2010 Spring Newsletter

Message from the Chair

W. Terrence Spiller“Keeping time” is an absolutely essential component of music making. Without good rhythm, a performance lacks life. A piece’s structure and meaning will also become unclear without a rhythmic foundation. In other words, music needs a solid temporal context to make sense and to have meaning. Similarly, as individuals, we need an awareness of time—both short- and long-term—to understand our own lives and appreciate history.

We can keep track of musical time via measures. One way we keep track of “life’s” time is through dates. In this year, for instance, March 1 was Chopin’s 200th birthday (this should be an international holiday!). On March 7, the Cal Poly Choirs gave a world premiere of Craig Russell’s wonderful new work “Wings of Bliss.” On January 8, I forgot to take my glasses with me on stage for my solo recital (perhaps some dates should remain unacknowledged …).

Several important dates in the life and history of Cal Poly music-making will take place this June. On June 6, Bill Johnson will conduct his last on-campus concert as a Poly professor; on June 22, he will conduct his final concert as a faculty member, this time off-campus at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. I hope that you can join us as we celebrate the rhythm, and time, of Bill’s musical life at Poly.

W. Terrence Spiller, Chair