Thomas Dolby, creator of the memorable 1980s synthpop anthem “She Blinded Me With Science,” will join Johns Hopkins University’s faculty as the first Homewood Professor of the Arts. At Johns Hopkins, starting in the fall, he will be teaching “Sound on Film,” a collaboration between Homewood’s Film and Media Studies program and Peabody’s Recording Arts and Sciences program, in which students create soundtracks for films. The announcement was made by The Baltimore Sun and a video and story about it can be found at the Johns Hopkins Hub.
On Friday, February 28, Peabody’s East Hall will be rededicated as Joe Byrd Hall. Byrd (TC, BM ’62, Bass) enjoyed a career as a jazz bassist spanning over four decades, with highlights including performing at the White House, and in more than 100 countries as a goodwill ambassador. The renaming ceremony will take place after the Peabody Jazz Orchestra concert, starting at 7:30pm. Cost is $15 Adults, $10 Seniors, $5 Students w/ ID. For tickets, call 410-234-4800. The Joe Byrd Hall dedication ceremony is highlighted in the Capital Gazette, “Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute jazz performance hall renamed after Joe Byrd,” and the Baltimore Sun, “Byrd’s legacy of jazz continues to soar in Annapolis.”
Fanfares and Finesse: A Performer’s Guide to Trumpet History and Literature by Elisa Koehler (BM ’87, Music Education; BM ’87, Trumpet; DMA ’96 Conducting) will be released on March 7 by Indiana University Press. The book is decribed as “more than just a history of the trumpet, this essential reference book is a comprehensive guide for musicians who bring that musical history to life.”
On March 21, baritone Nathan Wyatt (BM ‘10, MM ‘12, Voice) will perform the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s Pleasure Ground with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as part of the MusicNOW Festival. Pleasure Ground, written for baritone and orchestra, depicts the life of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead. Other works on the concert include Scriabin’s The Poem of Ecstasy and Bryce Dessner’s St. Carolyn by the Sea and Murder Ballades featuring eighth blackbird. For more information, visit www.cincinnatisymphony.org/MusicNOW.
John “Adidam” Littlejohn (MM ’02, GPD ’04, Violin) recently released Blahdidam, the first single from his new, not yet titled, acoustic album. “Blahdidam is a musical free-write that pays homage to some of my favorite old-school hip hop artists, as well as legendary violinist Nicolo Paganini,” explains Littlejohn. A lyric video for Blahdidam is available for streaming on YouTube. A free download is available, for a limited time, at www.JohnAdidamLittlejohn.com.