Wilson chemistry lecture to discuss the science of organ pipe metal

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The annual Leland Wilson Lectureship event at the University of Northern Iowa will be presented by Annette Richards, executive director of the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies and professor of music and university organist at Cornell University, and Catherine Oertel, associate professor of chemistry at Oberlin College, at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 2, in Lantz Auditorium in McCollum Science Hall on the UNI campus. The lecture is titled “Music and Materials: Art and Science of Organ Pipe Metal.” Richards will also perform a guest recital at 6 p.m., Friday, March 3, in Jebe Hall in the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. 

Richards is a performer and scholar with a specialty in 18th century music and aesthetics, and interdisciplinary research in music, literature and visual culture. She is the author of “The Free Fantasia and the Musical Picturesque,” editor of “C.P.E. Bach Studies” and “Keyboard Perspectives,” and is currently writing a book titled “Music on the Dark Side of 1800.” She has been a Mellon New Directions Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Fellow and has won prizes at the Dublin and Bruges international organ competitions.

Oertel joined the faculty of Oberlin College in 2006, where she teaches introductory and inorganic chemistry as well as an interdisciplinary course on the chemistry of materials used in artwork. Her research examines synthesis and structural characterization of oxide-based materials and is supported by the National Science Foundation and Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. Oertel and Richards first worked together at Cornell University while Oertel was a chemistry graduate student taking organ lessons. 

The Leland Wilson Endowed Chemistry Lectureship was established in 2007 by a gift from Wilson’s daughter, Mary Sue Coleman, who served as president at the University of Michigan and University of Iowa, and her husband Kenneth Coleman. Leland Wilson was the first department head of the chemistry department at UNI in 1968. He retired in 1979 and passed away in 1993 at the age of 79, leaving behind a legacy of professionalism and integrity in faculty and staff.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Laura Strauss, department head and professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, at 319-273-2052 or laura.strauss@uni.edu.


Laura Strauss, department head and professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 319-273-2052, laura.strauss@uni.edu

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761, lindsay.cunningham@uni.edu