Year of the Arts - Stories
Year of the Arts
The Stories You've Told Us
I graduated in June 1976 with an accounting degree and am still working as a CPA with my first employer. I am grateful to many fine business school instructors (Drs. Hoyt and Paperman come to mind) for a good foundation in accounting that have led to an enjoyable career. But accounting is my job.
My enjoyment of life other than my family is in music.
I began my Miami career in September 1972 with band camp for the Miami Marching Machine as a trumpet player under the baton of Nicholas A. Poccia. In my four years, I was in Marching Band four seasons and Wind Ensemble Winter and Spring quarters of sophomore through senior year, and a “lab” band (big band / jazz) for two quarters. In Winter quarter of my freshman year, I began taking private lessons from Everitt “Doc” Nelson. Doc is the reason I played in all the ensembles. Doc is the reason I play today in the Rocky River Community Band under the baton of Dennis Viers, MU ’76, sitting next to Pam Viers, MU ’77. Doc is the reason I play today in a brass quintet composed of four Miamians (Dennis and Pam Viers, Kevan Stuber ’75, and me) and a John Carroll graduate. Doc is the reason I have played in pit orchestras for seven community theater productions. Doc rebuilt my embouchure and made possible my ability to play. Doc also instilled a joy in playing such that practice was never a chore, but was a path to the joy.
For obvious reasons, I went to every home football game and several away games and three Tangerine Bowl games. I attended a few basketball games and baseball games. Hockey didn’t exist on campus then, and I probably wouldn’t have gone.
But I did go to plays, musicals, modern dance recitals, student music recitals, student composition recitals, Glee Club and Choraliers concerts, MU Orchestra concerts. I did just stumble upon a Julian Bream (lute) concert on the Western campus, laughingly attend a Peter Schikele “PDQ Bach” performance at Millett, watch, mesmerized, a mime artist at Hall Auditorium, enjoy a first date listening to Kenny Rankin in the Towers Room.
Sherman Smith and Rob Carpenter were fine athletes, and I enjoyed watching them. There are no game tapes I would watch today.
But, listening to radio, I will pause for a Bream or Rankin recording, and seek out Schikele Mix. I attend concerts of grade schools, high schools and college conservatories, of first and second tier professional music ensembles. Some are not so good. Others are technically competent but perhaps not connecting. Every now and then, however, there is a performance, a song, a passage, a phrase, and sometimes a note, that is in itself a moment that will be remembered for the emotion - joy, glee, sorrow – that it evoked. I applaud Miami’s emphasis on the arts this coming academic year and hope that it will not drop off afterward.
May many experience a moment. And may many gain the multitude of skills to impart a moment.
-Thomas J. Campbell, '76
Ten years ago, I attended the very first lampworking class offered through Miami’s Craftsummer Program. I spent a week immersed in the art of melting and manipulating glass. Eleven glass classes and hundreds of hours working at the Rowan Art Center later, I realize how much my life has been impacted by the opportunity to learn and explore art.
My work with glass has provided me with many hours of relaxation, opportunity to market and sell my work, opportunity to develop friendships and collaborate, but most importantly, to teach my craft to others.
The Craftsummer Program and the Art Center are incredible resources for the community. I am so thankful for the programs and opportunities they offer. I look forward to attending many more Craftsummer classes and spending many more hours creating at the new Art Center in Phillips Hall.
-Leah Tuscany, Personnel Manager, Miami University IT Services
My name is Farman Pirzada and I am a Junior at Miami University of Ohio. My major is Psychology and soon to be Interactive Media Studies. My thought on art has changed so drastically that past perception is irrelevant to my views now. It all started my Freshman year, when I joined the Indian Students Association.
I didn't know a whole lot about Indian tradition and culture except from Bollywood films and a few festivals, but after the "Diwali" show, things CHANGED. The Diwali show is a celebration of the Hindu holiday known as Diwali, or the Festival of Lights. It consists of beautiful music that captures the Indian tradition as well as the wonderful dance styles such as Bollywood and Bhangra. Many consider it one of the most diverse events on campus! Though I am Muslim, and am a first generation Kashmiri-American (Kashmir is located on the border of India and Pakistan), I thought it would be worth a try. I went into this without any dancing experience whatsoever. At the time, I questioned my decisions. Would I embarrass myself, or would I be able to master this "Diwali thing"? Turns out, I did both.
Being clueless on just about everything, I would dread thinking about the amount of effort I put into the show and school itself. I would have practices two hours a week. In order to be a part of ISA's Diwali show, Freshmen do a separate dance comprised of just the first years of the organization. It helps bring out leadership and team work within the group to prove how important of an asset the Freshmen class really is. There was no easy way to do it, so we did the best we could. We had a handful of guys and a large group of girls, so for the most part it wasn't easy to take things seriously. In fact, I remember about the second or third week of practice, I ditched it to eat dinner early instead. It was a pretty good excuse since I wasn't feeling too well. So, I decided to eat at the Alexander Dining Hall, knowing that my practice was at Lower Alex. I even sat next to the big empty space where you can see what's going on at Lower Alex. It only took about 5 minutes to find me, and I was not going to be taken lightly.
It wasn't until October I began to realize how fun the show would actually be. Friendships were stronger within the group. especially for me. Before this, I had seriously considered transferring because I wasn't making any friends. During the last few weeks before the show, I had a family bond so tight, that my dilemma was no more. Art had kept me at Miami. Friendship kept me at Miami. Once the show started, we were the very first dance to go up on stage. I was so nervous, the cliche of "butterflies in my stomach" came true. Though, I thought to myself: "I'm sure my stomach will keep them down".
The curtains went up. Bright lights clicked on and aimed towards the center stage of Hall Auditorium. It was dead silent. Staged in the center were three beautiful members in our group. The girls sequence do our dance was first. It was about a minute and a half, but it felt like eternity waiting with heavy panting. It all was so hard to remember: "What do we do first?" "And then what?" "What pose do we have?" "Should I do this, or that?" AHHHHH! I was screaming in my head, but it was too late. I forgot completely what to do. I just had this gut feeling that I was going to screw up everything...
-Farman N. Pirzada, '13
Arts "connect" us. I am a music major graduate who continues to perform on bassoon and contra in a community orchestra, usher for the professional orchestra, and has classical music playing on the radio where I work. Often customers comment on the wonderful sounds they hear when they enter the store.
As a freshman at Miami, I was a friend with another freshman cellist in our orchestra. She did not major in music but has gone on to be a nationally recognized writer and poet--Rita Dove. The art of language and great literature are definitely part of the Arts also.
-Richard Murry, BM '73