Nora Louise Hulse, of Lawrence, Kansas passed away July 24, she was 88. Her mother had trained at Chicago’s American Conservatory of Music, so when she noticed Nora attempting to pick out tunes by ear at age three she began formal lessons. She learned Piano, Pipe Organ and violin and was in demand as an accompanist even as a teenager. She played and taught in both classical and ragtime circles throughout her life.
As a young woman, Nora found work playing ragtime in Cripple Creek, Colorado. She went on to study at the Interlochen National Music Camp in Michigan, the Kansas City Conservatory of Music, and Kansas State University. Devoted to a lifetime of learning she received a Bachelor of Science in music education in 1973, a master’s in music performance in 1976, a master’s in pipe organ performance in 1979, and a Doctorate in Music Curriculum and Education in 1988.
She became the go to expert on female ragtime composers. She released albums and companion music folios of women’s rags. She lectured and performed at ragtime festivals all over the country and co-authored an annotated ragtime lexicon. She was awarded the Scott Joplin Award at the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival for her achievements.
With her husband Mark, who she met while he was playing banjo at a Shakey’s Pizza Parlor, she traveled the festival circuit as the duo Ragtime Razzmataaz. They also performed regularly on local radio in Kansas for 15 years. Not one to slow down, she was most recently a member of the Junkyard Jazz band.