Your Letters – Winter 2017

MUSIC TO OUR EARS

I thoroughly enjoyed the summer “Music” issue, having been a Zoobie myself from August 1978 until May 1982; however, your timeline is missing an event worth noting. (No pun intended.) In 1982, the Norwich University Marching Band won an award for being the best collegiate band in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in New York City. I am sure there is a trophy somewhere on campus commemorating the event. Band Company commander Steven Carney ’82, drum major Mark Madsen ’82, and I personally received it from then-Cardinal Terence Cooke.

Russell W. Chisholm ’82, P’12
East Freetown, Massachusetts

OMG what a great issue! I usually read all of the Record, but it takes a while; however, I devoured this issue. While minimally involved in music during my VC college years (1962–64), listening to the NU Band and the Travelers was an important part of those years.

Don Clark ’63 was a Zoobie who played baritone horn. I often sat with him during football games, in front of the bass drum. That experience was booming. Hearing the Travelers play was an added treat, and kinder in many ways.

Who knew that Norwich had such a rich and diverse history in music! You have done a wonderful job covering it. Thank you for posting online the most important part of music: hearing it.

Susan A. James Clark VC ’63, NU ’87 & ’98
Lawrence, Massachusetts

Editor’s note: You can listen to the Travelers’ recordings at thenorwichrecord.com/the-travelers.

I never learned how to read music or play a musical instrument. I can’t carry a tune, and I’d rather be water-boarded than be forced to listen to pop music. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the special role music has played in the lives of many NU students. I can only assume that a sense of decorum caused you to, ahem, overlook that rousing anthem we were forced to memorize as rooks. It goes like this: “On the steps of Jackman…”

As a footnote to the list of NU Band accomplishments, I would add that non-band cadets also marched in presidential inaugural parades. I know, because I was one of those privileged to participate in the 1961 Kennedy inaugural (one of those who endured the overnight blizzard in WWII barracks at Ft. Meade) and marched in five inches of slush the next day. A bone-chilling experience and an indelible memory.

Thank you for another excellent edition.

Donald Day ’64
Terryville, Connecticut

I thoroughly enjoyed the story of music at Norwich University. As a member of the Class of 1969 (biology) which will celebrate its 50th reunion during the bicentennial, I wanted to provide some additional background on the Norwich University Cadet Chorus and A Capella Chorale, of which I was a member. These organizations were quite active during my years at Norwich (1965–69) under the leadership of John Russell, our conductor. Moreover, the Vermont College Choir (37 voices) provided the female voices to our joint organizations, who performed on our respective campuses and throughout Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.

Russell held a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin where he majored in organ under Haskell Thomson and studied choral conducting with Robert Fountain. During his junior year, he studied at the Mozarteum Academy of Music and Performing Art of Salzburg, in Austria. He pursued graduate work at Boston University, where he held an assistantship in choral conducting under James Cunningham.

Choir membership at Norwich and VC was drawn from all areas of the two schools and was based on selective auditions. In addition to the Cadet Chorus of 32, a smaller A Capella Chorale of 14 voices was formed. While maintaining independent choral organizations, the two schools frequently combined to present works encompassing five centuries of choral literature. The Christmas Convocation performed on December 5, 1968, included selections from Handel’s Messiah.

The Cadet Chorus also performed the following Songs of Norwich: “Norwich Forever” (Arthur Wallace Peach), “Norwich Hymn” (Peach and John I. Twombly ’24), “Old Norwich” (Carl F. Robinson ’15), “The Spirit of Old N.U.” (Gus Nelson ’24), “Norwich To-Day, Forever!” (Lt. Col. Frank S. Clark ’09), “Alden Partridge” (Rubert Henry Whitcomb), “The Old South Barracks, Oh” (Henry O. Kent, 1854), “Cheer Song” (Whitcomb), and “On, Norwich” (LeRoy C. Flint ’10).

Stereophonic recordings were mastered on Ampex equipment during live performances, and long-playing albums were produced in 1968 and 1969. I hope my recollections add to the rich history of music at Norwich University.

Gary C. du Moulin, PhD, MPH ’69
Newton Center, Massachusetts

I read the summer Norwich Record article, “Let the Music Speak,” with interest. I would add that the College of Liberal Arts has recently brought high-level classical concerts to the university, which are made available to the students and the community.

In the last five years we have hosted the Northern Third Piano Quartet, Sylvia Parker’s lecture recital about Bartók (Parker formerly taught piano at Norwich), piano concerts by Parker, Diane Huling, and Cynthia Huard, an organ recital by Carl Hackert, chamber concerts, including Karen Kevra of Capital City Concerts as well as Elizabeth Reid, principal violist of Middlebury Opera and first-call violist in Vermont, the Burlington Civic Symphony Orchestra, and the InoraBrass, who, in addition to performing two concerts at the university, also worked extensively with students in Band Company. These concerts have brought in community members and exposed Norwich students to classical music performed by excellent Vermont musicians. They also made use of the wonderful piano and organ in White Chapel, gifted to the university by the late Donald I. Richmond ’52.

These performances have been supported primarily by the College of Liberal Arts, with additional funding from Band Company, the Development Office, the Office of the President, the College of Science and Mathematics, Dean Martha Mathis, and the Paine Mountain Arts Council.

Alison Cerutti
Northfield, Vermont

MYSTERY MEN, IDENTIFIED

Grenadier Mark Atwood ’90 (center) on guitar.

Grenadier Mark Atwood ’90 (center) on guitar.

On page 30 of the summer issue of the Norwich Record, you ask us the identity of the guy in the picture playing lead guitar. I am fairly certain that is another Zoobie, Mark Atwood ’90.

Aaron Walters ’90
Sanger, Texas

I believe the unidentified individual in the photo on page 30 of the summer Norwich Record is Mark Atwood. He was my rook buddy. He was in Band Company and, I believe, from Vermont.

Kelly Huff ’90
Ashburn, Virginia

Coach Wendell Forbes with Jim Winders ’62.

Coach Wendell Forbes with Jim Winders ’62.

 

The man in the picture on page 4 of the summer issue standing next to Coach Forbes is Jim Winders, Class of ’62. The photo has to be from 1962 or earlier. Jim was a pitcher; he and I were roommates sophomore and junior years. We were in the EE department.

Andy Ruoff ’62
Weare, New Hampshire

 

 

The man on the right standing in front of the Harmon Memorial Wall statue in the “Looking Back” photo on the inside back cover of the fall 2016 Norwich Record is Halsey W. Harmon, oldest son of MG Harmon. He is also my father. What a pleasant surprise to see my dad in the Record!

Pat Harmon ’71
Naperville, Illinois

Sculptor Frank Gaylord (left) with Halsey Harmon.

Sculptor Frank Gaylord (left) with Halsey Harmon.

Editor’s note: We also know the identity of the other gentleman in the photo. He is Barre, Vt. sculptor Frank C. Gaylord II, who apprenticed under Bruno Sarzanini, creator of the Partridge statue in the Engineering Quad. Best known for The Column, a group of sculptures of U.S. soldiers and sailors which is part of the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., Gaylord received an honorary doctorate from Norwich in 1998.

 

 

 

 

 

MORE ON THE MOUNTED BAND

My daughter Amanda Alger ’18 is attending Norwich in the architecture program. My great uncle, Emery Pope, recently told us a story about the mounted band, and then I saw the photo in the summer issue. Emery, his brother, and two sisters are Crams who grew up on Cram Hill in Roxbury. He and his older brother Fred joined the Northfield Unit during WWII. They camped out in Northfield and marched to the train to begin their journey as soldiers. He told us how the Norwich Mounted Band escorted them to the train. We had never heard of the mounted band and were amazed that someone could control a horse while playing an instrument. He said everyone was very impressed. He is 96 years old and still in good health. He visited Vermont just after Tropical Storm Irene hit and told many stories about being a young child during the 1927 floods. He had been trapped in a school in Northfield during that storm and men came to save the teacher and children from being swept away.

Wendy Alger P’18
South Barre, Vermont

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