UM Staff Member Named to ACT State Organization Council

Martina Brewer appointed to three-year term

Martina Brewer will be working to provide feedback on the ACT and the changes that can be made that apply to Mississippi. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Martina Brewer will be working to provide feedback on the ACT and the changes that can be made that apply to Mississippi. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The Mississippi ACT State Organization has named Martina Brewer, associate director of admissions at the University of Mississippi, to its council.

Brewer, an Ole Miss graduate, began her time in the Office of Admissions as a student worker during her undergraduate years. She earned both a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in higher education.

Her primary responsibility during her three-year term on the council will be to provide feedback on the ACT, and to learn the work others are doing and how it can apply to Mississippi.

“It is a great honor to be a part of this wonderful organization,” Brewer said. “Many people are aware of the ACT test, but the group is responsible for many other educational programs that positively benefit those of all age groups.

“Their mission and values – empowerment, diversity and excellence – also align with my own personal aspirations and what I stand for.”

Martina Brewer joined the Mississippi ACT Council in August 2016. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Martina Brewer joined the Mississippi ACT Council in August 2016. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

One of the main goals for the council is to emphasize and increase communication about the ACT among educators and workforce professionals, as well as policymakers. To help achieve this, Brewer will attend two full-day meetings per year as well as participate in monthly conference classes and plan, execute and attend local council initiatives.

“I will be working closely with ACT staff to receive updates and communications regarding ACT solutions and research,” she said.

Brewer will be a valuable addition to the council, said Jody Lowe, UM associate director of admissions.

“She has worked to advance her knowledge of best practices and to position herself as an expert in the admissions field,” Lowe said. “We are proud that she was selected to represent the university on the state ACT Council. She will provide a veteran and well-reasoned perspective to the many issues facing the council.”

New Dean Developing Strategic Vision for UM Library

Cecilia Botero came to Ole Miss after three decades at University of Florida

Cecilia Botero. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Cecilia Botero

OXFORD, Miss. – After helping guide the growth of libraries at the University of Florida for more than 30 years, Cecilia Botero is busy developing a long-term strategy for the J.D. Williams Library at the University of Mississippi.

“It’s an exciting time at the University of Mississippi, and I knew that I wanted to be part of the future,” said Botero, a native of the South American nation of Colombia who became the university’s new library dean in time for the fall semester.

“I am confident that my background, experience and skills will make for a profitable and successful future together.”

A graduate of the University of Miami and the University of Texas, she was associate dean for discovery and access in the George A. Smathers Libraries and the endowed Fackler Director in the Health Science Center Libraries at the University of Florida.

As Fackler Director, Botero was responsible for all aspects of the management of Florida’s Health Science Center Libraries. The libraries serve the six colleges in the university’s Health Science Center, as well as the clinical and research mission of the center. She supervised 47 full-time employees between the Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses and had oversight of a $4 million budget.

As associate dean for discovery and access, Botero was responsible for all aspects of the Smathers Libraries’ information technology, cataloging and metadata and access services departments. This included supervising 46 employees and helping oversee the more-than-$31 million library budget.

UM administrators and faculty said they’re excited about Botero’s arrival.

“The UM Libraries are the foundation of academic excellence and scholarship at our university,” said Stephen Monroe, president of Friends of the Library and assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “Cecilia Botero brings wisdom and experience that will strengthen this foundation.”

“Dean Botero’s experience, professionalism and innovation are well-known in the field of academic librarianship,” said Gail Herrera, assistant dean for technical services and automation and professor of library science. “We consider ourselves fortunate to have her as our new dean of University Libraries and look forward to her leadership at the University of Mississippi.”

Botero said her short- and long-term goals are part of a broader conversation with the library faculty and staff and the university as a whole.

“I’ve been charged with providing a strategic vision for the library and its future direction,” she said. “My goals are ensuring that the library is aligned with the university’s vision and priorities. I’ll also encourage and assist in the provision of the best services, resources and facilities, delivered by the most knowledgeable, professional, efficient and experienced faculty and staff.

“Overall, the library strives to provide the best user experience possible for our patrons, both in terms of services, but also by providing a comfortable and inviting environment conducive to the creation and dissemination of knowledge.”

The new dean’s track record includes a bevy of honors. She is a fellow in the Association of Research Libraries. She reached distinguished member status in the Academy of Health Information Professionals, the credentialing body for medical librarians, and was selected the inaugural Drs. Martin and Sandra Fackler Director of Health Science Center Libraries, the first endowed faculty position in the University of Florida library system.

Yet for Botero, receiving a Superior Accomplishment Award from the University of Florida in 2002 is her most fulfilling honor.

“It was especially meaningful to me because I was nominated and received all the letters of support from my colleagues and my staff,” she said.

Other positions Botero held during her 30-year employment at the University of Florida include assistant director for content management, assistant director for resource management, manager of the Serials Unit, manager of the Serials Cataloging Unit, and serials and monograph cataloger.

A published author, Botero has written six refereed journal articles and three papers, and been published in two other publications. She also has been an invited presenter at two webinars, a pre-conference workshop, a workshop and an annual meeting, and made 14 additional presentations.

As a researcher, the new dean has served as principal investigator and investigator of both internally and externally funded grants totaling more than $12.6 million. Heavily involved in service at all levels, she has chaired or served on more than 30 national committees, 12 state organization committees and 15 University of Florida committees.

The new dean’s family includes her husband, Steven; daughter, Vanesa; son-in-law, David; and grandson, Logan.

In her leisure time, Botero said she enjoys traveling, exercise, nature and cooking.

Library launches Summon discovery system

Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Beginning June 29, the J.D. Williams Library launched a new discovery system, Summon, which runs the One Search tool. Summon allows students to more efficiently search for resources through the J.D. Williams Library website.

One Search provides a much broader search,” said Kristin Rogers, electronic resources and discovery librarian. “You can put in one search term, and it will search everything we have access to and not (just) one journal or one database.”

From a user standpoint, the One Search tool allows students to search almost everything the library has access to with a single search. One Search not only searches online resources but also includes our local print titles and journals. Summon, via One Search, offers students a more versatile approach to research.

A committee was formed to decide whether to move back to Summon, which the library had used before, or choose a different discovery system.

Summon’s user feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with comments such as Summon “seemed to be more accessible” and the “refined search filters are easier to use.”

“Summon provides an easy way for library users to discover research resources,” said Gail Herrera, assistant dean for technical services and automation and professor of library science. “In reviewing discovery services, the library committee charged with reviewing products scored Summon as the top product.”

As for One Search, it has been enhanced so students will be able to see how many times a resource has been read or shared through social media platforms. This will allow students to browse feedback on the sources they are using so as to better choose articles or journals for their academic work. One Search also features a pop-up chat box for students to communicate with librarians if an issue arises.

Library acquires historic volume of Shakespeare’s Second Folio

Jennifer Ford shows Shakespeare’s Second Folio to Jesse L. White, Associate Provost Noel Wilkin and Provost Morris Stocks. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Jennifer Ford shows Shakespeare’s Second Folio to Jesse L. White, Associate Provost Noel Wilkin and Provost Morris Stocks. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Thanks to a gift from the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation, the university has acquired a rare volume of William Shakespeare’s Second Folio, making it a permanent part of the university’s collection. It is on display in the Department of Archives and Special Collections in the University of Mississippi’s J.D. Williams Library.

The Second Folio, published in 1632, is an updated version of Shakespeare’s First Folio. The First Folio is a collection of 36 plays published in 1623, and 18 of those plays were previously unpublished, including “Macbeth,” “Julius Caesar” and “Twelfth Night.”

This rare copy belonged to Edwin Booth, one of history’s most illustrious Shakespearean actors. His brother was John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

The acquisition was completed thanks to the efforts of Rene Pulliam, theatre arts associate professor; Rhona Justice-Malloy, theatre arts professor; Morris Stocks, provost; and Noel Wilkin, associate provost, said Jennifer Ford, head of archives and special collections and associate professor.

“This copy of the Second Folio, owned by one of history’s foremost Shakespearean actors, is a tremendous acquisition,” Ford said. “It will be an enduring resource for the entire university, as well as the general public.”

Edwin Booth was known for a more textually accurate use of Shakespeare’s works in his theatrical performances, a practice which was unusual for the 19th century. It is likely the actor consulted this volume in preparation for his lauded portrayals of characters such as Hamlet, historians say.

The Second Folio was purchased from the collections of New York’s Players Club, a social group for actors founded by Booth, which had engaged the auction house Sotheby’s to negotiate on its behalf. The book, purchased with a $150,000 donation from the Ford Foundation, had an original estimate between $300,000 and $500,000.

Justice-Malloy notified Pulliam that the copy was going to auction while visiting the Players Club in December.

“I am overjoyed that the University of Mississippi will now be a resource for theatre researchers nationwide,” Pulliam said. “This fulfills a vision of Dr. Rhona Justice-Malloy and myself.”

Pulliam and Justice-Malloy put together literature and images to begin the fundraising process to purchase the book. In January, Wilkin contacted Pulliam with news that the Ford Foundation would be a major donor and the acquisition would move forward.

“They were excited about the idea of it being at a public institution where someone would really be able to enjoy it,” Justice-Malloy said. “I am so proud to be a faculty member at Ole Miss and know that they value the importance of such a book.”

The folio will be valuable to help recruit students and scholars interested in the arts, history and literature research, Justice-Malloy said.

“It’s a big deal to be able to say we have not only the Second Folio but Edwin Booth’s copy,” she said. “It will be a point of pride for us, and scholars and students can actually use this. I would like to extend an enormous ‘thank you’ to the Ford Foundation for making this possible.”

The J.D. Williams Library Second Folio exhibit is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 662-915-7091.

Archives granted NEH preservation funds

Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Maintaining the proper conditions to preserve over 3,000 historical posters, maps, blueprints, broadsides and documents is a tremendous challenge, but the University of Mississippi Department of Archives and Special Collections received some help in the form of a $5,890 grant to protect its most fragile artifacts.

The National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grant will fund the purchase and installation of additional shelving and supplies for the storage, preservation and better organization of historical items in UM’s special collections. Those items include about 300 linear feet of archival materials such as posters, photos and other items that document Mississippi’s blues, films and state history.

Archives staff is grateful for the funds, said Jennifer Ford, associate professor and head of archives and special collections.

“This grant will allow us to properly house some of the most fragile pieces in our collection, safeguarding their preservation for years to come,” Ford said. “The funds will also help our staff make them more easily available to the public since they will be easier to retrieve.”

The NEH is an independent federal agency, which was organized in 1965. Its preservation assistance grants help small and mid-sized institutions such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities. The funds are designed to help preserve significant humanities collections of manuscripts, prints, photographs, moving images, sound recordings, and decorative and fine art objects.

Special funding is crucial for Special Collections, said Gail Herrera, assistant dean for technical services and automation and professor of library science.

“It is vital for the library to seek out grant opportunities in order to make its unique items accessible for students, faculty and the general public alike,” Herrera said.

UM Special Collections is made up of roughly 20,000 linear feet of archival material. It includes the blues archive, Southern media archive and the modern political archive. Manuscripts include some originals by William Faulkner, and some published and unpublished poetry and papers by Mississippi authors Larry Brown, Ellen Douglas, Barry Hannah, Beth Henley, Willie Morris, Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly.

Many documents and other items are from the civil rights movement. James Meredith, who in 1962 became the first black student to integrate the university and whose enrollment caused protesters to riot on campus, gave his collection of papers to the university in 1997. Papers by other prominent civil rights leaders are also in the collections, as well as documents from UM professors that deal with the integration of Ole Miss.

“The department’s collecting concentrates on Mississippi,” Ford said. “We have several different units: the blues archives, the literary collection, civil rights, Civil War, Mississippi politics and visual materials. Our collections, although they are specific, cover a tremendous variety of materials, and a number of them are oversized.”

The collection is vast but also fragile, Ford said. The photos, newspaper articles and concert posters are particularly vulnerable.

“You will find William Faulkner pieces that are oversized,” Ford said. “You’ll find blues posters from the 1950s onward that are oversized. These are fragile pieces. They were normally printed on acidic materials, and many did not survive as a result of this.”

Johnson, Komara awarded for co-authored book on blues

Greg Johnson accepts the ARSC award for Best Historical Research in Blues, Gospel, Rhythm & Blues in Bloomington, Indiana. Photo by Michael Devecka. Submitted Photo

Greg Johnson accepts the ARSC award for Best Historical Research in Blues, Gospel, Rhythm & Blues in Bloomington, Indiana. Photo by Michael Devecka. Submitted Photo

Greg Johnson, University of Mississippi blues curator and associate professor, is the recipient of two prestigious awards for co-authoring “100 Books Every Blues Fan Should Own” with Ed Komara, former UM blues curator.

The duo received the Vincent H. Duckles Award, the Music Library Association’s annual prize for the best book-length bibliography or reference work in music, and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections award for Best Historical Research in Blues, Gospel, Rhythm & Blues.

The Music Library Association’s website offers praise of the authors’ work.

“The authors’ essays are delightful and extremely informative reading. The methodology and organization are clearly explained. The volume includes a healthy amount of added value, including a playlist that demonstrates something about each entry and a chapter describing the resources used to compile the list of 100 titles. The arrangement of the listing – by time coverage – allows the reader to construct a clear understanding of blues history.”

Johnson said he was shocked and thrilled to receive the awards.

“When I was studying music history in college and later taking a Music Bibliography course in library school, we constantly used the Vincent Duckles book ‘Music Reference and Research Materials: An Annotated Bibliography,’” Johnson said. “To receive the Music Library Association’s award named after Vincent Duckles is a huge honor. And to receive the Association for Recorded Sound Collections award for Best Historical Research in Blues, Gospel, Rhythm & Blues . . . wow!”

Although Johnson’s and Komara’s paths did not cross at UM, Komara reached out to Johnson shortly after his arrival at the university for assistance with his project “Encyclopedia of the Blues.” Komara liked Johnson’s writing and asked him to join him as a consulting editor. Several years later, Komara approached Johnson to co-author “100 Books.”

Johnson said writing the book required a lot of reading, which was made more manageable by partnering on the project. His favorite books included the biographies and autobiographies.

“The ones that are the best are the ones that tell a larger story, more than just about the musician her/himself,” Johnson said. “For instance, in Willie Dixon’s ‘I Am the Blues,’ you learn almost as much about the recording industry in Chicago as you do about Dixon personally.”

Johnson’s first exposure to the blues was listening to the “Highway 61” radio show on Mississippi Public Broadcasting as a child. As a musician, he played bass and trombone in several big bands and jazz combos. He received his master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2002, where he also received a Bachelor of Music in history and literature in 2000. It wasn’t until he accepted the position at UM that he began immersing himself in the blues.

“I have learned so much since I started working here,” Johnson said. “Coming from the Meridian area and going to college in Hattiesburg, I didn’t know anything about Otha Turner or the North Mississippi hill country traditions. It’s really humbling when you discover something new for yourself, and you wonder, ‘How did I not know this? This is incredible!’”

The national recognition of Johnson’s publication is well deserved and highlights the importance of his research, said Jennifer Ford, head of the UM Department of Archives and Special Collections.

“These awards not only reflect his reputation as a scholar but draw even more attention to the treasures held within the university’s Blues Archive,” Ford said.

In addition to his work at the archives, Johnson’s article “Exploring Civil Rights through Mississippi Collections,” co-written with Jennifer Brannock at the University of Southern Mississippi, was recently published in the Urban Library Journal.

The Blues Archive is located in the Department of Archives and Special Collections on the third floor of the J.D. Williams Library. The collection preserves blues and blues-related materials in a variety of formats for scholars of the blues, African- American studies and Southern culture. It serves not only students and faculty within UM but also researchers worldwide. The archive is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. except during official university holidays.

Planned gifts support university’s future

Treasures, spaces within J.D. Williams Library are testaments to benefits of private giving

she-may-never-know-youPlanned giving has transformative power at the University of Mississippi, having provided more than $100 million to date in support of Ole Miss programs, facilities, scholarships and more.

With strategic financial planning, alumni and friends can create an impact with their gifts by including the university in their will or living trust, or by naming the university as a beneficiary of their life insurance policies. These methods can be modified, allowing donors to plan their legacy at Ole Miss while also ensuring financial security for loved ones.

The J.D. Williams Library is but one example of an Oxford campus facility that has benefitted from planned giving – to the tune of $3.4 million. Included in that total is the library’s Ainsworth Commons, which was made possible by a $1 million gift from the estate of Oscar Richard and Edith Wetzel Ainsworth, the largest donation the library has received.

Oscar Richard Ainsworth, a UM graduate, and his wife were longtime faculty members at the University of Alabama. Their estate gift ensures that their passion for education will continue by providing students with learning opportunities for years to come.

“These planned gifts provide a margin of excellence, with the majority of those funds creating permanent endowments,” said Sandra Guest, vice president of the UM Foundation. “Ongoing gifts are received from longtime faculty and library staff members, as well as alumni and friends, who have provided thoughtful support for years.

“Through a planned gift to the university, donors leave a legacy that perpetuates their belief in all that Ole Miss offers to students and society at large.”

The late Charles Noyes, professor emeritus of English, also left his legacy within the library. Believing “a library is the absolute heart of the university,” Noyes helped raise money through the Friends of the Library organization while personally giving more than $266,000 to strengthen the university’s libraries, in addition to a planned estate gift of $128,000.

Planned giving allows donors such as Noyes and the Ainsworths to help transform the lives of students for generations to come.

“University Libraries and the UM Foundation are extremely grateful for all donors with a planned gift intent,” said Angela Barlow Brown, director of development for the library. “These gifts, which support the future of our students and the heart of our beloved university – the J.D. Williams Library – are the legacy of the individual donors.”

Planned giving provides more than institutional support. It can also fund precious, personal collections, which are of great educational value to the university, especially the library.

library_2016The importance of planned giving for Special Collections cannot be overstated,” said Jennifer Ford, head of the Department of Archives and Special Collections. “In many cases, this advance notice gives both the donor and Special Collections a chance to discuss projects and collection needs in detail so that the wishes of the donor are well documented.

“This type of planning helps our department in so many ways, as we rely so much on the generosity of our donors.”

Many gifts arrive at Ole Miss unannounced. While these gifts are greatly appreciated, planning a gift through the UM Foundation enables the university to properly thank the donors and ensure that their intentions for the gift are clearly understood.

While gifts remain confidential, donors who plan their donations in advance are eligible to become members of the 1848 Society, an organization that recognizes the generosity of alumni and friends.

Laura Harper retires after 45 years of service

Laura Harper

Laura Harper

When Laura Harper began working at the J.D. Williams Library in 1971, the Monroe, Louisiana, native expected her employment to be brief. Four-and-a-half decades later, the veteran librarian has bid farewell to a career that has brought her great professional achievement and personal satisfaction.

“The best day in my 45 years here was Sept. 26, 2008 – the day of the first 2008 Presidential Debate, held on our campus,” Harper said. “I can attest to the excitement and pride felt as we hosted an international press corps with the spotlight on our changed image. It felt like redemption, to finally be free of the burden of the past (referring to UM’s civil rights history and integration in 1962), if only for one day.”

Harper has worked with 11 library directors/deans (four of whom were interim) and six chancellors.

“I have also learned much from so many other talented and dedicated colleagues over the years, each making their unique contribution,” Harper said.

Initially, Harper worked in the Reference Department for 17 years. As senior library assistant, she was in charge of Interlibrary Loan for five years. Later, she became a reference bibliographer and online search service coordinator.

“In 1979, the library began offering a fee-based online search service to over 200 databases,” she said. “I was in charge of the service, training the other searchers and scheduling search appointments. In 1981, librarians achieved faculty status, and I became an associate professor.”

Harper’s legacy is well-known among her peers in the library system. In 2011, she received the prestigious Bernadine Abbott Hoduski Founders Award from the American Library Association for her contributions at the state, regional and national levels to government documents.

“Laura is well-known within the library system and state for being very dedicated to her work,” said Gail Herrera, assistant dean for technical services and automation and professor of library science. “Library users have commented on her helpfulness and her ability to find anything you’re looking for. Her knowledge of government documents is extensive.”

In addition, Harper has provided generous monetary support to the library.

“She has supported numerous causes and needs through financial gifts such as the Information Commons, Art Store, STUDIOone, Friends of the Library and Government Documents collection support,” said Angela Barlow Brown, UM Foundation director of development for special projects.

After earning her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Louisiana State University, Harper’s first professional job as a librarian was in the public library in her hometown. Then, she and her late husband moved to Oxford.

“A newlywed, I thought I would work here only two years or so and we would move on after my husband finished his doctorate,” she said. “But we stayed here when he got a job at Blue Mountain College. Later, after his death, I had the opportunity to become a department head, when the legendary Annie Mills retired as head of Government Publications.”

As the regional depository for Mississippi, Government Documents provides guidance to smaller depositories and essentially serves the whole state. The library’s catalog provides access to almost a million volumes of government publications, 40 percent of which are available full text online.

Before retiring, Harper moved to Technical Services, where she managed processing and cataloging of documents, as well as answered reference referrals.

Harper’s retirement plans are to work on landscaping, gardening and decluttering her house. She looks forward to traveling and spending more time visiting her son, Griff, in Bloomington, Indiana. A member of Cedar Oaks Guild, she also wants to spend more time volunteering there and with community services such as the Food Pantry and Doors of Hope Transitional Ministry.

“It has been a privilege to have been part of the library and the Ole Miss family for so many years,” Harper said. “I will miss being a part of the next chapter in the library’s history but hope to watch from the sidelines as a member of the Friends of the Library board.”

UM Chorus to Perform ‘Carmina Burana’ at Ford Center

Concert to feature students, faculty, staff and members of local performance groups

The UM Chorus will perform alongside an orchestra composed of Ole Miss students, faculty, and some members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra on November 14th. Photo by Nathan Latil Ole Miss Communications

The UM Chorus will perform alongside an orchestra composed of Ole Miss students and faculty, plus some members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra on Nov. 14. Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts will host the University of Mississippi Chorus and an orchestra composed of students, faculty and members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra as they perform works from Carl Orff’s renowned “Carmina Burana” on Nov. 14.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. performance range from $19 to $25 and are available at both the UM Box Office in the Student Union and online at

The music of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” is well-known to many concertgoers, most notably the first movement, “O Fortuna,” which can be easily recognized as a staple in many of the commercials and movie soundtracks, including “The Omen.”

“In the recent past, the Ole Miss Choir performed standard works based on sacred texts such as the 2013 performance of Verdi’s ‘Requiem,’ so I thought it would be educational and great fun to perform Orff’s secular ‘Carmina Burana,'” said Don Trott, UM director of choral activities. “We try to give our students at Ole Miss an opportunity to perform a wide variety of repertoire, including large works that utilize full chorus, large orchestra and soloists.”

The UM Chorus includes some 160 singers, all members of the university’s Men’s Glee and Women’s Glee vocal groups.

Soloists for the concert include UM faculty members Nancy Maria Balach, on soprano, and Bradley Robinson, baritone tenor, as well as tenor Brady Bramlett, a graduate student and former Ole Miss Rebels pitcher.

Accompanying the choir is the Oxford Intermediate School Choir, directed by Carol Trott, and the Lafayette Middle School Concert Choir, directed by Hannah Gadd. Together they comprise the youth choir known as Ragazzi.

The performance will be divided into three sections, titled “Springtime,” “In the Tavern” and “The Court of Love.”

“The Ford Center is happy to be able to present such an important work and support the UM Choirs with this production,” says Kate Meacham, Ford Center marketing director. “I think that our patrons will enjoy this performance very much.”