Monthly Archives: August 2012

Miller Family Papers to add Chautauqua chapter to Edison project

Miller Family Papers to add Chautauqua chapter to Edison project

Sometime in the next months, the 16 gray coffin-like archival boxes holding the Miller Family Papers will leave the Oliver Archives Center in Chautauqua, N.Y., and journey to Rutgers University, N.J., to become part of the Thomas A. Edison Papers Project at Rutgers.

A note of clarification is required. The Miller Family Papers are the collected correspondence, diaries and memorabilia of the family of Lewis Miller, one of Chautauqua Institution’s founders. The papers include the letters of Mina Miller Edison, the second wife of Thomas Edison. The Thomas A. Edison Papers Project is a research center based at Rutgers University, and it is described as “one of the most ambitious editing projects ever undertaken by an American university.”

A history of The Chautauquan Daily through a peek inside the newsroom

A history of The Chautauquan Daily through a peek inside the newsroom

In his book Chautauqua: A Center for Education, Religion and Arts in America, author Theodore Morrison presents a photo of the original 1876 staff of the Chautauqua Assembly Daily Herald. Among those seated in front of a building marked “Editorial Rooms – Assembly Herald” is the publication’s founder and editor, Theodore Flood.

The caption reads, “Anyone consulting the bound volumes of the Assembly Herald may well wonder how so much thoroughness and order emerged from these editorial quarters.”

Much has changed about Chautauqua’s newspaper in the 136 years it has been published — name, office, staff size and average age, tone, content and technology — but its mission has remained the same.

Sacred Song provides fitting sendoff

Sacred Song provides fitting sendoff

Two short months ago, excitement, joy and greetings among old friends swirled through the Amphitheater as Institution President Tom Becker tapped the gavel three times to open the 2012 Season.

As the Sunday sun sets and the final note of the Massey Organ fades into the twilight hour, Becker will repeat the tradition in a totally different atmosphere. With three more taps, he will close the season during the final Sacred Song Service at 8 p.m. in the Amp.

“This is like the death of 2012 Chautauqua in a way,” said Jared Jacobsen, organist and coordinator of worship and sacred music. “We have to help people kind of get up to it and then get through it.”

Now in fourth year, Cawcroft Fellowship continues support for young ‘Daily’ staff

Now in fourth year, Cawcroft Fellowship continues support for young ‘Daily’ staff

Chautauquan Daily reporter Mary Desmond, who has been responsible for covering the 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture Series among other Department of Religion programs, served as the Ernest Cawcroft Journalism Fellow for the 2012 Season. Established in 2009, the Cawcroft Fellowship recognizes a promising young journalist who serves as a reporter on the Daily staff. The fellowship provides for Desmond’s salary, housing and travel expenses during the 2012 Season.

The Cawcroft Fellowship is named after Jamestown attorney and former Daily reporter Ernest Cawcroft, who served as a Chautauqua Institution trustee for 51 years. Chautauquan Stephen S. Anderson created the fellowship in Cawcroft’s memory and is working with the Chautauqua Foundation to establish the fellowship on a permanent basis through the creation of an endowment fund. Cawcroft was elected to the board of trustees at the Institution in January 1917 at the age of 36, and served continuously until his death on Dec. 23, 1967. Among his contributions to Chautauqua are the writing of the Chautauqua Utility District Act and his working for its passage and the obtaining of the governor’s signature.

Parade Street Jazz Band plays out 2012 Season

Parade Street Jazz Band plays out 2012 Season

The Parade Street Dixieland Jazz Band begins its Chautauqua debut performance at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Amphitheater.

The seven-member band features Harry Aldrich, tenor banjo; Sonny Froman, drumset; Keith Lenz, trumpet; John Marszalek, clarinet; Marilyn Marszalek, piano; Kent Tucker, trombone; and Gary Viebranz, sousaphone.

The group will play a program of musical favorites in a jazz interpretation including “Hello Dolly,” “Armed Forces Medley” and “Sweet Georgia Brown.” Jazz favorites include “Bourbon Street Blues,” “Maple Leaf Rag” and “Dark Town Strutter’s Ball.”

CSO looks forward to third season of guest conductors

CSO looks forward to third season of guest conductors

This was the second season without the presence of a music director for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, but based on the performances from the orchestra and the feedback from its audience, the absence is hardly noticeable.

While it is a challenge for the orchestra to perform under a new conductor almost every single concert — with the exception of a handful of conductors who joined the CSO for two performances — the orchestra has risen to the occasion.

“It keeps them on the edge of their seat, keeps things charged, keeps things interesting, and the majority of the orchestra likes that — they like that challenge,” said Marty Merkley, Institution vice president and director of programming.

Youth is served

Youth is served

Each summer, hundreds of high school- and college-aged young people travel to Chautauqua to work. Their reasons for coming vary, but family ties and traditions play a large role for many. The allure in the region of working at the Institution is a significant attraction. Early career professional development counts for some.

Each has a story to tell.

Here are some of them.

Campbell gives season’s final sermon

Campbell gives season’s final sermon

“We are living in an age of certainty, and I want to make the case for ambiguity,” said the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, director of the Chautauqua Department of Religion.

Campbell will be the preacher for the final Sunday of the 2012 Chautauqua Season at the 10:45 a.m. Service of Worship and Sermon. Her text is I Corinthians 13:4-13, and her title is “The Case for Ambiguity.”

“Even though the Scripture reading will be from the New Revised Standard Version, I will be preaching from the King James Version. I believe that we do see ‘through a glass darkly.’ That old translation is more poetic, but it is also more helpful in a time that is rooted in certainty,” she said. “I believe that it is in times of uncertainty, when we question our thoughts and decisions, that God can enter our lives. Chautauquans are leaving to go to an election burdened with certainty when we can only see anything partially.”

Chef brings art to culinary arts at Athenaeum Hotel

Chef brings art to culinary arts at Athenaeum Hotel

Though he has worked at the best restaurants in the world — from el Bulli in Spain to Alinea in Chicago — he hates eating his own food and detests cooking for himself after spending hours steeped in kitchen accoutrements. Instead, Executive Chef Ross Warhol snacks on Frank’s Red Hot with cottage cheese, gummy bears and Breyers black raspberry ice cream.

Managing the Athenaeum Hotel kitchen’s creation of three meals a day, Warhol rarely eats any full meals himself. He instead subsists on taste-testing his dishes and remains energized despite the fact that he averages only a few hours of sleep a night.

Chautauqua’s parks provide space for community conversation, play

Chautauqua’s parks provide space for community conversation, play

Leaves are faintly stirring on the mature trees in St. Paul’s Grove, the setting for the Hall of Philosophy. The sun’s rays filter through the leaves, dappling the dirt and lawn below. Humidity is at a reasonable level. It is a comfortable, pleasant summer Chautauqua afternoon.

Scattered around the upper grove and the Alumni Hall front yard across the street are exactly 52 lightweight and oddly insubstantial-feeling green plastic chairs, seven picnic tables, and several trademark slat- and-metal-frame Chautauqua benches, more portable than they look.

Professional opera singer, architect and Chautauquan Jane Foster is enjoying the serenity.