Library of Congress celebrates music

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body. —Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Library of Congress is not only about books. Its music collection is world-renowned as well. A sampling from this week’s announcements:

Life Begins at 8:40

LOC Jefferson Building

“On March 22nd, the Music Division of the Library of Congress will present a concert of the 1934 musical revue, Life Begins at 8:40. Though the show and score may not sound familiar, five years later four of the original participants joined forces for the film, The Wizard of Oz, with Harold Arlen and ‘Yip’ Harburg writing the score, Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, and Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion.”

Library of Congress Acquires Dexter Gordon Collection of Jazz:

“Considered one of the world’s greatest tenor saxophonists, jazz legend Dexter Gordon (1923-1990) was once quoted as saying, ‘Jazz to me is a living music. It’s a music that since its beginning has expressed the feelings, the dreams, hopes, of the people.’ The Library of Congress has taken steps to ensure the survival of Gordon’s musical heritage by acquiring more than a thousand items from his career spanning more than five decades. …

“The Library will celebrate the acquisition of this invaluable record of Gordon’s cultural legacy in a special program at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 16, in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed. …”

Tickets available: Jack Quartet, Coolidge Auditorium, Friday, April 30, 2010 at 8:00pm

“Cheered for high-energy performances, the Quartet premieres a new work by California composer Caleb Burhans commissioned by the Library of Congress. The rest of the concert includes Matthias Pintscher’s ‘Study IV for Treatise on the Veil,’ Jeff Myers’s ‘Dopamine,’ and Xenakis’s ‘Tetras.’

“Pre-concert presentation at 6:15 pm – Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required): Caleb Burhans talks about his new work with members of the Jack Quartet. (Part of ‘Music and the Brain II’).”

Tom Pfeifer is the managing partner and chief strategist for Consistent Voice Communications. Reach him at


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