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The Big Band Era Comes Neumann University

Neumann University’s Cultural Arts Forum opens their 2014-2015 season with pianist Bill Messenger as he presents American Songwriters of the Big Band Era on Thursday, September 11, at 1:30 p.m. in the Thomas A. Bruder, Jr. Life Center at Neumann University.


Messenger, accompanied by jazz clarinetist Dr. Mac Given, tells stories behind the great songs of the big band era. Artists such as Rodgers and Hart, Johnny Mercer, George Gershwin and many others captured the ears of America during the 1930s and 40s. The program tells these stories through music, video, storytelling and audience participation.


Bill Messenger studied musical composition on scholarship at the Peabody Conservatory under Louis Cheslock and attended a master class with Nadia Boulanger, teacher of Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. He earned two master degrees from John Hopkins University and has published several books. Messenger has accompanied many legendary performers, including Lou Rawls, Bill Haley and the Comets, and Cass Elliot.


Founded by Dr. Margaret Mary Kearny, a former broadcast personality and friend of Neumann University, the Cultural Arts Forum hosts six lectures each year, an annual high tea and a fashion show to foster cultural programming and enrich the educational experiences of Neumann University and the community at large. Proceeds from these events benefit the Dr. Margaret Mary Kearny Scholarship, which assists non-traditional students.


General admission is $8. The program is free for Cultural Arts Forum members and Neumann University students with ID. Performance will be held in the Fred P. Meagher Theatre in the Thomas A. Bruder, Jr. Life Center.  For more information please call 610-558-5626.


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