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Currier Residents Jazz Up Dining Hall

By Nicole B. Urken, Crimson Staff Writer

Thanks to heaven, hell and two creative juniors, Currier House residents have yet another reason to linger over their country fried steak.

Since Currier’s annual “Heaven and Hell” Halloween party forced the House to move their piano from a practice room to the dining hall, Alvin E. Hough ’06 and Jonathan C. Bardin ’06 have treated weekend diners to jazz and classical stylings while they eat.

The “traditional dinner music,” as Hough describes it, began by chance two weeks ago when a group of friends nudged the 15-year veteran pianist toward the keys, said Robert M. Koenig ’06, chair of the Currier House Committee.

“Alvin is an amazing musician and extremely modest, so we tempted him to play,” Koenig said.

Though Koenig and friends did not expect regular performances, other students responded positively. Soon Hough was joined by Bardin on the conga drums, and the duo has continued to play Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights ever since.

“It’s just another one of the perks that makes Currier House so great,” boasted Stephen T. Volpe ’07.

Currier House Master Joseph L. Badaracco has also become a Hough and Bardin fan, citing the musicians’ apparent ability to attract residents to mingle in the dining hall during their sets.

“I think the architecture of Currier really brings people together, and the music has attracted even more people to spend time in the dining hall,” Badaracco said.

He said the House plans to continue to shuttle the piano back and forth between the dining hall and its normal home in the practice room so that residents can continue to eat in rhythm on the weekends.

“This emerged by serendipity but we’re going to keep it going,” Badaracco said.

Hough said he enjoys contributing to the ambience of Currier House dining hall, which already boasts plants and a fountain.

“The combination of the music with the fountain makes you think either of a hotel or of Nordstroms,” Hough said.

Thus far, Currier residents have been appreciative, and even generous. On one occasion a resident jokingly left a cup on the piano.

The musicians took home $22 in tips, Bardin said.

—Staff writer Nicole B. Urken can be reached at urken@fas.harvard.edu.

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