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Gathering Hits High Notes
Homecoming ’06 included the first-ever Alumni MusicFest the weekend of Oct. 13-15. A highlight of the gathering was a sing-along at the Heffner Alumni House, at which many former members of the Glee Club, joined by alumni of the Pep Band and other organizations, sang forth the tunes they loved from their college years. Rod Blumenau ’65, who had accompanied the Glee Club in the early ’60s, reprised his role at the keyboard.
The next day, in addition to cheering the Engineers in their match-up against Boston University, a sold-out Houston Field House applauded the alumni musicians’ performance of the Canadian and American national anthems and Rensselaer’s alma mater at the hockey game.
The visiting alumni enjoyed campus presentations, including a private tour of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) construction site. The Rensselaer Archives had prepared a special display, “From A Cappella to Zip Serenaders,” on exhibit in the Folsom Library.
At a reception for “Friends of Joel Dolven,” plans were discussed for a fund-raising effort to name the Conductor’s Suite in the new EMPAC for Dolven who, as longtime music director at Rensselaer, instilled a lifelong love of music in generations of students.
“Professor Joel Dolven was my mentor, friend, and counselor. By a wide margin, he influenced my young life more than anyone else on campus during those four years,” says Jim McCallister ’51. (For more memories of Joel Dolven, see "One Last Thing.")
The music gathering was the brainchild of Howard Henze ’69, a former Glee Club member. He says the group that attended was so enthused, they voiced support for making the MusicFest a semi-annual event.
“It was a wonderful success and met every expectation I had!” says Henze.
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