Ways We Can Stop Wasting the Sayles Hall Organ

This past Friday, I attended the midnight Halloween pipe organ concert in Sayles Hall, courtesy of Mark Steinbach. As someone who has spent a fair bit of time in Sayles this semester, I had been waiting to hear the beast come to life for some time. It did not disappoint. Finally, I thought, I understand why the tour guides always mention this thing. It’s an aural Ark of the Covenant, melting the faces off of villains who hear its tones (a presumption, but I’ll take this leap to faith without regret). This newfound appreciation for the organ led to another realization: Brown is wasting its antique pipe organ potential. Here are just a few ways we can right this wrong.

1. Live Soundtrack for Exams

There comes a point in a test that many of you, perhaps even all of you, have experienced. It is the realization of the utter futility of your efforts, the crossing of the threshold of Dante’s Inferno. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. You then split your remaining exam time between half-heartedly jotting down formulas, and convincing yourself that med school probably wasn’t for you anyhow. Supposing your exam was held in the main hall at Sayles, you could raise your hand (or perhaps put on a black armband) to signal Steinbach. He would then play a funeral dirge for your hypothetical 4.0 GPA. If everyone is starring in the story of their own life, depressing scenes demand myriad minor chords to eulogize your aspirations.

2.Professional Wrestling

The main hall is large enough for a wrestling ring. This gives us the fantastic opportunity to hear wrestlers’ walkout themes played via the organ. Okay, maybe no one has ever wanted this but me, but I think that a fusion of classical music and HAM acting could be a thing of beauty. Imagine every ridiculous revelation and taunt accompanied by a burst of organ notes. It would be like an action movie trailer extended over several hours. So, an action movie, I guess. Booker Tchaikovsky. Chopin M. Punk.  Triple Haydn. The Bach. This stuff writes itself.

Vince McMahon

The emblem of class and sophistication

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Fencing, wrestling, skiing live another year

Check your inboxes — President Simmons has delivered a significant announcement about the short-term future of Brown athletics.

Eight days after the Athletics Review Committee released its recommendations regarding the future of Brown athletics and two days after Governor Chafee ’75 P’14 and others met with committee members, a major change to the recommendations has been made.

Citing “the incongruity of having a discussion that is in part about how to align the athletic program more effectively with academic programs and priorities at the precise time that the press of academic work is the greatest,” committee Chair Richard Spies recommended today to postpone any final decisions about the four teams slated to be eliminated from the May Corporation meeting to the October Corporation meeting. That means that these teams will remain as varsity programs for the 2011-2012 academic year.

In her email, President Simmons thanked the “wrestling, skiing and fencing students and their many supporters for their efforts to collect information and to offer testimony to the committee.” She said they “conducted themselves with great poise and intelligence” — and this work has evidently led to some major results.

Check The Herald’s website throughout exams for breaking news on the athletics situation.


A Thousand Words: Rally to save the Fencing, Ski, and Wrestling teams

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