Westermann honored for his support of the performing arts at Adelphi.
The newly named Clayton Westermann Stage in Adelphi University’s Performing Arts Center (AUPAC) was dedicated on December 11, 2012. Former University Adjunct Professor Clayton Westermann was honored for his exemplary service in support of the performing arts at Adelphi, and the inspirational teaching he provided many decades ago. The ceremony included a reception and dedication remarks by President Robert A. Scott, College of Arts & Sciences Dean Sam L Grogg and Trustee Laurence (Larry) Kessler ’65. The dedication was followed by a free performance by the Adelphi Chamber Ensemble.
Delivering his remarks, President Scott said the stage dedication was an occasion “to celebrate the effect of a professor on a student,” and, according to Dean Grogg, an example of “a single student, a single teacher, in a single class engaging to make a life’s difference.” Westermann, from Huntington, New York, taught at Adelphi from Spring 1962 to Spring 1963, before leaving for a career at Hunter College that included many distinctions and honors. At the time, Professor Westermann simply wanted to teach a class in which he could “make the students feel what [he] feels when [he] listens to great music.” He succeeded and had a great influence on many students including Trustee Kessler. Kessler flourished at Adelphi and went to Wall Street for a career in finance; became an entrepreneur and founder and co-owner of Kessler Restaurants. Now Trustee Kessler has given Professor Westermann a tremendous expression of gratitude by providing two generous donations to Adelphi University in order to name both a practice room and the Concert Hall’s stage in Westermann’s honor.
Clayton Westermann’s professional career in classical music spans more than six decades. He has held conductor positions in national and international symphonies and chorales. His conducting credits include: the Huntington Symphony and Chorale, the Beethoven Festival Orchestra (Lincoln Center), the Spoleto Festivals of both Italy and the U.S., and the Vienna Symphony. As conductor of the Suffolk Symphony on Long Island, he presented such distinguished artists such as Van Cliburn, Leontyne Price and Andre Watts.
The Department of Music at Adelphi University is firmly committed to the teaching of excellence in all areas of music and music education. The department provides a strong foundation for future academic and professional development, opportunities for musical and intellectual growth at the highest level-including a wide range of performance and presentation opportunities both at the local and national levels, comprehensive curriculum leading to K-12 certification for music education majors, small class size and individualized learning experiences, and cultural enrichment that benefits both the University and greater community.
Celebrating its fifth year, Adelphi University’s Performing Arts Center is Long Island’s premier cultural arts venue for entertainment of all kinds. Information for all events is available at pac.adelphi.edu. To learn more about the performing arts at Adelphi, visit academics.adelphi.edu/artsci/pfa.
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