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MTSU songwriting stars take stage for Nashville benefit concert

A special MTSU songwriting benefit concert drew a full house of enthusiastic supporters to hear headlining alumnus Eric Paslay, fellow Grammy-nominated songwriter Dylan Altman and a half-dozen MTSU recording industry students.

The Dec. 7 event, co-sponsored by ASCAP and Spirit Music Nashville, generated almost $4,000 in ticket sales at the Listening Room Café in downtown Nashville.

Odie Blackmon, a veteran songwriter and the new coordinator of the Department of Recording Industry’s commercial songwriting concentration, expressed his thanks to students, sponsors and supporters for all their help with the show.

MTSU songwriters pose for a group photo after the Dec. 7 inaugural benefit concert for the Department of Recording Industry’s commercial songwriting concentration at Nashville's Listening Room Cafe. Standing from left are MTSU students Kyle Crownover, Caitlin Spencer, Terrez Sieber and Collin Baxter; program coordinator Odie Blackmon; MTSU alumnus Eric Paslay and his fellow and Grammy-nominated songwriter Dylan Altman; mass communication dean Ken Paulson; and MTSU student Nick Carpenter. MTSU student Zack Russell is kneeling in front. (Photo submitted)

MTSU songwriters pose for a group photo after the Dec. 7 inaugural benefit concert for the Department of Recording Industry’s commercial songwriting concentration at Nashville’s Listening Room Cafe. Standing from left are MTSU students Kyle Crownover, Caitlin Spencer, Terreze Sieber and Collin Baxter; program coordinator Odie Blackmon; MTSU alumnus Eric Paslay and his fellow and Grammy-nominated songwriter Dylan Altman; mass communication dean Ken Paulson; and MTSU student Nick Carpenter. MTSU student Zack Russell is kneeling in front. (Photos submitted)

“This money will go directly to hire a new adjunct professor for the spring 2015 semester!” he said in an email after the show. “We are already working on another ‘MTSU Songwriting Series’ show for the spring with a major country star, so stay tuned.”

MTSU students Nick Carpenter, Collin Baxter and Kyle Crownover, who just finished an Advanced Commercial Songwriting course, were joined by Commercial Songwriting students Caitlin Spencer, Zack Russell and Terreze Seiber to open the show.

Paslay, a 2005 grad of MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, has made regular appearances on country music airplay charts with this year’s self-titled debut release, which hit No. 4 on Billboard’s country albums listing and includes his top-10 single “Friday Night.”

The music business major’s songs have been winners for other artists too, including Jake Owen’s “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and Paslay’s Grammy-nominated “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” for the Eli Young Band. Both hit No. 1 on the charts.

MTSU alumnus Eric Paslay, right, harmonizes with his fellow Grammy-nominated songwriter Dylan Altman at the Dec. 7 inaugural benefit concert for the Department of Recording Industry’s commercial songwriting concentration at Nashville's Listening Room Cafe.

MTSU alumnus Eric Paslay, right, harmonizes with his fellow Grammy-nominated songwriter Dylan Altman at the Dec. 7 inaugural benefit concert for the Department of Recording Industry’s commercial songwriting concentration at Nashville’s Listening Room Cafe.

Altman, who was nominated for a 2014 Grammy for co-writing Jason Aldean’s No. 1 “Take a Little Ride,” has also written for and with Paslay as well as for Will Hoge and Tim McGraw. Altman’s songs also have been featured on the ABC drama “Nashville.”

Blackmon is himself a Grammy-nominated songwriter for Lee Ann Womack’s “I May Hate Myself in the Morning,” which also won the 2005 Country Music Association Song of the Year. He co-wrote George Strait’s “She’ll Leave You with a Smile” and Gary Allan’s “Nothing On But the Radio,” both of which topped the country charts.

MTSU’s ongoing partnerships with the music industry have continued to expand the Department of Recording Industry into one of the top programs in the nation.

The department was part of an international Top 25 list of acclaimed schools touted by The Hollywood Reporter in mid-November, and Billboard magazine has also touted MTSU’s program as one of the top five in the world.

More than a dozen MTSU alumni or former students and faculty from around the university have been nominated for Grammy Awards in the last four years. Seven have won Grammys, including a couple of repeat recipients, in categories from classical to gospel to bluegrass.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU salutes veterans with ‘awesome’ game-day events (+VIDEO)

Middle Tennessee State University alumnus Morris Summers and his older brother Felix once again found “their spot” at the annual MTSU Veterans Memorial Service Nov. 22.

It was in seats near five Summers family memorial bricks placed near others at the Veterans Memorial site outside the Tom H. Jackson Building on the west side of campus between Kirksey Old Main and Middle Tennessee Boulevard.

The memorial service was just one of a number of activities for veterans and men and women currently serving in the military as part of the 33rd annual Salute to Armed Services Veterans Day events sponsored by MTSU Athletics and the Department of Military Science.

http://youtu.be/FS5FmRWXgRo

In addition to their own bricks at the site, others purchased for family members included one for their father, S. Felix Summers; one for Morris Summers’ son, Norman C. Summers; and one for Morris Summers’ father-in-law, George C. Hixson.

“We’ve been coming almost every year,” said Morris Summers, a 1973 graduate who earned his degree from the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience. “We came 33 years ago to the first veterans program, and walked across the (Horace Jones) field that day. We have not missed more than three of these.”

Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder, left, and MTSU faculty member, veteran and Veterans Committee member Tony Johnston listen as MTSU alumnus and U.S. Army Vietnam veteran Bud Morris of Murfreesboro makes a point following the Veterans Memorial Service Saturday (Nov. 22) outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. It was the first of a number of Salute to Armed Services Veterans Day activities for vets and those currently serving in the military. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder, left, and MTSU faculty member, veteran and Veterans Committee member Tony Johnston listen as MTSU alumnus and U.S. Army Vietnam veteran Bud Morris of Murfreesboro makes a point following the Veterans Memorial Service Nov. 22 outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. It was the first of a number of Salute to Armed Services Veterans Day activities for vets and those currently serving in the military. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

“I think it’s awesome,” Morris Summers said of the ceremony. “I was telling Dr. (Sidney A.) McPhee that the programs they have now are excellent for guys and women coming back to school or just now starting school.”

One of the newer programs is Vet Success on Campus. MTSU, which has a student-veteran population of around 1,000 and their dependents, has one of the highest-rated veteran-friendly programs in the nation.

Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder spoke from the heart and personal experience in a message about veterans.

She spoke of the “amazing sacrifices service members and their families have to go through.”

Grinder’s daughter-in-law, Billie Jean Grinder, a U.S. Army helicopter pilot, was killed in Iraq Feb. 21, 2010, a short time before her deployment was to end.

“Not everyone can be in the military,” Grinder said, “but everyone can support active-duty personnel and veterans.” She urged the audience of nearly 100 people to not “miss one opportunity to thank a person in uniform. To those of you here today in uniform, I salute you.”

The state leader told the audience “MTSU has been a great partner in helping veteran students.”

Those attending the 30-minute ceremony heard Grinder’s message about suicide by veterans.

“Tennessee’s lost far too many veterans to suicide,” she said. “The trend’s going upward. Something’s wrong with that.”

John Furgess, left, of Nashville, presents Joe "Joey" Nunley Jr. with the 2014 Dr. Joe Nunley Sr. Memorial Award for Service to Others during the MTSU Salute to Armed Services veterans' picnic outside the Rose and Emmett Kennon Sports Hall of Fame Saturday (Nov. 22). Furgess also said any World War II veteran attending would share in the Nunley memorial award. Future recipients will be from Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

John Furgess, left, of Nashville, presents Joe “Joey” Nunley Jr. with the 2014 Dr. Joe Nunley Sr. Memorial Award for Service to Others during the MTSU Salute to Armed Services veterans’ picnic outside the Rose and Emmett Kennon Sports Hall of Fame Nov. 22. Furgess also said any World War II veteran attending would share in the Nunley memorial award. Future recipients will be from Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

During the service, MTSU Veterans Committee members held a tree-planting, this year for families of veterans.

At the Dr. Joe Nunley Memorial Award presentation during the veterans’ picnic adjacent to the Rose and Emmett Kennon Sports Hall of Fame, MTSU alumnus John Furgess (Class of ’65) of Nashville recognized all World War II veterans with the 25th presentation of the honor.

Past recipients Fayne Haynes of Murfreesboro and Ed Smith of Brentwood, Tennessee, were among the World War II veterans attending.

In 2015 and going forward, veterans from the Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars will be nominated for the honor.

Furgess presented Murfreesboro’s Joe “Joey” Nunley Jr. with the 2014 Dr. Joe Nunley Sr. Memorial Award for Service to Others.

“I knew something was going to happen. I didn’t know exactly,” said Nunley Jr., telling the crowd “genetics” played a role in his receiving the trophy.

“This starts a new chapter of this award, and this is a way to do it.”

The events were a prelude to the MTSU-Florida Atlantic University football game in Floyd Stadium. The vets and active-duty personnel were recognized during the game and halftime

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Peyton Smalley, 5, of Murfreesboro, adds a shovel of dirt to a tree being planted for family members of veterans and active-duty personnel Saturday (Nov. 22) at the MTSU Veterans Memorial Service. The event was held in the Military Memorial site next to the Tom H. Jackson Building. Smalley came to the event with his grandfather, Curtis Shriver, a member of the Tennessee Air National Guard and 35-year veteran in the military.

Peyton Smalley, 5, of Murfreesboro, adds a shovel of dirt to a tree being planted for family members of veterans and active-duty personnel Nov. 22 at the MTSU Veterans Memorial Service. The event was held in the Military Memorial site next to the Tom H. Jackson Building. Smalley came to the event with his grandfather, Curtis Shriver, a member of the Tennessee Air National Guard and 35-year veteran in the military.

 

Brothers Felix, left, and Morris Summers sit near a group of Summers family bricks are located at the MTSU Veterans Memorial site outside the Tom H. Jackson Building Saturday (Nov. 22). MTSU alumnus Morris Summers (Class of 1973), who lives in Lebanon, Tennessee, served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. Felix Summers, a Murfreesboro resident, served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Enterprise. They attended the annual Veterans Memorial ceremony. In addition to their own bricks, others include their father, Sewell F. Summers, Morris's son, Norman C. Summers, and Morris Summers' father-in-law, Geroge C. Hixson.

Brothers Felix, left, and Morris Summers sit near a group of Summers family bricks located at the MTSU Veterans Memorial site outside the Tom H. Jackson Building Nov. 22. MTSU alumnus Morris Summers (Class of 1973), who lives in Lebanon, Tennessee, served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. Felix Summers, a Murfreesboro resident, served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Enterprise. They attended the annual Veterans Memorial ceremony. In addition to their own bricks, others include their father, Sewell F. Summers, Morris’s son, Norman C. Summers, and Morris Summers’ father-in-law, George C. Hixson.

Veterans and active duty members of the military were honored at halftime of Saturday's football game at Floyd Stadium as part of the 33rd annual Salute to Armed Services Veterans Day events sponsored by MTSU Athletics and the Department of Military Science. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Veterans and active duty members of the military were honored at halftime of Saturday’s football game at Floyd Stadium as part of the 33rd annual Salute to Armed Services Veterans Day events sponsored by MTSU Athletics and the Department of Military Science. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

A skydiver delivers the game ball to Floyd Stadium Saturday. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

A skydiver delivers the game ball to Floyd Stadium Saturday. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU's Band of Blue played patriotic tunes during Saturday's halftime as part of the Salute to Armed Services Veterans Day events. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU’s Band of Blue played patriotic tunes during Saturday’s halftime as part of the Salute to Armed Services Veterans Day events. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

 

Continuing ed credits available at Dec. 4 Accounting CPE Day

Dept of Accounting logo webPresentations on accounting and financial reporting, auditing, taxation and ethics will highlight the upcoming sixth annual Department of Accounting CPE Day at Middle Tennessee State University.

The continuing education event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, in the State Farm Lecture Hall on MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building.

Participants can earn up to eight hours of continuing professional education, or CPE, credit. The cost is $175, which includes all seminars, materials and lunch.

The sessions and presenters include:

  • “Tennessee Legislative Updates,” Jeff Foster, senior tax counsel, Tennessee Department of Revenue.
  • “Tennessee-Specific Ethics,” Mark Crocker, executive director, Tennessee State Board of Accountancy.
  • “FASB Update,” Dr. Stan Clark, associate professor of accounting.
  • “Tax Update,” Dr. Denise Leggett, assistant professor of accounting.
  • “Private Company Financial Reporting,” Chad Milom, partner, accounting and assurance department, Lattimore, Black, Morgan & Cain.
  • “Excel Budgeting Techniques,” Dr. Tammy Bahmanziari, associate professor of accounting.
  • “Revenue Recognition,” Dr. Jeannie Harrington, associate professor of accounting.
  • “Budgeting for Small Businesses,” Monica Davis, accounting faculty.
  • “Professional Skepticism,” Dr. Rebekah Heath, assistant professor of accounting, and Dr. Sandy Benson, interim chair, Department of Accounting, and associate professor of business law.
  • “Taxes and The Affordable Care Act,” Dr. Tim Koski, professor of accounting.
  • “Audit Update,” Bill Mooningham, accounting faculty.

To register or get more information, visit the Department of Accounting website at www.mtsu.edu/accounting or call the department at 615-898-5306.

The 24th annual Department of Accounting Alumni CPE Day at MTSU will held on Thursday, April 30, 2015.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Celebrate spirit of the season with MTSU’s 30th anniversary ‘Messiah’

The Monday, Dec. 1, performance of Handel’s “Messiah” by the MTSU Concert Chorale and Middle Tennessee Choral Society marks the 30th anniversary for the group’s presentation of the beloved holiday oratorio.

Messiah 2014 graphic“Messiah” will be presented beginning at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at First United Methodist Church, located at 265 W. Thompson Lane.

Tickets for the production are $10 per person and available at the door. MTSU faculty, staff and students will be admitted free with valid IDs.

Dr. Raphael Bundage

“We’ve presented ‘Messiah’ to the MTSU community and our neighbors for 30 years, and I believe that’s a grand testament to both our choral society and the community,” said Dr. Raphael Bundage, a professor of vocal performance in MTSU’s School of Music and Choral Society music director/conductor.

“We’re deeply honored to perform it once again.”

The MTSU “Messiah” production once again will feature a professional orchestra and MTSU student and faculty soloists performing the Christmas portion of the work, which includes some of its most popular recitatives, arias and choruses.

The choruses to be performed include “And the glory of the Lord,” “And He shall purify,” “For unto us a child is born,” “Glory to God” and the ever-popular “Hallelujah” chorus.

John Kramar

H. Stephen Smith

Alice M. Clements

The 30th anniversary guest soloists include:

  • soprano Alice Matlock Clements, an MTSU music alumna and local voice teacher.
  • tenor H. Stephen Smith, a voice professor in MTSU’s School of Music.
  • baritone John Kramar, a voice professor at East Carolina University School of Music in Greenville, North Carolina.

For more information on this and other concerts in the MTSU School of Music, call 615-898-2493 or visit the MTSU School of Music’s Concert Calendar.

For details on joining the Middle Tennessee Choral Society, contact Bundage at raphael.bundage@mtsu.edu or 615-898-2849.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU serves with style at etiquette seminar featuring 4-course meal

Learning the social graces at the dinner table can be fun as well as enlightening.

ASID etiquette event poster webMTSU’s student chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers hope to prove that fact at an etiquette seminar and four-course meal planned from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, in the Hazlewood Dining Room of the James Union Building.

“We want to help our students here at MTSU with having that etiquette background, that civility, that business etiquette,” said Deborah Belcher, who chairs the Department of Human Sciences. “And, since this was all borne from home economics, I think we need to continue that tradition.”

Belcher, who has taught etiquette for years, recently completed training at the Burlington, Vermont-based Emily Post Institute.

Post, a syndicated newspaper columnist whose 1922 book “Etiquette: In Society, in Business, in Politics and At Home” was a bestseller, became the gold standard in her time for expertise on the proper ways to behave in all kinds of situations. Her descendants continue her work today at www.emilypost.com.

For example, as Belcher said, “Can you eat asparagus with your fingers? Yes, if it does not have a sauce on it. When it has a sauce, then you must cut it.”

Before the dinner, teams of students will attempt to set the tables appropriately. Teams who perform best and fastest will win prizes.

Deborah Belcher

“The table setting itself tells you the connection with the menu and what you’re going to have for dinner,” Belcher said.

Belcher said the meal usually consists of soup, salad, sorbet to cleanse the palate, an entrée and vegetables, bread, dessert and a choice of coffee, tea or water.

The price of the dinner is $25 per person, which covers the meal and facilities charges. For more information, call 904-230-6490.

The seminar previously tackled such subjects as how to eat with chopsticks and the proper ways of toasting. This year’s seminar has a masquerade theme and will include some after-dinner dance instruction.

Belcher said the key to understanding proper etiquette is to treat others as one would wish to be treated.

“If we know these rules and we practice the rules, when we go out for a job interview, or we’re in a social situation, then we know we can fall back on these rules, and that creates a level of comfort,” she said.

To learn more about the American Society of Interior Designers or the Department of Human Sciences, contact Belcher at 615-898-2302 or deborah.belcher@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Dance Theatre’s fall concert celebrates ‘innovative’ talent

MTSU dancers will showcase their professionalism and artistry Nov. 19-22 during the Fall Dance Concert, “Collage,” an “innovative and daring” celebration of the MTSU Dance Theatre’s 11th anniversary season.

Click on the poster for ticket information for the Fall Dance Concert performances Nov. 19-22 in Tucker Theatre.

Performances are set at 7:30 each evening. Tickets for the MTSU Arts production, sponsored by Ascend Federal Credit Union, are $10 for adults and $5 for K-12 students and MTSU staff. MTSU students will be admitted free with a valid student ID.

Assistant professor Marsha Barsky, director of MTSU’s Dance Program, said the 2014 Fall Dance Concert highlights original choreographic works from selected MTSU students and dance faculty members.

“Collage” also will feature a special performance, “Lit,” by visiting guest artist T. Lang, the founder and artistic director of T. Lang Dance and a faculty member at the prestigious American Dance Festival.

Marsha Barsky

“The MTSU Dance Theatre is celebrating 11 years of providing high-quality, pre-professional dance performances at MTSU, throughout the Middle Tennessee region, across the country and overseas,” said Barsky.

“The MTSU Dance Program works hard to foster these kinds of learning experiences in our students, and the diversity of styles helps hone their skills. The direct contact with rising and established names in contemporary dance goes a long way in broadening our students’ training and performance horizons.”

Faculty and graduating senior performances in “Collage” will display the scope of MTSU’s training and the talents of the students. New MTSU dance faculty member Meg Brooker will perform reconstructions of “Prelude” and “Narcissus” by legendary dancer/choreographer Isadora Duncan.

“The occasion to witness firsthand the work of Isadora Duncan is a rare treat for Middle Tennessee and an opportunity not to miss!” Barsky said. “From early 20th-century modern dance all the way to contemporary works, ‘Collage’ is an eclectic concert presenting dances that are retrospective, contemplative, innovative and daring.”

Tickets may be purchased online at www.mtsu.edu/mtsuarts or at the door one hour before each performance. A searchable campus map with parking details is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

For more information, call 615-494-8810 or visit the MTSU Dance Program website, www.mtsu.edu/dance.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU dancers Fernando Ramos Cintron, left, and Amy Huffines perform “Plume” at the 2013 Fall Dance Concert in Tucker Theatre. The MTSU Dance Theatre's 2014 Fall Dance Concert is set Nov. 19-22, and ticket information is available at www.mtsu.edu/mtsuarts. (Photo courtesy of Martin O’Connor)

MTSU dancers Fernando Ramos Cintron, left, and Amy Huffines perform “Plume” at the 2013 Fall Dance Concert in Tucker Theatre. The MTSU Dance Theatre’s 2014 Fall Dance Concert is set Nov. 19-22. (Photo courtesy of Martin O’Connor)

Top MTSU scholars will join Phi Kappa Phi society Nov. 18

More than 40 of MTSU’s most brilliant scholars will soon join the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society.

Phi Kappa Phi will hold its fall 2014 initiation ceremony at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in the Student Union Ballroom.

The organization has chapters on more than 300 campuses in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.

To be eligible, juniors must have completed at least 72 credit hours and rank scholastically in the top 7.5 percent of their class. Seniors and graduate students must rank in the top 10 percent of their class.

The main speaker at the fall 2014 initiation ceremony will be Dr. Debra Rose Wilson, a Phi Kappa Phi member since 2002 and recipient of the Tennessee Nurses Association’s 2013 Excellence in Nursing Education Award.

Dr. Debra Rose Wilson

Wilson, who is an associate professor of nursing at Tennessee State University, has expertise in public health, obstetrics, epidemiology, breast-feeding trends, wellness, disease prevention and nursing education.

She earned her bachelor’s degree and her nursing degree from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario in Canada, her master’s from TSU and her doctorate from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The former MTSU nursing professor currently is conducting research in a liaison with the University of the Western Cape in the Republic of South Africa and the University of Botswana.

Dr. Dianna Rust

Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also may be eligible for membership in the organization. Its motto is “Philosophia Krateito Photon,” which is “Let the love of learning rule humanity” in Greek.

The fall 2014 faculty initiate will be Dr. Dianna Rust, an associate professor of university studies at MTSU and chair of the Quality Enhancement Plan Committee. The QEP panel is charged with recommending a topic for the plan and developing it with an eye toward improving student outcomes.

MTSU must develop a Quality Enhancement Plan to be reaccredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The association will conduct its on-site review of MTSU in spring 2016.

According to www.phikappaphi.org, the honor society was created in 1897 at the University of Maine with a mission “to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”

To learn more about joining MTSU’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter, go to its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pkpmtsu.

For more information, contact Gina Logue, MTSU chapter secretary, in the MTSU Office of News and Media Relations at 615-898-5081 or gina.logue@mtsu.edu.

For parking information, go to http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Students, faculty display creativity at Artlightenment (+VIDEO)

MTSU students and professors are prepared to show off their filmmaking talents at a Nashville festival.

Five motion pictures written, directed and produced by members of the campus community are entered in this year’s Artlightenment Art Show and Film Festival, which is scheduled for Nov. 13-15 at the Celebrity Center, 1130 Eighth Ave. S. in Nashville.

This year’s festival theme is “The Light Side of Art,” and the MTSU entries reflect that sensibility.

The world premiere of “Happy New Year, Mr. Kates!” is slated for 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13. (Watch a preview below)

http://youtu.be/HnoOLA8USlM

Written and directed by Dr. Bob Pondillo, professor emeritus of mass media history and American culture, the 33-minute film tells the story of an assisted living facility resident who feels he has lived an inconsequential life until he has an epiphany on New Year’s Eve.

More than 30 electronic media communication majors on the production degree track, several graduate students from the recording industry master’s degree program and a few recent alumni worked on the project, as well as makeup artists from the Department of Speech and Theatre.

“Coffee,” an animated short by Kevin McNulty, will be shown at 9 p.m. Thursday. McNulty said the four-and-a-half-minute movie is “the ‘true’ story of the lives affected by America’s addiction to coffee.”

“’Coffee’ is about consumerism,” said McNulty. “Most of us don’t really care about where our products come from, be it the clothes on our backs, the electronics we use or even the food we eat.

“We just want them to be cheap, to work properly and to taste good. The film is a satirical look at one such product.”

The film was partially funded by an MTSU Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activity Summer Teams grant.

McNulty is an assistant professor in the Department of Electronic Media Communication. His areas of expertise include digital, stop-motion and traditional animation, as well as motion graphics.

  MTSU students involved in the production of “Coffee” are Andie Ayotte, Derek Barnes, Chris Dyer, Simon Idiare Jr., Jacob Loper, Kelsie Richards, Erin Thompson, Aaron Trimble and Raphael Williams.

Three student documentaries produced under the supervision of Tom Neff, an associate professor in the Department of Electronic Media Communication and founder of the Documentary Channel, are scheduled to be shown back-to-back starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14.

All three films were shot during an education-abroad experience in Paris.

“A Designer’s Canvas” follows fashion designer Pierre-Henry Bor, who combines a classic Chanel elegance with a contemporary style.

“Le Debut” is about Alice Elia, the latest winner of Suzy Amis Cameron’s Red Carpet Green Dress Competition.

“Fighter” captures the essence of Afro-French singer Jara Ezo, whose music and lyrics pack a wallop, and three women who had an impact on her life and career.

The team of student documentarians includes Richard Adams, Amber Bradford, Justin Carroll, Mayra Cervantes, Lucas Fleming, Samantha Hearn, Bing Li, William Messerschmidt, Tiffany Murray, Kelsey Price and Kelly Rozell.

Tickets for the complete three-day Artlightenment experience are $15 each and are available at www.artlightenment.com.

The price of admission includes access to all exhibits and workshops, as well as the film festival screenings, closing-night awards and fashion show.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

 

International quartet pushes jazz boundaries at concert (+VIDEO)

MTSU’s School of Music will welcome a unique jazz group, the Eastern Boundary Quartet, to campus Friday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m. for a free public concert.

The performance is set in Room 173 of the Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus. A searchable campus map with parking notes is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

The group, which combines Hungarian folk rhythms and melodies with jazz harmonies and rhythms to form original “hybrid” improvised music, also will present a free public clinic Nov. 14. The music clinic is set from 2 to 4 p.m. in Room 303 of the Saunders Fine Arts Building on campus.

The Eastern Boundary Quartet came together in 2007 when Hungarian drummer Balazs Bágyi and saxophonist Mihaly Borbély met American bassist Joe Fonda and pianist Michael Jefry Stevens.

The quartet performs original music created by all its members and has recorded three CDs, including one from a live concert in Brugge, Belgium. You can watch a brief performance from their 2009 U.S. concert tour below.

http://youtu.be/eyQ-Eh01Ohs

“The band was formed with the imagination of connecting two worlds of the jazz scene today,” said Stevens, the group’s pianist. “This unique collaboration is a mixture of avant-garde jazz and ethno music from Hungary, like a cultural bridge between the USA and Eastern Europe.”

Jazz drummer, composer, music educator and producer Bágyi graduated with honors from the jazz department of the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy in Budapest and has become a respected artist on both his native Hungary’s and the international jazz scene.

Borbély also studied at the Liszt Music Academy and at the Béla Bartók Conservatory, focusing on classical clarinet and jazz saxophone. In addition to his original instruments, Borbély has specialized in playing unusual wind instruments, including the tárogató, folk flutes, kaval, dvojnice, fujara, ocarina, bombard, and zurna.

Fonda, a composer, bassist, recording artist, producer and educator, has collaborated and performed with such artists as Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp, Lou Donaldson, Bill and Kenny Barron and Perry Robinson.

Stevens performs extensively in Europe, Latin America and North America, joining a list of well-known artists that includes Dave Liebman, Dave Douglas, Valery Ponomarev, Cecil Bridgewater, Dakota Staton, Bill McHenry and Han Bennink.

The Eastern Boundary Quartet is in the midst of its second U.S. tour, which features stops in Virginia and North Carolina as well as Tennessee. You can learn more about the group here.

For more information on this and other concerts in the MTSU School of Music, call 615-898-2493 or visit the “Concert Calendar” at www.mtsumusic.com.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

The Eastern Boundary Quartet, shown here in concert, will appear at MTSU Friday, Nov. 14, in a free public performance in Room 173 of the Wright Music Building. From left are pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, bassist Joe Fonda, saxophonist Mihaly Borbély and drummer Balazs Bágyi. (photo submitted)

The Eastern Boundary Quartet, shown here in concert, will appear at MTSU Friday, Nov. 14, in a free public performance in Room 173 of the Wright Music Building. From left are pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, bassist Joe Fonda, saxophonist Mihaly Borbély and drummer Balazs Bágyi. (photo submitted)

MTSU jazz faculty honor trumpet great Wheeler in free Nov. 17 concert

MTSU’s jazz faculty will pay tribute to legendary trumpeter, composer and bandleader Kenny Wheeler with a special free concert, “Flutter By, Butterfly: Remembering Kenny Wheeler,” set Monday, Nov. 17.

Legendary trumpeter, composer and bandleader Kenny Wheeler, who died at age 84 in September, is shown in this June 2012 photo recording his penultimate album, “Mirrors,” with Norma Winstone and the London Vocal Project. (photo courtesy of Tim Dickeson)

The 7:30 p.m. event will be held in Hinton Music Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus. It is free and open to the public.

A special video presentation will precede the concert at 7:10 p.m.

Wheeler, who died at age 84 in London in September, led numerous large and small ensembles and has been called a “fearless improviser.”

Honoring his legacy will be MTSU faculty Mike Parkinson on trumpet and flugelhorn, Don Aliquo on tenor and soprano saxophone, Pat Coil on piano, Jim Ferguson on bass and vocals, Derrek Philips on drums and Gerald Trottman on vocals.

The group will perform works from Wheeler’s recordings from ECM, CamJazz, ArtistHouse and Soul Note, including “Everybody’s Song But My Own,” “Gentle Piece,” “114,” “Winter Suite,” “Where Do We Go From Here,” “Mark Time” and “Three for D’reen.”

Jazz faculty members also will play “How Deep Is The Ocean,” an Irving Berlin standard that Wheeler often performed, and “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” in a special arrangement by Parkinson in homage to Wheeler.

Wheeler, a native of Canada, grew up in a musical family. He learned cornet at age 12 and studied trumpet and theory at the Toronto Conservatory of Music before moving to London in 1952.

In his early career he worked with big bands but was soon influenced by trumpet artists Miles Davis, Booker Little and Fats Navarro.

Wheeler led numerous large and small ensembles, as well as Azimuth, a trio he co-founded with pianist John Taylor and vocalist Norman Winstone, during his career of almost 60 years.

He performed and recorded with John Abercrombie, Michael Brecker, Bob Brookmeyer, Steve Coleman, Marc Copland, Chris Potter and the Berlin Contemporary Orchestra and was still collaborating on recordings as recently as 2011.

For more information on this and other concerts in the MTSU School of Music, call 615-898-2493 or visit the “Concert Calendar” at www.mtusmusic.com.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)