Synthesizing A Sound

This time around, I came prepared for the joint Organic and Medicinal Divisions’ poster session/concert. In New Orleans, Organic Division Program Chair Scott Sieburth added the local sound (and local beer) to the poster session’s program. The result was a lively concert that had chemists sticking around the convention center much longer into the night than they might otherwise have planned.

I had high expectations in Philadelphia (Sieburth is a professor at Temple University, which makes him a local), and I wasn’t disappointed.

The musical selection was Boris Garcia, a band (not a solo performer) with bluegrass, jazz, rock, folk, Celtic, soul, and blues influences. They’re favorites at the World Cafe Live!, a popular Philly concert venue/restaurant/bar. Visit the band’s website to learn how Boris Garcia came together, acquiring members with widely varying styles along the way.

I chatted with Gene Smith (vocals, harmonica, recorder, guitar) and Bud Burroughs (mandolin, bouzouki, button accordion, Hammond organ). Bud tells me he’s taken multiple college level chemistry courses. I told them my philosophy about this sort of event–I believe that some of the best collaborations start with a beer and some music. Gene agrees. “Maybe this concert can inspire a whole new generation of chemists,” he says. “We certainly need more chemists than we do folk musicians.”

Were you at the poster session? Did you stay for the concert? What did you think?

Author: Carmen Drahl

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