By Donald H. Sanborn III

For most Broadway musicals, the “composer” creates only the songs, usually providing vocal lines with piano accompaniment. Other musicians, including an orchestrator, prepare the score for performance. The orchestrator adjusts a composition “to fit…whatever orchestral combination has been selected,” Broadway orchestrator Don Walker writes in his autobiography. In the 1940s, Webster’s Dictionary came out with a second meaning for orchestrate: “to arrange or combine so as to achieve a maximum effect.” “Then the floodgates opened and all kinds of people began to call themselves ‘orchestrators,” Walker quips. “So now I am trying to find another professional name to call myself, but it’s late.” During Broadway’s mid-century “Golden Age,” Walker orchestrated music—and theatrical institutions. more

Tracy K. Smith, the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Princeton University Professor in the Humanities and a professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts, has been named the 22nd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2017-18.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the appointment today. Ms. Smith will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library of Congress’s annual literary season with a reading of her work at the Coolidge Auditorium. more

Written by Princeton University’s Office of Communications

Academy Award-nominated film director, screenwriter and producer Baz Luhrmann has been selected to deliver the keynote address at Princeton University’s Class Day ceremony on Monday, June 5, 2017.

Class Day, which takes place the day before Princeton’s Commencement, is being organized by members of the graduating class. The ceremony also includes remarks by class members, the recognition of class members for their contributions and the induction of honorary class members.  more

Three events for the price of one: an informative discussion, a feature film, and a live performance by Princeton Festival artists.

Fans of the 2012 Dustin Hoffman film Quartet, starring Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay among other well-known actors, can join lovers of great singing on June 4 at 3 p.m. at Princeton’s Garden Theatre for “Quartet2,” a Princeton Festival program that will expand their enjoyment of both art forms. more

Joyce Carol Oates will read from and discuss her latest work, A Book of American Martyrs, at Labyrinth Books of Princeton on Wednesday, May 25 at 6 p.m.

Described by the Washington Post as “The most relevant book of Oates’s half-century-long career, a powerful reminder that fiction can be as timely as this morning’s tweets but infinitely more illuminating.”  more

Photography by Robert Manella, Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty

The First in an Occasional Series

by Anne Levin

Back in the late eighteenth century when the Rev. John Witherspoon was the sixth president of Princeton University, he was known to end his work day at Nassau Hall when he saw a light in a front window of Tusculum, his 
country house and tenant farm located just a mile to the north. According to a local legend, one of Witherspoon’s daughters would light a candle in that window, letting her father know it was time to close up shop and head home. more

by Wendy Plump 

It is possible to be cowed by Beatrix Farrand even now, over 100 years since her first landscape commission at Princeton University and half a century since her death. There is much to be thankful for in the sylvan, living landscape she put in place to give an austere campus a greener aspect. Two hundred years ago the university was practically a field; there were no trees at all around Nassau Hall. Farrand‘s influence remains most evident today in the twisting blooms of wisteria that climb the great Gothic walls of the Graduate College each spring. Or the Wyman House rose garden. Or the sugar maples and beeches that accentuate—rather than compete with—the university’s soaring architecture. Or for that matter the entire, park-like character of campus. more

It all began in Hoboken

By Doug Wallack

In October of 1845—though historians will disagree on precisely when—the first game of baseball under the modern rules took place on the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey. The New York Base Ball Club (later known as the Knickerbockers) faced off against the Brooklyn Club, and beat them handily. It was there that the 90-foot distance between bases was established—a rule that was to be practically as fundamental to the sport as gravity itself. Today, those particular bases are long gone, as are the Elysian Fields themselves—swallowed up by the urban landscape, with only a bronze plaque to mark where they once were. more

by Wendy Plump 

It turns out that surfers and philosophers have a lot in common. To be any good at what they do, they have to be hard-core realists. Good surf or bad, decent people or vile, the approach is the same: if you don’t want to be mullered, then deal effectively with conditions as you find them. As both a surfer and a philosopher, this is practically Peter Singer’s calling card. more

Photo Credit: @dylanscandybar

Shop the latest Easter treats from Dylan’s Candy Bar. 

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By Taylor Smith

Thanks to Audible’s Donald Katz, the general population now has more time than ever to consume and enjoy books by creating a digital library on their mobile devices. A membership allows users access to more than 325,000 downloadable audiobooks, audio editions of periodicals and other programs. New members are also given complimentary subscriptions to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, making the inevitable commute or time spent at the gym, not only easier, but that much more enlightening. Below, Mr. Katz discusses his pre-Audible career as a journalist, love for Newark, and the company’s growing a-list collection of inspiring celebrity performances. more

By Anne Levin

If you attended a charity auction to benefit McCarter Theatre, Trinity Counseling Service, Princeton Charter School, or any number of other organizations in town last spring, you probably encountered Sebastian Clarke. He’s the lanky, personable guy who runs the show, rattling off the numbers and “filler words” to coax bidders higher and higher—but always with a light touch. more

Photo Credit: @smittenkitchen

Ice Cream Cook Books, Taco Cook Books, Smoothie Cook Books Galore!

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Irish theater critic and scholar Fintan O’Toole will present the 2017 Robert Fagles Memorial Lecture entitled “If It Wasn’t for the Irish and Jews” on Friday, February 17 at 4:30 p.m. at the Lewis Center for the Arts’ James M. Stewart ’32 Theater, 185 Nassau Street. Part of the 2016-17 Fund for Irish Studies series at Princeton University, this event is free and open to the public. more

Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber and 47 other American college and university presidents today sent a letter to President Trump urging him to “rectify or rescind the recent executive order closing our country‘s borders to immigrants and others from seven majority-Muslim countries and to refugees from throughout the world.” “If left in place,” the letter says, “the order threatens both American higher education and the defining principles of our country.

The letter was initially drafted by Eisgruber and University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann.

The text of the letter follows:

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Photo Credit: @canadagoose

This military-inspired print can be worn a number of ways!

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Photos courtesy of Cranford Millburn Camera Club

Send us your best shots of NJ by January 20, 2017 for the chance to be in the next issue of Urban Agenda Magazine!

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

You might have photographed your favorite Jersey diner. Perhaps you’ve snapped a picture of a secret trail in the Garden State. Maybe, you’ve taken an image of a historical location in NJ, or better yet, a historic moment in your life. If you’ve shot a picture of New Jersey that represents your personal vision of the state, we want to see it! more

Photo Credit: @gaiam

Get Your Post Holiday “Om” on with These Gaiam Yoga Products for Kids and Adults

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Photo Credit: @esstockholm

These field jackets for women will never go out of style. 

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