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Biology Department displays harmony at musical review

By : Cait Anastis

Lee and Julian Shepherd take a few minutes to rehearse before the start of the Biology Department musical review.
Faculty, staff and graduate students in the biology department have a flair for the arts as well as the sciences.

During a recent department social, dubbed “La Musicale Biologique,” members of the department demonstrated their vocal and instrumental talents.

The idea for the musical showcase was sparked by several chance conversations in the hallways of Science 3. Steven Tammariello, assistant professor of biological sciences, dis-covered that a number of people in the department shared an interest in music and musical performance. Among them there are cellists, guitar players, pianists and vocalists.

“This social was meant to be very informal and casual — a way for many of us to get together outside biological, budgetary and departmental issues to share our love of music, or at least the love of producing sounds that may resemble music,” Tammariello said.

About 20 performers volunteered to take part in the showcase. Pamela Watts, microbiology and building administrator, served as the opening act, singing Handel’s “Art Thou Troubled.”

The program included Broadway show tunes, Sousa marches and classical pieces. Graduate student Manpreet Singh added his own work to the mix, performing a song he composed in tribute to the day he met his wife. Susannah Gal, associate professor, performed a duet with her daughter, Christine Baxter. Gal has been playing the recorder for 12 years and her daughter plays the flute.

“This was the first time we’ve performed together, so we’ll see if we’re still playing together after this,” she said.

Julian Shepherd, associate professor, and his wife, Lee, chose Jay Unger’s “Ashokan Farewell.”

“I have it in my head how he plays it,” Julian Shepherd said as he introduced the piece. “We’ll see what we can do with it.”

The social gave members of the department a chance to relax and discover their coworkers’ hidden talents.

“Biology always has great pot lucks, but this is a great improvement,” Lee Shepherd said.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08