UMS: Upcoming Online Presentations, Digital Artist Residencies

UMS Digital Presentation
Sheku Kanneh-Mason & Isata Kanneh-Mason
Digital Premiere: Sun, Oct 25 // 2 pm with live Q&A with the artists after the concert
Available on demand through Wed, Nov 4 at

In lieu of the City of Birmingham Orchestra and Chorus’ canceled 2020/21 tour featuring soloist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, UMS presents sibling cello/piano duo Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason in a free digital performance recorded specifically for UMS audiences. The program will include an excerpt from Beethoven’s Cello Sonata in C Major and Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata. Both artists will join UMS audiences in a live chat on Facebook after the digital premiere.

This digital concert will be free and available to all.

Cello Sonata, No. 4 in C Major, Op. 102 (Mvt. i)
Cello Sonata in g minor, Op. 19
This Digital Arts Adventure is brought to you in part by the University of Michigan Credit Union.
Patron Sponsor: Braylon Edwards

A Virtual Grand Night for Singing
Digital Premiere & Virtual Watch Party: Thu, Oct 29 // 8 pm
Available on demand at

The U-M School of Music, Theater & Dance, along with UMS and the UMS Choral Union, present an evening of music theater, choral music, and solo vocal performances that focus on themes of community and connection.

The evening features staged performances from the archives and new virtual performances that highlight the broad vocal talent at U-M and in the Ann Arbor community. Repertoire selected will include both traditional songs that speak to our need for communal singing such as I was glad by Sir Charles Hubert Parry and How Can I Keep from Singing (arr. by Karen Thomas), as well as, new social justice songs such as Alysia Lee’s Say Her Name and Melanie Demore’s Lead with Love that seek to raise awareness about police brutality and anti-racism in the United States.

The virtual concert will feature nine different choral ensembles, including the UMS Choral Union.

UMS Digital Presentation
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan Dance-on-Camera
Digital Premiere: Fri, Nov 13 // 7:30 pm
Available on demand through Mon, Nov 23 at

Over the course of the next several months UMS will present Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s four-part series of digital episodes charting the making of and inspiration behind 13 Tongues, a signature work by the company’s new artistic director and choreographer Cheng Tsung-lung.

This first episode is preceded by Beckoning, a 40-minute dance-theater work that distills movements from the Taiwanese street-dancing ritual of Ba Jia Jiang.

Dates for the UMS presentations of the subsequent three episodes are to be announced.

This Digital Arts Adventure is brought to you in part by the University of Michigan Credit Union.
Patron Sponsors: Ilene Forsyth Theater Endowment Fund, Michigan Taiwanese American Organization, and Karen Bantel and Steve Geiringer

UMS Digital Presentation
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet with Wynton Marsalis
The Sounds of Democracy
Digital Premiere: Fri, Nov 27 // 7:30 pm
Available on demand through Sun, Nov 29 at

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet with Wynton Marsalis will record a special concert for UMS audiences with unique repertoire that celebrates jazz’s embodiment of freedom and democracy.

The digital presentation airs over Thanksgiving Weekend and features the premiere of Wynton Marsalis’s new composition, The Democracy Suite, a swinging and stimulating instrumental rumination on the issues that have recently dominated our lives as well as the beauty that could emerge from a collective effort to create a better future.

Presenting Sponsor: The Schweitzer Family Foundation
Supporting Sponsor: Anthony Reffells
Patron Sponsor: Susan B. Ullrich Endowment Fund

UMS Digital Presentation
Messiah Mixtape
Digital Premiere: Sun, Dec 6 // 2 pm
Available on demand through Thu, Dec 31 at

The UMS Choral Union’s annual performances of Handel’s Messiah have been a longstanding Ann Arbor community tradition for 141 years but because of the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Choral Union was forced to cancel this year’s performances.

In lieu of the traditional performances in Hill Auditorium, the UMS Choral Union will pay homage to the tradition’s rich history with a special digital presentation. Hosted by UMS Choral Union Music Director Scott Hanoian and UMS Vice President of Programming Michael Kondziolka, the program will feature favorite and memorable Messiah archival recordings, special performances from guest artists, and virtual choir excerpts pre-recorded by the UMS Choral Union.

This Digital Arts Adventure is brought to you in part by the University of Michigan Credit Union.
Patron Sponsor: Carl and Isabelle Brauer Endowment Fund

Upcoming Digital Artist Residency Events
UMS is working with a group of artists who are creating projects specifically for the digital frame, which will be presented in various stages of creative development over the course of the next year. Digital Artist Residencies will connect artists to audiences in brand new ways, from rarely visible behind-the-scenes creative development, all the way to presentations of finished works, some of which will be experienced digitally and some, eventually, to in-person audiences. See below for a list of upcoming Digital Artist Residency events.

Chamber Music Forum with Members of the Spektral Quartet:
“What a String Quartet Could Be”
Thu, Nov 5 // 6:30 pm
The Chicago-based Spektral Quartet actively looks for connections between traditional repertoire and contemporary works. In this 90-minute conversation, they discuss their approach to creating community-focused programming that draws in listeners with seamless connections across centuries, charismatic delivery, interactive concert formats, and bold, inquisitive programming. Their work has ranged from commissioning over 40 composers to write ringtone-length pieces for mobile devices to performing the Chicago premiere of Morton Feldman’s String Quartet No. 2, a staggering six-hour-long masterpiece.

The Spektral Quartet will team up with Lebanese-American composer and pianist Tarek Yamani for their UMS residency, during which they’ll explore the junctures between Western Classical, jazz, and traditional Arab music and result in a new, full-length commission to be filmed and presented digitally. The residency brings these artists together for the first time, allowing audiences to join on a journey of discovery, improvisation, and collaboration encompassing both traditional and contemporary performing arts.

A New Single from Tunde Olaniran
Release Date: Friday, November 13
Flint-based musician and activist Tunde Olaniran will release the first single from his new experimental LP.

Olaniran’s highly dynamic residency will feature art-making across disciplines, community collaboration and co-creation, emergent technologies, and video animation. Through the introduction of four singles from Tunde’s forthcoming release, audiences will be invited to participate in the creative process using building blocks created by Tunde and a cohort of creatives, remixing them to create new artistic outputs.

Happy Hour Listening Party with Tarek Yamani & the Spektral Quartet
Part 1: Wed, Nov 18 // 5:30 pm
Part 2: Thu, Nov 19 // 5:30 pm

Pianist Tarek Yamani and the Spektral Quartet bring audiences along for the creative process behind their Digital Artist Residency with UMS, which will result in a new, evening-length commission that explores the junctures between Western Classical, jazz, and traditional Arab music. To kick off their collaborative process, they’ll be sharing music with each other and discussing how it has shaped their artistic backgrounds and identities.

For more information on UMS’s Digital Artist Residencies visit