Ann Arbor First Music Series

Our Music and Liturgical Arts Forum continues to plan and produce exciting and inspiring worship and outreach concerts.

Ann Arbor Camerata II:  “Beethoven & Brahms – Tragedy & Triumph”
Jotaro Nakano, conductor
Sunday, January 21, 2018 – 3:00 p.m.

In a second appearance on this year’s Downtown Series, the Ann Arbor Camerata Orchestra will present another inspired concert with stunning repertoire for Chamber Orchestra.   Under the baton of conductor Jotaro Nakano, this concert will feature performances of works by two giant composers – Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1.   Join the Ann Arbor Camerata for performances of the revolutionary and breathtaking music of Beethoven and Brahms.  These titans works of orchestral repertoire defied previous musical conventions and pioneered the romantic era.  Witness these profound works of innovation, wonder, and grandeur!

A Global Weekend – “The Footprints of African American Composers in Michigan”
Norah Duncan IV, Wayne State University – guest conductor & composer
Wayne State University Concert Chorale, Wayne State University Symphonic Choir
Wayne State University Choral Union
FUMC Chancel Choir, Youth Chorale & Epworth Children’s Choirs
Norah Duncan IV & Noah Horn, guest conductors

Saturday, February 10, 2018

4:00 – 9:00 p.m. – African American Contemporary Art Exhibit, curated by N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI— featuring works by African American Michigan Artists

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Deirdre Spencer (UM) – Speaker on African American Art in Wesley Lounge

6:00 p.m. – BBQ Dinner, prepared by Satchel’s BBQ in Ann Arbor
Dinner prices:  $15/adults, $8/students, $40/entire family, children under 5 yrs./free
(Dinner: Pulled Pork or Chicken, Mac ‘n Cheese, Cole Slaw, Baked Beans, Cornbread, Collard Greens, Bread Pudding dessert – Vegetarian alternatives available with Rice & Beans, Vegan Collard Greens, and more)
Call the office to make dinner reservations, or purchase your tickets online

7:30 p.m. – Global Music Concert (with Norah Duncan, WSU Choirs & Soli, FUMC Choirs)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

9:30 & 11:15 a.m. – Downtown Global Worship Services
Norah Duncan IV, FUMC Choirs and Vocal Staff

Norah Duncan IV is Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at Wayne State University and additionally serves as Area Coordinator for Organ Performance.  A multi-faceted musician, as organist, he has concertized extensively in both the United States and Europe.   As a liturgical musician, his Cathedral Choir has performed for several Papal Visits to Rome.  With the Benedictine Monastery in Solesmes, France, Professor Duncan established the Gregorian Institute of Detroit for the study of Gregorian chant.  He is also a contributing composer and consultant for the GIA Music Publishing Company while also serving as a member of the review committee for the popular “Lead Me, Guide Me” African American Catholic Hymnal.

We are pleased to have Professor Duncan “in residence” at FUMC for our Annual Global Music Weekend –  leading us on a musical journey exploring the music of African American choral composers whose musical paths have connected them with our own Michigan musical heritage.   We welcome the Wayne State University Choirs in joining us in a stirring weekend uplifting inspiring choral works by such composers including Adophus Hailstork, Moses Hogan, Robert Harris, William Dawson, Brazeal Dennard, Lettie Halston, and guest composer Norah Duncan IV.

UM Theatre Students’ Afternoon Musicale
Cynthia Kortman Westphal, director

Sunday, March 11, 2018 – 3:00 p.m.

The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance maintains a comprehensive training program which carries a national reputation among professional agents, casting directors, and producers as being among the best of its kind.   These Fine Arts Degree Programs offered in Musical Theatre attract talented students throughout the country, who, along with their studies, present a number of superb performances throughout the academic year.   We are delighted to welcome current students from the UM Musical Theatre Department, under the direction of Musical Theatre Professor Cynthia Westphal, in presenting a dazzling afternoon performance of favorite Musical Theatre Selections.

A Showboat on the French Riviera
FUMC Annual Dinner Show Fundraiser
FUMC Vocal Staff & Chancel Choir
Saturday, May 5, 2018 – 6:00 p.m.

This is the second of two music ministry fundraisers planned by our Music and Liturgical Arts team during the 2017-2018 season.   Unlike our fall Cabaret, this event is an actual Dinner-Show!   Under the culinary skills of James Beard Award-Winning Chef Alex Young, a sumptuous meal will be prepared and served in our charmingly decorated Social Hall.    In celebration of Chef Alex’s newly-opened elegant French restaurant “ The Bistro and Larder”, this event will feature exquisite French Cuisine.  Enjoy the show, which takes place as you dine.   A musical theme of the “French Riviera”, features our FUMC Vocal Staff singing repertoire from “Classic Musicals”, “beloved Operatic” moments and popular French Café tunes.  Selections include such favorites as Old Man River, Make Believe, La Boheme’s Quando m’en vo, Mancini’s Moon River and much, much more!  Our Chancel Choir will join our soli for a rousing finale at the end of this rich dining experience.

Mendelssohn – Elijah, Op. 70
Jessica Dold, soprano
Kristen Dininno, alto
Stanford Olsen, tenor
Stephen West, bass
FUMC Chancel Choir
Michigan Sinfonietta Orchestra
Ann Marie Koukios, conductor
Sunday, May 20, 2018 – 9:30 a.m. (Part I)  & 11:15 a.m. (Part II)

Written in 1846, Mendelssohn’s exciting oratorio Elijah reveals numerous influences of Handel’s popular Messiah, written 100 years earlier.  He does so through the central use of chorus, spirited musical amplification of biblical texts, and poignant use of soli, while incorporating the added dimensions of 19th century musical style – expanded musical forces, greater harmonic color, more vibrant rhythmic energy, and, most importantly, a more intense portrayal of the dramatic elements of the story –  here being the powerful events in the life of the prophet Elijah.   Through a libretto comprised of successive scenes depicting Elijah’s journey, the biblical characters are musically brought to life. Mendelssohn’s writings and letters reveal a profound faith in God as well as a great respect for the Biblical Word.  The bible served as the cornerstone of Mendelssohn’s daily life as well as the inspiration for much of his work.  According to the composer, in Elijah, “The personages should act and speak as if they were living beings from a real world, such as you find in every chapter of the Old Testament.”  The resultant work is an inspiring addition to the repertoire of sacred choral music and powerful testament of faith.  Don’t miss this exciting worship offering!