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The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

Grammy-Winning musician and composer to speak at Drake University

Michael Boddicker will be speaking to Drake University students on Feb. 22 in the first of a new three-part series entitled “Creativity Across Disciplines.” This event will be held at 7 p.m. in Sussman Theater. Photo by Grace Altenhofen | Editor-in-Chief

On Feb. 22, Grammy-winning musician and composer Michael Boddicker will speak at Drake University. 

“Creativity Across Disciplines” is the tentative title for a series of three lectures throughout the spring semester. Boddicker’s event, which will be held at 7 p.m. in Sussman Theater, marks the first of the series. 

Boddicker, who grew up in Cedar Rapids, played synthesizer for many artists, including Barbra Streisand and Michael Jackson, and in films including “The Wiz” and “Saturday Night Fever.” 

While on campus, Boddicker will be meeting students and may be speaking to various classes. The event will also include a Q&A. Visiting professor Dartanyan Brown, who helped organize the series, encouraged students to research the synth player and bring questions to the event. Boddicker says he plans to “play some recognizable music”, along with exploring concepts of creativity and other aspects of life. 

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“As a musician, there’s a lot to learn from him about the evolution of electronic music, how really important it is, and how you get started in that,”  Brown said. “There’s a lot of offshoots, a lot of career things in the arts, in music and in production that he can talk about.” 

The series is supported by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and is receiving financial support from the Slay Fund. However, the event is open to all students. All three events will discuss the impact of AI on creative-based fields, but that will not be the central theme, which is creativity and its meaning. 

“I do think that it is sparking a lot of conversation among people who are creators,” said Kathleen Richardson, former Dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Drake. “Whether they are writers, visual artists or musicians, about the potential impact of artificial intelligence on each discipline’s area of creativity.” 

On March 22, audio systems designer Peter Otto will speak to Drake students and on April 12th, recognized Zen master Teja Bell will be the featured speaker at the third event in the series. 

“For Drake, and for this particular mandate [Richardson] wanted to talk about creativity and where we are in Iowa at this point,” Brown said. “It was almost self-evident that these guys needed to come home, as I did, and remind everybody that the light is not out.” 

At an alumni event last relays season, Richardson asked Brown to return to Drake as a visiting professor based on his wide-ranged career as a skilled musician, educator, and journalist. One goal would be to teach how his creativity manifested throughout his life. Brown then suggested inviting more guests to speak at Drake on the nature of creativity. 

“I think that, especially as you get older, you have a tendency to put yourself into a box, to pigeonhole yourself and your talents,”  Richardson said. “I’m hoping that this will be a way for students to start thinking of themselves and their talents in a broader perspective and think about the possibilities and opportunities open to them.” 

Boddicker himself defined creativity as many-formed and doesn’t limit himself to any definition beginning with “it’s only.”  

“Don’t be afraid to be a capitalist in the sense that what you do is valuable… the world will reward you for it,” Boddicker said. 

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