This weekend, the School of Music, Theatre and Dance will present their 39th annual Collage Concert at Hill Auditorium, a tradition that began at the University in 1977.

This “collage” is exactly what it sounds like, a piecing together of many different kinds of performances into one cohesive production. For School of Music, Theatre & Dance sophomore Eliana Barwinski, the concert is all about one thing: collaboration.

“The Collage Concert is a culmination of different performances from all three sectors of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance,” Barwinski said. “It’s really an evening to open one’s eyes to the variety of our art forms and get to participate with us in the exploration of collaboration.”

She said the production includes performances from all different disciplines, featuring soloists, smaller acts and larger ensemble pieces, as well as acts that bring different disciplines together. This year there are about 15 student performances and 12 ensemble performances, including band, choir, jazz and orchestra.

“There’s just so much talent, so when an audience member goes to see the performance, they get to have such an enriching experience seeing not only just singing or just opera, but they get to see theatre in the works and they get to see dancing,” Barwinski said. “It’s a really cool collaboration, and it shows how not only does each part possess their own individual talent, but actually how we collaborate as a school.” 

Conducting Prof. Eugene Rogers, director of the Men’s Glee Club, is co-artistic director of the Collage Concert, along with Jazz prof. Ellen Rowe. In an e-mail interview, Rogers wrote that the concert’s unique ability to move seamlessly between all different kinds of performance is what makes it the school’s biggest event of the year.

“The Collage Concert is captivatingly distinctive and features the incredible range of SMTD ensembles and departments performing one riveting work after another without pause,” Rogers wrote. “It’s a non-stop evening of virtuosic performances. No other concert features the breadth and depth of the entire SMTD.”

Barwinski said she believes the concert will be appreciated by all students, even those outside of the SMTD.

“Since this is our most popular performance and it usually does almost sell out, we try to make student tickets as available as we can by bumping the price down from $28 to $12, and you have your Bert’s tickets, which are free for any freshman or sophomore,” Barwinski said.

Rogers agreed that the range of performances means the concert can appeal to all students.

“I am always moved and impressed by the level of talent that our students display everyday, but especially on this concert,” he wrote. “It makes me proud to be a Wolverine! If any student at U-M has never had the chance to experience this concert, it’s a must see before leaving this campus, and it only happens once a year in January.”

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