6A - Friday, November 19, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Around the world with Pops
By JOE CADAGIN a much-appreciated break from
Daily Arts Writer the heavy and dramatic works of
orchestral music's three B's - Bach,
imagine hearing a live perfor- Beethoven and Brahms - and a
mance of music from your favorite chance to experience a more eclec-
film soundtrack tic and accessible program.
or a beloved "I think that because we do such
Disney cartoon. a wide variety, there's something in
While many the World it for everybody," Segal said. "You're
orchestras steer Michigan in it for more entertainment than
away from such necessarily enlightenment. I think
"frivolous" Pops? that it can reach a lotof people."
repertoire, the Sundayat7p.m For this semester's concert, the
Michigan Pops p Pops board chose an around-the-
Orchestra has a The Michigan world theme with pieces represent-
mission to offer Theater ing different nations. The concert's
a well balanced Ticketsfrom$5 title - "Where in the World is
serving of both Pops?" - is a nod to the "Carmen
classical and Sandiego" franchise of the late '80s
mainstream works that audiences and early'90s.
are sure to recognize. While only a few of program's
"We don't limit ourselves to stan- pieces are actually authentic works
dard classical repertoire," said Pops of world music by a native compos-
music director Yaniv Segal, a gradu- er, the concert represents a range of
ate conducting student in the School styles, including well known Holly-
of Music, Theatre & Dance. "We wood scores.
include music of all sorts of genres "We're doing music from 'The
- including classical, but also film Lion King,' and that fits really well
music, popular music, adaptations with (the) orchestra," Segal said. "It
from Broadway songs, even some- makes it sound beautiful, and it's
times we do arrangements of rock themes from the movie that people
songs." will recognize."
"Still great music, but a big vari- Other movie excerpts include
ety," he added. selections from "Gladiator," "Mem-
For concertgoers, this means oirs of a Geisha" and Disney's
The program also features pil-
lars of classical repertoire, such as
the overture to Richard Wagner's
opera "The Flying Dutchman." This
orchestral tour-de-force from Wag-
ner's ghostly fourth opera has per-
sonal significance to Maestro Segal.
"It's actually the first piece Iever
conducted with an orchestra," Segal
said. "It was in a rehearsal when
I was, I think, 17 years old. This is
(my) first time actually doing it in
a concert. I love that piece. I think
Wagner is an amazing composer,
how he writes for the orchestra ...
and tells a story using the instru-
Sunday's concert also offers a
rare chance for classical enthusi-
asts to hear a piece by contemporary
Chinese-American composer Bright
Sheng, a composition professor in
the School of MT&D.
"It's called 'Fanfare' from a suite
called China Dreams," Segal said.
"It's also a great thing for us to (play
this piece) because he's aliving com-
poser, he's in the Michigan commu-
nity, he writes for orchestra."
"He's a superb composer and a
superb orchestrator. I think there's
nothing else on the program like
that music," he added.
Pops concerts also give students
in the School of MT&D an oppor-
tunity to show off their vocal per-
formance skills. Sunday's concert
features a performance of Figaro's
famous aria "Largo al Factorum"
from "The Barber of Seville" by
baritone graduate student Steven
Eddy. Senior Rachel Bahler will
perform "Don't Cry for me Argen-
tina," from Andrew Lloyd Weber's
"She's actually sung with us sev-
eral times," Segal saidof Bahler.
"She's like a Pops favorite because
Segal also stressed that Pops
showcases the talents of students
who may not otherwise get a chance
to perform in an ensemble.
"There's a hundred people on
stage, and the majority of them
are non-music majors," Segal said.
"They juggle their own academic
work, and some of them are gradu-
ate students and nursing students
and Ph.Ds and engineers, and yet
they all love to come together once
or more a week to rehearse for
"I think that they really love play-
ing music, and this orchestra gives
them a vehicle to have a lot of fun
and play exciting music at a high
level," he added. "It's very reward-
ing for me to work with them."
From Page 5A
films while alsobranchingoff and
spending more time on its other
First Element COO Robert
Presnell is a second-year MBA in
the Ross School of Business. He
compared the evolution of the
film industry to similar events
in the music industry, when file-
trading of mp3s began in the late
1990s, and firms were slow to
realize the business opportuni-
"Movies and everything going
forward are going to be really
different," he said. "It's going to
be interesting coming up ... see-
ing who makes the first move and
Walker echoed the sentiment,
comparing the film industry
going forward to the auto indus-
try of the past few decades.
"I kind of liken it to where (the
auto industry) was at one point in
time," he said. "I feel like a lot of
your biggest players for decades,
if they're not careful, if they fall
asleep, they're going to end up
having a lot of new companies
emerge that end up taking their
First Element Entertainment
hopes for "The Art of Power" to
propel the company forward and
lead it into further endeavors in
film;animation, music videos and
"We've got about six scripts in
the pipeline," Presnell said.
Before it can move on, though,
First Element's must find a dis-
tributor for "The Art of Power"
after its Saturday premiere at the
"I've been in contact with
about 80 to 90 companies," Walk-
er said. "It's an exciting time (in
the industry); it's crazy right now.
We've been in talks with a lot of
digital media companies who
have never really done film distri-
As the industry progresses,
First Element is riding that evo-
lution to position itself within
the state of Michigan as a prime
example of homegrown filmmak-
ing. Modeling itself after early
iterations of corporations like
Apple and 3M, the company hopes
to foster creative ideas internally
and be the next step in the enter-
tainment industry as a whole.
That said, its leaders understand
the challenges of that ambition.
"It's a constant chess game,"
With the Michigan Theater
premiere of "The Art of Power,"
First Element makes its open-
ing move. With a background of
Michigan alumni and students
involved at different levels, the
company looks well suited to
maneuver itself through a grow-
ing and constantly changing
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