BY: PATRICK PISCITELLI, PROGRAM COORDINATOR
“I felt it a privilege to be able to share my enthusiasm for classical music to such an appreciative audience.” – Clive Mander
OLLI at OU prides itself for offering a variety of courses led by OU’s finest faculty. Occasionally, we will have the privilege to offer a class that is led not by a university professor, but a modest master of a certain subject—and when classical music is the subject, we have Clive Mander.
Clive taught his first OLLI course this summer, “The Music of Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss,” a fun and informative course that allowed his students to experience and appreciate the beauty of classical music and all the work associated with it.
I asked Clive some questions about his interest in OLLI and classical music, so we could get our members better acquainted with one of the newest additions to the OLLI program.
Patrick: How did you hear about OLLI at OU?
Clive: Working at OU, I have friends and colleagues who have attended courses and have spoken very highly of the standard of the presentations. I came across the web page and was very impressed by the variety and depth of the subjects covered.
Patrick: Why did you want to lead an OLLI course?
Clive: Good friends of mine who knew of my love for classical music encouraged me to become an instructor, and OLLI at OU seemed a perfect fit. I took some persuading, but I realized there was a wonderful opportunity to share my knowledge, built up over many years, and convey the enthusiasm I feel for the subject.
Patrick: How was the experience of teaching your first course with OLLI at OU this past summer?
Clive: I very much enjoyed my first instructor experience. As with any assignment, preparation was essential, and I learned a lot myself in presenting the classes. The feedback I received was very encouraging, and I felt it a privilege to be able to share my enthusiasm for classical music—in this case, the music of Mahler and Strauss—to such an appreciative audience.
Patrick: Your administrative department here at OU is Internal Audit. How is it you’re so well versed in classical music?
Clive: My interest in classical music started in my teenage years. Even though classical music was then, as now, a somewhat minority taste (the ‘60s was an exciting time for popular music!), I found a real affinity for the more serious side and found a whole world to explore.
I used to make trips to the local lending library to borrow recordings and get to know the works of many different composers. We had a large local concert hall in south London, where I lived, and for a modest outlay, my friends and I could get a seat to hear some of the top UK orchestras and conductors.
My accountancy career, which has included corporate tax consultancy as well as auditing, developed after my college years.
Patrick: After teaching one course, and another this semester, what do you like most about OLLI at OU?
Clive: I love the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for classical music, as well as the challenge of preparing a meaningful course for such a discerning and appreciative audience.
Clive led another classical music course this fall, titled “Classical Music in the Twentieth Century." His classes are rich with music history, as well as filled with many of the best symphonies ever played. Different symphonies and their distinguishing qualities are sampled and discussed each session.