School of music

School Notes: School of Music
November/December 2023

José García-Léon |

Convocation 2023 celebrates the power of music

In September, during his first Convocation as the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of the Yale School of Music, José García-León encouraged new and returning students to “pause and reflect on all you have accomplished already.” García-León paid tribute to Robert Blocker, the school’s previous and longtime dean, and was welcomed with enthusiastic applause from the faculty, students, staff, and guests who’d gathered for the occasion in Morse Recital Hall. 

Jeffrey Douma, the Marshall Bartholomew Professor in the Practice of Choral Music, led the invocation, and university provost Scott Strobel participated in the installation of the incoming class, whose members total 113 and represent five continents, 18 countries, 26 states, and 62 institutions. The evening featured performances by faculty flutist Tara Helen O’Connor and faculty harpist June Han; faculty violinist Ani Kavafian and faculty pianist Wei-Yi Yang ’95MusM, ’04DMA; cellist Mihai Marica ’04CERT, ’07MusM, ’08AD; and tenor Daniel Espinal ’24MusM and Yale Opera director and pianist Gerald Martin Moore. Those in attendance sang Schubert’s “An die Musik” at the end of the ceremony, as has long been tradition at the School of Music. 

“If at any point you feel lost or unsure,” Dean García-León told students, “try reconnecting with your first love with music, those moments when you came to the realization that you could not be in a life without music, and harness that power. The power that music has to extend itself and reach individuals, bring people closer to one another, connect to each other, help heal, create, and share a sense of community, of welcome, of belonging.” The School of Music Convocation was punctuated by rhythms from the Yale Percussion Group and followed by a reception in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

The comment period has expired.