Lawrence University celebrates an anniversary in style
APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – COVID-19 got in the way, but not entirely, as Lawrence University marked a special occasion with a music recital Saturday evening, Jan. 15, from the on-campus Memorial Chapel.
Pardon the pun in the title. Mainly classical music was performed – very well, which made for elegant listening.
January 15, 1847 is the date of the founding of the university – 175 years ago.
It is a little-celebrated anniversary, probably due to the few US entities that qualify to celebrate it.
During the livestreamed presentation, Lawrence University President Laurie A. Carter offered some insights:
In 1847, Wisconsin was one year away from becoming a state.
In 1847 Appleton was six years away from becoming a village. Appleton became a town in 1857.
So – imagining what was not in what would become Wisconsin or Appleton in 1847 gives the anniversary distinction.
What’s at Appleton and Lawrence University in 2022 is COVID-19. With the campus closed to the public, Saturday’s recital was presented without an in-person audience. Additionally, one of the program groups was scratched due to testing positive for COVID-19.
The broadcast ran – around 48 minutes – and the listen/watch remains available on the Lawrence University website. The site includes a wealth of historical information and options to buy “swag”, as souvenirs are called in the program.
The photos through time are particularly interesting, beginning shortly after photography first appeared with separate photos of the women and men of the first promotion in 1857. Some take a break, such as a photo of a parade of peace in 1936.
There is a sort of/sort of form in the program. Music composed in 1847 or related to a Lawrence University alumnus is included in the choices but not entirely.
At its core, the performance is an expression of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music, the only conservatory in northeast Wisconsin. Craftsmanship reigns.
The works are carefully researched and executed.
+ “Wanderlied”, opus 8, no. 4 (1846/posthumously 1850) – Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805-1847); performed by Anthony Padilla, piano)
+ “Spiritual Suite” III. “Muddy Water” – Margaret Bonds (1913-1972); performed by Anthony Padilla, piano
+ “Aequale No. 1” (1847) – Anton Bruckner (1824-1896); performed by Jacob Dikelsky, Mikayla Frank-Martin and Ryan Saladin, trombones
+ “Sonata for piano and cello” II. “Andante sostenuto” (1858) – Louise Farrenc (1804-1875), arranged by Susan Pickett; performed by Matthew Michelic, viola, Anthony Padilla, piano
+ Programmed by not performed: “Three Songs”: “Es rauschet das Wasser, Opus 28”, “Weg der Liebe, Opus 20”, arranged by Verne Reynolds, “So lass uns wandern, Opus 75” – Johannes Brahms (1833- 1897); to have been performed by Ann Ellsworth, horn, Tim Albright, trombone, and Nicholas Towns, piano
+ Toccata” (1947) – Clyde Duncan (1920-1984); performed by Catherine Walby, piano
+ “A Little While” (2020) – Poetry by Martha Helen Schmidt ’79 (b. 1956): Sara Teasdale; “Simple Gifts” 1848 Shaker song attributed to Joseph Brackett (1950), arranged by Aaron Copland (1900-1990); “There Was a Wind Like a Bugle” (1951) – Poetry by Aaron Copland: Emily Dickinson; performed by Karen Leigh-Post, mezzo-soprano, Anthony Padilla, piano
Lawrence Institute, a private college, is named after Amos A. Lawrence, a Boston merchant who pledged $10,000 to endow the school. The campus was built on land purchased from the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, the ancestral lands of the Menominee and Ho-Chunk peoples. The institution became one of the first coeducational colleges in the United States. In 1874, the Music Conservatory was created. In 1913, the institution adopted the name Lawrence College to emphasize its commitment to liberal undergraduate education. In 1964, Lawrence took the name Lawrence University when it was merged into the Milwaukee-Downer College for Women.
The year-long celebration will include a community event on May 14, a blue and white weekend on October 7 and 8, and an ongoing series of campus-related activities.
With an enrollment of nearly 1,500 students, Lawrence University is located on 84 acres at the east end of downtown Appleton and includes 60 educational, residential, recreational and administrative facilities. Bjorklunden vid Sjon, a 441-acre estate on the shore of Lake Michigan south of Baileys Harbor in Door County, serves as an educational retreat for students and alumni.
The 175-year milestone is also known as the half-centenary.
Birthday vs Birthday:
January 15, 1847 is the anniversary of the institution that became Lawrence University. An anniversary would not have occurred before January 15, 1848 – the first anniversary. In other words, January 15, 2022 was the date of the 174and Lawrence’s birthday.