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Heeps on Graduation

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Oct 31 2003 11:34

In my final submission to Live! (probably), a reflection on the last event of my Imperial student days - the 2003 Commemoration Day ceremony.

Click Here for the Full Article

Oct 31 2003 13:49

"mentioning Gary Tanaka as a good example of an alumnus who had maintained contact."

Gary Tanaka is not a good example of an Alumnus who keeps in touch. Dr Tanaka is a good example of an alumnus with a huge stash of money who rang up college randomly and said "I want to donate some of my huge pile". Prior to that, no-one had been in contact with him for ages...

Sources tell me that since that fateful day, the Alumni Office has gone from a couple of dingy offices, to a sprawling metropolis... coincidence? I think not.

Oct 31 2003 20:59

I wonder if this is perhaps the point... There is a certain kind of contact the college values above all others.

Oct 31 2003 23:07

Being a member of the choir, I'd like to point out a few things :-)

(1) The "extremely dreary work" sung during the procession was in fact "Gaudeamus igitur" which has been sung every year as tradition - it is according to - one of the oldest student songs ever. However, I can't disagree at all with the description of the piece. Not wonderful at all.

(2) The music sung underneath the graduating students was Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus and Faure's Cantique de Jean Racine. Both pieces are popular favourites in the Classical Music world - and are highly regarded beautiful works, not like a "Funeral March". Obviously our tastes cross on this point. Oh, if you couldn't hear the names then perhaps you should ask the technical people in the RAH to turn up the speakers - I'm sure they are powerful enough to drown out the funeral music.

(3) Just in case anyone else is interested, the other piece of music sung by the choir - as a pure performance with nothing else happening was Parry's I Was Glad which was written in 1902 for the coronation and has been sung at everyone since upon the arrival of the new Monarch. This is a absolutely fabulous piece.

Please remember that choir gave up the entire day to make yours better - perhaps some mark of graditude would be nice for our hard work on your behalf.

4. Sam   
Nov 01 2003 00:38

blah blah, eternally grateful blah..

no offense ICU Choir, but Pink Floyd at my graduation would have been welcomed, you are just window dressing - look to the College for your adulation.

Nov 01 2003 02:52

[Simon] Andy, as a choir conductor himself, is well acquainted with all the choral lollipop music from the ceremony. As am I.

And lovely as the music is and as generous as it was for you all to give your time to sing, it doesn't counter the fact that graduand names were often rendered inaudible.

Of fantastic amusement value was the fact that when the incidental music took a minor lurch, one couldn't help but feel that the student on stage was slightly sinister (mindful of the "baddie music" in films).

6. Nia   
Nov 01 2003 13:09

"I Was Glad" rocked!! :-D

I there was only one piece for which I couldn't hear the names - played by the ickle (chamber?) orchestra, not sung by the choir - and it did have slight sinister tones in it and felt somewhat out of place.... I heard the names over all the rest of them ok, but then I was sat at the front so perhaps that helped. It would be a bit upsetting for parents not to be able to hear their offspring's name....

7. Becky   
Nov 01 2003 20:01

I agree with Nia, I was in the middle and there was only one short piece when the names were drowned out. (And they were medics anyway)

I actually thought the most dissapointing bit for a few parents was the fact that the video, playing above the choir, showed close ups of the majority of people as they crossed the stage, but occasionally, and apparently randomly, panned the audience and missed someone. If I was that parent, I'd be pissed!

8. n/a   
Nov 01 2003 21:24

Personally, I kinda wished Sykes hadn't been there the moment he opened his mouth and started his "yay to fees" speech. It was the graduates who were supposed to be celebrating, (and to be celebrated), not his dodgy politics that most graduates disagree with. No wonder we weren't allowed to wear those funny hats for the ceremony. It would have made a great projectile, and it would have been only too tempting to try and shut him up that way.

Which reminds me. Despite best pre-ceremony intentions, I completely forgot to stop in front of him, face him, and whisper expletives at him.

Nov 01 2003 23:05

It's all up to the soundman really to have made sure the names of all students were heard clearly at every point in the hall audience while the music was going. Given the terrible acoustics of the RAH, that was probably impossible.

Yeah Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the wall could have fitted the occassion too, "we don't need no education"

10. alex C   
Nov 02 2003 13:22

I think that 'Wish You Were Here' would be more appropriate than the Wall, personally.

I think the track 'Welcome to the Machine' would have been especially suited to the event.

11. Nia   
Nov 02 2003 13:23

Yeah, I thought it a little inappropriate that Sykes had used this particular occasion to jump onto his soap box.

Re: "It's all up to the soundman really to have made sure the names of all students were heard clearly......" there's a limit to how far you can turn up the mic without getting feedback (ouch!). If the announcer was standing too far away from the mic or the music was a bit too loud then having already pre-set the volume level (most likely just below the level at which it'll feedback) there's usually little the sound engineer can do to help.

Nov 02 2003 15:28

He doesn't drink, He Doesn't smoke, perhaps Fees is all the dreary little man can talk about.

13. Nia   
Nov 02 2003 15:38

Observer, do you usually spend all your time talking about smoking and drinking then?

Nov 02 2003 18:41

I don't smoke either, but i have a social life...

Nov 02 2003 19:02

Well you can always see the Australian Pink Floyd playing at the RAH this month, closest you'll get to the real thing there.

As for soundman stuff, I agree Nia, public speakers should have lessons on using microphones properly, normally they stand too far from the mics.

Nov 02 2003 19:03

Speak up

Nov 04 2003 09:45

I read the article with interest and feel it summed up the proceedings well enough (based on my previous experiences of other people's graduation - I couldn't be bothered with mine).

If I had a pound for every time I have heard the great Mr. Heeps proclaim to write his last piece for Live I would be loaded by now.

Seriously though, I bid you farewell Sir. It was a pleasure working with you and against you (he knows what I mean).

Oh, and in case you were looking for my email for some weepy rejoinder it doesn't work.

Next time we meet I shall be going for your parliamentary seat.

Thank you for your interest in Imperial College Union.

Nov 04 2003 09:51

Oh enough of this a**e kissing. Oh and what a story - 'student graduates'...who gives a c**p?

Nov 04 2003 15:29

Don't spoil the Heeps shrine fool.

Dontchaknow who these two guys are!?

20. Sam   
Nov 04 2003 16:49

Everyone knows who they are... a pair of sad tired old hacks.


Nov 05 2003 09:23


Pot... Kettle... Black???


22. Wodka   
Nov 05 2003 13:38

Now, now, leave Andy and Crispy alone. Besides which mr mikhail ticklemyhymen, don't you have work to do? Wodka

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