An update from the president to alumni and parents
Three students along with Dr. Tim Gossen, associate vice president for mission, and Steven McGlaun, dean of campus ministry, visited the University of Notre Dame to discuss campus ministry and liturgical music with members of its Office of Campus Ministry and its Folk Choir. Saint Mary’s students had the opportunity to rehearse with the Folk Choir as well as sing with them at Sunday evening vespers. The group was hosted on campus by Andrew Remick, a visiting fellow at Notre Dame. Wonderful insight was gained that can be applied to our Saint Mary’s community.
A new initiative to encourage students to improve their health and wellness is contributing to the transformational residential life experience at the College. February marked the first annual Iron Cardinal campaign, conducted by Student Health in the Jay Johnson Wellness Center with the support of the Wellness Culture 2017 Committee. This fun and healthy 28-day event challenged students to complete the equivalent of an Iron Man competition. Students were given the option to compete as a triathlete (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run/walk 26 miles) or a duathlete (bike 125 miles and run/walk 30 miles). A total of 109 students participated, with 42 successfully completing the challenge.
Over winter break, the Chamber Singers and Jazz Combo I enjoyed a week-long concert tour of Ireland. The octet sounds of the Jazz Combo—under the direction of A. Eric Heukeshoven—were heard at “The Vault” in the Castle Hotel in Dublin; at Galway’s premier jazz club, Busker Brownes; and at the Kerry School of Music in Tralee. Highlights for the 26-voice Chamber Singers select ensemble—directed by Dr. Patrick O’Shea—included performances at University College Dublin (with UCD Philharmonic Choir); Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Cashel, County Tipperary; St. Nicholas Collegiate Church, Galway; and St. Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney, County Kerry. Short video clips are on the Music Department Facebook page.
Students organized the 15th annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance in support of a local teenager, Conner Turnbell of Buffalo City, Wis. Conner suffers from autoimmune hepatitis, a disease that causes the immune system to attack the liver. Funds from the benefit dance will be used to offset his family’s medical and travel expenses. Conner is the son of Michelle Turnbell, who works for Chartwell’s Food Service on our Winona Campus.
The benefit has become an annual student tradition since its start in 2001 in honor of Taylor Richmond, son of Saint Mary’s staff member Nikki Richmond. Each year this event benefits someone in need who has ties to the Saint Mary’s community. Although Taylor passed away in 2013, his legacy lives on at Saint Mary’s.
March was “Music In Our Schools Month,” and our Concert Band and Wind Ensemble did their part to spread the music with a public concert in the Page Theatre. The afternoon of great music included the Cotter Junior High Band performing as a guest ensemble. In all, the various Saint Mary’s choral and instrumental music groups presented five performances on campus during March.
“Music In Our Schools Month” began in Boston in 1838, and soon schools all over the nation were making music classes and ensembles available to every student. Quality music education for every student is still the goal of music educators throughout the country.
“Working” is described as a show for anyone who has ever punched a clock, a cow, or a supervisor—or wanted to. Audiences met and heard the familiar stories of today’s hard-working Americans when the Department of Theatre and Dance staged the musical “Working” in the Page Theatre.
The show was based on the classic book by Studs Terkel and featured songs by many popular artists. Directed by Dr. Gary Diomandes, “Working” painted a vivid portrait of the men and women the world so often takes for granted, showing that behind their seemingly humdrum lives are a myriad of hopes, aspirations, and dreams.