The University of the Arts will install former Harvard University arts administrator Sean T. Buffington as its president at a music-and-art filled ceremony Friday at 11 a.m. in the Merriam Theater.
Following the installation, the University's Second Line New Orleans jazz ensemble will lead a procession of dignitaries, students, faculty and staff south on Broad Street to Gershman Hall for a celebration. In addition to the spirited jazz music, the post-inauguration events will feature giant puppets constructed by UArts students and Spiral Q Puppet Theater.
A member of the Philadelphia Art Commission, Buffington assumed the UArts post on August 15 and is the third president of the university. Special guest speakers include Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Barnes Foundation President Derek Gillman and Harvard Provost Dr. Steven Hyman.
The school's Transfusion and Big Band ensembles will perform jazz versions of standards in addition to original compositions.
The University will bestow an honorary doctorate of fine arts upon one of its most distinguished alumni, jazz legend Stanley Clarke. A native of Philadelphia, Clarke studied double bass at the Philadelphia Musical Academy, now The University of the Arts, and went on to earn a Grammy Award and several other Grammy and Emmy nominations during his nearly 40-year career as a bass virtuoso. He's also become one of the most in-demand composers in Hollywood.