"Music Chose Me": 12 things about professor Jan Harrington


Jan Harrington is the visiting professor of music and interim director of the choral ensembles in the Music School. 

1. I came in the fall semester, in August. I came to do some concerts when I was a student in the 60's, so I know Miss Maureen Carkeek, who is still on the faculty now. DePauw's conductor left in May, and they needed me to be an interim and I thought that would be fun. I never taught at a music school that was basically an undergraduate school in a liberal arts education before.

2. I hope to go to Italy for a while and live there after I retire, but that's not definite yet. This would be more of an exploratory time or getting a separate place.

3. Music chose me. I was taking lessons and things before high school, and then in high school, I was a band geek and a choral geek. I played the trombone and no one will ever hear me play it now.

4. I'm obsessed with my dog. He's a golden-doodle that looks like a mini golden retriever and he's a year and maybe two months old. I don't know if I'm more obsessed or he's more obsessed with the things dogs do.

5. The first classical album I owned was the 1812 Overture in Romeo and Juliet. Growing up, my dad loved Frank Sinatra and I know we had lots of those albums.

6. The worst trend is non-civility in public discourse because it reinforces the idea you can yell and vote people out.

7. My very first memory was from when we lived in Chicago when I was three years old. We lived in a fourth-story apartment and it had a sunroom. I got in trouble with my bowling set I had because I dropped the pins off the side. I don't know if I hit anybody or not.

8. My elementary school in Houston, Texas got old and it closed, but the place where it used to sit is the Rothco Chapel, which is a special building that was built for meditation for world peace and conferences. It has paintings all around of the artists and we did a (musical) piece here that was written for the chapel. I went back to visit and instead of my elementary school was a quite famous building.

9. One of my most embarrassing moments was when I was conducting a huge piece with a big orchestra and an ensemble of singers on mics and the score was huge. In the middle of the piece, the music stand went down and the score fell off onto the floor and I went "s***!" while the mic was there. One of the singers finished what he was singing and crawled under wires and put it back on the music stand and it was upside down. Lucikly, I knew the piece, and then someone else turned it around. All my conducting students tried to help me.

10. My favorite shows are Top Chef, Bones, Torchwood, and The Office.

11. When I first came on the train to graduate school at Indiana University in Bloomington, I got off that train and it felt like home for some reason. It stopped in Mitchell and had to take a taxi to Bloomington. Many years later, my sister and I put together a photo album for my parents for their anniversary and there was a picture of them standing in a similar place where I had a picture from when I was a masters student. It turns out they had taken their honeymoon there, so indeed, it was home.

12. My favorite all time movie is Night of the Iguana. I watch it once a year.

— Klose is a sophomore from St. Louis double majoring in education and communications.