Medart Series To Begin February 21


ST. LOUIS — An annual highlight of Maryville University’s cultural calendar is the Medart Lecture Series. The 2008 series begins February 21, with a 7:15 p.m. lecture by Dr. Beverly Taylor, a professor and conductor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Taylor is currently the associate conductor of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and director of the Madison Symphony Chorus.

She has conducted extensively throughout the United States and Europe with some of the world’s most renowned orchestras and choruses including the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus, Harvard Chamber Orchestra, Artur Rubenstein Philharmonic Orchestra in Poland and the U.S. Air Force Band. Additionally, Taylor has produced two recordings on the AFKA label and is one of only a few women to take up the baton and rise to the position of conductor.

In her talk at Maryville, Taylor will discuss the difficulty of entering a male-dominated profession and why there are so few women conductors. “She has a really interesting perspective on conducting and on female leadership in an orchestra,” said Germaine Murray, Ph.D., associate professor of English at Maryville University and coordinator of the Medart Lecture Series.

In choosing speakers for the series, Murray says she looks for individuals who will enhance the cultural and political fabric of the University and the surrounding community. Murray finds prospective speakers through regular exchanges with her colleagues, books and journals. Murray discovered Taylor after reading an article written by her in Image magazine. “After reading her article, I knew I had to have her for the series,” said Murray.

Murray said the Medart series is a great opportunity for people to expand their cultural horizons. “It’s really important to make it to a few events like this a year,” she said. “The University isn’t just about teaching skills to students, but also teaching them how to live.” And despite conventional wisdom, life isn’t just about work, says Murray. “Jobs are not people’s lives. People’s lives are the music they listen to, the things they read and feel deeply about, the things they watch, and the things they participate in. It is great cultural experiences like these lectures that stay with people.”

Upcoming speakers in the Medart series include architectural photographer Sam Fentress at 7:15 p.m., March 13, in the Auditorium. Pulitzer Prize-winner Lucinda Franks will be the last speaker on April 6. Her appearance will double as a fundraiser for Magnolia, Maryville’s literary magazine. For more information on the 2008 Medart Lecture Series, contact Murray at

Maryville University is a private institution offering approximately 50 undergraduate, seven master¹s and two doctoral degree programs to 3,422 students. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of America¹s Best Colleges, Maryville University prepares its students for successful and meaningful careers. Among Maryville¹s most recent graduates, 94 percent are employed or attending graduate school. Approximately 15,000 alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.