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College mourns Prof. Henry Swanker ’31

Posted on Nov 20, 2007

Henry Swanker, professor emeritus of chemistry

Henry J. Swanker ’31, professor emeritus of chemistry, died Nov. 16, 2007, at the Ellis Center for Long Term Care. He was 96.

Prof. Swanker, who was with the College from 1942 to 1976, also served as director of Institutional Studies, assistant to the dean of faculty, director of Alumni Relations and Placement, and vice president for External Affairs. He served as editor of Union College Review.

A Schenectady native, he attended city schools before enrolling at Union, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1931, and a master’s in 1932. He also earned a master’s degree from Albany State University in 1941.

He taught math and science at Schenectady schools and the Vincentian Institute.

As a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he returned to the College to teach naval navigation under the V-5 program. After the war, he stayed on as a faculty member of the chemistry department.

He received the Alumni Gold Medal and the Faculty Meritorious Service Award from the Alumni Council.

He is survived by his wife, Esther Morey Swanker.

Arrangements were with the Jones Funeral Home, 1503 Union St., Schenectady, 12309.

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Violinist Christian Tetzlaff makes Chamber series debut Friday

Posted on Nov 16, 2007

Christian Tetzlaff, violin, makes his Capital District debut with Alexander Lonquich, piano, for a concert of All-Beethoven Friday, Nov. 30, 2007 at Memorial Chapel.

Violinist Christian Tetzlaff will make his area debut during the 36th International Festival of Chamber Music series Friday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. He will be joined by pianist Alexander Lonquich.

The all-Beethoven performance includes Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24, “Spring;” Sonata No. 6 in A Major, Op. 30, No. 1; Sonata No. 7 in C minor, Op. 30, No. 2; and Sonata No. 8 in G Major, Op. 30, No. 3.

Christian Tetzlaff was born in 1966 into a minister’s family in Hamburg. He began playing the violin and piano at age six and by age 14 undertook an intensive study of the violin after his concert debut playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto.

Tetzlaff was named “Instrumentalist of the Year” in 2005 by Musical America. He has performed with the orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco and Toronto in addition to numerous festivals throughout North America and Europe.

His recordings have earned him the prestigious Diapason d'Or award as well as a Grammy nomination. His recording of the Brahms and Joachim violin concertos with the Danish Radio Orchestra/Dausgaard for Virgin will be released in January.

Born in Trier, Germany, Alexander Lonquich launched his career by winning the International Piano Competition Antonio Casagrande in Terni, Italy at age 16.

Alexander Lonquich, piano, makes his Capital District debut with Christian Tetzlaff, violin, for a concert of All-Beethoven Friday, Nov. 30, 2007 at Memorial Chapel.

Lonquich performs in Japan, the United States and Australia as well as at the most important European music centres and prestigious international festivals including Salzburg, Edinburgh and the Beethoven Festival in Bonn and Warsaw. As soloist, he’s performed with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and the Düsseldorf Symphonic Orchestra.

His recordings with oeuvres of Mozart and Schubert for EMI received solid reviews and were awarded such prizes as the Diapason d’Or in France, Premio Abbiati in Italy and Premio Edison in Holland.

The concert is free for the Union College community; $25 for general admission and $10 for area students. For tickets, call (518) 388-6080; for more information on the Series, call (518) 372-3651 or visit http://www.union.edu/ConcertSeries.

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Memorial Chapel rings in holidays with seasonal concerts

Posted on Nov 16, 2007

A full weekend of concerts in Memorial Chapel will help usher in the holiday season. On Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m., the Octavo Singers, under the direction of George Moross, return for their annual performance of Handel's Messiah.

For ticket information, call (518) 344-SING (7464).

In their only appearance outside of the greater Boston area, the Boston Camerata presents their 2007 production of “A Renaissance Christmas” Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. at Memorial Chapel. The production, from Music Director Joel Cohen, was the first Camerata program to draw large audiences and national attention when it made its debut 36 years ago.

The Boston Camerata's 2007 production of “A Renaissance Christmas” introduces newcomer Lydia Brotherton, soprano, who joins Camerata regulars Michael Collver, countertenor; Timothy Leigh Evans, tenor; Daniel Hershey, tenor, and Donald Wilkinson, barito

Under the direction of French soprano and Camerata guest director, Anne Azéma, this rich program employs works by Dufay, Josquin, Byrd, Praetorius and many other composers of France, Spain, Italy, England and Germany in addition to rare Christmas music from the church and countryside of Renaissance Europe circa 1470 to 1620.

The 2007 production introduces newcomer Lydia Brotherton, soprano, who joins Camerata regulars Michael Collver, countertenor; Timothy Leigh Evans, tenor; Daniel Hershey, tenor, and Donald Wilkinson, baritone; as well as instrumentalists Carol Lewis, vielle and viol; Steve Lundahl, recorders and sackbut, and Karen Walthinsen, vielle and violin.

The concert is free for the Union College community; $25 for general admission and $10 for area students. For tickets, call (518) 388-6080; for more information on the Concert Series, call (518) 372-3651 or visit http://www.union.edu/ConcertSeries.

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Tallman to wear different hat, in Afghanistan

Posted on Nov 16, 2007

Don Tallman, housing coordinator, Residential Life, fall 2007, Army drill sargent, Afghanistan

Colleagues and students know Don Tallman, the housing coordinator for Residential Life, for the reserved and measured way he deals with the occasional chaos that goes with getting 2,000 students settled into their rooms.

So, most are more than a little surprised to learn that he is also, by his own admission, one of the loudest drill sergeants in the U.S.Army.

“Most people tell me, “You’re so laid back. I can’t see you yelling,’” he said. “But when I put that hat on, I’m a different person.”

That different person, an Army reservist, has been called to serve in Afghanistan. Starting Dec. 5, he will join the 95th Division Reserve Unit in Oklahoma and Kansas for a month of training. Then he will deploy to a base near Kabul, Afghanistan, to train Afghani soldiers — through interpreters — to become drill instructors. New classes will rotate through the facility every four or five weeks during his 400-day assignment, he said.

Friends gathered recently at a reception to wish him well. They also signed up for a list serve through which colleagues in Residential Life will keep the campus updated on Tallman and share a wish list of personal items for members of his unit. RAs have volunteered to help Tallman’s wife, Sharon, by bringing their two children, Kaleb, 9, and Gabriella, 5, to games and campus events, according to Todd Clark, director of Residential Life.

“We want to help the family and to give Don some peace of mind while he is serving,” said Clark.

Tallman says he looks forward to keeping in touch with family and friends though the internet in Afghanistan can be spotty.

Tallman has been at Union for eight years, the first five in Campus Safety, one in ITS, and the last two in Residential Life. He has served a total of 13 years in the military, eight years with the Marines – including two as a drill instructor, one in the National Guard, and the last four as a drill sergeant in the Army.

So, how does a drill sergeant plan to return to life as housing coordinator and family man? “As soon as I’m done, I’m back to myself,” he said. “Once I take that hat off, I’m me again.”

To sign up for the list serve, email housing@union.edu.

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Campus, community unite to give thanks

Posted on Nov 16, 2007

A multi-faith service scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 18 at 3 p.m. in Memorial Chapel

A community potluck dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m. in Old Chapel is open to Union international students, athletes and other students who have remained on campu

Two celebrations planned around the Thanksgiving holiday will unite the campus community with area religious groups.

On Sunday, Nov. 18, a multifaith service will be celebrated at 3 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. The service combines reflection and tradition from the Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish and Hindu congregations from Schenectady County. It is free and open to the public.

“This is a first attempt at what we hope will become a long-standing tradition in Schenectady,” said Viki Brooks-McDonald, campus protestant minister and interfaith chaplain. “Thanksgiving is an American tradition, but these religions are also a part of our landscape. This will be more than just an ecumenical, vanilla-flavored service.”

Area religious leaders will share the meaning of giving thanks from the perspective of their faith. The event is sponsored by the Religious Programs Office and Multifaith Council of Union College, the Schenectady Inner-City Ministry and the Interfaith Community of Schenectady.

Monetary donations will be accepted to benefit food programs in Africa and the food pantry operated by the Schenectady Inner-City Ministry.

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, a community potluck dinner will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Old Chapel. International students at Union, athletes and other students who remain on campus during the semester break are invited to enjoy food and conversation with members of area congregations.

The dinner is sponsored by the Campus Protestant Ministry and area Protestant congregations. Dining Services will provide a turkey. Members of the community are encouraged to bring potluck side dishes and desserts. Each dish should include a note card listing the ingredients, and contributors are asked to consider vegetarian options and avoid pork products.

For more information on the multifaith service or potluck dinner, contact Brooks-McDonald at (518) 388-6618 or at brooksmv@union.edu.

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