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April 6, 2006

May 5 concert of Tchaikovsky, Copland and more will close U-M Life Sciences Orchestra's sixth season

ANN ARBOR, MI – A moving symphony, a vibrant violin solo and two brassy fanfares will bring the sixth season of the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra to a close, with a free public concert on Friday, May 5 at 8 p.m. in U-M’s Hill Auditorium.

Life Sciences OrchestraThe LSO and music director John Padgett Goodell will present works by Tchaikovsky and Copland, as well as a violin solo featuring Tugsu Armstrong, a U-M student and winner of the LSO Concerto Competition. The orchestra is made up of members of U-M’s medical, health and life science community, including faculty, staff, students, volunteers, family members and alumni. The concert will be introduced by Raymond Ruddon, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the U-M Medical School.

The performance will begin with Aaron Copland’s well-known “Fanfare for the Common Man,” followed by Joan Tower’s 1986 response, “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1.” Both will be played by the LSO brass section under the baton of assistant conductor Clinton Smith. Smith is a current student, and Goodell a graduate, of the noted orchestral conducting program at the U-M School of Music.

The fanfares will be followed by Tommaso Vitali’s Chaconne in G minor for violin, organ and strings, composed in the early 1700s and performed by Armstrong, the LSO string section and Erven Thoma playing the Hill Auditorium organ. Armstrong is a 1998 graduate of the Mongolian Music Conservatory and has played in the Flint Symphony Orchestra, as well as the West Shore, Traverse City, Holland and Kalamazoo Symphonies.

The concert will conclude with the Symphony No. 6 in B minor, op. 74, by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Commonly called the “Pathetique” and known for its gorgeous opening melody, quirky waltz and powerful closing movements, the symphony was premiered in 1893 just nine days before the composer’s death.

For more information on the concert or the LSO, visit, e-mail, or call (734) 936-ARTS.

The LSO is part of the Gifts of Art program, which brings the world of art and music to the U-M Health System. The orchestra was founded in the spirit of the U-M effort to encourage collaboration, community and creativity beyond the traditional boundaries between academic disciplines in the basic sciences, health sciences, health care, engineering, social science and the humanities.

The LSO gives its members an outlet for their musical talents and a chance to interact with one another across academic disciplines and professions. Members include doctors and research scientists, medical students and residents, nurses, hospital staff, public health specialists, bioengineers, pharmacists, dentists, research laboratory staff, social workers and family members of U-M life science community members. Founded by students and staff from the U-M Health System, the orchestra made its debut in January 2001.

Written by Kara Gavin

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