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Musician/poet Nathan Bell joins Honors students for Feb. 24 concert

Poet and musician Nathan Bell will spend a week in residence at MTSU to share his songwriting talents with students of the Visiting Artist’s Seminar, culminating in a free public concert on Friday, Feb. 24, in the University’s Tucker Theatre.

Bell, a Chattanooga resident known for the rootsy, Americana music showcased on his most recent CD, “Black Crow Blue,” will be joined by his students to perform beginning at 4 p.m. Feb. 24. A reception, also free and open to the public, will follow the concert.

Nathan Bell

Bell’s visit continues the University Honors College’s effort to bring professional artists to campus to work intensively with students for a single-credit weeklong course, University Honors 3200. Bell’s course, “Music as Witness,” is meeting three hours each day, beginning with discussions of the blues, country and folk and moving into and up to contemporary songwriting.

The class will discuss how music has consistently been a force for justice and truth. Up to 15 students from varying fields of study will analyze songwriting techniques and learn how other art forms, including poetry, photography and theater, can be combined with songwriting to produce a rich experience for the audience.

The students will choose their own subject matter, under Bell’s guidance, and their final project will be a song cycle written and performed with Bell at the Tucker Theatre concert.

Off-campus visitors should be aware that nearby construction and classes will limit parking opportunities for the concert. University Parking and Transportation officials are encouraging visitors to park in the South Rutherford Boulevard lot and ride the Raider Xpress shuttle into the campus core to reach the Boutwell Dramatic Arts Auditorium, which houses Tucker Theatre. A printable campus map is available at www.mtsu.edu/parking/Map_2011-2012.pdf.

The Visiting Artist’s Seminar, an interdisciplinary course with the University Honors College taught by a professional artist, is now in its 10th year and has included such diverse topics as filmmaking, papermaking, poetry writing and performance art.

Bell’s visit to MTSU is made possible by the MTSU Distinguished Lecture Fund, the Virginia Peck Trust Fund, the University Honors College, the College of Liberal Arts and the MTSU Department of English.

For more information about the Visiting Artist’s Seminar, contact Dr. Claudia Barnett, professor of English and VAS coordinator, at claudia.barnett@mtsu.edu or 615-898-2887. For more information about Bell, visit his website at http://nathanbellmusic.com.

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