Take Your Instrument to Work Day?

Since we’re all about blending medicine, science and music, we thought it would be fun to take photos of some of our members with their instruments in the places where they work or train.

We’re fortunate to have skilled amateur photographer (and retired physician) Dr. Bern Muller in our viola section. Together with our members, he came up with fun ways to show how LSO musicians make a difference in their work or studies — and find release through music.

See all the photos here

Details about our May 10 concert

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Biomedical engineer Olivia Palmer ‘examines’ her violin under a red lamp used in her studies of blood vessels

Engelke trumpet patient

Carl Engelke tries to use his trumpet to listen to the lungs of “patient” Heiko Yang, a fellow MD/Ph.D. student and LSO celeste player.

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Whit Froelich “triages” his cello at the Emergency Department check-in station where he works

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Surgical resident Jenna Devare “scopes” her violin in the Otolaryngology clinic.

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Heiko Yang “plays” a keyboard made of Eppendorf tubes in the lab where he’s working toward his Ph.D.


Meet our soloist: Eric Dluzniewski

At our Sunday, May 10 concert, the winner of our 2014-2015 Concerto Competition, Eric Dluzniewski, will perform Weber’s Bassoon Concerto – on the euphonium. He’ll also join the LSO trombone section for the second half of the program, Holst’s “Planets” suite.

Eric, whose last name is pronounced Doo-zha-ness-key, became interested in studying music at an early age. As he pleaded with his parents for a drum set, they countered with piano lessons. A compromise was reached, and while Eric thought his bright-red drums were leading him to rock-stardom, he was blind to the fact that his piano studies were fostering a love of melody, harmony and music theory.

He began playing the euphonium in seventh grade band and went on to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in euphonium performance at Central Michigan University and the Eastman School of Music, respectively.

Eric currently works as strategic communications coordinator in the U-M Health System’s Office of Development, where he enjoys supporting health system’s $1 billion Victors for Michigan campaign by helping to tell stories of its groundbreaking medical discoveries and transformative patient care through various print and digital mediums.

Full details about our May 10 concert


Out of this world: LSO free concert on Mother’s Day, May 10

LSO at Hill-400hHolst’s Planets, Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony & euphonium solo featured

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — If you think your mother, wife or grandmother is the best in the solar system, here’s one way to show her: Take her to a free concert on Mother’s Day, May 10 featuring planet-themed music.

Even if your mom isn’t available, the performance by the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra at Hill Auditorium will transport you to other worlds.

The concert will begin at 4 p.m. and is open to the public with general admission seating. No tickets are required. The LSO is made up of medical, health and science faculty, staff, students and alumni from across U-M, and is led by music director Adrian Slywotzky with assistant conductor Joseph Bozich.

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Female singers needed for special “Planets” choir

The U-M Life Sciences Orchestra needs female singers for a special choir that will perform the vocal part on the last movement of Holst’s “The Planets” at a concert on Sunday, May 10 (Mother’s Day) at 4 p.m. at Hill Auditorium.

Choral experience is required, and affiliation with the U-M science and medical community is preferred.

All prospective singers should be available for rehearsals at 6 p.m. on April 26 and May 3, the dress rehearsal on the evening of May 7, and a pre-concert warmup. Music will be provided electronically ahead of the first rehearsal so singers can familiarize themselves with the part.

Email aslywotz@umich.edu to indicate interest. Include information about your vocal range and experience.

Save the date: May 10 concert featuring Holst’s Planets, soloist

The LSO is pleased to announce the program for our next concert!


Sunday, May 10, 2015 (Mother’s Day)

4 p.m., Hill Auditorium

Free; no tickets required

All ages welcome

Mozart: Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter,” Movement I: Allegro vivace

Weber’s Bassoon Concerto in F Major, Op. 75
Played by LSO Concerto Competition Winner Eric Dluzniewski, euphonium

Holst: The Planets

Watch for more information as the season progresses!

When he raises his baton, doctors & scientists become musicians

Adrian Slywotzky, the LSO's Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D. Music Director, leads the orchestra's dress rehearsal for the January 2015 concert

Adrian Slywotzky, the LSO’s Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D. Music Director, leads the orchestra’s dress rehearsal for the January 2015 concert

U-M Life Sciences Orchestra conductor holds unique post, now funded by generous gift


Orchestra conductors have heard every excuse in the book from musicians who miss rehearsals.

But this one topped them all: Emergency surgery.

Not having it – performing it.

But not to worry, the member of the U-M Life Sciences Orchestra told conductor Adrian Slywotzky by email. If all went well, and the patient was stable, there should still be time to get to orchestra practice that night.

That’s the kind of thing that can only happen in the LSO, which for 15 years has given members of the U-M medical and science community an outlet for their musical talents.

And Slywotzky wouldn’t have it any other way. He led the orchestra in a free concert last Sunday afternoon, at Ann Arbor’s famous Hill Auditorium.

Together, the band of medical students, graduate students, doctors, dentists, nurses, scientists, hospital staff and engineers played Beethoven’s famous Fifth Symphony, and a trio of works by American composers.

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Triumph of the human spirit: LSO marks MLK Day with free concert Jan. 18 (Official press release)

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” and more

The power of music to express the human spirit, and triumph over adversity, will come to life on Sunday, Jan. 18, as the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra presents a free concert at Hill Auditorium.

With themes befitting the eve of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the performance will feature works both famous and less-recognized, played by an orchestra made up of medical, health and science faculty, staff, students and alumni from across U-M.

U-M president Mark Schlissel will give opening remarks, as part of U-M’s celebration of MLK’s legacy.

The concert will begin at 4 p.m., and is open to the public with general admission seating. No tickets are required. LSO music director Adrian Slywotzky will give a brief pre-concert lecture about the works on the program at 3:15 p.m.

The centerpiece of the LSO’s performance will be Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, one of the most famous – and stirring – works of all of classical music. Beethoven composed the now-immortal work amid war and political upheaval, and his own increasing deafness.


Three works by 20th Century American composers will make up the concert’s first half. Most famous among them: Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait”, which combines uniquely American melodies with excerpts from speeches by Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln’s words will be spoken by narrator Carmen R. Green, M.D., who in 2013 was named the inaugural U-M associate vice president for medical affairs and associate dean for Health Equity and Inclusion, a position that leads the U-M Health System’s effort to identify and address inequality in health care and health professions across U-M’s clinical, educational, research, and public missions. Green is a professor in the U-M Medical School and School of Public Health. A noted anesthesiologist and pain medicine physician, she has a national reputation for her leadership on achieving a representative population of women and minorities in the biomedical pipeline, and an international reputation for her seminal research on health and pain care disparities and health policy.

The concert will begin with the “Festive Overture” written in 1944 by William Grant Still. Though he studied medicine as an undergraduate, Still’s musical talents won out and he switched to composition – eventually becoming the first African-American composer to have his work played by, and to conduct, major symphony orchestras.

Samuel Barber’s “Music for a Scene from Shelley”, inspired by Percey Bysshe Shelley’s “Prometheus Unbound”, will follow. It evokes the call for the release of Prometheus from captivity, and the return of sympathy and love to mankind.

Slywotzky holds the newly named Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D. Music Director position with the LSO, made possible by a gift from its namesake, the first U-M executive vice president for medical affairs and a longtime supporter of the LSO.

Now in his second season of conducting the LSO, Slywotzky is a graduate student in the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s nationally known orchestral conducting program, from which the LSO has drawn its conductors for its entire 15 years of blending science and music.

The orchestra is part of the Gifts of Art program, which brings the world of art and music to the U-M Health System. The LSO gives 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.


For more information on the concert or the LSO, visit http://lso.med.umich.edu/ or www.facebook.com/umlso, send e-mail to orchestra@umich.edu, or call (734) 936-ARTS.

For more information about other U-M events honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., visit http://mlksymposium.umich.edu/


A great poster for our Jan. 18 concert!

Continuing a new tradition of using works of visual art to publicize our musical performances, the poster for our January 18 concert is now available  – thanks to designer Carrie McClintock of the UMHS Gifts of Art staff.

Featuring a work by American artist Edward Hopper, “The Lighthouse at Two Lights”, the poster has started popping up around the U-M campus and social media too. Please share this post to continue to spread the word!