Name a Seat Stories: The personal stories behind the plaques, part twenty-two

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Quote reads: Many, many of us have been the direct recipient of Yoko's silent generosity in the last 40 years, and we are thus pleased to honour her legacy in this small way today.

The Name a Seat campaign has brought together students, alumni, staff, and friends of the University in a unique way. With the Centre now open and guests starting to visit, we are excited to share the special stories behind the 400 seats in The Tung Auditorium:

"Changes are the things I have experienced most in the University of Liverpool. But changes will always be unpredictable for a 20 year old student. It might cage me in chains and it might become my future wealth, I don’t know. But its existence always makes me think that the future is promising. Finally, thanks for my parents, Zhang Yiwu and Liu Lei who support me in my University life." Shunchao Zhang, University of Liverpool student


"This is the story of ONOVOX - created by Brian Chaffin, but now run by Richard Joly for well over 25 years, ONOVOX exists since 1993. Our community has had many names and was shaped over the years by recent advances in technological innovation. It was yoko-list, ono-net, onoweb, it came via email, it was a listserv, then a blog and now is found on Facebook. Most of the very same contributors from way back are still present, with deep personal connections developing during those days. Many of these friendships predate the internet. Some early alliances were initially made in the two pioneering zines that focused on Yoko Ono - Marsha Ewing's INSTANTKARMA (81 to 96), and Brian Hendel’s YOKO ONLY! (83 to 94).

One person introduced us to another and another and another, we visited, travelled the globe to see live concerts, wrote papers and performed her works, witnessed events and museums shows around the globe. Our community is indeed spread all over the world - we are in Canada, the USA, Mexico, Brazil, England, Germany, Austria, Spain. Australia, Japan, Scandinavia, Mexico, and more. We focus on the works and activities of Yoko and her many friends and collaborators.

Many, many of us have been the direct recipient of Yoko's silent generosity in the last 40 years, and we are thus pleased to honour her legacy in this small way today." Richard Joly, ONOVOX


"As a former Guild President and member of the University Council, I feel a deep connection with the institution, and owe it a great deal in both my professional and personal life. My time as a student was spent enjoying the arts, culture, and heritage of the institution and the City of Liverpool and so it is a great joy to be able to support the Music programme and performance space for generations of students to come." Sam Butler (BA History 2012)


"I have a postgraduate degree from the University of Liverpool, but my story is not linked to the degree but to attending the university. I am naming the seat after my late sister who really aspired for a Masters degree but sadly could not because she became unwell and needed long term treatment. I am now honouring her by naming a seat after her in one of her choice universities." Olamide Oyende (MPH 2020)


"I am a member of staff, working within FRCS at Ness Botanic Gardens. I am also alumni, having graduated with an MBA in 2018. Carl was my dad’s best friend and like an uncle to me. Both my dad and Carl were music obsessives - something that was passed to me - and this seemed like a fitting tribute to a fine man who we lost to soon." Zoë Chapman (MBA 2018)


"I studied music at Liverpool from 1999-2002. It was a wonderful coming-of-age experience in a city like no other. I conducted the Liverpool University Singers and took the group on its first tour and worked around the city as an organist. I now work as a journalist and critic and write about music for orchestras and magazines all around the world, including the Liverpool Phil. I am a music critic for the Financial Times and Gramophone magazine, based in Copenhagen. My first book The Northern Silence – Journeys in Nordic Music and Culture is published by Yale University Press in June 2022, 20 years since my graduation." Andrew Mellor (BA Music 2002)


To find out more about this campaign, please visit our dedicated webpage. To visit the Centre or the Auditorium, you can book onto one of the upcoming events on The Tung Auditorium website here.

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