The individuals who make up a symphony orchestra, together with Wagnerian Sopranos, piano virtuosos, and members of the local Choral Society, who often appear with it, are a delightfully human and humorous lot of people as here depicted in light verse by Laurence McKinney with accompanying droll drawings from the lively pen of Gluyas Williams.  Click here to read some reviews.

For a collection of free musical scores based on People of Note, by acclaimed American composer, Jan Bach, click here.

An excerpt from People of Note:

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"PEOPLE OF NOTE is the best guide to the instruments of the orchestra that I know.  Both McKinney's poems and Williams' drawings are not only extremely witty, but also extremely clever in capturing the
personalities of instruments such as the 'liquid, limpid Clarinet.'  I heartily recommend it for music-lovers of all ages." -
Peter Schickele, creator of PDQ Bach, The Baroque Beatles Book, enjoyed nationally through his popular NPR series

"Laurence McKinney's rollicking couplets sketch in miniature all the major instruments of the symphony orchestra, and their players.  The drawings by Gluyas Williams fit in perfectly with the book's spirit of irreverent fun. People of Note should amuse both lovers and haters of symphonies." - The Dallas Morning News

"In the opinion of one who was on the shady side of thirty before he discovered that a podium was not a kind of fiddle, these rhymed cues by Mr. McKinney on how to tell the instruments from the players will fill nothing less than a Long-Felt Want.  As a poet, Mr. McKinney swings a wicked meter.  I read and enjoyed these verses . . . .I plan to learn them by heart and recite them at the top of my voice at Carnegie Hall whenever the Philharmonic plays modern music." - Frank Sullivan

"...a thoroughly delightful book of good natured humor, written to amuse and possessing both rhyme and reason. ...Frank Sullivan says that 'as a poet, Mr. McKinney swings a wicket meter.'  There are numerous droll drawings from the lively pen of Gluyas Williams." - Musical Advance

"Nowhere in this gay, clever little book will you find a single malicious line.... People of Note will surely tickle the ribs of America from coast to coast." - Albany Times-Union

"Laurence McKinney has succeeded in humanizing the instruments of the symphony orchestra in a way that will appeal to young and old, regardless of their knowledge of music." - Sigmund Spaeth

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About the Author

Laurence McKinney was born in Albany, NY and educated at the Albany Academy and Harvard, where, he says, he collaborated in making the Harvard Lampoon "a national menace."  Leaving Cambridge, McKinney turned his back on verse -- for a time --and entered a local steel business, of which he was an executive.  Possibly to forget the rattle of riveting hammers, he began to write again, and his light, humorous verse appeared in every sort of national magazine from Child Life to the Atlantic Monthly, from the Rotarian to Town and Country, from the Saturday Evening Post to Fortune.  He was also the author of Garden Clubs & Spades and Lines of Least Resistance.  The Harvard Connection

About the Artist

Gluyas Williams was born in San Francisco, CA and graduated from Harvard in 1911.  He maintained ideas were the easiest part of his work, concluding almost every human act suggests comic situations.  His work appeared in Life, Collier's, Century and the New Yorker magazines.  More about Gluyas Williams.

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