"Celebrating Great American Music"
All Wednesday lectures are held from 3:00-4:00 PM in the Callaway Auditorium.
Open to the public.
Sept. 4 - Noteworthy American Piano Music
Dr. Tracy Xian, LaGrange College Applied Piano instructor
Pianist Tracy Xian will present a lecture recital of American music. Selections
include elements of hymn tune, folk song and jazz.
Sept. 11 - Fighting for a Solo in America!
Ken Passmore. LaGrange College Applied Percussion Instructor
Listen to the unique sound of the marimba and learn how it gained popularity throughout
America as a member of the percussion family.
Sept. 25 - Great American Choral Music of Today
Debbie Ogle, LaGrange College Music Professor and Choral Director
From colonial days until today, American composers have written compelling and
stirring music for choral ensembles. This lecture explores the contributions of
Eric Whitacre, Morton Lauridsen and Renee Clausen, three of America's most accomplished
living choral composers.
Oct. 2 -"Hellhound on my Trail": The Impact of the Blues
Dr. Mitchell Turner, LaGrange College Music Professor
Many successful artists have credited the blues as a major influence in their
own music. This lecture examines the impact and long-term influence blues music
had on later popular styles.
Oct. 9 - Little Women, an American opera by Mark Adamo
Dr. Toni Anderson, LaGrange College Music Professor
In 1998, composer Mark Adamo took on the challenge of translating Louisa May Alcott's
much-beloved story of four sisters growing up in civil-war era New England into
an opera. The work was an instant success. We will view highlights of the opera
and examine how Adamo musically presents one of the story's major themes: the passage
Oct. 16 - Flowers from Roots: The Story of the Folk Revival
Dr. Lyn Schenbeck, guest presenter
Folk tunes in America were preserved through the oral tradition and, in part,
through the five-volume transcriptions of British scholar, Francis Child. Beginning
in the 1950s with Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, America saw an increasing interest
in folk music. Some of it was true folk music, Child ballads for example; others
consisted of music written for protests against war and to support the Civil Rights
movement. Pete Seeger and Joan Baez were two of the first musicians to record many
of these Child ballads as well as their own original songs, helping to launch the
folk revival in this country. In "Flowers from Root," Dr. Lyn Schenbeck discusses
the evolution of the folk revival in America and explores how folk music is a part
of almost every one of today's musical genres.
Oct. 23 - The Story of the Spiritual
Dr. Lawrence Schenbeck and Laura English-Robinson, guest presenters
The music known today as "the Negro spiritual" represents a unique American development
that took place during a period of rapid change. Between the Civil War and the
Roaring Twenties, the United States went from an agrarian to an industrial society,
its population increasingly concentrated in large urban centers. One of the most
significant musical genres of the period was created by Africans brought to these
shores many years earlier. Soprano Laura English-Robinson and musicologist Lawrence
Schenbeck explore this music, performing important songs from various historical
moments and commenting on twists and turns in the ongoing Story of the Spiritual.
Oct. 30 - "Have a Little Talk with Jesus": The Southern Gospel Tradition
Charles Story, Adam Traylor, Teel Yarbrough Traylor, guest artists
Smooth, tight harmonies and a lyrical focus on the message of Christian salvation
characterize the musical art form known as southern gospel. Inextricably linked
to the religious experience of rural Southerners, this genre claimed an important
part of the music industry with the rise of radio broadcasting in the early decades
of the 20th century. This lecture/demonstration explores the rich heritage of the
white southern gospel tradition, its musical and performance style, and those groups
who became giants in the gospel music industry.
Nov. 6 - A Voice from the Wilderness: Sacred Song in Frontier Georgia
Dr. Steven Darsey, guest presenter
In the crucible of frontier Georgia, the land, the people and God fused into a
hard wrought, intimate bond – a union that brought forth songs and repertories
of a straight forward character and humble piety, unique in the world. Using folk
hymns from the Sacred Harp tune book, camp meeting tunes, African American spirituals,
and Native American song, Steven Darsey shows how these songs and repertories are
growing from their frontier roots into an oracular tapestry, giving increasing
voice to divine truth.