Dec. 16, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 8
With six years under its belt, the Boston College Arts Festival now boasts an assortment of traditions, including presentation of the Arts Council Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement and the festival's collaborative sculpture project. Those two facets will be linked at next year's festival, to be held April 28-30.
Recently, the BC Arts Council announced the theme for the 2005 festival's collaborative sculpture will be "Trees," an idea inspired by the work of the 2005 Alumni Award winner, award-winning wildlife and nature photographer James Balog '74. Balog, whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Audubon Magazine and other publications, completed a six-year project during which he photographed some of the United States' largest, tallest and most beautiful trees. The results of his project can be seen in his new book, Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest.
Taking a leaf from Balog's portfolio, the Arts Council invited members of the University community to "adopt" their own trees. Using a basic sculpture made by part-time faculty member Mark Cooper (Fine Arts) - who has organized collaborative sculpture projects at the previous arts festivals - BC organizations will decorate and embellish their "trees" to promote their group's mission. Once completed, the sculptures will appear in buildings throughout campus and then be brought to O'Neill Plaza for a special exhibition during the festival.
For more information on the project, and on Balog's work, visit the Arts Festival Web site: www.bc.edu offices/artscouncil/festival/.
Boston College student-athletes are scoring lots of points these days - and it has nothing to do with a game scoreboard.
The University's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, whose members represent all 31 Boston College varsity teams, has started a volunteer outreach service program this fall that has produced hospital and school visits, a successful food drive for needy families and an innovative Christmas sharing project that will provide holiday gifts for some underprivileged children in the Boston area.
Dozens of student-athletes, each wearing a game jersey or warm-up jacket from his or her sport, have visited the Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton and Children's Hospital of Boston to bring companionship and cheer to the young patients. BC cheerleaders and "Baldwin," the school's costumed Eagle mascot, accompanied the athletes on their hospital visits.
SAAC members also collected more than 2,200 pounds of canned goods in the group's first Thanksgiving Food Drive, led by the women's ice hockey team, whose players contributed 655 pounds of non-perishable food for needy families.
This holiday season, several teams have "adopted" a needy youngster and student-athletes are contributing cash to purchase gifts for each unidentified child's Christmas stocking.
Student-athletes are also conducting raffles and bake sales to raise money to purchase a state of the art television set for the Franciscan Hospital's recreation room.
Nearly 500 of the University's 720 student-athletes have participated in a SAAC-sponsored event or program, says Associate Athletic Director Jody Mooradian, who along with Head Equipment Manager Joseph Shirley mentors the student group.
"We are really blessed with this group of young people," said Mooradian. "I know that community service has always been a part of the University's mission, but I have worked at several schools in my career, and I have never witnessed this level of commitment among kids of this age. The students are just flocking to this."
"This really puts things in perspective," said committee co-president Carroll School of Management senior David Preziosi, first baseman for the Eagles' baseball team. "The best part of all is when you can put a smile on the kids' faces.
"That is better than anything on a baseball field."
COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
In the red
A local composer organization with a Boston College pedigree, one of the oldest such groups in the country, is about to embark on a new project - brightly-hued footwear and all.
Composers in Red Sneakers, co-founded 24 years ago by Prof. Thomas Oboe Lee (Music) to promote the work of young composers on the way to significant careers, recently received a $12,400 grant from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University that will fund a collaboration with preeminent saxophone performer and teacher Ken Radnofsky. The project will culminate in six commissioned works to be presented by Radnofsky's ensemble at Jordan Hall during 2005-06.
Part-time faculty member Margaret McAllister (Music), current co-president for CRS, couldn't be happier: "The Fromm Foundation is one of the world's most distinguished sponsoring organizations for music. It has commissioned over 300 new compositions, including their performances, and has funded hundreds of new music concerts and concert series, among them Tanglewood's Festival of Contemporary Music.
"Ken is a long-time avid supporter of new music, and has commissioned and/or premiered more than 40 new works by composers such as Pulitzer Prize winners Gunther Schuller, John Harbison, Donald Martino and Milton Babbitt - and by our own Thomas Oboe Lee.
"This is the first time in our history that all the Sneaker composers will receive money to compose pieces for a concert," said McAllister, who adds that the group hopes to raise funds for a recording project.
Since its founding, CRS [www.composersinredsneakers.net/] has presented some 70 concerts, including more than 350 world premieres - among them a piece by another BC music faculty member, Ralf Gawlick - by more than 500 performers to thousands of listeners. The group has produced numerous highly successful recording, publishing and commissioning projects, and reached out to young audiences and performers through local educational and community programs.
McAllister says her association with the Sneaker crew has been highly beneficial to her work with BC music students. "Being in CRS helps to keep me up to date in my discipline on many levels," she said. "I tell my students that music is a learning experience for one's whole life and to be open to new ideas. Even the great masters were continually challenging themselves, continually learning and exploring as musicians.
"Each piece changes you a little, it's a multi-faceted collaborative experience and you always learn something. I want to give my students the tools they need and to encourage them to be musically creative in a way that fits them. Sharing my own experiences helps me in that goal."
In case you're wondering, adds McAllister: "Yes, we all wear our red sneakers at the concerts, and anyone who comes to the concert wearing a pair gets in free."
To the list of hardy holiday perennials that includes sleigh bells, mistletoe, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire, add the latest spoken-word CD by McIntyre Professor of English J. Robert Barth, SJ.
"Poetry of William Wordsworth," containing 14 selections by the Romantic poet read by the former A&S dean, is the fourth audio anthology to be released by Fr. Barth in as many Christmas seasons.
The Wordsworth CD sells for $10 at the BC Bookstore, with proceeds benefiting the Burns Library. Spoken-word CDs previously recorded at Eagle Sound Studios at Boston College by Fr. Barth are Poetry of the Four Seasons, English Romantic Poetry, and Poems of Francis Thompson and Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ.
Up for debate
A squad from Boston College Law School has advanced to the championship round of the National Moot Court competition. Third-year students Jonathan Berroya, Meghan Delaney and Erin McFeron will represent the school at the finals in New York City Jan. 31-Feb. 3.
BC Law was one of two teams to advance from a field of seven at the Northeast Regional round Nov. 19-20 at Suffolk Law. The BC Law squad won the award for Best Brief at the regional competition, and members received the Justice Lewis F. Powell Medal from the American College of Trial Lawyers for excellence in advocacy.
Twenty-six schools from across the United States are to compete in the finals at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.