Pair of Special January Events Will Kick Off Fermilab's 50th Anniversary Celebration

Pair of Special January Events Will Kick Off Fermilab’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

Fermilab turns 50 this year, and officials are planning exciting events throughout the year to celebrate.

On Saturday, Jan. 21, Chicago’s Mucca Pazza will play at the anniversary kickoff concert. There’s a reception with dessert and science demonstrations starting at 7 p.m. with the concert beginning at 8 p.m. And on Friday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m., Fermi’s Chris Quigg will give a talk titled Fermilab’s Greatest Hits, detailing the lab’s rich history.

Tickets for both events are available now.

Mucca Paza Concert

“Ceci n’est pas une Marching Band.”
“Fun in a relentless way.”

– The New York Times

Fermilab’s 50th Anniversary kicks off with a special celebration starting at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, in the Wilson Hall Atrium.

On-line ticketing for this event is available until noon Friday, Jan. 20.

Mucca Pazza has been taking Chicago by storm, so what better way to celebrate Fermilab’s epic 50th Anniversary! Join the pre-party, and come on down to the auditorium for a concert that shows the full musical range of Mucca Pazza, starting in chairs then moving to their trademark funky marching band for the second part of the evening.

Prima Parte – Mucca Pazza, Sitting in Chairs

(CREDIT: Mucca Pazza Facebook page)

It takes more than gravity to keep Mucca Pazza sitting in chairs; it takes music stands and artistic discipline to keep the members of this mobile orchestra from bounding out of their seats and into the audience. Dressed for a formal affair in pastels and dinner jackets, this composers’ collective draws inspiration from Ellington, Esquivel, and Zappa, for a headier, swankier set than their usual off-the-chain rockers.

The careful listener may recognize a movement by Stravinsky or a theme by Morricone, or the somehow-familiar soundtrack to a nonexistent film. Still staying true to their mobile roots, Mucca Pazza embodies the music, making their intricate compositions and lush cinematic arrangements visually accessible to all audiences. Cheerleaders, now Masters of Ceremony, play host to a set that will surely incite future and former band geeks to rescue instruments from dust bunnies, lockers and local pawn shops.

Seconda Parte – Mucca Pazza, A Little Marching Band

Despite the drums and brass, cheerleaders and uniforms, Mucca Pazza seldom marches, musically or physically. The uniforms do not match. The cheers are strange. There are no recognizable patterns, no discernible formations, no militant airs. But the force and presence of a marching band remain, both sonically and theatrically.

The brass harmony, rich and powerful, the drums, tight and idiosyncratic, combine as a sum greater than its parts. The band might even move from point A to point B. But this is where similarities end. Mucca Pazza dances, flails, tumbles, and spins in circles. Amplified by speaker helmets, the freak section wields violins and cellos, accordions and guitars – instruments that have no business whatsoever being in a marching band.

The cheerleaders rouse, encourage and confound the audience with asynchronous absurdity. The music moves from Balkan to brass band groove to noise-rock to avant-garde game show themes without missing a step. Performances can induce geeky freak-outs and nerdy rapture, from either audience or band members, often both.

The American tradition of the marching band – whether as presidential entourage, half-time show, or second line party favor – receives both fresh love and artful abuse from Mucca Pazza.

Fermilab’s Greatest Hits

A half-century ago, the Enrico Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory began to grow on the Illinois prairie. Through the intelligence, ingenuity, and industry of many gifted people, it grew into one of the world’s great research institutions—a truly national resource for American physicists and a treasured destination for legions of international colleagues. Chris Quigg will trace the lab’s evolution from start-up to world-leading center, highlighting landmark research results while recalling iconic moments and extraordinary characters.

Chris Quigg has made his scientific home at Fermilab since 1974. He led the Theoretical Physics Department for a decade during its formative years. Quigg graduated in physics from Yale in 1966 and earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley in 1970. His work on supercollider physics and the Higgs boson, which was recognized by the American Physical Society’s 2011 J. J. Sakurai Prize for outstanding achievement in particle theory, charted the course for exploration at Fermilab’s Tevatron and CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

Chris Quigg lectures at summer schools and conferences around the world. He has held visiting appointments at CERN, École Normale Supérieure in Paris, Cornell University, and Princeton University, and was Erwin Schrödinger Professor at the University of Vienna. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Physical Society, and received the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award. “Fermilab’s Greatest Hits” marks Chris’s fifth appearance in the Auditorium Lecture Series.

SOURCE: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory website and Fermilab Today