My Trip to Harvard

Thank you so much Andrew Clark (Director of Choral Activities at Harvard University) for inviting me to speak at your symposium. Those Harvard choristers are so lucky to have you. The story about you and Sara Pyszka taking days to program her Dynavox to make music says it all. Also loved Sara—”Don’t judge!” (about her love of Taylor Swift). I heard so many fantastic people speak, and so many great groups sing, I can’t name them all, but if my video of Joyful Noise comes out well I’ll post that another time.

I have to mention that I got to be directed in song by the fabulous Alice Parker. Now I know why everyone always speaks of her in tones of such affection and admiration. You have to meet her. She’s just so completely steeped in music and is at the same time so generous of spirit, it’s impossible not to be carried away in her presence.

The first thing I saw when I looked out my window at my hotel! A crew team. It’s a now-you-know-you’re-in-Boston thing.


I kept looking for things that were there when I was there (I lived in Cambridge when I was a student at Tufts and the Museum School). I’m pretty sure I bought cigarettes here. I was quite the smoker back in the day. By the way, who knew author Mark Helprin hated women and smoking so much? I’m re-reading his book Winter’s Tale and it’s come up twice.


And here’s where I used to fill my prescriptions! Exciting, I know. While the sign is still there, the store recently closed. Sob. It’s right up the street from the former Buddy’s Sirloin Pit, a favorite eating establishment of mine at the time.


I was with my friend, the poet Christina Davis (her most recent book is An Ethic) and we slipped into the student dining room. As if those students don’t already have it great as it is, this is where they eat?? Jesus Christ. Oh! The LA Times loved Christina’s book. From the review: “These are remarkable, ambitious poems that refuse, in grief, the easy way out: predictable religious or received knowledge responses to death — but dive into philosophical and moral ‘re-definition.'”


I didn’t get a decent shot of Alice Parker because I was too shy. I didn’t even think to film her conducting. I’m slipping.


PS: I saw a turkey.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

6 thoughts on “My Trip to Harvard

  1. I saw two wild turkeys a couple of weeks ago, at the OTrain station at South Keys, right in the city.
    They were pecking around in the snow, below the elevated walkway to the platform. They are impressive birds!

    I should go visit Boston again one day. It is a lovely city.

  2. I was told that this particular turkey attacked a couple of police who were called to do something about it. I hope they don’t kill it.

  3. Thanks, Stacy, and Anne! Joyful Noise’s singers, too, are blessed to have dear friends in Andrew Clark & Alice Parker — and both of you.
    Stacy, we’re so glad to know you were SINGING with us! Andy had the vision to arrange for video of the concert and symposium – stay tuned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap