21st Annual Helen Keller Lecture Series - March 1, 2016

Join us on March 1, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. CST in the Claudia Crosby Theater on the Troy Campus. Marcus Roberts will speak and perform at the 21st Annual Helen Keller Lecture Series where he will also share the celebration with artists and choral members from the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind.

Join Us Live Online

You can also watch the Helen Keller Lecture Series via a live stream of the event that will be available by visiting troy.edu/live.

The stream will begin at 10:00 a.m. CST on March 1, 2016.

Helen Keller

Helen Keller was an Alabamian, an American author and lecturer. She overcame considerable obstacles to serve as an inspiration for other persons with disabilities. Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, she had an acute illness that left her deaf and blind at 19 months old. No way could be found to educate her until her seventh year when she began her special education in reading and writing with Anne Sullivan.

Miss Keller quickly learned to read by the Braille system and to write by means of a specially constructed typewriter. In 1890, she learned to speak after only one month of study. Ten years later she was able to enter Radcliffe College, where she graduated with honors in 1904.

Miss Keller then served on the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and, shortly thereafter, began lecturing throughout the world. After World War II, she visited wounded veterans in United States hospitals and lectured in Europe on behalf of those with physical impairments.

Her writings include “The Story of My Life,” “The World I Live In,” “Out of the Dark,” “Midstream,” “My Later Life,” “Let Us Have Faith,” "Teacher: Anne Sullivan Macy” and “The Open Door.” Her life is the subject of the film, “The Unconquered,” and the play, “The Miracle Worker,” which was made into an award-winning film by American author William Gibson.

Featured Speaker - Marcus Roberts

Marcus Roberts

Marcus Roberts is an American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, band leader and teacher. In 2014, Roberts’ life and work were featured on a segment of the CBS News television show “60 Minutes.” The show, entitled “The Virtuoso,” traced Roberts’ life to date from his early roots in Jacksonville and at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind to his remarkable career as a modern jazz musician. Roberts is perhaps best known for the development of a new approach to the jazz trio performance. After losing his sight at age five, he began teaching himself to play piano; he had his first formal lesson at age 12. Roberts later went on to study classical piano at Florida State University with Leonidas Lipovetsky. Among the many competitions that Roberts has won and awards that he has received over the years, the one that is most personally meaningful to him is the Helen Keller Award for Personal Achievement.

Roberts’ critically-acclaimed legacy of recorded music reflects his tremendous versatility as an artist. His recordings include solo piano, duets and trio arrangements of jazz standards as well as original suites of music, large ensemble works and symphony orchestra recordings (beginning with “Portraits in Blue,” Sony Classical, 1996). Roberts’ release of “New Orleans Meets Harlem, Volume 1” in 2009 was the first on his new label, J-Master Records. Since then, he has released a very popular holiday recording, “Celebrating Christmas,” a nonet recording of an original suite, “Deep in the Shed: A Blues Suite” (Nov. 2012), a collaborative CD of the Marcus Roberts Trio with Béla Fleck called “Across the Imaginary Divide” (Rounder Records), and in 2013, three critically acclaimed CDs—”From Rags to Rhythm,” Together Again: Live in Concert and Together Again: In the Studio. In 2014, Roberts released another suite of original music, called Romance, Swing, and the Blues.

The Helen Keller Lecture is sponsored by Troy University along with longtime University supporters including The Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind.

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