The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, January 23, 1985
By Beth Fertig
he University of Michigan has a list
T of some pretty famous alumni. Gerald
Ford and Arthur Miller are
probably two of the most prominent of
these. And now, to add to the list of our
headline making attendees is someone
who has only recently begun to receive
a great deal of attention: pop
star/belly-button symbol, Madonna.
Madonna Louise Ciccone (the real
name) graduated Rochester Adams
High School at the age of sixteen in 1976.
When questioned further about
Madonna's high school life, her former
guidance counselor, Ms. Ryan, replied
that, "Her parents have asked that I not
go into personal stuff," and was
therefore limited to releasing only the
barest of facts. Indeed, the high school
had been flooded with calls from other
s, publications with questions concerning
the famous alumni. It's no wonder of
course, as Madonna's S.A.T. scores are
probably in higher demand than Brooke
Madonna won herself a scholarship to
the U.M. School of Dance, and began
her freshman year in 1977. Popular
rumor has it that she resided at East
Quad. However, a search through the
Freshman Records for the years in
which she was in attendance list her
address as 536 South University 10A.
This is rather odd, as there is no such
number on South U. The local Post Of-
fice has suggested South Forest as the
Madonna's teachers from the School
of Dance have agreed that she was an
excellent student. Modern Dan-
..- - -.
b est bet
By Neil Galanter
N estled in the peaceful woods of
Marlboro, Vermont exists a yearly
chamber music festival which brings
together talented young professionals
and mature artists from all over the
world each summer for two months.
Under the direction of beloved concert
pianist Rudolf Serkin, these artists ex-
change ideas and explore together a
vast repetoire of chamber music in both
informal and intimate settings.
Sprouting from this festival, titled
simply 'Marlboro Music Festival', is
the formation of the "Music from
Maulboro" Concert Series which offers
a much wider audience a sampling of
the varied programs and spirited
music-making characteristic of the
summer festival. Ann Arbor audiences
will get a fresh, healthy sampling of
those sprouts when five outstanding
young concert artists represent the
"Music from Marlboro" Series at
Rackham Auditorium this evening at
Pianist Cecile Licad, violinist Todd
Phillips, violist Steven Tenenbom,
cellist Peter Wiley and flutist, Judith
Mendenhall will perform, making up an
evening of some of the best and most
well known chamber music. In addition
to sustaining distinguished ensemble
careers each one of these musicians
boasts impressive and fruitful creden-
tials themselves. Licad is a winner of
the coveted Leventritt Gold Medal,-
Phillips made his debut at age thirteen
with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Tenen-
bom is a former member and soloist
with the Concerto Soloists of
Philadelphia and is currently touring
with the TASHI Chamber Ensemble.
Wiley has been principal cellist for the
Cincinnati Symphony and formerly
held a seat with the Pittsburgh Sym-
phony. Flutist Judith Mendenhall, who
joins the group for the performance of
Mozart's Flute Quartet in D Major, is a
top soloist in her own right, having
given recitals at The Metropolitan
Museum of Art in New York, and at the
'Prestigious Series' in the Spoleto
.,Music Festivals both in Spoleto, Italy
and in Charleston, South Carolina. She is
also a member of the Chamber Music
Society of Lincoln Center and has been
a guest at The Celebrity Series in
The evening's program will also in-
clude performances of Beethoven's
String Trio in G, Opus 9 no. l and
ce/Ballet teacher, Gay Delanghe, has
said of her, "A lot of kids can't handle
the discipline, but she had good
discipline. She worked very hard and
was very dependable. She liked to per-
Delanghe also added that the young
dancer was a very generous, energetic
individual, and described her as a free
spirit. She said however, in response to
Madonna's current success, that she
had no indication that she had wanted
to be a singer. Referring to the new
album, she felt that "the words are
Ms. Delanghe also had a few remarks
on the image Madonna projects. "It's
fun because I know her, but as I read
BOY TOY on her often-toted belt) it
seemed a deterioration of feminism.
Her market image seems to thrive on it.
And young people seem to go for it."
Delanghe added, questioning, "Maybe
it's just tongue-in-cheek."
The present dance students seem to
admire Madonna's success and per-
sonal drive, but were rather dubious
about the methods she had used to ob-
tain her fame. "I thing she's horrible,"
said sophomore Joy Grade, "she found
a gimmick." Freshman Denize Oktay
said, "I saw the video for 'Like a
Virgin' and died laughing. She's
nothing like it."
. On a lighter note, freshman Joe
Mooradian added, "It's just pop. She
oozes sex. She'd make a good 'Solid
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So here we have the Madonna of
today. Famous, glamorous, and above
all, very rich. Despite what one might
think about her image, and how it per-
tains to the popularity of her albums,
the current release, Like a Virgin, is
doing incredibly well. Therefore,
because it is her music through which
she is truly "sold", the album deserves
some critical attention aside from her
notoriety as a personality.
Like a Virgin is a pastiche of pathetic
material, a half-score of musical
fiascos which attempts to be "dan-
ceable", but lacks the punch or soul to
be that good. Synthesizer heavy, it is
deficient of any truly musical riffs or
originality. At best, it merely provides
a background vehicle for her incredibly
weak voice, which has been drenched in
reverb to add some sort of substance.
Madonna can carry a tune, but she
lacks any true vocal talent. In
"Material Girl", she almost tries to
mimmick Cyndi Lauper, but comes off
sounding like her voice has been sped
up to reach the high notes.
A quick glance at the lyrics reveals
how laughably bad they are. They truly
speak for themselves, as in "Material
Girl": Some boys try and some boys
lie but I don't let them play. Only
boys that save their pennies make
my rainy day."
Madonna has only written one song
on the album, the inane "Shoo-Bee-
Doo", and has shared credits with
written by men, as were those of "Like
a Virgin." There is not exactly an ac-
curate perception of real people with
real problems in either of those songs.
There are other awful goodies on this
record. "Pretender" says alot: "He's
a pretender, You meet him every
day. He's a pretender, Like the fish
that got away. "Or for the truly wret-
ched, there's the somewhat suggestive
"Over and Over"': "Hurry up, I just
can't wait. I gotta do it now, I can't
be late. "
Many of these songs are strictly
junior high material.The best track is a
remake of Miles Gregory's soulful
"Love Don't Live Here Anymore."
Clearly the most substantial song, it is
only adequate here with Madonna's
voice. It demands more power, and is
out of place amongst all the flakey syn-
So, with a gaping abyss of an album,
one is left to draw two conclusions: (1)
that American taste is at an all time low
and/or (2) the general public truly
thrives on the Madonna sex fantasy.
Sure, the songs are hummable, but so
The album cashes in effectively on
the sex gimmick. The cover is a shot of
Madonna in a rather scanty wedding
dress, lying on satin sheets with a look
on her face that says, "Come here,
baby." Boy Toy is spelled out quite
plainly on her belt, too. The back of the
album depicts a "morning after" scene
with Madonna wearing black. Are we
now to assume that she is no longer
"pure"? She simply can't be taken
seriously, and yet, she gets a great deal
of attention because her music doesn't
detract from, but rather enhances this
Madonna is a well crafted act that
sells, and sells big. There's no denying
her business sense of what is
marketable and when; and she has
surely gotten what she wanted. Like a
Virgin is dedicated to the virgins of the
world. What would she produce for the
more promiscuous people? Well, if you
really want to listen to music that will
make you feel like a virgin, why not try
digging up some old Donny and Marie
Even more incongruous is Madonna's
past at this University in relation to her
new hit. While it cannot be confirmed
that Madonna is insincere in her salute
to America's virgins, according to
sources in the late '70s, the panthers
never roared when Madonna passed by
the Museum doors on her way to the
dance school. And these receptive
statues have never been wrong.
Former Wolverine Madonna gets all dressed up but has no place to go.
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Michigan's Student Directory of 1977-78 listed Madonna as living at this
apparently mythical address.
While many people are offended by
Madonna's image, and explicitly what
it has to say about women, dance
teacher Chris Flynn sees a flip side to
this coin. A former teacher of hers at
the University, and personal friend, he
says, "It's very interesting. I am a
strong feminist and see the joke in it all.
She's not truly a "boy toy" person.
She's a cool lady. Some people find it of-
fensive-which it is-but it's an
image...You have to play along with
these things. It's the pop image."
Madonna left the University in 1979
after her sophomore year and moved on
to New York City to pursue fame. It was
an audition for a back-up singer's job
there that turned her on to singing and
led to her putting aside her dancing
ambitions at least for the time being.
Who was to foretell that only five years
later she would be bellydancing on gon-
dolas gliding through the canals of
Venice? According to Flynn, she had
been encouraged to sing by the people
for whom she had auditioned.
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several other people on some pieces.
What's interesting to note is the male
input on this record. Have they crafted
this sex-symbol bimbo image for her?
The lyrics to "Material Girl" were
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DEADLINE for submitting applications is WEDNESDAY,
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