University of Mary Washington Then & Now

A Photography Exhibition

Posts in the performance category

During the 1930s when President Combs and Dean Alvey were running the College, Ronald W. Faulkner was hired in 1937 for music and arts.1 His job was to create an “academic program in instrumental music,” but he surpassed this expectation and also created a concert orchestra, a dance orchestra, and a marching band.2 In 1971, James Baker,” (who joined the music faculty in 1965,)3 created a new orchestra that by combining local musicians with the student musicians in order to “established close ties to the area.” It was called the Mary Washington College-Community Symphony Orchestra.” 4 Later in 1976, Dominion Bank provided funds for the College-Community Orchestra “to underwrite an additional performance” to their three annual performances, and thus was born the Pops Concert.5

Today, the College-Community Orchestra is known as the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra. Continuing on into its 43rd year, the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra has 90 members and “is one of the most successful organizations on campus.” 6 The orchestra has about six concerts annually, and also performs annually for the UMW Commencement exercises in May.7

Show 7 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 35.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid., 627.
  5. Ibid., 225.
  6. UMW Philharmonic Orchestra,“About the Philharmonic,” University of Mary Washington, http://philharmonic.umw.edu/about-the-orchestra/(Accessed April 6, 2014).
  7. Ibid.

According to University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908–2008, “Among the new campus activities that appeared during the 1970s, the most extraordinary (and inexplicable) was something called the Wo-Man Contest.  The event was conceived in the fall of 1977 by the Afro-American Association, whose only male member, freshman Cedric Rucker, took the lead in the contest’s development and promotion.” 1  The event was immediately popular, and the popularity of the Wo-Man contest continued into the early 1990s, but was eventually phased out; however, in October 1999, the Mr. MWC contest appeared.  “Though Mr. MWC obviously shared certain farcical elements with the late Wo-Man contest, according to the Free Lance-Star it was ‘nothing like the controversial’ predecessor. ‘The new, feel-good Mr. MWC contest,’ it asserted, ‘is far kinder and gentler than Wo-Man.” 2

Today, the Mr. MWC tradition continues, simply under a different name: Mr. UMW.

Mr UMW

Mr. UMW Contest, 2013
Contestants include: Mr. Alvey: Tyler Gimple; Mr. Apartments: Rob Jarvis; Mr. Arrington: John Rowley; Mr. Bushnell: Frank Kear; Mr. Custis: Drew Kalasky; Mr. Eagle Landing: Ethan Lane; Mr. Framar: Sam Relken; Mr. Jefferson: Brandon Smith; Mr. Mason: Kyle Phalen; Mr. Marshall: Nathan Bradley; Mr. Randolph: Ben Cunningham; Mr. Russell: Josh Mwandu
Alyssa Lieurance, "Mr. UMW," November 4, 2013, Personal Collection of Alyssa Lieurance, University of Mary Washington.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley, Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 252.
  2. Ibid., 721.

According to University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008, when the amphitheater was “Completed in 1923, it was built into a natural slope in a grove of trees just below the main campus and could initially accommodate approximately eight hundred people, a capacity that was doubled some years later.” 1  Dedicated on May 11, 1923, “the amphitheater was an impressive venue” 2 that served as the site for many campus events, such as senior plays, May Day performances, and commencement; however, as the campus expanded, the amphitheater was used less frequently. 3

The University of Mary Washington announced in March 2014 that Robert S. and Alice Andrews Jepson ’64 donated a $1 million challenge gift towards the restoration of the amphitheater.  Though a timeline for the project has not yet been released, sources say that “the restoration would return the amphitheater to its 1952-1953 appearance by repairing and reconstructing damaged and missing pieces. It would provide seating for approximately 600 people on weather-resilient benches and chairs while incorporating accommodations for ADA accessibility.” 4

Amphitheater Now

Amphitheater, 2014
Carly Winfield, "Amphitheater," March 21, 2014, Personal Collection of Carly Winfield, University of Mary Washington.

new amphitheater rendering

Amphitheater, future
Train & Partners Architects, Future Rendering of UMW Amphitheather, http://www.umw.edu/news/2014/03/01/jepsons-give-1-million-to-restore-umw-amphitheater/.

Show 4 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley, Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 22.
  2. Ibid., 23.
  3. Ibid., 23.
  4. Brynn Boyer, “Jepsons Give $1 Million to Restore UMW Amphitheater,” Media and Public Relations, University of Mary Washington, posted on March 1, 2014, http://www.umw.edu/news/2014/03/01/jepsons-give-1-million-to-restore-umw-amphitheater/ (Accessed April 6, 2014).
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