A memorable ‘Rite’ at Williams

Thursday March 14, 2013

My wife and I had the very good fortune of attending the "Rite of Spring" performance on Saturday afternoon, March 9, at the ‘62 Center at Williams College. I retired from the music field as a professional instrumentalist and as a supervisor of music in a large high school in New York City and never have I seen or performed in such an event!

The afternoon began with a discussion by Dr. Sheppard, chairman of the Department of Music, featuring a history of the event, which included a fine dance presentation by students. Dr. Sheppard also supplied ample visual examples and recordings of segments of the "Rite," which in itself was very creative and informative. After a short break, the second half began with the full orchestra on stage and a whole set of surprises during the performance of the "Rite of Spring" conducted by Ronald Feldman.

I could not separate my own experience performing Stravinsky with the Juillard Orchestra more than 60 years ago from what was happening that moment with the Williams Orchestra on that stage. The orchestra was precise and conveyed the taut and raw writing of Stravinsky. For the first time in many years I was able to enjoy a musical event as it was, without "reviewing it" and looking for mistakes. It was a memorable experience in my life and I was on a high.

Every person connected with the "Rite of Spring" should be proud of that performance and I thank Williams College for presenting it to us.




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