From the Archives with Byron Hanson: January/February 2016

This piece originally appeared in the Jan. 1, 2012, edition of Crescendo.

January is a month of transitions—a new year, a change in semesters, the gradual lengthening of daylight hours, and for seniors there is an increasing awareness of the changes coming ever closer for them. For a number of years in the 1970s we experimented with a diversion called “open curriculum,” when we dabbled in short courses outside the normal scheme for about a week; everything from harpsichord building to small engine repair, and from spending a few days in the Everglades to “cooking without whiskey,” a class offered by clarinet instructor Frank Kowalsky, who simply taught students how to cook, but knew how to capture their attention. It was a good time indeed!

Jan. 14-19, 1966
Led by Thor Johnson, the orchestra played nine concerts in eight cities on a six­day tour through Michigan and Illinois. Determined to raise peopleʼs awareness of our young school and still energetic at age 74, Dr. Maddy conducted a short work in each of the concerts.

Jan. 16-17, 1976
George Crumb was composer-in-residence for a weekend, teaching and serving as a resource for our performances of four of his major works. He had taught at Camp in the 1950s and won the 1968 Pulitzer Prize for his orchestral work Echoes of Time and the River. It was a fine experience for all to work with Dr. Crumb, whose music stretched the imagination of its performers, requiring unorthodox playing techniques, theatrical movement, and unusual instruments such as toy piano and musical saw!