Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More Doings at Dodd

Last week, we went to two events at Dodd Auditorium at UMW. First up was the April 17th Great Lives presentation on Babe Ruth, by former Sports Illustrated writer Bill Nack. This was my third Great Lives lecture, and the third time was the charm: this was the best of the lot. Of course, it’s not surprising that the speaker was a good storyteller, given that he wrote for a popular magazine for over 20 years.

Then on Sunday night, we attended yet another event billed as a “Centennial Concert,” featuring the UMW Chorus, the UMW Women’s Chamber Choir, the Una Voce Chamber Choir, and the Fredericksburg Singers. All the groups are directed by Jane Tavernier, and all have similar repertoires. The groups are excellent and the evening was enjoyable, although a bit predictable. I wouldn’t have minded a surprise or two during the concert. Well, there was a “world premiere” of a piece by Mary Wash alum David Kidwell, and despite the fact that I'm generally leery of classical music premieres, I liked this one a lot, so that was kind of surprising. It was dedicated to the memory of Pat Norwood, longtime music professor (and fellow Chancellor pool mom) who passed away recently. And then there is always my favorite surprise, seeing what Jane Tavernier will be wearing. She must have a closet full of gowns, all very dramatic, including Sunday’s satiny gold number. All the singers are always in black, so I find my attention keeps drifting to the back of Jane’s dresses (the side of the conductor you see the most of). They’re riveting, really. And yet another surprise (did I say there were no surprises?): in the midst of a rainstorm, the roof of the newly renovated (to the tune of $1.5 million) Dodd Auditorium was leaking right onto the stage, a drip every 15 seconds or so. Dripping ceiling, Jane’s backside...I’m so easily distracted.

I think we’re just about done with the centennial events, and the recital season at UMW is coming to a close, and just in the nick of time... I’m really starting to get tired of that auditorium, and look forward to those lovely outdoor evening events for a change.

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