The week of Thomas Bailey’s inauguration as Teachers College’s 11th president showcased many of TC’s strengths, but none more so than the College’s Department of Music & Music Education.
Musical Scenes from Inauguration Week
That was entirely fitting, since the new president plays the piano and has a fondness for genres ranging from Chopin to Springsteen and the late Warren Zevon. Yet the department’s star turn also extended a long and proud tradition of TC faculty and students providing the sounds for the College’s big occasions, from orientation to convocation, and from the launch of TC’s recently concluded Campaign to the passing of luminaries such as Maxine Greene.
On Wednesday evening, two days before the inauguration ceremony, listeners (including Bailey) were treated to “Sounds of New York,” an hour-long program in Milbank Chapel. The featured musicians were pianist Siyi Fang, a first-semester doctoral student and an Enid W. & Lester Morse, Jr., Scholar; violinist and violist Leong Cheng (Katy) Ho (M.Ed. ’16), a current doctoral candidate and instructor at the Teachers College Community School; and violinist and violist Lindsay Castellano, a doctoral candidate who is the Florence Geffen Fellow for Music Assessment at TC and Research Associate for the College’s Center for Arts Education & Research. Their program included works by Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Mozart, Hisaishi and the rock band Coldplay. In a special nod to Bailey, Fang also performed Chopin’s Waltz in C sharp minor.
Also performing were the TC Chamber Singers, featuring students Carl Belfatti, Charlotte Bennett, Chris D’Amico, Lauren D’Ottavio, Natalie Fabian, Kari Francis, Nesli Kohen, Jameelah Taylor, Jeremy Watson and Eric Williamson. Their lineup included “My Favorite Things,” “Blue Skies,” “Over the Rainbow,” “We Dance, “You Will Be Found” and “Seasons of Love.”
Music performed by members of the TC community was also a major part of the inauguration ceremony itself, held in Riverside Church.
Audience members entering the church were greeted by the TC Chamber Singers.
The country singer and TC alumna Rhea Francani (“Shotgun Baby,” “Dizzy”) opened the ceremony with a rendition of “America the Beautiful.”
Doctoral candidate Darryl Jordan (M.Ed. ’18) sang Handel’s “Ombra Mai Fu,” accompanied by violinist Katy Ho on violin and pianist Jihea Hong-Park, a faculty member at The Juilliard School.
And the ceremony was punctuated at several junctures by contributions from The Inauguration Players, a sextet that included doctoral candidates Ruth Aguirre on clarinet and Drew X. Coles, the group’s musical director, on keyboards. The other members were drummer Josh Bailey, trumpeters Josiah Lamb and Michael Sarian, and trombonist Jesus Viramontes.