lyrics from Beethovens Choral Fantasy, a musical
celebration of art and life, were the first words spoken from
the stage of the Cherry Logan Emerson Concert Hall in Emorys
new Donna and Marvin Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. The
piece formed the central theme for the original performance Inter-Play,
a fusion of music, dramatic reading, and dance by Emory performers
created expressly for the centers opening night and dedication
the collaborative nature of Inter-Play made manifest
the highest hopes of those who helped the center come to be:
that the Schwartz Center would be a place where the arts at
Emory find each other and blossom into new forms of creative
performance, directed by Vincent P. Murphy, artistic director
of Theater Emory, surrounded the audience, allowing them to
fully experience the celebrated Emerson Concert Hall. Dancers
in white glided down the aisles; string musicians played softly
in the balcony; piano notes drifted from the wings; at one point
a flutist rose from the audience and began to play. The evening
rose to a crescendo when the Emory Symphony Orchestra performed
the stunning Choral Fantasy, bringing the crowd to its feet.
in the arts that we find hope, said Donna Keesler Schwartz
62C-97P, whose gift of $8 million, made with her
husband, provided the foundation for the Schwartz Center. Here
we find the purest, highest and most noble human expression.
For people who come to inspire and to be inspired, to study,
create, and perform, to see and hear, to learn and enjoy, and
to be enriched within the great academic tradition of this university,
this building will help reinforce not only the development of
the mind, but of the creative heart, and the limitless expression
of the human spirit.
was one of three Emory alumnae who played critical roles in
seeing the Schwartz Center to completion. Rosemary M. Magee
82G (standing), senior associate dean of Emory College,
served as executive director of the Arts Project, and University
Trustee Laura Hardman 67C (seated) was chair of arts center
fund raising .
have given their hearts to this enterprise, Magee said.
Look around the hall and you will see the faces of so
many of the people who made this dream come truepeople
just like you and me.
arts center is one of Emorys fondest and longest-deferred
dreams. This is an auspicious moment, said University
President William M. Chace, addressing those gathered at a champagne
reception in the newly christened William and JoAn Chace Upper
Lobby on opening night. As early as sometime in the 1920s,
people were saying, You know, its really time we
had an arts center. This moment is the fruition of so
much hope . . . so much planning . . . so much dreaming. . .
. You cant be a university in the most true sense until
you really honor the arts. We are doing that now.
dedication and performance kicked off a festive opening week
at the center, with performances or open rehearsals every night.
Events included three evenings of Emory Performs
with programs featuring various Emory artists; also featured
the first week was a special concert by alumni musicians.
week culminated with a concert by the New York Philharmonic
Orchestra, which played to a full house, earning rave reviews
for Emerson Halls acoustics from critics including Lois
Reitzes, music director for Atlantas WABE-FM.
Hall is magnificent in its warmth, Reitzes said. The
color and decor ideally complement the sound.
The Schwartz Center promises to bring the arts into the life
of the University as never before. > > >