#Throwback (fall 2016)

David Boelzner wears a wig and a helmet while conducting a ‘car concert’ outside of Hill Hall in 1974 or 1975. A crowd of students, faculty and community members stands behind him.

An audience gathers for a car concert outside Hill Hall in the 1970s. Do you recognize anyone in this photo? Do you have fond memories of Hill Hall, which re-opens in January, or being involved in music at Carolina? Share your stories by emailing college-news@unc.edu. (photo courtesy of the N.C. Collection, Wilson Library).

Reader Vicki Whitaker (B.A. geography ’86) of Pflugerville, Texas, writes this about her memories of Hill Hall:

“From 1978 to 1982, I worked in the computer science department at UNC. At that time, computer science was located in New West Hall on Cameron Avenue, just south of Hill Hall. My office was on the second floor and the office window faced north. Each time I entered my office (a long narrow room) the window at the opposite end provided a splendid, framed view of the cupola on top of Hill Hall against the beautiful Carolina blue sky. In the fall when the trees turned flaming red and gold, the view was breathtaking. Even now, more than three decades later, I remember that view like it was yesterday.

New West underwent renovations sometime after I graduated in 1986. I wonder if anyone today enjoys that view that I loved so many years ago.”

Update (August 2018):

Alumnus David E. Boelzner (music ’77), now Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at William & Mary Law School, writes about his memory conducting this moment:

I recognize the conductor—despite a long-hair wig—because it is I. This would have been in 1974 or 1975, I think. I was a musicology graduate student there and was also a teaching fellow. The car concert was a performance of a real piece, called “Car Bibbe,” by Al Hansen (named after his daughter, Bibbe). It is what is called aleatoric music, where the music results from largely random events, in this case honks, revs of engines, door slamming, etc., any sound that can be made with a car. Hansen created the “experience” in 1958-59 and provided a script for the activity. As I recall, we actually made a score that imposed some occasional order on when events started and ended, and I cued entrances of the “instruments.” Obviously, with the wig and the crash helmet we played it for humor, but it was also a genuine introduction to non-traditional music.