WRR101 Focus on the Arts: Rock drummer Stewart Copeland on composing, teaching, and his recent award from SMU

“I’m primarily known for aggressing upon inanimate objects,” says Stewart Copeland, drummer and founding member of the rock band The Police, referencing an award he recently received from the SMU Meadows School. “To be elevated among such illustrious company is a bigger deal for me than it is for that other illustrious company… So I am bowled over by this huge honor.” What some may not know is that he’s also an accomplished composer, whose Police Deranged for Orchestra will be performed by the SMU Meadows Orchestra at a benefit concert in Dallas. It’s all a part of Copeland’s artistic residency with the school this spring, where he’s been honored as the recipient of the Meadows Award. In this conversation with WRR’s Amy Bishop, Copeland and conductor Thomas Keck explore a variety of subjects, ranging from thoughts on working with collegiate musicians, to reflecting on Copeland’s first introduction to the Big D in the 1970s.
Photo by Kai B. Joachim