Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cuarteto Latinamericano Strings to Offer Passionate Mix for Valentine’s Concert

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The award-winning string ensemble Cuarteto Latinoamericano will offer a Valentine’s treat for music lovers as the 60th annual Washington College Concert Series continues Tuesday, February 14 at 8 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts.
Formed in Mexico in 1982, the acclaimed Cuarteto consists of the three Bitrán brothers—violinists Saúl and Arón and cellist Alvaro—along with violist Javier Montiel. The group is known around the world as the leading proponent of Latin American music for string quartet. At Washington College, they will mix that music with beloved pieces from European and American composers Mozart, Barber and Gershwin.
The program will include “Four for Tango” by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla, and pieces from Brazilian composers Francisco Mignone (Barcarola, Minuetto, Tres Canciones Españolas) and Heitor Villa-Lobos (String Quartet No. 5) plus George Gershwin’s Lullaby, Samuel Barber’s Adagio from Quartet Opus 11, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Adagio and Fugue in C minor K. 546.
Tickets at $15 for adults and $5 for students (Washington College students free with ID) will be available at the door. There is no reserved seating.
The Washington Post praised Cuarteto Latinamericano as “matchless in tonal magnitude, tuneful fluency and concentrated teamwork.” The group has toured extensively around the world and been featured with many orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony, the Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, the Dallas Symphony and the Símón Bolívar Orchestra of Venezuela.
The four musicians also have collaborated with many other artists, including cellist Janos Starker, pianists Santiago Rodriguez, Cyprien Katsaris and Rudolph Buchbinder, tenor Ramon Vargas, and guitarists Narciso Yepes, Sharon Isbin, David Tanenbaum and Manuel Barrueco. They recorded two CDs with Barrueco and have commissioned guitar quintets from American composers Miguel del Aguila, Michael Daugherty and Gabriela Lena Frank. For more on the quartet: http://www.cuartetolatinoamericano.com/en/
To purchase tickets in advance or learn more about the Washington College Concert Series, please call 410-778-7839, email director Kate Bennett at kbennett2@washcoll.edu, or visit http://news.washcoll.edu/concertseries.php.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Prize Winning Violinist and Pianist Next Up As Free Noon Concerts Continue in Hotchkiss

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The Washington College Music Department continues its free lunchtime concert series, “12 at Hotchkiss,” on Friday, February 3 with the violin and piano duo of Lydia Chernicoff and
 Ronaldo Rolim. The program will include Sonata in G minor by Debussy, Six Romanian Dances by Bartók, and Sonata in E-flat Major by Strauss.
Lydia Chernicoff received her B.A. in violin performance at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where she was concertmaster of both the Concert and Symphony Orchestras. She is now pursuing a master’s degree at the Institute. Chernicoff began her violin studies at the age of 8 and has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. She has played professionally with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and the New England Conservatory’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.
A native of Brazil, pianist Ronaldo Rolim has been praised for his interpretive power, brilliant virtuosity and rich sonorous palette. He began his musical studies at 4 and was later admitted as a full scholarship student at the Magda Tagliaferro School in São Paulo. After winning major national competitions in Brazil, he came to the United States and eventually studied with Benjamin Pasternack at the Peabody Institute, where he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree and received the Pauline Favin Memorial Award in Piano. In 2011, he was accepted into the prestigious Artist Diploma program at the Peabody Institute.
Ronaldo is active as a solo and chamber musician in his native Brazil and abroad, having performed in such venues as London’s Steinway Hall and Théâtre de Vevey in Switzerland. He formed Trio Appassionata with Peabody colleagues Lydia Chernicoff and cellist Andrea Casarrubios in 2007. The Trio has performed at Carnegie Hall and recently concluded a residency with Chamber Music Sedona, in Arizona.
Launched last fall, the 12@Hotchkiss series features internationally acclaimed musicians from the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. It invites students, staff, faculty and the general public to experience live classical music at noon on the first Friday of each month. All concerts are held in Hotchkiss Recital Hall in the Gibson Center for the Arts, on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue.
For more information and a schedule of upcoming concerts, visit http://music.washcoll.edu/12hotchkiss.php or contact concert series director Grace Eun Hae Kim at 410-778-6457 or gkim2@washcoll.edu.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Acclaimed Biographer Ron Chernow Featured Guest of College Convocation February 24

CHESTERTOWN, MD—One of America’s most celebrated and influential historians, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Ron Chernow, will be the honored guest at the 2012 George Washington’s Birthday Convocation at Washington College on Friday, February 24. Chernow will receive an honorary doctorate and deliver remarks based on his most recent book, Washington: A Life, a biography of the nation’s first president (and Washington College’s founding patron) that earned Chernow the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Biography.
The special Convocation will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Decker Theatre, inside the Gibson Center for the Arts on the Washington College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a reception in the Underwood Lobby of the Gibson Center.
Ron Chernow has won countless awards for bringing important figures from American history to vivid life on the nonfiction page. His first book, The House of Morgan, won a National Book Award in 1990, and the Modern Library Board selected it as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of the 20th century.
Each of his subsequent books has met with similarly lavish praise and accolades, starting with The Warburgs, a portrait of an influential German-Jewish banking family published in 1993, and followed by The Death of the Banker, a 1997 collection of essays; Titan, his best-selling 1998 biography of John D. Rockefeller; and the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton, winner of the first George Washington Book Prize, which is presented by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and Mount Vernon to the year’s best nonfiction book written about the Founding Era.
In October 2010, The Penguin Press published Mr. Chernow’s long-awaited biography of George Washington. The 904-page tome racked up an impressive list of awards and honors that culminated with the Pulitzer. Writing in The New York Review of Books, Gordon Wood praised the work as “the best, most comprehensive, and most balanced single-volume biography of Washington ever written.” In March 2011, the New-York Historical Society gave the book the coveted American History Book Prize, endowing Mr. Chernow with the honorary title of American Historian Laureate.
A frequent contributor to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Chernow is a familiar figure on national radio and television shows and has appeared in numerous documentaries. He recently served as president of PEN American Center, the country’s preeminent organization of authors. An honors graduate of Yale and Cambridge, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.
The Birthday Convocation is also the time when the College recognizes the special contributions of an alumnus, a community member and outstanding employees. This year, public relations executive Kevin O’Keefe ’74, president of the Baltimore office of Weber Shandwick, will receive the Alumni Service Award in recognition of the time and expertise he has shared with his alma mater through the years. Educator Molly Judge, head of Chestertown’s Radcliffe Creek School, which serves children with learning differences and has collaborated with the College on special projects related to teacher training, will receive the President’s Medal.
In addition, President Mitchell Reiss will present Distinguished Service Awards to four College employees—Director of Creative Services Diane Landskroener ’76 M’81, Director of Communications Marcia Landskroener M’02, Health Services nurse Carol Thornton, and Business Management professor Terry Scout—to recognize their long and exemplary service to the College.
On Saturday evening, February 25, the College will host its annual George Washington’s Birthday Ball, a formal affair that further celebrates the life of the Father of the Country. In 1781, General Washington gave his name and 50 guineas to the founding of the College at Chester, now Washington College. He also served on the first Board of Visitors and Governors and, in 1789, three months after becoming President of the United States of America, accepted an honorary degree from the College.
For more information on Convocation and Birthday Ball, please visit http://www.washcoll.edu/birthdayball/.

Photo credit: Nina Subin

Monday, January 23, 2012

Vanderbilt Professor and Author to Explore Racial "Passing" in America Thursday, February 2

CHESTERTOWN, MD— One of the most persistent of the myths that Americans tell themselves about race is that the line between black and white is a matter of genetics rather than choice. But new scholarship is chipping away at this assumption, revealing how men and women, and sometimes entire families, have consciously stepped across the color line.
In a February 2 presentation at Washington College, law professor and historian Daniel Sharfstein will delve into the dramatic stories of three black families who responded to times of great racial upheaval by seizing opportunities to reinvent themselves as white. Among the author’s astonishing discoveries is an antebellum Southern family that – after covertly crossing the line from black to white – became wealthy sugar planters, slaveholders, and ardent Confederates.
Sponsored by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, Sharfstein’s talk, “The Invisible Line: A Secret History of Race in America,” is free and open to the public, and will begin at 5:00 pm in the college’s Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall. A book signing will follow the presentation. The talk is co-sponsored by the Black Studies Program, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture.

Sharfstein’s recent book, The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White (Penguin, 2011), has been lauded far and wide as a masterpiece, a work that, in the words of writer Melissa Fay Greene, “overthrows nearly everything Americans thought they knew about race.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed called The Invisible Line “a must read for all who are interested in the construction of race in the United States,” and the Boston Globe praised its “you-are-there” approach to history as “spellbinding.” The New York Times lauded Sharfstein’s “astonishingly detailed rendering of the variety and complexity of racial experience.’’
Sharfstein is an associate professor of law at Vanderbilt University. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, he has held fellowships from Harvard University, New York University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His articles and reviews have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the New York Times, The Economist, the Washington Post, and other publications.
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Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in colonial Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience is dedicated to fostering innovative approaches to the American past and present. Through educational programs, scholarship and public outreach, and a special focus on written history, the Starr Center seeks to bridge the divide between the academic world and the public at large. For more information on the Center, visit http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

College Hosts Orioles Legend Rick Dempsey In Conversation with former Governor Hughes

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Rick Dempsey, the Most Valuable Player of the 1983 World Series and a former star catcher for the Baltimore Orioles, will speak at Washington College on Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 at an event moderated by former Maryland Governor and Easton Yankees pitcher Harry Hughes. "A Conversation with Rick Dempsey" will begin at 1 p.m. inside Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts, on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue.
Presented by the Washington College baseball team, the talk will be followed by light refreshments and the silent auction of a selection of autographed items. Admission is free and open to the public, though donations to the Washington College baseball team will be accepted.
Dempsey played 24 seasons of Major League Baseball with six teams, including 11 and one-half with the Orioles. He is tied for eighth in MLB history in seasons played and is one of only three catchers to play in four different decades. He played on three World Series teams and won two championships, including 1983 when he was named the World Series MVP in the Orioles' five-game series win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Now in his fourth year as a member of the Orioles' broadcast team, Dempsey has been teaming with Jim Hunter for 4 years hosting the "O's Xtra" pre- and post-game shows on MASN. Dempsey also serves as an analyst on a selection of game broadcasts. Prior to joining the team's broadcast operations, Dempsey spent five years on the Orioles' coaching staff.
Before his career in politics, Governor Hughes played minor league baseball in the Eastern Shore Baseball League, starring as a pitcher for the Easton Yankees. The Easton native began his political career representing Caroline County in the Maryland House of Delegates. He later served as a member of the Maryland Senate representing Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's, and Talbot Counties and as Secretary of Transportation for the state before being elected governor, an office he held from 1979 to 1987.
A staunch advocate for the Chesapeake Bay, Hughes signed the Chesapeake Bay Agreement into law during his governorship. After leaving office, he served as a member of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting public awareness, restoration, and protection of the resources of the Chesapeake Bay.
Dempsey is the latest in a series of high-profile former Major Leaguers who have given talks at the College in the last decade. The Washington College baseball team has also presented talks by Hall of Famers Tom Seaver and Brooks Robinson and former Oriole center fielder Paul Blair.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Burger Tasting to Showcase Locally Produced Meats and Other Food Items Sunday, Jan. 29

CHESTERTOWN, MD—If you think cold weather means you have to wait a few months for fresh local food, think again. On Sunday, January 29, four local producers will showcase their beef at the second annual “Andy’s Burger Night” from 1 to 4 p.m. at Unity Nursery on Rt. 213 near Church Hill. The event, created to showcase locally produced food items, is inspired by the Burger Nights that were so popular at Andy's, the beloved tavern that operated on High Street for two decades.
Sassafras River Beef, Cedar Run Farm, St. Brigid’s Farm and Crow Farm will each bring something different to the tasting table. Two of Chestertown’s favorite chefs, Robbie Jester and Kevin McKinney, will cook up sliders on the grill and serve them with Eve’s Cheese, Lockbriar Farm apples and cider, bread from Against the Grain bakery, salad from Chesapeake Greens, and vegetables from Priapi Gardens, Colchester and Homestead Farms. Andy’s Spinach and Sweet Potato salad and Cindy’s chili will round out the menu.
“People will be amazed at how much food is available locally even in the dead of winter,” says Tara Holste, program manager at Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society, which is organizing and sponsoring the event.
The growers will be on hand to talk about their farms and products. Beer and wine will be for sale from 16 Mile Brewery and Cassinelli Winery. In addition, a group of local musicians will perform open-mic style throughout the event. In the spirit of being eco-friendly, diners are asked to bring their own plates, utensils, and cloth napkins.
Tickets, priced at $15 each (children under 12 free) and $25 per couple, are available at Unity Nursery or online at http://andys-ctown.com. (Space is limited. If advance reservations sell out, there will be no tickets available at the door.) All proceeds will benefit the Locavore Lit Fest, which returns to Chestertown March 29 through April 1, 2012.
For more information call 410-810-7162 or email tholste2@washcoll.edu.

Jan. 14 Concert to Kick Off Local Celebrations Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King

CHESTERTOWN, MD––The life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be celebrated with a special concert on Saturday, January 14th, at 4 p.m. in Norman James Theatre at Washington College. The theater is located in William Smith Hall. Ample parking is available on the college campus and along Campus Avenue in Chestertown.

"Songs of the Civil Rights Movement" will feature local talent including Sombarkin, Pilgrim Travelers, New Gospelites, Bob and Pam Ortiz, Mt. Olive Mass Choir, Still Pond Coleman Mass Choir, Sylvia Frazier, Stask and El Piostrowski, Bob and Janet Kelley, Rev. Anthony Brown, and God’s Wealth. The concert is FREE and open to the public. Sponsors include the Chester Valley Ministers' Association, Kent County Arts Council, Washington College's Office of the President, Center for Environment & Society, CV Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, and Office of Multicultural Affairs.

The songfest is one of two events honoring the legacy of Dr. King. The other is the annual MLK Breakfast on Monday, January 16th, at 7 a.m. at the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company. Breakfast tickets cost $10 and are available at the door. Contact jtitus2@washcoll.edu or jfairchild2@washcoll.edu or call 410-778-7295 for information.