Big Picture:

A legend pays tribute to a legend: Internationally renowned choral conductor Robert Shaw visited campus in early November to lead "A Tribute to Robert Fountain," a four-day series of events that culminated in a concert to benefit an endowed scholarship fund named in Fountain's honor. The fund will assist aspiring choral performers and directors at Oberlin. Fountain--a faculty member at Oberlin from 1948 to 1971--was once described by The New York Times as "the finest and most enterprising choral conductor now working in an American conservatory." It was under his direction that Oberlin's choral program took its place among the foremost in the nation, touring throughout the United States and abroad. Fountain died in his Oberlin home last May after a long illness. Shaw led student members of the Oberlin College Choir, the Musical Union, and the Oberlin Orchestra, as well as an alumni chorus of 150 people who returned to campus for the tribute, in a concert of works by Stravinsky, Mozart, Haydn, and Wagner. Now music director emeritus and conductor laureate of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Shaw has received many musical honors, including the Kennedy Center Honors, the nation's highest honor given to performing artists in recognition of a lifetime of achievement. Shaw regarded Fountain as a close friend and asked to conduct the event. "I respected him uniquely," he said.

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