The unveiling of the artwork Must Leave on 16 May will have a special musical accompaniment: by the Wageningen Student Choir and Orchestra Association (WSKOV) and the ensemble De Ontzetting. Together they will present a preview of the composition Ode to Diversity. The première is planned for November, but on 16 May we can enjoy a sneak peek of the symphony for chorus and two orchestras.
"While not all 160 musicians can make it on 16 May, I expect a good number of them to be there to add lustre to the festivities in celebration of 'our' beetle. The piece Ode to Diversity is about migration; about embracing diversity and the beauty it can bring," says composer Marten Scheffer.
Composer and scientist
Scheffer took the initiative for the artwork Must Leave, a huge water beetle that will soon rise out of the river between Orion and Forum. He came up with the idea along with Danish sculptor Vagn Iversen. Most know Scheffer as a scientist, but he is also a musician. "I studied at the music academy for years while pursuing my biology degree." Scheffer plays the violin, among other instruments, has toured with guitarist Harry Sacksioni and has played in many bands and orchestras. "I also enjoy composing. Writing music is hard work, so I just practice science on the side," he says with a laugh. "I was working on a string quartet. Louise Fresco had asked me to write an anniversary piece and then it just hit me: that would be the perfect combination! I'm so happy the musicians were willing to move the première up by that much. It's going to be exciting!"
On 16 May, WSKOV and De Ontzetting will host their annual Van Uven Festival, named after the orchestra’s founder and first conductor, Professor Van Uven. This year they will organise the festival around the water beetle festivities. Starting at 5.15 pm on the day of the festival, music will lure campus residents to the bridge between Orion and Forum, where the water beetle statue will be unveiled by Louise Fresco and Marten Scheffer. This will be followed by a potluck dinner and music. The Van Uven Festival will start at 7.00 pm at the entrance to Forum.
Bring a dish to share
When asked how he envisions the day, Scheffer responds: "I see a festival-like setting with people chatting and enjoying each other's home-made dishes, with music, jam sessions and dancing in the background. In short: a huge and informal diversity festival. It just may inspire us to do it all again next year!"
Scheffer stresses that the event is intended for all students, staff, local residents, friends and acquaintances. "Everyone who brings a tasty dish to share is welcome to attend."