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KU's Partnership for the Arts announces spring dates for popular 'West Side Story' lecture series

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

LAWRENCE–The University of Kansas School of Music and Reach Out Kansas, Inc., are pleased to continue the 2011-12 Kansas Partnership for the Arts, a series featuring numerous performances by renowned faculty, students and international guest artists. Included in this program is “The Creation of West Side Story,” a series of lectures featuring KU’s own Paul Laird.

KU musicologist Paul Laird has published extensively on Bernstein and his shows, including two books and several articles. Laird also has taught many courses on Broadway musicals for KU Continuing Education. He started the lecture series “The Creation of West Side Story” last fall and continues the popular series this semester. The spring dates for the lecture series are as follows:

  • January 17, 2012, University of Kansas, Swarthout Recital Hall, 7:30 PM
  • February 9, 2012, Baker University, McKibbin Recital Hall, 7:30 PM
  • March 13, 2012, Friends University Department of Music Concert Hour, 1:00 PM
  • March 13, 2012, McPherson College Mohler Lecture Series, 7:00 PM PM
  • April 1, 2012, Ottawa University, Chapel Sanctuary, 7:00 PM

“The collaborative, creative act of writing a piece of musical theater is often a mystery to members of the audience. Our presentations will consider such matters for ‘West Side Story’ (1957), one of the most important shows in the history of the American musical theater,” said Laird.

Paul Laird is professor of musicology at the University of Kansas, where he has taught since 1994. He holds a PhD in music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests include the Spanish and Latin American villancico, Leonard Bernstein, the Broadway musical, and early string instruments. He is the author of Towards a History of the Spanish Villancico (Harmonie Park Press, 1997), Leonard Bernstein: A Guide to Research (Routledge, 2002), The Baroque Cello Revival: An Oral History (Scarecrow Press, 2004), Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Chichester Psalm’ (Pendragon Press, 2010), and Wicked: A Musical Biography (Scarecrow Press, 2011). Laird is co-editor of the The Cambridge Companion to the Musical (Cambridge University Press, 2002; 2nd edition, 2008). With William A. Everett, Laird wrote The Historical Dictionary of the Broadway Musical (Scarecrow, 2007). Laird's articles and reviews have appeared in many dictionaries, journals, and other sources, and he has presented papers and lectures at numerous conferences and universities in the United States and Europe. Laird directs the Instrumental Collegium Musicum and is active as a Baroque cellist, performing with the Spencer Consort. In August 2002, he won a University of Kansas W. T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. He is in demand as a speaker on Broadway and classical music through the University of Kansas Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning.

The Kansas Partnership for the Arts is sponsored by Reach Out Kansas, Inc.; Smithyman & Zakoura, Chartered of Overland Park; and The Zakoura Family Fund.

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

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