'Closet Musicians' from Across UM Present Musical Finale to UM College of Arts & Sciences Course on The Sixties

Faculty, Staff and Students Share an Evening of Music to Conclude Popular Class

The sounds of folk, jazz, Motown, R&B and rock music filled Storer Auditorium last night, as the last session of the UM College of Arts & Sciences’ popular class on The Sixties brought the semester to a musical conclusion.

Professor of History Donald Spivey and the Rock Ensemble at the
musical finale to The Sixties course.

Close to 30 faculty and staff members from across the University shared their musical talents with students in the class, and many community guests.

Only “closet musicians” were invited to join The Sixties Band, a directive from Professor of History Donald Spivey, who co-teaches the course with Associate Professor of English Joseph Alkana.

Spivey – who also drums in the jazz band – said, “The fact that faculty and staff come together and give up their Saturdays tells us something about their commitment to the era, and also their commitment to our students and their experience.”

Spivey and Alkana bring a broad array of guest speakers into the class, to share their personal experiences from the 1960s with its 150 students. This year, 42 faculty and staff participated.

Elizabeth Ionescu, a senior majoring in political science and communication studies, said the concert was a fitting end to a fascinating class.

“We talked a lot about music because it was so influential in the era,” she said, adding that the 1960s brought a change from “cookie-cutter, clean-cut musicians” with the advent of the rock movement. “Musicians were making songs about what was happening at that time.”

December 10, 2014