Meeting Notes from March 12, 2019
 
By Chris Joyce
 
Photography by John Searles
 
President Kristin opened the meeting with a welcome and the recitation of the Rotary Pledge. The thought for the day was presented by Suzy McNamara.  Suzy read one of her favorite poems, by e. e. cummings.
 
Committee Reports and Announcements
 
Kristin Brown announced that March is Rotary Water and Sanitation Month and this week is Rotary World Rotaract Week. She also reviewed the Board meeting. At the board meeting, there was a discussion of the upcoming budgeting process and how we will utilize our funds. She noted that the funds under consideration have increased from around $35,000 a few years ago to more than $100,000 today. This reflects the hard work of the Taste of Evanston and Holiday Sales committees, and other fundraising efforts, and all those club members who support these efforts.
 
Chris Joyce, on behalf of the Young Leaders Committee, thanked those who contributed funds to help a student attend RYLA. He also mentioned that the Club Service Committee is looking for additional scribes. Please see Joan Borg if you are interested.
 
Neil Gambow said that he had received a number of inquiries about Bella, our outbound foreign exchange student, who is in Ecuador. He says that she is having the time of her life, and that he will share her blog with club members. Also, we will be joining with the Evanston AFS foreign exchange students on March 17 at the Library as they discuss “Reaching across Borders...Saving the Planet.” Please plan to attend. And, the club is a co-sponsor of the ETHS career night at ETHS on the evening of March 14. This career night is planned for those students who will not be attending college. There will be 50 exhibitors. It is open to the public.
 
Jackie Mack reminded members that she and Leslie Peters are planning another dinner for 8 weekend for the first weekend of April. Sign up sheets are on the tables.
 
Dave Simmons thanked all of the volunteers who helped with the overnight shelters for the homeless. There were 12 volunteers.
 
Bill Glader updated the club on the Taste of Evanston. It will be held Sunday, July 14, from 4-7 at the Charles Dawes house. The focus is affordable housing as our major beneficiary. There is a shortage of 3,500 affordable units in Evanston. The beneficiaries are Reba Place Development Corp and Connections for the Homeless. The goal this year is $70,000. Some 500 attendees are expected. Volunteers will be needed to help with all aspects of the event. Talk to Bill if you have items for the silent auction.Ticket prices are $80 for the early birds, going up to $90 as the event approaches. The next meeting is this Thursday, the 14th, at Jean Saunders’ house.   
 
Roasts & Boasts                                      
 
Kristin Brown boasted Michael Merdinger and Chris Joyce for the work they have done with the Young Leaders Committee and RYLA.  
 
Chris Joyce boasted Marv Edelstein for the wonderful job he does as a facilitator at the RYLA camp. The kids love Marvelous Marv!
 
Chris boasted Katherine Peterson, who has volunteered to become a scribe.
 
Katherine Peterson boasted her son Chris. He is graduating from college and heading to Argentina. The Petersons are probably already planning their trip to Latin America.
 
Ann Weatherwood went on a trip to Bhutan. She had one of our club banners with her, and she met with some Rotarians there and traded banners with them.
 
Marv Edelstein boasted and roasted himself. He created a rap for the kids at RYLA, but then forgot some of the words in the middle of the dance.
 
Special Presentation
 
Donald Brewer, former District Governor and member of the Algonquin Club, made a presentation to Immediate Past President Marv Edelstein and our club. Marv, and the club, received the Rotary Presidential Citation. The citation is presented to a club president and their club for accomplishing identified goals. These goals are to support and strengthen clubs, to focus on and increase humanitarian service, and to enhance Rotary’s image in the community. Under Marv’s leadership, we were one of eight clubs in the district to meet all of these goals. Marv thanked Governor Brewer on behalf of the club for the award.
 
Marv Edelstein and Don Brewer
 
Program
 
Speaker: Harold Bauer
 
Topic: Classical Music FAQs
 
Harold Bauer spoke to the club about making Classical Music. He is a 10-year member of our club, and a former club president. He enjoyed a 50-year career as a symphony and opera conductor, during which time he was the Music Director of six orchestras in this country. He has guest conducted throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Harold has received special awards for his work in youth education, and for his success in orchestra development.
 
A preface to my recounting of his speech is in order. If you were not at the talk today, please be sure to go to the recording of the speech that Bruce provides members. Harold discussed and defined many musical terms in his speech. Not only did he discuss them, but he illustrated them with his melodious voice. A very fun presentation, with many funny stories from Harold’s career.
 
The speech was on frequently asked questions that Harold has heard in his 50-year conducting career. What is classical music? Leonard Bernstein’s answer is that classical music is exact music. In other words, you play exactly what the composer has written. You don’t change the notes, or change the rhythm. In popular music, the singer or musician can change these items. There is one exception, in what is called recitatives. A recitative is a rhythmically free vocal style that imitates the natural inflections of speech and is commonly used for dialogue or oratorios in opera. The exact rhythm does not have to be followed.
 
What does the conductor do? Within the exact parameters of the classical music, there can be numerous improvisations. The music can be played loud, soft, fast, slow. The conductor has to decide how fast is fast, how slow is slow. One of the most difficult tasks for a conductor, in rehearsals, is to get this 70-person orchestra to actually play soft, or play slow. It takes time and practice. The tempo and dynamics are thus very critical. There can be a lot of variation depending upon what the conductor wants to do.
 
What is the pecking order between the conductor and a soloist? Who is the boss? For example, the musical piece is a piano concerto. It is very complicated, and can vary substantially from soloist to soloist. Essentially, the conductor is the boss, but the conductor should work with and consult the soloist. One time, Harold was in Poland and was going to conduct the Shostakovich Second Violin Concerto. He met with the violinist before the rehearsals began to go through the piece together. It turned out that the violinist knew the piece much better than Harold did, so she set the pace. A younger person with less experience will usually follow the lead of the conductor. Some soloists can be a problem and don’t want to hear from the conductor.
 
Who decides bowing? All of the strings, the violins, the violas, all use the same bowing. The conductor will usually depend upon the concertmaster to decide the bowing. It is rare that the conductor decides the bowing. Bowing is very important and can determine the pace and the sound of the particular passage.
 
What is the difference between, say, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony? There is no difference between philharmonic and symphony. How large is an orchestra? An orchestra may have more than 60 members in it. The strings are the main section, and there must be balance among them. For example, if there are 6 violins, there should be 4 violas, etc. Generally, the woodwinds and percussion have the same number no matter the size of the orchestra and the strings section. There are exceptions if a string section is unusually large, or if a particular piece of music calls for more woodwinds.
 
Should the conductor use the baton? Normally, it doesn’t matter, and is simply a personal preference. In opera, a baton will be used, as it gives the singers a point of reference. Harold used the baton for the first 35 years or so of his career, but stopped using it later. He felt more comfortable not using it. 
 
What are the classical musical periods? The earliest is the Baroque, running from 1600-1750, the death of Johann Sebastian Bach. The Classical Period, the age of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, to the death of Beethoven. The Romantic period ran to the end of the 19th century, the period of Brachs, Mendelsohn, and Schubert. The periods overrun each other, as towards the end of the Romantic period you enter the Impressionistic period, (Debussy,  Ravel), matching the same period in literature and art. And now we have Contemporary music, consisting of many forms and styles. In the 1920s, Arnold Schoenberg created what is known as 12 tone music, which has had a great influence down through today. It is a form of dissonant music. Compositions from all periods continue to be played today.  
 
Do most people who are sitting in the audience know all of the technical forms, tempos, etc? Of course not. Sometimes, Harold would talk to the audience, introduce the piece, tell them a little of the history, and how long the piece will be. If a piece was short, he might even replay it. The audience would enjoy that. As I said earlier, if you weren’t at the meeting, be sure to listen to the recording.  
 
Harold Bauer and Kristin Brown
 
Guests & Milestones
 
Visiting Rotarians
 
Don Brewer, Algonquin Club and past district governor.
Guilherme “Gui” Garcia, Interact member and foreign exchange student
Samantha Attaguile, Vice President of a Rotaract Club
 
Birthdays
 
Susan Prout
Joan Borg
Bruce Baumburger
 
Club Anniversaries
 
Chuck Bartling, 23 years
Dale Bradley, 12 years
Joan Borg, 4 years
Susan Prout, 4 years
Sri Sakthivel, 3 years
 
Assignments for March 19 meeting
 
Thought for the Day, Bruce Baumburger
Greeters: Chris Joyce and Scott Kaplan
Scribe: Kathy Tate-Bradish
 

 
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