Note from the Chair, May 2017

Cindy Cox, Department Chair

The last year has been a full and eventful season for the faculty and students in the Music Department! Throughout the year, Hertz Hall has been bursting with students as we absorbed the overflow from a closed Wheeler Auditorium under renovation. We look forward to a quieter fall season.  Our student orchestra has been incredibly busy this year with an active schedule of traditional and new works e in preparation for going on tour to Spain at the end of May.  On the faculty side of things, I’m happy to announce two new endowed chair appointments: Professor James Davies will hold the Henry and Julia Weisman Schutt Chair, and Professor Ken Ueno will hold the Jerry and Evelyn Hemmings Chambers Chair.  In the fall, we will be welcoming Delia Casadei, a musicologist, and in the fall of 2018 Maria Sonevytsky, an ethnomusicologist will be joining the faculty.

We will greatly miss Professor Davitt Moroney, who retired in December, 2016.Professor Moroney is a renowned harpsichordist and scholar, specializing in French and English 17th-18th century music as well as the music of J.S. Bach.  He was also appointed as the University Organist, and led the effort to replace our older concert organ with the beautiful Noack Baroque organ installed behind the stage in Hertz Hall.  He received numerous awards for his performances and recorded hundreds of works. One of the most memorable occasions for me was his series for Cal Performances where he performed the entire cycle of the Well-Tempered Clavier of Bach, and you could see patrons throughout the audience showing up with their scores to follow along with the music.  Perhaps most famously, in 2007 Professor Moroney discovered a long lost mass by Alessandro Striggio, an enormous choral work written for 40 and 60 parts, and conducted the first performance of it since the 16th century.  In his retirement, he will be returning to Paris although we hope that he will continue to visit and perform here in Berkeley!

I would also like to recognize that our intrepid sound engineer Jay Cloidt, who has been with us since 2009, will be retiring as of this June.  It will be very challenging to replace Jay, as he has always gone above and beyond the call for us.  

We had a lovely commencement ceremony for the Music Department on May 14, and you can see the results in the “Class of 2017: By the Numbers” article here. I know that I speak for the entire faculty when I say that we are genuinely proud of all of our students and their accomplishments.  It is rewarding to watch students mature into performers, scholars, and composers over the course of their studies with us.  We all gain from the music they make, the exchange of ideas, and the fresh perspectives they bring.  

The end of this spring marks my third year as Chair of the Music department.  Next year I will be on sabbatical, and I will pass the baton to the very capable hands of Professor Edmund Campion.  After my leave, I plan to return as Chair in the year-after-next.  Please do welcome Professor Campion when we return in the fall and expect to be hearing more from him!