Saturday, October 27, 2007

A New (or Old) Tale About the Pierian Sodality

The front-page of the Boston Globe today ran a story, "Join the club: Colleges see surge in new student groups," about how the myriad of new student groups popping up on Harvard University's campus. Paragraph two of the story gives examples:
"Trick or Treat for UNICEF. Save the children," shouts a member of the Harvard Undergraduate Global Health Forum wearing an orange cardboard box over his chest with the charity's logo. Just a few feet away, members of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra urge students to buy tickets for their upcoming show as a past performance of Strauss blares from a compact disc player.
The Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra is a new student group?

Actually, the HRO claims to be the oldest, continuously-performing musical ensemble in the Western Hemisphere, tracing its lineage to the Pierian Sodality, formed in 1808. In other words, the HRO (and its ancestors) at 199-years-old is nearly as old as Brighton, 73 years older than the Boston Symphony Orchestra (founded 1881), and 64 years older than the toddler known as the Boston Globe (founded in 1872). The Boston Globe reporter picked a lousy example to illustrate his story.

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