WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - In celebration of its bicentennial year, Lycoming College will begin a Last Lecture Series in recognition of its retiring faculty members. The inaugural lecture will feature Dr. Gary Boerckel, professor and chair of music, in a concert titled "Encores" on Saturday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary Lindsay Welch Honors Hall.
Boerckel, along with students, alumni, colleagues and area professionals, will present a program of music and commentary from his 30-plus years of service to the College.
Musical selections include works that have been favorites of Boerckel's during the course of his tenure at Lycoming, and will be performed by some of the region's finest musicians. Leslie Cullen, Tim Breon and Robert Leidhecker will perform Claude Bolling's Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano; Yvonne Mitchell Sarch will be featured in Aaron Copland's El Salon Mexico; and Bernadette Ulrich Boerckel will be the soloist in Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915. The concert will conclude with excerpts from Leonard Berstein's Candide.
"I am grateful to Lycoming College for my long career in the Music Department and for the opportunity to perform once more with cherished colleagues and former students," said Boerckel.
Boerckel joined Lycoming's faculty in 1979 and has been chair of the Music Department for almost 30 years. A native Philadelphian, he studied at both the Settlement Music School and Temple University before receiving undergraduate degrees in piano performance and European history from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. While a doctoral student at the University of Iowa, he served as pianist for the university's renowned Center for New Music. He has been a guest soloist with the Jupiter Symphony in New York City, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, the Susquehanna Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Ohio University Symphony Orchestra and the Mansfield University Symphony Orchestra. Numerous solo recitals, including programs devoted to ragtime and early jazz, have taken him to artist series, colleges and universities throughout the East Coast and Midwest.
Boerckel was the founding director of the Lycoming College Artist Series from 1981-87 and served as the director of the Lycoming Scholar program – which annually provides interdisciplinary seminars to more than 100 college honor students – from 1989-2002. He is the host of WVIA's weekly radio program Music to My Ears and gives pre-concert lectures for the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra and The Susquehanna Valley Chorale. Lycoming College's Concert at Noon series, which presents 20 or more free concerts each year, was inaugurated by Boerckel in 1980.
The Last Lecture Series is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Dean of the College.
Founded in 1812 and celebrating its bicentennial during the 2011-12 academic year, Lycoming College is a national liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. It offers 35 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit www.lycoming.edu.