he Michigan Daily
Thursday, January 25, 1990
Labor of love
BY ILANA TRACHTMAN
W E all like to see our ideas crys-
tallize into something tangible. Be-
ginning tonight, Robb McKindles
and Brad Godette will get to watch
just that. But for these two Musical
Theater seniors, this is more than
just the final print out of a term pa-
iOer or the chance to spew some
The product of McKindles' and
Godette's idea involves, among other
things, a 17-member cast, a seven
piece band, and a social message. It's
called Modern Affairs and is com-
pletely written and performed by stu-
dents. What started out as a scene for
McKindles and a song for Godetto
has turned into a nine-scene, two-act
Modern Affairs is about the
shallow, sheltered, yuppie-esque
lives of two couples and their friend.
They exist in what writer and co-di-
rector McKindles calls "a glass bub-
"When there's a problem, they
say they love each other and it's
okay," he says. That is, until Pan-
dora (named for the myth of the girl
and the box) shows up to expose all
the harsh realities the couples had
"I'm not the bad guy, I'm just
another part of you and if you don't
like what you see, maybe you need
to look a little closer," Pandora says
at the close of the play.
"We hope to make the audience
*'think about their relationships with
other people," says Godettc.
. What is unique about the produc-
tion is that it is the first time the
musical theater program has
sponsored a work written and pro-
duced entirely by students. In the
it big this weekend
BY xSHiiRIuLL L. BENNETT _____
PERCUSSIONIST'S are the acrobats of the orchestra. With the grace
and cat-like touch of experienced mimes, they move from timpani to
triangle, marirnba to maracas. They can articulate 1000 degrees of loud
and soft and convey an equal range of coloristic and expressive effects. If
you've ever been to an orchestra concert, one of the more interesting
things to watch and listen to is the percussion section; you never know
what change of sound or mood is coming next. In celebration of these
graceful acrobats, the University School of Music presents Percussion
Alumni Weekend, a free concert and master class involving alumni and
students devotd to the world of percussion. The concert also serves as a
memorial for a man who contributed to the development of that world at
the School of Music, James D. Salmon.
"The former studentsand I wanted to get together to do a concert in
his honor," says Michael Udow, Professor of Percussion and organizer of-
the Weekend. Salmon, who died last spring, spent 1952 to 1974 at the
School of Music. He was the University's first full-time professor of
percussion. Alum James Moore, a professor of percussion at Ohio State
University who studied with Salmon at the University, describes him as
"a wonderful teacher." Other alumni returning for the concert include Dan
Armstrong, professor of percussion at Penn State University, and percus-
sionist Brian Prechtl of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.
"Most of the works to be performed are for marimba ensemble," says
Udow, "which is very visually exciting and full of rhythmic energy. It's
also very expressive." Moore adds, "Marimba ensemble is simply very
beautiful percussion music. It helps percussionists become fine musi-
cians. Professor Salmon always stressed the importance of being a fine
The real beauty of the marimba is its ability to fluctuate between
many musical styles with remarkable ease and success. Its smooth, mel-
low sonority animates the classical mode with a fresh sound, as in an ar-
rangement of Telemann's Canonic Sonata in G to be performed by Arm
strong and his wife, flutist Eleanor Armstrong, also a School of Music
alum. The marimba, and its close cousin the xylophone, both comple-
ment the cool jazz idiom as well as vintage ragtime. The University
Marimba Ensemble will show off this capacity by performing a set of
George Hamilton Green ragtime compositions titled Xylophobia.
In addition to classical and jazz arrangements, the marimba also in-
spires new compositions. Ihe opening work of the concert, the Grand
Duo by Maurice Wright, will be an Ann Arbor premiere. Performers
Prechtl and violist Margaret Lang, also from the Fort Wayne Philhar-
monic, are both School of Music alumni. Another recent work for
marimba ensemble, arranged by percussion alum Terry Smith, The
Graceful Ghost, cones from William Bolcom, professor of composition
at the School of Music.
Other genres touched on in the concert include the patriotic and the
romantic. An arrangement of Eternal Father, Strong to Save (The Navy
Hymn) will be perftimed, as well as works by Bizet and Saint-Satns. In
conjunction with Saturday's concert, a master class in honor of former
School of MusicProfessor Charles Owen will be given on Sunday.
On the future of the weekend events, Professor Moore comments, "It
would be nice to make this an annual event. Many colleges have active
annual events for band alumni, why not have one for percussionists?"
The PERCUSSION ALUMNI WEEKEND concert is Saturday at 8 p.m.,
master class at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both are free, at Rackham Auditorium.
LOST & FOUND
Juliet Ewing and Drew Frady as Sandy and Dan, perform the musical number "Love Song" in Modern Affairs,
a show written and produced by two industrious musical theater students.
past, student productions have al-
ways been a part of the theater de-
partment's Basement Arts program,
and have been performed in the black
box space of the Frieze building.
"We could have cut it down, used
a five-member cast and a piano, and
performed it in the basement. But we
wanted to do it right," Godette says.
"Actually, 'go big or go home'
has been our n" to from the begin-
ning," adds McKindles. So Godette
and McKindles approached the head
of the Musical Theater department as
well as the University production of-
fice, and were given use of True-
blood Theater and the department's
endorsement. "And they've been
very, very supportive,' says Godette.
In the past two months, the show
has been cast, costumed, staged,
blocked, and rewritten. It has com-
pletely absorbed the energy of both
its playwright and composer. When
asked if they were nervous, the two
responded with speechless nods.
Despite the apprehension,
Godette and McKindles are pleased
with the final result and the enthusi-
astic support from everyone in-
volved. They advise other students to
take risks like theirs.
"Try it. Get your feet wet,"
McKindles says, "We may be
drowning, but there is nothing else
we'd rather dJo right now, Except
maybe go to Disneyland."
MODEINIAFFAiRS is being per-
formed tonight, tomorrow and Satur-
day at 8 p.m. at the Trueblood The-
ater in the frieze Building. Tickets
are available at the Trueblood Box
Office and are free of charge.
Reach 40,000 readers after class,
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WILT? CARICATU RS/Anaiing rates **
By Chuck Iodson 769.0194
UM News in
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C'A! Dave, [SA Jr. seeks travel mates. #
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Call REGENCY I AV 1 at 665-6122
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Call UNI VERSAL TRAVEL, Inc. 852-2000
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CD PLAYER - Sharp, 6 disc changer, re-
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fOR SALE- Paul McCartney tickets. Call
WANTEI: Two UM-MSU tkts. for 1/27.
NEED TO SEILL 4 McCartney tickets for
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ATTN. ASPIRING JOURNALISTS! Inter-
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8:00, 4thi floor Union Panhellenic Office, or
contact us at 663-4505.
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has the following notes avail at Alpha-
graphics Printshops at 715 N Univ.: Anthfo
16f, Bio 100, Bio 224, Bio 325, Class Arch
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Physics 125, Physics 126, Physics 140,
Physics 240~ Physiol 101;, Poli Sci 140, 1Polt
Sci 353, Poli Sci 396, Psych 170, Psych 171
Psych 331, Soc 467, Soc 468. Call 663-6816
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