A! Magazine for the Arts

Dr. Felicia Mitchell and Dr. Steve Sieck

Dr. Felicia Mitchell and Dr. Steve Sieck

Professors Pen Anthem to capture College's Legacy & Vision

August 23, 2007

EMORY, Va. -- A group of Emory & Henry College professors has developed an anthem in honor of the inauguration of Emory & Henry College's 20th president, Dr. Rosalind Reichard.

Entitled Time for Every Dream, the inauguration anthem is set to debut Friday, Sept. 21 during Reichard's Inauguration ceremony. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. on the South Lawn of the E&H Memorial Chapel.

Dr. Fred Kellogg, religion professor; Dr. Jack Roper, history professor; Dr. Herb Thompson, education professor and Dr. Felicia Mitchell, English professor, developed key themes for a poem that would be written by Mitchell and later set to music by Dr. Steve Sieck, E&H director of choral and vocal studies.

"We wanted something that touched on the Inauguration theme, the College mission statement and our core values. "I felt that a reflection based in part on Ecclesiastes could connect those elements," said Mitchell, who wrote the poem.

"I woke up very early one morning, unable to sleep ... got to work on the first draft of a possible anthem and worked for hours," Mitchell said. "Later in the day, I sent that draft off to the others, who provided warm feedback right away."

Mitchell trusted Sieck to make a strong and memorable anthem with her words. "His music lifts the words off the page and adds a dimension that is more than accompaniment. It's like he's added different layers of tone, voice and meaning."

Sieck's enthusiasm for the work came in part from his desire to compose music that would be enhanced by the E&H Concert Choir. "As I thought further about how much I've come to know this group of E&H singers, I realized I would relish the opportunity to write something that fit their voices."

Sieck joins the past inauguration hymn, composed by the Methodist hymnist and composer Carleton Young, with the newly created hymn. "If you're listening carefully, you'll even hear the tenors sing that hymn about three fourths of the way through the piece. In this way we have metaphorically passed the torch from one president to the next."

Sieck scored the music for three trumpets, two trombones and a tuba, allowing it to be performed by members of the E&H Brass Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Matthew Frederick, E&H instrumental music professor.

For more information on the Inauguration of Emory & Henry's 20th president go to www.ehc.edu/inauguration.