A musical education

first_imgPeter Sellars ’81 buzzed into a Harvard classroom. His hair standing famously at attention atop his head, the unconventional American theater director greeted students with bear hugs and engaged in a two-hour discussion on such topics as his take on critics, the historical and political themes in his work, and his creative process.“My work does not yield itself to offering its meaning in a 10-minute span. I am offering something way more complicated, and it takes a long time to digest,” said Sellars, who once staged Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” on a set resembling an apartment in New York City’s lavish Trump Tower.He told the students during the April 5 discussion that he also loves “the presence of documentary inside a fiction form,” and recalled using declassified government documents to write the libretto for the John Adams opera “Doctor Atomic,” about the creation of the nuclear bomb. “You want surprises,” he said. “You want something to stick in people’s craw.” The teachers of Harvard’s new class “The Operas of John Adams” had invited Sellars to the session.Planned to coincide with the Metropolitan Opera’s premiere of  “Nixon in China,” the Adams opera, inspired by the landmark 1972 presidential visit to China, the course explores the works of America’s most well-known and most frequently performed living classical composer famous for enriching musical minimalism. (Adams ’69 will drop in on the class later this month.)A recipient of the 2007 Harvard Arts Medal, Adams doesn’t shy from controversial themes. His works often examine historic events, as in “Doctor Atomic,” or his opera “The Death of Klinghoffer,” which recounts the 1985 murder of an American Jew by Palestinian terrorists.Artists like Adams and Sellars “are shaping art right in front of us and making new work all the time, and it’s often very controversial work,” said Carol Oja, William Powell Mason Professor of Music. Oja co-teaches the class with Anne Shreffler, chair of Harvard’s Department of Music and the James Edward Ditson Professor of Music.“Being able to get a sense of the inside process, of how they are shaping the balance of politics and their aesthetic is just really fascinating,” said Oja, who connected with Adams and Sellars with help from the Office for the Arts at Harvard.Students in the Harvard Glee Club, the Radcliffe Choral Society, the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra are also studying Adams closely as they prepare to perform his “On The Transmigration of Souls” on April 29 and 30 in Sanders Theatre.The work, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to commemorate those killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in music.Andrew Clark, Harvard’s director of choral activities, chose the piece after hearing about the new course, in order to connect his program directly with the University’s music curriculum. Federico Cortese, director of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, suggested combining Adams’ piece with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for the concert. Juxtaposing Adams’ work, which leaves the listener in a “disquieted and vulnerable” place, with the “message of humanity and unity and joy” offered by Beethoven’s iconic symphony, was a “perfect pairing” said Clark.Adams compiled the text for the piece from fragments taken from missing-persons signs posted in New York after 9/11, comments drawn mainly from interviews that appeared in the “Portraits of Grief” series in The New York Times, and a list of names of the victims.The composer, who refers to the piece as “a memory space,” has said he hoped the work would inspire listeners with the feeling of walking into a cathedral where, “you feel you are in the presence of many souls, generations upon generations of them, and you sense their collected energy.”“The general color is very soft,” said Cortese of Adams’ work, which requires a large orchestra. “It is a piece of private sorrow.”The Sanders performances will be the Boston area’s premiere of the piece. Adams plans to attend. For more information about concert.last_img read more

Belles Beginnings orients students to college life

first_imgTags: bellefest, Belles Beginnings, class of 2024, closing the circle As first-year students packed their cars and drove away from home, they arrived on the Saint Mary’s campus greeted by a  Belles Beginnings schedule and events designed to help them get to know their peers. Unlike past years, Belles Beginnings was spread over three days with students only attending one day of orientation events. These sessions included academic success tips, conflict resolution, student panels and student services presentations. Students were assigned the same but rotating Belles Beginnings schedules based on their move-in date. Director of first-year experience and retention Shay Schneider planned and facilitated most of the Belles Beginnings sessions and partnered with Residence Life directors and student leaders for assistance at these sessions. One of these student leaders was student body president and senior Giavanna Paradiso.“My role during Belles Beginnings was to run around and help wherever needed,” Schneider said in an email. “It gave me a look to every corner of the first-years’ first few days.”Students were able to attend Belles Beginnings events during the day and student-sponsored events in the evening. The Saint Mary’s tradition of the Closing of the Circle continued this year, though some adjustments were made. This symbolic event of students gathering with their classmates in physical and intellectual space is countered with the Opening of the Circle during senior week.This year the Closing of the Circle was on the athletics fields as an alternative to the Le Mans Green to allow for proper space between each girl, Paradiso said. “They all held a ribbon, which was cut to let them keep a piece that only they came in contact with and now can tie the ribbon to their water bottle or backpack where they’ll always see it,” Paradiso said. “It’s been so cute to see them all with their ribbons already.”While first-year Kayla Bucio did not attend the information sessions of Belles Beginnings, she attended the Closing of the Circle Saturday and said her experience was a nice way to see all her classmates in one place.“BellesFest after was another fun way to interact with my classmates,” Bucio said. “I got to interact with more girls and continue to meet more people. I feel that these types of events are important because in class there’s not much time to interact as much, especially when you’re new.”Bucio said she enjoyed that the events were engaging and fun while still following the College’s COVID policies. “It made me feel safe and like everyone that planned it really cared,” she said.Paradiso said she considered the Closing of the Circle and the BellesFest events Saturday evening to be the biggest successes of the week.“It was just so amazing to have the privilege to officially welcome the class of 2024 into the sisterhood and tradition of Saint Mary’s,” she said. “After that emotional moment, we had one great big socially-distanced dance party. I loved being able to meet all the first-years, but even more than that, I loved watching them meet each other and become friends.”last_img read more

Let Them Take a #Selfie! Kinky Boots Cast Celebrates First Anniversary

first_img Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on April 7, 2019 Kinky Boots Billy Porter Star Files View Comments The sex is in the Insta filter. Kinky Boots will celebrate its first anniversary on Broadway on April 4 and to commemorate the milestone the cast took to YouTube, lip synching (for their lives) to the number one song we love to hate: The Chainsmokers’ “#Selfie.” Take a look as Tony winner Billy Porter and company throw shade at some ratchets, debate filters and captions along with giving some serious face. Congratulations on one year and #KeepItKinky, girls!last_img read more

Dry winter ahead

first_imgPaz said two climate scenarios are possible for this fall and winter. If a La Niña forms in the next few months, the Southeast will likely have a warm, dry fall and winter. But if the Pacific Ocean remains in the neutral phase, the result would be rainfall and temperature patterns close to normal. “Each agricultural group I meet with has its own set of concerns,” he said. “And lately, they center around the drought.” Despite the onset of what the SECC calls the “convective rainy season,” rainfall totals for the year remain below average except for in isolated areas, such as parts of central Georgia. The southwest corner of Georgia, around Seminole and Decatur counties, has been dry, too. The drought caused an increase in late planting, and these crops will need ample rain well into September. Paz is one of a team of scientists involved in the Southeast Climate Consortium, which tracks and predicts how the climate will affect crops and farmers in Georgia, Florida and Alabama. “If a La Niña does form in the Pacific Ocean in the next few months, it’s known to increase the likelihood of a warm and dry fall and winter in the Southeast,” he said. “Drier-than-normal conditions this fall and winter will make things really hard for farmers who’ll be harvesting peanuts in September and October.” Colder-than-normal surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific and the greater extent of deeper cool water are signs that it’s “as likely as not that a full La Niña will develop sometime this fall,” he said. Rainfall in western Georgia, northern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle still lags behind. These areas remain in a drought ranging from severe to exceptional, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. “A La Niña is likely to happen this fall, and if it does, we’ll be in deep trouble,” Paz said. “Our rainfall level is already down 20 inches in some areas of the state.”center_img “A winter season with near-normal rainfall would go a long way toward easing drought conditions in Alabama and Georgia,” Paz said. By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaThe crowd of Georgia peanut shellers gasped at Joel Paz’s presentation. The slides weren’t gory, but the information was scary nonetheless. Peanut shellers don’t want to hear that the state’s rain deficit will likely continue into the fall. “The shellers are really concerned over the quantity and quality of the peanuts they’ll get this year,” said Paz, an agrometeorologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Pasture conditions have improved slightly in northeast and central Georgia,” he said. “But a dry August and September could be stressful to forage crops and grazing herds.” On July 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared 36 percent of Georgia’s corn crop and 40 percent of the state’s hay crop to be in “very poor to poor condition.” Summer afternoon thundershowers brought some beneficial rainfall to the Southeast. Tropical storm Barry was the first to bring relief to the drought-stricken Southeast on June 2, Paz said. Barry came ashore in the Big Bend of Florida and brought welcome, widespread rainfall to eastern and southern parts of Georgia and most of Florida. Farmers statewide would benefit from a neutral climate phase this fall and winter. The state’s extreme drought has already withered pastures to the point that farmers are desperately searching for alternatives for nonexistent or low-quality hay. See complete agricultural climate predictions at the SECC Web site (www.agclimate.org).last_img read more

Australian insurer Suncorp to stop underwriting new coal mines, coal-fired generation

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Australian insurance giant Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal mines and power plants, and will not underwrite any existing thermal coal projects after 2025.This is the latest in a series of pledges by banks and financial services companies that they will not support projects that mine or burn coal used for electricity generation, in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Activists said Suncorp’s announcement meant there were now no Australian insurers willing to underwrite new thermal coal developments.Suncorp, which owns insurance brands AAMI and GIO, made headlines in February when it announced its half-year profit had slumped 45%, mainly because of extreme weather events in Sydney and Queensland. Its then chief executive, Michael Cameron, called on the government to make it compulsory for Australian businesses to adopt climate change action plans to prepare for natural disasters.In a statement on Friday, the $17bn company said climate change posed a financial and strategic risk but was also an opportunity. It said it had applied a shadow carbon price, assuming greenhouse gas emissions have a cost, to its investment decisions since 2017 and had recently expanded that across all its operations.“The practical outcome of this is that we have materially reduced our investment in fossil fuels, including thermal coal,” an official said. “We will seek to increase exposure to businesses that have a positive environmental impact, including renewable energy generation and technology.”Suncorp’s competitor QBE said in March it would no longer insure new thermal coal projects and would stop underwriting existing operations from 2030.More: Insurance giant Suncorp says it will no longer cover new thermal coal projects Australian insurer Suncorp to stop underwriting new coal mines, coal-fired generationlast_img read more

48 Hours in McDowell County

first_imgMcDowell County has many very stocked streams. The mountain trout waters include catch/release at Newberry Creek, delayed harvest in Old Fort on Mill Creek, Curtis Creek, hatchery supported waters at the head of Catawba River at Catawba Falls Campground and at the US 70 bridge in the town of Old Fort. Particularly in and around the Old Fort area and Curtis Creek area, you’ll find wild trout waters. Two of the most popular outdoor sports in McDowell County are fly fishing and mountain biking. Pisgah offers long climbs and fast descents. Elevation changes quickly, but that’s not the only reason these trails are exhilarating. Waterfall Hike Refinery 13 was the first taproom to open. They’re open Tuesday-Saturday between 5pm-10pm. Tuesday Night Trivia is competitive and fun and always attracts a packed house. Lake James State Park is a perfect place to park and go. You have access to 13 trails, offering a combination of hiking and mountain biking trails with varying degrees of difficulty. The Pisgah National Forest spreads throughout western North Carolina and into McDowell County. With close to 70,000 acres surrounding the towns of Marion and Old Fort, these mountains provide the ultimate landscape for outdoor adventures. Find individually owned area cabins, cottages, B&Bs, inns, or a hotel by going to the county’s tourism site. Call 888-233-6111 to request free maps, guides, and more. Old Fort’s MTB areas include legendary trails like Heartbreak Ridge and Kitsuma Peak/Young’s Ridge, local downhill destinations. Day 2 Lake James is ideal for the sports fisherman with over 6,500 acres framed by 150 miles of shoreline.   After burning all of those calories, kick back in downtown Marion and swap stories over a beer and food. The downtown Main Street area includes a variety of new shops, pubs, and a microbrewery. Hike Stay Catawba Falls/Old Fort;Hickory Branch Falls in the Curtis Creek Area/outside Old Fort; Tom’s Creek Falls just north of Marion with a 100-foot drop and it’s an easy trail to hike;Crabtree Falls just south of Little Switzerland with access adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 339.5; Linville Falls, also adjacent to the parkway with three hiking trail viewing points. Old Fort’s Point Lookout Trail is a paved route ascending Old Fort Mountain where you will gain approximately 900 feet in elevation with a 3.75-mile hike. It opens to spectacular views of the Royal Gorge and if you’re there at the “right time” of day, you’ll watch a train emerging from the mountain. It’s an awesome sight!The Mountains to Sea Trail crosses all through McDowell County and is a 75-mile section. Snook’s Nose is a challenging favorite hiking trail inside the Curtis Creek Area of the Pisgah National Forest.  Newberry Creek Trail is an easy hike. It meanders through the forest until you are within several yards away from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then it’s straight up and is just a gorgeous trail!Marion’s McDowell Greenway is approximately a 3.2-mile round-trip. This greenway borders the Catawba River. Many visitors and residents use the Greenway as an access point to wade in and fish for the morning or late evening. Enjoy outdoor murals in town towns, art organizations in all three communities, and more. There is also a bunch of fun and amazing annual festivals/events happening. Downtown Marion is host to a new music hall and specialty bar, The Spillway Bridge. It’s an eclectic mix of open-mic, jazz, beach music, and bluegrass. Their entertainment schedule says it all. It offers a comfortable vibe with a knowledgeable bartender. Mica Town Brewing is an interesting new spot operated by Emily Causey and husband Jason Snyder.  Their story is as unique as their products, named after local sites and communities. They also host fun events/activities and are open year-round. Kitsuma Peak Woods Mountain Trail View Point Lookout Mountain Bike Ride Food & Drink Tackle one of McDowell County’s 20 public trails! After your morning mountain bike adventure, what better way to cool off than in a waterfall? There are several gorgeous waterfalls to choose from in the region. The top five, according to locals, are Trail conditions pack a punch with lots of roots, rocks, and creeks, scattered throughout lush protected forest lands. Food & Drink The Woods Mountain Trail is known for being one of Marion area’s most challenging rides. The 25-mile trail travels through rugged wildlands and begins and ends north of Marion, North Carolina. This trail is for experienced riders only. Fishing A great downtown dinner spot is McDowell Local. They recently celebrated their one year anniversary. Owners Aaron and Lauren Matthews strive to use locally sourced ingredients and partner with local wineries and breweries to offer the best in locally crafted spirits. Catawaba River Check the NC Wildlife Commission website for detailed maps. Burrito Bros! These brothers learned from their mom and began working with their food truck, transitioning into a brick and mortar site on North Main Street. Their classic logo, Roll One With Us, features a sugar skull on the window fronts. Both McDowell Local and Burrito Bros have been featured on UNC-TV’s Bob Garner’s show. Day 1 Catawba Falls Stop by Bear Creek Marina to stock up on supplies. The public boat ramp is a few yards away from the marina entrance at Black Bear. Artlast_img read more

7 questions for smart outsourcing

first_imgby: Mike PlanteAny outsourced arrangement needs to offer benefits for the credit union – whether this be cost, knowledge or another factor – while not negatively impacting or relinquishing control of direct member services. This decision process is very different from many other industries in which the primary concern is almost always “how much money will outsourcing save?” As a result of this unique standpoint, credit unions need to ensure they are selecting the right outsourcing processes and partners.Filene Research Institute recently published a brief that explores outsourcing decision-making in the credit union industry. The report concludes that by asking the right questions when undertaking any outsourcing process – questions not asked of potential providers, but asked of themselves – credit unions can effectively navigate outsourcing efforts.Question #1: What functions is my credit union considering outsourcing and why?Question #2: Does it make sense to outsource this function? continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Disruption can be good for credit unions

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Dan BergerBy now, most have you will have heard about NAFCU’s big announcement made earlier this week: we have opened our association to federally insured, state-chartered credit unions, as associate members.It’s big news in some ways – but business as usual in other ways. For instance, we already had federally insured, state-chartered members because NAFCU has a “once a member, always a member” policy, and federally chartered credit unions sometimes change their charter. But it’s big news because we feel that it is a big, positive step in the right direction for our members and the credit union industry.Everyone has heard that “change can be good,” but what about disruption? Disruption is a big word in management circles these days – and there’s a good reason for that. Many industries out there seem to have made “Do not disturb” their motto – things went pretty well for them in the past, so they’re trying not to mess things up. But as the credit union industry knows all too well, change will happen whether we like it or not. continue reading »last_img read more

If you are not frequently surprised, you should be worried!

first_img“OK, surprise me,” said no executive ever.  Or at least almost never. The refrain from the top is far more frequently “I want no surprises”.Yet, I’m encouraging you to embrace surprises and even build a culture that fosters them.  There is tremendous opportunity and enlightenment in surprises – even the bad ones.This point of view is not the prevailing one in business.A few weeks ago, I was talking to the CEO of a large credit union who said he is rarely surprised, but the speed at which the economy had shifted as a result of COVID-19 had left him stunned.  He repeated how little he liked surprises. And, he is not alone.Most of the business books you are likely to read talk about how to avoid surprises.  Of course, operationally, you want to have processes and controls in place to ensure predictable results.  But when the unexpected happens, you may learn something that points out a weakness in a control or procedure or, as with COVID-19, a bad surprise highlights that our resiliency and continuity plans were not sophisticated enough to cover every contingency.My management approach turns “no surprises” upside down.  It’s based on a key point that there is no way you know everything needed to grow your business, delight your members, or fully engage your teammates.As head of Strategic Technology at one of the world’s largest banks, I encouraged my team to seek out unexpected developments, to find learnings that challenged our conventional way of thinking, to bring new ideas and perspectives that would widen our view and deepen our understanding of the issues.  My refrain?  “Surprise me.”And, it works. By embracing surprises:You will learn things that will make your organization more effective as you get smarter about your members, your operating environment, your competitors, and yourself.You will become more agile as you learn to leverage the learnings that are inherent in surprises.Your teammates will be more engaged.  Great teams embrace new ways of thinking, new ways of doing, and love the process of exploration.So how do you get started with this unconventional open-minded approach?Your marketing team is a great place to start. When was the last time they learned something about your member base that surprised the organization?  I guarantee that if they start running experiments, really testing new concepts, new price points, different messaging campaigns, unique pricing bundles, they will be surprised about your members’ needs, expectations, and behaviors.I love the right kind of surprises – the kind that teach me something I did not know, something I did not understand, or show me that something I thought was so was not.  Surprises are about making you, your team, and your organization open minded, smarter, and better.So stop running from surprises, stop fearing the unknown.  If you create a culture that encourages – even demands – a constant state of learning, you will be surprised at how great surprises can be! 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Rick Leander Rick Leander is Founder and Managing Partner of LFB Holdings, a behavioral insights consultancy that works with established and startup enterprises.At LFB Holdings we teach clients how to leverage … Web: www.lfbholdings.com Detailslast_img read more

Administración Wolf: $10 millones en nuevos fondos disponibles para apoyar el avance de los tratamientos de la COVID-19

first_imgAdministración Wolf: $10 millones en nuevos fondos disponibles para apoyar el avance de los tratamientos de la COVID-19 July 16, 2020 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Español,  Press Release,  Public Health El Gobernador Tom Wolf anunció hoy la disponibilidad de $10 millones en subvenciones a través del programa COVID-19 Vacunas, Tratamientos y Terapias (CV-VTT) para apoyar el rápido avance de vacunas, tratamientos y terapias por parte de entidades calificadas de biotecnología en respuesta a la pandemia de COVID-19.Los fondos se asignaron al Departamento de Salud de Pennsylvania (DOH) conforme a la Ley 2A de 2020, conocida como el Suplemento de Emergencia COVID-19 de la Ley de Asignación General de 2019, para ser administrados a través de un Aviso de Subvención de la Oficina de Tecnología e Innovación del Departamento de Desarrollo Comunitario y Económico (DCED) de Pennsylvania.“Nuestro estado es el hogar de algunas de las mentes e instituciones más brillantes y tiene la trayectoria de líder en el desarrollo de la ciencia de vanguardia y el avance de nuevas tecnologías de soporte vital”, dijo el Gobernador Wolf. “A medida que continuamos tomando seriamente los esfuerzos de mitigación, queremos apoyar a los grupos que pueden hacer avanzar a Pennsylvania en el desarrollo de tratamientos que puedan detener la propagación de la COVID-19 y proteger a nuestras familias, amigos y comunidades a largo plazo”.Este programa está a disposición de las entidades con sede en Pennsylvania que demuestran tanto una necesidad financiera como un camino bien definido hacia la comercialización acelerada de una nueva vacuna, tratamiento o terapia en respuesta directa a la lucha contra la COVID-19.Los siguientes solicitantes reúnen los requisitos para aplicar:Facultades y universidadesCompañías con fines de lucroCentros médicos académicosInstituciones de investigación sin fines de lucroOrganizaciones de desarrollo económicoLos solicitantes que reúnen los requisitos pueden solicitar subvenciones y obtener más información sobre el programa CV-VTT aquí. La fecha límite para presentar las solicitudes es el viernes 24 de julio de 2020.Para obtener la información más actualizada sobre la COVID-19, los residentes de Pennsylvania deben visitar https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.View this information in English.last_img read more