The annual Family Weekend Concert on Friday, Oct. 14, features two of the newer members of the MIT family -- MIT President Susan Hockfield and her husband, Dr. Thomas Byrne, who will together narrate the MIT Wind Ensemble's performance of Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait."
Frederick Harris, director of MIT's Wind Ensemble, says he's always wanted to present the piece. Written in 1942, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the piece combines excerpts from some of Lincoln's speeches with musical quotations from such well-known American songs as "Camptown Races."
People from all walks of life have narrated the work, including former MIT president Howard Johnson, in 1969, with the MIT Symphony. "I thought it would be great -- and pretty rare as far as I know -- to have Drs. Hockfield and Byrne collaborate and get to know the music and theater arts students on a musical level," he said.
It's also unusual, he said, to have two narrators for the piece.
The president's MIT performance debut will be preceded by the Wind Ensemble's performance of Professor Peter Child's "Fanfare and Fugue," which was written for Hockfield's inauguration.
The Wind Ensemble will also perform Vaughn Williams' "Toccata Marziale," Persichetti's "Divertimento" and Copland's "Down a Country Lane," with senior Daniel Steele on piano; the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble will perform works by Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn and Charlie Parker.
The free concert is in Kresge Auditorium. For more information, call x3-2826.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 5, 2005 (download PDF).