Notes from the Faculty

Unexpected Mathematics

One of my favorite aspects of Odd Squad is that the show demonstrates ways mathematical skills and reasoning can be used to solve problems. The show’s mathematical component is embedded in humorous “odd” scenarios, illuminating that math is integrated in our lives away from the Odd Squad screen. When most people think about daily uses [...]

By | 2017-06-01T14:10:37+00:00 March 5th, 2017|Notes from the Faculty|

Portraits of the Blues

Uniting African-American spirituals, folk songs, work songs, simple ballads, and call-and-response, the blues burst onto the musical scene in the United States in the first decades of the twentieth century. The popular success of W.C. Handy’s hit Memphis Blues (1914) soon earned him the title of “Father of the Blues,” and inspired many African-American musicians [...]

By | 2017-06-01T14:30:50+00:00 February 22nd, 2017|Notes from the Faculty|

The Baroque Delight in Virtuosity

Winter is my favorite season. Though undoubtedly each of the four seasons has its highlights, the frosty snow and icy north winds of winter are the most captivating to my ears. I am referring, of course, to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, one of the most perfect examples of program music, or music that is composed [...]

By | 2017-06-01T14:34:39+00:00 February 19th, 2017|Notes from the Faculty|

Mimesis and Meaning

In the Republic, Plato famously (or infamously) argues against the practice of imitative arts by those who will guard and rule the just city. Plato claims that those who engage in imitation lack knowledge of the things that they imitate. According to Plato, those who engage in these arts run the risk of taking on [...]

By | 2017-06-01T14:34:49+00:00 February 12th, 2017|Notes from the Faculty|

Careful the things you say…

Without doubt, Stephen Sondheim is the most important artist in the history of the American Musical Theatre. He has made his career by repeatedly reinventing the traditions of the genre into something entirely new. Sondheim was essentially raised by Oscar Hammerstein (composer of South Pacific, Oklahoma, Carousel, and The King and I, to name but [...]

By | 2017-06-01T14:34:59+00:00 January 29th, 2017|A Closer Look, Notes from the Faculty|

You Eat What You Are

In 2012, Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts sponsored a program called “We Are What We Eat”, in which authors and panelists Marian Nestle and Daphne Miller discussed the ethical, political, and nutritional implications of our food choices. For 2016, we have turned the table on the topic, with an eye toward the social, [...]

By | 2017-06-02T15:43:23+00:00 December 5th, 2016|Notes from the Faculty|

Trumpeting Through History

The trumpet is one of the most talked about and noticed instruments in history! From Tutankhamen to the U. S, Army Herald Trumpets of the president, we hear them announcing the arrival of dignitaries of all types. The scope of performance moves through almost every type of ceremony and yet it is capable of playing [...]

By | 2017-06-02T15:44:50+00:00 October 31st, 2016|Notes from the Faculty|

A Capella in the Spotlight

Contemporary a cappella is having ‘a moment’.  From the widespread coverage of such pop culture phenomena as Glee and the Pitch Perfect franchise to increased televised screenings of national a cappella competitions and reality competition shows such as The Sing Off in the USA and The Choir in the UK, there is no denying the [...]

By | 2017-06-02T15:45:19+00:00 October 17th, 2016|Notes from the Faculty|

Tradition and Innovation: Aoife O’Donovan & Willie Watson

Massachusetts native Aoife O’Donovan surely ranks among the most talented musicians in the indie folk genre of her generation. Most immediately compelling is her vocal timbre, impossibly combining lightheartedness with profound gravity, youthful exuberance with timeless wisdom, wispy etherealnes with husky earthiness. Just as her voice embraces seemingly irreconcilable opposites, so too does her music [...]

By | 2017-06-02T15:52:34+00:00 October 3rd, 2016|Notes from the Faculty|

Elections: Personal, Political, Comical

Many Americans feared for the future of the infant nation during the election of 1800. The third presidential election was also the first truly contested election and many individuals saw the party divisions that rent the nation as a sign not just of national discord but of national disunion. Ministers used their pulpits to expound [...]

By | 2017-06-02T15:53:11+00:00 September 26th, 2016|Notes from the Faculty|