Chamber orchestra to perform difficult Beethoven symphony
This Saturday, the Bowdoin Chamber Orchestra (BCO) will perform the entirety of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 6,” in Studzinski Recital Hall at 3 p.m. Three chamber ensemble groups will also be playing this Friday during Common Hour in the same location.
Also known as the “Pastoral Symphony” for its depiction of nature, Beethoven’s symphony will be a landmark spring concert performance for BCO. The entire piece runs about 45 minutes long, and it will be the first full symphony the orchestra has played in many years.
“[The performance] is possible because the orchestral program is growing,” said Beckwith Artist-in-Residence George Lopez, who conducts BCO. “There is a lot more enthusiasm and more interest from the students to have the orchestra do more. I want to challenge the orchestra to do full works.”
“I’m excited to show other people what we’ve been working on and to expose them to this experience,” said horn player Garrett English ’16. “There are so many subtleties, it’s amazing. It’s just like taking a walk through the countryside. I hope the audience is listening closely and appreciating it.”
English has several solos during the performance, which are awarded to the first chairs of each instrumental section.
“It’s a lot of pressure, but its also really wonderful because in an orchestra this small the parts are a little bit more exposed,” said English.
BCO will also perform a piece by Charles Gounod, most famous for his grand opera “Faust.” This piece will be performed by 12 members from the wind ensemble.
Many students who participate in the full orchestra also perform in smaller chamber ensemble groups, three of which are performing on Friday. Chamber ensembles usually consist of three to 12 musicians. The pieces played by the chamber groups are usually shorter than the pieces played by the full orchestra. Lopez, A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Music Mary Hunter, and oboe instructor Kathleen McNerney each conduct one of the performing ensembles.
“It’s a very social kind of music designed to be performed in small spaces, maybe someone’s living room or a church, or a salon room in a mansion,” said Lopez. “It’s often written to be played by friends for friends.”
Similar to the symphony, many pieces being performed by the chamber ensembles are designed to evoke strong emotional reactions from the audience. One piece by Dmitri Shostakovich was written during World War II, and is meant to reflect the war’s devastation.
Roya Moussapour ’17, a violinist, is performing today and Saturday. Though she said she is excited to perform the symphony, she has a special affinity for chamber ensemble performances.“I’m almost more excited about Friday because there are more groups performing, and there will be a wider range of music,” said Moussapour. “Even if it is all classical, the pieces are very different.”
In addition to Shostakovich, the chamber groups will be playing works by Johannes Brahms and Maurice Ravel. Chamber ensemble groups play one Common Hour each semester, but this semester’s Common Hour lands on the same weekend as the spring concert, a coincidence, according to Lopez.
This weekend’s performances fall on a busy weekend for the College, as prospective students and their families are visiting campus. Because of this, performers anticipate larger audiences than usual.
“It is nice that [the performances] are falling on this weekend to give some focus and some spotlight to the music department,” said Lopez.
“I’m excited to show off our hard work to the prospective students,” said Ella Driscoll ’17, a double bass player in the orchestra.
Each year, the performances draw crowds from both the student body and the Brunswick community.
“There’s a very substantial turnout every year, especially for the orchestra concert. There are a lot of Bowdoin students in these ensembles, so their roommates, teammates and classmates come out and support them,” said Lopez.
“We get a lot of Brunswick community members from retirement homes,” said English. “I’d say community members young and old make up the largest portion of our audience.”
DJ of the Week: Haley Miller ’16
Tune in to “Haley’s Comment” with Miller every Sunday from noon to 1 p.m. on WBOR 91.1 FM or stream it online at wbor.org.
When did you decide you wanted to DJ?It was my first semester. There was a really great radio station back home that did classic rock, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to find a radio station I liked here that played the music I was into. I was like, “You know what? I’m going to be on the other side of the mic! If I can’t find classic rock then I’ll bring classic rock to Maine!”
What’s your show called?Haley’s Comment. It’s a play on Halley’s Comet, but also a play on Bill Haley & His Comets, which was one of the first bands to make the transition between blues and rock as we know it today.
What kind of music do you play?Classic rock. So I do everything starting with The Beatles in the ’60s to U2 in the ’90s. A lot of Springsteen, a lot of Queen. I’m getting into Electric Light Orchestra because they have the same way of fusing genres that Queen has. A lot of Styx, a lot of The Eagles. Is the ’90s the cutoff point for you in defining classic rock?That’s actually something I explore in my show, “What actually is this genre?” Whenever you have periods, there’s no defined lines, because classic rock is very much influencing what we hear today. For example, Jimi Hendrix had this really interesting singing-speaking way of going about how he performed, and I think that really influenced the rap we have today. There’s also the technology developing during this time. What Jimi and Queen were doing—the layering—you hear that a lot now. And they were only using four tracks.
How do you come up with music to play on air? Is there an art to arranging songs?I try to have a theme for each show. Sometimes my theme is just “I’m going to play awesome music.” I try to balance out faster stuff with softer stuff, and I try to balance out more well-known tunes with more obscure stuff you don’t hear all the time.
What are examples of some themes you have done?This week, I’m doing Rock & Roll Hall of Fame because the induction ceremony is soon, so I’m going to be playing some of the music of the inductees this year. Some of my other favorite themes are Styx and Stones, Women in Rock, and Southern Rock. My first show of every semester is dedicated to exploring what classic rock is and how we categorize music.
How is your show structured?I get on, I introduce my theme, and then I play music and either before or after I’ll have comments.
How do you want people to feel after listening to your show?I’m really hoping to expose people to different ways of thinking about this music to give them bits of facts that they can hold on to and appreciate what was going on with the history and the performers and these songs.
I also want to bring up these forgotten treasures that are in these artists’ repertoires, artists who have been performing for decades. You always hear the same songs from Bruce Springsteen, but my favorite album of his is one that you never hear on the radio.
This semester especially I’ve also been trying to take advantage of the turntable that we have in the studio and play at least one song each show that is on a vinyl.
The digitization of music at times negatively affects how we experience songs. When sound files are compressed, the music loses a lot of depth; dynamics are lost, the low sounds don’t come through as well, it does not feel like the singers are in the room with you.
With this older medium of vinyl comes a much richer listening experience and it’s this sort of listening experience that I want to expose my audience to.
If you got to pick your own theme song, what would it be?“Rock and Roll is King” by Electric Light Orchestra: “She loves that rock ‘n roll and she plays it all night long/it’s all she ever tells me when I call her on the telephone.”
What’s the song that’s had the biggest impact on you and your taste in music?It was actually two albums: “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen and “Looking Forward” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The person who really inspired me to get into this genre of music is my dad, and those are the two CDs that were playing in our car when I was seven.
What’s something you think most people don’t know about you?I have the most diverse taste in music. My favorite band is Queen, but my second favorite band is this German gothic rock band. I also really enjoy Tuvan throat singing and Mongolian overtone singing. And my favorite female singer is a 1920s pop-jazz singer named Annette Hanshaw. She was really popular in her day and she’s just another one of those gems that’s fallen through the cracks of time.
DJ of the Week: Tom Roberts-McMichael ’14Tell me a little bit about your involvement with WBOR.I’m a music director on management. I’ve been a DJ since the beggining of sophomore year and music director since the middle of sophomore year. I’ve had one show for a long time with a co-DJ, Jay Priyadarshan ’14, and I’ve had my own show for a couple years now.What does a music director do?I get new music from anyone who wants to be played on College radio, and I do little reviews for our DJs to show them what they might want to play on their show.What’s your show called?My solo show name is Thomder and Lightening. The show I have with Jay is “The Lazy Zoo with Tom and Jay.”How did you get involved with WBOR?I wanted to do a show all freshman year but I was a little indecisive about it, I didn’t feel like I had a lot to contribute. Sophomore year I was like, “Let’s do it,” and I got a show with Jay. Immediately after that, I started meeting management and they needed a music director, so I applied sophomore year.What kind of music do you play?So, genres are hard, as I’m sure you know. The college music journal is the way we chart a lot of our music. By their classifications I play rock, loud rock, RPM, world, and hip-hop. I’m definitely on the garage-y, soft-rock side.How do you come up with music to play on air? Is there an art to arranging songs?Often it’s what I want, although I’ve been getting better at starting with something softer and more widely known, and then I can move into a more specialized zone. My M.O. is to play stuff that’s just coming out or being charted—very new albums—because it’s good to showcase those artists and there’s some novelty there.What was appealing about getting a show?The classical appeal is you get to play your own music and people have to listen to it. You get to monologue and talk about what you care about. Like, sophomore year Occupy Wall Street was going on so I got to talk about that on my show. It’s a direct relationship with the community, more direct than I think a lot of the systems we have at Bowdoin are. How do you interact with the community?This is one of the bigger radio stations around that people listen to, so you have to cater to their tastes. People call in to my show. And we have a lot of community members who are DJs.What would you like to do with your platform on WBOR?When we talk, Jay tries to make jokes on the air. I try to mention things that are important to people. I prefer issues outside of the Bowdoin community because I think the majority—or at least our more permanent—listeners want to hear about that. I’ll let the other DJs cater to the Bowdoin issues.Now the fun questions: What’s your guilty pleasure song?“Gas Pedal”…I definitely like that song and I definitely feel guilty for that. Although maybe I shouldn’t feel guilty about my pleasures.Who sings that song?I don’t know. That’s part of why I’m guilty.What about a song you couldn’t live without?Tame Impala—“Half Full Glass of Wine.”What makes it so special?It’s so simple, but it’s everything I like. It’s drone-y, melodic. The song makes you familiar with itself.Does that song pretty well represent your taste in music?I think so, yeah.What’s the song that’s had the biggest impact on you and your taste in music?This takes me way back to high school, because that’s when I started getting in to stuff that I listen to now. I’ll go with “Street Spirit” by Radiohead.What is one thing about your taste in music that you don’t think people could guess based on what you play on WBOR?I feel like I do bare myself on my show. Maybe I don’t show enough about what I dislike. Maybe I could play a song and say, “I don’t like that because of x, y and z.” At the same time I’m sure people think I’m kind of pretentious based on what I’m playing, so maybe I should assert that I’m not.So, what are you working on at WBOR now?We want to do certain programming slots. We want no more dubstep on Sunday mornings, or talk shows in the afternoon when people will be driving around.Anything else you want people to know about WBOR?I want people to know that for campus clubs and organizations, if they want to do something on the air, we’re totally open to that.
Tell me a little bit about your involvement with WBOR.I’m a music director on management. I’ve been a DJ since the beggining of sophomore year and music director since the middle of sophomore year. I’ve had one show for a long time with a co-DJ, Jay Priyadarshan ’14, and I’ve had my own show for a couple years now.
What does a music director do?I get new music from anyone who wants to be played on College radio, and I do little reviews for our DJs to show them what they might want to play on their show.
What’s your show called?My solo show name is Thomder and Lightening. The show I have with Jay is “The Lazy Zoo with Tom and Jay.”
Treefarm members meld individual experience in first year
“Treefarm is a band that is not supposed to exist,” joked Greg Stasiw ’15.
Indeed, the band name was originally the invention of a friend, who used it as a litmus test to see how willing people at parties were willing to lie in order to sound in the know.
Now a real band, Treefarm is comprised of Stasiw, Ryan Fowler ’15, Evan Montilla ’17 and Sky Monaco ’16.
Century of Bowdoin arts showcased in H-L library
“One of the urgent needs of our course is instruction, to some extent at least, in the masterpieces of painting and sculpture.”
So read the editorial in the November 29, 1882 edition of the Orient, and so begins “Sight and Sound: Launching the Next Century of Fine Arts at Bowdoin.” The exhibit is on display for the fall semester in the second floor gallery of the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library.
In the exhibit, visitors can find vintage promotional pamphlets, photographs of some of the first arts professors at the College during classroom instruction, typewritten transcripts of their lectures, and old course catalogues.
Portrait of an artist: Adam Eichenwald '14
If there’s one performing arts group at the College that everyone has heard shaking the Union—drawing ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ from prospective students on tours—it’s the Bowdoin Taiko drumming team. And that’s just how leader Adam Eichenwald ’14 likes it.
Eichenwald joined Taiko as a first year while exploring his passion for kung fu and jiu-jitsu. Eichenwald is also a member of the College’s break dancing club, Broken, an activity he also attributes to his love of martial arts.
Six years ago during a summer in Spain, Eichenwald, who hails from Dallas, met a peer from New York who was studying kung fu. Eichenwald fell in love with the art immediately.
Dance department's annual concert showcases all course levels
Last night, the Department of Theater and Dance showcased its annual Spring Dance Concert in Pickard Theater.
The show, which runs a little over an hour long, has five acts. Three acts are performed by 100, 200, and 300-level dance classes, two of which are modern classes; one will feature work by Natalie Johnson ’13, and one will be performed solo by Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance Charlotte Griffin. Griffin’s performance will be only the second faculty solo in four years.
Johnson’s act will exhibit two parts of her three-part independent study project, titled AGEN. Johnson’s independent study is yearlong and AGEN premiered April 29 at the Wish Theater. The first part of her act is a solo performed by Johnson, with the second part being a trio performed by Audrey Blood ’13, George Ellzey ’13, and Emily Bungert ’15, choreographed by Johnson.
Concert Band celebrates 25 years with new music
Last Sunday, the Bowdoin College Concert Band performed “Celebrations Part II: 25 Years of the Bowdoin College Concert Band” in a packed Studzinski Recital Hall. The show included several world premieres of pieces written by members of the Bowdoin community.
Directed by John Morneau, the band consists of roughly 40 members from the College and the Brunswick community. This year, Morneau is celebrating 25 years with the College.
Morneau was hired by Elliott Schwartz, who taught music at Bowdoin from 1964 until 2007. On Sunday, Schwartz premiered a revised version of his “Celebration Overture,” the original version of which he composed in 1962 as a brief fanfare for the inauguration of a president of University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he then taught.
Janisse Ray talks sustainable living
Janisse Ray, author of “The Seed Undergound: A Growing Revolution to Save Food” will speak at today’s installment of Common Hour.
Throughout her life, Ray has sought to marry her two passions, writing and the environment. Ray attended Florida State University for her B.A., and later went to the University of Montana for her MFA in creative writing. “The Seed Underground” is Ray’s fifth nonfiction book. Ray also has published a collection of poetry.
Ray was invited to the College by Visiting Assistant Professor of History Tom Okie and Rosemary Armstrong of the Environmental Studies program.
Sullivan '06 exhibits work at L.A. gallery
Ann Sullivan ’06 has been moving around the country for as long as she can remember. Born in St. Louis, she went to high school in Bangor, Maine, and now lives in Texas. After graduating from John Bapst Memorial High School, Sullivan followed her older sister, as she says she always has, to Bowdoin College.
“I figured if it was good enough for her, it was good enough for me,” she said.
A visual arts major, Sullivan concentrated mostly on drawing during her time at the College. She was also involved with the Orient and studied abroad in Barcelona.
Portrait of an artist: Sarah Haimes ’15
Sarah Haimes ’15 first became interested in photography when she was in eighth grade. One lazy summer afternoon in the country, her mother suggested she get up, go outside, and do something. “I took my father’s point-and shoot-camera and I went around taking pictures of my mom’s flowers,” said Haimes. “I uploaded them and was like, ‘I’m actually really good at this!’ That summer I asked for a DSLR camera for my birthday, and the rest is history.”
‘ABC’ spells out David Becker’s legacy
David Becker ’70 was still a student at Bowdoin when he gave his first gift to the Bowdoin Museum of Art. His generosity continued until his death in 2010, when he gave his alma mater a final donation from his extensive art collection. Over the last forty years, Becker donated more than 1,500 prints to the Museum and temporarily worked as curator at the Museum of Art. He was also director of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and served on the Board of Trustees.
Art majors exhibit senior projects
The class that begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night in Fort Andross is not likely to resemble any course you’re taking. Members of the Visual Arts Senior Seminar frantically buzz around the empty space, hard at work setting up a gallery in time for their Senior Exhibition on Friday. The Seminar consists of 15 visual arts majors, each with a distinct style and talent. Unlike most visual arts courses at the College, the seminar has no assignments. Instead, students were encouraged to explore art individually in whatever manner they wish, an experience culminating in projects that will be exhibited tonight.
Fleming raises songs to Bowdoin in organ recital
Members of the Bowdoin community were treated to an unusual performance last Saturday in the Chapel when keyboardist Sean Fleming played nine pieces on Bowdoin’s historic Austin Organ. One of two organs in the Chapel, the Austin was built in 1927 and is identical to the Kotzchmar Memorial Organ at Merrill Auditorium in Portland. Fleming began his performance with Dietrich Buxtehude’s “Passacaglia in D minor.” Later in the performance he regailed the audience with “Raise Songs to Bowdoin.”
Nicole Tan ’16 rocks YouTube, Epicuria
For most first years, college presents an opportunity for a fresh start among strangers. Most first years do not start college with millions of hits on YouTube.
Nicole Tan, or “uuuuuuuukewithme” on YouTube, has gained 5,280,969 views for her acoustic cover of the song “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj.
Tan is a prime example of talent converging with social media. She said watching YouTube videos sparked her interest in performing covers.
With profs. on sabbatical, Racer X tradition on hold
There was a notable absence in the line-up of bands during last year's Senior Week. Racer X, fronted by Bowdoin professors Vineet Shende and Aaron Kitch, was replaced by DJ Sex Ray Vision, leaving many students disappointed. Although the controversial change led to whisperings of money disputes and miscommunication amongst students, Shende attributes the band’s absence to simple miscommunication with a Senior Week coordinator.