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At On the Road with UMS

Photo by Bill Shell.

Jim Leija, UMS Director of Education & Community Engagement, with members of the cast of “Shakespeare in the Arb,” Maria Thomas, Martin Walsh, and Jean Leverich at On the Road, our annual fundraiser for UMS Education & Community Engagement programs.

Top Auction Items (that you can get at this year’s On the Road!)

On the Road is an annual dinner and auction benefiting UMS Education and Community Engagement Programs, which bring arts experiences to over 25,000 students, teacher and community members yearly. The evening features a silent auction, a live auction, fabulous food and extraordinary entertainment.

The Big Apple with UMS President Ken Fischer

Imagine the excitement of a weekend in New York, with its shopping, fine dining, museums and theater, all within walking distance of your hotel.

We spent an afternoon with the Martha Graham Dance Company as they rehearsed for an upcoming performance. While we were standing against the studio wall, only inches away from the dancers, the Director shared information about each of the dancer’s roles. After a sumptuous dinner and wonderful conversation with Ken and U-M Musical Theatre alumnus Leonard Navarro at a posh new restaurant in Lincoln Center, we enjoyed A Little Night Music from the best seats in town. After the theater, we were invited to a late evening reception at Ken’s suite, where we were treated like royalty as Ken introduced us to his counterparts from around the world.

The purest form of inspiration, the kind that touches your heart, is in watching the faces of the students as they disembark from their buses and the excitement flowing out of the building after experiencing a UMS Youth Performance, and we were able to support these experiences through our purchase of this item. Now that’s money well spent!

This package is part of the live auction.

—Eileen and Ted Thacker won this item last year. Eileen was the Chair of “On the Road” in 2010 and will be Chair of the Advisory Committee during the 2012-13 season.

UM Football Package

Five years ago I was the lucky bidder for this package.

Before the game, at UM President Mary Sue Coleman’s popular tailgate party, we had the chance to meet Mary Sue Coleman, Mike Wallace (retired CBS newsman and U-M grad), and many other interesting people. (I do believe Ken knows everyone in Ann Arbor and beyond!)

Being on the field before the game brought me face to face, literally, with members of the Michigan Marching Band as they high-stepped off the field. I was tempted to reach for the board where the coach marks the Xs and Os just to see how well I could do. At half-time I saw a totally different, beautiful view of the field from the press box. The game was great—Michigan won.

This package is part of the live auction.

—Louise Townley is a long-time UMS supporter and former chair of the Advisory Committee. She chaired the 2010 Ford Honors Program, which recognized Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.

Fly-fishing Package

Begin your fly-fishing adventure on the shores of the Huron River with one of Ann Arbor’s most notable fly-fishing teachers, Mike Mouradian (president of Ann Arbor Trout Unlimited), who will provide lunch from Zingerman’s along with his expertise.

Michigan’s trout streams are  unrivaled, and continue to be restored and protected with the efforts of organizations like Trout Unlimited, and many volunteers.

Certificates and brochures regarding details of this exciting adventure are contained in an antique French creel from the collections of former Advisory Committee member Steve Rosoff’s France Ici, adorned with hand-tied flies created by flyfisherman and friend of UMS Arnold Kluge.

This package is part of the live auction.

—Jean Kluge is a former member of the Advisory Committee and a legendary retired Ann Arbor Public Schools kindergarten teacher.

52 Card Wine Draw

We love UMS’s On the Road for so many reasons: wonderful food, terrific entertainment, and socializing with friends all while supporting the Education and Community Engagement Program. This year we are anxiously hoping that we purchase the winning ticket for the amazing wine raffle. We are already salivating over the possibility of 3 cases – 36 bottles of exceptional vintages. Since each bottle is guaranteed to be worth a minimum of $75 that means we – if we only purchase one ticket – have a 1-in-52 chance of winning wine worth over $2,700. (However, I’ve been told that the actual value is closer to $5,000!) We love to cook and pair wine with food, so this is truly our type of opportunity. Even if we don’t win, we still “win” by helping to support UMS and who knows, maybe someone we know will win and invite us to one of the wine and food pairings they are sure to have.

This item is part of the Super Silent auction.

—Susan Fisher and John Waidley are perennial UMS concert-goers and supporters. Susan is the current chair of the Advisory Committee.

Hand Blown Glass Bowl

 I saw this Selo/Shevel glass bowl in the gallery last spring and loved it. It’s more a burst of sunlight than a bowl. I didn’t buy it at the time, though I kept thinking about it. When I learned that it was donated to the OTR auction, I thought, “How wonderful!”  Now I’ll have a second chance to buy it and I can support UMS Education at the same time. I’ve ushered at Youth Performances and served as the coordinator of the first Royal Shakespeare Company Residency, two amazing arts education experiences made possible by UMS. I’m grateful to UMS for bringing the performing arts into our lives every year, and I can’t wait to bid high on the sunburst bowl!

Silent Auction item #501, Hand Blown Glass Bowl, Studio Tour and Glass Blowing Class

—Debbie Herbert is a long-time UMS supporter and a member of the UMS Senate.

On the Road with UMS 2011 takes place Friday, September 16th at 6:30PM in the A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building.  Please call 734-764-8489 for more information.




On the Road for the Kids

On Friday, September 16th at 6:30 pm, the University Musical Society (UMS) hosts its seventh annual benefit auction/dinner event, On the Road with UMS. Not only is this event an absolute blast, but the cause is near and dear to our hearts: performing arts education and community engagement. This integral portion of the UMS mission enables us to provide teacher workshops, in-class artist visits for schoolchildren, and live daytime performances programmed especially for school field-trips. In the post below, Karen Stutz — UMS volunteer, Advisory Committee Member, and 2011 On the Road Co-Chair — writes about why On the Road matters to her.

Imagine a sub-zero Ann Arbor morning in the dead of winter. Black ice, blustery winds, knee-deep snow. Without a doubt, this is the kind of morning that only a gleeful gaggle of  kids dancing to a live salsa concert can remedy. This exact sight lifted my heart when I worked as a volunteer greeter for a UMS Youth Performance by Baby Loves Salsa last winter.

I’ve volunteered as a Youth Performance greeter for a few years now and one thing is always the same: from the minute the kids step off the bus, they radiate excitement that lasts until the final curtain is drawn. The Baby Loves Salsa concert was no different. Along with their teachers, the children who attended Baby Loves Salsa clapped, sang, and danced in the aisles.

Last year, I also volunteered at the Youth Performance for the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Watching the students’ faces as they soaked up the performance was fascinating. They were rapt with attention as they followed the movement and choreography. The UMS Youth Performance program offers companion classroom curriculum and educational workshops for teachers; by the time the students are on-site at a UMS performance field trip, they are some of our most well-versed and informed patrons. They are ready for challenging, world-class performances. They are learning about cultures from all over the world and about how the performing arts can act as a window to better understand one another and the world at large.

Thousands of students from Southeast Michigan benefit in huge ways from seeing performances right here in Ann Arbor — I support the UMS Education & Community Engagement programs through fundraisers like On the Road because I’d like to keep it that way. Performing arts education matters to me because it matters to the kids.

Why is performing arts Education & Community Engagement important to you?

Tickets to this year’s On the Road event are $100 and must be purchased in advance. Rachelle Lesko at UMS is more than happy to help you with your ticket purchases and answer any questions: 734-764-8489 or Hope to see you there!