Cowley College Turns 80
Alumni and friends, get ready to help the college celebrate its 80th birthday with star-studded entertainment throughout the 2002-2003 academic year. The 80th Anniversary Committee has helped plan one of the busiest years in cultural arts entertainment. There’s practically something going on every month as the college celebrates 80 years of higher education.
The celebration kicks off Oct. 29 when Chief Richard Picciotto, Fire Department of New York battalion commander, tells his story of survival during the World Trade Center collapse last Sept. 11. It is sure to be a riveting presentation. A reception is planned from 6-7:15 p.m. in the Earle N. Wright Community Room and Gallery inside the Brown Center for Arts, Sciences and Technology on the main campus. Heavy hors ’douvres will be served.
Picciotto will tell his story from the Robert Brown Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m. Following his talk, he will take questions from the audience, then sign his book, "Last Man Down," in the Brown Center foyer. His book also will be available to purchase. The book is a tribute to the 343 firefighters and some 3,000 civilians who lay dead in the rubble that surrounded him that day. The book was an immediate New York Times best seller upon its release in May 2002. "His book is excellent," said Terri Morrow, dean of development and college relations and a member of the celebration committee. "People are in for a real treat." Picciotto’s talk is free and open to the public. However, everyone who attends must have a ticket. Tickets will be available after Sept. 24 from the Sid L. Regnier Bookstore, 207 W. Fifth Ave. A maximum of two tickets per person will be allowed. The Robert Brown Theatre seats approximately 800.
The highest-ranking firefighter to survive the World Trade Center collapse and the last fireman to escape the devastation, Picciotto was on the stairwell between the sixth and seventh floors of the North Tower when it collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001. An FDNY battalion commander, Picciotto’s is the harrowing true story of an American hero, a man who thought nothing of himself and gave nearly everything for others during one of our nation’s darkest hours.
The remainder of the 2002-2003 celebration lineup:
PrairieFest . . . all year, all over
At 6 p.m. Oct. 8, Grammy-nominated pianist Philip Aaberg and Grammy winners Darol Anger, Eugene Friesen, Glen Velez, and Howard Levy will be guest artists of the Cowley Concert Band in a performance at the Dick and Dolly Bonfy ranch northeast of Arkansas City. The concert is free and open to the public.
At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10, Aaberg, Anger, Friesen, and Levy will perform with the Winfield Regional Symphony at Southwestern College. The concert is free and open to the public.
Friday, Nov. 15
This American dance company of international influence is acclaimed for its startling mix of humor and invention. Members of the group are very athletic. Think of it as slow-motion gymnastics. "They’re awesome," according to Connie Bonfy, director of institutional grants and arts and humanities programming at Cowley. "They’re kind of impossible to describe, yet essential to experience." Tickets will be $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, and $6 for students.
Friday, Jan. 17
Hampton is a cowboy balladeer whose performance is being sponsored by the college and the Cowley County Livestock Association.
Sunday, Feb. 2
Bonfy has been trying to get Winston for four years. The world-famous pianist is more of an interpreter of songs than he is composer. His music is a cross between traditional American folk music and the instrumental pop/R&B that he calls rural folk piano. He performed with Windham Hill for 22 years.
Wynton Marsalis Septet
March 11, 12, or 13
He is the most acclaimed jazz artist of his generation, and a distinguished classical musician. Marsalis has helped propel jazz to the forefront of American culture through his brilliant performances, recordings, compositions, and vision as artistic director of the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Barbara Higbie and the Winfield Regional Symphony
Friday, March 28
Higbie is a pianist, violinist, vocalist and producer who is best known as the pianist for the ground-breaking group Montreux, which also features Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, and Michael Manring, and has five albums for Windham Hill.
PrairieFest: A Celebration of the Arts
This year’s PrairieFest will feature the premiere of the Continental Harmony II prairie composition by Aaberg, with string quartet, woodwind quintet, and Heartland by Trio Globo. The Winfield Regional Symphony and the guest artists will be working toward performing two new pieces of music for PrairieFest. One centers on the natural prairie ecosystem and will be composed by Aaberg. The second piece will be about the industrial revolution on the prairie.
Members of the 80th Anniversary Committee: Connie Bonfy, Pam Doyle, Dejon Ewing, LaDonna Lanning, Tony Crouch, Terri Morrow, Connie Donatelli, and Stu Osterthun.