5th Anniversary of the Faculty of English: Not what you could have expected! (event review)

Usually, when students hear about any faculty event they picture exhausting talks  by faculty and university heads, interminable commendations to the honored guests, strained smiles and red hands hurting from the constant applause required by the protocol. But now imagine that you are able to skip all those tedious routine procedures and get straight to a chamber concert of classy old jazz music. Would you attend this event?

The answer is probably “yes” and it is the right one! The 5th anniversary of the Faculty of English at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan was nothing like traditional faculty events.

The dean opened the anniversary by welcoming all those present, giving gratitude to the rector and honored guests. Of course, at first glance everything looked ordinarily boring. But after several minutes it became absolutely clear that the dean hated all those formalities just like everyone else. So she cleared her throat and talked through all the “must-say” information about the work completed and upcoming dreams of the faculty. A very homey and flattering moment was, however, a little subdued. The dean wanted to present almost all present faculty members and guests with memorable Faculty of English badges, yet she again raced through the presentation and didn’t pay enough respect to this part of the event.

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Once the obligatory part of the event was over, the magic started. This happened only half an hour after the first words of the dean. The pleasant and so long-expected part of the event was the jazz concert led by prof. Stan Breckenridge and the Jazz Band Ball Orchestra represented by Tomek Lisiecki on bass and Wiesiek Jamioł on drums. The Breckenridge Trio immersed the academics into the classic sound of American 20th century jazz.

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At first, the audience was silent and didn’t react to any words of the soloist, but the Trio won the trust very fast. It was not just a concert of jazz music, but a lecture guiding the listeners through the secrets of jazz compositions of the past century. Prof. Breckenbridge set a conversational tone with the audience making every member sing along and reply to his appeals. Everyone was made to feel as a part of the spiritual whole. The concert flitted by and left a warm feeling of jazz spreading all over your body and taking you to new adventures of the night city.

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But there is always a fly in the ointment. The event took place in a big and beautiful hall called Aula Lubranskiego. While the hall always adds some festive mood, its size and architectural configuration kill the feeling of common spirit completely. Students who were present at the event had to sit on a balcony at the very back of the Aula as if they were illegal guerillas trying to get a glance while all the faculty staff and student’s self government were occupying the stalls.

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Despite the minor lowlights, the event had very positive effect on both the faculty and the students who left the Aula with smiles and pleasantly spent Monday evening. If you want your week to start from the right foot, welcome to the English Department Anniversary parties!

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Photos were taken from the official website of the faculty. More can be seen here.
Review prepared by Kate P.

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