On December 5, 2012, the world lost one of its greatest Jazz musicians, Dave Brubeck. You may or may not be able to name his musical pieces, but you most certainly have heard some of them, especially “Take Five”, perhaps the best remembered piece of the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
You are probably asking why a blog devoted to UNC archives and history is posting a story about Dave Brubeck. The answer lies in the Records of the Department of Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures (RTVMP) housed in the University Archives in Wilson Library.
The RTVMP records include audio recordings, a program, and program notes of the first performance of Brubeck’s oratorio, The Light in the Wilderness as well as audio recordings of an interview conducted with Brubeck.
On January 9, 1968, Brubeck premiered the oratorio at Hill Music Hall. According to the interviews, Brubeck chose UNC as the site of the premier because of his friendship with Dr. Lara Hoggard (1915-2007), Kenan professor of music at UNC from 1967-1980 and founder of the Carolina Choir. Dr. Hoggard conducted the oratorio, which also included the Chapel Hill Choral Club and the Carolina Choir.
Here is an article about Brubeck and the oratorio from the Daily Tar Heel:
A copy of The Light in the Wilderness Premiere Program (Source: Audiotape T-40086/205-206, Records of the Dept. of RTVMP, #40086, University Archives, Wilson Library):
A copy of The Light in the Wilderness Program Notes (Source: Audiotape T-40086/205-206, Records of the Dept. of RTVMP, #40086, University Archives, Wilson Library):
Listen to Brubeck discuss the oratorio, his reasons for choosing UNC for the premier of the oratorio, the disbanding of the Brubeck Quartet, and other things in these interview clips:
Thanks to Steve Weiss, curator of the Southern Folklife Collection, for bringing these materials to our attention, and to John Loy, audio engineer extraordinaire in the Southern Folklife Collection, for converting the audio recordings of the interview.