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Passion Quote of the Day

J. Carter Brown

Director Emeritus
National Gallery of Art

Harvard offered me to skip freshman year, and I thought that wasn't the point. And so, then when I was in a closer range to my classmates, I was a happy camper. God! I found that it wasn't so oddball to like music and poetry and visual arts, and there were kindred spirits there. I was in dramatics, I was president of the Harvard Glee Club -- which was the nearest thing to a professional organization -- as an undergraduate. We sang as the chosen chorus in those days of the Boston Symphony. We toured. We sang in Carnegie Hall, we recorded with RCA and won the Grand Prize for our Berlioz, sang all the great literature -- the Bach B minor, and the Passions, and Beethoven. I mean it was a fabulous opportunity. Three rehearsals a week, 50 concerts a year, and then the final summer a European tour, which was the first time since right after World War I that they'd done it. So, we were embraced with open arms by the Europeans, and we sang for the Pope in St. Peter's, and in Royal Albert Hall, and the Music Festival in Holland, and then Berlin over the radio. That was very rewarding to be there with a purpose, not just rubbernecking. We really felt needed and doing something for America and for Harvard, and also for ourselves.
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