Oglethorpe professors Dr. Tom FitzStephens and Dr. Nic Deuson recently took their COR 103: Music and Culture classes to Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center to experience the captivating program “Folk Tales, Ragas, and Lost Love” performed by the Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
The multicultural concert opened with a Peruvian folk piece performed by Gabriela Lena Frank. It featured Indian classical music and a performance by world-famous sarod player Amjad Ali Khan. Students also heard the suite from Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet masterpiece Romeo and Juliet.
“In music and culture class, we study the elements of music, many styles of music from many centuries, and the cultures from which they come,” says Dr. FitzStephens.
“This was an opportunity to experience some of that music performed by expert-level musicians live and in person. Audio and video recordings are nice, but there is nothing like hearing and seeing professional musicians in person.”
The Core program at Oglethorpe challenges students on how they think about themselves and the larger global community. Music and Culture builds on the foundation of the Core by encouraging students to appreciate music and understand the creative process as a means of self-expression and the artist’s relationship to the world.
Domenique Branch ’26, a student in Dr. FitzStephens’ class, appreciated the trip to the Atlanta Symphony and engaging with the concert academically.
“Music is more than just a sound; it’s connecting with the sound on a more personal level,” says Branch.
“I valued the Symphony performance because it successfully fulfilled and exceeded an essential concept of the Music and Culture course, which is to listen to music both objectively and subjectively, utilizing both intellect and emotion.”