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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Tree Planting

first_imgThe transition of leaf color symbolizes an end to the growing season, but it is also the best time of year to start trees in our landscape. When correctly sited and planted, a fall-planted tree will perform better than a spring-planted tree because the fall tree will establish roots before the warm summer temperatures draw moisture from and cause stress to the tree.University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offers these tips to successful tree planting.Plant and site selectionSelect trees that are well adapted to the individual planting site. Soil drainage is critical, as most trees don’t like “wet feet.” To ensure proper soil drainage, dig a test hole and fill it with water. If the hole drains at a rate of less than 1 inch per hour, choose a different species of plant or raise the planting site.Site preparationDig your planting hole at least two times as wide as the root ball. Do not dig holes deeper than the root balls or put loose soil beneath the roots because the soil will compact over time and the tree will be planted too deep.In heavy clay soils, it is recommended to score the edges of the hole so roots can penetrate out of the planting hole. Backfill the holes with native soil as too much organic matter can cause differences in pore size and create water and drainage issues. Fertilization at planting time is not recommended. A slow-release fertilizer can be added if needed the following spring.Tree preparationRemove all wrapping and closely inspect the root ball for girdling roots. If roots are circling around the root ball exterior, cut through the roots in a few places. Remove all tags and labels to prevent girdling of branches.Water and mulchThoroughly water the tree after planting, and water when needed during the winter. Mulch should be put down in an area at least equivalent to the drip line of the tree. Two to 3 inches of mulch is best, and mulch should be kept from touching the trunk.For more information on planting shade trees in Georgia, see UGA Extension publication number C1013 at read more

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Early season losing streak puzzles hungry Trojans

first_imgWhat a difference a week makes.Last week at this time, the No. 2 USC men’s volleyball team was the top team on campus, in its conference and in the nation. But in the ebb-and-flow world of sports, the Trojans (6-3, 4-2) found out firsthand that championships aren’t won in April, they are earned through the grind of enduring tough February matches like the past few they’ve experienced.Road weary · Junior middle blocker Austin Zahn and the Trojans have struggled on the road, but will not return home until next week. – Photo courtesy of USC Sports InformationFor a month that is synonymous with love and kindness, February has dealt USC a cruel hand.After blowing a late lead in Friday’s match over Pepperdine, in what would be the team’s last night atop the nation’s standings, it appeared the Trojans, like they have all year, would muster up enough grit to survive the hostile crowd they faced Wednesday night as they took on the No. 1 Cal State Northridge Matadors.The Trojans came out flat in their first two sets against the Matadors, just as they had weeks earlier against UC Irvine. But unlike their emotional victory over the Anteaters, a comeback was not in the cards for USC. Despite crawling their way back into the match, with their most impressive set of the season (30-9), Cal State Northridge (9-1, 6-1) dominated the final set and cemented themselves as the No. 1 team in America (30-26, 30-28, 9-30, 26-30, 15-10).As the Trojans enter tonight’s   7 p.m. match at the No. 9 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, the team is using its current two game slide as a wakeup call — a realization that championship caliber team success comes in large part from the lessons of past failures.“Losing two straight has been extremely hard on the team, especially in the way we have lost, in five sets on the road in front of large hostile crowds,” junior middle blocker Austin Zahn said. “It is never one of those things you can prepare yourself for or see coming in advance, but it has made the whole team realize that we really have to take every game as serious as a national championship game.”The team’s ascension back to the top will not come easy tonight against the Gauchos (4-6, 4-3). Like the Trojans, the Gauchos’ have had success primarily on the road. While the team’s overall record is not impressive or intimidating, USC knows it will face a talented foe in Santa Barbara. The Gauchos have beaten several top level teams this season including UC Irvine, Stanford and Pacific.Leading UCSB is junior opposite hitter and reigning Mountain Pacific Sports Federation player of the week, Cullen Irons.Irons, who is near the top of the conference in kills and points per game, will look to secure the Gauchos’ first home win in a month, against a team he has had a high level of success against in his career. Last year against USC, Irons put on a remarkable performance with a career high 32 kills in a five-set loss.For the Trojans, the focus will not be Irons or his Gaucho teammates tonight, it will be on themselves. The team’s recent fall from the top is partly due to the level of competition it has faced lately, but ask any member of the team and he will tell his record is not indicative of how successful this group has the potential to become.“Starting 4-2 rather than 6-1 is not how I pictured the season going, but, when you look at how the MPSF is going so far, there have been many ups and downs for every team,” Zahn said. “Now we need to just make sure we go out with the mindset that we are still competing to win the MPSF outright and make sure we manage our loss column as best we can and keep building up wins.last_img read more

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