From the Dean
This issue of the Quarter Note features a broad range of subjects reflecting both the achievements and expanded mission of the Blair school.
You have read in previous issues of the Blair Commissioning Project, funded by the James Stephen Turner Family Foundation, which is producing major works for the school’s leading chamber ensembles. This issue deals with one of the most ambitious commissions: Susan Botti’s Gates of Silence, composed for the members of the Blakemore Trio. As I write this, the work is approaching completion. Plans have been made for the Nashville premiere performance in February 2010, and the subsequent New York premiere will take place at Merkin Hall in March. Gates of Silence already promises to transcend several boundaries of the traditional piano trio, and we anticipate its rehearsals and performances with special pride and great pleasure.
Just as our faculty are creating and performing the music of the future, so are our students extending the art of music into parts of the community that might not otherwise have access to instruction and performance. The W. O. Smith Music school in Nashville holds special importance, for its faculty teach entirely on a volunteer basis. Students and faculty from the Blair School are an essential part of this mission; it affords us the opportunity to give back to the art form which has nourished us for many years. I hope that you will derive the inspiration from this article that we have felt at the W. O. Smith school and in other ventures.
Finally, I hope you will read carefully of the achievements of our students—both collegiate majors and alumni of the pre-collegiate program. They have distinguished themselves in a remarkable array of accomplishments which clearly demonstrate the degree to which music itself, and its place in the world, have been transformed in recent years. These are all signs of an art form and a school that are vitally and integrally involved not merely in preserving the monuments of the past, but in creating a bold future that will guide, instruct and inspire generations to come.
Mark Wait, Dean
Martha Rivers Ingram Dean’s Chair