Glorious Gershwin

1 day, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

George Gershwin

One of the few composers who successfully blended the jazz and the classical traditions, George Gershwin left a music legacy that ranges from the popular song to the classical concerto. From Tin Pan Alley to Broadway to Hollywood, from Rhapsody in Blue to An American in Paris, from Shall We Dance to Porgy and Bess, and a string of memorable songs as well... Join us as we discover the life and music of the American genius who tried to ‘make a lady out of jazz’.

Course Outline

Session 1

  • What do we think of when we think of Gershwin?
  • Gershwin’s Musical Style
  • Social and Historical Background
  • The Musical Landscape in Gershwin's Time
  • Gershwin’s Musical Style

Session 2

  • The Early Years
  • Tin Pan Alley
  • Broadway Revues
  • Blue Monday
  • Rhapsody in Blue

Session 3

  • Writing musicals
  • Stike Up the Band
  • The Preludes for Piano
  • An American in Paris

Session 4

  • Gershwin and women
  • Of Thee I Sing
  • Porgy and Bess
  • Gershwin in Hollywood
  • Shall We Dance
  • Gershwin’s last years


“Excellent – I enjoyed it immensely and look forward to attending another course by Susan”

“What a joy! Susan is excellent”

“An excellent blend of history, example and humour”

“A most enjoying and entertaining day”

“Terrific. Well researched, presented”

“I found the course to have been very thoroughly prepared and presented in a lively and entertaining manner”

“Excellent. I greatly appreciated the detail that was put into the presentation”

“A very enjoyable course. I gained a lot from it. Thank you”

“Attention to detail and preparation of material superb and general passion for music made the course great”

About Susan Deas

Susan Deas is a professional musician, lecturer and teacher. She has been teaching music appreciation courses for more than twenty years, through Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, WEA Sydney and at other venues. Her training includes a Bachelor of Music with a major in Performance (Piano) and Musicology, a Master of Music Studies (Studio Pedagogy), a Bachelor of Arts (Communications), and an A.Mus.A in Musicianship. Susan teaches piano and music theory to adults and children, and plays piano and organ at various venues around Sydney. Susan is an accredited piano teacher and musicianship teacher, and is on the Council of the Music Teachers’ Association of NSW.

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