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Release Date: 
Monday, February 9, 2009

HFCC presents 14th Annual President’s Collage Concert

Henry Ford Community College will present the 14th Annual President’s Collage Concert on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, located at 15801 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn.

Reserved tickets are $20 and may be purchased from the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center box office by calling (313) 943-2354.

The concert will showcase HFCC’s music department, which has the largest two-year music program in Michigan, and will feature performances by eight HFCC musical groups comprised of more than 200 musicians. The groups include the HFCC Big Band, Midnight Blue, Concert Choir, Vanguard Voices, Blue Fusion, Studio 110 Jazz Orchestra and Renaissance Voices. Also scheduled to perform is the Metropolitan Symphony Band, a diverse ensemble of high school and college students, as well as semi-professionals and community players.

'All of the musicians at HFCC are involved in this concert, which contrasts from our other concerts because the groups are usually separated by the type of music they perform,' said Dearborn resident Rick Goward, director of the HFCC Big Band.

Twenty-two student musicians from the Big Band and Midnight Blue vocal jazz ensemble recently played at Michigan’s inaugural ball in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th president. The two groups preformed at the Michigan Inaugural Dinner Dance in the National Museum of American History on Tuesday, Jan. 20. This was the third time HFCC musical acts have played at the Presidential Inaugural festivities.

The HFCC Big Band has played in more than 950 concerts, dances and convention performances since 1983. In 2001, 2005 and 2009 the Big Band performed at the Presidential Inauguration celebrations in Washington, D.C. and joined Evergreen Blues on concert tours in 2002 and 2005 to Hawaii and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The Big Band is the only band, professional or amateur, to appear at the Detroit Jazz Festival for 26 consecutive years.

Midnight Blue, a vocal jazz ensemble, is under the direction of G. Kevin Dewey of Dearborn, HFCC’s vocal music director. Midnight Blue joined with the HFCC Big Band at the 2005 and 2009 Presidential Inaugural celebrations in Washington, D.C and has performed several times at the Detroit Jazz Festival with the Big Band.

HFCC’s Concert Choir, also directed by Dewey, is open to all students, faculty, staff and members of the community. The choir performs various types of music, including classical, jazz and Broadway hits, often with instrumental accompaniment.

Vanguard Voices, HFCC’s choir-in-residence, is sponsored by the City of Dearborn Recreation Department and seeks out the best in traditional and contemporary choral music. The mixed choir has performed with Detroit-area symphonies, including a 2006 concert with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The musicians have traveled to Europe and have released four CDs. Vanguard Voices also sponsors Vanguard Premieres, a program to promote the creation of new choral works through both commissions and composition contests. This summer, Vanguard Voices will be on tour in Wilmington, NC and Washington, D.C.

Blue Fusion, directed by Dewey, performs a variety of classic and contemporary vocal jazz, featuring a cappella and accompanied selections.

Under the direction of HFCC music instructor Randall Knight of Canton, the Studio 110 Jazz Orchestra performs a wide selection of jazz favorites at many Detroit-area events. Studio 110, whose members range from recent high school graduates to retirees, often shares the stage with Blue Fusion, and the two groups have traveled to Chicago for a concert tour.

The Metropolitan Symphony Band, directed by Goward and Knight, is the largest community college concert band in Michigan and includes advanced placement high school students, college students and members of the community.

The women of Renaissance Voices have traveled to Norway, Sweden and Denmark and have released a CD, The Earth Does Arise, which features Randall Thompson’s Frostiana.

For more information about the Collage Concert, please call Rick Goward at 313-845-9699. For more information about HFCC music courses, call Kevin Dewey at (313) 845-6474.

For more information about HFCC, please visit