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New Tools to Discover Events on

UMS website on laptop

UMS presents A LOT of different events across Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan. In addition to 30+ mainstage music, theater, and dance performances, a given UMS season includes countless learning and engagement activities for U-M students, K-12 school day performances, free public workshops, digital-exclusive offerings, and film screenings…just to name a few!

I often think of UMS as a “Netflix” for live performing arts — there’s an eclectic selection of genres and programs we offer, and there’s truly something for everyone. But also, like Netflix, navigating through such a vast array of options can be an overwhelming experience.

Over the summer, we’ve incorporated several tools on our website to help you discover and learn about UMS’s upcoming events more easily. Here’s a preview of four handy new features (and the inspiration behind them):

Event Filters

UMS’s upcoming events page is our site’s most visited destination and a one-stop shop to browse everything we offer. You can now filter upcoming events in three different ways:

  • By Genre (such as Dance, Jazz, Orchestra, Theater, etc.)
  • By Event Type, including Performance, Free Event, Public Workshop, Digital Event, and more
  • By Venue/Location, including our most frequent Ann Arbor venues (Hill Auditorium, Power Center, and Rackham Auditorium) and Southeast Michigan cities

Use a combination of filters to narrow down what’s right for you.


Descriptive “Pill Tags”

Complementing our Event Type filter are new visual indicators that appear alongside event photos and titles. These “pill tags” help identify important event features, like “Family Friendly,” “Free,” or “Pre-Performance Talk.”

We were inspired by similar descriptive tags and treatments used across all sorts of websites and apps — from AirBnb to New York Times Cooking to Tinder!


Quick Look

First popularized by retail sites like J.Crew, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue, our new “Quick Look” feature gives you an at-a-glance peek into an event’s important program details without flipping back and forth between web pages. And when available, Quick Look even incorporates audio and video previews.


Pop-Up “Meet the Artist” Bios

Event pages now incorporate pop-up bios and photos to learn more about the artists we present. We’re excited to debut this new functionality, which should be familiar to arts patrons across Southeast Michigan. It’s a design treatment shared by our friends at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Detroit Opera (check out their sites, too!).

Special thanks to our developer team at Phire Group for their work on incorporating these new features. Let us know what you think as you browse the 2022/23 season!

Explore Upcoming Events

Carl Grapentine’s Sports & Music Playlist (Spotify and Apple Music)

Carl Grapentine

More than 100,000 fans are about to be welcomed home to “The Big House” by the beloved, booming voice of Carl Grapentine, who has been the Michigan Marching Band announcer since 1970 and the official game announcer for Michigan Football since 2006.

Grapentine is also an alumnus of the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and was a host of Chicago’s WFMT-FM classical radio for 33 years. To celebrate the start of a new season at Michigan Stadium, he’s combined his expertise to curate a playlist of sports-inspired classical works and film scores. Choose your preferred streaming service and learn more about each track below:

Apple Music logo    Spotify logo

About the Music

Honegger Rugby
Arthur Honegger’s musical depiction of a rugby match, composed in 1928 and filled with energy and power.

Mozart “Kegelstatt” Trio,
According to the autograph score, Mozart wrote this delightful trio while playing a game of skittles (a pub game related to bowling) at a local Kegelstatt—a skittles parlor.

John Williams “The Quidditch Match” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
In the first match of the season, Harry caught the golden snitch giving Gryffindor a thrilling victory. Final score: Gryffindor 170—Slytherin 60.

Arnaud Bugler’s Dream
The French composer Leo Arnaud wrote this for a 1958 recording. But it’s forever associated with the Olympic games ever since ABC began using it for its 1968 Olympics coverage.

R. Strauss Olympic Hymn
Richard Strauss had a complicated relationship with the Third Reich. He composed this for the opening of the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin — the games we remember for Jesse Owens’s heroics.

Suk Towards a New Life
Did you know that the Olympic games once included competition in music composition? This was the silver medal winner (no gold was awarded) at the 1932 games in Los Angeles.

Torke Javelin
American composer Michael Torke wrote this in 1994 on a commission from the Atlanta Committee for the Olympics. Premiered by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, it was also played at the opening of the 1996 games in Atlanta.

Puccini “Nessun dorma” from the opera Turandot
When the 1990 World Cup final was played in Rome, three soccer fans — Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and Jose Carreras — joined forces to give an outdoor concert. Thus, the worldwide phenomenon of The Three Tenors was born. And the BBC used this aria with its climactic “Vincero” (“I will win”) for its World Cup coverage.

Sousa The National Game
John Philip Sousa was an avid baseball fan. He wrote this march for the 50th anniversary of the National League in 1926.

Horner Soundtrack to Field of Dreams
James Horner’s evocative score for the 1989 film starring Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, and James Earl Jones.

Randy Newman “Wrigley Field” from The Natural
Randy Newman’s sometimes “Copland-esque” score for the 1984 film starring Robert Redford and Glenn Close.

Debussy Jeux
This ballet by Claude Debussy begins with three characters searching for a lost tennis ball. It was written for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes with choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky. The premiere took place in Paris in May of 1913, two weeks before the premiere of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

Elbel The Victors
Composed in 1898 by Michigan student Louis Elbel, in celebration of Michigan’s 12-11 victory over the University of Chicago giving Michigan the Western Conference championship. Hence, “Champions of the West.” The first public performance was given by John Philip Sousa’s band in Ann Arbor in 1899.