Updated: Oct 5, 2018
Since 1979, the Remmers Special Artist/Lecturer Series has brought more than 30 prominent guests to Rolla. Walter and Miriam Remmers saw that while the graduates of Missouri S&T were well trained in their disciplines, they were lacking social and cultural awareness to the extent of coming across as “country bumpkins.” With this fact in mind, they began planning and organizing events to bring social and cultural figures to our school. Since then the Remmers Special Lecturer Series has attracted important guests from politicians like Gerald R. Ford and Condoleeza Rice to musicians like Shlomo Mintz and next month, Yo Yo Ma.
World renowned cellist, Yo Yo Ma, will be performing in Leach Theater in Castleman Hall on March 4th. Tickets will be available from 9 AM to 4 PM at the Leach Theater box office starting February 8th for students, February 9th for school faculty, and February 10th for the general public. Tickets will be free, but limited to two per person. Ma’s performance will begin at 7:30 PM. This special event promises to be a more intimate experience than a normal performance due to the size of the venue and the relatively low amount of advertising surrounding it.
Taking the time to come to a small Missouri town to play for college students is just one example of Ma’s passion and commitment for his craft. He has committed to sharing music with people and groups that would otherwise not be exposed to it. Ma has appeared on children’s shows like Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street, and started Silkroad, an initiative o promote international understanding and learning through music. For his efforts, he has been recognised by the United Nations as a Messenger of Peace. This recognition comes with a responsibility to communicate the activities and concerns of the UN.
With or without his humanitarian efforts, Yo Yo Ma’s music is his claim to fame. Over the course of his career he has released over 100 albums, 18 of which have won Grammy awards. He has performed in venues ranging from major concert halls to small African villages, with many talented musicians ranging in styles and techniques from classical to unclassifiable. These qualities of perseverance and curiosity are necessary to be great in any discipline.
Nevertheless, Yo Yo Ma is undeniably a great cellist and a great humanitarian. It is an honor to welcome him to our school, let alone hearing him play, will be an experience nobody will forget. This school represents excellence in scientific and technological education, but this represents an opportunity for excellence in other areas. Such is Walter and Miriam Remmers’ forethought and consideration for a more holistic education that has and will continue to benefit our school.