| the history of wake forest
researching, writing, and recording
Visions and Dreams
Visions and Dreams, one of the first son et lumiere
productions at an American college or university, has been
two years in preparation. Detailed research, including
many interviews and visits to old Wake Forest, had to take
place before the first draft of the script could be
completed—a script which was more than seven hours long.
After editing and re-writing, a final script was prepared
in January, 1984. Then began the process of recording the
speakers, the music, and the singers. The recordings were
completed in February, and there followed countless hours
of editing the various tapes in the studios of WFDD. Finally,
to insure the best possible reproduction in performance, a
finished quadrophonic version of the entire production was
transferred to eight-track stereo.
Most of the words used in the script are taken from
contemporary news reports, letters, speeches, and personal
recollections and have been combined to make a living
history. Much of the music was specially composed or
arranged for the 150th anniversary, and the sound effects
(everything from thunderstorms and marching feet to the
cheering crowds at a Deacons’ victory) were created and
recorded for this presentation.
The bell that is heard in the first part of the presentation is
the original College bell, which is now preserved in the Calvin
Jones House. The second bell is the one which still rings on
the old campus. It was installed after the fires in the 1930’s.
The footsteps and marching feet heard in the early episodes
were recorded on the pathways of the old campus. The folk
song in the Samuel Wait episode is the original Thuringian
Folk Ballad which was later adapted as the Alma Mater.
Nearly all the performers—speakers, singers, and
musicians—are from Wake Forest. The president, the
president emeritus, the provost, deans, faculty, students,
faculty wives, and retired faculty have combined their
talents to provide an entertainment which is it hoped will
inform, excite, inspire, and provide a fitting climax to the
Much of the music heard in Visions and Dreams is taken
from three major compositions by Wake Forest University
composer Dan Locklair.
Texture of Creation—first performed on November 4, 1983,
at the inauguration of Dr. Thomas K. Hearn as president of
Wake Forest University.
Phoenix and Again—first performed on January 29, 1984,
by the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra, conducted by
Peter Perret, at the Sesquicentennial Concert
The Alma Mater—in its new setting, first performed on
February 3, 1984, at the Founders’ Day Convocation.
a welcome to waKe forest: “and your young men shall
see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
prologue: The night before Graduation, 1984.
1. samuel wait comes to north carolina
Feb. 14th, 1827—the accident! Samuel Wait writes to his wife.
He accepts the post as Minister of the Church at New Bern. The
Baptist State Convention is founded March 26, 1830.
2. the beginning of the institute
The Manual Labor Principle. The Calvin Jones house and
farm is bought in 1833. Samuel Wait is asked to be the first
Principal of the Wake Forest Institute.
A Charter is needed before the Institute can open. The vote
in the State Legislature, Dec. 4th, 1833. Joshua Lawrence
and his supporters oppose the Institute.
4. preparations for the opening of the institute
Samuel Wait’s first visit to Wake Forest, Nov. 10th, 1833.
“There were no implements of husbandry, no stock, no corn
or fodder or furniture. Everything had to be found.”
wake forest university presents a son et lumiere production, Visions and Dreams,
a spectacle of sound and light dramatizing wake forest’s 150 years
Written and Directed by
Narrated by Edwin G. Wilson;
Produced by Donald Wolfe, Emily
Wilson, Reid Morgan, Rod Meyer;
with Harold Tedford and the Wake
Forest University Theatre
Lighting Designer: Howell Binkley;
Recording Engineer: Peter Deane;
Audio System Designer: Cliff Miller;
Production Manager: Hilton Smith;
Stage Manager: Robert Mellette;
Site Supervisor: Harold Moore;
Research Assistant: Mary Lucy Bivins
visions and dreams