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Centenary College Caps its 178th Year with Commencement 2003; NPR Commentator Miles Hoffman to Speak Saturday, May 3 in Gold Dome

SHREVEPORT, LA -- Centenary College of Louisiana will conclude its 178th year and its yearlong celebration of the 150th anniversary of music at the college with commencement exercises at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 3 in the Gold Dome. Speaker will be Miles Hoffman, violist and National Public Radio music commentator.

Hoffman, who performed at Centenary in January, appears frequently as viola soloist with orchestras across the country and tours extensively as a lecturer and concert host. He is the violist and artistic director of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States and Canada. As music commentator for NPR’s flagship news program, Morning Edition, he is regularly heard by a national audience of well over 10 million people. His musical commentary, “Coming to Terms,” was heard weekly throughout the U.S. from 1989 to 2002 on NPR’s Performance Today.

Hoffman is the author of The NPR® Classical Music Companion: Terms and Concepts from A to Z, now in its sixth printing from the Houghton Mifflin Company. With the American Chamber Players, he has recorded works of Mozart, Bruch, Bloch, Stravinsky and Rochberg for a series of compact discs produced by the Library of Congress and distributed internationally on the Koch International Classics label.

He is a graduate of Yale University (1973) and the Juilliard School (1977) and has won prizes in the National Arts Club and Washington International competitions. He made his New York solo recital debut in 1979 at the 92nd Street Y, and has since appeared in recital in many cities. In 1982 he founded the Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival, which he directed for nine years and which led to the formation of the American Chamber Players.

Both when traveling as a soloist and on his tours with the ACP, Hoffman presents children’s programs, classes and master classes in schools and universities around the U.S. He lives in Maryland with his wife, soprano Susan Boykin, and their two daughters.

Some 235 students are candidates for bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Centenary this year

During commencement, Centenary will award honorary doctorates to Hoffman and to two others: Bishop William Hutchinson of the Louisiana Conference, United Methodist Church, and George Dement, mayor of Bossier City. The college will also recognize Dr. Brad McPherson, professor of biology, who will retire after 32 years at Centenary.

Members of the platform party, in addition to speakers and honorees, will be William G. Anderson, chairman of the Centenary Board of Trustees; Dr. Kenneth L. Schwab, president; Dr. Darrel Colson, provost and dean of the college; the Rev. Betsy Eaves, chaplain; and Merrick Buchanan, senior class representative. Music will be provided by the Centenary Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Thomas Stone, and the Centenary College Choir, directed by Dr. Will Andress.

Dr. Earle Labor will serve as grand marshal and Dr. Rosemary Seidler as faculty marshal. Ushers will include members of the Maroon Jackets honor organization.

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