Friday, November 04, 2005

article from Mark Scatterday

Here is an article for the upcoming newsletter from Mark Scatterday.
Dear Cornell Music Alumni,

It is with great pleasure that I write to you today, almost four years from the day I left Cornell to start my current position as the conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble at the Eastman School of Music (ESM). As I look back at all that has happened at both schools since 2002, I realize that time does fly, especially when you are having fun, but also when you miss a place and people, like the wonderful students, faculty and staff at Cornell.

I would like to thank Chris Kim for asking me to write. Many of you might remember me as the Wind Ensemble director, or the Chair of the Department from 1997-2002, or the “guy” that went around with a hard hat on for two years during the Lincoln Hall Renaissance construction. Some may remember that I also conducted the Chamber Orchestra from 2000-2002, a memory I cherish fondly – lots of great music-making in beautiful Barnes Hall.

The things I miss about Cornell come up a lot in my conversations with my new colleagues and students here at ESM. At first, I thought I would make a list and in some way work these things into my letter to you. But, maybe a Letterman “Top Ten” list of things I miss would hit home more (Jim Webster and Neil Zaslaw would love that sentence structure). These are things that, if I didn’t love Rochester and my Alma Mater so much, I would have considered turning the movers around back in June of 2002.

Top Ten Things I Miss about Cornell

#1: The brightest students I have ever encountered. As a musician with blinders on most of my life, Cornell students invigorated me. They engaged intellectual connections in music that I never would have thought about. They also asked me questions about music that I never thought I would have to explain!

#2: The great faculty that inspired me to go beyond the understood, the norm, and the status quo. Not only the music faculty, but faculty in many areas really taught me to reach beyond what I thought I could do, think or achieve.

#3: Ithaca, who ever wants to leave? I know many “hanger-on-ers” – they “found” themselves at Cornell and Ithaca and they usually find a way to stay, even if they have to invent a job for themselves – great entrepreneurs!

#4: Lincoln Hall – I gave over five years of my life to that place! Many of you helped, either with funds or support -- thank you for all of your help building a place that was as beautiful as the music making inside. Cornell students deserve this palace, I hope they appreciate it and take care of it!

#5: Barnes Hall. I loved teaching 180 students in the Introduction to Music Theory in that auditorium almost as much as I loved performing there.

#6: Bailey Hall. My only big regret is not seeing the renovation through after so many hours of planning. I look forward to hearing great music in that hall in a year and maybe …. perform there again?!

#7: The girls – Jane, Ann and Loralyn. They made my 5 years as chair fly by making everything so professional, but fun!

#8: The pianist under the chair’s office always missing that A-flat in the Apassionata. I remember going down and knocking on the door and just playing that note – I think he got it. Now I am surrounded by pianos on the 6th floor at ESM! (They also miss A-flats sometimes…).

#9: Ed Murray, Lenore Coral, Robert Palmer, and Bill Austin.

#10: The Cornell Golf Course, of course.

Thanks for letting me reminisce. If we ever performed together, thank you for the great memories. I only hope that you are out there doing great things in the world and never forgetting your music experiences at Cornell. The world needs more good artistic citizens that make things happen in the arts and I hope you are one of them!

Best wishes to you all,
Mark Scatterday (CU 1989-2002)

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