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Join Sam Bessen, Eleanor and Lester Levy Family Curator of Sheet Music and Popular Culture at the Sheridan Libraries, for a livestream introduction of Grace Notes in American History: 200 Years of Songs from the Lester Levy Sheet Music Collection, a special exhibition on view at the George Peabody Library from March 15 through July 31, 2022. This opening celebration will include performances by soprano Teresa Ferrara of songs featured in the exhibition by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and more.
The exhibition highlights over one hundred popular songs and instrumental compositions drawn from Johns Hopkins University’s renowned collection of 19th and early 20th century sheet music. Together the works on view provide unique insights into the evolution of American popular culture, from the Great American Song Book and Harlem Renaissance, to Baltimore music publishers and national movements for suffrage, emancipation, and labor.
Support for this program is made possible by the Friends of the Johns Hopkins University Libraries.
Sam Bessen is the Eleanor and Lester Levy Family Curator of Sheet Music and Popular Culture at the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries. He is a key resource for those who study popular music history, the history of jazz and Broadway, and the history of racism in popular culture. He is the founder and artistic director of Baltimore’s In the Stacks performance series and holds a MM degree in Horn Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music.
Teresa Ferrara is an award-winning soprano who is dedicated to music’s power to transcend social divides and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds. She holds a MM degree in Voice from the Peabody Conservatory of Music.