Vanderbilt Magazine

Blair partners with the Dean of Students office for One Vanderbilt production of Britten chamber opera

Graduating senior Anighya Crocker, left, sang the title role in ‘Albert Herring;’ Principal Senior Lecturer Jennifer McGuire (back to camera) conducted a chamber orchestra of student musicians for the production and served as music director. (Photo by Joe Howell)

Vanderbilt Blair School of Music, which offered online-only streamed concerts for most of the 2020–21 academic year, hosted two outdoor in-person performances on Wilson Lawn in April. Vanderbilt Opera Theatre presented Albert Herring, a three-act chamber opera by Benjamin Britten, on April 16—preceded by a talk by musicology professor Joy Calico. Two nights later, the Vanderbilt Steel Bands performed a concert of Caribbean music.

The two free events, open to Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff, were not just the first concerts with an audience in attendance in more than a year. They also represent a new avenue for bringing the arts to the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities.

“The Blair School is committed to sharing the unifying power of the arts across campus, bringing people together and forging common cause—through music, with music and in music,” says Lorenzo F. Candelaria, Martha Rivers Ingram Dean of the Blair School of Music. “Our vision for Blair is nothing short of a national model for integrative, inclusive and accessible arts education. Our partnership with the Dean of Students for this unprecedented One Vanderbilt production of Albert Herring on central campus—in the midst of a global pandemic, no less—is just a preview of many great things to come.”