How many times have you been to Hill Auditorium? Would you be able to pinpoint on a map where it is? What it’s primarily used for? If you struggled to answer any of these questions, you’re not alone. Oftentimes, University of Michigan students don’t experience all the performances Michigan has to offer. The numerous opportunities to see the profound talent that lies within the city of Ann Arbor can feel overwhelming. There are so many websites to look at, so many brochures to open up, links to follow and people to network with. However, thanks to the University Musical Society (UMS) Student Committee, events such as the Hill Auditorium Open House allow students to explore the various offerings at the University.
The Hill Auditorium Open House will feature a free tour of Hill Auditorium, as well as the opportunity to explore some areas that only performers have access to. Students will have the chance to learn about the historical significance of Hill Auditorium and discover what famous musicians and performing artists have been featured on its stage. The Open House will also feature information regarding upcoming UMS performances and other opportunities.
I had the opportunity to sit down with the two co-presidents of the UMS Student Committee, School of Music, Theatre & Dance senior Jamie Sharp and LSA senior Jacob Gibson. The two planned the event in hopes that it would bring more attention to the opportunities UMS provides for students across campus.
“A lot of students don’t even know that we have Bert’s tickets, which allow freshmen or sophomores at the University to see UMS events for free,” said Sharp. Bert’s tickets give every student at the University a free ticket to a UMS show. Sharp and Gibson are both passionate about student accessibility to arts. The primary function of the student committee is to allow students to be informed of these types of opportunities.
“The Hill event in particular is a way to bring students to a space that is on their campus, one that they likely walk by every day, but they may not have had a chance to see a performance there or be on the stage,” said Gibson. Oftentimes, the only students with an opportunity to set foot on the stage of Hill Auditorium are the students who perform there. This event gives those that perhaps would never get another opportunity to experience what it is like to perform on the stage a chance to see it first hand.
“I have performed in there for the past three years, and in preparation for the event I am learning so much about the space that I honestly didn’t even know,” Sharp said about the rich history of Hill Auditorium. The Open House is a perfect opportunity for students to be informed of its history as well as to take a moment to appreciate the gift that this auditorium is for the University.
Even if you are not able to attend the Open House on Friday, Oct. 18, I encourage you to further explore not only UMS, but the other performance outlets and venues available to the students on campus. We only have a few years of our life to spend at University, why not take advantage of all the glorious resources it has to offer?