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Dec. 6, 2001
Vol. 31, No.10


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Free sousa concert

Dec. 7 tribute to alumnus receiving honorary degree will set feet to tapping

 

By Susan Wittstock, onCAMPUS staff

It may be just what the doctor ordered.

A free patriotic concert of heart-stirring, foot-stomping American music performed by Keith Brion and his New Sousa Band will be held at 8 p.m. in Weigel Auditorium on Dec. 7.

The concert is a tribute to Paul Bierley, an Ohio State graduate in aeronautical engineering who is receiving an honorary doctorate to recognize his contributions to the field of music history.

"It came as quite a surprise," Bierley said, in reference to being named a degree recipient. "I think it's wonderful."

Bierley has cultivated a passion for the music of John Philip Sousa into a scholarly quest over the past 40 years, writing and publishing numerous books and articles on concert band history.

"I was always fascinated by Sousa's music. I heard those sparkling melodies as a child and thought,'The guy who wrote that must be someone special," Bierley said.

Paul Bierley, an Ohio State graduate in aeronautical engineering, is receiving an honorary doctorate to recognize his contributions to the field of music history.

Bierley was the first scholar to research Sousa, a composer and director whose civilian band criss-crossed the country during the 1920s, playing classical music concerts in opera houses and town halls 365 days a year. Bierley is regarded as a leading scholar on all things Sousa, and it was his biography of Sousa, John Philip Sousa, American Phenomenon, that prompted Brion to found the New Sousa Band in 1979.

"The New Sousa Band would not exist if not for Paul's scholarship," said Katherine Borst Jones, professor of music at Ohio State and a member of the New Sousa Band since 1992.

One night, Brion read Bierley's descriptions of a Sousa concert in New Haven, Conn., and decided to direct a re-enactment, using a band he directed at Yale University. The first concert was a great success, as was a second, and prompted an engagement at Carnegie Hall, where it received a favorable review by the New York Times.

A concept was born, and Brion has since presented concerts with bands and orchestras throughout the United States and the world, recorded numerous CDs and performed for a PBS special, "The New Sousa Band on Stage at Wolf Trap." The band is exclusively endorsed by John Sousa IV, president of JP Sousa Inc., and is comprised of approximately 200 professional musicians from around the country, with 43 members playing at any given concert.

"In this case, it will be mostly Ohio State music professors and Columbus Symphony Orchestra members performing, with some music students added. All of the musicians are donating their services to honor Paul," Jones said. She estimated that one-third of the performers will be New Sousa Band members.

The concert is sponsored by the College of the Arts, the President's Office, the School of Music, the OSU Marching Band and the Columbus Foundation.

Musical selections for the Ohio State concert include Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever," a selection of Sousa marches, and his "Humoresque on Gershwin's Swanee" and "Colonial Dames." Other selections will include "Zampa Overture," by Herold; "Handel in the Strand," by Grainger; "American Salute," by Gould; "Fluffy Ruffles," by Greene, featuring Susan Powell, assistant professor of percussion at Ohio State; "Through the Air," by Damm, featuring Ohio State alumna Diana Powers, piccoloist with the U.S. Army Field Band, and euphonium solo; and "Endearing Young Charms," by Mantea.

Musicians will wear replicas of the 1920s-era Sousa Band uniforms -- navy blue coats with velvet collars and sleeves, adorned with 35 yards of swirling black braid.

Jones and Christopher Weait, also an Ohio State professor of music and a member of the New Sousa Band since 1992, initiated the process to have Bierley recognized with an honorary degree.

"We felt that Paul was deserving of a degree," Jones said. "We wanted to acknowledge all of the work he has done on an American icon, John Philips Sousa, without having university backing. He has done the work of a musicologist, but funded all of it personally, and started when he was still doing his day job."

Bierley, who is a resident of Westerville, worked for 35 years as an engineer with North American Aviation and Ellenef Manufacturing. Bierley was a tubist with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra for 16 years, until 1981, and has performed in the past with the New Sousa Band, among many other performance groups. He is the founder and editor of Integrity Press, the company he formed to publish most of his books.

Bierley continues to actively research Sousa. "I'm not finished by a long shot," he said, noting that he is working on four new books, two of which should be ready for publication by next year.

"I thought that the first book I wrote would take me two year. Good Lord, that was 38 years ago and I'm still going. I've really only just scratched the surface," Bierley said.

With fall commencement this year taking place on Pearl Harbor Day, and with American patriotism at a peak after the events of Sept. 11, Jones said the timing seemed perfect for a Sousa concert.

"Sousa hits all of the emotions -- patriotism, religion, love," Jones said. "It just seemed like the right thing to do."

For more information, call 292-2300. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

 

Waste not a watt

OSU employees encouraged to conserve energy

By Randy Gammage, onCAMPUS staff

Since launching an energy management program in 1973, Ohio State has proven to be a leader in finding ways to reduce energy consumption and costs. In fact, despite a $21.9 million energy bill (fuel and electricity) last year, the University ranks lowest in energy cost per campus square foot ($0.98) among peer institutions.

But a trend toward higher natural gas prices, coupled with the fact that campus electrical consumption is estimated to increase by 64 percent by 2026, is prompting the Department of Physical Facilities to launch a highly visible energy conservation program, Waste Not A Watt. The program will run from January 2002 through 2004, with a goal of saving up to 3 percent of energy costs per year, or an estimated $500,000 annually, said Jim Stevens, associate vice president for Physical Facilities.

While the primary focus for managing energy costs and efficiency is in the design of buildings and their heating/cooling systems, major infrastructure improvements and aggressive cost control measures, an education program aimed at reducing wasted energy use is important, Stevens said. He said the message will be simple: Turn off overhead lights and computer monitors when leaving a room for two hours or more, and turn the thermostat down to 70 degrees during the winter.

"If you go to someone's home, you don't see the thermostat set at 70 degrees. You'll usually see it at 68 degrees," Stevens said. "That's because they see a direct relation between that and their energy bill."

Although the conservation campaign will be a challenge to promote because of its voluntary nature, Stevens said it can have a direct impact on the entire campus community.

"When you're wasting, you're wasting dollars that could be spent somewhere else," he said.

Promotion of Waste Not A Watt will be conducted through fliers, news articles, posters, classes and reports. Specific recommendations by Physical Facilities to reduce energy costs include:

  • Promote an awareness of energy uses by turning off the lights in unoccupied spaces or turning off computer monitors and other equipment when not in use. For example, turning personal computers off when they are not in use can reduce the amount of energy they consume by more than 75 percent.
  • Encourage faculty, staff and students to reduce winter thermostat settings to 70 degrees and raise summer thermostat settings to 78 degrees to conserve energy.
  • Update the energy efficient design criteria for new buildings, establishing energy consumption guidelines for new buildings.
  • Provide strong educational and motivation components to all faculty, staff and students to foster conservation.

Also from 2002 to 2004, the University will complete negotiations for a new 10-year electrical energy contract.

In 2004, the University will review the economics of producing more of its own electricity through cogeneration. After a study of the cost effectiveness and efficiency of cogeneration of electricity and steam from gas or oil direct-fired turbines with heat recovery boilers, the decision was made to continue to purchase the majority of electrical energy from an immature deregulated market, Stevens said.

Highlights of energy conservation measures at Ohio State include:

  • Since 1984, the University has purchased natural gas on the open market, saving more than $26 million to date over purchasing from a utility company.
  • In 1999, Ohio State purchased the Buckeye electric substation, moving from purchasing retail electricity to becoming a wholesale purchaser, and thus avoided a 10 percent electric rate increase.
  • Centralization of chilled water production for building air conditioning was started in 1998 in the McCracken Power Plant, using only 42 percent of the energy consumed in old "per building" chillers. Currently 15 buildings are served, with four to be added in 2002.
  • Last winter, Physical Facilities countered record-level natural gas costs by burning Ohio coal and oil at the McCracken Power Plant.
  • Earlier this year, the University's Board of Trustees authorized a project to replace four older boilers with new energy-efficient and low-environmental-emission units, increasing plant fuel efficiency by 12 percent. A yearly savings of $500,000 is anticipated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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