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August 28, 2021

UMS Staff Playlist: Back to School


UMS Staff Playlist: Back to School

UMS staff members contributed tracks for a playlist of their favorite music for the beginning of the fall semester.

Listen on your preferred streaming service, and read about the inspiration behind some of our picks below:

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“Pregame” by The Michigan Marching Band

Submitted by Anne Grove, Artist Services Manager

Nothing celebrates fall and heading back to school than hearing and watching a marching band show.

“September” by Earth Wind and Fire

Submitted by Sam Williams, Marketing and Media Relations Manager

When I was little and my mom would drive me to school. We would sit in the parking lot and sing to this song every day before she dropped me off. This is the perfect fall song and an immediate mood booster!

“How Sweet It Is” by Karen Dalton

Submitted by Jake Gibson, Digital Marketing Coordinator

I often find myself returning to Karen Dalton’s music around this time of year. One of my favorite tracks of hers is this cover of Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).” The song is best known for its later cover by James Taylor, but Karen’s version feels particularly warm and earthy – which pairs well with the late August weather.

“Gloria” by Laura Branigan

Submitted by Michael Kondziolka, VP, Programming and Production

Ah…”Gloria”…it’s part end-of-summer dance party anthem and, on a personal note, a nostalgic favorite — I played her incessantly in my first dorm room as a freshman in college in the Fall of 1982. Happy back to school all!

“Making a Fire” by Foo Fighters

Submitted by Victoria Spain, Front of House Assistant Manager

I picked this song because it’s a glimpse into better times ahead and poses the question, what are you going to do when this pandemic is over? It challenges you to live freely again when that time comes and make sure to take advantage of it. Be bold and make your mark on this world. Do the things that truly inspire you, and don’t let anything kill your fire!

“Magical” by Laura Mvula

Submitted by Mark Jacobson, Senior Programming Manager

Summertime is still a magical and hopeful time of year for me…

“childhood bedroom” by Ben Platt

Submitted by Eric Woodhams, Director of Digital Media

Actor/Singer/Songwriter Ben Platt’s new album, ‘Reveries,’ is full of heartwarming tracks that evoke nostalgic memories of growing up. As summer fades and we say farewell to family and home with the start of the school year, I thought “childhood bedroom” was a perfect track to share. It’s a great reminder to stop, pause, and take a deep breath whenever worry sets in.

“Autumn in New York” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

Submitted by Terri Park, Associate Director of Education & Community Engagement

I love Ella Fitzgerald! This song reminds me of strolling through Central Park on a cool, crisp autumn day gazing at the beautiful fall colors of the leaves.

“Carolyn’s Fingers” by Cocteau Twins

Submitted by Christina Bellows, Director, Patron Services

Fall makes me nostalgic so I like to go back to the music that I had on repeat in my 20s. This one I discovered from the hours of watching MTV’s 120 Minutes I did in my teens (back when MTV was still about music) and it has stuck. The sound is rich enough for a road trip or dinner party. Don’t worry if you don’t understand the lyrics, no one does and that’s part of the charm.

Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by The Police

Submitted by Marnie Reid, Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts and Planned Giving

I was 12 when this song came out. An age of angst and uncertainty, feeling grown-up, but far from it. It feels like this song suits the times. And it made me laugh when I thought about the song in relation to the current pandemic and how many times I felt like say asking people to not stand so close to me in the grocery store, etc.

Love great music, theater, and dance?

Love great music, theater, and dance?

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