Watch J.K. Rowling Harvard Commencement Speech Live Thursday

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Jun 03, 2008

Posted by SueTLC

As previously announced J.K. Rowling will be giving the commencement address at Harvard University, Thursday June 5. While tickets to the event were limited, fans everywhere will be able to watch this event live via this link, with the text and video reposted immediately following on this link to Harvard Magazine. Jo is scheduled to be speaking sometime between 2:15 and 4:00pm ET. TLC also has a crew attending the graduation ceremony, and will be posting complete coverage of this event on Thursday.

On a fun related note, in anticipation of Jo speaking at Harvard, you can hear Hedwig’s theme being played on 17 Russian church bells at the fabled campus of Harvard, here via the Boston Globe. Quotage: ” According to Jeremy Lin, a Harvard senior and resident bell-ringer at Lowell House, the Klappermeisters have been practicing “Hedwig’s Theme,” the signature Harry Potter tune, for some time in anticipation of Rowling’s visit.”We do a ring every year for Halloween, and one of the things that started after Halloween is that somebody figured out how to play the Harry Potter theme,” Lin said. “That person has since graduated, but we knew that it was possible, so we kind of worked up our own version and we thought that it would be nice to play for her.”

Many Thanks to Harvard Magazine





46 Responses to Watch J.K. Rowling Harvard Commencement Speech Live Thursday

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I will be there! So excited!

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That’s awesome! Wish I could go :(

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that’s pretty much the sweetest thing ever: playing hedwig’s theme via bells. kind of makes me wish i was still at college…

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I’m so looking forward to this!

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awww… it’s such a nice way to honor Jo. I can’t wait!

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haha hedwig’s theme bells! that made my day! oh… i really wish i could be there!

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Hahha it’s a bit out of tune, but I’d love it if someone played that at my graduation.

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I wonder if some one will record the bells and put it on Youtube. I love Hedwig’s Theme. It just brings you into Harry Potter world like crossing platform 9 3/4

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Oh man, I wish I went to Harvard…

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Well, that was close to Hedwig’s Theme. They get an A for effort. That was really quite nice of them.

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This makes me so happy. It is unbelievable that we will be able to watch this live and a Leaky crew is attending. I think it is fitting that she gives the Harvard commencement address. She is the Bill Gates of authors and basically the head of a multi-billion dollar industry employing hundreds if not thousands.

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What a nice gesture. I cringed a few times during the bell song, but it was recognizable all the same

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Ugh I’m so jealous of my friends at Harvard

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Oh I’m so envious! But it’s great that those who can’t go are able to see it.

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GOD IS GOING TO BE IN BOSTON! OMG I LIVE REALLY CLOSE TO BOSTON! OMG GOD GOD GOD GOD JK GODLY IS COMING!!!!

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Wow – that bell song is amazing, especially the part towards the end. I didn’t cringe in the least – I know what the bells look like and it’s amazing that anything can be played on them at all (I live in a town right next to Cambridge, my house is about 2 1/2 miles from Harvard – maybe I’ll be able to hear the bells).

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My younger daughter graduated from Harvard (‘98, Quincy House) and got former gov Weld delivering the commencement address. ‘Twas not amusing. I would much rather it had been JKR!

Harvard does do graduation well. Two actually, One for everybody, and one at the respective ‘house’. The second is much more intimate.

I hope someone captures the speach. I’d like to hear it.

OMT

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I might just be going down to Boston just to be in the same city as JKR lol

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that’s SO cool! I wish I went to Harvard. and that would be really cool to be able to do the bell chimming. how do you even learn to do that?

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Sweet! I live really close to Boston, just about 15-20 minutes! I’ll be so close to JKR! ahhh so excited!

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I’m going! I know someone who works there and she got me two tickets!! She says its totally standing room only now, you cant get anything anymore! I’m sooooo excited!

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Oh my goodness why did they bother! It is enough to put one off church bells for life.

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There’s a video of the bells (making a similar set, I believe) at that website or http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/06/01/russian_bells/ Seeing what these bells look like, I’m impressed how close they were able to duplicate “Hedwig’s Theme”! For some reason I had initially thought of hand bells, which would probably produce a sound much more familiar (and easier to achieve/duplicate) instead of these very large church bells.

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Not to be picky (but we are pretty picky here in Massachusetts) – for all of those that are going to “Boston” to see JKR, you’ll be on the wrong side of the river – Harvard is in Cambridge. The two are not to be confused.

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Yay! I’m going to be there; so excited! OMT: If you’re daughter went there, you should be able to get tix – that’s how I got tix (my mom went there.) although it might be too late now. good luck!

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Thats so cool!!

Wig’s theme on those chimes suck!! i guess since i am a musician i am a little more sensitive to pitches than the average person but still, it make me cringe…..

Anyway, Live, Love, Harry Potter!!

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That is quite a prestigious honour. And well deserved…as many others have said, “Wish I could be there…definately hope to hear The Bells!”

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To all those who are dissatisfied with the bells…I just listened and, although there is one spot that is “odd”, I was very moved. I could almost think of it as another “farewell”...The Bells will be retired after the Graduation Ceremony, and it is a fitting homage to another farewell.. They did a wonderful job with such huge bells. They are to be commended!

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I quite agree, Confederate Lady. I got all choked-up listening to Hedwig’s Theme on the bells and thinking about Jo being in Cambridge (and me on the other coast totally unable to even think of trying to attend.)

Cannot wait to hear/read what Jo has to say. I frankly van;t even remember who my uni commencement speaker was.

And hats off to Harvard for relinquishing the bells and allowing them to return to Moscow. I know Rowling would approve!

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AWSOME! i still don’t know how to play hedwigs theme on my clarinet…..yeah, arn’t I stupid? Cool that they can play it on the bell!

J’adore Harry Potter

Je suis grande fana de Harry Potter!

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PLEASE be aware that the link to the live video feed leads to a test signal when nothing else is being broadcast. It is a VERY LOUD sound and even though I stopped it as soon as I heard it, I still have a slight loss of hearing – hopefully my poor ears will recover in time!

Sue/editors, if you could add this precaution to the news post… I’m probably not the only one who is too curious for my own good! lol

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So much love for Jo. Wish I could go and hear her speak publically. Mind you, I’d probably fangirl so much that I’d faint. And those bells? Beautiful idea, but a bit jarring in places. However I know absolutley nothing about playing bells. Maybe it was meant to sound like that… o.O

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Do you ever think Jo ever gets tiresome of hearing Hedwig’s Theme. I know she’d appreciate the bells, but I bet it’s not on her ipod

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This is the best year to be a graduate from Harvard. I feel so lucky!!! (Oh yeah, I’ll be there front and center to see Rowling speak.)

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can anyone convert the bells into an mp3 file. what a cool ring tone that would be!!

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omg this sounds great, but i wish i could go : (

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OH YARG I wish I wasn’t in school so that I could watch the live feed for the whole time it’s on. then I could watch Jo LIVE. But this is what they have the video playback thing for. SMASHING!

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i am one of those lucky people that are attending tomorrows event! ...does anyone going or not going, know if she will be signing any autographs at some point before or after the event? thanks!

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I suspect that one of the reasons why Hedwig’s Theme on the bells (not chimes!—one of the bells weighs 13 tons!) is that they don’t have all the notes they need. There are only 17 bells, and they probably don’t cover the entire chromatic scale needed for some of Hedwig’s Theme’s odder intervals. I thought they did an excellent job with the constraints that they had.

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test

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The web site

triple-w dot lowell dot harvard dot edu slash Bells slash Bells dot php

lists the notes that 12 of the 17 bells can play (and lets you “play” them yourself—neat!). As I suspected, there is no way that they could have perfectly reproduced Hedwig’s Theme with the pitches they had to work with (which are F-sharp G-sharp B C-sharp D E F-sharp G-sharp A-sharp B plus a couple more).

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aw i missed it, have to wait around for the video now

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Kiwi it’s not been on yet has it….? It’s still morning in America!

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Amazing! I wish I could be there, but I can’t… I want to see it! :(

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It should going on now, but when I click the hyperlink for the live event, it wants me download some .ram file and will not let me get to it. Ugh!

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you very niec

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