Bruce Hornsby Returns to University of Miami to Launch Innovative Program in American Music

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What does it take to be a great American songwriter and performer? Multiple Grammy Award winner Bruce Hornsby knows, and he is going back to his roots, returning to his alma mater, the University of Miami, to officially launch a program designed to develop the creative skills of talented young songwriters.

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Bruce is a lifelong student of music and lyric writing, and his deep connection to past masters informs the innovation of his own work. That he has generously chosen to support and share his ideals with the Frost School of Music will make the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program one of the most important songwriting initiatives in the country.

    On April 1 at a special presentation at 10:30 a.m. in Clarke Recital Hall, Hornsby, who endowed the program with a gift of $600,000 to the Frost School of Music at UM, will explain this new approach to studying American music when he discusses the new Creative American Music Program. He will meet with students and hold sessions on lyric writing, melody writing, and developing a song arrangement.

"Bruce Hornsby is a great songwriter whose work embodies a wonderful combination of genius and craft," said Shelton Berg, Dean of the Frost School of Music. "Bruce is a lifelong student of music and lyric writing, and his deep connection to past masters informs the innovation of his own work. That he has generously chosen to support and share his ideals with the Frost School of Music will make the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program one of the most important songwriting initiatives in the country."

The rigorous program immerses students in the diverse traditions that are the foundation of modern American songwriting, offering study in everything from pop to hip-hop, jazz to rock, and gospel to bluegrass. Students will also be trained in the structure of melodies and lyrics that make a song truly an American work of art.

"Other music schools offer songwriting. What makes this program innovative is that students will learn not only how to write a great song, but also how to perform it," says associate professor Rey Sanchez, who serves as the program director and who will teach in the program.

Students will develop a portfolio of original music and recordings and compete for a scholarship award in their junior or senior year.

Acclaimed by critics as a brilliant songwriter, virtuoso pianist, collaborator and beloved performer, Hornsby and his wife Kathy brought the idea of establishing a unique program to the University of Miami, where he graduated in 1977. He has remained close to his alma mater. Hornsby has sold more than 11 million records, drawing inventively on a range of American traditions including bluegrass, folk, rock, pop, country, blues and jazz. He is best known for his hit song "The Way It Is," which was the most played song on American radio in 1987, and won the ASCAP "Song of the Year" award.

The University of Miami's mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. http://www.miami.edu

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Margot Winick
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