The kickoff for this year’s Texas Tech’s Presidential Lecture & Performance Series is Texas native winner Lyle Lovett. The singer, songwriter and actor will be interviewed by Texas Tech Public Media General Manager Paul Hunton. Four other performances are scheduled from November through April.
The lineup is set and the stage will be ready for each of the five presentations in the 12th season of the Texas Tech University Presidential Lecture & Performance Series. The first one, Oct. 12, will be An Evening of Conversation with Lyle Lovett, a Houston native and four-time Grammy winner.
Jo Moore, director of the series, says its overarching principle is to enhance the cultural landscape of the South Plains. The programs brings in people and performers that people may need to go to bigger cities to see.
“It’s an exchange of ideas. It’s entertainment, but it’s more than entertainment. Not everything that we offer is going to fit every audience. But the point of the series is to be eclectic and to be a little edgier than what Lubbock might be used to,” Moore says.
Moore believes audiences are growing more receptive to programs that might be outside their comfort zones. As Lubbock’s medical community grows with transplants from larger cities and new faculty come to Texas Tech from around the country and world, those people will find something in the series to support.
“Being from larger cities, they’re used to having a wider array of entertainment options," Moore explains. "So we have country music in the city and we have Rock and Roll, and it’s just wonderful, but it’s also just fun to have world music come to town and to have public intellectuals come speak and authors that are nationally and internationally known.”
Some of the better-known guests in past have included Garrison Keillor, the former host of National Public Radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion;” authors Jeanette Walls and Michael Pollan; and journalists Cokie Roberts and Tim Egan.
After Lovett, the remaining lineup is Grammy-winning Bluegrass band, The SteelDrivers, on Nov. 17; Sammy Miller and The Congregation, a show with jazzy stomp-your-feet dance music on Feb. 23; The Other Mozart, a one-woman drama about Mozart’s genius sister on March 23 and the Ririe Woodbury Dance Company on April 13. Single or season tickets are available through Select-A-Seat at 806-770-2000 or online at selectaseatlubbock.com. Students get one free ticket with a valid TTU ID.
Though some see Lubbock as being in the middle of nowhere, Moore views it otherwise. “A lot of times, Lubbock, Texas is in the center of the country so if people are trying to go east to west or west to east, it makes sense for the agents to kind of put the puzzle together and go ‘hey Lubbock could be on our path,’” Moore says.
Moore says West Texans win over those who come to be part of the lecture and performance series. And word of that good friendliness and cordiality spreads.
“When they get to Lubbock, they love it. We are very hospitable. We’re a very friendly folk. The audience receives everyone well. So that gets around,” she says.
Moore says the Lyle Lovett appearance is billed as a conversation but attendees may get a treat.
“I would not be surprised if you’ll hear him punctuate the talk with some music.”