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Professor Bill Messenger, M.A.

Professor Bill Messenger
  • The Peabody Institute
  • Johns Hopkins University
Personal research into the stories behind several hundred timeless songs has led me to conclude that the birth of every great theater song begins with some basic emotion.

Professor Bill Messenger studied musical composition, on scholarship, at The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University under Louis Cheslock. He attended a master’s class in 1963 with Nadia Boulanger, the teacher of Roy Harris, Virgil Thompson, and Aaron Copland. Professor Messenger has two master’s degrees, both from Johns Hopkins University. He has done additional graduate work in musicology at the University of Maryland.

Professor Messenger has taught composition, music history, and music theory at Goucher College in Baltimore and a number of community colleges. He regularly lectures on American music at The Peabody Institute and Towson State University Elderhostels.

Professor Messenger is the author of several books, including The Power of Music: A Complete Music Activities Program for Older Adults, which has been called "a landmark in music activities."

His musical career includes studio work on many early rock 'n' roll recordings. He has accompanied many nationally known performers during his years in the music business, including Lou Rawls and Cass Elliot, and he worked as an opener for Bill Haley and the Comets. He was also a pianist with the acrobatic rock'n'roll group, The Rockin’ Maniacs. As a jazz pianist, he has played in ragtime ensembles, swing bands, Dixieland bands, and modern jazz groups. In 1983 he was voted Baltimore’s best piano player by Baltimore magazine.

Testimonials

"Bill Messenger's comments and piano arrangements are superb -- beautiful.  His choice of selections to present is not to be equaled.  Up there with Michael Feinstein and Bob Short.  Even more original."

5 Courses and Sets

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5 Courses and Sets

  1. Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion

    Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion

    Bill Messenger
    Starting at $89.95 Starting at $89.95 $134.95 $89.95$134.95
    Learn the basics of jazz and its history in Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion, a course as free-flowing and original as jazz itself. Taught by Professor Bill Messenger of the Peabody Institute, these lectures are a must for music lovers. Follow the story of jazz in its many shapes, including ragtime, the blues, swing music, boogie-woogie, and the rise of modern forms such as bebop and fusion. Thorough and...
  2. Great American Music: Broadway Musicals Sale

    Great American Music: Broadway Musicals

    Bill Messenger
    Save up to $185.00 Starting at $34.95 $69.95 $34.95$69.95
    In Broadway Musicals you get the stories and the music—in expertly played examples, rare recordings of groundbreaking artists, and recorded interviews that take you behind the scenes of some of Broadway's biggest hits and most memorable moments.
  3. (Set)  Elements of Jazz & Understanding the Fundamentals of Mu Set

    (Set) Elements of Jazz & Understanding the Fundamentals of Mu

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $219.90 Starting at $219.90 $314.90 $219.90$314.90
  4. (Set) Great American Music: Broadway Musicals & How to Listen to and Understand Opera  Set

    (Set) Great American Music: Broadway Musicals & How to Listen to and Understand Opera

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $379.90 Starting at $379.90 $774.90 $379.90$774.90
  5. (Set) Great American Music: Broadway Musicals & The Symphonies of Beethoven  Set

    (Set) Great American Music: Broadway Musicals & The Symphonies of Beethoven

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $379.90 Starting at $379.90 $774.90 $379.90$774.90
    Immerse yourself in the wonders of two key genres of Western classical music. Discover how entertaining musicals such as Babes in Arms and Oklahoma! capture the essence of our nation's spirit in Great American Music: Broadway Musicals. Then, discover why Beethoven's nine unforgettable symphonies represent the pinnacle of the genre in Symphonies of Beethoven.