‘Great American Songbook Series’: Travel through the ages with the music of Johnny Mercer

Background image courtesy of Southern Utah University. Foreground image from Wikipedia, public domain, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Put on by the Southern Utah University department of music, the “Great American Songbook Series” moves tunefully into the spring semester with their third concert on Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Southern Utah Museum of Art in Cedar City. Students and faculty from the university will perform the songs of American legend Johnny Mercer.

“Johnny Mercer collaborated with so many composers such as Hoagy Carmichael, Henry Mancini, Harold Arlen, Harry Warren, and Duke Ellington,” said Carol Ann Modesitt, professor of music at SUU and the creator of the Great American Songbook Series. “He won four Academy Awards and was nominated numerous times. He wrote so many enchanting songs that are still considered to be pop classics. You’ll certainly recognize many of his hits such as “Moon River,” “Skylark,” “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby.” The list goes on and on.”

Johnny Mercer, born in 1909, was introduced to Broadway in the 1930s. Not only was he a lyricist, but he also composed and performed pop hits as well. He served as founding president of the National Academy of Popular Music (now Songwriters Hall of Fame). His work continued through the 1970s until his death in 1976.

“The Great American Songbook Series has been a welcome addition to the concert season of the SUU Department of Music,” Dr. Lawrence Johnson, chair of the department of music at SUU, said. “Students have gained a new appreciation for American composers and lyricists, and audiences have the opportunity to hear so many of their favorite hits from the golden age of song. The Department of Music is extremely grateful for all the donations which support the students in the department through these concerts.”

Event details

  • What: “The Great American Songbook Series” continues with the music of Johnny Mercer, performed by students and faculty of Southern Utah University.
  • When: Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Southern Utah Museum of Art, 13 S 300 West, Cedar Cit.y
  • Details: Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

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