Leonard Bernstein at 100 at Ole Miss

Around the country this year, hundreds of shows are being held in remembrance of the brilliant composing of Leonard Bernstein who would have turned 100 years old this year.

This Tuesday, Ole Miss is hosting their celebration of the American composer who has inspired millions through his musical soundtracks, music education videos, and overall charisma and passion for music.

Selections from Chichester Psalms, Candide, and the recently unearthed Peter Pan will be performed by Dennis Shrock, Emannuel Tsao, Bradley Robinson, Stefanie Moore, the University of Mississippi Chorus with Don Trott, and the Bernstein Festival Orchestra.  

“When he died in 1990, they started to archive everything pretty quickly,” Trott said. “Lot’s of scores written and apparently Karen Bernstein, who is Alexander’s Cousin, became active as the archivist and then they quickly made a connection with the Library of Congress that this is where they should be housed.”

Ole Miss Choral Director Don Trott said that the discovery of the Peter Pan sheet music would be comparable to finding original letters written by Abraham Lincoln.

“Apparently he was asked to just write some incidental music and he got kind of carried away with it at the time so he just got into a mood and wrote several pieces and created basically this whole musical,” Trott said.

Once the play was discovered by an old protege, it was turned into a concertized version so that audiences could enjoy “new” music posthumously from Bernstein. The new concertized version will be the one that will be performed at the Ford Center.

Trott studied under Bernstein himself at Westminster Choir College, and published an article in Choral Journal based on interviews with Alexander Bernstein, Leonard’s son. Alexander Bernstein will be making an appearance at the concert this Tuesday at the Ford Center.

Dr. Selim Giray, Director of Orchestral Activities, shares the enthusiasm of the Peter Pan discovery with Trott.

“This is something for music historian’s, concert-goers, and performers,” said Dr. Giray.

The sheer volume of Bernstein’s catalogue of compositions is something to marvel at, and will presumably stand the test of time, as it already has for more than half a century.


Possible Increase In Cost of Living Through New Proposed Ordinance

The seemingly ever-increasing cost of living in Oxford may be rising yet again due to a proposed ordinance that will require townhouse residents to have “automatic fire sprinkling systems.”

Section R313 in the proposed ordinance reads, “Townhouse automatic fire sprinkler systems. An automatic fire sprinkler system shall be optional and not mandatory in townhouses.”

Jason Bailey, Alderman of Ward VI, immediately took issue with it, pointing out the burden it will put on the homeowners in Oxford who are already struggling with the rising cost of living.

“Y’all realize every time we do this, the ability to provide affordable housing in this town gets less and less,” said Alderman Bailey. “Every time we require sprinkler systems or things like that, it gets put back on the consumer.”

City Building Official, Randy Barber, who delivered the ordinance to the Aldermen didn’t show full support in Alderman Bailey’s discontent with the article on the ordinance, but agreed that they could try and work towards a compromise on the section of the article.

The previous draft of the ordinance had the automatic fire sprinkling systems as optional, but the update on it has flipped the position. 

“One- and two-family dwellings automatic residential fire sprinkler systems. An automatic residential fire sprinkler system shall be optional and not mandatory in one- and two family dwellings,” stated in section 313.2 of the ordinance.

“I have a lot of experience with sprinkler systems and if you require sprinkler systems, I think you ought to require them to be insulated properly,” said Alderman Bailey.

Also, according to the ordinance, the installation and design of the sprinkler systems must be in accordance with NFPA 13D.

Mayor Robyn Tannehill had a few concerns with how the insulation would be regulated, but said that “this is not my area of expertise.” Mayor Tannehill posed questions to Barber about the specifications of the insulation, but specifics were not resolved during the meeting.

Alderman John Morgan noted that this is only the first reading of the ordinance, needing a total of three readings with updates before the ordinance can be passed and possibly enacted. 

Final Project Pitch

The debate on guns in America has always been heated and controversial, but the past few years and school shootings have divided the country on the language of the second amendment. Although this is a two-sided debate, people are for and against the second amendment in several places. Even some gun owners want there to be increased gun control, and there is a multitude of people that want guns abolished all together. The issue with this debate, and every other topic of discussion in America right now, is that neither sides will listen to each other and their points of view. Most people only listen to what they want to hear, and degrade the opposing viewpoints by any means possible. It is not a healthy way to solve a problem, and this problem is not going away any time soon.

When Hillary Clinton was thought to be elected, many gun owners went out and bought ammo in mass proportions in fear of their rights being infringed upon. It is a fear on both sides of this debate that drives it, and the fears are completely understandable when explained rationally from either side.
A couple of weeks ago, three cops were shot and killed in one weekend in Mississippi, although it is unclear whether the guns were legally obtained or not. The answer to the debate is unclear, but until those debating listen to each other, a compromise will not be met with open hands.
Possible Sources:
Brookhaven Police Department
Mississippi Auto Arms