10th Anniversary Concert Honoring Distinguished Faculty and Students
On Sunday, November 23, the College celebrated its 10th anniversary and recognized outstanding professors and students at the 10th Anniversary Celebration Concert Honoring Distinguished Faculty and Students. The Ambler Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Jack Moore and guest conductor Dean Hai-Lung Dai, performed a selection of pieces with links to the College.
First was the Academic Festival Overture, conducted by Jack Moore, a piece composed by Johannes Brahms when the University of Breslau conferred on him an honorary doctorate. When informed that his gracious "thank you" card was not the sort of thanks the University expected, Brahms responded with his now famous Overture, an unusually exuberant piece. Brahms, "the foremost composer of serious music in Germany today," according to the citation that accompanied the degree, sent the University of Breslau what he himself called "a very boisterous potpourri of student songs."
Next, Dean Dai conducted the The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto, which featured soloist Qing Li, Principal Second Violin in the Baltimore Symphony. Composed in 1958 during China's Great Leap Forward and suppressed during the Cultural Revolution, The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto came to symbolize China's transition out of Mao Zedong's totalitarian rule when it was released from censorship in the late 1970s. Composers Chen Gang and He Zhanhao were students at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music when they wrote the piece, which is a western-style orchestral arrangement featuring Chinese melodies, chord structures and patterns. It is a musical adaptation of the beloved regional opera featuring the ancient Chinese legend The Butterfly Lovers.
Temple President Ann Weaver Hart and Dean Dai then took the stage to present the Distinguished Faculty Awards to Italia-Eire Distinguished Teacher of the Year Theodore Burkhardt, Dean's Excellence in Mentoring Award winner Grant Krow, William Caldwell Memorial Distinguished Teaching Award winner Boris Datskovsky, Steven Petchon Distinguished Teaching Award winner Wendy Urban, Dean's Distinguished Teaching Award Winner Abbe Forman, and Dean's Distinguished Award for Excellence in Research Award Winner Zoran Obradovic. Student award and scholarship winners in attendance were also asked to rise from their place in the first row to receive a round of applause.
Following the awards, Ambler Symphony Orchestra conductor Jack Moore returned to the stage to conduct Alexander Borodin’s Symphony No. 1 in E Flat. Borodin was an accomplished chemist as well as a respected composer who did not begin taking formal composition lessons until the age of thirty, on the encouragement of his wife, a concert pianist, and his music teacher Mily Balakirev. As a chemist, Borodin worked with Emil Erlenmeyer on benzene derivatives and studied aldehydes, organic halogens and amides. He is credited with the co-discovery of the Aldol reaction and with producing the first nucleophilic displacement of chlorine by fluorine in benzoyl chloride, which was promoted by the Soviet Union as the Borodin reaction.
Finally, Dean Dai conducted With Fanfare and Song, a world premiere composed by Boyer College of Music and Dance professor Maurice Wright in honor of CST’s 10th Anniversary. Dr. Wright says of his piece, "Drum cadences, canonic fanfares and traditional songs permeate this festive music, which emphasizes the harmonies possible among independent voices. I hope to suggest unity without unanimity, purposeful motion without uniformity, and the happy commotion of diverse voices celebrating together."
The delightful celebration concluded with a rousing reprise, conducted by Dean Dai, of the final portion of the Academic Festival Overture, known as Gaudeamus Igitur (Therefore, let us be merry), a tune often sung at academic feasts and used at graduation ceremonies.