The Rice Chamber Orchestra Visits Germany, 1970

This afternoon I stumbled upon some great images from the Chamber Orchestra’s trip to Germany and Austria in what looks like the fall of 1970. They seem to have played several concerts and also spent time sightseeing. The photograph that first caught my eye is this one of the group on a platform at the Berlin wall, looking over at the eastern side:

RU chamber orchestra berlin 1970046

Here’s the view:

RU chamber orchestra berlin wall 1970047

A picnic in Austria:

RU chamber orchestra picnic in Austria 1970048

But it’s always good to be home:

RU chamber orchestra arrival home 1970049

I’m fairly certain that the photographer was Chem E professor Tom Leland, the fellow with the mustache just to the left of the happy young woman at center. I’m not completely sure why he was along for this trip, though.

Bonus: Sometimes you go to the Berlin wall, sometimes the Berlin wall comes to you.


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11 Responses to The Rice Chamber Orchestra Visits Germany, 1970

  1. marmer01 says:

    Plaid pants FTW. I know next to nothing about this as it predates the official founding of the real Shepherd School by about five years. This appears to be an entirely non-major community organization.

  2. Pat Martin says:

    The bearded gentleman at the picnic looks like Prof. Ed Doughtie (English).

  3. Kathy says:

    The young lady sitting in the grass in the third photo is my good friend Cynthia Emberson (now Irvine). I didn’t remember that she went to Europe that summer. She had actually tried to teach me to play the violin for a few excruciating weeks in probably my sophomore year. We also made up a guitar-playing, folk-singing duo, too, and actually performed a couple of places. But my favorite memories of that time with her were our practice sessions in the Brown stairwell…she has a lovely voice but ANYONE will sound good in there!

  4. David M. Bynog says:

    Looks like the Chamber Orchestra did a European Tour in 1972 (See UA 094; Series III, Box 3, Folder 9). Ed Doughtie was well-known in the viola community and wrote a mystery titled Four-Part Dissonance (available via the Kindle Edition) that includes a viola-playing history professor at Rice University named Frank Billings.

  5. Bill Harris says:

    The Rice Chamber Orchestra, led at the time by Klaus Kratzenstein, took that three-week tour to Germany and Austria in May (and perhaps June) of 1970. I know, because I was second horn, sitting next to Charlie Arnie playing first. As I recall, we played some amount of Arthur Hall’s compositions in addition to more classical repertoire.

    The “happy young woman” (I presume you mean in front of the bus) is Paula Baker, wife of Dr. Baker (physics?). She played ‘cello with us. That was, I think, on a trip to play in Seguin earlier that year or perhaps in the next academic year.

    I happen to be the photographer for that shot–my only published photograph (it was on the cover of the Rice Magazine (?) that year). When we boarded the bus on campus, someone (from Rice communications / PR?) got on the bus, asked who had used a 35mm camera, and then pressed a Nikon in my hands and asked me to take pictures. He didn’t tell me how to turn the meter on, and I had never used it. The above shot came out pretty good, but I think most or all of the interior shots came out poorly exposed, as I was just guessing from memory of what my camera’s meter might have indicated. When I got back to campus, I did find out that I only had to pull the rewind lever back a bit to turn the meter on, but no one I asked on the trip knew.

    I recall seeing the other shots, but I have no idea who took them. The one with Cynthia may have been taken outside our Pension near Innsbruck, but I’m no longer sure.

    • almadenmike says:

      FTR, Charlie’s last name is spelled “Aarni.”

    • Dennis C. Clark, Baker, 1976 says:

      Well, these photos bring back lovely memories – I studied organ with Klaus and Marilou from 1971-1975, and was quite close to them both. I accompanied you fine musicians on that trip to Sequin, when as I recall you all played an organ concerto among other things? I think that must have been 1972? I am not sure.

  6. says:

    Melissa, You should contact Tom’s wife Frances Leland about this trip. I seem to remember that he was an accomplished violinist. She would be glad to talk with you. Mary Dix

    • Karen says:

      Mrs. Leland was just here last week, we held the Leland Lecture on November 5th, followed by a dinner in the faculty club. She is a lovely and gracious lady and I bet she would enjoy answering any inquiries about Tom.

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