Instead of the usual squirrels and students crossing the Diag on Wednesday afternoon, members of the Michigan Pops Orchestra put on a pop-up show.
The student-run pops orchestra is the oldest student-created collegiate orchestra in the country and is comprised of non-music major students. Throughout the day the group offered anyone crossing through the Diag an opportunity to conduct the ensemble as a part of their Conduct Us! event.
The orchestra performed several musical pieces such as “The Victors” for impromptu conductors to choose from. People with a variety of musical experiences were encouraged to participate.
The organization held the same event during last fall and winter semester. The ensemble was inspired by a similar event hosted by the New York Philharmonic-Symphony where the symphony took to the streets and allowed people passing by to conduct the orchestra.
The Michigan Pops Orchestra hopes to continue hosting the Conduct Us! event once every semester.
According to LSA junior Michael Payne, a cellist in the orchestra, the organization held the same event during last fall and winter semester. The ensemble was inspired by a similar event hosted by the New York Philharmonic-Symphony where the symphony took to the streets and allowed people passing by to conduct the orchestra.
Michigan Pops Orchestra hopes to continue hosting the “Conduct Us” event once every semester.
“We only have one concert per semester so we wanted more opportunities to get out and play for the people and also get people more engaged with music,” Payne said.
Scott Fladzinski, an LSA and Engineering senior and one of the volunteer conductors, was excited by the opportunity to lead the orchestra in the middle of the Diag.
“I’ve studied music for maybe six or seven years but I’ve never actually conducted an orchestra, let alone on the Michigan Diag, which was pretty cool,” Fladzinski said. “As long as it’s a beautiful day, this is awesome.”
LSA freshman Meha Patel was one of the many onlookers on the Diag.
“It’s awesome that the orchestra is out in this weather and letting people conduct them,” she said. “Conductors are one of the most integral parts of the orchestra since they have to make sure everyone is on the right beat.”
Correction appended: The Michigan Pops Orchestra is not technically the oldest collegiate orchestra. It is the oldest student-created collegiate pops orchestra.