February 7, 2023, marked Thomas More’s 545th birthday, and the seventh annual Thomas More Night for Young Artists in Chesterton Hall. A combined effort by the music, art, and drama departments, this event highlights our commitment to encouraging our young men to create art that will transform the world. The name of the event, of course, draws its inspiration from St. Thomas More, who had a deep love and appreciation for poetry, acting, and music, even from an early age. When More was still a young boy, he worked in the Chancellor’s palace for Cardinal John Morton, who is reported to have told his guests that, “this child here waiting at the table, whosoever shall live to see it, will prove a marvelous man.” It has been said that More would sometimes jump up among the Lord Cardinal’s players and improvise a role, forcing them to address him. He would do this with such wit and eloquence that the audience would take more entertainment from his improvisational wit and wisdom than in the whole show on its own. Moreover, Thomas More was known in his time as the greatest English poet of his generation, and his life has been fondly remembered in plays, poems, and songs for his love and practice of the arts.
During this year’s Thomas More Night for Young Artists, student-musicians performed in a concerto competition, while art students displayed and discussed their original paintings and sketches, developed on themes given by their teachers. Guests enjoyed beverages and hors d’oeuvres as students performed pieces for voice, piano, and violin, all for the good pleasure of those in attendance. We hope that Thomas More would be pleased by this and other similar events aimed at providing a venue for young artists to place their God-given gifts and talents at the service of others.