President's Speeches and Remarks

Friday, May 11, 2007

Welcome to the dedication of the Studzinski Recital Hall and the Kanbar Auditorium.

This recital hall and auditorium are elegant, and as John email me yesterday “Dead Chic.”  The acoustics, as you will hear tonight, are world class and this hall and auditorium will be a magnate for talented musicians from around the world to come and perform.  And, we understand that it is important for Bowdoin, our students and our community to be exposed to world class music and musicians as we educate and entertain our community.

This hall and auditorium recommit to the arts as part of the liberal arts is what this college has been about for the past ten years.  With the renovation of Pickard, Wish, the Museum, and now the Studzinski Recital Hall, we have demonstrated our interest -- and if you build it they will come.

The facility will also serve as a cultural home for midcoast Maine as we provide a venue for music for our community and our neighbors during the academic year and through our relationship with the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

And, it will most importantly provide a place for our students and faculty and staff to be inspired to play, practice and listen to music as part of their studies and daily life.

This has already happened over the past week of inaugural concerts – Stravinsky, music from the Middle East, jazz, a capella singing – just in seven days.

This hall is quite beautiful and elegant – and we are proud of it.  We build architecturally special places at Bowdoin because the history and beauty of our campus demands a commitment to continue the important and valued Bowdoin architectural history.

But, the architecture is only a reflection of our core value and our goals in building this facility – to educate our community in the tradition of the liberal arts.

Let me quote from a book entitled Music, a very short introduction by Nicholas Cook, “To talk about music in general is to talk about what music means – and more basically, how it is (how it can be) that music operated as an agent of meaning.  For music isn’t just something nice to listen to.  On the contrary, it’s deeply embedded in human culture...Music somehow seems to be natural, to exist as something apart – and yet it is suffused with human values, with our sense of what is good and bad, right and wrong.  Music doesn’t just happen, it is what we make it, and what we make of it.  People think through music, decide who they are through it, express themselves through it.”

In other word, for us at Bowdoin – music is another central mode of education and inquiry – in our quest to be educated citizens in the liberal arts tradition – the core value of Bowdoin College.  And so it is with this goal of education and learning that we have created this fabulous hall and facility for the education of generations and generations of Bowdoin students, faculty, staff and the larger community.  This will be a deep and enduring legacy for which we can be justifiably proud.

So sit back and be entertained, lose yourselves in generous enthusiasms, and dedicate this Studzinski Recital Hall and Kanbar Auditorium through learning while you listen and enjoy the Eroica (E-row-icka) Trio.

It is now my pleasure to welcome to our stage for the dedication concert the Eroica Trio.