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January 12 concert, featuring “The Planets,” opens U-M Life Sciences Orchestra’s eighth season


Ann Arbor, MI – By day, the 82 members of the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra are doctors, nurses, scientists, dentists, bioengineers, social workers and other medical and science professionals.

he LSO in an earlier performance at Hill Auditorium. Photo by Steve KuzmaBut on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008 at Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium, they’ll put their musical talents together to celebrate the solar system, with a performance of Gustav Holst’s famous suite, “The Planets.”

From the warlike thrill of “Mars” to the jolly “Jupiter” and the ethereal “Neptune”, the popular piece gives each planet a personality of its own through rhythm and melody.

The free public concert, which will begin at 8 p.m., will also feature two pieces devoted to more terrestrial themes: the rousing strains of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, composed for Goethe’s play about a Belgian hero, and the fiery Spanish spirit of the first movement of Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole.

On the latter, the LSO will accompany violinist Trina Stoneham, the winner of the orchestra’s most recent Concerto Competition. A 2007 U-M graduate with a double major in violin performance and biology, she is now an associate research technician in the Department of Pathology at the U-M Medical School.

The LSO will be led by music director Clinton Smith and assistant conductor Diego Piedra, both students of the nationally known graduate program in orchestral conducting at the U-M School of Music. On the final movement of the Planets, the LSO will be joined by members of the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers, directed by Warren Puffer Jones.

The concert will be introduced by Tony Denton, M.H.A., J.D., chief operating officer and senior associate director of the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers.

For more information on the concert or the LSO, visit, send e-mail to, or call 734-936-ARTS. No tickets are required.

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 orchestra is made up of members of U-M’s medical, health and life science community, including faculty, staff, students, family members and alumni. It gives its members an outlet for their musical talents and a chance to interact with one another across academic disciplines and professions. Founded by students and staff from the U-M Health System, the orchestra made its concert debut in January 2001.

Written by: Kara Gavin
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