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Vincent McDermott bids college farewell

by Matthias Fripp

On Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6 and 7, music professor Vincent McDermott will present a pair of farewell concerts featuring his compositions and the work of eight of his former students who have become established in the music world.

McDermott has decided to alternate his own works in the concerts with those of his former students, reflecting his attitude that the time he spent with students has been a vitally important part of his work.

"We have dipped into the musical pot together," said McDermott. "We are not all individuals in music. It's a flow, and it's hard to tell who's a teacher and who's a student, so I want to celebrate our common musicality."

Alumni composers will come for the concert, mostly at their own expense, from as far away as Korea, New York, and Hawaii, as well as the Pacific Northwest. Other performers include Lewis & Clark students, faculty, visiting composers, the Oregon Repertory Singers, and local music professionals.

The programs will include diverse styles of music, from traditional harmonies to an avant garde "happening" by Greg Bowers, '93. Included in the program is a revised scene from McDermott's opera, Mata Hari, chamber music, electronic music and performances by the Capella Nova choir, and LC's Venerable Showers of Beauty Gamelan, which was founded by McDermott.

"The concerts will cover nearly every genre of musical styles," said Gil Seeley, chair of LC's music department and the principle organizer of the concerts. "They will show the breadth and the diversity of our graduates. Vincent encouraged his students to develop their own style. Music composition has become a vital aspect of our music program thanks to Vincent."

McDermott taught composition and world music at LC for twenty years. He retired from teaching in December and now lives in New York where he spends his time composing. Giving up his dual role as professor and composer hasn't given him any difficulties yet. "I'm enjoying myself immensely," he says. "Now I'm just a composer, so half of my life is running on unabated."

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Updated: 6-Feb-98
Expires: 13-Feb-98