Welcome and Congratulations!

To our Seniors,

As we start to be able to look ahead, with cautious optimism, to the end of the pandemic, we are beginning to hear some melancholy reflections on what people are calling a “lost year.” But as I look at the impressive collection of Capstone and Honors projects completed by our Class of 2021, this year looks anything but lost. Instead, I see creativity, patience, and perseverance.

These projects are all the more impressive given how many challenges and limitations the pandemic has presented for musical projects. Some students have been working entirely remotely with makeshift studios and in distant time zones; for those on campus, the safety protocols radically limited collaborative possibilities and access to essential spaces. One might have expected to see the imprint of the pandemic through apparent compromises or lowered expectations. But the work featured here reveals no such thing: here we have a dazzling and polished collection of albums, EPs, film scores, and research projects. That is not to say these projects do not reflect the unusual times in which they were carried out: I know some projects that had originally been imagined as fundamentally collaborative turned inward and became far more introspective. And one notices, for example, that many engage with themes of nature, environment, meditation, and healing. As a whole, this body of work is a testament to the tenacity of our graduating seniors.

So, at the end of this wild and compressed semester—which has felt something like a sprint at the end of a marathon—I wish our Class of 2021 the most enthusiastic congratulations and the warmest wishes for all future endeavors. Please stay in touch!

Emily I. Dolan
Department Chair