University Musical Society Enriches with UMS 101

Actors performing on stage.
Martha Graham Dance Company. Photo provided by UMS.

The University Musical Society offers enrichment courses every season taught by field experts. These immersive workshops include demonstrations, presentations and activities meant to increase participants’ understanding of the variety of topics offered. The classes offered coincide with the performances taking place at the University Musical Society. They are offering two courses in the near future.

These workshops are an excellent way to broaden your understanding on topics surrounding the arts and elevate the audience experience at the University Musical Society performances. 

UMS 101: Reshaping American Movement: The Graham Technique 

2 actors performing in a play.
Martha Graham Dance Company. Photo provided by UMS.

This class takes place on Tuesday, February 13 at 6pm. It is around 90 minutes of instruction surrounding Martha Graham’s movement technique and its importance to dance in today’s world.

Peter Sparling, the instructor of this course, is a graduate from Julliard and former director of the Peter Sparling Dance Company. Sparling also danced with the Martha Graham Dance Company. 

UMS 101: Dynamic Ladies of Jazz: An Evening of History and Appreciation

Multiple photos of performers and musicians.
Dynamic Ladies of Jazz. Photo provided by UMS.

Taking place on Tuesday March 26, this workshop will take about 90 minutes. This class seeks to explore the impact of women on Jazz music throughout history. This workshop features lessons on legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. It is taught by accomplished Jazz musician Marion Hayden. Hayden co founded the first ever all female Jazz group to be signed to Atlantic records called Straight ahead. 

The vice president of learning and engagement at the University Musical Society, Cayenne Harris encourages everyone to participate in these workshops. The door is open to both newcomers and those who are well acquainted. She explains that everyone can gain something from these courses even if you already have some knowledge on the topics. “For those who are already familiar, it’s a way to go deeper,” she said

Harris said these workshops are casual and often attract “curious and lifelong learners that are interested in connecting with other people in their community.”

Those who sign up for the workshops by no means have to attend the performances that go along with them. However, they are a great tool to enhance the performance experience.

“I always recommend that people do both but the workshops are an event in and of themselves”, Harris said.  The workshops are a fun and casual way to engage with like minded individuals in your community and expand your knowledge on the arts. 

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