Happy Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the day before the Christian season of Lent begins.  In New Orleans, this is the *last* day of carnival: the party started on Twelfth Night, January 6th. With the New Orlean’s Saints‘ victory in Super Bowl XLIV, this Mardi Gras season has given the  City of New Orleans something […]

Happy Birthday Mister President, Happy Birthday to You

We all can’t be Marilyn Monroe cooing a personal birthday greeting to the Commander-in-Chief. But this President’s Day weekend gives all Americans a chance to remember our iconic leaders and take advantage of holiday sales — and gives the Mid-Atlantic States more time to dig out from the record-breaking snowfall that brought the region to […]

Boy Scouts of America

This week the Boy Scouts of America turn one hundred years young – and they still look like kids! Earn your merit badge in Music with this piece from The March King: John Philip Sousa on the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. More scout-related material can be found in An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides […]

African-American History Month

Celebrate African-American History month with a presentation of  African-American Band Stocks on the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. This collection of “stock” arrangements – published orchestrations for instrumental groups – is written by some of the most important African-American composers of the early 20th century. Among those represented are J. Rosamond Johnson,  whose most famous song,  ”Lift Ev’ry Voice […]

Hungarian Jazz Showcase Panel

I was recently invited by the Palace of Arts in Budapest to moderate a panel discussion during their Hungarian Jazz Showcase. The audience was a mix of music students and faculty from the Liszt Academy, as well as professional musicians and enthusiasts who wanted to participate. My fellow panelists included a record producer, music journalist […]

Tooting our own Kazoo

The following is a guest post by Julianne Mangin, Library Services. National Kazoo Day, recognized on January 28th, celebrates what is perhaps the most accessible of all musical instruments, the kazoo.  If you can hum a tune, you can play a kazoo, which takes your voice and changes its timbre to give it a comically […]

Happy Birthday Mozart!

From Dolly Parton to Django Reinhardt to Robert Burns, the strange bedfellows whose birthdays we have celebrated this past week demonstrate the breadth of the Music Division’s collections.  Today’s guest of honor is none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born on this day in 1756. The Performing Arts Encyclopedia features a number of  the maestro’s […]