The Singing Life at Oglethorpe ♪♫

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The 2013-2014 University Singers pictured in the new Turner Lynch Campus Center.

The first time I visited Oglethorpe I was nervous beyond belief. I was auditioning for a choral scholarship and I had no clue what Oglethorpe would be like. I had taken the tour online and thought it was gorgeous. But, I was just not sure about what the campus atmosphere would be.

Dr. Irwin Ray

Dr. Irwin Ray

I auditioned with Dr. W. Irwin Ray, earning myself a $500 conditional scholarship and I joined the University Singers as an alto. I have come a long way from that nervous high school senior. I have sung in the alto section for three years now and I am in my fourth and final year in the University Singers.

I have many wonderful memories of the singers but my favorite part is our concerts. We work hard to bring songs together and present them to the public. We have sung some hilarious pieces such as the folk song “I Bought Me a Cat” and pieces that are more recognizable like the “Les Miserables” medley we sang in the spring. Every year, the Boar’s Head Concert is a fun way to combine celebrating the winter season and our student organizations on campus. This concert is, in many ways, one of the more interesting events on campus throughout the school year and my favorite concert of the year. (After singing a variety of seasonal pieces, a feast is held in honor of our friend, the boar, who choked down more than he could chew when a student saved himself with his Aristotle book…or so the legend goes.)

Did I mention we have a lot of fun together?

Did I mention we have a lot of fun together?

The Singers is filled with hard-working, multifaceted students. I’ve watched Kyle Brumley ’12 go from being an actor in Oglethorpe theater productions to becoming a leading man in Atlanta theater. I’ve heard beautiful music composed and produced by John Burke ’11 on Pandora Internet radio. And I’ve watched Samantha Flynn ’14 revive the student newspaper. All of these students also served as section leaders.

Dr. Ray helps students who work hard to learn and improve. As I mentioned, I started out with a conditional scholarship at $500. I have currently doubled my scholarship and taken away the conditional status of it as well. Hard work pays off in the University Singers and it helps students experience a different side of the Oglethorpe University education.

So, I hope you will come see (and hear) us in action. Join us for the Singers’ Fall concert, this Friday, November 1, 2013 at 8 p.m. in the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe. The concert is free and open to all.  You can also follow us on Twitter!: @oglesingers or on Facebook: Oglethorpe University Singers.

Watch the Oglethorpe University Singers perform the national anthem at the Feb. 2013 homecoming basketball game:

 

Omicron Delta Kappa Taps 2012 Inductees, Launches Fundraising Campaign

As the holiday season approaches, your thoughts may turn to buying gifts, decorating your homes, or celebrating break with family and friends.   But for me, one thing comes to mind before any thoughts of winter vacation: there is a pig raring to be kissed, and some of you may see me kiss him.

Boar’s Head is an annual OU event centered around the annual induction ceremony of Omicron Delta Kappa, an esteemed leadership society that serves to recognize students, faculty, staff, and alumni for their service in at least one of five key areas.  On November 30th, 17 new members will be inducted into OΔK, including Oglethorpe Trustee Arnold Sidman.

Trustee Arnie Sidman

“Arnie Sidman deserves this honor and we are very happy to recognize him,” says Jef Palframan ’13, current President of Oglethorpe’s OΔK Circle. “(We) are trying to move beyond just students to more faculty, alumni, staff, and trustee members… This shows that leadership doesn’t just start in your junior or senior year. It’s for a lifetime.”

Also being inducted are Dr. Mario Chandler and Dr. Nicholas Maher, alumni Eli Arnold ’06 and staff member Katie Paden.  There are also 12 student inductees: Brittney Blalock ’14, Tirzah Brown ’14, Kirsten Glaeser ’14, Krista Gray ’14, Justin Munson ’14, Corey Ray ’14, Kate Siess ’14, Kendall Burke ’13, Jeet Budha Magar ’13, Marisa Manuel ’13, Caitlyn Mitchell ’13, and Lindsey Mitchell ’13.

In addition, through the end of November, you can assist the OΔK Circle by donating to their fundraising campaign.  The campaign’s purpose is to help Oglethorpe’s OΔK Circle become self sufficient for at least the next five years.  More than half of the $5000 goal has already been achieved, and OΔK hopes to double this goal. OΔK aspires to become self-sufficient and not require SGA funding, because membership is exclusive and extended beyond the student body.


 

If you would like to come to the Boar’s Head Concert & Celebration on November 30th, don’t forget to reserve your ticket by calling 404-504-1074 or visiting the Conant Performing Arts Center box office.

Boar’s Head: An Oglethorpe Tradition

In December, a roasted boar’s head will make its way through the Conant Performing Arts Center, carried on the shoulders of newly initiated members of Omicron Delta Kappa, an academic honor society.  For almost a century, the Boar’s Head Ceremony has been a staple in Oglethorpe heritage and launches the OU holiday season. Oglethorpe  invites everyone to take part in this lasting tradition.

                                             The History

The inspiration for the Boar’s Head Ceremony is taken from none other than the Oglethorpe family coat of arms, which features boar’s head profiles, symbolizing the strength, courage and vigor of the Oglethorpe family.  The annual Boar’s Head celebration is modeled after an English collegiate ceremony, said to have begun at Queens College in Oxford during the 14th century.

Legend has it that, while wandering the forest of Shotover on Christmas Eve, a student named Copcot took a break from his travel to read Aristotle.  Suddenly, young Copcot was attacked by a wild boar.  The story says that Copcot stood his ground, saying in Greek, “Wisdom conquers even the treacherous beast.” He then rammed the book down the throat of the boar, causing it to choke to death.  Upon returning to campus, Copcot presented the carcass to the college cook, who roasted it—the book and all—for Christmas dinner. It is said that those who ate the flesh of this boar grew wiser with each bite.

A member of ODK

Dr. Irwin Ray, conductor of the Oglethorpe Singers and University Chorale

Today, ODK inductees kiss the boar instead of eating it, with hopes of carrying their newly-acquired knowledge with them to the new year.

What Else to Expect

In addition to the ODK initiation, the Boar’s Head Ceremony includes a live holiday concert from the Oglethorpe Singers and University Chorale.

After the concert, attendees will move outside to enjoy the lighting of the Christmas tree.  And no holiday party is complete without a feast. In 2010, the international-themed holiday party that followed the tree lighting featured food and beverages from different regions around the world.