chamber Orchestra of
Prague. A Dance Series prom-
ises, among other groups, the
Jose Limon Company and the'
NationalBallet of Canada.
So hooray for the UMS and
all that, except it is not quite
that simple, not by a long shot.
The UMS faces two very serious
problems, problems which have
already caused the death of the

Chamber Music Festival and
caused the reduction from 53
musical events in the 1967-68
season to about 35 this year,;
inclusive of the prestigious if,
creaking May Festival and the
Summer Piano Series.
The first problem is one
which faces all of us in the
"grocery-bill world," but which
faces the UMS more portentous-
ly: soaring costs. In 1950, Rec-
tor could engage a pianist for
about $1,800 and an orchestra
for approvimately $2,750; today
these fees are $6,000 and $7,000,
with headliners like Van Cli-
burn or Serkin at considerably
steeper charges. Simultaneous-
ly, the charge for services ren-
dered by thehUniversity Plant
Department have risen, and it
is one of the shocking aspects
of this under-financed Univer-
sity that the UMS, which con-
tributes so importantly to the
cultural life of the area and
which contributed so heavily to
the School of Music in past
years, receives no special dis-
pensation on services.
These cost problems are com-
plicated by the fact that ticket
prices can only absorb a minis-
cule part of the inflation. A
series ticket that cost $12 in
1950 costs $15 in 1969, and that
$15 (for ten concerts in the
Choral Union Series) offers the
best entertainment bargain in
the city.
The second problem is more
complex and no less depressing:
how do you get students, whose
previous education never
thought of training aesthetic
prerogatives, to attend concerts?
Even though the ticket prices
are quite low, the majority of
Hill And. audiences are com-
prised of faculty members and
adults from the local environs.
This problem is compounded at
the University, where student
taste turns out 20,000 people to
see the insipid Johnny Carson
issue TV jokes but can not pro-
duce 2,000 people to hear the
Moscow State Symphony Or-
chestra. Another less polite way
of putting it would be to say the

UMS is casting pearls before
swine.
Even those students who do
have an interest in the music
that the UMS offers often fail
to attend concerts. Why? One
of the reasons involves the sim-
ple fact that paying $3 or $4 to
hear an under-rehearsed Phila-
delphia Orchestra play La Mer
under ' Ormandy becomes ridi-
culous when for the same
amount the work can be heard
on records (repeatedly) under
superb performances by Boulez
or Toscanini. Certainly live per-
formance has a meaningfulness
that canned music misses; nev-
ertheless the record catalog is so
rife with treasures never en-
countered in the concert hall,
that a student's money usually
goes in the latter direction.
In some ways, Gail Rector
and the UMS compound these
problems. A concerned but in-
herently conservative man, Rec-
tor has not tried sufficiently to
tell students that what he offers
is not High Culture but enter-
tainment. Plainly, many stu-
dents, potential concert goers,
are traditionally put off by the
solemnity that always surrounds
"classical" music; if Rector is
as concerned with the educa-
tional role of his organization
as he professes, he should more

wine
assiduously seek ways to mod-
ernize the image, the advertis-
ing, and the programming of
his product.
Rector has taken one very big
step, after some prodding and
much hesitation. For the five
concerts of this past May Fes-
tival, the UMS offered special
"Rush Tickets" for just $1.
These tickets, available during
a given time the day of the con-
cert, consisted of unsold seats
throughout the auditorium and
provided a fine way for the
budget-minded or uncommitted
to enjoy an evening of fine
music. For the coming season,
Rector will extend his "Rush
Ticket" offer, and if it receives
a poor response from the stu-
dents of the University, it may
not be long before one, of the
most outstanding concert series
in small town America will bow
its hoary head and die.
;pf ifi

III

To the
Men of Michigan
The Store That Enjoys Having You Come
in and .Browse.

PICK UP YOUR
FREE
GIFT-PAK (A $2.00 Value)
at
ULRICH'S-The Student's Bookstore

DON'T BUY
YOUR
ART and SCHOOL
SUPPLIES{
until you have seen our prices
{up to 25% off the list)
CONSISTENTLY THE BEST
PRICES IN TOWN
University Discount Store
Currently located at 1528 SAB
but watch for our Big Move!
An SGC project

i.
I
i
lu

We Have Seen Many Come and Go Dur-
ing the Past Forty Years, and Have Served
the Grand Parents of Many in School Today
with Fine Men's Wear.

i

We Still Maintain That Image by Of fr-
ing You Clothes and Furnishings of a Qual-
ity and Style You Can Be Proud of as Well
as Us.

I;

Salelf

1/11

Ai

theatre

310 S. STATE

Bringing in

the

professionals

By JUDY KAhN
The University's Professional
Theatre Program (PTP) has a
reputation for offering students,
faculty, and local citizens a di-
verse selection of contemporary
and classic drama.
In September and October of
this year, the PTP will sponsor-
for the eighth consecutive year
--a Fall Festival season of pre-
sentations by the Association of
Producing Artists (APA).
This season's offering will in-
clude three new productions.
The first, a revival of the
American classic The Time of
Your Life, by Saroyan, will be
presented from Sept. 16-28.
The Chronicles of Hell, by Ghel-
derode, follows from Sept. 30
to Oct. 12. APA calls it "a whiff
of- satanical sulphur." The series
will end with Gogol's "satirical
farce," The Inspector General,
which will be presented from
Oct. 14-26.
Last year's APA production of
The Misanthrope, by Moliere,
won praises from the New York
Times during its New York run,
which followed its presentation
in Ann Arbor. The Times said it
was "Brighter, richer, and hap-
pier than anything on or off
Broadway." Cock - A - Doodle
Dandy and Hamlet, also pre-
sented last year, received gener-

ally favorable reviews in New
York as well as in Ann Arbor.
The ConJurer, by nationally
known playwright Evan Hunter,
will be presented in early No-
vember. This will be the ninth
premiere of a new work for the
theatre to be presented by the
PTP.
During Ann Arbor's winter
theatre season, a series of
Broadway and off-Broadway
shows will be presented by a
touring company. Last year the
series included such well-re-
ceived shows as Man of La
Mancha and Fiddler on the
Roof.
The Stratford Festival The-
atre of Canada has performed
in Ann Arbor for the past two
years, and it is expected back
again this spring. The Stratford
Theatre's series last year pre-
sented fine productions of ham-
let and Ben Jonson's The Al-
chemist.
Sometime between the begin-
ning of September of this year
and the end of August of next
year, a third major repertory
company may be included in the
list of events sponsored by the
PTP.
Subscriptions for the APA
Fall Festival are currently on
sale at the PTP ticket office in
the Michigan League. Student
discount ticketsare available.

Order Your Daily Now-
Phone 764-0558

i

The AlP's misanthrope

United Airlines'
campus representative,
Peter Graham, cuts air fares in half.
Peter is United's new campus rep.
And he can save you 50' on air fares
by getting you in United's 12-21 Club.
Once you're in you can fly anywhere
United flies for %/2 fare. And with
United's big schedule of flights that's

WELCOME BACK STUDENTS!
AS A WELCOMING GESTURE TO NEW STUDENTS
{ AND A "THANK YOU" TO RETURNING STUDENTS
FOR THEIR WONDERFUL PATRONAGE IN THE
PAST, WE OFFER A COMPLIMENTARY TICKET!
of - mmmms coupommmn d whe n ccrnpiniedmmmmby an
*. r
II,
IFREE ADMISSION
r One person admitted free upon presentation ;
of this coupon and when accompanied by a:I,
person paying full adult admission
expires Oct.1, 1969

just about everywhere you'd want to f ly.

i

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