Collaboration needed to better UK fields

Letter to Editor by Julian Campbell

Last Saturday’s concert by the UK Symphony Orchestra at the Singletary Center was astounding. There is now no doubt among its audience that under John Nardolillo’s leadership, the orchestra has reached new heights.

The guest soloist, world-renowned violinist Sarah Chang, simply bowled us over with her complete commitment and intense pursuit of perfection in Burch’s “Concerto Number One.”

Nardolillo’s graceful conducting was punctuated by Chang’s emphatic body language, leaning back and forth, plus several timed kicks beneath her long-flowing skirt to propel the band forward. After intermission, we could only groan with pleasure as the naked sexuality of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” was pounded into our collective consciousness.

On the morning after, my question was: If UK can orchestrate such teamwork in music, why can it not engender more concerted consilience across some other fields?

Nature — however we define it — is our inspiration for art, and our obsession in science. So why do we continue to have such discord at UK in matters of horticulture, conservation, sustainability and energy policy?

For example, why have we not yet achieved the synergy possible from exploring common goals for the arboretum, Plant Sciences, botany (especially the two old herbaria), restoration of wildflowers and reduction of weeds on the university’s lands?

Do we need a new conductor and guest soloists to lead such efforts?

Julian Campbell

geography instructor