Campus News

Anthony F. Antolini '63 Receives Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff

Story posted June 02, 2003

Anthony F. Antolini of Cushing, Maine, Bowdoin Class of 1963, has been honored by the Bowdoin Alumni Council with the 2003 Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff, presented May 31 during Reunion weekend.

The Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff recognizes service and devotion to the College.

Anthony F. Antolini is director of the Bowdoin Chorus. For years he has helped Bowdoin students, alumni, faculty, staff, and other members of the College family discover and rediscover the joys of music.

A native of New York, Antolini was a student leader at Bowdoin, serving as president of the Glee Club and business manager of the Meddiebempsters, playing organ and singing at Chapel exercises, and performing at Baccalaureate and Commencement (which he still does, 40 years later). His distinguished work at the College earned him the first-ever Sue Winchell Burnett Prize for excellence in music. While at Bowdoin, he was selected as one of 40 American college students to tour the Soviet Union as a musical goodwill ambassador.

Antolini continued his studies at Stanford University, earning degrees in Slavic studies, Russian, and music, and earning a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to the University of Warsaw. In 1968, he began a 23-year teaching career at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz County, Calif., where he conducted a chamber choir and community chorus and taught courses in Russian and music.

His extensive research led to the rediscovery of a long-lost liturgical work by Sergei Rachmaninoff, banned for 70 years due to its religious content. In 1987, after painstakingly piecing together the 20-movement score and teaching it to his community choir, the group toured the Soviet Union, performing the piece. Upon hearing the sacred music in churches and schools, audience members wept, overcome by the emotion and precision of the work.

In 1992, Antolini returned to Maine and to Bowdoin, teaching music and conducting the Bowdoin Chorus, an ensemble comprising students, faculty, staff, and community members. For Bowdoin's Bicentennial celebration in 1994, he conducted the Bicentennial Chorus. In recent years, he has led the Reunion Chorus, and performed for numerous alumni events on and off campus. This summer, he will serve as a faculty leader on a Colby-Bates-Bowdoin educational trip to Russia.

In addition to his Bowdoin responsibilities, Antolini is music director of the Down East Singers and the Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist in Thomaston. In 2000, he was named Maine Distinguished Choral Director of the Year by the Maine chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.

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