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City of Ypsilanti News

Posted on: February 21, 2023

PUBLIC NOTICE: UMS and Ypsilanti Freighthouse Announce New Partnership


Ann Arbor, MI (February 21, 2023) — The University Musical Society (UMS) and City of Ypsilanti announce a new, two-year partnership that will result in arts programming for Ypsilanti residents, families, and schoolchildren beginning with a week-long pilot program in April 2023. Subsequent residencies will run for four weeks with expanded programming for the Ypsilanti community. A community-informed programming process is the catalyst for these dynamic residencies, activating the unique and historic civic space for performances, arts learning and participation, and creative exploration. Visit the full article at:

A full schedule of the initial April residency follows; tickets and registration will be available on Tuesday, March 14th, for Ypsilanti residents and will open up more broadly on Tuesday, March 28th.

Schedule of Ypsilanti Freighthouse Activities & Ticketing Information

On Saturday, April 22nd at 7:30 pm

Come Together: An Evening of Community and Song

Participatory Public Event

The Ypsilanti Freighthouse residency begins with an invitation to community members to share their voices through a Community Sing, led by Detroit native Dr. Brandon Waddles, a transcriber of Black gospel music whose choral compositions and arrangements have been performed around the world. Led by Dr. Waddles, and featuring four solo singers and piano, keyboard and electric bass, this event brings the community together to sing both familiar and new songs. The house will open at 6:30 for participants to enjoy food and social interaction before the Community Sing. Free ticketed event

Sunday, April 23rd at 11 am

Power Moves: Breakdancing & Graffiti Art with Maurice Archer

Family Workshop

Local movement artist Maurice Archer performs a breakdancing demonstration and then leads families in an interactive workshop. Immediately after, families participate in an art-making activity with a graffiti artist who will guide them through developing their breakdancing names and create their own unique signature (or tag). Free event (advanced registration required). Recommended for ages 9-13 and their parents or guardians.

Tuesday, April 25th, Morning

Breakdancing Workshops for K-12 Schools

Invitation only, scheduled through UMS Learning and Engagement for Ypsilanti-area schools.

Tuesday, April 25th at 7:30 pm 

Kaleigh Wilder Trio: The Story Cuts Across What the Map Cuts Up 

Public Jazz Concert

Kaleigh Wilder was born to a musical family, but she was the only one to pursue music professionally. She primarily studied classical saxophone — playing jazz and improvising on the side — but, at the crossroads between her undergraduate and graduate degrees, she changed her trajectory to improvisation. Improvisation allowed Wilder to access her true creative voice and empowered her to take creative risks she never would have imagined. Wilder has performed around the world, led her first album release, and now has plans to release two more albums as a bandleader with a New York-based record label — among several other ongoing projects. Her artistry continues to unfold. She’ll perform with Jaribu Shahid on bass, drummer Ben Hall, and dancer Alexandria Davis. Pay-What-You-Wish Ticketed event.

Wednesday, April 26th, Morning

Breakdancing Workshops for K-12 Schools

Invitation only, scheduled through UMS Learning and Engagement for Ypsilanti-area schools.

Wednesday, April at 26th at 7:30 pm

The Regenerate! Orchestra

Participatory Public Event

The Regenerate! Orchestra is made up of community members of every stripe, coming together to bring Ypsilanti a one-of-a-kind musical experience. Participants will meet twice to engage in sonic meditations, conversations about listening, and structured improvisations. Featured music may include classical, ambient, folk, and noise music, all orchestrated for each unique event based on the instrumentation of those who sign up. Register to perform with the group (all skill levels are welcome, with one rehearsal before the event, plus a second on the evening of April 26 before the performance), or join in as an audience member for the free, ticketed performance. Register to join the orchestra at (registration deadline of March 10); no prior musical experience or training required. Free ticketed event

Thursday, April 27th, Morning

Puppetry Workshops for K-12 Schools

Invitation only, scheduled through UMS Learning and Engagement for Ypsilanti-area schools

Thursday, April 27th at 6 pm

Reconnecting Currents (Huron) with Marsae Lynette

Participatory Public Event

In this participatory public event, Marsae Lynette presents Reconnecting Currents(Huron), an evening of film, performance, and community. This interactive event invites the local community to reconnect with freshwater sources such as the Huron River, as well as with one another through reflection, restoration, and jubilation. Audience members are invited to both witness and engage in rituals of reconnection. Pay-What-You-Wish Ticketed event.

Friday, April 28th -Morning

Puppetry Workshops for K-12 Schools

Invitation only, scheduled through UMS Learning and Engagement for Ypsilanti-area schools

Friday, April 28th at 7:30 pm

Open Mic at the Freighthouse

This local artist showcase and open mic will be hosted by Ypsilanti resident and singer/songwriter Rochelle Clark. Those who wish to perform — music, dance, comedy, poetry, juggling, or whatever unique creative contribution you can offer — will sign up for a ten-minute slot upon arrival; names will be randomly selected for a starring moment on the stage of the Ypsilanti Freighthouse. Free event, no tickets or advanced registration required

Friday, April 28th at 10 pm

Late Night DJ Set with Todd Osborn

Public Concert

Ghostly International artist Todd Osborn has been championed by everyone from Gilles Peterson to Aphex Twin…but he really just wants to have a little fun and get in some time on the dance floor. Break out a few moves in this late night DJ set. Free event, no tickets or registration required.

Saturday, April 29th at 11 am

Puppetry Workshop: The Power of Light & Shadow with Detroit Puppet Company

Family Workshop

This workshop for families begins with the Detroit Puppet Company’s presentation of The Carnival of the Animals, a series of shadow puppet scenes depicting different members of the animal kingdom, from the majestic lion to the venerable tortoise, all set to music by classical composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The performance tells stories of love, hope, fear, and joy, all through the power of light, shadow, and your imagination. Immediately following the performance, participants can learn more about puppetry by using the DPC’s shadow puppets and then getting instruction on how to make their own. Free event (advanced registration required).

Saturday, April 29th at 7:30 pm

Closing Performance: John E. Lawrence & The Power Band

Public Concert

A lifelong resident of Ypsilanti and one of Michigan’s most talented and respected guitarists, John E. Lawrence and The Power Band take the stage for a sophisticated evening of jazz in the closing performance of the April Ypsilanti Freighthouse residency. Featuring John E. Lawrence (guitar), Rayse Biggs and Eddie Taylor (trumpet), Don Whyte (saxophone), Ted Brannon (bass guitar), Ike Pippen and Ernest Tolbert (keyboards), Jeff Canady (drums), and Jill Hamilton and Kimberly Wright (vocals). Pay-What-You-Wish Ticketed event.

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