Sigma Alpha Iota

SAI Pan Pipes Fall14

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sAI-NATIONAL.ORg FALL 2014 PAN PIPES 13 she was trying to meet her high standards. It shocked Helen to find out that not too long before they met, Nadia took her first tour around the United States. Helen joined the program not knowing much about Nadia. In the late '20s and early '30s, Helen held a position at what is now the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam (previously known as the Crane Normal School). is was made possible by the sabbatical taken by Marie Schuette. Upon Miss Schuette's return, Helen was appointed Director (a position she held for more than thirty-five years). In 1942, Helen was determined more than she had ever been to take time off work in order to help with the war effort. By September of 1943, she successfully received her piloting license from her time off of teaching, thus fulfilling a lifelong dream of hers: to fly. She was a proud member of the WAAC (Women's Army Auxiliary Corps.), an organization intended to recruit female workers. e Second World War turned a lot of tables at the Normal School, for better or for worse. She was such a strong asset to the school; she knew just what to say and how to handle these large-scale situations. She kept calm, professional, and selfless in a confidential letter to faculty members: "Even if music teaching and education in general seem all-important to us, it is hard for [the students], without our power for retrospection and our perspective view, to see this value and importance right now… [Some of our subjects,] which are all-important in the total music- training program, carry much less immediate importance and value to them, and, as a result, their hearts are not in them. When some of the most stable and dependable of boys feel this way, we cannot hold it against any of them… Remember that we have four precious days only to send some of these boys away from Potsdam State Teachers College and Crane… Remember that at most, the largest percentage of them have only four more weeks here… Try to put yourselves in their place and in your own personal way do what you can to make this last period of time here something to be remembered… Know that whatever you do in your own way is not lowering our standards but meeting a great human emergency." Lastly, she stated: "ey will be greatly needed in the field of music teaching if they care to come back into it… ey should have as much pride as possible in doing, as well as in their power, their present assignments… All those in the reserves will be used as soon as they can be accommodated… ey will definitely be in it very soon, so their duty will be performed eventually." Some of the points made were that many of the boys in the professor's courses wouldn't be returning by February, or even as early as aer the Christmas holiday, along with the sole fact that the boys of the college would be under terrific strain, as the war took precedent over their education. Hosmer's determination to focus primarily on the lives of her students before the reputation of the school shows just how much integrity she possessed. Even Kenneth Munson, the head of St. Lawrence University's music department at the time, was called up by the military in 1945. Upon leaving, he requested that Miss Hosmer step in while he was away; she did ever so graciously. How could she refuse such an offer? She envied those who served in any way, and she just so happened to be the founder of St. Lawrence University's choral program in 1923. To tie in more similarities between France and Potsdam, let's fast forward to the 1950s. Both Hosmer and Boulanger are the only two Honorary Members initiated by SAI's Gamma Delta at the Crane School of Music. ey are both iniatiated in 1958; Nadia in May, and Helen in November. is fraternity holds a great place at SUNY Potsdam: through fundraising for SAI Pholanthropies, Inc., and giving back to the local Girl Scout troop, nursing home, humane society, and much more. is was the first visit back to Potsdam for Mlle. Boulanger in thirteen years: "Latter's initiation on May 8, 1958 participated in initiation as Honorary Members followed by a formal tea and reception at the home of the chapter's patroness." All of this wonderful information could not have been possible for me to share if it weren't for a wonderful book from one of our very own faculty members. Nelly Case, PhD, is currently a professor of Music History at the Crane School of Music. She dedicated her time to devote a book on the life of Helen M. Hosmer with great readings tied into her friendship with Nadia titled e Spirit of Crane. ese stories incorporate Mlle. Boulanger's visits to Potsdam, the trip abroad, when Helen initially started studying with her, and so much more. Whether you've heard of our school, of these two magnificent women, or whether you're a faculty member, alumna, or current student of the University: there are so many more stories about Helen, her upbringings, her travels, and her relationships with the musicians around her that you would not be able to acquire by word of mouth alone. When purchased, all proceeds go back into benefitting the Crane School of Music. Gamma Delta initiate Elissa Murphy is in her final year at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, studying Flute Performance, Music Business nand Film Studies. She is most recently known for co scoring the film My Brother and Me, contributing to Making Music Magazine on Notation Software, and to a Collective in Glasgow, Scotland on the importance of Feminism in the Arts. Copies of Spirit of Crane may be purchased via ClICk For More sIsterHood oF MusIC music. His "Variations on Two French Noels" for flute and piano—I. "Or, dites-nous Marie" (18 th Century); II. "Tous les bourgeois de Chatre" (Ile de France 1525)—was commissioned by the Des Moines Alumnae chapter in commemoration of Sigma Alpha Iota's Centennial Celebration in 2003 and premiered at a recital of the Iowa Composers Forum in Dubuque, IA. Carl was dedicated to his students, who became part of the Staplin family. roughout the course of his life, his students returned to the Drake campus for reunions and the sharing of music. ough he le this world on July 12, 2014, the world of music has been touched profoundly. e eulogy, delivered by e Reverend Dr. Timothy Diebel, on July 21, 2014, summed up the special qualities that equipped him to be "the extraordinary teacher that he was. Compassionate. Selfless. Caring. A fierce defender of his students…very generous and supportive of everyone…." May the music live on. STAPLIN continued from page 11

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