Your Cart UMS

Kiss & Cry Nano Dance Contest

kiss and cry production
Photo: A scene from Kiss & Cry. Photo by Marteen Vanden Abeele.

A diverse group of Belgian artists is coming together to perform Kiss & Cry in Ann Arbor on October 10-12. The work is a blend of film, dance, text, and theater; the audience witnesses a film screened and simultaneously made in front of their eyes. Hands visually portray the main characters, as in the photo above.

The company calls these vignettes “nano dances,” and for this contest, we’re asking you to try your hand (get it?) at nano-dancing yourself.

What: A contest of nano-dances. Three winners will receive a pair of tickets to see Kiss & Cry.

How to enter: Create a nano-dance using your hands. The setting is up to you (Ann Arbor has many landmarks and picturesque locations!). Enter your dance video, or a still photo of a moment in your dance, via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

  • On Facebook, enter by posting a photo or video on our wall. Be sure to include #umslobby in your photo description.
  • On Twitter, enter by tweeting a photo @UMSNews. Be sure to include #umslobby in your photo description.
  • On Instagram, enter by posting a photo or video with #umslobby. Note: If your account is set to “private” we won’t be able to see your entry!

Contest timeline: September 22 at 9 am – October 3 at 5 pm.

Questions? Ask them in the comments below.

For inspiration, a photo submitted by the company from a visit to France. Courtesy of the artists.


UMS Mystery Tour Contest


Looking for an adventure? Go to a mystery UMS performance.

What: You and a friend get a pair of tickets to a UMS performance. Which one? It’ll be a mystery pick from the first half our 2013-2014 season. [We’ll give you another mystery option if the initial mystery date doesn’t work.]

How to enter: Fill out the form below and follow us on Facebook or Twitter. We’ll select 3 pairs of winners, to be announced on Monday, September 16.

What’s the catch? No catch. Your mystery tickets will be free! We’ll ask you to take your picture at the performance and write us a sentence or two about your adventure.

Deadline to enter: Friday, September 13

Do you have questions or comments? Let us know below.

Hill Auditorium Trivia Night

WHAT IS IT: Throughout the current season, UMS celebrates our centenary season in Hill Auditorium, a building incredible not only due to its rich history and acoustics, but also because of the role it plays in the cultural vibrancy of the entire state.

So, UMS, WDET and Arbor Brewing Company invite you to join us for an evening of Hill Auditorium trivia and music!

With trivia hosted by Great Lakes Trivia Company, music by WDET’s Rob Reinhart the night will be a fun-filled trivia and music adventure. PLUS, Craig Fahle, WDET host of the Craig Fahle Show and his team will be there… Are you ready to get in the ring and test your trivia strength against Craig and his team?

WHEN: Monday, September 24, 7PM at Arbor Brewing Company. Please note: cash bar.


  • Winning team: one pair of tickets to two UMS events of your choosing this season for each team member (subject to availability)
  • Runners-up team: one pair of tickets to one UMS event of your choosing for each team member (subject to availability)
  • And plenty of other goodies: gift certificates & WDET, ABC, and UMS goodies throughout the evening.

TEST YOUR SKILLS: Convenient quiz to help you determine how ready you are for trivia night:

How Ready Are You for Hill Auditorium Trivia? » online quizzes

RENEGADE Contest – Win Tickets!

This winter’s Pure Michigan Renegade series, a 10 week, 10 event series focusing on “renegades” examines thought-leaders and game-changers in the performing arts.

What’s a renegade to you? How do you know when a performing arts work or artist is truly game-changing, experimental or history-making?

Give us your answer in 7 words to enter to win tickets!


WHAT: UMS “What’s a Renegade?” Contest

REQUIREMENTS: Your definition of a performing arts renegade artist or work in exactly 7 words. This contest is free. Entries judged on creativity, renegade-ness.

DUE: January 12th, 12PM Noon.


1st place: Pair of tickets to your choice of concert at San Francisco Symphony’s American Mavericks with Michael Tilson Thomas.
2nd place
: 2 very special reserved seats to Robert Wilson & Philip Glass at the Michigan Theater as part of the Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series. Conversation led by acclaimed theater director Anne Bogart.


(1) Tweet your entry @UMSNews

(2) Add your entry as a comment on UMS’s Facebook page during the contest period. You must label your comment as a Renegade Contest entry.

(3) Add your entry as a comment in the comments section below.

Winners to be announced by January 12th, 5PM. Questions? Ask in the comments below.

Bonus Video: Renegade composer John Cage at a game show in 1960.

Thanks to everyone who entered! Our winners, selected by UMS staff, are:

1st Place
Lesley Criscenti

Bold experimentation,
freewheeling risk,
opening minds meet.

2nd Place
Elle Bigelow
Apostate creativity
Distorting the norm
Delicious tension

Check out more of our favorites here. What was your favorite 7-word renegade definition?

Band Photos Contest – Enter to Win Tickets!

Photos of Canadian Brass from our archives. Check out our Facebook page for larger versions of these photos & more photos!

Many of us began our relationship with classical music by participating in band in elementary school, middle school, high school, college and beyond. This week, we’re celebrating this connection with a contest.

Submit your best old band photos. Winner (selected by a panel of UMS Staff well-versed in band photos) receives a pair of tickets to the legendary Canadian Brass! Three runners up will receive iTunes giftcards.

UMS Staff Hearts Band.


(1) Via Facebook. Go to your profile. Upload your band photo, caption it with your Name and an interesting detail about your band experience, if you like. Tag University Musical Society in your caption – this is how we’ll know you’re entering.

(To tag us, you’ll have to first ‘Like’ our page. Then, type ‘@’ followed by ‘University Musical Society’ into your status update, along with the rest of your caption, and you should see our page appear in the drop down menu. Select our page to tag us.)

(2) Via Twitter. Upload your photo, caption it with your Name and an interesting detail about your band experience, if you like. Tweet your photo @UMSNews.

(3) Contest period: November 14-18. Winners and runners up selected November 18, 5PM.

Questions? Comment below.


Most Memorable UMS Performance Contest

1. Laurie Anderson, last at UMS in 10/11 Season. 2. Philadelphia Orchestra, 1976 May Festival.

What’s your most memorable UMS performance experience? Tell us about it & win.

Describe a live UMS performance that still holds strong feelings or memories for you years later and explain why it does.

How to enter: Tweet about your most memorable UMS performance during the contest period using the hash tag #faveums, or comment on UMS’s Facebook page during the contest period. You must describe your UMS performance experience and use the hashtag #faveums. Your contest entry should be original.

Eligibility: Only open to @UMSNews followers on Twitter or fans of UMS on Facebook.

Contest period: Sept 12th-23rd

Winners: Winners will be selected at about 5PM E.T. Friday, September 16th & 23rd by a panel of judges on UMS staff. Entries will be judged based on creativity and memory-evoking ability. Winners will be contacted via Twitter or Facebook respectively, and if winners do not reply within 5 days, new winners will be declared.

Prizes: Winners will receive an iTunes gift card, plus a pair of tickets to a performance of their choice this season. Two runners up will also receive an iTunes gift card.

Congrats to last week’s winner, Colleen McClain! Her most memorable UMS performance was her first:

“[My most memorable UMS performance] was also my first, as a wide-eyed freshman: Renee Fleming in Strauss’s Daphne. I listened in awe, and after the opera turned to my roommate in the balcony– vowing that I would sing on the same stage she had just commanded before graduation. Six months later, I accomplished that goal (much less beautifully!), thinking of her moving performance the entire time. The energy, sense of community, and beauty that was so much a part of Fleming’s performance has stuck with me each time I’ve stepped onstage or into a seat at Hill since.”

Roger Garrett was the runner-up. His memory is of UM & UMS in 1978, and includes a run-in between the Philadelphia Orchestra and the victors:

“In the fall of 1978, I was a freshman music major. Both my parents had attended UM and told me that if I became an usher for the UMS concerts, I could hear some really great performances for free. I did just that. During my first year I heard the New York Phil, the LA Phil, and the Philadelphia Orchestra (among others). The performance that stands out the most was the Philadelphia Orchestra – for several reasons. 1) – I met Eugene Ormandy and Anthony Gigliotti (Principal Clarinetist) after the concert back stage; 2) They played the Love of Three Oranges Suite by Prokofiev, and Ormandy conducted from memory. He was older at this point in his career, so it was obvious when he began the upbeat for one of the movements in a slow and dramatic tenuto gesture and gave the downbeat, he had forgotten which movement was next because the orchestra came in perfectly together and precise at a very fast tempo. He adjusted right away and joined them, but it was clear that he had forgotten the order of movements. Finally – they played The Victors, and when they reached the trio and the Celli played in a liquid, legato style, almost sappy, everyone laughed! Great concert.”

Our round two winner is KarenZaruda!

“That’s easy: February 2009, the Kodo concert with my family. My son, who was 10 years old, had recently began taking drum lessons. He was enthralled, as were we all! The auditorium felt like the walls were throbbing, and I would have sworn our internal organs were thrumming right along. The climax of the concert involves an extremely fit fellow wearing a loincloth (and little else!) facing a huge drum and playing it with his limbs splayed, arms over his head, beating that thing with unbelievable force. It was as if all the energy in his body flowed from him into the drum. It gave me a new appreciation for the path my son was starting on in his pursuit of music, the bodily connection that a drummer can feel with his instrument. Such a memorable night!”

Molly Elizabeth Mardit was the runner-up:

“During the Winter semester of 2009, I went with a friend to the newly renovated UMMA and experienced Mohammed Bennis and the Hmadcha Ensemble’s performance. What a night! I was especially pumped for this, as the ensemble is from Fez, Morocco, a place I had visited and loved so much, just one year before. I knew it was going to be an experience when my friend and I entered the space, and were told that we could sit anywhere. “Anywhere” ended up being right in the front row, atop pillows and fluffy carpeting that had been brought in especially for the performance. The ensemble had a way of captivating the audience, and soon enough, we were all on our feet, dancing and trancing together. I got such a high that night. :D”

Thanks for entering !

PS. Yes we read & love the New Yorker.

VIDEO & CONTEST: What deal would you make with devil?

UMS is celebrating American roots this season by presenting and exploring uniquely American art forms like Jazz, Bluegrass, and the Blues.  In anticipation of the Blues at the Crossroads concert on February 10, we’ve been working with the U-M Museum of Art to draw out some the connections between the American folk art on display at the museum and the American Roots Music artists on the 10/11 UMS season.

Former curator of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (and current UM Lecturer) Bruce Conforth joined curator (and PhD candidate) Kristine Ronan in the gallery to talk about how folk art and roots music are intertwined.  Bruce and Kristine had a great conversation (which we’ve captured on video) – and we hope you’ll check out some of the music and art they talk about:

NOW FOR THE CONTEST! Legendary Blues musician Robert Johnson was rumored to have made a deal with the devil to receive his extraordinary guitar talents. Join our contest to win a pair of tickets to Blues at the Crossroads (February 10) or a tour CD and t-shirt by answering the question: what deal would you make with the devil?  Leave your answer in the comments below and we’ll choose a winner at random (and be sure to sign in with facebook/twitter or leave us a valid email address so we can get in touch with you if you win!). Contest ends Tuesday, February 8 at 12 noon.

You can hear more from Bruce by joining his free American Roots/American Routes 101: The Blues workshop on Monday, February 7 at 7 pm at the Cobblestone Farm Barn.   You can see all the artworks on display at UMMA through June 26.

Tell us what you think and you could win an Apple iPad (Survey ends July 15!)

In February, UMS launched This site was prototyped over the past five months as part of a grant program from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and EmcArts to explore innovative ideas in the arts.

We invite you to help us evaluate our beta version of, as well as determine what features might exist in its next iteration (Lobby 2.0).

By completing this survey in its entirety, you will be entered in a drawing for an Apple iPad WiFi (entry at end of survey).

Act fast!  The survey closes on July 15, 2010.

Michael Tilson Thomas Conducting Master Class: Win Your Seat!

Michael Tilson Thomas

As part of the upcoming residency with the San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas will lead a conducting master class on Sunday, March 21 at 10am with members of Kenneth Kiesler’s U-M conducting studio and the University Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras. As seating for observation is very limited, we’ve decided to reserve 2 seats each for up to 5 lucky winners of this contest!

We’re seeking answers to this question: “What does it mean to be a conductor?” Answers do not have to be related to music. We’re looking for interesting, compelling, and creative entries, and entries can be submitted in any format (writing, music, video, artwork, photos—be creative!).

To enter, please post your entry in the comments section below, and make sure to leave an email address so that we can contact you. Comments can be text or links to external sites hosting photos, music, or video.

UMS staff will vote on the winning entries and announce the winners on Thursday, March 18. Entries must be posted here by 5pm on Wednesday, March 17 to be considered.

We look forward to your responses!

Seven Doors of UMS and the Chicago Symphony

On Wednesday, January 27, Pierre Boulez will conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle.  The one-act opera tells the story of the lovely Judith, who has just eloped with her new husband, Bluebeard.  They arrive at his castle, and Bluebeard tells Judith that the seven locked doors in his castle are private places not to be explored.  Judith eventually convinces him to reconsider, and the seven doors are opened, revealing something horrible and terrifying behind each.

We thought we’d have some fun with the “seven doors,” so we’ve found seven doors in Ann Arbor that relate in some way to UMS or Chicago.  We won’t insist that terror lurks behind these doors…in fact, if you can identify all seven, you’ll be entered to win a terrific package that includes swag from both UMS and the Chicago Symphony.

Contest ends on Monday, January 25 at 6 pm.  To enter, identify each door and send your name and address to or fax to 734-998-7526.  One entry per person, please.  Winner(s) will be selected and notified on Tuesday, January 26 via email.