Will Ransom (Music) and Tim McDonough (Theater) Bring Tennyson Poem to Life

Enoch3In this new YouTube video, see Will Ransom (Mary Emerson Professor of Piano, Director of Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta, Director of Piano Studies) and Tim McDonough (Chair & Professor of Theater Studies, Resident Actor/Director of Theater Emory) bring Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem Enoch Arden to life in this production at Emory’s Schwartz Center (January 17, 2015).

In the poem, Enoch Arden is a happily married fisherman who suffers financial problems and becomes a merchant seaman. He is shipwrecked, and, after 10 years on a desert island, he returns home to discover that his beloved wife, believing him dead, has remarried and has a new child. Not wishing to spoil his wife’s happiness, he never lets her know that he is alive.

Music by Richard Strauss
Poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Tim McDonough, Narrator
William Ransom, Pianist

Presented by the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta and Theater Emory.



Out-of-the-classroom Experiences This Spring

In an Emory News Center feature on innovative classes this semester, the work of several College faculty is highlighted, including those below.


Black Odyssey, Black Migration

Instructors: Dwight Andrews, associate professor of music theory and Mark Sanders, professor of African American studies and English and chair of African American Studies

Cool factor: Ties in with Michael C. Carlos Museum exhibit of Romare Bearden’s collages and watercolors based on Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey.” Also ties in with the related exhibit, “Southern Connections: Bearden in Atlanta” that features materials from Emory’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL).

Course description: Examines artistic interpretations of African American identity through music, literature, film and the visual arts, notably including the campus exhibit of Romare Bearden’s Odysseus series and the related exhibit about the artist’s regional connections that draw on resources from Emory’s special collections. A meditation on the Western epic tradition and African American mobility, the series invites a broader examination of African American culture and issues of migration, escape, home and belonging.

Department: African American Studies; cross-listed in Music

Coastal Biology with Lab

Instructor: Leslie A. Real, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Biology

Cool factor: Field trip to study preserved areas of the Georgia coast.

Course description: Introduces students to coastal Georgia’s major ecosystems and to plant and animal communities through an intensive field experience on St. Simon’s, Cumberland, Blackbeard, Sapelo and Jekyll islands. Includes excursions in small boats to Blackbeard Island and on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ research trawler, “Anna,” to study organisms in the sound surrounding the islands.

Department: Biology

Freshman Seminar: Vaccines and Society

Instructor: Elena Conis, assistant professor of history

Cool factor: First-year students study vaccines on the campus of a leading research university and in proximity to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Course description: Explores the history of vaccination against infectious diseases such as smallpox, polio and measles as well as the opposition among some groups to vaccines. Uses these case examples to think critically about the state’s interest in protecting public health and about the nature of medical controversies.

Department: History; cross-listed with Human Health Program

Risk & Resilience in Shaping Identity

Instructors: David Lynn, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Chemistry and Biology, and chair of chemistry department and Leslie Taylor, professor of theater studies and director of the Center for Creativity and Arts.

Also, graduate students Julia Haas, philosophy; Brian Dias, behavioral neuroscience and psychiatric disorders; Carolina Campanella, psychology; Constance Harrell, neuroscience; Ashley Coleman, religion; Daniel Pierce and Jillian E. Smith, chemistry.

Cool factor: Interdisciplinary capstone course, combining aspects of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, that helps seniors capture their liberal arts experience in a research university and allows them to present their lessons through novel artistic expressions.

Course description: Helps students ask, “What has made me a stronger, smarter and more resilient student at Emory University and what strengths have allowed me to successfully navigate college?” Provides them with an opportunity to develop a research idea for possible funding while being mentored on grant proposal writing and research design.

Department: Senior Seminar

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Gary Motley (Jazz) and Richard Prior (Orchestra) Collaborate on World Premiere at Emory

In honor of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts’ 10th anniversary, Gary Motley, director of jazz studies, and Richard Prior, director of orchestral studies, brought together the Emory Big Band and the Emory University Symphony Orchestra — 90 musicians, including saxophonist and clarinetist Victor Goines, master bassist Rodney Whitaker and drummer Terreon Gully. This world premiere of Motley’s composition, “Enlightenment: A Journey in Discovery” (inspired by Bill Evans), was held on February 9, 2013.

Emory’s Department of Music Homepage

In the News: Richard Prior (Music)

Emory composer and orchestra conductor Richard Prior recently received Awards of Merit for composition and symphonic music for his “hymn for nations united” at this year’s Global Music Awards. He currently has two active commissions from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: one for a celebratory orchestral fanfare that will be premiered in June, and the other for a large-scale symphonic poem that will receive several performances this fall.

Read more

Celebrating Ten Years of the Schwartz Center

Check out a YouTube video celebrating 10 years of excitement and creativity in the Donna and Marvin Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. On February 1, 2003, the Schwartz Center opened its doors, and since then it has raised the visibility of the arts in the community and continues to spark the imagination and vision of both artists and audiences alike.



Steve Everett’s Coursera Class Featured

Professor of of Music Steve Everett‘s digital sound design class for winter 2013 is featured in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution’s article on online classes (Open online classes transform Georgia colleges, Dec. 27, 2012). The course provides an overview of the fundamental principles of sound and the factors that determine audio perception — it also explores techniques of recording, mixing, processing, synthesis, sampling, analysis, and editing of digital audio. There’s still time to sign up!

Cameras filmed Emory University professor Steve Everett as he recorded a lesson for a digital sound design class.

He teaches a popular music class on campus, but it can only accommodate 15 students. Yet, more than 20,000 people are expected to take his class in January when it is offered as a massive open online course, or MOOC.

These online courses are revolutionizing higher education as they give students free access worldwide to content and faculty offered by elite colleges. About 2 million students have signed up for the classes this year, and two Georgia colleges — Emory and Georgia Tech — are among those participating. Georgia Tech started this fall, and Emory begins in January.

Colleges are on the cusp of a major transformation as they test what they can provide through advanced technology and how they can operate more efficiently. They are discussing how to provide a richer learning experience online and in traditional classrooms.

“The model of higher education is changing,” said Lynn Zimmerman, Emory’s senior vice provost. “We are at the forefront of the experiment, and I don’t think anyone can predict where it will go.”

Read full article

See YouTube introduction to the course


Emory Symphonic Winds Releases Album

In the World of Spirits, the first album of wind band/ensemble music recorded by the Emory Symphonic Winds, is now available on the Naxos Wind Band Classics Label. The album went live on iTunes,  Spotify, amazon.com, and the Naxos Music Library in October 2012 (CDs are also available).
The music on the album is largely classical Christmas music for wind band/ensemble, including compositions by Gustav Holst, Claude T. Smith, and Philip Sparke.  The epic wind classic “Russian Christmas Music” by Alfred Reed is a centerpiece, and Leroy Anderson’s jaunty “Sleigh Ride” adds some fun to the final track.
Two special songs, one by film and television composer Bruce Broughton (of “Silverado” and “Tiny Toons” fame), and another by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon (who attended kindergarten at Emory), were both commissioned by the Emory Wind Ensemble with funding from the University Research Fund and Center for Creativity in the Arts. Both of these pieces are now published and being programmed in the college and professional music worlds.
Of his composition, Broughton writes:  “In the World of Spirits was inspired by, but does not directly reference, the energy, power and terror in the native American magical world of spirit. Dr. Scott Stewart and the Emory Winds give the piece an energetically enthusiastic performance for this premiere recording.”
The Emory Symphonic Winds is a recording group which assembles every summer to record approximately three to four pieces in a nine hours of recording.  Members are current and alumni members of the Emory Wind Ensemble and Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony, plus a few members of the Atlanta music community with Emory connections.  Scott Stewart programs and conducts the music, and Kay Fairchild, artist affiliate faculty in brass, serves as recording producer.

Atlanta Celtic Christmas Concert Goes Primetime

The Atlanta Celtic Christmas Concert, an Emory hallmark over the holiday season, reaches a larger audience this year when it will be aired by Georgia Public Broadcasting on Sunday, December 23, at 8pm.

Produced by the W.B. Yeats Foundation at Emory and directed by James Flannery, the Concert celebrates in music, dance, poetry, song and story the high spirits and mystical beauty of the Irish and Scots-­Irish Christmas traditions and their connections with the traditional culture of the American South. Last year’s show won the 2012 Southeast Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Entertainment. Featured artists include three Grammy Award winners:

  • Moya Brennan, known as “the First Lady of Celtic Song,” performing a number of familiar and lesser-­known Christmas carols;
  • Riverdance composer Bill Whelan with a beautiful choral setting of a 7th century Irish prayer poem, “Quis Est Deus”; and
  • Alison Brown, one of the great five-string banjo players in the world and the first woman ever to win the Bluegrass Music Association’s Instrumentalist of the Year Award, performing bluegrass music with close ties to the Celtic lands.

Also featured in the concert are the soulful harmonies of Rising Appalachia, a dynamic duo winning applause with their innovative interpretations of traditional Southern music. Other crowd-­pleasing performers are percussionist Joe Craven, renowned Irish balladeer John Doyle as well as stellar uillean piper John Maschinot, old-­time fiddle trio the Rosin Sisters and some of the top traditional musicians of the Southeast.

W.B. Yeats Foundation Homepage

Related Media

2011 Atlanta Celtic Christmas Concert GPB special opening

Emory to Offer Online Courses

Emory faculty are gearing up to offer the University’s first MOOCs – massive open online courses produced by Coursera – in areas of the liberal arts, health sciences and policy studies.

Emory’s initial course offerings, beginning spring 2013, includes “Introduction to Digital Sound Design,” taught by Steve Everett (see YouTube video above), professor of music, who directs the Music-Audio Research Center and has been a guest composer at several well-known conservatories in the U.S. and Europe.

Other courses will feature “Immigration and U.S. Citizenship,” by Polly Price, professor of law, and “AIDS,” by Kimberly Hagen, assistant director of the Center for AIDS Research, Rollins School of Public Health.

With today’s announcement, Coursera now hosts more than 200 courses from 32 domestic and international universities and reaches over 1.3 million students across the globe.

Full story at news.emory.edu

Irishman of the Year: James Flannery

Named “2012 Irishman of the Year” by the Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta for service to the Irish community, James Flannery is Winship Professor of the Arts and Humanities, director of the W.B. Yeats Foundation at Emory University, and an International Associate Artist at the Abbey Theatre, the National Theatre of Ireland. In Atlanta he is well known for producing the Atlanta Celtic Christmas Concert for the past 18 years. He has recently been named to a newly established Global Irish Network by the Office of the Taioseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, where he will act as an adviser to the Irish government.

As director of the W.B. Yeats Foundation, Flannery is currently organizing a three-day conference “Making Connections: The Celtic Roots of Southern Music,” to be held April 27-29, 2012, at Emory’s Cannon Chapel. Internationally renowned performers and scholars will explore the connections between the traditional music of Ireland, Scotland and the American South.

Through lectures, demonstrations, workshops, panel discussions and concerts, the conference will examine the role of folk music as an ongoing, living tradition and its impact on “community,” past and present.