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KU School of Music rehearsal room to be named in honor of James Barnes

Thursday, September 29, 2016


LAWRENCE – On Saturday, Oct. 22, the University of Kansas School of Music will name a Murphy Hall band rehearsal room in honor of James Barnes, a professor of music theory and music composition who taught at KU for 41 years.



The dedication ceremony will be held during Homecoming Week and on the day of the KU vs. Oklahoma State University football game. The dedication will be in Murphy Hall Room 118, which is the rehearsal room to be named in Barnes’ honor. The dedication will immediately follow the KU vs. Oklahoma State University football game, approximately 3 p.m. The public is invited to attend.


As part of the KU Far Above campaign, the School of Music set a goal to raise $250,000 in KU Band student scholarships in order to honor James Barnes with the room naming. To date, the effort has raised more than $300,000.


Barnes came to KU as a music major in 1967 from Hobart, Oklahoma and began teaching full time in 1974. He retired in 2015. During that time, Barnes was the associate director of bands for 27 years and the division director for music theory and composition for 10 years.


"Across the world, Mr. Barnes and his music are quite well known.  From Lawrence, Kansas to Washington, D.C. to China to Belgium to Japan, Jim Barnes is one of our most famous musical exports,” said Paul Popiel, director of KU Bands. “At KU, he was an integral figure in shaping the legacy of the KU Bands program and influenced countless students through teaching, conducting and music.”   


A world-renowned musician and composer, Barnes has composed eight symphonies and three concertos. His works have been performed in concert halls all over the world, including Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, Carnegie Hall in New York City and Tokyo Metropolitan Concert Hall.


A two-time winner of the coveted American Bandmasters Association Ostwald Award for outstanding contemporary wind band music, Barnes was commissioned to compose works for all five of the major American military bands in Washington, D.C. The world-famous Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra has recorded three CDs of his music.


“James Barnes continues to be among the giants in the world of concert bands. His music is performed regularly on six continents by tens of thousands of people each year,” Dean Robert Walzel said. “We rejoice in honoring him and the difference he has made in the lives of so many KU students.”


Far Above was the university’s comprehensive fundraising campaign that sought to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize opportunities of the future. The campaign, which ended in June, raised $1.66 billion, far exceeding the $1.2 billion goal.  


The campaign was managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at U.S. public university.


For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436 or visit www.music.ku.edu.

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.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.