Happy Holidays from the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance!

[Mannheim Steamroller background music] Hello! I’m Aaron Dworkin and it is my great pleasure,
on behalf of the administration, staff and faculty at the University of Michigan School
of Music, Theatre & Dance, to offer you our very best wishes for a happy holiday season. [background music gets louder] This is the
time of year when we look back at all that has taken place in the previous 12 months,
and take stock of all that has been achieved. [loudly] 2016 was a truly remarkable year. [background music is very loud] It was…it
was a year in which… Um, hey! Chip! Chip! Chip! Just, maybe a little softer, please?>>Softer? [Mannheim Steamroller music] Uh…I played in the marching band here, and
uh… [Marching band version of Hail to the Victors] We always played loud on the field, and besides
that… I just love the holidays so much!>>I know you do, Chip. I know you do. As I was saying, 2016 has been a remarkable
year. First and foremost were the achievements of
our students: brilliant performances and outstanding creative endeavors in every discipline. It was also a year of firsts: our EXCEL program–Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Career Empowerment and Leadership–got off to a fantastic start… … and we hosted the first-ever M-Prize Competition,
drawing the eyes of the musical world to Ann Arbor for the largest chamber music competition
in the world. Our Michigan Artist Citizen program doubled
the number of local schoolchildren being taught by our music students, and SMTD became the home of Center Stage Strings,
a prestigious summer program for string students ages 12 to 24. The Michigan Men’s Glee Club was the subject
of a moving short film that highlighted the intersection of social justice and the arts. And in the spring, our musical theatre alumni
and faculty staged a spectacular send-off for retiring department chair Brent Wagner
with Maize & Blue on Broadway. This fall, our University Symphony Orchestra
performed new critical editions of two George Gershwin masterpieces, products of our Gershwin Initiative … … while many of our musical theatre and
dance students experienced the thrill of performing for an audience of 110,000 at the Big House
with our incredible Michigan Marching Band. And, of course, throughout the year, we were
delighted to welcome back many prestigious alumni to work with our students, such as our very own Chip Davis. We are now gearing up for 2017, the University
of Michigan’s bicentennial year, when SMTD will help celebrate this amazing
institution with all of the pomp and circumstance it deserves. So, as the current year ends, I want to thank
you for your tremendous support in helping us educate and graduate the next leaders and
best in the performing arts, and for helping us provide extraordinary experiences for them. To you and your families, we wish you all
the best for the year ahead. Happy Holidays and Go Blue! [Mannheim Steamroller music]>>Ahh, I think that went well.>>Absolutely! Thank you very much.>>Thank you. You’re amazing.>>Hey, well. Thank you. I wanted to tell you that since I played in
the marching band here, that’s one of the reasons that I play drums so loud. And just to help you out, I thought that I’d
give you a commemorative pair of my sticks from tour that you can have.>>Awesome!>>And then also, if you only use one, you
know, that’s how you get a conductor is take one stick away from a drummer.>>[Laughs] I’ve been trying for years to figure out that
magic. Now I’ve got it. Thanks so much!>>Absolutely.

Stephen Childs

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