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Tulane University Celebrates 100 Years of Music

October 22, 2009 8:15 AM


Kathryn Hobgood

Weeklong Series of Free Public Concerts Held Nov. 2-8 at Tulane University and Other Locations

The Newcomb Department of Music at Tulane University is celebrating its centennial anniversary in November. Founded in 1909 as the Newcomb College School of Music, it was the first music school in New Orleans to be associated with a liberal arts college. In honor of this milestone, a weeklong series of concerts will be held at Tulane University and in other locations around New Orleans beginning Nov. 2. All concerts are free and open to the public.

"For 100 years, the Department of Music has enriched the cultural lives of students, faculty and staff at Tulane as well as the people of New Orleans," said Michael Howard, chair of the department and artistic director of Summer Lyric Theatre. "Through offerings such as Summer Lyric Theatre, the weekly "Music at Midday" concert series, the Classical Guitar and Piano Series, orchestra and choir concerts, our partnership with New Orleans Friends of Music, and the marching band at Mardi Gras, we hope we are bringing joy and beauty to our community."

When founded in 1909, the Newcomb College School of Music offered courses in theory and harmony, sight-singing and ear-training, general history of music, appreciation of music, and practical lessons on piano, organ, voice, and violin, according to John Baron, professor and head of the musicology graduate program. “Each student had to choose a major branch of practical music and take two lessons per week,” he said.

In more recent years, the Department of Music has become renowned for its musical theatre program and the productions of Summer Lyric Theatre, and is widely respected for the strength of its music technology, composition, musicology, ethnomusicology and performance faculty. The famous resources of the William Ransom Hogan Archive of New Orleans Jazz, the Maxwell Music Library, the Louisiana Collection, the Amistad Research Center, and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies make Tulane a major center for research into music history and sociology. Jazz Studies and Music Science and Technology are the latest additions to the fields of music that can be studied at Tulane.

In addition, faculty famous in their fields of performance offer instruction to the undergraduates and graduate students who study privately or in ensemble. The talents of both faculty and students will be on display at the centennial celebration. A complete list of concert events is below. For more information, contact James Velasquez (862-3216) or Diane Banfell (862-3214).

  • Monday, Nov. 2, 8 p.m., Dixon Hall. Concert by the Tulane University Marching Band and student chamber ensembles.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m. Dixon Hall. Louisiana Jazz Repertory Band.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 4, 8 p.m. Christ Church Cathedral. There will be at least four world premieres of original compositions by Tulane musicians, including music for trumpet, electronics and organ, by Guiseppe Ferrata, Tae-Hong Park and Eli Shoot.
  • Thursday, Nov. 5, 8 p.m. Dixon Hall. Faculty recital. Performances by Faina Lushtak, Amy Pfrimmer, Jesse McBride, Jon Gerhardt, Leonard Raybon, and Mark Lighthiser and Mendel Lee. New compositions by Barbara Jazwinski, Tae Hong Park and Eli Shoot. Michael Howard and James Kelley, pianists. Introductory remarks by Scott Cowen. Reception hosted by Tulane University Women"s Association in honor of its centennial and the music department.
  • Friday, Nov. 6, 8 p.m. Dixon Hall. Concert by the jazz ensembles. Introduction by Bruce Raeburn.
  • Saturday, Nov. 7, 2:30 p.m. Louisiana Superdome. Halftime show at Green Wave football game by the Tulane University marching band, featuring music department jazz faculty. And at 8 p.m. Dixon Recital Hall. Concert by student performers and composers. Introduction by Provost Michael Bernstein.
  • Sunday, Nov. 8, 4 p.m. Dixon Hall. Concert by the Tulane Orchestra and Choir. Introduction by Dean Carole Haber.