Pablo Picasso coined the term “collage” from the French word colle, meaning glue. In the visual arts, a collage typically describes a collection of different parts into a cohesive whole. Tomorrow, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance will make its annual attempt to have people rethink their idea of a collage by presenting a variety of their best performers in the 35th annual “Collage Concert.”

Collage Concert

Tomorrow at 8 p.m.
Hill Auditorium
Tickets from $10

“Collage” was the brain-child of now-emeritus Gustav Meier, director of the University Symphony Orchestra, who, upon viewing a show in Belgium, brought the idea back to Ann Arbor.

The show consists of two sections, during which the performance moves quickly, and these quick switches between the different moods and themes are the reason for the concert’s title.

“Collage takes the audience through an artistic journey of world music, theater and dance, spanning from the Renaissance through present day,” said concert director John Pasquale. “All without interruption of applause.”

In addition to an orchestra and a 100-person choir, “Collage” features performance excerpts in vocal opera, jazz and piano.

MT&D senior Emily Berman describes the show as perfect for “commito-phobes,” or audience members without a decided music flavor, since the rapid switches between different genres and musical types mean that the show usually caters to every taste.

“It’s a cross-section of all of the amazing and different things that are going on in the music school at once,” Berman said, who is performing for the third time in this concert. “It allows you to see very different performances for very short amounts of time.”

The concert blends performances from every department of MT&D, using the large stage at Hill Auditorium to accomplish this technical behemoth. It’s meant to be as much a visual spectacle as an auditory pleasure.

“ ‘Collage’ is always challenging from the technical end,” said Emily Avers, director of ensemble operations in MT&D. “(It) presents a different puzzle every year to produce … this requires an incredible amount of preparation, organization and patience, but the moment that the pieces fall into place is exhilarating.”

Along with the pieces from the various departments, which will include a scene from the play “The Beaux Stratagem” and two musical theater pieces, the concert will be interspersed with original works by MT&D students that have been selected by the faculty.

“Many times, ‘Collage’ is a patron’s first experience with the School of Music, Theatre & Dance,” Avers said. “So our goal is for the audience to have a good time, perhaps be a bit out of breath at the end, and leave Hill wanting to come back and see more from our students and faculty.”

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