Third Place Books welcomes Laura Dean—whose dynamic music career spans over twenty-five years and includes audiences in the United States, Europe, and Mexico—for a presentation of her new book, Music in the Westward Expansion: Songs of Heart and Place on the American Frontier. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance.
Copies of Music in the Westward Expansion will be available for purchase at the store. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!
for this in-person event
Over 400,000 people moved their families in search of a better life in the American West during the Westward Expansion. The pioneers made room for musical instruments with their guns, food, and tools, while taking only the minimal necessities that would fit into modest wagons. During what seemed like an interminable dusty journey, music was often the sole source of light and happiness for these exhausted travelers. This book examines the roles of music in the Westward Expansion and the diverse cultural landscape of the Old West, including northern Cheyenne courtship flute makers, fiddle-playing explorers, dancing fur trappers, hymn-singing missionaries, frontier flutists, girls with guitars, wagon-driving balladeers, poetic cowboys, singing farmers, musical miners, and preaching songsters.
Laura Dean’s dynamic music career spans over twenty-five years and includes audiences in the United States, Europe, and Mexico. Originally from Montana, Laura lives in Seattle, Washington where she performs, teaches, adjudicates, writes, and offers private and public concerts along with school/community residencies and music education workshops. She thrives on travel to both domestic and international destinations where she collects stories, photographs, videos, and music which inspire and inform her solo performance programs, writing, and educational residencies.
Her educational outreach for K-12 includes a variety of experiential learning opportunities such as teaching the folks songs of Mexico and the dances of Cuba. Her first book, Music of the Westward Expansion: Songs of Heart and Place on the American Frontier (McFarland Publishing), was published in May of 2022. Laura created Hear It, Sing It, Move It: A North American Folk Song Collection—a complete curriculum including songbook, teacher’s curriculum guide, and recordings (2018). Romanza de Amor, her first solo recording, released on Yellow House Records (2011), features a selection of piano works from Mexico’s most beloved composer, Manuel M. Ponce. Women with a Past, released on Yellow House Records (2015), features piano works from five women composers from the Baroque through the twentieth century. For more information on Laura and her musical projects, please visit her website: www.lauramusic.biz.
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