Music, Meditation & Munchies – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Music, Meditation & Munchies

This year, the tradition of Music, Meditation and Munchies will commemorate the 50th anniversary of an integral part of St. John’s Chapel – the Austin organ. The monthly celebration of classical music, held in St. John’s Chapel on the first Wednesday of every month, will honor the anniversary of its installation.

The return of Professor Emeritus Lindsay Lafford P’65, P’71, L.H.D. ’87, who will celebrate his 99th birthday in October, for the second and last meditations has been postponed.

Fifty years ago, Lafford held a musical celebration to commemorate the renovation of St. John’s Chapel and the installation of the 3-manual Austin organ. A professor of music at the time, Lafford was also the chapel’s organist and assisted in choosing the organ.

What began as an opportunity to display the new instrument has turned into an HWS tradition beloved by students, faculty and staff. Once a month, members of the HWS and Geneva communities meet for spoken reflection or poetry, classical music and dessert. This year, each event will commemorate the anniversary of the organ and the chapel’s expansion.

Lafford joined the faculty of Hobart and William Smith in 1948 as a music professor and soon became department chair.  He taught music and directed the chorus for 31 years. Lafford’s passion for music, commitment to the Colleges and enthusiasm for his work and students earned him the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2000.

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Music, Meditation and Munchies is held the first Wednesday of each month from 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. in St. John’s Chapel. All are welcome and are invited to bring a lunch. The full schedule for this year’s series is as follows:

Wednesday, Sept. 7, Music, Meditation and Munchies: “Art and Music Entwined”

Associate Professor of Art Michael Tinkler has a special connection with the history of St. John’s Chapel and will discuss the history. To accompany the presentation, MaryAnn Hamilton will play selections from “Esquisses Byzantines” by Henri Mulet-Nef (Nave), Rosace (Rose Window) and Carillon.


Wednesday, Oct. 5, Music, Meditation and Munchies


Hobart and William Smith Colleges organist MaryAnn Hamilton will play an alternate program for the October 5 Music, Meditation and Munchies at 12:15 PM in St. John’s Chapel.

The program will begin with Dr. Lindsay Lafford’s Fanfare, Recitative and Hymn based on “O God Our Help in Ages Past,” composed for the 150th anniversary of St. John’s Cathedral, Hong Kong.  Also included on the program will be Andante with Variations by Felix Mendelssohn, Variations on a Shape Note Hymn (Wondrous Love) by Samuel Barber and Variations on “Veni Creator” by Maurice Duruflé.  Chaplain Lesley Adams will read poetry selections.


POSTPONED “Lindsay Lafford Returns” – Lindsay Lafford, former Chair of the HWS Music Department, returns to perform on the Austin organ installed during his tenure. A prolific composer, he will perform some of his compositions including “A Psalm-Cycle for Soprano, Clarinet and Organ.” His daughter Julia Lafford Welbon’65 will sing. 


Wednesday, Nov. 2, Music, Meditation and Munchies: “The Organ as Orchestra-Scheherazade”

The organ is frequently called to play transcriptions and orchestral reductions. Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov was seduced by the exotic stories from Central Asia and composed Scheherazade as an accompaniment to the Arabian Nights stories. Joined by Sara Mastrangelo–violin, Jeff Stempien flute, Lorraine Jones-bassoon, the organ will play the parts of the rest of the orchestra. The meditation will be led by Professor of History and Acting Dean of William Smith Susanne McNally.


Wednesday, Dec. 7, Music, Meditation and Munchies: “Evensong at Noon”

Choral music was an essential part of the HWS experience 50 years ago. Memorable candlelit Evensong performances were held in Trinity Church. Local members of the Schola Cantorum return to recreate a service 50 years later including the memorable “Christmas Day” by Gustav Holst. The meditation will be led by Dyson Gay ’61.


Wednesday, Feb. 1, Music, Meditation and Munchies: “Steve Kan – The Trinity Church Connection”

Trinity Church was used as the primary performance venue because of its size and acoustics. We celebrate this connection with a recital by Steve Kane, present organist of Trinity Church. He will play works by Walond, Widor and Howells. The meditation will be led by Rev. Karen Lewis, Rector of Trinity Church.


Wednesday, March 7, Music, Meditation and Munchies: “Angela Libertalla Calabrese, Soprano – The Organ as Accompanist”

Libertalla Calabrese delights all who hear her with beautiful music. Works will include “Pie Jesu” by Gabriel Fauré, Quia Respexit by J. S. Bach and “Let the Bright Seraphim” by G. F. Handel. The organ shows off as an oboe. Jeff Stempien, trumpet, assists. The meditation will be led by John Norvell ‘66, former Alumni Director.


Wednesday, April 4, Music, Meditation and Munchies: “A Hymn Sing-The Organ as Leader of Congregational Song”

Bring your voice and plan to join in some reflective and stirring hymns as we prepare for the Resurrection. The meditation will be led by Dean of Hobart College Eugen Baer.


Wednesday, May 2, Music, Meditation and Munchies: “Lindsay Lafford Returns”

Lindsay Lafford, Lord of Ridley, returns to conclude our year-long celebration honoring the Austin organ and St. John’s Chapel. The meditation will be led by Chaplain Lesley Adams.Top of Form