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UC Davis Fall Convocation will spotlight the arts

The Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh serenades guests at UC Davis’ annual Fall Convocation in 2009. The event takes place in Jackson Hall at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise file photo

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From page A1 | September 21, 2012 |

The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts has played host to the university’s fall convocation every year since the center’s opening in 2002. And this year the center will have a much bigger role — as one of the stars of the show.

“Celebrating the Arts!” will focus on the Mondavi Center as it begins its 10th anniversary season, and the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies, which is readying for a grand new addition: the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, to be built across the street from the Mondavi Center.

Speakers will include Margrit Mondavi, a major benefactor — with her late husband Robert — of the center and the Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science; Rachel Teagle, newly hired as the first director of the museum; and Chancellor Linda Katehi.

The Mondavi Center held its gala grand opening Oct. 3, 2002, with a concert by the San Francisco Symphony. But the first public event, fall convocation, the traditional start of the academic year, took place the day before — cementing the center’s all-important role in UCD’s academic mission.

This year’s convocation will celebrate that relationship in video and music, interspersed with such traditional elements as the chancellor’s remarks and the alma mater, sung by a surprise guest performer.

Everyone in the campus community is invited: students, staff and faculty.

Pay special attention to this year’s date: Monday, three days before the start of instruction in the fall term. Normally, the convocation would be held the day before the start of instruction — but that is not possible this year because of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur (sunset Sept. 25 to sunset Sept. 26).

The convocation runs from 10 to 11 a.m. in Jackson Hall, and a reception follows until noon on the Vanderhoef Quad across the street from the Mondavi Center. The student drumming group Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan will perform during the reception.

The convocation program will start with the national anthem, sung by Anush Avetisyan, winner of the Founders Prize in the Mondavi Center’s 2012 Young Artists Competition. Next, Grace Zhou, a junior winner in the 2011 competition, will perform a piano solo.

Besides Margrit Mondavi and Katehi, other speakers include Don Roth, executive director of the Mondavi Center, and Jessie Ann Owens, dean of the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies.

Peter Lichtenfels, professor and former chair of the department of theater and dance, will pay tribute to the late dance professor, Della Davidson.

The Gamelan Ensemble will represent the department of music. The ensemble’s director, Henry Spiller, associate professor and department chair, will deliver remarks about the Indonesian tradition of gamelan.

— UC Davis News Service

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