District News

What Makes It Great? Celebrating the Great American Songbook

Feb 17, 2021
headshot of Rob Kapilow

Kaufman Music Center at Merkin Hall presents What Makes It Great? Celebrating the Great American Songbook, a new 5-concert course that explores music by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers and Leonard Bernstein.

This unique online 5-concert course taught by What Makes It Great? host Rob Kapilow and co-presented with the JCC Thurnauer School of Music at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades explores the much-beloved world of the Great American Songbook. Based on his critically acclaimed 2019 book, Listening For America: Inside the Great American Songbook from Gershwin to Sondheim, each of the course’s five classes focuses on one of the giants of the Great American Songbook. Through a close look at several of each composer's most famous songs combined with a wide-angled historical point of view, the course tells the story of America through some of its greatest songs. The course is designed for everyone and anyone, whether you are a musical-theatre devotee, first-time listener, singer, music student, or simply a lover of the music of Broadway's Golden Age. 

Classes will be released online at 7:00pm on Tuesdays from Tuesday, February 23 – Tuesday, March 30 and will then be available to watch on demand. Each class will conclude with a live online Q&A with Rob Kapilow. Individual tickets to the Cole Porter concert and Stephen Sondheim concert costs $15, or $25 for both concerts. Tickets for the 5 classes cost $50. You can also purchase a bundle of the 5 classes and 2 concerts for $70. Click here to learn more and purchase tickets.

Photo credit: Kaufman Music Center