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A Tempo: A Salute to the Class of 2020 (Special one-hour program)

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Fleming: Scenario Two; Lockhart: Marco Borggreve
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When the Covid-19 outbreak forced colleges to send students home and conduct the remainder of the Spring semester online, seniors and other students in the final year of their studies lost out on many milestones and important events in their college careers. For music students, this included final recitals and ensemble performances with their classmates, and most poignantly, graduation and its related traditions. In addition, they have to ponder the new and uncertain environment that awaits them as they embark on the next step of their musical careers - a reality further highlighted this past week as the tragic death of George Floyd renewed discussions of how to make the world, including the performing arts, more diverse and inclusive, and the role of musicians in pursuing social justice.

In a special one-hour segment, A Tempo this Saturday (6/6 at 7 pm) salutes this year's Class of 2020, including interviews with three graduates: Elena Byassee, who will receive her MA in music education in December at Westminster Choir College at Rider University and was to be the student speaker at Spring Convocation; Sophie Volpe, graduate in trombone performance and music education from the Eastman School of Music; and Emily Melendes, a harpist who just wrapped up her final year with The Orchestra Now at Bard College.

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(Clockwise from left): Westminster Choir College MA student Elena Byassee, The Orchestra Now harpist Emily Melendes, and Eastman School of Music graduate Solphie Volpe.

Host Rachel Katz will also speak with Tenor Lawrence Brownlee, Soprano Renee Fleming and Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart, who will share their thoughts and words of wisdom to these musicians on how to navigate the challenges, make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead, and work to make the world a better place.

The program also includes interviews with Bard College President Leon Botstein and Margaret Cusack, chair of Westminster's Piano and Voice Department.

Rachel Katz is the host of A Tempo which airs Saturdays at 7 pm.