UMS Choral Union Announces Summer Sings 2018


The UMS Choral Union invites all interested singers to take part in its 25th season of Summer Sings. All singers are invited to these popular choral reading sessions which feature no-audition, no-performance evenings of memorable music-making. As many as 300 singers from southeastern Michigan, northern Ohio, and Canada have joined each session in singing great choral repertoire with some of the nation’s most respected choral conductors and outstanding soloists.

“We are thrilled to announce our 25th season of Summer Sings, marking a quarter of a century of communal music making that brings vocal enthusiasts from all walks of life together to sing under one roof,” said UMS Choral Union music director and Summer Sings conductor Scott Hanoian. “It’s always a delight to hear a vibrant chorus of community members sing together, but this year’s Summer Sings will be a true testament to the level of appreciation that our region has for shared choral experiences.”

The first Summer Sings event will take place on Monday, June 25 with a reading of Beethoven’s Mass in C in Hill Auditorium (825 N. University Avenue, Ann Arbor), conducted by UMS Choral Union music director Scott Hanoian. On Wednesday, July 11, world-renowned composer René Clausen, who leads the Concordia Choir in Moorhead, Minnesota, will lead participants in a reading of his music in Hill Auditorium. The final Summer Sings of 2018 will be a reading of Bach’s Magnificat on Monday, August 6 in Stamps Auditorium (1226 Murfin Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109).

Admission to each session costs $5. Summer Sings will provide refreshments and have scores available to borrow.  Registration for each session begins at 6:30 pm and singing begins at 7 pm. Visit for more information.


Monday, June 25
7-9:30 pm
Hill Auditorium
(825 N. University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109)

Reading: Beethoven’s Mass in C
Scott Hanoian, conductor
Music Director and Conductor, UMS Choral Union

Wednesday, July 11
7-9:30 pm
Hill Auditorium
(825 N. University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109)

Reading: The Music of René Clausen
René Clausen, conductor
Conductor, The Concordia Choir (Moorhead, MN)

Monday, August 6
7-9:30 pm
Stamps Auditorium, Walgreen Drama Center
(1226 Murfin Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109)

Reading: Bach’s Magnificat
Jerry Blackstone, conductor
Director of Choral Activities (retired), University of Michigan

Scott Hanoian
 began his appointment as music director and conductor of the UMS Choral Union in July 2015. In addition to his appointment at UMS, Scott Hanoian is the director of music at Christ Church Grosse Pointe. Career highlights also include serving as artistic director of the Oakland Choral Society; faculty member at Wayne State University; assistant organist and assistant director of music at Washington National Cathedral; and a robust career as an international touring musician performing throughout Europe, Australia, and Canada. He has recorded the complete organ works of Johannes Brahms for the JAV label.

World-renowned composer and conductor Dr. René Clausen has served as conductor of The Concordia Choir since 1986. He is the artistic director of the Emmy Award-winning Concordia Christmas Concerts, which are frequently featured by PBS stations throughout the nation. Clausen is a renowned composer and arranger, having written dozens of commissioned compositions for famed performances, including “MEMORIAL” and “Crying for a Dream” for the American Choral Directors Association. He is also a frequent guest conductor, composer, and lecturer. Clausen has conducted such works as Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Brahms’s Requiem, and several of his own works including Gloria — in three movements — performed at Carnegie Hall in New York. Life and Breath: Choral Works by René Clausenis a 13-track recording by the Kansas City Chorale.  This CD of compositions by Clausen won two Grammy Awards in 2013, including “Best Choral Performance.” Clausen was commissioned by Concordia College to compose a major work to observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation titled The Passion of Jesus Christ, which premiered at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, in April 2017. Clausen graduated in 1974 from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, and received Master of Music Performance and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana. Prior to his appointment as conductor of The Concordia Choir, Clausen was director of choral activities at West Texas State University, Canyon, and assistant professor of choral music at Wichita (Kansas) State University. He also served as senior editor of Mark Foster Music Company and as interim conductor of the National Lutheran Choir of Minneapolis. In 2018, he received the Weston H. Noble Award for Lifetime Achievement from the North Central American Choral Directors Association.

Grammy Award winning conductor Jerry Blackstone recently retired as director of Choirs and chair of the Department of Conducting at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance where he conducted the Chamber Choir, taught conducting at the graduate level, and administered a choral program of 11 choirs. In February 2006, he received two Grammy Awards (“Best Choral Performance” and “Best Classical Album”) as chorusmaster for the critically acclaimed Naxos recording of William Bolcom’s monumental Songs of Innocence and of Experience. The recent Naxos recording of Milhaud’s L’Orestie d’Eschyle, on which Blackstone served as chorusmaster, was nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award (“Best Opera Recording”). For significant contributions to choral music in the state of Michigan, he received the 2006 Maynard Klein Lifetime Achievement Award from the ACDA-Michigan chapter. Blackstone served as conductor and music director of the UMS Choral Union from 2003-15. Prior to coming to U-M in 1988, Professor Blackstone served on the music faculties of Phillips University in Oklahoma, Westmont College in California, and Huntington University in Indiana. He holds degrees from the University of Southern California, Indiana University, and Wheaton College.


June 25 and July 11 : Parking at the Thayer Street parking structure across the street from Hill Auditorium will be available after 6 pm for $5 (cash only). Visit for more information and a list of additional parking options.

August 6 :  The parking lot immediately adjacent to the Walgreen Drama Center will be available to Summer Sings participants for $5 (cash only). There are also several other parking options available in the vicinity of the Walgreen.  Parking along Bonisteel Boulevard is free after 5 pm, in addition to a visitor lot on Hayward Street, which is accessible to Stamps Auditorium via two sets of steps through the Computer Science & Engineering Building. The parking lot adjacent to the School of Music is free after 5 pm, and there is visitor parking in the lot just south of the Art and Architecture Building.


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