How will you spend your time at ARTS FIRST? Blogger Truelian Lee '21 offers a few suggestions (and an invitation!). Harvard's annual festival takes place May 2-5 in and around Harvard Yard. All are welcome.
By Truelian Lee '21
ARTS FIRST is one of my favorite times of the year—when spring has settled in and Harvard Yard is unfurling with life. For several wonderful days at the end of the semester, the campus vibrates with music and art. After browsing the official ARTS FIRST Guide, here are a few events I’m excited to see.
Sea Symphony: A Celebration of Walt Whitman
8 p.m. Friday, May 3 | Sanders Theatre
The word “song” appears in Whitman’s Leaves of Grass more than 150 times, and what better way to celebrate the poet than through music? The Radcliffe Choral Society, Harvard Glee Club and Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum will be performing Ralph Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony, which sets Leaves of Grass to song. I’ve always marveled at the cadence and rhythm of Whitman’s poetry, and I’m curious to hear what it’ll sound like as a symphony. Get tickets here.
2 p.m. Friday, May 3 | 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, May 4 | South Lawn, Memorial Hall
After I first read Journey to the Center of the Earth, a part of me wanted to grab a shovel and start digging in my backyard. I never did, and so I’ll be living vicariously through artist and honorary astronaut Christine Zuercher as she tries to dig a hole to the other side of a planet. What will she be bringing along with her? A handmade spacesuit and a ham radio. Sit back, buckle in and enjoy the journey.
1812 Overture NOTE LOCATION CHANGE
3 p.m. Sunday, May 5 | Science Center Plaza Tent
I’ll admit that I was about to skip this because although I enjoy the 1812 Overture, I felt too familiar with it to justify seeing this over other performances during ARTS FIRST. But then I saw the word “kazoos” and did a double-take. The event description encourages people to “join the music” and also features torches and balloons. If you’re just as intrigued by this lively event as I am, join me and listen to Tchaikovsky in a way that you have rarely heard before.