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The Beach Boys to Bring Good Vibrations to Amphitheater

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Make sure you have a surfboard today, because Chautauqua is going to be “Surfin’ U.S.A.”

The Beach Boys last performed at Chautauqua Institution in 2017, and the group — with original vocalist Mike Love and Bruce Johnston — returns to the grounds at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, August 21 in the Amphitheater.

The year was 1962; the place, Hawthorne, California. Three brothers, Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson; their cousin Mike Love; and friend Al Jardine formed The Beach Boys, which has presented its tight vocal harmonies with varying members ever since. Born as The Pendletones in a California garage-rock style, The Beach Boys released their first album, Surfin’ Safari, in 1962.

With the elements of founder and multi-instrumentalist Brian Wilson, the band went on to release monumentally acclaimed records, including Surfer Girl, and their 1966 Pet Sounds, the latter of which was ranked as the second-best album of all time by Rolling Stone.

Reflecting on The Beach Boys’ evolution of sound and Brian Wilson’s role in the band’s style, Love told Rolling Stone in 2018 that the beauty of The Beach Boys is in its diverse capabilities.

“One of the things about The Beach Boys’ music — and probably because Brian is a Gemini — is that everything is different from the last one,” Love said. “It’s not just a copy of a former single. That was the beauty of The Beach Boys catalog — the diversity: Different lead singers, different tempos, different keys, different arrangements and chord progressions. Nobody was more masterful at chord progressions than Brian — and the harmonies.”

Now more than 50 years into its expansive career, the band continues to put out music, briefly reuniting with Brian Wilson in 2012 for a tour and the 2012 studio album That’s Why God Made the Radio, which brought together the surviving members of the group.

With the band’s sound and message embroidered into the tapestry of the American ethos, it’s easy to understand The Beach Boys’ popularity. Anthemic songs like “God Only Knows,” or earworms such as “Wouldn’t It be Nice,” are timeless classics that never age past the day they were first played.

Over the years, The Beach Boys have amassed a number of accolades, including a 1988 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

So get ready, Chautauqua, because The Beach Boys are bringing some good vibrations to the Amp tonight, and everyone is invited to join in the celebration.

Harvard Professor Sarah Lewis Examines Representation in, and Power of, Art and Images

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Sarah Lewis, author of “The Rise” and guest editor of Aperture’s “Vision & Justice” issue, speaks about the power of images in the history of racial identity and justice Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019 on the Amphitheater stage. DAVE MUNCH/PHOTO EDITOR

When Charles Black Jr. was 16 years old, he went to a dance at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas. It was there that, instead of socializing with young women as he intended to do, Black became so transfixed by one trumpet-player that he would later describe the performance as an encounter with “genius.”

The man he saw perform that night was Louis Armstrong, and Black — who would join the legal team of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case, as well as become one of the preeminent constitutional lawyers of the United States — cited that evening at the Driskill Hotel as the day he “began walking toward the Brown case, where (he) belonged.”

Sarah Lewis, an award-winning scholar, best-selling author, and professor at Harvard University, offered this anecdote during her 10:45 a.m. Tuesday lecture in the Amphitheater as an example of “what aesthetic force can do.” For the second morning lecture in a week titled “Exploring Race and Culture with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center,” Lewis distilled for the Amp audience the “Vision & Justice” course she teaches at Harvard — a class that the school incorporated into its core curriculum after the Aperture issue of the same name, guest edited by Lewis, garnered nationwide acclaim in 2016.

Among the individuals Lewis thanked at the beginning of her lecture — including a former Harvard student who attended the talk even though, as Lewis noted, he is “not being graded anymore” — was her grandfather Shadrach Emmanuel Lee. As a junior at a Brooklyn public high school in 1926, Lee asked his teacher why the representations of excellence that filled his history textbooks were exclusively white. His teacher told him that African Americans had accomplished nothing to warrant their inclusion. Lee refused to accept that answer, and was later expelled for “impertinence” after asking again and again.

“He went on to become a jazz musician, playing bass, and a painter,” Lewis said. “And here I am, two generations later, teaching at Harvard University about the very topics that he was expelled for asking about. I’d like to just think it’s a testament to what is still possible in this country.”

Images are integral to the affirmation of humanity’s dignity, Lewis argued, adopting the framework her grandfather employed in the early 20th century. She recalled a question a Chautauquan had asked Wynton Marsalis during the question-and-answer period after Marsalis’ 10:45 a.m. lecture on Monday in the Amp: “At the age of 70, what can we do to improve this country, besides voting and donating?”

After acknowledging that both voting and donating are important acts of citizenship, Lewis introduced another action the audience could perform in the service of racial justice and freedom in the United States — “To question what you see, why you see it, and what it means.”

“I’m going to ask you to do this because we are in an urgent, almost perilous moment,” Lewis said. “This country has been in such moments before, yet this particular one has a distinct character. It offers near-daily reminders that the fragility of American rights has not only been secured by norms and laws, but by how we judge — how we quite literally see each other. And how we refuse to see each other.”

Art can help overcome “the blind spot around our privilege shaped exactly like us,” Lewis said, by not only illuminating “what we already know,” but also “what we don’t know we don’t know.” This was the central question of a trip Lewis and her students took to Washington, D.C. In preparation for their visit, which included a tour of the Capitol Rotunda, Lewis showed her students a short clip in which a diverse group of Americans read an excerpt of the Declaration of Independence. The video reveals that each person gathered in that room is a living descendant of one of the original Declaration signers, all of whom were white men. It pauses on the still of these contemporary Americans positioned like their ancestors in John Trumbull’s 1818 painting “Declaration of Independence.” The image, in Lewis’ words, looks like “the world has rushed in.”

Around the time of the creation of this painting — one of the pieces currently showcased in the Rotunda — citizenship necessitated that one had to be white, male and own property.

“What is the definition of the journey between 1790, and the current day?” Lewis asked. “Has the enlargement of the idea of citizenship — of who counts and who belongs — just been a legal narrative, a series of amendments? Or has it been a cultural one?”

As an art historian, Lewis admitted her bias for the latter portrayal, and spent the remainder of her lecture arguing for culture’s role in determining the “health” of a representative democracy.

“Representative democracy has also meant measuring life through representation itself,” Lewis said. “What we put on stages becomes our collective currency to assess who we are.”

She characterized the story of Black and Armstrong as an example of art as a catalyst for justice, and the detailed plan of a 17th century slave ship, “Description Of A Slave Ship,” as “evidentiary proof of slavery’s inhumanity.” NASA and William Anders’ 1968 photograph, “Earthrise,” helped galvanize the environmental movement by “(having) enough coalescing force to do what rational argument alone could not.”

In December 1861, Frederick Douglass — who was the most photographed man of the 19th century — made the case for the role of images in advancing society. At the beginning of the Civil War, an age during which the new science of photography was weaponized to cement racial hierarchies, Douglass contended that it is inside the gap between “the fact of life” and “the ideal” where “moral imagination” can emerge.

By sitting for photographs, Douglass “was subverting the stereotypes that were being hardened through these images with his own body,” Lewis said. According to her, he is “one of the earliest art historians focused on racial justice in this country.”

Martin Luther King Jr. was an artist too, Lewis claimed, as she shared a copy of his seminary transcript, which documents the C+ and C grades King received for two public speaking classes.

“It occurred to me that we would be nowhere in this country without the power of the arts to overcome collective failure,” she said. “And here, of course, the arts include the power of oratory and the style, distinctive as it was in the body of King.”

In 2015, the photography magazine Aperture asked Lewis to guest edit an issue. Initially, she declined. She agreed when Aperture allowed her “to focus on this understudied nexus of vision and justice.”

“The centuries-long effort to craft an image, to give honor to the full humanity of black life is, in and of itself, a corrective task for which, as Douglass knew, the camera has been central — even indispensable,” Lewis said, before exhibiting a few chosen images from the Infinity Prize-winning issue, including Awol Erizku’s “Girl with the Bamboo Earring” and photos by Pete Souza, chief official White House photographer for President Barack Obama. 

“Understanding that relationship of race and the quest for full citizenship in this country requires an advanced state of literacy,” Lewis said. “It’s especially important today as we’ve been able to witness injustices in a firsthand fashion on a massive scale, via technology that would have been unimaginable decades ago.”

The viral dissemination of Eric Garner’s 2014 killing by a New York City Police Department officer, as well as Dylann Roof’s self-styled portraits before murdering nine African Americans at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, are significant spaces of potential visual analyses, Lewis said. Such considerations become all the more important, she argued, when we know that every two minutes, Americans alone take more photographs than were made in the entire 19th century.

“How many went to Selma because they were moved by an image of injustice on the television?” Lewis asked. “How many figures like Charles Black Jr. were struck still by the power of the arts to deliver a message that rational argument could not?”

Turning to art censored by the U.S. government as a testament to the image’s capacity to inform society, Lewis displayed photographs that chronicled the internment of Japanese Americans. One, a 1942 photograph by Dorothea Lange, framed a large sign placed in the window of a store. The sign reads, in all caps, “I am an American.” The store belonged to Tatsuro Matsuda, a man forced to evacuate Oakland, California, as a result of Executive Order 9066.

“Although the sign was hung as a public plea to his neighbors, the empty street suggests that no one was listening,” Lewis said, reading from a short essay one of her students wrote about the photograph. “The photograph’s impartiality mimics the distance between former neighbors and fellow citizens. The sign, too, functions as a memorial — what was once a proud statement of presence, of ‘I Am,’ now becomes a somber lesson in the futility of Japanese Americans’ fight for citizenship.”

In the final portion of her lecture, Lewis shared images of Thomas Crawford’s sculpture, “The Indian: The Dying Chief Contemplating the Progress of Civilization,” and a wall of jars of soil — an aspect of The National Memorial for Peace and Justice — that honors victims of lynching in every county in Alabama. Circling back to her field trip to D.C., Lewis spoke about standing at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and looking out to see the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in the distance.

“My colleague Tina Campt reminds us that, in the context of race, possibility comes with an examination not just of the future tense — ‘what will be’ — or even the future perfect tense — ‘that which will have happened’ — but what she refers to as the future real conditional — ‘that which will have had to have happened,’ ” Lewis said. “It is, as she argues, an orientation towards ‘what should be true.’ It involves living the future as an imperative, rather than a subjunctive. As a striving for the future you want to see right now, in the present.”

To conclude, Lewis played a video created by her students — a series of images set to a recording of John F. Kennedy’s eulogy for Robert Frost, a speech that is often titled “Power and Poetry.”

“I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of our citizens,” Kennedy narrated, as photographs of James Baldwin and Serena Williams flashed on the screen. “And I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world — not only for its strength, but for its civilization as well. And I look forward to a world which will be safe not only for democracy and diversity, but also for personal distinction.”

History Hidden in Plain Sight: Debby Irving Speaks About her ‘Waking up Process’

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Debby Irving, author of the book, “Waking Up White,” speaks to her chautauqua audience about her experiences realizing that there was more she could, and should, be doing to make the world more equal for people of color and minorities during her afternoon lecture on Monday, Aug 19, 2019 in the Hall of Philosophy. ALEXANDER WADLEY/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

U.S. history, at times, can be a distorted history. Everybody knows that Martin Luther King Jr. “had a dream” — that one day, all people would be free of race-based judgment. It’s a “beautiful aspiration,” according to Debby Irving, but it’s also one that is advantageous to white people.

“This is all I heard, that he had a dream,” Irving said. “And I could say it: That one day we would judge each other by the content of our character and not the color of our skin, which is a beautiful aspiration — and that’s also really convenient for people who want to be colorblind.”

Growing up, Irving, racial justice educator and author of Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race, never knew about King outside of how he was portrayed by white people.

“What I didn’t know about, for instance, with Dr. King was his incredible body of work around power,” Irving said, “and his power analysis, called the ‘triple evils,’ in which militarism, racism and poverty cycle together — it’s kind of a three-part synergy holding racism in place.”

Irving spoke to Chautauquans about her “waking up process” on Monday in the Hall of Philosophy. She began her process after the first inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009 — a time when she saw people in her “white circles and spaces” who were “clinking wine glasses to being a post-racial country.”

For reasons she couldn’t explain at the time, this didn’t feel right to her. As someone from the Norman Rockwell-esque suburb of Winchester, Massachusetts, she would need to build the necessary understanding and vocabulary to unpack this feeling.

Irving described herself as the U.S. “poster child” of the uninformed, and “waking up white” is how she describes her process of becoming more attuned to race and racism. As a child, she formulated ideas about race without anyone even uttering the word “race” — Winchester was an affluent suburb north of Boston, where talking about racism was considered rude.

“Now, imagine somebody coming to my town and saying to me, ‘Oh Debby, this is where you grew up? My God, all I see is racism,’ ” Irving said.

Had she chosen to respond, Irving would have said something like, “It’s comments like that, that keep (racism) alive. If you would stop talking about it, racism would go away.”

Her childhood normalized Irving into whiteness — everything and everybody around her resembled what she had learned to be all-American, from figures like Rockwell, a white illustrator whose work was regularly featured in publications like The Saturday Evening Post.

“I’m seeing these images, and how convenient for me that what I’m being told is all-American looks exactly like my house — and my neighborhood, and my parents,” Irving said. “Everywhere I go, I’m having my own version of the all-American life being reflected back at me.”

Irving never asked, “Mom and Dad, where is everybody?” She never asked why all her parents’ friends were white, why all her friends were white, why all the teachers and the doctors were white. Not asking these questions is what it means to be normalized into whiteness.

“When I use the term ‘whiteness,’ I don’t just mean the optics of whiteness,” Irving said. “I mean all of the cultural behaviors; the beliefs about what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s appropriate and inappropriate. Who’s beautiful, who’s not. All of those norms are being baked into me and my belief system, without me knowing it.”

And like many children, she was taught to be polite, to never complain or be unpleasant. Talking about politics and religion, which are foundational to the perpetuation of racism, in polite company was, and still is, considered taboo, which severs any and all pathways to discussing racism.

“These are ways that I remained in an information vacuum my entire childhood,” Irving said.

This was the post-World War II era, amidst prevalent rhetoric about the possibilities of people from all over the world coming to America and seeking refuge. The United States was portrayed as a safe harbor for all people — those willing to put in the hard work necessary — to pursue the American Dream.

Because of her surroundings and environment, Irving unconsciously bought into the idea that one particular type of person — a white, cis, Christian man — was naturally, or biologically, more valuable than others.

“I think we need to meet the times where we are, and we are in a very tense time,” Irving said. “I am not going to mince words — I want to give you what my definition of ‘white supremacy’ is.”

Despite being raised by loving people, she believes that she was raised in a white supremacist household; a household that upheld the ideology that all people are not created equal. That white people are superior to others. And the modern era continues to uphold the idea that certain people have more value than others — Irving told Chautauquans to “merely look at the currency” in their wallets.

From day-to-day interactions, like Irving standing up at book signings to shake the first white man’s hand that she encounters, to the whitewashing of important historical moments and information, white supremacist ideology runs deep in American life.

The chosen narrative of King is just one example. Other aspects of American history, such as “Black Wall Street,” a thriving and affluent black neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the early 20th century where numerous successful businesses existed, have been left out of the American historical narrative.

If people, like Irving, don’t understand Black Wall Street’s proliferation and ultimate disintegration as a result of white rage, in addition to the hundreds of situations that have disadvantaged black people, then they are “sitting ducks” in the level of discrimination present in the United States.

“The other thing that I am a sitting duck for is not even seeing the systems that have been structured all around me to advantage families like mine,” Irving said. “I don’t know anyone who had a harder time wrapping their heads around systemic racism than me. The thing that finally helped me understand it has to do with the G.I. Bill.”

Officially known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, the G.I. Bill was designed to benefit World War II veterans in a number of areas, such as housing and education.

“I want to focus on the housing portion of the G.I. Bill,” Irving said. “Black and brown veterans were largely cut out of the G.I. Bill, even though it said nowhere in it that it was a white-only bill, because there were already barriers all through U.S. systems that made it nearly impossible for black and brown returning veterans to access it.”

These preexisting barriers stem back to the Great Depression, when the New Deal took a heavy focus on erecting new housing and infrastructure across the country.

“(The suburbanization of the U.S.) is all happening, and the FHA, the Federal Housing Authority, and also a loan-arm of the government, got created because, ‘How do we get people coming out of a depression to buy a home?’ ” Irving said. “We have to make a loan, and that loan gets named the mortgage.”

With the mortgage, the FHA needed a set of risk guidelines to assure the government and banks didn’t lose out on their loans.

“The FHA decides — and writes this into their document — that the presence of even one or two non-white families can undermine real estate values,” Irving said. “And so with that government warning in mind, private banks all over the country lay out maps of their cities and towns, and they engage in a practice known as redlining.”

Black neighborhoods were the ones redlined, or the ones whose residents were systematically denied financial services, leaving white neighborhoods to be advantaged.

Filling in these historical gaps, Irving said, allows people to change their perceptions on economic inequality, which didn’t result from white people working harder than others, but rather four centuries of governmental policies that have “intentionally and unintentionally diverted wealth to white, wealthy people again and again and again.”

History has been hiding in plain sight, according to Irving.

“It’s a horrific history,” Irving said, “and the longer we deny it, I believe the more horrible it becomes, and I’m all for leaning into that now.”

Irving said she believes in shifting resources, and that reparations have to be “both material and psychological.” But she also said there’s more internal work that white people can start now and continue to work on every day: to normalize talking about race in a productive and progressive manner; to understand the prejudices and social normalization that not only live within society, but also oneself; and to understand that this work is a layered journey.

“I have come to love the truth, no matter how painful — and it can be incredibly painful — because of that old adage that ‘the truth will set us free’; there’s also something about when the truth gets told,” Irving said. “It unleashes a kind of energy that propels us to the next layer.”

Guest Critic: In Rossen Milanov’s Final Concert of Season, CSO and Michelle Johnson Give Strauss Works ‘Life in Death’

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Review by Anthony Bannon:

The footing is difficult; the way to death is not easy, or clear. Art in its first, unique moments is difficult — as if finding one’s way into a new night.

A small end-of-season and under-threat-of-rain audience heard Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra first-class music filling the empty seats and the humid air of the Amphitheater’s huge space and beyond. 

The concert awakened dogs.

Soprano Michelle Johnson suggested, when she last performed here, that the CSO interpret Richard Strauss’ “Four Last Songs,” among the most extraordinary in the repertory of concert music, in good measure because of what it asks of the fragile relationship between orchestra and soloist, each to their roles, each in ensemble, each truly caring for the art of the other. It was a masterful, unforgettable experience.

Yes, it was, as billed, “Sensational Strauss,” though the two works at play summoned cerebral ideas of the first and the last: The beginnings of ideas and their last breath. The composer’s “Four Last Songs” were indeed Strauss’ last compositions, with lyrics for three by the poet with whom he shared so much of life’s direction, Hermann Hesse (1877-1962). The fourth song is by the deep Romantic Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff (1788-1857), who spares no fine words within his “At Sunset”: 

“The great peace here is wide and still / and rich with glowing sunsets: / If this is death, having had our fill / of getting lost, we find beauty — No regrets.”

This review is not about the waltz king from Vienna.

The German composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949) sought profound guides to aid his passage, sought poets, wise men, even a prophet. Zoroaster, the Persian thinker from 1500 to 1000 B.C.E., was a selected prophet, discovered in the novel of a fellow traveler, Fredrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), the German philosopher whose recognition of the complexity, the contradictions and the shifting understandings in life had great influence. The two men — Strauss and Nietzsche — realized Zoroaster’s call for a self-aware search for truth, not rule-bound, but free.

A history of ideas cites Zoroastrianism as among the prototypical philosophies. One finds it in the Greeks, where an actively examined life is engaged by thought, word and deed as keys to an often contrary search for truth. This much also was central for such as Voltaire, William Butler Yeats and Jean-Philippe Rameau.

Strauss had been moved by one of Nietzsche’s novels, written between 1883 and 1885. And Strauss responded by using the same title for his influential work, fully entitled “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” Tone Poem (Freely After Fredrich Nietzsche) for Large Orchestra, in 1896. It holds a good bit of complex wisdom but does not presume to illustrate the philosopher’s poetic voice. Strauss had plenty within his own voice. Sometimes too much.

Strauss had entered the stride of his creative life. He had heard Johannes Brahms and was moved by the emotional depth of a powerful romanticism. He abided by the work of Richard Wagner, particularly in its interpretive referencing to nature. Aware of the dissolution of his time, Strauss responded in voice with Hesse and Nietzsche, expecting the hero, an Overlord, to overcome uncertainty.

For “Zarathustra,” Strauss created huge entrance, the sunrise theme that now is iconic. It has become a sign of a transformative higher power, that dawning moment memorialized in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” as well as in its conclusion, when “Star-Child” was born. 

The Massey Memorial Organ, a symphonic instrument within the Amphitheater, holds more than 5,600 pipes. Its estimable presence, a resonant voice that is felt as much as heard, created a base to venture toward such a heroic understanding.

The performance was Saturday evening, in the last hour of Sabbath. The orchestra performed with ringing clarity, crisp enunciation from the crucial trumpet call that is so well-known, and a knockout summation. 

Plucked strings harshly, and a call of crows from beyond the Amphitheater, the audience freshened for the following ascendant grace, a passage called “The Great Longing,” proclaiming the good, as well as anticipating a countering discord. Such is the repeated challenge for the 33-minute-long tone poem. Heard with focus upon Strauss’ era, uncertain about its direction — with its new technology and its industry yet finding balance — “Zarathustra” asserts a will to persevere and struggle, manifest in the warrior spirit of a leader Nietzsche named “Overman.”

And outside the Amp, the sounds of a flight of geese. A great longing in the strings, and the yap of a small dog.

The orchestra’s work is to order the jagged narrative of the work. A sample of eight topics shows “The Great Longing,” followed by “Joys and Passions,” whereupon “The Song of the Grave” giving way to thoughts “Of Science and Learning.” Then at the last, “The Dance Song” and “Song of the Night Wanderer.” A swirling complexity of learning, shrill, painful experience, a repose, the sounds of birds and a darkness of doubt. An awful lot is managed, and under the baton of CSO Conductor and Music Director Rossen Milanov, a standup, learned performance.

“Zarathustra” requires both elation and pain. Music has its right to require a world from its listeners, including promise of confusion and quiet; chaos with calm. Solutions may be hidden, riddles especially about sequence and development. And the puzzle may be repeated another way. At least opened, the poem then comes to an end. Extraordinary.

Michelle Johnson, the returning soprano, had opened the evening with death’s development. Strauss was notoriously opportunistic and loathsome. But his selection of Hesse’s poems “Spring” and “September” point toward a finally tranquil understanding of time’s passage. From “Spring”:

“I feel the healing touch / Of softer days, warm and tender/ My limbs tremble — happily, too much — / As I stand inside your splendor.”

And from “September”:

“With a final glance at the roses – / too weak to care, it longs for peace – / then, with darkness wherever it gazes, / summer slips into sleep.”

Then, in “When I Go to Sleep”:

“Now that day has exhausted me / I give myself over, a tired child …”

The majesty of the CSO with Ms. Johnson cites the miracle of spring with the miracle of the soprano’s voice. It finds openings to emerge from the orchestra, to counterpoint an instrument or to play as one with a section. The listener finds her within the violins, within the woodwinds, and then rise above and locate a beat or a breath as a time to emerge, and the orchestra swells.

Nietzsche spoke of his understanding of Zarathustra’s teaching as if it was “All,” or it was “Nothing.”

An orchestra, a team, is all, with each its recognized part. Or it is nothing. With the CSO’s fine work, this death cannot be proud, for there remains life, surely a life of art, within it. Ms. Johnson’s voice never forces its play, it sounds through its appearance a moment with all of its possibilities, always in company with the orchestra, never without. 

Ms. Johnson stood center stage with head slightly lifted, slowly regarding the curve of the space. She came to her part, entered, and gave it presence until completed, just 24 minutes.

There is an aesthetic to duration. Few, artists included, know how it works. But these songs were perfect. How much time is necessary to suggest there is life in death? The artists and their director had the answer.

Dr. Anthony Bannon received his undergraduate degree from St. Bonaventure University, and his advanced degrees in media studies and cultural studies from the English Department at the University at Buffalo. He is director emeritus at George Eastman Museum and the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State. His new book, Portraits: William Coupon, features collected photographs from the artist’s long career with TIME magazine, and thereafter with tribal and countercultures around the world. It will launch at 7 p.m. Sept. 26 in the Burchfield-Penney.

Incoming Board Chair Candy Maxwell Talks Hopes for Tenure and Strategic Plan Work

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Candy Maxwell, shown Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, is the incoming chair of the Chautauqua Institution Board of Trustees. DAVE MUNCH/PHOTO EDITOR

Chautauqua Institution is opening a new chapter led by new faces, new initiatives and new plans. Helping to spearhead this new direction is incoming Board of Trustees Chair Candy Maxwell, who, in October of 2018, completed eight years of service on the board. 

Maxwell is a strategic adviser by trade, with more than 30 years of experience in business, leadership, governance, policy and strategy. Most recently, Maxwell served on the Strategic Planning Working Group, a 13-member committee who worked for 18 months to formulate the 150 Forward strategic plan.

Maxwell’s tenure marks the first female board chair in the Institution’s nearly 150-year history. Her term begins Oct. 1, when she’ll take over for outgoing, term-limited Chair Jim Pardo.


How did you discover Chautauqua Institution?

My husband and I started coming here in 2001, actually. He introduced me to the Institution — he actually worked here while he was in college. So we started coming here, and like many people, we came first for a week and then two weeks, and just kept on building up over time.

I just almost instantly grew to love the place for everything it has to offer. It’s really become a red thread that has been part of our life since that time. It was a place that, for me, gave me all the opportunity for lifelong learning, but also a place where I could really relax and unwind, reflect on and examine how I wanted to show up in the world.

It’s been a very important part of both of our lives for a number of years.


What’s your elevator pitch to people who have never been to Chautauqua?

Chautauqua is a unique place that brings together important conversations around essential issues of our day, but explores them in a way that engages all learning and experiences of the four pillars, taking a look at it through thought, leadership and debate and discussion through the arts, through recreation and even religious studies.

It’s a multidimensional, multifaceted way of thinking about the world, experiencing the world and, at the same time, a place in which you can connect with family and friends in a very meaningful way — just the environment itself lends itself to that kind of an experience. You slow down and can be with the people that really matter to you.


What does being board chair mean to you, and how would you describe your role?

I’m incredibly honored to be serving in this role. I, just last year, completed eight years of service on the board of trustees and have an enormous amount of respect for the work that we do and the importance that we play in the overall functioning of the organization and the strategy of the organization.

Coming in as board chair, for me, being able to continue much of that work and to do so in an expanded leadership position in a time that’s very important for the Institution, is deeply meaningful. We have a robust, dynamic strategic plan that is really future-looking and that really examines the role of the Institution as we move forward. I was fortunate enough to have a role in that work that led up to the final strategic plan.

I think as board chair, I think of there being two major responsibilities: to establish and to support an effective and well-working relationship with President Michael E. Hill and to make sure that there is that communication and partnership with the board and with senior leadership within the organization. I think also it’s to ensure that we exercise good governance with respect to our oversight function and that we fully leverage the talents — the extreme talents — around the board table with respect to the trustees, and that we really use all of that in a unique way of guiding the Institution forward, overseeing the strategy and strategy implementation and making sure that in the president, we have great leadership that’s going to bring the organization to that point where we see success as we’ve outlined in the plan.


How have you been involved with the strategic plan prior to your appointment to board chair, and how will you be involved with it during your tenure?

I was involved in a group that was put together by current Chair Jim Pardo to work in great detail on the strategic plan itself, so a lot of that was taking everything that we heard from the community last year from the forums and using that, as well as our own assessment of the environment and the unique attributions of Chautauqua, to come up with a strategic plan. So I was on the working group that was heavily involved with that and finally brought the plan to the board for approval back in May.

As I look forward, one of the things I’ve been doing this summer is chairing a working group that looks at the way in which we’re going to implement the strategic plan, specifically acting as advisers to the president’s team. Particularly, we’re working with Chief of Staff and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Shannon Rozner, who will be closely involved in the implementation of the strategic plan to make sure that there will be appropriate mechanisms and overall approach in the way we’re going to identify strategic initiatives, evaluate them in their context of the plan and monitor and oversee their implementation.

That’s been a major effort of my own, as well as this group, during this summer. Our work will continue into the fall with respect to the way in which the board should oversee that implementation. Again, this is not to look at specific initiatives — it’s really to make sure that an infrastructure and an approach is in place in the organization that will yield effective initiatives as we move forward.

In the fall and into my first year, the implementation itself is obviously one of the highest priorities; and in that context, we’re really looking at how initiatives are going to be coming to the board for consideration, how we’re going to make decisions around those initiatives in terms of prioritization and sequencing and funding, and then how we’re going to actually monitor them and maintain oversight of them on an ongoing basis. That will be a major effort as we get into the fall and into early next year.

In addition to that, one of the areas that I’ve been focused on quite a bit is making sure that we have effective infrastructure and effective governance around the addition of the development function within the Institution. Specifically, we have a development council, which is, I think, a very important group on the board — it’s made up of trustees, as well as Foundation directors; and then myself and Tim Renjilian, (incoming chair of the Foundation board of directors), who I very much look forward to working with, will also be part of that group.

I foresee a lot of effort going into this first year of really working through the steps that are necessary to establish good governance, good oversight of the development function and also the fact that it’s such an important objective within our overall plan. I see that as really being a major area of emphasis in this first year as well.


What are your hopes and goals for your first year?

I think, for me, what’s important is that we have a board that fully leverages the talents of the board members, that people are able to contribute in ways that are meaningful for them, but also really important and essential for the Institution. That includes empowering committees to do the work of the board, establishing good relationships between the board and the staff and establishing good mechanisms for overseeing the work of the Institution and practicing our role as trustees in that. That includes what we need to see as a board to believe we’re practicing good oversight. How do we function as committees, how do we preserve and build upon the successes we’ve had in the past several years and the financial stability we’ve been able to achieve?

That means that the board as a whole, and then each individual trustee, is going to need to be attentive to those dynamics, particularly as we move into the implementation phase of the strategic plan. That’s really my hope — that we are able to build on, what I think is, a highly effective board and continue to strengthen our contribution to the Institution through our oversight and governance.


How do you hope to see the Institution evolve over your tenure?

It really is reflected in the strategic plan; I really do hope that we can continue to improve upon the summer assembly experience — through the guest experience, through the programming, through the offering of our other pillars — to be the best we can be and, of course, to look at ways we can share the experiences of Chautauqua as a convener out in the broader world. I think if we can become known, in no uncertain terms, as that convener, as that party that can bring together diverse views and have a conversation, … I will consider us to have made increasing significant mark in the nation.

I think that at the same time, I would love to see increased diversity in terms of intergenerational diversity, as well as racial, ethnic and other types of diversity — that’s such an important element of who we are and something that’s obviously very important for us. As we move forward,  I think (we need) to be able to reflect upon on the sustainability of this place, the ability to be able to find our support — not only from our own revenue from the summer assembly season — through increased philanthropy of all sorts, as well as other earned revenue sources that we have only begun to pursue and to look at. My hopes are really not different from those outlined in the strategic plan. I think we have a very aggressive set of goals by 2024, and so we have a lot of work to do and we need to get to work in order to make that a reality.


What does being the first woman board chair mean to you?

I really appreciate and honor this role I’m playing as the first woman chair of the (board of trustees) and I have also been so grateful for the excitement that’s been expressed by the community in terms of my election. The support I’ve received already, before I’ve come into this role, has oftentimes been overwhelming for me, in a very positive way. I take this role as the first woman very seriously and also feel that I am prepared to take on this work. I celebrate with the community. I think this is a really important development, and of course, I fully intend to live up to those expectations.


What gets you out of bed in the morning?

I think for me — obviously, like many people —  making a difference, but in a way that I can experience it largely through other people and through place and through working with and through others. I really enjoy that — that’s one of the things I really enjoy about coming into this position, is that the work that is to be done, is to be done through the expertise of others. For me, it’s about a constant zeal for learning and also a desire that I have to do that in community, through and in partnership with other people.

As far as this new role that I have, the ability to engage and to create and to dream and to make things happen with and through others is really what motivates me.

Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and CSO to Explore ‘Asphalt Jungle’ of New York City

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Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra perform “I’ve Got Rhythm” at 8:15 P.M. on Thursday, August 25, 2016, in the Amphitheater. The band played to a packed house. Photo by Carolyn Brown.

Just 300 miles from Chautauqua, New York City is growing and changing. Tonight, two orchestras will bring the city to the Amphitheater.

In its last concert of the year, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra will be joined by jazz composer Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and guest conductor Cristian Măcelaru to perform “The Jungle” — an intense, wary exploration of New York City, at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, August 20 in the Amp.

“The Jungle” premiered in late 2016 with the New York Philharmonic, and has since seen only a handful of performances. Tonight, the piece will be performed in full for the first time in 2019.

Marsalis is a New Orleans-born composer and conductor. He is the winner of nine Grammy awards, and is the only musician in history to receive both jazz and classical Grammy Awards in the same year — which he accomplished twice.

For Marsalis, New York City is a place like no other — a huge, shifting, high-pressure city.

“New York City is the most fluid, pressure-packed and cosmopolitan metropolis the modern world has ever seen,” Marsalis wrote in his notes for the original program.

The city of almost 9 million is a hub for culture, trade and information of all sorts. Marsalis wrote that its social connections pass along ideas at lightning speed.

“The dense mosaic of all kinds of people everywhere doing all kinds of things encourages you to ‘stay in your lane,’ but the speed, freedom and intensity of our relationships to each other — and to the city itself — forces us onto a collective superhighway unlike any other in our country,” Marsalis wrote.

And any superhighway can be dangerous. Marsalis wrote that “The Jungle” is darker than some of his previous compositions, drawing from inequality and violence in the city — ills that could stunt an evolving society.

“It considers the possibility that we may not be up to overcoming the challenges of social and racial inequality, tribal prejudices, and endemic corruption,” Marsalis wrote. “We may choose to perish in a survival-of-the-fittest, asphalt-jungle-style battle for what is perceived as increasingly scarce resources, instead of coming together to create unlimited assets and to enjoy the cultural ascendancy that our form of democracy makes conceivable.”

“The Jungle” is Marsalis’ fourth symphony. Like some of his previous compositions, it features what he describes as “blues-tinged melodies,” “jazz and fiddle improvisations” and a variety of different musical styles and forms.

Like Marsalis’ metropolitan muse, “The Jungle” is a mosaic of different characteristics: various styles of blues and swing fused with the classical symphony. For New York Times reviewer Anthony Tommasini, Marsalis managed to “for the most part (find) the sweet spot.”

“The vernacular elements sounded freshest when Mr. Marsalis folded them into passages of symphonic mass, with thick, pungent chords and boldly fractured phrases,” Tommasini wrote. “Reflective passages full of poignant melodic turns and blues-tinged, plushly orchestrated harmonies alternate with vibrantly jazzy, fidgety episodes.”

Măcelaru will return to Chautauqua to conduct “The Jungle.” He said the piece is exciting on multiple levels, from its technical elements to emotional sound.

“In (‘The Jungle’), I find a world of contributing voices that together form a unique tapestry of sounds, emotions, feelings,” Măcelaru said. “I am looking forward to immersing myself again in this vast world of musical gestures that span centuries of musical forms, from fugues to shuffles, and passacaglia lines to the blues. It is truly a remarkable work of art, not just in its technical aspect, but also on a deep emotional level, a spiritual journey of sorts.”

Măcelaru is the music director and conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. For him, contemporary compositions like “The Jungle” are built from the same timeless motivations as their classical counterparts.

“I conduct Marsalis for the same reason I conduct Alban Berg and Beethoven: I am interested in their narrative,” Măcelaru said. “Music is simply the language we use to communicate these deep, unique emotions, which cannot be expressed in words. To limit ourselves in experiencing every voice is to deny our most basic human desire — connecting with each other.”

Marsalis is the music director and conductor of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Chris Crenshaw, a trombonist with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, says performances of “The Jungle” change with every orchestra.

“We’ve performed it with other orchestras around the world, and it’s different every time,” Crenshaw said. “Every orchestra we’ve performed it with has their own approach — their own take. We’re looking forward to performing it with (the CSO) and hearing their interpretation, and for them to hear our interpretation.”

R&B Artist Alex Harris to Perform as Part of Family Entertainment Series

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Harris

For Alex Harris, music is more than a form of entertainment.

Since he was 7, the rhythm and blues artist has had a passion for the way that music can speak when other words fail. Whether it’s through his chart-topping soul songs that soothe the spirits of his listeners, or through efforts like founding the Arts Conservatory for Teens — which seeks to improve the lives of young artists throughout his home state of Florida — Harris has wielded music as a tool for good.

Now, Harris is bringing his musical stylings and soulful energy to Chautauqua Institution as a part of the Family Entertainment Series, in partnership with the African American Heritage House. He’ll be taking the stage at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 20 in Smith Wilkes Hall, and providing audiences with an assortment of songs in his smooth, Southern style.

As an artist who is well-versed working with young people and performing for a crowd, Harris will fuse his two passions to bring Chautauquans a family-friendly show aimed at feeding the soul.

In one of his behind-the-scenes videos on his website, Harris said his music draws inspiration from his experiences growing up around church music.

“What I like to express is my own, personal experience,” Harris said in the video. “That experience runs deep with my roots in gospel; growing up in church, hand-clapping, foot-stomping, tambourine, shouting, ‘Amen, hallelujah.’ ”

He went on to say that the community-building hymns of churches share some similarities with the R&B and soul music he makes now.

“It’s just great music that ‘feeds’ the soul of anyone who listens,” Harris said in 2016, ahead of a performance at the Palladium in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Having opened for performers like Al Green and Aretha Franklin, Harris’ music has been enjoyed across the country by young and old alike. He’s capable of covering famous pieces like the works of Otis Redding and Ray Charles, while also producing original songs that have topped the American Blues Network Charts and landed in the top 20 songs nationwide.

Harris said being able to mix existing work and personal experience is part and parcel of an artist’s job.

“As artists, we are re-creators of what’s already been created,” Harris said in his behind-the-scenes video. “We’re taking words, we’re taking experiences and we’re observing and participating.” 

Those interested in seeing Harris perform are in for an evening of rhythm, blues and tapping their shoes.

“Expect to experience something you have never experienced before,” Harris said before his 2016 Palladium show. “It’s fun, it’s magical, it’s soul.”

Wynton Marsalis Opens Week with Thematic Preview of ‘Ever Fonky Lowdown’

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Wynton Marsalis, managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and world-renowned trumpeter and composer, speaks about “The Ever Fonky Lowdown” Monday, Aug. 19, 2019 on the Amphitheater stage. DAVE MUNCH/PHOTO EDITOR

Wynton Marsalis was 22 years old when he won his first two Grammy Awards, becoming, in 1983, the only artist to ever win for both jazz and classical records. His father, Ellis Marsalis Jr., attended the ceremony in Los Angeles, but was careful to avoid feeding his second-eldest son’s ego.

“I was looking at him and he said, ‘I hope you don’t think that this means you can play,’ ” Marsalis said, quoting Ellis. “I’m so happy to have him here, because he is always for real.”

With his father watching from the audience, Marsalis considered the state of truth and freedom in America as he opened the final week of Chautauqua Institution’s 2019 season — “Exploring Race and Culture with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center” — with a lecture at 10:45 a.m. Monday, August 19 in the Amphitheater.

Marsalis structured his talk around an in-depth explanation of “The Ever Fonky Lowdown,” an intricate, board game-style composition that, in the tradition of his Grammy Award-winning “Black Codes (From the Underground)” and 2007’s “From the Plantation to the Penitentiary,” critiques the idea of American freedom through the prism of race. Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will perform “The Ever Fonky Lowdown” at 8:15 p.m. Thursday in the Amp.

Entering the Amp gates on Monday morning, Chautauquans received a program that outlined several of the “The Ever Fonky Lowdown” details upon which Marsalis elaborated in his lecture. After an introduction from Institution President Michael E. Hill — during which Hill reminded Chautauquans to avoid “an extended jam session” during the backstage meet-and-greet — Marsalis began by expressing gratitude for his parents and for their struggle “to get not just their portion of the American Dream, but to realize the dream of living and being recognized as a human being.”

He then launched into his artistic vision for the epic piece to be performed on Thursday evening.

“ ‘The Ever Fonky Lowdown’ is a game of buying in and selling out,” Marsallis said, describing how the piece is “written in symbolic language” and revolves around “leadership exploiting followers” through bluster and the promulgation of stereotypes.

“Who is we, and who are they?” Marsalis asked. “ ‘The Ever Fonky’ examines the integrity and results of the culture we create every day by serving the tension between our dream vision, television, mythology and the underlying facts that we have actually experienced.”

The players of “The Ever Fonky” game include “The Hustler,” otherwise known as Mr. Game; the “Rubes,” or O Glorious People, Mr. Game’s followers; the “Rebel,” or activist, community organizer and civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer; and the “Savior” — the piece’s “moral compass.”

“The game is about gaining the confidence of everyday people and exploiting us into accepting a predatory narrative that creates greater wealth and comfort for us, and poverty and pathology for them,” Marsalis said.

The goal is to make “us” comfortable with that narrative, and to promote “the forever war between the haves and have-nots.”

According to Marsalis, there are seven objectives of “The Ever Fonky Lowdown,” and the achievement of those objectives determines if a player earns five available “prizes” at the game’s end.

However, no matter how a player plays, the conclusion leads back to the beginning — a “Return to start” card on loop.

First, Marsalis said, Mr. Game convinces O Glorious People to join him in the name of freedom. Then, he introduces the falsely nefarious presence of “others” as a crooked basis for community, followed by a “gang-recruiting” method of perpetrating acts of violence against those “others” in order to solidify the bonds of his expanding empire. Although O Glorious People might have qualms about their participation, they experience the associative glory, “like wearing their favorite team’s football jersey.”

Breaking laws requires that Mr. Game and his Rubes must justify their actions by rewriting legislation and reframing offensive attacks as defensive — protection against the crimes of the “others” who haunt our midst. Mr. Game forces the persecuted “others” to “get on board” and then forgoes any memory or responsibility for the horrors he has committed. 

For Marsalis, the first half of “The Ever Fonky Lowdown” ends on a note of “enjoyment and laughter,” while a voice of the dispossessed repeatedly screams, “But what would the savior think?” A disembodied voice responds: “The word is the will of God, not the will of the people.”

In the second half of the composition, Mr. Game gives players five “non-partisan prizes”: the freedom of segregation and homogenization; freedom from romance; “prime time pornography and the commodification of community”; constant surveillance; and finally, after players reject the revolutionary ideas of Fannie Lou Hamer, “freedom from thought and constructive engagement.”

Marsalis also described the “sirens” within the piece — singers who attempt to seduce with wisdom — and the three young men who dance to “represent the sweep of our youth going through the gauntlet of experiences that is ‘The Ever Fonky Lowdown.’ ”

As they dance, Marsalis said, they try to emerge from the “Lowdown” with their sanity, humanity and optimism intact — a tribute to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.

“We are the winningest winner in the whole wide world,” Marsallis said, inhabiting Mr. Game and the Glorious People in a Dr. Seussian-esque patter.

Despite the sweet-talking, con-man personality of Mr. Game, “The Ever Fonky Lowdown” is “not about (President Donald) Trump,” Marsalis clarified.

“It’s easy to put it on him,” he said. “Is the Klu Klux Klan why our education system is segregated? … Is that why our judicial system is the way it is, because of the Klan? … Is that because of the president? Or is that something in our character? Is it just us?”

That, he said, is the central question of “The Ever Fonky Lowdown” — and it’s also why audiences stop laughing as the piece moves from the first half to the second. Marsalis summarized his argument with an anecdote about Marcus Roberts, a pianist with whom he played gigs for seven years.

“Marcus said, ‘When something goes wrong on the bandstand, I just assume it’s me. So that way, I’m doing everything that I can be doing to make everything right,’ ” Marsalis said, quoting Roberts. “The twist is, you have a choice to fight for something that isn’t directly benefiting you or not.”

Tracing his journey from his childhood in New Orleans, to his adult life in New York, Marsalis confided that “all of the perspectives (in ‘The Ever Fonky Lowdown’) are things that I’ve experienced.”

“ ‘Ever Fonky’ means it is a groove that has been established across time and space,” he said. “ ‘Lowdown’ is the actual truth that exists beneath the public scope.”

Marsalis rejected the notion that the United States is the greatest country in the world, and asked what citizens can do “to rein ourselves in, in our stupidity, our greed, our callousness, our lack of concern for the condition of others as long as we don’t see them.”

“Where do we go from here?” Marsallis asked. “That’s what ‘The Ever Fonky Lowdown’ tells us and leaves us with: Where do we go from here? It’s not ‘Don’t elect Trump.’ It’s not ‘The Klansmen or the people in the middle of the country (are causing all the tension).’ There’s no real left or right. … We’re in a position, and we need to wake up, and we need to fight for the country we want to see.”

To manifest that future, he argued, people need to do more than protest online. He encouraged the audience to fight for economic justice, and to abolish mass imprisonment and indiscriminate warfare.

“We are the United States of America,” he said. “We already have a history full of blood.”

Listing normalized injustices of the modern era — presenting identification at every checkpoint, encountering a room devoid of diversity, paying $800 for a bottle of pills necessary for survival — Marsalis urged the people filling the Amp seats to constantly ask themselves: “Am I free?”

“With ‘The Ever Fonky Lowdown,’ the only thing I’m trying to do is pull the covers off of something and say, ‘Hey, let’s look at who we actually are,’ ” he said. “We’re in a tough spot. This is the time to assess who we are and step up to the plate and be for real about what we’re supposed to be about.”

Jared Jacobsen to Address Organ Skeptics in Last Tallman Mini-Concert

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Jared Jacobsen, organist and coordinator of worship and sacred music, practices for of the 2019 season. SARAH YENESEL/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Organists are sensitive to the suggestion that their instruments aren’t musical ones.

“Because it’s basically a machine,” said Jared Jacobsen, Chautauqua’s organist and coordinator of worship and sacred music. “Even the little Tallman Organ — a snooty musician who picks up his oboe, or picks up her piccolo, or picks up their saxophone, says, ‘Well, this is what I can do on mine, and you can’t do that on yours.’ ”

Since organs can’t change the shape of their embouchure, their tone or the amount of air that they’re providing to the instrument, they’re often looked down upon by musicians.

At 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, August 20 in the Hall of Christ, Jacobsen will try and combat these musical prejudices with his final Tallman Tracker Organ Mini-Recital of the season, “A musical instrument? Really??”

“I will be the first one to say that everything musicians do on their instruments, I have to give the illusion of doing it, using smoke and mirrors,” Jacobsen said. “All I have to play with is time — the length of notes, the relationship of notes to other notes.”

But even within that rigid framework, Jacobsen said he can be sophisticated with his playing.

“The title for this program leads me to something that I like to do at the beginning and end of the summer, which is to do a kind of ‘Organs for Dummies’ program, or Organ 101,” he said. “I get to show people, from scratch, how this works. I pull some pipes out of the organ and play them, and show them the difference between the flutes and reeds.”

For this Tallman Organ concert, Jacobsen said one piece to be included in the program was found in the dustbin at a garage sale: “Indian-Summer Sketch.”

“It’s by a very obscure composer, John Hyatt Brewer,” he said. “It seems to me, that at the end of the summer, it’s a nice thing to play here.”

Indian summer, according to Jacobsen, occurs around September, after a cold snap turns hot and balmy.

“The second piece I chose was ‘Variations on My Old Kentucky Home,’ by Mary Gifford,” he said. “This woman was asked to do a concert at the 1993 National Convention of the Organ Historical Society, which is a group that celebrates instruments like the Tallman that have history to them. She decided to write a set of variations on ‘My Old Kentucky Home,’ by Stephen Foster.”

The songs to be performed at today’s Tallman Organ recital are the kind of music that Jacobsen said makes for the best ending to the summer.

“It seems like a nice way to end a whole season of music on that little organ,” he said.

Thursday Morning Brass to Play Annual Concert

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Members of the Thursday Morning Brass Ensemble rehearse for their upcoming concert Aug. 15, 2019 at the Hall of Philosophy. SARAH YENESEL/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

It may be Tuesday, but that won’t stop Thursday Morning Brass from giving it their all.

At 4 p.m. Tuesday, August 20 in Fletcher Music Hall, Thursday Morning Brass — an ensemble of brass musicians so named because they rehearse on Thursday mornings — will perform its annual end-of-season concert.

The group first began over 20 years ago, when brass members of the Chautauqua Community Band decided to form their own ensemble. Since then, the band has expanded and done an annual concert every year, along with several other performances across the grounds and Chautauqua County.

On the program for today’s concert are 11 pieces hand-picked by the band’s music director and trumpet player Larry Katz. Those pieces, many of them rearranged for brass ensemble, are “Colonnade Fanfare,” composed by MJ Lenz specifically for Thursday Morning Brass; “An American in Paris,” by George Gershwin; “Bugler’s Holiday,” by Leroy Anderson; “Carmen Fantasia,” based on themes from Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen; “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” (A Little Night Music) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; “Stardust,” by Hoagy Carmichael; “Malagueña” and “Serenata,” from Isaac Albéniz’s suite “España” ; “Bossa Latao,” by Bill Holcombe; the traditional Irish song “Londonderry Air”; and a medley of music from Jerry Bock’s musical, Fiddler on the Roof.

“The program that we’re doing this year is rather eclectic,” Katz said. “It has some pop music in it, some classical music, some musical shows in it. We like to make a nice variety when we perform.”

The group will be collecting donations at the show — as they do at all of their shows — the proceeds of which go to an annual scholarship fund to sponsor a brass player in the School of Music’s Instrumental Program. Each year, this fund usually amounts to about $3,000.

An all-brass ensemble is not a common sight at Chautauqua, but it has a unique sound and timbre very unlike that of strings, piano or woodwinds.

“I love the out-frontness of the brass,” said tuba player Fred Gregory. “You can always hear the brass.  When they want to be heard, they’re out there and you can hear them. That’s what I like about them.”

Brass instruments can have a surprising lyrical quality to them, too.

“They can sound like an organ at one minute, and they can sound like a soft woodwind quintet with strings behind it — just by the controlling of the instrument itself,” Katz said.

Thursday Morning Brass, about 15 members strong, includes both professional and amateur musicians of a range of ages and from a variety of backgrounds. For example, Dan Sullivan, euphonium player, had a long career in academia and was president of St. Lawrence University before his retirement. Having not played in a band since high school, he found Thursday Morning Brass to be the perfect path into playing brass again.

“It’s a way to keep doing, in a pretty disciplined way, something that was an important part of my life a long time ago,” Sullivan said. “This is a thing to enrich my life and hopefully enrich other people’s lives, when we play well.”

For those members who have not spent their lives and careers playing music, it is a learning experience like no other.

“I’ve played senior basketball for years (and) I played baseball and football in college, but I think I’ve learned as much, or more, about teamwork working with this group as I would have in many of my sport endeavors,” Gregory said. “And I think that speaks well for music; you’ve got to listen to your musicmates to understand how everybody is going to fit together.”

This year’s performance is special for another reason; it is the final year that two of the long-term members, Charlie Tea and Paul Weber, will perform in the group. Tea, Weber and Katz, who went to college together at Carnegie Mellon University and formed Thursday Morning Brass, will play the trio “Bugler’s Holiday” as a sort of send-off to Tea and Weber, and a callback to their many years of friendship.

“We went to the same college, we graduated a few years apart, we found each other here again and now I’m saying goodbye to them,” Katz said. “That number is like the last time the three of us will be playing together.”

The end-of-season concert is usually in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, so having it in Fletcher will be a different experience for both the band and the regular audience.

“I hope (the audience has) fun,” Gregory said. “We want it to be fun, and we want them to enjoy it. … This is Americana, when you have people, like ourselves, that are out there working to play and enjoying it. And we want them to enjoy it, too.”

Retired Surgeon Sidney Holec and Volunteers Lead Weekly ‘Stop the Bleed’ Courses at Chautauqua Fire Hall

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Saving a life is as simple as A.B.C. — alert 911, identify bleeding and apply compression — according to retired general surgeon Sidney Holec.

At 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 20 as he has every Tuesday this season, in the Chautauqua Fire Hall, Holec — along with Chautauqua Institution volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians — leads “Stop the Bleed,” a national awareness and education campaign, training bystanders to help in bleeding emergencies.

Stop the Bleed is a 2015 initiative of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the American College of Surgeons. As of 2017, over 30,000 people nationwide have taken the course; more than 125 Chautauquans have taken Holec’s course so far this season, he said.

“Dying from a stoppable bleed is a common cause of death,” Holec said. “If you’re on the scene, you can stop the bleeding and stop (someone) from going into shock. There’s a point after losing so much blood, even if (they) make it to the hospital, you can’t bring them back.”

This training is extremely timely as the United States is experiencing a pandemic of mass shootings, Holec said. In just the last month, more than 30 people were killed in mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio; dozens more were injured.

In the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, Holec said several people died from stoppable bleeds; scores of lives were saved using compression during the 2017 Las Vegas shooting when a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concert-goers, killing 59 people and wounding over 500. 

“It’s sad that we’re at this point,” Holec said.

Compression requires applying intense pressure to cut off blood circulation to a wound. Holec’s class teaches two techniques: packing a wound and using a tourniquet. A tourniquet is fastened 2 to 3 inches above a wound — avoiding joints — and tightened and twisted until the bleeding ceases.

The same effect of a tourniquet can be replicated with a number of common household objects, according to Chautauqua Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jessie Briggs, including a shoelace, the band of a bra, a belt, lanyard or shirt. The objective is just to wrap it tight enough around the injured limb to reduce or cut off circulation.

“If they’re not screaming and yelling because it hurts, it’s not tight enough,” he said.

If it’s a deep wound or gash, Holec said to pack it down to the artery against the bone with gauze, coated in a clotting agent, or any available material, and apply direct pressure.

According to the American College of Surgeons, hemorrhage is the most common cause of preventable deaths in trauma and accounts for approximately 40% of trauma-related deaths worldwide.

“We’re all potentially exposed to major trauma,” Holec said. “And not everybody can be saved — they may have lost so much blood that even if you get a tourniquet on, it’s not enough. But at least they have a chance.”

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to Play One-of-a-Kind Chamber Recital in Lenna

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Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra has been making music for almost 30 years — and this year, they have a unique new program for Chautauqua.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will begin its weeklong Chautauqua residency with a performance at 4 p.m. today in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall. This is the final performance of the season-long Chamber Music Guest Artist Series, featuring nine concerts for a small audience.

Chris Crenshaw, a Juilliard-educated trombonist, joined the famous jazz orchestra in 2006. For him, Jazz at Lincoln Center  Orchestra’s sound is built on a long series of individual voices.

“It’s a continuum of all the big names that have come up through the eras of jazz, especially the Duke Ellington Orchestra,” Crenshaw said. “Jazz at Lincoln Center has its own voice. We’re built on the musicianship of playing together and wanting to achieve the same goal, and to put on a good show.”

This is the orchestra’s second residency at the Institution. Like in 2016, the orchestra’s chamber music performance is a unique program developed especially for Chautauqua. It features jazz tunes from the 1920s and ’30s and swing music, including George and Ira Gershwin’s influential “I Got Rhythm” and Louis Armstrong’s “Savoyagers’ Stomp.”

Crenshaw serves as music director for today’s performance and selected the 10-song program to fit the performance at Lenna Hall. He said he looks forward to performing “Robbin’s Nest,” a slower, almost ballad-style jazz piece by Charles Thompson.

“It’s one of those pieces that kind of has everything,” Crenshaw said. “It’s sophisticated, and it has a bit of the blues as well.”

For Crenshaw, “Robbins’ Nest” is appealing for its complex style and emotional range.

“It’s one of our slower numbers, and it’s mostly a soft piece with a few exclamation points, if you will,” Crenshaw said. “There’s a lot of counterpoint in it as well; a lot of moving points going on at the same time. Overall, it’s one of those pieces that just makes you feel good. There’s a lot of everything in it, in terms of emotional quality.”

Crenshaw first became involved with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra when Wynton Marsalis saw him perform as a student.

“One thing led to another, … and it was perfect timing; everything came together,” Crenshaw said.

Marsalis, a New Orleans-born trumpeter and composer, title. While Marsalis will not be performing in today’s chamber concert, he has written extensively on the purpose of jazz performances. To him, jazz is an exercise in unity.

“Jazz shows us how to find a groove with other people, how to hold on to it, and how to develop it,” Marsalis wrote in his book, Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life.

Jazz at Lincoln Center has three key missions: to entertain, to educate and to advocate for the continued growth of the international jazz community. It leads several youth education initiatives, hosts annual gatherings for jazz musicians and produces an annual concert season.

To Crenshaw, the program’s missions are a mark of its longevity and continuity.

“Our mission is to entertain as well as educate and advocate,” Crenshaw said. “We’ve been about those elements for about 30 years. Members come in and out of the orchestra, adding their voices and making each night that we play better.”

Because of the expected demand for this concert, complimentary tickets are required, which are available at the Main Gate Welcome Center Ticket Office, which opens at 7 a.m. today

Award-Winning Latin Pop Songstress Gina Chavez to Bring Bilingual, Upbeat Sounds to Amphitheater

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Gina Chavez always knew she was meant to perform; she has always loved singing, and even at age 5 would toddle up to strangers in restaurants and tell them jokes she’d heard from her dad. What she never expected, though, is how much of an impact she would have on people all over the world.

At 8:15 p.m. Monday, August 19 in the Amphitheater, Chavez will bring her Latin-inspired, bilingual, upbeat music to the Chautauqua stage.

“Sonically, we are pretty varied,” said Chavez, a 10-time Austin Music Award winner. “Sound-wise, we do everything from introspective songwriting to indie pop to Latin dance band, and we like to take audiences on a journey — and a journey that takes you from your head to your heart to your hips, and everything in between.”

Chavez has been on plenty of journeys herself, having toured to 14 different countries and all across the United States. As someone who is half-Mexican and a self-described “Catholic lesbian from Texas singing in both English and Spanish,” Chavez has sometimes been wary about how she will be received when she tours, given the charged state of the modern political climate. However, whether she sings and plays in a big city or a small town, she has found people everywhere who relate to her, her story and how she is openly herself.

She fondly recalls, for example, a married couple who told her they were the only lesbians for the next 50 miles, and a boy who had written on his phone, too nervous to even say it aloud, “I’m gay, too.”

“I’ve been so heartened … to play these shows and to have people come up to me and say, ‘Thank you,’ ” Chavez said. “ ‘Thank you for bringing diversity to our community, thank you for sharing who you are, thank you for giving us a place to be different.’ ”

A native of Austin, Texas, Chavez grew up not knowing much about her Mexican heritage, and Spanish was not her first language. It was not until a study abroad trip to Argentina that she began to take a deeper interest in Latin music and began performing it. When she started singing in Spanish, she found that it was like unlocking another part of herself.

“Sometimes I love singing in Spanish because … it’s almost like, more than thinking about what I’m saying, I think I’m feeling it — I’m emoting it,” Chavez said. “There’s something just so much more visceral about the Spanish language.”

There are many different types of Latin music — Chavez’s style is a fusion of many, with an especially strong Afro-Cuban influence.

“There’s something about (it) that makes you want to throw everything aside and join people dancing, and just let loose a little bit,” Chavez said.

Chavez will perform at Chautauqua during a week themed “Exploring Race and Culture with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center.” The messages in Chavez’s music speak to this theme a great deal — especially in that Chavez finds the differences between races and cultures to be not so different after all. Everywhere she has traveled, people have been much the same on the most basic levels: the same desires, the same needs, the same struggles.

“We’re struggling so much right now with ‘different,’ ” Chavez said. “We’re all the same in our hearts, where it matters. People are people everywhere.”

In an America where the immigration debate, in particular, still rages on, Chavez finds this message to be more relevant than ever.

“On stage, I don’t get up and preach, but I do want to spread a message that you being able to be you matters, just as it matters for your neighbor to be able to be him or herself,” Chavez said.

Most importantly, Chavez hopes the Chautauquans will have a good time; she puts her all into every concert she does, whether the house is packed or the audience is small, and hopes the experience she and her band create is a fun one. Chavez aims to bring light to audience members’ hearts, and perhaps give them a slightly different way to look at the world.

“The best thing we can do for the world is live our hearts and be human to each other,” she said. “Music, for me, is a way to reach people. Music is a vehicle, and it’s one of the most important vehicles we have.”

World-Renowned Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis to Lecture on Society, Culture and History

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Wynton

During most performances with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, trombonist Chris Crenshaw sits right in front of the organization’s managing and artistic director, nine-time Grammy Award-winning trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis.

“I always tell people that I have the best seat in the house,” Crenshaw said.

Although snagging even front row Amphitheater seats is a far cry from playing in the world’s preeminent jazz orchestra, Chautauquans will have the chance to replicate a sliver of Crenshaw’s intimate experience in the final week of Chautauqua’s 2019 season, “Exploring Race and Culture in America with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center,”

featuring Marsalis and the program he co-founded in 1987. At 10:45 a.m. Monday, August 19 in the Amphitheater, Marsalis — an educator and American culture advocate — will deliver a lecture that marks the beginning of a week encompassing the second-ever performance of “The Ever Fonky Lowdown,” as well as a Friday morning Amp conversation to bookend the week. Today, Marsalis will share his insights about the state of society through a historical lens.

Matt Ewalt, vice president and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education, expressed gratitude for Marsalis’ “leadership and partnership in convening this important conversation.”

“It’s a conversation that brings together the arts, education and religion at Chautauqua and demonstrates the power and potential of an interdisciplinary approach in addressing — together — our greatest challenges as a larger community,” Ewalt said.

From an early age, Marsalis performed music in the jazz-steeped city of his birth. At age 8, he played traditional New Orleans music in a band led by banjoist Danny Barker. When he was 14, he performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic; by the end of high school, he had played with the New Orleans Symphony Brass Quintet, New Orleans Community Concert Band, New Orleans Youth Orchestra and New Orleans Symphony.

At 17, he became the youngest musician ever admitted  to Tanglewood Berkshire Music Center, and was awarded the school’s Harvey Shapiro Award for outstanding brass student. Studies at The Juilliard School followed, as did a recording contract with Columbia Records and the formation of his own touring band in 1981. Just 18 years after he first moved to New York City to pursue a professional career in music, Marsalis became the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

“Anything a human being can conceive of or imagine, anything that has to do with human interaction, that has to do with creativity and creation, is in the province of jazz,” Marsalis told Charles Donelan in an interview for the Santa Barbara Independent. “It’s not possible to find a human thing without some connection to jazz, because that’s just how art forms are. Also, an art form that includes as many people as jazz ​— ​where to participate all you have to do is learn how to play an instrument ​— ​that’s a situation where you’re going to have a lot of different people involved.”

Marsalis also reflected on his work with Jazz at Lincoln Center during the interview.

“There’s no way I could have known we were going to do all that when we started,” he told Donelan. “There were so many people working in so many ways to realize this dream. I was only one part of it.”

Trombonist Crenshaw described Marsalis as having “a way with explaining how he wants the band to sound like,” a leader who meets high expectations with an all-inclusive attitude.

“We all can have input,” Crenshaw said. “We all feed off each other, but we’re keen to his vision.”

Guest Critic: Anna Clyne’s ‘DANCE’ ‘Echoes the Rich Understanding of Mahler’

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Review by Anthony Bannon:

Celebrate a wise new music in its second performance, an art that will be an enduring gift from our age, a struggle with opposites. This is the creation of Anna Clyne’s “DANCE” for cello and orchestra, softly at first, in the strings, an invocation of the evening and introduction of the full breath of the cello, a masterpiece expression of a 17th-century instrument and an important artist, Inbal Segev, honored at the Pablo Casals Festival and acclaimed by orchestras and publics internationally. “DANCE” was written for Segev, drawing upon text by Rumi, the 13th-century Persian poet. Performed here as an East Coast premiere, it was co-commissioned by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Cabrillo Festival in Santa Cruz, California,  which presented the West Coast premiere two weeks ago.

For the poet, as for composer and her player, dance is central: It is within the broken-open, in the tearing off the bandage, in the middle of a fight, within the blood, and in the perfectly free — thus the five movements of “DANCE.” The art of sound is filled up and broken open; it is at the edge of silence and at the crest of chaos; it is a dirge and an emergence; it lives within the certainty of familiar melodies and within the ambiguity of the present, as if always in formation.

Split wood; I am there. Lift up a rock; you will find me there.” –Gospel of Thomas, the Gnostic Bible.

And the cello had begun like a flute, at its highest sounding, then developing — long and throaty, full-bodied, exquisite, taking its measure with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Thursday evening in the Amphitheater. And then, the dance fills with double stops; it fires, swirls, sings with the past. Is it Handel? A folk song? Stately, is it the Sarabande, itself a dance? 

“DANCE” recognizes through a glimpse of Charles Ives, an American composer of a century ago, the creation of the 20th century with such as Gustav Mahler, whose work was about music and transcendence, not some simile to wind through trees, morning birds or breaks of thunder. Mahler died in 1911. Clyne was born in 1980, and she, too, introduces words in her work and mixes melodies and atmospheres as if mixing media, pushing ideas to their presumed limits and therein creating a new aesthetic — a new way of being in the world.

Clyne is a genius for our time, knowing that when form meets form — music with words or visual art, or dance, or film — life takes hold, uniquely, as it did at first, where sea met shore. Her work is ever new and anticipated.  She is British-born and schooled and now lives in Brooklyn. Herself a cellist, she created “DANCE” for talent her equal.

Soloist Segev held her audience in a profound resonance to experience opposites, melody confronted with turbulence, those moments of the poet, where one feels acutely alive within the sharpness of pain — then surprised by underlying beauty. How apt that Clyne found a way to remember Rumi’s profound dance now, within a world characterized by division, the tension of the full orchestra. The soloist continues, expressing a new form, and giving it away to orchestra, and another and on. These are loops, interlocking like Borromean rings, an ancient sign of strength in unity. Such a victory, this music, a deep horizon. For this time, 23 minutes along, “DANCE” ends, but only after vigorous plucking of strings and bows against wood, harsh and assertive, all hands on deck, swirling and quoting melodies again, quieting within a false ending, a brief climax, and a soft ending after all, a rare understanding, absent the tired trope of a full-tilt climax. From within its surprising and singular frame, “DANCE” acts for its listener as a theory of everything, known and as yet unknown.

There is a sensibility in Clyne’s work that echoes the rich understanding of Mahler, particularly expressed in his Symphony No. 4 in G Major. Completed in 1900, and premiered to an angry audience the year following, Mahler’s Fourth is a forerunner in the 20th century’s declarative break with expectations. Art assumes a fluid shape. The century no longer plays a program of musical imitation of babbling brooks and butterflies gently riding the breeze. Mahler led the way; his work is music itself — music as a reach into the spirit, to those larger notions created by all that nature can give.

To achieve this vision, Mahler worked from past masters, as in the symphony’s Adagio, a vast plane for the strings, well beyond mind’s eye (and ear), as if pure essence. This third movement is among the most memorable adagios, yet under recognized, likely for its exuberant conclusion that breaks the peace. Mahler perceives through his own ear, not the license of a governing academy or school holding the rules. Mahler writes what will become the new rules, rendered, as with Clyne, through their own search.

And both composers use words: Mahler appropriates a series of folk song poems. The poem recognizes both the child’s innocence and the child’s proximity to endgames. Mahler’s fourth and final movement declares in song the doubling nature of humankind. In “The Heavenly Life” the song recognizes the presence of Harrod the Butcher as St. Luke slaughters the ox. The angels lead the lamb to its death.

Still, the food is fine, and the fish come swimming in for their death the day after the fast. Angels bake bread, and “we skip, and we sing.” This is about as good as it gets. Never mind musical babbling brooks, the breeze through the trees, and the joys of morning. Know that the terror of thunder and the fearful chasm of the sublime remain in the underside.

These two works by Clyne and Mahler are tightropes of quick changes, of forces that move mountains, and of calm. CSO Music Director Rossen Milanov carefully, subtly gathered the thin lines of the two compositions and led the orchestra to make sounds grand, gentle and whole: Rare leadership, save for allowing the orchestra to seize and swallow the low register from soprano Rebekah Howell in the concluding fourth movement and its important folk songs. Howell is a Chautauquan, performing here during the past three years with the Chautauqua Opera Company.

Free and rich, lyric, diverse, even contrary, yet always cozy with the supernatural, Mahler’s quest is to discover the supernatural in the face of horrible death. He recognized and embraced discord. The timpani had figured it out. Sound can simply be itself, or it can create melody; it can be left in the air, or it can carry its listener beyond. The rough has exchange with the smooth; the raw may be cooked.

At the last gasp of Mahler Thursday evening, big Chautauqua thunder made contact, and there were torrents and hail.

Anthony Bannon was an arts critic for The Buffalo News. He is director emeritus of the George Eastman Museum and the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State. His writing about the arts appears, according to the Online Computer Library Center, in 42 books, held by nearly 2,000 libraries worldwide.

Bird, Tree & Garden Donates Books on Trees to Smith

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019 Members of the Bird Tree and Garden Club continue the tradition of donating books to the Smith Memorial Library. This year the club has donated books about trees. VISHAKHA GUPTA/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Both the Smith Memorial Library, which stands like a bookend on Bestor Plaza, and Smith Wilkes Hall, the home of the Bird, Tree & Garden Club, bear the name of Addie Mae Smith Wilkes, the philanthropist who funded their construction.

The library and BTG have been linked in this way since their physical spaces were dedicated in 1924 and 1931, respectively. As proponents of learning, their missions are similar. And this week, the two groups converged paths once again when BTG donated eight books on trees to the library.

The books were donated by Bob McClure in memory of his wife, Sally, a dedicated BTG member and officer, who died in 2014.

The tree theme was inspired by last year’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the dedication of Chautauqua’s Arboretum.

“We have had the year of the tree,” said BTG President Angela James. “We’ve had tree talks, tours of the Arboretum, and this is kind of like our capstone.”

The donation includes fiction, nonfiction, adult and children’s selections. The books were researched by BTG member Jennifer Francois. She reached out to friends in the environmental industry and garden clubs near her off-season home. She also took to Amazon.

“A lot of times, one interesting title would lead you to another and just build quite a long list of children’s books, adult reference books and fictional books,” she said.

Francois and library director Scott Ekstrom compared their lists of possible selections and figured out which books already existed in the library system.

“These are all (donated) books that we do not have in the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System at all, so these books will be shared with 37 other libraries,” Ekstrom said.

Titles include Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness, by Qing Li; Witness Tree: Seasons of Change with a Century-Old Oak, by Lynda V. Mapes; the reference guide Trees of Pennsylvania; and the children’s book The Magic and Mystery of Trees, by Claire McElfatrick and Jen Green. A few BTG members met Ekstrom last Tuesday to present the books to him.

“It’s a great way to add to our collection with their expertise and generosity,” Ekstrom said.

BTG has donated books to the library periodically for decades. Ekstrom said the stacks contain donated books from the BTG with nameplates that date back to the 1970s.

“It’s our intention over the winter to come up with titles focused on children’s books … (about) birds, trees and gardens and the general mission of the club, environmental awareness and conservation,” Francois told Ekstrom. “Hopefully, next year, you’ll have another collection.”

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