Bulletin News

After 38 Years, Musician Tom Chapin Will Return to Campus


Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Tom Chapin played more concerts at SUNY Cortland during the ’70s and ’80s ­— both solo and with his legendary brother, the late pop star Harry Chapin — than nearly any other artist.

On Tuesday, March 12, nearly four decades after his last SUNY Cortland show, Chapin will return to campus to share ballads, family music, folk song and some of the musical stories that made Harry Chapin one of the most popular musicians of his time. Chapin accompanies himself on guitar, banjo and autoharp. 

The show begins at 7 p.m. in Old Main Brown Auditorium, and is open to the public.

Tickets may be purchased online through the Campus Store at www2.cortland.edu/chapin/. They are also available at the Homer Center for the Arts box office, 72 S. Main St., Homer, N.Y. 13077, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays, and in the Campus Activities Office, Corey Union, Room 406, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; by calling 607-753-5574; or at the door the evening of the performance.

The cost is $10 general admission, $8 for seniors 60 and older and $3 for students. Children under 10 are free.

The multifaceted musician — Chapin hosted the Peabody-Award-winning children’s television show, “Make a Wish,” and has also been a Broadway performer, a children’s music pioneer, an activist, an educational advocate and a college basketball star — was invited back to Cortland as part of the College’s yearlong 150-year anniversary.

Chapin is a director of Why Hunger?, an international non-profit organization co-founded by Harry Chapin that is dedicated to eliminating food insecurity through grassroots initiatives. A new generation of anti-hunger activists will be sharing information at the concert and collecting cash donations to support the Cortland Cupboard, a campus pantry for food and other necessities for financially struggling students.

The concert is a part of the 2018-2019 Campus Artist and Lecture Series (CALS), which is funded by SUNY Cortland’s Auxiliary Services Corporation and the Cortland College Foundation. Additional support is being provided by the Homer Center for the Arts.

It is co-sponsored by the Musical Legacy Commemorative Project: 1960-1990. The committee of SUNY Cortland alumni is committed to raising awareness of the legendary artists who have performed on campus. Learn more and participate by visiting the Musical Legacy website. Members of the committee are available to talk about the project, which will culminate in a new campus sculpture commemorating the era.

During that time, student organizers brought some of the day’s biggest acts to Cortland, including the Grateful Dead, Beach Boys, Billy Joel, The Eagles, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Diamond and many more. Chapin performed on campus four times in the 1970s and early 1980s, including a 1974 concert with Harry Chapin.

The only artist to play more frequently on campus during this era was Todd Hobin, a Central New York singer-songwriter and leader of a popular regional band. Hobin joined other musicians, managers and student concert organizers in one of several panel discussions held last fall about the college concert era.