Remembrance and Renewal
The Dickinson College Collegium addressed social-justice issues in its spring concert, Remembrance and Renewal, when it premiered a newly commissioned work about bullying and prejudice against gay youth.
Robert Pound, associate professor of music, composed the piece, titled requiem-elegy, in response to the 2010 death of Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old violinist and Rutgers University student who committed suicide after his roommate posted video on the Internet of Clementi’s intimate encounter with another male.
“The death of Clementi, a promising violinist in his first weeks at college, came amid a string of high-profile suicides of young people who were gay or perceived to be gay,” Pound wrote. “His case started a national conversation on bullying, one we continue with a requiem that advocates for the silent and silenced.” [Story continues below.]
In the requiem, Pound and librettist E. Louise Beach unveiled the consequences of bullying by portraying the events and perceptions that may have led to Clementi’s death. Narrators Eric Rosenstein ’11, Laura Costa ’10, Juliana Burdick ’11 and Matthew Linnehan ’12 told the story. Burdick and Taylor Bell ’11 portrayed Clementi’s parents. The concluding message arrived when Costa sang, “How good and pleasing it would be if we, kindred, lived together in unity.”
The performance also highlighted the talents of instrumentalists Alice Bish (viola), Instructor in Music Michael Cameron (cello) and solo violinists Blanka Bednarz, associate professor and chair of music, and Aubrey Holmes ’11.
Conductor Sean Parr, visiting assistant professor of music, balanced the weightiness of the subject matter with notes of hope, thanks to Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria and with Mozart’s jubilant Regina Coeli. The latter piece included solos by soprano Laura Takakjy ’11, alto Morgan Levinson ’13, tenor Michael Hoke ’12 and baritone Christopher Theodorou ’13.
Pound also is conductor of the Dickinson College Orchestra and choir. See pictures of the spring orchestral and choir concert.
By MaryAlice Bitts Jackson
Photos by Jen Crowley ’12