Ragtime peaked in popularity between 1897 and 1918 and became popular sheet music for piano, pre-dating jazz. Dr. Stewart performed many songs by the composer Scott Joplin, who became famous when his “Maple Leaf Rag” was published in 1899. The Oscar-winning film The Sting revived ragtime as Mr. Joplin’s classic “The Entertainer-1902” became the theme music for the movie.
Dr. Stewart is a Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he serves as Director of Piano Pedagogy Studies. Playing piano since nine years of age, he enjoys performing in venues all over this country and Europe.
“It was truly a pleasure to share my study of Ragtime with the Stanly Community College audience. Ragtime is a long time passion of mine and I welcome opportunities to perform and talk about this vibrant music,” commented Dr. Stewart. “Only in the USA could such music have sprung. The blending of our various cultures produced this music, with its joyful poly rhythms and intoxicating melodies. It is extremely appropriate to honor the creative talents and compositional contributions of Scott Joplin during Black History Month. Of course, for me - every month is a Ragtime Piano Music Month.”
This event was sponsored by Momentum – a mentoring program for all students “working to create positive change and success in themselves and the world.” For more information on Momentum, please contact Andell McCoy at 704-991-0298.
Dr. Paul Stewart performed classic ragtime piano on the campus of Stanly Community College. Many selections of Scott Joplin were played in celebration of Black History Month.