SMC performance remembers civil war, 9/11

first_imgFriday night in Saint Mary’s Little Theatre, music brought to life the tragedy of the Civil War. Performed by a guest soprano, a string trio, pianist and the Women’s Choir, William Averitt’s work, “From These Honored Dead,” musically tied together Civil War hymns, quotes and poems.According to the performance program, the piece was commissioned in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.Throughout the week, Averitt worked with the musicians and the Women’s Choir in preparation for the performance, director of the Women’s Choir Dr. Nancy Menk said.“It’s an appropriate piece for this day [9/11] in history, but was actually written to commemorate the end of the Civil War,” Menk said. “It is moving and heart-wrenching at the same time.”Before the performance began, Averitt spoke to the audience about the structure and arrangement of the piece. The work is divided into three sections each dealing with a theme of the Civil War, and each section has four movements with a similar layout of quote, poem, hymn and instrumental movement, he said.“You probably think of the Civil War perhaps first as the tragic loss of hundreds, thousands, of men,” Averitt said. “But when we think of war, we don’t necessarily think of the women. Me, being a sort of contrarian, I begin each of the three sections with a quote by a woman of commemorable endurance during the civil war era.”The quoted women include the abolitionist Harriet Tubman, Red Cross founder Clara Barton and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe. During the performance, solo soprano Laurel Thomas sang each quote, accompanied only by piano.Averitt said, “The first movement deals with leading up to the war. Beginning with the Clara Barton [second] section, we deal with the tragedy, wounded and death itself that came so frequently. … The third section deals with the aftermath and focuses really on the Dirge [for Two Veterans] by Walt Whitman.”Each section has a poem, with the first being Herman Melville’s “The Portent,” followed by Melville’s “Shiloh-A Requiem” and finally Whitman’s “Dirge for Two Veterans.” The poems are meant to be the centerpiece of each section, Averitt said.The piece ended with all the musicians together performing Isaac Watts’ hymn, “O, Were I Like a Feathered Dove.”“I don’t know if ‘enjoy’ is the right word, but I hope you find things that move you,” Averitt said.Before the start of “From These Honored Dead,” flutist Frances Lapp Averitt and pianist David Eicher performed Averitt’s piece “Darkling Light.” Averitt said the piece was written right before the composition of “From These Honored Dead.”Saint Mary’s junior Gabrielle Jansen said she found the arrangement of the main piece to be unique and touching at the same time.“It was a great performance,” Jansen said. “It definitely moved me. In a way, you felt more of the emotion behind the war and all the sad things … which brought back thoughts that can be applied to this historical modern day.”Tags: civil war, saint mary’s, Saint Mary’s Music Department, Women’s Choirlast_img read more

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Drought tolerance

first_imgBy Dan RahnUniversity of GeorgiaNormally a wet place in early April, Georgia is depressingly dusty this spring. With the whole state already in a mild to moderate drought, it may be a tough year on your lawn.But you can make your turf more tolerant of drought, says Clint Waltz, a Cooperative Extension turfgrass specialist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Waltz points out three main ways to keep turfgrass healthy on less water.Mow higher”One,” he said, “is to raise the mowing height to the top of the recommended range.”For instance, if you have a hybrid Bermuda lawn, the proper mowing height is from 0.5 to 1.5 inches. So if you mow it now between 0.5 inches and 1 inch, start mowing between 1 and 1.5 inches.The mowing heights for Georgia’s main turf grasses are 0.5 to 1.5 inches for zoysia, 1 to 1.5 inches for centipede, 1 to 2 inches for common Bermuda and 2 to 3 inches for St. Augustine and tall fescue. Mow annual ryegrass at 0.5 to 2 inches.Whatever the range, mow your lawn at the top of it during a drought. “The taller the shoots, the deeper the roots,” Waltz said.Fertilize less”Two,” he said, “reduce the nitrogen fertilizer to the bottom of the range.”For warm-season grasses (Bermuda, centipede, St. Augustine, zoysia and seashore paspalum), you shouldn’t be applying any fertilizer yet, he said. But when you do, apply it lightly.The nitrogen range for warm-season grasses is 2 to 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet per year, except centipede, which needs only 1 to 2 pounds. The range for tall fescue is 1 to 3 pounds per year.Whatever the range for your lawn, fertilize at the lower part of the range during a drought. The idea, Waltz said, is to promote only as much growth as the roots can sustain.Water right”Three,” he said, “maintain 1 inch of water per week according to Georgia Department of Natural Resources guidelines.”DNR guidelines for the whole state now restrict outdoor watering to three days a week, said state climatologist David Stooksbury.”Outdoor watering is allowed only from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at odd-number street addresses and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at even-number addresses,” Stooksbury said. “It’s banned all day on Fridays.”Local authorities may further restrict some areas, he said.You can apply one-third of an inch of water three times, Waltz said. But it’s best to water less often and more deeply. So a half-inch twice a week is better than one-third inch three times.”Deep and infrequent watering is best,” Waltz said. “Getting the water 8 to 10 inches deep in the soil twice a week is a more efficient way to water.”If you don’t know how much water your irrigation system is applying, he said, do a simple test. Put a number of empty tuna or cat food or similar, straight-sided cans on the lawn and run your irrigation for 30 minutes. Then just measure the water depth in the cans with a ruler.”If you’ve got one-sixth of an inch,” he said, “then you’re applying one-third of an inch per hour.”For more tips on caring for your lawn, visit Georgia Turf ( or the Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture ( online.(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

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