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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT:   Polly Burks

FAU Professor Develops Student-Run Record Label in Thailand

BOCA RATON (April 27, 2009) – Michael Zager, Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in Performing Arts, professor of music and founder of Florida Atlantic University’s commercial music program and FAU’s Hoot/Wisdom Recordings, will spend this summer  working at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand.   This will be his third summer in Thailand. In 2006 and 2008, he was awarded Fulbright Specialist Grants, which were hosted by Payap. His mission was to develop a commercial music program and record label that emulates the programs at FAU.

 As part of his assignment, Zager produced a CD entitled “Tales From the River,” which morphs Southeast Asian instruments with western instruments. This summer, he will produce a CD in Payap’s new recording studio, which Zager helped to design.              

Zager was commissioned by the Fulbright Program in Thailand to write a song commemorating the 60th anniversary of the program, which occurs in 2010. The song, titled “We Learn to Care,” was composed and arranged by Michael Zager, and the lyrics were written by Porntip Kanjananiyot, executive director of the U.S. Educational Foundation in Thailand; John Latartara of the University of Mississippi; and independent lyricist Aram Schefrin. Zager recorded the song with members of the FAU Chamber Singers, under the direction of Patricia Fleitas, as well as FAU student and faculty musicians. Alejandro Sanchez-Samper, FAU’s assistant director of commercial music, mixed the song.

“I am looking forward to returning to Thailand this summer and working, once again, with my wonderful colleagues and the commercial music students at Payap,” said Zager. “Payap has become a second home.”

The goals of the Fulbright Program in Thailand are to create cross-cultural awareness, build networks and encourage caring.

For more information about FAU’s commercial music program, call 561-297-0600.


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