Event—Adult Education

Rhapsody in Blue: Celebrating 100 Years of Gershwin's Masterpiece - The Legacy of the Gershwin Brothers


Celebrate the life and work of George and Ira Gershwin, two composers whose work continues to impact music and American culture today.

Left: George Gershwin, ca. 1920s/1930s. Source: Bain News Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons Right: Ira Gershwin, 1925. Source: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Class Description

The year 2024 is the 100th Anniversary of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue”—what better time to explore the life and work of George and Ira Gershwin? We’ll dive deep into their musical stylings, including their jazz-influenced compositions and pioneering integration of classical and popular music. Through lectures, documentaries, and other media, participants you’ll gain an understanding of the brothers' early years and the cultural milieu that shaped their music.

We'll explore their most famous works, such as "Rhapsody in Blue," "Summertime," and others, and discuss their lasting impact on American music. We will also examine their personal lives, relationships with each other, and contributions to the American cultural landscape.

We’ll study the continued influence of the Gershwins’ music in contemporary culture, from film to Broadway and beyond. By the end of our course, participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Gershwin brothers and how their music has shaped American culture.

Glenn Derringer began his musical career at the age of 9 appearing on the Jackie Gleason Show, Perry Como, and as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. After graduating from Temple University, he held executive positions with Wurlitzer, Baldwin, and Gibson Guitar, and taught music for more than 40 years.

Course Materials


  • Instructor-Distributed Materials

Cost and Registration

Six sessions, $247 ($220.50 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.

To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.


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