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School holds opening Convocation Sep. 3

YSM-Convocation-103At the Yale School of Music's annual Convocation, which took place Wednesday, September 3, 2014 in Morse Recital Hall, Provost Benjamin Polak installed the incoming class of YSM students. Robert Blocker, Dean of the School of Music, hosted the event and honored several attendees.

Gregory E. Sterling, Dean of the Yale Divinity School, gave the invocation. Dean Blocker recognized Paul Berry, Assistant Professor Adjunct of Music History. Berry was one of only ten recipients of the Provost's inaugural Teaching Prize (story here).

YSM-Convocation-039Dean Blocker conferred the Cultural Leadership Citation upon Dorothy K. Robinson, Vice President and General Counsel of the University. He cited her "sensitive and sensible" approach in which she continuously seeks the solution that serves the greater good. Above all, he expressed gratitude for her support of music and of all the arts at Yale, noting how the arts build diversity and reflect the tenets of the broader liberal arts curriculum.

Four students from the Music in Schools Initiative attended with their families. All were recognized for their participation in the program, which has been highly influential not only to its participants from the New Haven Public Schools but also to the Yale School of Music students who serve as teaching artists.


Also present was incoming Yale freshman Ivan Kirwan-Taylor, the great-grandson of Horatio Parker. Parker, the first dean of the Yale School of Music, taught music theory and composition to such students as Charles Ives, Quincy Porter, and Roger Sessions.

The incoming class, the Dean noted, hails from six continents, 21 countries, and 28 U.S. states. They come from 62 institutions, including 12 graduate schools and 51 undergraduate schools. Provost Polak installed the class, and according to YSM tradition, all present sang Schubert's "An di Musik." Faculty members Boris Berman, piano, and Ettore Causa, viola, performed the song before the assembly joined in.

Dean Blocker closed the ceremony with an address entitled "Embracing Enlightenment."


Each Convocation features performances by YSM faculty, alumni, and returning students. Faculty cellist Ole Akahoshi ’97MM performed two movements from the Partita No. 2 by Professor Emeritus Ezra Laderman. Clarinetist Paul Won Jin Cho ’09MM, ’10AD, with pianist Miki Sawada ’14AD, performed "Dedication" from the Three American Pieces by Lukas Foss. Violinist Suliman Tekalli ’15AD and pianist Jenny Chen ’15MM played Saint-Saëns' Caprice d’après l’etude en forme de Valse, Op. 52, No. 6, arranged by Ysäye.

The evening concluded with a reception for YSM students, faculty, staff, and guests.