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Thanks for the great article by Samantha Gross about John
Kander (Fall '03)—his music has always been wonderfully catchy.
For certain, we never tire of it. Would you please enlighten me about
Start Spreading the News—was it part of one of his Broadway shows?
I am a Conservatory graduate of 1943. Chicago and the others were written
long after my time, but I've been singing Frank Sinatra's
version for years.
Mary Jane Santoro Jacobs '43
Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y.
Editor's note: John Kander and Fred Ebb were
called in by director Martin Scorcese to create songs for his 1977 film,
New York, New
The movie's title song leads off with the words "Start Spreading
the News." The song really took off after Frank Sinatra recorded
his version—with slightly different lyrics—in 1980.
Thank you for your recent
article on John Kander. His partnership with
Fred Ebb is one of the most celebrated teamings in the history of
American musical theater. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Kander
when he came
to Oberlin in 1996. His visit coincided with the year OMTA (Oberlin
Musical Theatre Association) was founded. OMTA was established for
did not want to spend their four years doing just straight theater
or opera. It was created to fill a large void on the Oberlin campus
curriculum. When Mr. Kander came to visit, OMTA's founders and board members
had lunch with him and put on a musical revue for his benefit. He was
gracious, gave honest feedback, and showed a genuine interest in our success.
Since that pivotal visit, OMTA has taken off in popularity with students
and has gained respect among faculty members. To my understanding, while
musical theater is still not given the weight it deserves as a valid art
form at Oberlin, it has crept into the curriculum. While I believe that
it was the passion of the students who formed the organization that drove
it to succeed, I also believe Mr. Kander's visit put us on the map
and shone a much needed spotlight. Since I did not get to thank him then,
I'm thanking him now.
Jenna Steinberg '96
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