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Songwriter Centenary: Popular Music of 1924 – Cole Porter

May 20 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am


Julie Kurzava will tell the stories of 3 great songwriters active in 1924, sharing music that it still vital and relevant 100 years later, while contrasting musical aesthetics of the 1920’s with the 2020’s.

Each lecture will take place 10:00-11:30am at the Bel Air Armory. Come to 1, 2, or all 3 sessions. Free, but registration is required so we know how many to expect in attendance. While only one event date is listed for registration, the series is scheduled as noted below. Attend any date you wish!

This series is made possible through the Bel Air Arts and Entertainment District with a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

May 6, 2024–Week 1: Irving Berlin

With his Ellis Island roots, limited education, and hardscrabble beginnings, Irving Berlin’s long and celebrated success is the quintessential American story. His enormous creative output includes ragtime, vaudeville, Broadway, Hollywood blockbusters, patriotic standbys, favorite holiday tunes, and everything in between. Julie Kurzava will describe his early years and establishment as a Broadway powerhouse, writing music that is still performed today.

May 13, 2024–Week 2: The Gershwins

1924 was a pivotal year for brothers George and Ira Gershwin, when they firmly established their partnership, creating songs that are considered American Classics. Julie Kurzava looks at their early success and career milestones, focused on their story, style and substance. Learn the history of their collaboration and discover the musical characteristics that form their signature style.

May 20, 2024–Week 3: Cole Porter

Indiana born and heir to millions, Cole Porter was an Ivy League graduate, European bon vivant, and incidentally one of the great composers of American musical theater and popular song. Learn more about his entrance into the Broadway world, musical style and his distinctive point of view.

Julie Kurzava is a versatile performer who has worked professionally throughout the Mid Atlantic in theater, concert and opera. A classically trained singer, she is a graduate of Northwestern University (BM) and the Peabody Conservatory (MM). Ms. Kurzava is co-founder and Executive Director of New Moon Theater, a touring theater for young audiences. Formerly a faculty member of the Peabody Road Scholar program, she is a popular lecturer on Musical Theater and the American Songbook. Ms. Kurzava is currently on the music faculty at Loyola University Maryland.


Bel Air Armory / Bel Air Arts & Entertainment District
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Bel Air Armory
37 N. Main Street + Google Map