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Phil Ehart, drummer, manager and founder of classic rock band Kansas, to lecture at SU March 18
Phil Ehart, drummer, manager and founder of classic rock band Kansas, to lecture at SU March 18February 25, 2008Jaime Winne Alvarezjlwinne@syr.edu
Phil Ehart, drummer, manager and founder of the progressive rock band Kansas, will present two lectures at Syracuse University on Tuesday, March 18. Ehart founded Kansas in 1974. Since then, the band has released 22 albums that have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Some of their most popular hits include “Dust in the Wind,” “Point of Know Return” and “Carry on Wayward Son.”
Ehart’s first lecture is from 3:30-4:45 p.m. in Room 111 of Bowne Hall. The presentation will be largely anecdotal, placing Kansas in historical perspective. It is part of the “History of Rock” course taught by Theo Cateforis, assistant professor of music history and cultures in The College of Arts and Sciences, and offered by the college’s fine arts department. There are a limited number of spaces available to attend the lecture, which is free and open only to SU students.
“Phil is a key member of a group that fused the dazzling virtuosity of the progressive rock movement with a distinct Midwestern sensibility to craft one of the ’70s’ most original sounds,” says Cateforis. “He brings a unique perspective of the changes and developments that have shaped the history of rock over the past four decades.”
Ehart’s second lecture, which will focus on the business side of the group, is from 6:45-8 p.m. in Lender Auditorium, Room 007 of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management building. The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available in SU pay lots.
The evening lecture is presented by the Soyars Leadership Lecture Series, which puts top level music executives in direct contact with students on a weekly basis. The lecture series is part of the Bandier Program for Music and the Entertainment Industries in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), which is funded by a generous gift from SU Trustee and Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC Chairman and CEO Martin Bandier ’62. Past lecturers include Bandier; Rob Light ’77, managing partner for Creative Artists Agency; artist and musician Yoko Ono; and film composer Alan Silvestri.
“Phil will discuss the challenges of the artistic experience and the perceptions of a veteran brand manager,” explains David Rezak, director of the Bandier Program and founder of the Soyars Series. “Phil’s experiences make him an important speaker to all students with an interest in the business of music.”
The son of an Air Force officer, Ehart was born in Kansas but spent most of his childhood living in different parts of the world, learning to play drums. When his father retired in Topeka, Ehart began playing in local bands, and at age 19 moved with one group to the French Quarter of New Orleans. Following a six-month stint in London, Ehart returned to Topeka to found Kansas. The band submitted a short demo tape to producer-promoter Don Kirshner, who promptly signed them to his label.
Kansas has since remained a formidable force, earning eight gold albums, four multi-platinum albums, a million-selling single (“Dust in the Wind”) and one of the most-played tracks in classic FM radio (“Carry on Wayward Son”). In 1990, Ehart took over managing Kansas, as well as producing many of its albums. Today, the band actively records and performs more than 70 dates a year, either as a solo act or with a symphony orchestra. For more information on the band, visit http://kansasband.com.
A resident of Atlanta, Ehart also serves as manager and consultant of a successful music production company. He has supplied music to such blockbuster films as “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” and “Dirty Dancing.”
Ehart’s visit is sponsored by the Department of Fine Arts in The College of Arts and Sciences and the Bandier Program for Music and the Entertainment Industries in VPA. Additional support is provided by the Soling Program and iLEARN, both University-wide programs administered by The College of Arts and Sciences.
For more information on the lectures, contact Rob Enslin in The College of Arts and Sciences, at (315) 443-3403 or firstname.lastname@example.org.