Arts Groups Kick Off Festivities
The event, entitled ‘Segue,’ showcased over twenty undergraduate and graduate student groups.
“We wanted President Summers to see the wonderful talent here for himself,” said Eric C. Engel, director of the Memorial-Lowell complex and the show’s producer.
The show began before President Lawrence H. Summers and his family members actually entered the concert hall, with an outdoor welcome from the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchesra.
“When I got out of the car and saw the orchestra playing on the green, it was just magical,” said Anita A. Summers, the mother of Harvard’s 27th President.
Though the performance focused on student talents, a spotlight followed Summers as he entered the theater with his three children.
According to Engel, diversity was a driving force behind the planning of the event. Performances ranged from ‘Ekla Chalo Re,’ a Bengali song performed by Taraana, a South Asian music group, to a dance by the Crimson Dance Team to Janet Jackson songs.
Students said they relished the opportunity to display their talents.
“It was wonderful performing here in front of President Summers,” said Rebecca Alaly ’04, a member of a dance ensemble which performed ‘Still Rising.’
After the show, which ended with a standing ovation, audience members and performers mingled and nibbled on truffles and chocolate-covered strawberries at a reception in Annenberg. Many said they were amazed by the performance.
“I can’t believe that these kids are all at Harvard.” marveled Senior Harvard Corporation Fellow Robert G. Stone. “It’s mind-boggling.”
On the eve of his inauguration, Summers’ family members had several words of wisdom for the new president.
“He should be himself, as he always has been,” said John Summers, the president’s brother.
Summers’ mother said she would tell her son the same things she tells all of her children.
“Enjoy your work,” she said. “Only go to work you really enjoy.”
The inauguration celebration will continue today, with six symposia featuring leading acadmics scheduled for this morning followed by the formal installation ceremony at 2:00 p.m in Tercentenary Theatre.
—Staff Writer Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to the reporting of this story.