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Musical Minds: There’s an App for That

Posted: Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2012

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John Syme

John Syme graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor of arts degree in French in 1985. He worked as a general-assignment reporter at The Winston-Salem Journal, where he later wrote freelance travel stories during his first solo cross-country road trip in the summer of 1989. He worked as a copywriter at a Charlotte advertising agency, as a research translator at a French nutrition center outside Paris, and as a politics and education newspaper reporter in Charlotte. He returned in 2001 to Davidson, where he is senior writer, alumni editor and instigator of the "Road Trip 2009" blog, which evolved into his current blog, "Daybook Davidson."

I got a new car. It is serving as a timely reminder of how exponentially fast our digital sensibilities have marched on since 2000, the model year of my previous automobile.

To wit, I find that I am slow on the uptake in getting used to having a “communications console” instead of a “radio.” The 4x6 multicolored screen thingy in my new car offers so many choices of “source,” musical and otherwise, that I sometimes get confused and have to just smack the power button to stop the noise, stop the noise!


Conventional wisdom says that more choice is a good thing. But I wonder. Lately I find myself spending as much time and energy choosing what not to listen to as what to listen to. There’s lots of crap out there, and some days it just wears me out.

All the more reason to take advantage of a few moments of musical respite in lovely live performances—digital devices off, please and thank you!—coming up at Davidson College.

Of particular interest to the community-minded of Lake Norman, the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra presents “Dessert,” the next concert in this season’s Musical Meal series. “Dessert” will be served on Wednesday, April 18th at 7:30 p.m in the Duke Family Performance Hall. DFPH is located in the Knobloch Campus Center on the Davidson College campus.

My creative pal Amanda Preston ’11, over in the music department, writes: “The Davidson College Symphony Orchestra offers a light assortment of Debussy petit fours, Grieg nougat, and zesty de Falla tarts topped with freshly whipped Strauss cream. The program includes Debussy’s Petite Suite, de Falla’s Three Cornered Hat Suite, Grieg’s Norwegian Dances, and Strauss’s Emperor Waltzes. The performance is free and open to the public. No tickets necessary. For more information, call 704-894-2848.”

As part of the evening’s focus, the orchestra will be collecting donations for a local non-profit organization, MusicalMinds. Started by the Lake Norman Kiwanis Club, MusicalMinds is an intensive afterschool enrichment program that inspires change in children and communities through classical music instruction. MusicalMinds will launch its first site at Huntersville’s Blythe Elementary School in September 2012. For more information, visit www.musicalmindsnc.org.

Also, on Saturday, April 14 at 3:00 p.m. in Tyler Tallman Recital Hall, students of Artist Associates Cynthia Lawing and Ruskin Cooper will perform repertoire they've perfected during their time at Davidson. This performance is free and open to the public.

Now is the time in the semester for music and arts at Davidson, so be sure to check out the events tab and the campus calendar at www.davidson.edu!

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