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Center for Texas Music History launches new music history classes

Date released: 08/30/04

SAN MARCOS — The Center for Texas Music History is pleased to announce a new series of music history classes to be offered by the Department of History at Texas State University-San Marcos.

The first class, to be held in the fall semester of 2004, will focus on the history of country music. Local musical institution Kent Finlay will serve as the inaugural guest instructor.

As the proprietor of the San Marcos music hall Cheatham Street Warehouse, Finlay's goal was to develop, perpetuate, and promote Texas music in its most natural state. Cheatham Street, in particular the legendary Wednesday night Songwriter's Circle, has been a breeding ground for some of the finest musical talent to come from Texas. Artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Terri Hendrix, John Arthur Martinez, Todd Snider, Randy Rogers and George Strait got some of their early breaks from Finlay, who continues to develop, promote and publish promising new writers and musical talents to this day.

Finlay´┐Żs association with Texas State has gone on for decades. A graduate student at Texas State in the 1960s, he achieved his masters degree in education and taught an early version of the History of Country Music on campus in the late 1970s. A long-time teacher in the public school system, he encouraged his own children to explore their love of music along with his extended family of musicians at Cheatham Street.

The Center for Texas Music History is the first comprehensive university-based program to focus on the entire spectrum of Texas and Southwestern music history. The Center offers a variety of projects and activities related to the preservation and study of Texas music history. These include graduate and undergraduate courses on Texas music history, publication of the Journal of Texas Music History, collecting of musical archives of the Southwest and an on-line Texas music bibliography as well as collaborations with schools, museums and other entities throughout Texas to help organize educational exhibits, performances and publications celebrating the state's rich musical heritage.