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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Retiring in a College Town

Lists of the best places to retire often mention college towns like Chapel Hill, North Carolina or Oxford, Missisippi.  A warmer climate would be nice and I would be happy to live in Princeton, New Jersey and be near our loved ones, but South Bend is also a college town with many options for entertainment.  25 years ago, when we moved here, this was not as true but the building of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center has meant many more guest artists and college performances.

Two weeks ago we heard Third Coast Percussion with a premier performances of a work for voice and instruments.  Last week they won a Grammy for the best chamber music group.  Today I went to a conducting recital by Justin Appel, a doctoral student.  He chose two works by Latvian composers both written in this century.  Plainscapes (by Vasks) was a breathtakingly beautiful work of vocalises by a chamber choir, a violin and a cello.  Passion and Resurrection (Esenvalds) was a dramatic work for soprano soloist (Jessica Bush), vocal quartet, chorus, and strings.  Coming just before Lent, listening to this work was very moving and spiritual.

Some of our entertainment this last week was of a very different sort.  The Bengal Bouts are amateur boxing matches held for the benefit of the Holy Cross mission in Bangladesh.  One of Jim's colleagues, Father Brian Daley, is a coach of several young men.  I decided this was something we needed to see, a traditional Notre Dame experience, so I reserved our $7 tickets. It was great fun to sit among the cheering students although I think once is enough for the experience of watching young men punch each other.
Anna Rohrer, a ND sophomore

And then yesterday we watched pole vaulting, triple jumps, and several races at the ACC Indoor Track Championships at Notre Dame.  We gasped as the three finalists pole vaulted to over 18 feet and when the runners are just a few feet away from you, you really get a sense of how very fast they are.

Coming up this week, a Saint Saens organ concerto at the Basilica on Friday--and who know what else.  We have the time--and it doesn't take much money--but we do sometimes just need to nudge ourselves out of our comfortable family room seats, turn off the TV, and get out to see live performances.

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