Texas Tech to Host 15th Season of Presidential Lecture and Performance Series


This year marks the 15th anniversary of the presidential lecture and performance series. Hosted by the Office of the President of Texas Tech University, the series annually brings together world-renowned artists to the Lubbock community.

“I believe universities have a fundamental role to play in enriching the lives of people in surrounding communities as well as the lives of their students,” said Lawrence Schovanec, president of Texas Tech. “Given the participation we’ve seen from non-campus members, I think this speaks to the importance and success of this series. “

Created in 2006 by Jon Whitmore, then president of Texas Tech, the series’ mission is to improve the intellectual and cultural landscape; not from Texas Tech, but also from Lubbock and the South Plains. It was important to Whitmore that the series be a celebration of inclusion and diversity on campus and throughout the community.

However, Lubbock is not the same city as in 2006.

With a thriving arts community and new venues such as the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences, more artists are coming to Lubbock than ever before. From this perspective, it is important for the PLPS team to offer unique experiences that do not compete with local arts organizations.

“I see PLPS as its own category of presentation in Lubbock,” said Dóri Bosnyák, senior administrator of the series. “In our community, we need to consider each arts organization’s calendar of events to make sure we don’t offer too many choices for any given night. We don’t want to divide the audience and take them in too many directions. However, considering our audience, the size of the venue and the programming, we do not believe that the PLPS is in direct competition with other organizations in the city, but rather in their complementarity. “

Lubbock undeniably has a thriving local music scene, as it has for many years. While PLPS brings in musicians, it brings in many other types of artists as well – providing a platform that would not otherwise exist in Lubbock. The goal is to offer something unique to the community, not to duplicate experiences already offered.

In this effort, the PLPS team have assembled a truly unique and world-class lineup for the 2021-22 season.

This year’s programs

Shamelessly opinionated and urban purveyor of cool, Fran Lebowitz is a cultural satirist who stars in the 2021 Emmy-nominated Netflix limited documentary series,

• October 7 – Fran Lebowitz: A purveyor of urban cool and unabashedly opinionated, Lebowitz is a cultural satirist who stars in the 2021 Emmy-nominated Netflix limited documentary series “Pretend It’s a City”. Once named one of Vanity Fair’s Most Stylish Women of the Year in 2007, she remains a style icon. Lebowitz lives in New York City, as she doesn’t think she would be allowed to live anywhere else.

The pop-jazz a cappella m-pact ensemble is scheduled to perform on November 3 as part of Texas Tech's 15th Annual Presidential Lecture and Performance Series.

• November 3 – a cappella pop-jazz ensemble m-pact: hailed as “one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world” by the San Francisco Chronicle, m-pact is respected around the world as a cutting-edge pioneer in the field of vocal music. Emerging from an era of self-tuning and overproduction, this Los Angeles-based sextet has cultivated a new generation of ears eager for the fresh, raw power of nature’s “first instrument” – the human voice.

Ranky Tanky combines traditional Gullah music - which comes from the descendants of once enslaved Africans who lived in the low country of South Carolina - with contemporary gospel and R&B.  The group is scheduled to perform on February 25, 2022, as part of Texas Tech's 15th Annual Presidential Lecture and Performance Series.

• February 25, 2022 – Ranky Tanky: The Grammy-winning jazz, gospel, funk and rhythm and blues group released their eponymous debut album on October 20, 2017. In December of the same year, the group was featured on national public radio. (NPR) “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” and his album rose to number one on the Billboard, iTunes and Amazon Jazz charts. “Gullah” comes from the West African language and means “a people blessed by God”. “Ranky Tanky” is loosely translated as “work” or “get funky!” With that in mind, the Charleston, SC-based quintet performs timeless music from the Gullah culture that originated in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States.

As part of Texas Tech's 15th Annual Presidential Lecture and Performance Series, Lubbock Lights: Celebrating the Life & Music of Mac Davis is slated for April 7, 2022.

• April 7, 2022 – Lubbock Lights: Celebrating the Life and Music of Mac Davis: Mac Davis, singer, songwriter and country pop actor from Lubbock, was a true Lubbock Light. This event celebrates Davis’ music and legacy through an evening of talking and listening to some of his best-known songs. Hosted by Kenny Maines, it will feature many local musicians covering songs to honor Davis’s contributions to the entertainment world.

The season’s shows will take place at the Allen Theater on the Texas Tech campus. For more ticket information, visit ci.lubbock.tx.us/departments/civic-center/ticketing/ttu-presidential-lecture-performance-series-season-2021-22 or visit the PLPS website. Those who purchase season tickets will receive a complimentary presidential conference and performance season cup.

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