An Eagle Pushes Students Onto the Stage at the Beacon

New York Times

James Barron

November 12, 2012

Glenn Frey teaching a songwriting class at New York University. Three students in the class, including A.J. Smith are going to open for Mr. Frey's band, the Eagles, at a benefit concert.

Some college instructors invite undergraduates to join them for tea or a beer in the nearest dive so they can continue their in-class discussions of Shakespearean sonnets or interpretations of the Constitution. But one instructor in a course at New York University — MPATC 2090, according to the academic catalog — invited three of his students to open for the rock band the Eagles at a sold-out gala on Thursday.

That instructor was Glenn Frey, who happens to be a founding member of the Eagles, among the most commercially successful rock bands of the 1970s.

It has been 35 years since the Eagles arrived at “Hotel California,” the six-and-a-half-minute hit that Mr. Frey wrote with Don Henley and Don Felder. The band broke up in the 1980s and reunited in the 1990s, and now they are busy being fabulous, to steal a song title from their 2007 album, “Long Road Out of Eden.”

The band has been touring, in places like Dubai and Las Vegas, and Mr. Frey has also been teaching.

In advance of the gala, benefiting the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at N.Y.U., he met with three students from MPATC 2090, a songwriters’ forum and a core seminar in the university’s new songwriting program..

A.J. Smith, a senior majoring in music composition, was ready to shuttle back and forth between his keyboard and his violin. Tiger Darrow, a sophomore who is also majoring in music composition, had tuned her cello. Peter Wise, a senior majoring in jazz performance, had warmed up on his brand-new guitar.

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