Showing posts from February, 2024

How Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" Changed My Life

  As we celebrate one hundred years of the Rhapsody in Blue , I am inspired to reflect on the impact of George Gershwin's composition on my life. I first discovered the Rhapsody in Blue when my father had assigned the piece to one of his graduate students at Fisk University. Carol Elligan was a former Fisk Jubilee Singer and Piano Pedagogy major. I already considered her to be my best friend (even though I was eleven years old at the time, and Carol was in her early twenties). Before she started working on the Rhapsody in Blue , I was struggling with my piano studies, and had even reached the point where I was ready to quit piano. My parents went on about how expensive my piano lessons were, so I figured they'd be pleased with saving that little bit of money. But my quitting was not an option. They insisted that I continue with the lessons, whether I liked it or not. Enid Katahn, my piano teacher at the Blair School of Music in Nashville was struggling to assign repertoire tha