“Davidson Music Professor and Orchestra Director Tara Villa Keith recently passed the baton – literally – to the students in her spring conducting class. As the culmination of the semester-long class, the students directed the Davidson College Orchestra for a special public performance in the Duke Family Performance Hall, leading the roughly 50-member ensemble in performing repertoire from Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, Grieg’s Norweigan Dances and Peer Gynt, and Vaughan Williams’s English Folk Song Suite.”
Davidson College is excited to announce the largest gift in its history: a $45 million grant from The Duke Endowment to transform the academic heart of its campus.
Beginning in 2013 with a comprehensive construction/renovation plan for six academic buildings, and continuing with new opportunities for curricular expansion, Davidson is embarking – thanks to the generous investment of The Duke Endowment – on a 10-year plan to remake the model of liberal arts education.
The new academic neighborhood configuration will provide for increased opportunities for collaboration with outside businesses, organizations, and universities, significantly enhancing Davidson’s already considerable program of undergraduate research.
“Davidson graduates lead and serve in an increasingly interconnected, rapidly changing world,” explains Davidson College president Carol Quillen. “To stay ahead of these changes, we need to shift how we work, both physically and intellectually. This bold campus plan will enable our exceptional faculty to create a curriculum centered on students doing original work. It will support our dedicated staff as they help students build bridges between learning and life. The Duke Endowment understands the opportunities that our changing world offers, and we cannot thank the Trustees enough for endorsing Davidson’s vision.”
“The founder of The Duke Endowment, James B. Duke, was a visionary in business matters and in philanthropy and I believe he would have taken delight in this historic grant,” says Minor Shaw, chair of the Endowment’s Trustees. “The Trustees of The Duke Endowment wanted to support Davidson’s plan as a testament to our strong belief in the college, its leadership, faculty and staff, and student body.”
The Duke Endowment’s gift will enable Davidson to restructure the main academic portion of its campus to create learning spaces that foster new methods of interdisciplinary learning. Six buildings will be expanded, renovated or constructed over the next decade to create a “neighborhood” with flexible spaces and common areas that encourage the exchange and generation of ideas across conventional academic boundaries—between departments, between disciplines, and between the arts and sciences.
Faculty and staff will be grouped in these facilities by the resources they need and their potential interactions with others. Community and flexible spaces such as a café, artist studios, learning labs, shared equipment, and computational facilities will be situated to promote interactions among all members of the campus community.
Clark G. Ross, Davidson College Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty adds: “President Quillen has shown extraordinary academic foresight in working with the faculty to develop this exciting and ambitious initiative. With this creative interdisciplinary project, Davidson should be an academic beacon among the liberal arts colleges. The Duke Endowment gift helps demonstrate the exciting potential before us.”
The new neighborhood configuration will provide for increased opportunities for collaboration with outside businesses, organizations, and universities, significantly enhancing Davidson’s already considerable program of undergraduate research.
“This gift will help us demonstrate the inestimable value of what highly selective liberal arts colleges do—graduate talented individuals from across the socio-economic spectrum who exert a disproportionate impact for good in the world,” says President Quillen.
Visit http://www.davidson.edu/davidsongift/ for more details!
On Wednesday, July 18, Davidson lost a kindhearted and talented member of its community. Ruskin Cooper, Artist Associate for piano at Davidson College, passed away peacefully among his family after losing consciousness due to cardiac arrest.
To honor our friend, WDAV will be playing two of Ruskin’s own recordings in tribute:
Graceful Ghost Rag, by William Bolcom on Friday 7/20/12 at 4:53pm Rhapsody in Blue, by George Gershwin on Saturday 7/21/12 at 11am.
Please join us in honoring this wonderful man. Ruskin will be greatly missed, and our condolences go out to his family.
To learn more about Ruskin’s many accomplishments and how to pay tribute to him yourself, check out this article from the Winston Salem Journal.
On Friday, July 6, WDAV opened its doors to some special guests. Invited by board member Andrew Adair to tour the station, thirty-eight ten to fourteen-year-olds from the Clara H. Jones Summer Institute – a six-week program that focuses on improving fine arts skills as well as increasing reading, math, and science competency – filed into our conference room in matching turquois T-shirts. After a brief introduction by General Manager Scott Nolan, the group split in half – the boys starting with a presentation on radio and classical music while the girls explored the station. With most of the WDAV staff off at Brevard Music Center to record performances for our SummerStages program, this visit brought welcome activity to what would have been an oddly quiet Friday morning. And we were ready to record this excitement in every form of media possible. You can hear New Media Assistant George Marshall’s audio adventures with the kids here.
With pen and paper in hand – someone had to do some old school reporting – I tagged along with the seventh and eighth-grade girls on a tour led by WDAV staff member Sarah Demarest. Our first stop was the Music Library, which houses thousands upon thousands of CDs. “Does anyone have this many CDs at home?” Sarah asked as the group gazed at the station’s music collection. Then Sarah joked, “Does this age still know what CDs are?” She does make a good point. Even here at WDAV, we are almost entirely digitalized; our Music Library exists only for backup. Welcome to the twenty-first century.
Our next stop was a soundproof editing/production studio. One student tried her hand at opening the studio door, a task harder than it looks. After putting her full weight on the door (and using her foot for some extra leverage), she was able to release the airtight seal, and the door opened. We filed into the room as Sarah began to explain a bit about the audio editing process. The girls listened, wide-eyed and curious.
“This is the same kind of soundboard you would use if you were a producer making music,” added one of the Institute’s chaperones when Sarah had finished speaking. “So, if you saw Let it Shine [the latest Disney Channel original movie] and saw him working, this is the same kind of thing.” The room filled with an animated chorus of “ohhhh.” In an inspiring moment of teaching, the chaperone made a connection the girls could easily understand. Suddenly, the world of classical music no longer seemed so far removed from that of pop music.
Moments later, my tour group met the fifth and sixth-grade girls – they had been doing the same tour backwards – in front of the performance studio. Patiently waiting at the studio’s piano was rising tenth-grader Michael Muchane. Michael has been playing the piano since age seven. He has competed in local and state competitions, performed large scale recitals, won several awards, and has volunteered his time to play in churches and nursing homes. And luckily for us, he was prepared to give a quick concert. Hear Michael play his three pieces by clicking the links below.Sonata in D Major by Joseph Haydn Scotch Poem by Edward MacDowell The Harp Prelude by Sergei Prokofiev
We had one more stop left on our tour of the radio station: the broadcast studio. Unfortunately, we had no live announcers around – meaning no opportunity to see the red “on air” sign light up – but the discussion of how the automation system runs the station sparked some discussion. One student asked a question that has likely been on every radio listener’s mind: “What if someone messes up? Can they stop it or redo it?” The short answer is no. Live announcers don’t get a second go-around. Despite the five-second delay in the radio transmission, as Sarah put it, “what [the announcers] say is for everyone to hear.”
With the tour complete, I followed the girls into the conference room from which the boys had just emerged. Once all twenty-some girls had settled into their chairs, Peter Browne, a WDAV board member, began his presentation, which was complete with props and a PowerPoint. Peter started by ringing a hotel desk-sized bell.
. The group then climbed back on to their bus, collected their complimentary bags of WDAV goodies, and drove back home to Charlotte.
*Interested in having your students tour the WDAV studio? Give us a call at (877)333-8990.
Davidson College, WDAV’s licensee, has announced it will receive $25 million from Edward L. “Ted” Baker for The Davidson Trust which provides assistance to students for whom a Davidson education would not otherwise be financially feasible. Davidson is committed to meeting 100 % of admitted students’ demonstrated need with grants and student employment instead of loans, and this gift, the second largest in the college’s history, significantly furthers that ambition. Congratulations Davidson College, and thanks to Ted baker for his extraodinary generosity. Read more at the Davidson College Web site.
The Charlotte Symphony is continuing an innovative project for a second year with some of the area’s major arts groups as partners. CSO on Campus is a series of multi-disciplinary events presented in collaboration with the Levine Museum of the New South and the Mint Museum of Art, and taking place on six local college campuses, including Davidson College.
The programming draws from exhibits at both museums – Changing Places: From Black and White to Technicolor at the Levine Museum, and Loïs Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color at the Mint Museum of Art – and consists of lectures, exhibits and performances in a variety of venues.
According to CSO Executive Director Jonathan Martin, “It is especially important in these times that cultural organizations work together. It produces richer, multi-layered cultural expressions for the local community.”
There’s a complete schedule of events at the Charlotte Symphony website.
Here’s a very brief film clip from the summer of 1937. James Christian Pfohl conducts at the music camp at Davidson College that would later move and become the Brevard Music Center. Film provided by Bill Vinson, listener and supporter of WDAV 89.9 Classical Public Radio.