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In the last issue, we asked for your memories of Aycock and you delivered. We heard about romances, memorable concerts and competitions and even a lost contact lens. We also had some general letters about the content and design of the last issue.
Many have had memorable experiences at Aycock Auditorium, but can there be any whose experiences there have covered 65 years as have mine?
1941 As a Monroe High School junior, I came to WC for the N.C. High School State Music Contest held in Aycock Auditorium and sang a solo in the biggest room I'd ever seen and before more people than I had ever sung before.
1942 I entered WC as a music major and sang in every concert that Dr. George (Pinky) Thompson directed on Aycock's stage.
1945 The Darlinettes, a jazz band I directed, played on Aycock's stage for a campus-wide talent contest, and for other events.
1946 I joyfully walked across the Aycock stage and accepted my WC diploma with a BS in music.
1969 While teaching choral music at Monroe High School, I took a Mixed Chorus to the N.C. High School State Music Contest still being held in Aycock Auditorium. (Special memories: This was the first year of integration for our school and during rehearsals I had discovered a young African-American student with a truly outstanding voice. I coached him in a solo part and after auditions in Greensboro, Chester was chosen to sing that solo in the concert before a televised audience that night. That experience led to his acceptance with a scholarship to Wingate College. A first for that school also.)
1996 As the jubilation of 50th class reunion came to a close in Aycock, I walked up on the stage to play the piano as everyone sang our school song. What a strange, nostalgic feeling I experienced, remembering how I felt over half a century ago as a scared little contralto singer on that very stage.
2006 I returned for my 60th class reunion and visited Aycock to say good-bye to the site of my many wonderful memories, fearful that it would be completely changed with the renovation.
Soon I will return! And if the pictures are accurate, how happy I will be to see Aycock's restored splendor and elegance that surely will be the venue for years and years and years of memories waiting to be made.
Doris Funderburk Morgan '46
First of all, let me compliment you on your excellent magazine. I look forward to reading about the enormous progress that has gone on through the years.
I was particularly interested in the article about Aycock Auditorium. I have many memories dating from 1932 when I joined the Play-likers under the tutelage of Mr. Raymond Taylor. He was a fine director and an interesting man. His wife made the beautiful velvet stage curtains, working in a little shop behind their home. They were noted rose gardeners.
In the '30s, when we were a Woman's College, local men were recruited not only for acting jobs, but for being ushers.
I was selling tickets one night, when a tall, good-looking young man asked if he could sit with me during the show. His name was Moyer Sink, recently out of Duke Law School. He was the son of Mr. Sink who was superintendent of buildings and grounds. It was indeed a fortunate moment, for we married the day after graduation in 1936.
Aycock, indeed, has happy memories for me and for many years of beautiful concerts and dramas.
Betty Griesinger Sink Aydelette '36
From 1964-1967, I worked on the backstage crews of several UNCG Theatre productions. Aycock builds women, we girls would mutter as we worked the ropes in teams to raise and lower heavy hanging scenery, banks of lights, and the huge house curtain.
In 1965(?), we did a production of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Starring in the role of Miranda was Emmylou Harris, who was a student at UNCG before she began her rise to fame through her music. I didn't know her well, but imagine my surprise some years later when, browsing in a record store, there she was on the cover of an album. Throughout her career, I've always cheered her on, seeing in my mind's eye the young Miranda on the stage of Aycock Auditorium.
Mary Louise Jones Davidson '67
Long ago I attended a concert by Peter, Paul, and Mary at Aycock Auditorium. It wasn't until my friend and I had left that I realized one of my contacts was missing. At that time, it was a hard contact and it had popped out. My friend and I went looking for it. We found it on the balcony floor where we had watched the concert. My friend picked it up but wasn't familiar with how to pick it up without scratching the edges. I had to have the edges smoothed in order to wear it again. I still have trouble believing that we found the contact and that no one in the crowd had stepped on it. But it did happen.
Nancy White '59, '87
My most memorable moment in Aycock was at the first mass meeting as a freshman in 1960, and the speaker said, Look at the person sitting next to you she won't be here in four years. I was determined that it would not be me. I know now that's standard information for new college students, but it made a big impression on me. (Actually I wasn't there in four years I graduated in three and half!)
Scotty Wise Price '64
My husband (David Wellborn '84) and I had our very first date at Aycock Auditorium. We went to see Philadelphia Story on March 1, 1981. We have been married for 23.5 years and have three children.
Charlene Costello Wellborn '84
My father retired from the Army and we moved to Lenoir, N.C., in August of 1954. Lenoir High School Band was a powerhouse at that time, and my father, who was an accomplished cornet player (US Army Band & US Marine Band in Washington, D.C., John Philip Sousa's Band), was hired to be the brass instructor at Lenoir. We came to Greensboro in May of 1955, 1956 and 1957 to play in the State Band Contest which was held at Aycock Auditorium. Our major competition in Class 6 was Grimsley in Greensboro and Broughton in Raleigh. Lenoir had over 25 Superior ratings, and we always looked forward to competing. I played the E Flat Alto Saxaphone. Joe Robinson who recently retired from the N.Y. Phil, was our principal oboe player.
When I came to UNCG in 1967 to work, I delighted in going back in time and remembering those band contests in Aycock. Capt. Harper, our band director, always rented the Methodist Church across the street, and our band buses, uniform truck and instrument truck were parked there, and we changed into our uniforms before playing in the contest. At that time, there was a soda counter at The Corner, and we would always walk down there, before settling into Aycock to hear our competition play. Those were grand times in Aycock.
Ralice Ostrom Gertz, UNCG supervisor of Accounts Payable
My most memorable moments in Aycock were seeing Earth, Wind and Fire sometime in the late '70s and seeing Anthony Quayle in King Lear on a bitterly cold, snowy night when there were only a few people in the auditorium. Then we went traying on the old golf course.
Susan Dark Keely '80
I really enjoyed concerts Stevie Wonder and Fifth Dimension. Aycock Auditorium was closed for renovations during part of my time there, and then I got married and had a baby before I graduated, but the memories of the concerts I was able to attend live on in my memory.
Sarah Blanchard White '76
I recently received the Summer 2008 issue of UNCG magazine. I am a proud alumni now pursuing a PhD in Colorado, and the magazine is one of the ways I continue to feel connected. However, after reading, or shall I say, trying to read this latest issue, I finally had to write you.
The increasingly creative design and graphic overload on pages of text is beyond irritating. I cannot get into the stories about people I would like to know more about. Particularly page 33, where the article on Kari Sickenberger begins. Not only does the graphic layout complete confuse a reader and leave us wondering if words in headlines and bold in the sentence hold special meaning (perhaps they are song lyrics? titles?) but the article is written poorly as well. I am all for creativity, but not when it prevents accessibility. A reminder about the journalists 5 Ws may be in order.
The same was the case for the Grounded piece. I disliked having to turn the magazine sideways to read it and I had to reread the small (10 pt.?) white type at the bottom of the page over and over to understand who they were (p. 29).
While I admit I have done magazine layout myself and thus may be a harsh critic, my concern stems from the fact that I am far from your oldest alumni (age 43) and I don't think this type of layout and writing helps keep you connected with older alumni who may be donors or potential donors.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my frustrations. If I didn't care about the magazine or UNCG, I certainly would not have been prompted to write.
Lori Britt '06
I am writing briefly to congratulate you on producing such a beautiful and informative edition of UNCG Magazine. As a retired faculty member (Department of German/Russian/Japanese/Chinese, 1973-1999), the magazine is sent to me on a regular basis. I am very grateful for this courtesy. The various copies of the magazine that I have received have all been excellent. This most recent one, however, was outstanding in terms of its various contributions (photography and written material).
Mike Harris's contribution on Laurelyn Dossett I liked it very much. He is so knowledgeable about folk music and is certainly the right person to have penned the essay on Laurelyn.
The centerfold (Blue Crew members) was unusually good, and so were the photographs and the brief essays in the Grounded section. I happen to know the faculty members personally whom you featured, and I am just so glad that they received this kind of publicity. The conception to do this was brilliant, and I hope that the feedback you will be receiving from other readers will corroborate this observation.
Dr. Joachim T. Baer, Professor Emeritus, German/Russian/Japanese/Chinese Department Head (1991-1999)