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  • Celebrating its 45th anniversary, Ballet Hispanico's mission is to make the beauty of the arts and Latino culture accessible to all communities.

  • The new year brings three Indonesian-based artists to campus where they will create art in a month-long residency.

  • The Harlem Gospel Choir performs worldwide, logging in two million travel miles. Trivia fact: They paid tribute to Prince, performing "Purple Rain" on Good Morning America.

  • (l-r) Selena Kimball uses printed documentary evidence and works into constructed surfaces. Liz Nielsen's photographs are printed in an analog color darkroom.

The Arts

The arts—performing, visual and literary—are a part of the daily educational experience at Davidson. Students, alumni and the greater Davidson family are invited to enjoy and participate in various art forms on campus throughout the year. Sculpture. Readings. Plays. Exhibitions. Chorale. It is all happening here.

As Davidson grows its focus on broad collaboration across the arts and sciences, opportunities for involvement in the arts and a transdisciplinary approach to learning will continue to develop on and off campus.

Events are free-except those having a link to tickets-and open to the public.

Key: 900 Room = C. Shaw Smith 900 Room, Alvarez College Union; BT = Barber Theatre, Cunningham Fine Arts Center; CI = Carolina Inn; DCPC = Davidson College Presbyterian Church, DFPH = Duke Family Performance Hall, Knobloch Campus Center; Hance = Hance Auditorium, Chambers; Lilly = Lilly Family Gallery, Chambers; TTH = Tyler-Tallman Hall, Sloan Music Center


black and white art "Photogravure" by Tyler Starr

Group Faculty Exhibition

On View: March 16-April 14, 2017
Reception: March 23  •  6-7:30 p.m.

Featuring works by Tyler Starr, Joelle Dietrick and Katie St. Clair.

Pictured to the left: "Photogravure" by Tyler Starr

photo of girl holding a violin in front of right half of her face


Sunday, April 23  •  3 p.m.  •  Duke Family Performance Hall, Knobloch Campus Center  •  Tickets

The nation's top young chamber ensembles compete for their share of $10,000 in prizes. Now in its fourth year, the Young Chamber Musicians Competition, created by 89.9 WDAV-Davidson College's classical public radio station-and sponsored by OrthoCarolina, is produced as a live radio broadcast. Members of the audience join in the excitement by deciding the winner of the People's Choice Award.

photo of previous student art exhibit

Annual Student Art Exhibition

On View: April 26-May 10, 2017
Reception: April 26  •  7-8:30 p.m.

The Student Art Exhibition highlights works produced during the academic year by both art majors and non-art majors. The juror this year is Endia Beal, director of Diggs Gallery, Winston-Salem State University.

photo of a boy holding a dead fish

Student Directed One Acts

One Acts I  •  April 26-27  •  Tickets 
One Acts II  •  May 3-4  •  Tickets

These student-directed, one act plays serve as the final project for students in the Directing I and Advanced Scenic Design courses.

choir singing


Monday, May 8, 2017  •  7:30 p.m.  •  DFPH  •  Tickets

Join the Davidson College Choirs, Pro Arte Orchestra and soloists as they perform Ralph Vaughan Williams's first symphony, known as A Sea Symphony. This powerful and majestic work from one of Britain's most beloved composers will offer moments of excitement and introspection, coupled with text from the legendary American writer Walt Whitman. This evening will take you to the high seas, alone on the beach at night, among the cascading waves and into the thoughts and hearts of explorers.

girls singing in a choir


Saturday, May 20  •  7:15 p.m.  •  DCPC

Join the Davidson College Chorale in joyous celebration of the Class of 2017 on the eve of their graduation! This special performance will offer a sampling of this season's repertoire as well as favorites from the graduating class.



This biennial co-production between the theatre and music departments concluded our season, as well as the 43-year tenure of our dear Joe Gardner. At the infamous Kit Kat Klub, emcee Sally Bowles and a raucous ensemble took the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd–and to leave their troubles outside. But as life in pre-WWII Germany grew more and more uncertain, questions arose as to whether the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife would be enough to get them through their dangerous times.

Wearn Lecture: Sandra Steingraber

"Where Science Meets Human Rights: Behind the Fight to Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground" by Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., is a biologist, author and cancer survivor who writes about the connections between the environment and human health. Her book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment, has been turned into an acclaimed documentary. Steingraber's published articles and poetry provide a lyrical counterpoint to scientific reports and press releases about America's environmental crisis.

Poetry Reading: Kazim Ali

2017 Vereen Bell Memorial Awards in Creative Writing

Kazim Ali is the author of four books of poetry, including Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry, the cross-genre text Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities, two books of essays, translations from the Arabic and French, and two novels, including Quinn's Passage, named one of "The Best Books of 2005" by Chronogram. Associate editor of FIELD, and founding editor of Nightboat Books, he serves as series co-editor for both Poets on Poetry and Under Discussion. Kazim Ali is an associate professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College.


Davidson's premier student choral ensemble performs their annual spring concert in the Davidson College Presbyterian Church. Join the Chorale-with Davidson Singers, Collegium Musicum and After Hours Vocal Jazz-as they present their beautiful and varied a cappella and accompanied choral repertoire.


Pianist and conductor Stephen Drury has performed throughout the world with a repertoire that stretches from Bach to Liszt to the music of today. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Barbican Centre and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the Cité de la Musique in Paris; and performed and recorded with the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Boston Philharmonic and the Boston Pops.


Visiting McGee Professor of Writing

Tom Gilroy has written and directed three award-winning films, including the critically acclaimed feature film Spring Forward, starring Liev Schreiber, Ned Beatty, Ian Hart, and Campbell Scott. A two-time fellow of the Sundance Labs, he was commissioned by R.E.M. to create "It Happened Today," a video-work inspired by the band's final album. Gilroy frequently teaches film at Columbia University, and is the author of three books of haiku and various political columns in The Huffington Post.


Chicago's legendary sketch and improv comedy theater returned to Davidson with this irreverent look at America's electoral insanity. This topical new show featured political satire made famous by Second City stars like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Keegan Michael Key, as well as brand new scenes, songs and improv straight from their sold out shows in Chicago and Toronto.


As a part of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the DCSO presented a festive concert of Latin American music, featuring the works of Piazzolla, Ginastera, Moncayo, Lecuona, and more. (photo of Ernesto Lecuona)


Over There! was a musical revue honoring the 100th Centennial of World War I and served as a tribute to the Americans who served so bravely on the battlefields. Musical selections featured two iconic American composers and showmen, George M. Cohan and Irving Berlin. Over There! featured the artistry of soprano Jacquelyn Culpepper, baritone Dan Boye, accompanist DeWitt Tipton and writer/director/narrator Francis Cullinan. Musical highlights includd Alexander's "Ragtime Band," "Give my Regards to Broadway," "Over There," "You're a Grand Old Flag," and "God Bless America" Narration included excerpts from touching letters from the battlefront, as well as comments from military personnel. From start to finish, Over There! revived the spirit of patriotism in audiences of all ages.


Reggie Love, author of Power Forward: My Presidential Education, spoke about his time as personal assistant to President Barack Obama. A graduate of Providence Day School in Charlotte, Love played basketball for Duke University before going to work for then senator Obama later transitioning to the White House. After leaving the White House, Love attended the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and is now a partner and vice president of Transatlantic Holdings. Love discussed his first-hand account of life as the president's "body man" and reflected on the 2016 presidential election.


From 1972 until 1976, Herb Jackson, Davidson College professor emeritus, initiated and hosted a landmark exhibition, The Davidson National Print and Drawing Competition. During those five years, artists from around the country shipped thousands of works of art to Davidson College to be juried by acclaimed artists and curators. Artists vied for a spot on the gallery walls and for awards, which included the purchase of works for the college's Permanent Art Collection. The series of exhibitions, and subsequent subset of the Permanent Collection, provided a glimpse into drawing and printmaking techniques and styles at the time. In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the last Davidson National, and in the spirit of this exhibition, the Van Every/Smith Galleries were delighted to present "Making Marks: Water, Pigment, and Light," featuring works from eight artists from across the United States (Nancy Baker, Matthew Brandt, William Cordova, Chris Duncan, Selena Kimball, Lavar Munroe, Liz Nielsen, and Shoshanna Weinberger). Though this exhibition was curated rather than juried, the artists selected represented the range of possibilities for what works on and of paper could be, including an exploration of unique processes and materials capable of making marks - from graphite and gouache to water, sun, earth, and time.

This exhibition, related programming and brochure were made possible through the support of the Herb Jackson and Laura Grosch Gallery Endowment, Malú Alvarez '02, and Davidson College Friends of the Arts.


Cordova explored topics implicative of transcultural migration through a multimedia installation centered around Fort Mose in St. Augustine, Fla., an area founded in 1739 by runaway African slaves and Native Americans fleeing British persecution. Just over two decades later, in 1763, the group relocated to Ceiba Mocha, Mantanzas, Cuba. Cordova's exhibition, comprised of reclaimed ephemera, film, photography, sound, and more, linked these early migrations with the movement of more than 80 Asian, Black, and Latinos from America to Cuba between 1968 and 1971-a time typically associated with Cuban exile into the U.S.


In collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Davidson was thrilled to offer this unique master class Al-Andalus, two connected events in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Talk & Performance by La Hora Española

A pre-concert talk about the origins of Spanish classical music during Islamic rule in Spain featured performances by La Hora Española, a wonderful soprano and piano duo from Spain who specialize in finding the true essence of Spanish Music. The duo performed Islamic, Jewish, and Christian pieces that came from the time of Al-Andalus. UNC Charlotte's David Russell and a special guest offered a brief introduction to music in Al-Andalus, and its origins and influence on classical music.

Letters from Baghdad: Ramin AlHaj, oud & Ciompi String Quartet

This performance featured the Grammy-nominated Iraqi-American oud player and composer Rahim AlHaj with the illustrious Ciompi String Quartet in a concert called "Letters from Baghdad."


Charlotte's own bluegrass and folk music legend Jon Singleton will take the stage to offer up some traditional Irish fiddle tunes alongside our gifted pianist David Gilliland.


Alan Michael Parker is the Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English, and the author of eight collections of poems, including The Ladder, and four novels, including the forthcoming Christmas in July. His honors include three Pushcart Prizes, two inclusions in Best American Poetry, the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize in 2013 and 2014, and the North Carolina Book Award.
Karl Plank is the J.W. Cannon Professor of Religion. His recent poetry and creative work has appeared in publications such as Notre Dame Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Zone 3. He is a past winner of the Thomas Carter Prize for nonfiction and a Pushcart nominee.



The Davidson College Chorale & Davidson Singers offered the first choral concert of the season. This special performance for friends and family highlighted some of the vibrant and challenging repertoire the ensembles are performing this year.


The DCSO played an eclectic performance of season highlights, that featured music from our Southern Excursion concert, a preview of The Planets, and more.


New York-based renowned jazz pianist and Davidson parent Jerry Korman joined the Davidson College Jazz Ensemble along with his daughter, violinist and vocalist Arielle Korman '17, for this special Family Weekend performance.



Perhaps Shakespeare's most popular and (let's face it) approachable work, this romantic comedy featured a few of his favorite themes: the mystical difference between city and woods, lovers who must suffer before their happy ending, hyper-truth revealed through the play-within-a-play. And the bard ain't afraid to be a little bawdy. Likewise, this contemporary production expressed a bold vision: anything can happen if you open your mind to a new rhythm.


This concert features the winners of the 2016 annual Concerto Competition, along with a refreshing dive into the realm of orchestral dance music.


America's premier gospel choir, the Harlem Gospel Choir, is synonymous with power vocals, glorious sound, and infectious energy. The unique musical tradition of gospel music arose out of the hardships of slavery and forever shares the rich history of gospel as it relates to African-American culture and present a night of contemporary gospel classics as performed in the churches of Harlem today. Their harmonious songs of love, hope, and inspiration aimed to touch the depths of your soul, lift your spirit, and take your breath away.


Contemporary composer Dan Forrest's works have been hailed as "magnificent, very cleverly constructed sound sculpture" (Classical Voice), and "superb choral writing...full of spine-tingling moments" (Salt Lake Tribune). In the last decade, Forrest's music has become well established in the repertoire of choirs in the U.S. and abroad. His choral works have received dozens of awards and distinctions, and have been premiered in major venues around the world. He joined Davidson's Choral Arts Society and Pro Arte Orchestra for a lush and heartfelt performance of Forrest's work, Requiem for the Living.


The Davidson College Chorale and Davidson Singers brought beautiful music to a new venue this fall, performing in the 900 Room for the first time. The program included fresh and fun offerings that started the weekend off right!


Ballet Hispanico is the nation's premier Latino dance group that explores, preserves, and celebrates Latino culture. Their performance at Davidson included staple works from their vast repertoire as well as a preview of the new work Línea Recta by Belgian-Colombian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, one of today's most sought-after choreographers. Línea Recta paired the hallmark passion of flamenco dance with highly inventive and intricate partnering, performed to Spanish classical guitar.


The Central String Quartet returned to perform the great Schubert "C Major String Quintet" with guest cellist Alan Black. The ensemble included Charlotte Symphony Orchestra violinists Joseph Meyer and Jenny Topilow, violist Kirsten Swanson, and cellist Marlene Ballena. Join us for this breathtaking afternoon highlighted by the crown jewel of chamber music pieces.


Under the direction of accomplished saxophonist Tim Gordon, the popular Davidson College Jazz Combo presented a mesmerizing evening of small group jazz literature and improv.


Naomi Iizuka's riff on Georg Büchner's Woyzeck tells the story of a young couple working desperately to make sense of their relationship while toiling to survive. Skin moves with supernatural fluidity, creating a beautiful play in which we feel the world squeezing tighter and tighter.


In its fourth season, the Holiday Gala continued to delight sold-out audiences. The unofficial beginning of the town's annual "Christmas in Davidson" event, the Holiday Gala brings together the college choirs, symphony orchestra and jazz band with local community talent to ring in the holiday with dancing, singing, festive light, and seasonal sounds.


The Davidson College Chorale and Davidson Singers were honored to raise their voices during this lessons and carols service. Additional music from Carolina Brass.


The Davidson Singers led this year's carols at the annual Campus Christmas Party.


Capping off our seasonal offerings, the Davidson College Choirs performed the second annual Messiah! Sing-Along. Featured the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra and professional soloists.


A strict binary has long existed between the contrasting effects of words and images. Words have been thought to be foundational, while images have been considered subordinate. Words have been valued as rhetorically primary, while images have been thought of as illustrative. But such bifurcation seems to artists and writers alike both constraining and unrealistic. How might the communicative and aesthetic status of words and images be profitably studied together? How do images and texts cooperate in single works of art as modalities in tension or unison? Seeing|Saying: Images and Words assembles important contemporary works from 18 artists (Shimon Attie, John Baldessari, Mark Bradford, Cris Bruch, Andrea Eis, Teresita Fernández, Howard Finster, Christian Marclay, Shirin Neshat, Dennis Oppenheim, Susan Harbage Page, José Parlá, Dan Perjovschi, Raymond Pettibon, Santiago Sierra, Hank Willis Thomas, and David Wojnarowicz) that play upon and experiment with words and images, inviting us to question the image-word divide, and reminding us of our current saturation - digitally and materially - in images with words.

Co-curated by Van Hillard, professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, Elizabeth Harry, assistant curator, and Lia Newman, director/curator.

The exhibition and related programming were made possible through the support of the Bacca Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture Fund, Herb Jackson and Laura Grosch Gallery Endowment, Malú Alvarez '02, and Davidson College Friends of the Arts.

Bethany Collins: In Evidence

Using educational materials such as erasers, graphite, old dictionaries, and found text from government documents, literary journals and historical records, Collins' exhibition presents evocative works on paper, altered books, and installation that explore the relationship between race and language.

Co-curated by Van Hillard, Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, Elizabeth Harry, Assistant Curator, and Lia Newman, Director/Curator

This exhibition and related programming were made possible through the support of the Bacca Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture Fund, Herb Jackson and Laura Grosch Gallery Endowment, Malú Alvarez '02, and Davidson College Friends of the Arts.

Related Events

Lecture by W. J. T. Mitchell

Lecture and Artwork by Nick Sousanis

Watch Out for Alison Bechdel!

Reynolds Lecture

Alison Bechdel is an internationally beloved cartoonist whose darkly humorous graphic memoirs, astute writing and evocative drawing have forged an unlikely intimacy with a wide and disparate range of readers. For 25 years Alison self-syndicated Dykes to Watch Out For; the award-winning generational chronicle has been called "one of the pre-eminent oeuvres in the comics genre, period" by Ms. Magazine, and spawned the now famous "Bechdel test," which measures gender bias in film. Her first graphic novel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, was named the Best Book of the Year by TIME, and was adapted into a Broadway musical that has won five Tony Awards including Best Musical.


Grammy-nominated Josh Goforth is highly regarded as an outstanding musician, acclaimed fiddler, guitar picker, mandolin player and storyteller, from Madison County, N.C. From a young age, Josh began to establish himself as a stunning instrumentalist, constantly lighting up stages with his solo performances and as a major highlight of the illustrious David Holt & The Lightning Bolts. Josh will perform with longtime collaborator Laura Boosinger, one of the most popular banjoists and singers in the N.C. folk tradition. Laura has won glowing reviews wherever she appears and is blessed with an essence of the mountains' spirit that can take you back to the good ol' days when folks used to huddle around the radio. Sing Out magazine called Josh and Laura's latest CD, Most of All, "simple, direct and as good as it gets."


Top area wind musicians Amy Orsinger-Whitehead, flute; Dru DeVan, clarinet; Hollis Ulaky, oboe; Mary Beth Griglak, bassoon; and Bob Rydel, French horn; joined forces to present a dynamic performance of chamber works by Hoiby, Carter, Danzi, Berio and Mozart.


Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana is the nation's premier Spanish and flamenco dance company, known for the purity of its work and the unique way in which it enriches the art of flamenco. This infectiously joyful (The New York Times), brilliantly colored show is a journey through the cultures and traditions of the Andalusian provinces of Spain-the cradle of flamenco-and a fascinating look at just how varied and stylized this art form can be. In songs and dances that celebrate the richly varied traditions, festivals, and rituals of daily life in southern Spain, Flamenco Vivo transports audiences.

Lorrie Moore

2017 Conarroe Lecture

Lorrie Moore is the author of seven works of fiction. Recipient of The Irish Times Prize for International Literature, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the PEN/Malamud Award, the O. Henry Award, and a Lannan fellowship, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received her B.A. from St. Lawrence, and her M.F.A. from Cornell University; she is Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor at Vanderbilt University.


Artist Associate in Violin and Associate Concertmaster of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Joseph Meyer performed a recital including works from Bach, Bartók and Ysaye.


After ten years, the DCSO was delighted to perform side-by-side once again with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, right here on Davidson's campus. The repertoire included uplifting and powerful audience favorites. Conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, music director of the Charlotte Symphony.


For the first time on the Davidson campus we gathered together the choral talent from local public and private high schools to perform their separate mini-concerts. More than 200 singers graced the stage of Davidson's Duke Family Performance Hall. The singers joined the Davidson College Choirs and closed the evening with a grand finale.

Poets as Lyric Historians: Contemporary African American Poets and History: Annette Debo

Annette Debo is the author of The American H.D., editor of H.D.'s Within the Walls and What Do I Love? and co-editor of the MLA volume Approaches to Teaching H.D.'s Poetry and Prose. English professor and graduate program director at Western Carolina University, she teaches courses on modernism, African American literature and literary theory, and was a 2014 recipient of the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.


Ron is called the world's happiest Bluesman. His performance gave a glimpse into the dynamic sound of the Piedmont blues, a greatly neglected movement of the blues in the twentieth century. Big Ron owns a voice that gives people chills. It's the kind of voice that carries warmth and tenderness, a voice that is unmistakably his own and embodies everything that's raw, pure and beautiful about the blues.


by Will Eno • directed by Callan Gies '17

Middletown is a deeply moving and quirky contemporary play exploring the universe of a small American town. As a friendship develops between longtime resident John and new arrival Mary, the lives of the inhabitants of Middletown intersect in strange and poignant ways in a journey that takes them from the local library to outer space and points between.

Poetry Reading: Ann Fisher-Wirth

Ann Fisher-Wirth, Ph.D. is the author or editor of numerous works, including The Ecopoetry Anthology (with Laura Gray-Street), and Dream Cabinet, her most recent collection of poems. Past President of ASLE and the 2006 Mississippi Humanities Teacher of the Year, she has been a Fulbright Scholar in Switzerland and Sweden. English professor at the University of Mississippi, she received a B.A. from Pomona College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Claremont Graduate School.

Liz Longley, Singer/Songwriter

Liz Longley confides with you as though you're sitting on the sofa with her in a talk that's intimate and vulnerable. And now, the Berklee College of Music graduate and award-winning songwriter is set to share her confessional songs with listeners on her sophomore album coming out on Sugar Hill Records this August. While Longley's songs and vocals invite complimentary comparisons to Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole and Nanci Griffith-all artists she's supported live-her latest effort spotlights a style all her own. Her voice and tone, touched with the slightest of country inflections, pours out like clean, crystalline water.

Shakespeare in Song: Broadus Hamilton, with Cynthia Lawing & Randy Ingram

Tenor Broadus Hamilton performed a selection of Shakespeare's sonnets and songs, accompanied by the music department's Cynthia Lawing. English Professor Randy Ingram offered remarks about the contexts of the pieces, from the manuscripts of Shakespeare's time to the Valentines of 2017.


One of Shakespeare's last comedies and considered one of his crowning masterpieces, Aquila Theatre tackles this classic romantic comedy with their signature physicality and remarkable dramatization. This festive play, full of combative wit and melodrama, will leave you rolling in the aisles.

Bail Art Residency

Featuring Mella Jaarsma, Alin Caniago and Restu Ratnaningtyas, three Indonesian-based artists creating artwork during a month-long residency.

Poetry Reading: Cynthia Hogue

Cynthia Hogue, Ph.D., has published 13 books, including nine collections of poetry, most recently Revenance and the forthcoming In June the Labyrinth. She was a 2015 NEA Fellow in Translation, and holds the Marshall Chair in English at Arizona State University.

Inaugural Abbott Lecture: Marjorie Perloff

Marjorie Perloff, Ph.D., presented "Reading the Verses Backward: Poetry for the Digital Age." Perloff is the Sadie D. Patek Professor of Humanities Emerita at Stanford University and Florence Scott Professor Emerita at USC. Author of many books on 20th and 21st century poetry and poetics, including Poetics in a New Key, a collection of interviews and essays, and Edge of Irony: Modernism in the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire, she was 2006 President of the MLA, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This past April, she was the first Wittgenstein Guest Professor at Innsbruck University in Austria, where she also received an honorary degree.

Sue Miller Reading

Sue Miller has written a collection of short stories, a memoir about her father and his death from Alzheimer's disease and ten novels. Her work has been widely translated and published. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Appalachian ballad singer, folklorist, and activist Saro Lynch-Thomason joins forces with Charlotte's own folk musician, civil rights leader, and labor and community organizer Si Kahn for this special performance. Folk music has always been the music of the people, often serving as a tool of social activism. Kahn and Lynch-Thomason, who come from very different generations and backgrounds, are united by their belief that songs can change minds and lives. The duo will lift up their voices together here at Davidson.