The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Fall 2005 - 5D
By Alison Go
FEBRUARY 4, 2005
Daily Staff Writer
At a time when Vietnam War demonstrations
raged on Central Campus, one trombonist holed
himself up in the Bursley Residence Hall prac-
tice rooms, dreaming of someday playing for
TV's 'Last Comic'
one of the world's premier
Thousands of practice
hours later, David Finlayson
* is returning to Hill Audito-
rium this weekend as a trom-
bone player with the New
At Hill Auditorium
Music Director Lorin Maazel conducts the New York Philharmonic.
York Philharmonic. This will be the first time
the Philharmonic has performed in Ann Arbor
since 1972 - the year Finlayson started his
undergraduate career at the University's School
Although Finlayson, currently the sole Uni-
versity alum in the Philharmonic, has spent a
considerable amount of time at Hill Auditorium
watching concerts and playing with other orches-
tras, this will be the first time he will have played
in the hall since its recent renovation.
"I'm anxious to see Hill Auditorium since the
remodel," he said. "It's a fabulous place to play.
There's something about its shape that somehow
yields such a rich sound."
However, it wasn't the world-famous hall that
drew Finlayson to Ann Arbor for his undergrad-
uate degree. The School of Music has an excel-
lent reputation, and after being accepted, he
enrolled as a music education concentrator. But
after a band educators gathering at the Michi-
gan League, Finlayson realized his calling.
"(At the time), I knew when I was 30 years old,
I would have regretted not giving it a shot - not
being a professional musician," he said. Finlayson
switched from music education to performance.
After a stint with the National Symphony
Orchestra based in Washington, Finlayson won
a spot in the New York Philharmonic in 1985.
When the Philharmonic, which is now under
the baton of music director Lorin Maazel, comes
to town this weekend, it will perform pieces
from four of the most recognizable composers
in classical music.
On Sunday, the Philharmonic will play
Bart6k's Concerto for Orchestra and Dvorak's
Symphony No. 9 in E minor. Symphony No. 9,
also known as the "New World Symphony," is
one of the most well-known pieces in the rep-
ertoire and was premiered by the Philharmonic
back in 1893.
Saturday's sold-out concert includes Mozart's
Symphony No. 29 in A Major and Mahler's Sym-
phony No. 5 in C-sharp minor. Finlayson explain
that the Mahler piece has a "special place in the
history of the Philharmonic" - the orchestra
played the work under Mahler's direction when
he was music director from 1909 to 1911.
Along with the two concerts, members of the
orchestra also offered master classes all day
Saturday. The workshops, which were open to
the public, included instruction by Maazel and
the principals of sections ranging from violin
and cello to flute and harp. The Philharmonic's
visit was presented by the University Musical
Although he isn't hosting a workshop, Fin-
layson continues to pass on what he learned at
the University. When he isn't practicing and
performing, Finlayson teaches at the Manhattan
School of Music and the Queens College Aaron
Copland School of Music.
"I'm trying now, as a teacher in New York, to
carry on the tradition my teachers gave me at
Michigan," he said.
at the Ann Arbor Comedy Club.
As the winner of the third season of
NBC's "Last Comic Standing," Bodden
beat out other now well-known comedi-
ans to claim his title. Curiously, the fina-
le was shown on Comedy Central instead
of on NBC. Bodden commented on the
switch as part of his act - "As soon as
NBC found out the black guy had won,
they shipped it to Comedy Central."
Thanks to television appearances on
"Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and
"The Apollo," Bodden has rapidly been
gaining popularity. He also appeared in
several films including the teen comedy
"The Girl Next Door" and the family-
friendly "Bringin' Down the House," and
has gone on United States Officer's tours
to entertain troops around the world.
Bodden didn't start out performing,
comedy. In fact, Alonzo spent over
nine years as a jet mechanic working
on DC-10s and the stealth fighters.
However, Bodden found more enjoy-
ment entertaining his coworkers than
actually working with them and left to
pursue a career in comedy.
As expected, Bodden's live act was a
bit edgier from what was seen on "Last
Comic Standing." "NBC wouldn't
let me tell this one joke because it
involved kicking a midget. Fox would
have let me kick a midget. In fact, they
would have asked if I could light it on
fire first and then kick it," Bodden said.
Despite his strong language, Bodden
never broke his calm composure, or his
cynical, laid-back appeal.
The best part of Bodden's act was
his interaction with the audience. Dur-
ing Thursday night's performance, two
engineering students received more
than they had bargained for when he
attempted to set them up with multiple
women in the audience. While showcas-
ing the students, Bodden joked "Come
on, ladies, they are engineers. Take
them home and they will build you a
bookcase or something." His act was
enhanced by his quick wit and smooth
ability to adapt to his audience.
Although Bodden's material was a bit
recycled, tapping overused topics such
as the 2004 Spper Bowl half-time show
and President Bush, his cynical style
and speedy delivery still made the per-
formance worth seeing. He did, howev-
er, succeed with the ever-popular jokes
about stereotypes. "With every stereo-
type comes the good and the bad. For
instance, Asians have that whole bad
driving thing, but they are also really
smart. Then Mexicans always have like
30 people in their car, but they are all
going to work, " Bodden said.
Throughout his entire act, Bodden
remained comfortably good-natured,
making it easy for audience members to
laugh at political correctness and race
issues. The comedian stressed that it was
important to laugh at ourselves instead
of taking everything so seriously.