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Reliving Arts Weekend 2014

May 16, 2014

Arts Weekend 2014 took on a life of its own well before Daniel Maguire ’14 and Brian Peart ’14 pulled their unsuspecting mothers up to the stage in the midst of their dance performance. The four jumped, jived, and lost themselves in fun under the bright lights and to the cheers of a raucous audience that responded to the music’s end with a standing ovation on Mother’s Day weekend.

It was a light moment in a swirling sea of equally great moments that included virtuoso performances (fast-forward to 8:05 to see Middletown’s own Aaron Chang ’14), short fiction and poetry readings, a gallery opening of student work, short films, the spring play in Forbes Theatre, and a groundbreaking collaboration on Sunday with members of the dance program, orchestra, and Choral Scholars presenting the opera Dido & Aeneas in Engelhard Hall.

Barry Benepe ’46 emailed me this week to pass along that the musician and Reverend Caroline Stacey of NYC’s St. Luke’s in the Fields once assured him that “There is a fine line between art and God.”

That line blurred for me when The Noxontones ended their performance with the tradition of inviting alumni up to the stage to sing James Taylor’s “That Lonesome Road.” Four recent alumni had indeed traveled to Middletown to support the next generation of singers. They came from different parts of the packed house and met each other with surprise and joy after ascending the stage.

“Our world needs all the creativity we can muster, whether in our personal sphere or on a global stage,” implored Roberta Connelly P’14,’14 at the conclusion of her Sunday Chapel talk. It would be difficult to argue with her as anyone lucky enough to attend the weekend has felt the aftershocks of a tired body, but renewed soul.

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