We’re off to Hanover this morning for the graduation of one of my daughters from Dartmouth this Sunday. We look forward to meeting up with Paul and his family tonight. Commencement will be an emotional event for me for all the usual reasons, and also because I’ll be thinking about my late parents and grandparents who attended my own graduation from Dartmouth in 1973.
The Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra has been at or near the center of my daughter’s world at Dartmouth for the past four years. Led by Anthony Princiotti, the DSO is an impressive institution that places large demands on the time of its student members. My daughter has been a devoted member of the DSO’s violin section. Checking out information about the commencement ceremony at the Dartmouth Web site yesterday, I discovered a video of the final three minutes of the performance of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 that concluded the DSO winter concert, Philip Back on the piano.
Back will also be graduating on Sunday with Paul’s and my daughters. Back is a remarkable young man. In addition to his work in the DSO, Back’s other major commitment on campus has been the ROTC program. He has participated in three hours of physical training, three hours of classroom instruction, and five hours of outdoor training activities each week. Commissioned a second lieutenant, Back will serve four years of active duty in the Armor branch of the Army after graduation.
Visiting my daughter for this year’s DSO fall concert, I crossed paths with Phil when I attended a music class that she was taking on melody. The teacher asked if anyone in class was familiar with the plot of a particular Mozart opera. Phil raised his hand and gave a lucid summary of the opera without pause, noting the placement of the intermissions along the way. Dartmouth takes rightful pride in Phil Back’s accomplishments. Read more about him here.
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