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Hot off the presses: Serenade 2020

Serenade MagazineWelcome to the fourth edition of Serenade (view online), the annual update from the KU School of Music. Despite our world being turned upside down last spring by COVID-19, our community has persevered and found new ways to continue our mission of educating future musical leaders. In this edition of Serenade, we continue connecting KU’s musical heritage with current innovations and activities that advance music’s importance in our world. Through the decades, the continuum of success by musical Jayhawks demonstrates how the School of Music enjoys a rich history as one of the nation’s leading music schools.

We hope you enjoy this issue’s focus on the rich history of opera at KU and, in particular, Joyce Castle – KU music alumnus, acclaimed mezzo-soprano, and University Distinguished Professor of Music. Joyce is beloved to our School of Music and University. Her continued work as a musical artist is surpassed only by her passion for teaching and advocacy for all things music at KU. As she begins a phased retirement this fall, we celebrate her many accomplishments and contributions by launching The Joyce Castle Campaign for KU Opera.

Opera is perhaps the most expensive program for any music school to support adequately. Reduction in funding from the state legislature has put severe pressure on our budget resources, including those supporting this essential program. More than ever, it is a critical time to raise awareness and establish a substantial permanent resource that will ensure opera can continue to thrive at KU. This campaign provides an opportunity to support the future of KU Opera while also honoring a truly iconic musical Jayhawk, Joyce Castle.

Last March’s campus closing brought a host of challenges and urgent opportunities to learn new technologies for teaching, learning, and creating musical art. As we re-opened campus for the fall semester, KU faces another set of challenges. We will get through this, although adapting to new realities in a post-COVID world will be with us for some time. You can assist in helping prepare for the future by becoming a Friend of KU Music. With the pandemic’s unexpected financial challenges, philanthropic support for the School of Music has never been more critical.

No gift is too small! Learn more on our website at music.ku.edu/kumusicfriends


Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!

Robert Walzel, Dean
School of Music

School of Music Calendar
Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.