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Dr. Paul Rardin Named as Elaine Brown Chair in Choral Music

March 23, 2015

Robert T. Stroker, Dean and Vice Provost for the Arts at Temple University, is pleased to announce the establishment of the Elaine Brown Chair in Choral Music at the Boyer College of Music and Dance, an endowed chair made possible through the leadership of Janet Yamron and Sonya Garfinkle and many other individuals. Dr. Brown was an inspirational humanitarian who transformed the lives of many, both in her role on our choral faculty and as the creator of Singing City – a choral group committed to bringing people of all cultures and ethnicities together through singing.

Dr. Paul Rardin, Chair of Choral Activities at the Boyer College, will be the first professor to hold the Elaine Brown Chair. “It is such a privilege to be continuing Elaine Brown’s legacy,” says Rardin, “she has touched the lives of so many in Philadelphia and throughout the world, and her ideals are perpetuated in today’s singers.”

Dean Stroker announced Dr. Rardin's appointment at the 14th Annual Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts Concert yesterday.

Dean Stroker (right) and Paul Rardin at the 14th Annual Kimmel Center Concert

In his remarks from the Kimmel Center stage, Dr. Rardin said, "Elaine Brown's vision can be summed up in her statement: “Choral singing is a spontaneous, natural medium for building understanding among people.” While she reminded her students constantly that singing great music with great precision and excellence was vitally important, what made her special was that she recognized that this precision and excellence was not an end, but a means; a means of communicating between people.

As the Elaine Brown Chair, I pledge to help my beloved students up here in the gallery, and future generations of choral students, to get to know this remarkable woman and her vision. We will take and make every opportunity to sing not just the music of the European elite, but also the music of the people — from South America, Africa, Asia, and the United States. We will take and make every opportunity to sing not just in the church, but also the synagogue and the mosque. We will take and make every opportunity to sing not just in the concert hall, but also in the elementary school, the retirement center, the prison, and the street corner.

I am very grateful to accept this honor, and I look forward to Elaine kindly watching over us as we strive to match her energy and joy."

Learn more about how to give to the Elaine Brown Chair.