news & notes New Initiatives
Help Write Helen Hosmer’s Biography In preparation for the 125th anniversary of The Crane School of Music in 2011, Dr. Nelly Maude Case, a musicologist on the Crane faculty, is putting together a comprehensive biography of Helen Hosmer and is looking for stories from those who knew her.
Outgoing SUNY Potsdam Faculty Senate Chair Dr. Walt Conley (center) poses with honorary degree recipients Joe Lamond (left), NAMM president and CEO, and Chuck Lorre (right), award-winning TV show creator, executive producer and writer. College News
Rock Star Wannabes Turned Industry Leaders Earn Honorary Degrees Rock star dreams led them both to Hollywood seeking fame and fortune, but fate had other plans for NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond and award-winning TV show creator, executive producer and writer Chuck Lorre. Now several years beyond their musician-for-hire days, Lamond and Lorre were the dynamic duo at SUNY Potsdam’s Bachelor’s Commencement Ceremony in May. They served as the keynote speakers for the ceremony and were awarded honorary
doctorates from The State University of New York in front of approximately 600 bachelor’s graduates and hundreds of their friends and family. Lamond received an Honorary Doctor of Music in recognition of his music education advocacy efforts and success as a leader in music business. Lorre received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his contributions to the entertainment industry and his work to support healthcare opportunities for the less fortunate.
Rare Recording of Crane Chorus Found
The latest fashions, electronic gadgets and collectible items are all popular picks on eBay, but no one suspected an extraordinary piece of history from SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music would be offered there. In fact, many never even knew it existed at all until a Crane librarian stumbled upon it while looking for old recordings. Crane Music Librarian Edward Komara was searching for Leopold Stokowski records on eBay and discovered the United Nations performance of Ahmed Adnun Saygun’s “Yunus Emre” by the Crane Chorus, conducted by Stokowski, from 1958. The incredibly rare recording was being auctioned off by a dealer in Turkey.
After many discussions about the recording and consultation with SUNY Potsdam President Dr. John F. Schwaller and College Archivist Jane Gatta Subramanian ’72, Crane Audio Engineer Gary Galo ’73 made an offer to the dealer based on donations from Dr. Schwaller; Galo and his wife, Ellen; Subramanian; and Dr. Gregory and Tracy Wanamaker ’08. “The Saygun record remains the most elusive of all of Leopold Stokowski’s recordings. Although at least three Stokowski discographers have listed the record, to the best of my knowledge none have actually seen it,” said Galo. “The extreme rarity of this record, combined with the importance of this performance in Crane’s history, makes it an invaluable addition to our College archives.”
A limited edition LP of the performance was issued by the Turkish Information Office in New York, but the extent of the distribution is unknown. “I had never seen a copy in my 45 years of record collecting,” noted Galo. “Crane received a copy of the original tape after the performance, which remains in good condition. When I found out about the recording, I asked Helen Hosmer and Brock McElheran what they knew about the record and, surprisingly, neither was aware that a record of the concert had been issued.” Galo has now cleaned the record on the Crane Library’s VPI Record Cleaning Machine, made a digital transfer and made high-resolution scans of the labels. It now resides in the College Archives for safekeeping.
Hosmer gave 44 years of professional service to SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music as a teacher and eventual director of the Department of Music, a post she held for 36 years. She also remained active in the Potsdam culture well into the 1980s. Dr. Case wants to illustrate Hosmer’s life through the stories of those who knew her. “I am looking for just about anything anyone wants to relate: what she was like as a teacher, conductor, administrator, friend, neighbor, travel companion – you name it,” said Dr. Case. “One can always find the facts and figures about her life, but it’s the stories of personal interaction on all levels that will play an important part in this work.” Dr. Case encourages anyone with material about Hosmer – anecdotes, reminiscences, tributes, etc. – that illustrate how she affected your life or the lives of others to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, (315) 267-2759 or Dr. Nelly Maude Case, The Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, 44 Pierrepont Ave., Potsdam, NY 13676. Previously, Dr. Case included a section of tributes and anecdotes about former Crane School of Music Professor Brock McElheran in his 2006 biography, Worry Early. That work is available from The College Store, with all proceeds going to The Crane School of Music.
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The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the State University of New York at Potsdam