Jazz Trio album cover

SMC to host an evening with the Keith Davis Trio

On Monday evening, January 27th Spartanburg Methodist College will treat  jazz-appreciative audience members with a performance by the Keith Davis Trio. The 7 p.m. concert, free for the community, will be held in the Gibbs Auditorium, located in Ellis Hall on the campus of SMC, and is part of the college’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program.

Make plans to discover America’s original musical art form, learn about the distinct qualities of jazz, and why it’s a reflection of our community, our nation, and our world.  The Trio, composed of Davis, Justin Watt and Ron Brendle, recently released their first CD, entitled “Still.”  The three played their first gig together a couple of years ago, and right away felt that rapport and sense of a shared “inner groove” that gave them the impetus to pursue their musical association.  The music on their CD truly springs from that “inner groove” which can be found within each one of us.

Keith Davis, a distinguished jazz pianist, composer and educator, has been growing his own voice through performing and composing music for the piano for over 30 years. Davis has been featured at the Jazz Festivals of Savannah, Atlanta, Jacksonville and others.

Davis lives in Greenville, SC, where he performs regularly and serves as Adjunct Instructor of Jazz Piano at Furman University. He has toured with the Artie Shaw Orchestra, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and Matt “Guitar” Murphy (Blues Brothers). He has performed with many notable figures from the jazz world, including David “Fathead” Newman, Pat LaBarbera, Mike Mainieri, Ben Riley, Wycliffe Gordon, Conrad Herwig, Ronnie Cuber, Byron Stripling and Frank Foster. In addition, he was a member of the Teddy Adams Quintet, and studied with respected Atlanta jazz instructor, Ted Howe, as well as classical pianist Steve Hall.

In 1985, Keith attended the Banff Summer Jazz Workshop in Canada, where he studied and played with Dave Liebman, Cecil Taylor, Don Thompson, Kenny Wheeler, John Abercrombie, and Dave Holland. During his stay at Berklee College of Music in Boston, he studied privately with renowned saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi.

Justin Watt resides in Asheville, N.C. In addition to playing in the Keith Davis Trio, he is the drummer for the Bill Gerhardt Trio and Like Mind Trio. Justin is also the drummer for the Greenville Jazz Collective, a quintet that features original compositions by the members of the group.  He is also active with several regional theatre groups, and co-curates the “Asheville Original Music Series”, a weekly session held at the Altamont Theatre that features regional composers and their music.  In addition, Justin teaches percussion at the Asheville Music School, and is adjunct percussion instructor at the University of North Carolina Asheville and teaches drum-set at Furman University in Greenville, S.C.

Ron Brendle, a freelance bassist in the Charlotte area since 1981, was recently recognized by Charlotte Magazine as “Best Bassist.” His innovative compositions and improvisational style have also earned seven awards as “Jazz Artist of the Year” by Creative Loafing Magazine. Ron was the recipient of two North Carolina Arts Council Jazz Composer Fellowship Grants, which helped to produce his CDs Hypermobility and Photograph. Ron has performed and recorded with many notable jazz artists of international stature, including Nneena Freelon, Clark Terry, Andrew Hill, Charlie Byrd, Charlie Rouse, and Mose Allison. Some recent recordings include projects with Loonis McGlohon, Mike Campbell, and Frank Kimbrough.

Join SMC on Monday, January 27th at 7 p.m. for the Keith Davis Trio.  The free community concert will be held in the Gibbs Auditorium, located in Ellis Hall, both of which are handicapped accessible.  The event is open to the public and admission is free of charge.    For additional information, contact Yvonne Harper, harpery@smcsc.edu, 864-587-4278 or 266-7409.

SMC celebrates the 2013 Paralegal Graduation

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce Jalitha Moore, U.S. House of Representatives Constituent Liaison for Congressman Trey Gowdy, will be the graduation speaker on Sunday, November 24th  for the SMC Paralegal Program’s 2013 graduation to be held at 3:30 p.m. in the Davis Mission Chapel.

Moore, a 2008 graduate of the SMC Paralegal Certificate Program, holds a B.A. in Political Science, with a minor in Psychology, from Winthrop University and is a 1999 Honors Graduate of Spartanburg High School.

Moore, who entered the Paralegal Program in the 2007 Spring II term, quickly impressed Yvonne Harper, director of the program, with her performance in the classroom, as well as her integrity and excellent moral character.  “Jalitha is just one of those rare souls that you bond with and instantly know will excel in life – no matter what she chooses to devote her time and energy to,” Harper shared.  “Besides working full time as an assistant manager of a local finance company, she maintained a perfect 4.O in the paralegal evening program, earned the Legal Staff Professionals of South Carolina’s Norma F. George PLS $1000 Scholarship Award and was selected by her fellow SMC paralegal classmates to represent them as the Class Representative Speaker at their 2008 graduation,” Harper added.

In the spring of 2008, encouraged by Harper and her paralegal instructors, Moore applied for and secured a position with the 7th Circuit Solicitor’s Office for Spartanburg County as a Criminal Domestic Violence Administrative Assistant.  The following year Moore was promoted to a Criminal Domestic Violence Paralegal position and in 2011 she served as a Criminal Domestic Violence Victim Advocate for the Solicitor’s Office.

No stranger to community service, Moore served as a volunteer Youth Cheerleader Coach for the City of Spartanburg’s CC Woodson Recreation Center from 2009-2012; was a member of the Criminal Domestic Violence Coordinating Council of Spartanburg and a member of and served as the 2012-2013 Vice President of the SC Victim Advocate Forum.  Moore was also a 2011 Focus on Leadership graduate and recipient of the Carolyn M. Dawkins Exceptional Leadership Award.

In her current position, Moore continues to lend a helping hand to the community, but on a larger scale…she maintains communication with educational, churches, senior citizen networks, and non-profit organizations in the 4th district regarding their legislative concerns, federal assistance needs and attendance requests for community functions.   She also assists with casework for constituents that deal with State agencies.

Moore, a current Young Patron’s Society member for the Hope Center for Children, is a member of the Epsilon Beta Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a member of the Greater Bibleway Church in Inman.

“Inviting Jalitha back to speak to this year’s graduating class was a no-brainer.  She has not only succeeded in the paralegal profession but in the community.  She is a living example of what SMC encourages students ‘To Be & To Do!’  And personally, what I encourage our adult students to do with their paralegal certificates … ‘stretch’ them to find the ultimate career,” said Harper.

The 2013 SMC Paralegal Certificate Program class includes: Karen Chapman McCarter of Boiling Springs, SC; Jordan Alana Mullinax of Inman, SC; Caitlin Kimbrell Powell of Boiling Springs, SC; Zan Marie Raymond of Inman, SC; and Elisha Nicole Robinson of Boling Springs, SC.   For more information regarding the SMC evening Paralegal Certificate Program, please visit www.smcsc.edu/paralegal or call (864) 587-4278.

Tearoom

SMC Alumni Holiday Party, Friday, December 6th

Spartanburg Methodist College Alumni Association

  Requests the pleasure of your company

to celebrate the start of the holiday season.

 You’re invited to an evening of laughter, good cheer,

and sharing of wonderful SMC memories.

Friday, December 6th, 2013

6-9 p.m.

Green River Plantation

The Tea Room

6333 Coxe Rd

Rutherfordton, NC 28139 ‎

Cocktail Attire Suggested

Please RSVP to Becky Snow at 864-587-4210 or snowb@smcsc.edu by November 29th, 2013

ScroogeGraphic

SMC to present “Mr. Scrooge!”

Spartanburg Methodist College will present “Mr. Scrooge!” a musical adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on Wednesday, December 4th and Thursday, December 5th, 2013 at 8 p.m.

The musical will be held in the Gibbs Auditorium in Ellis Hall on the campus of Spartanburg Methodist College.  The performance is FREE, but reservations are necessary. A pre-performance dinner of carved prime rib will be served in the atrium of Ellis Hall beginning at 6:30 each evening.  Tickets to the Dinner are $20 with proceeds to benefit The Mary Ellen Suitt Charitable Fund for the Fine Arts at SMC.  To reserve your space for the performance and/or Dinner please call 864-587-4236 or email kennedyv@smcsc.edu.

“Mr. Scrooge!” is written and scored by South Carolina Playwright and SMC Professor, Dr. Lanny Lanford. When Dr. Lanford was a seminary student he was invited to write the lyrics and music for a staged version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  A lifelong fan of Dickens, he jumped at the opportunity, but felt the two and half hour length of the production was too long and the underlying message of the real meaning of Christmas too vague.  So he and a fellow seminary student sought to shorten, yet retain the integrity of the story.  They gave it a fresh approach and made Dickens the narrator of the production.  This version has run continuously in theaters and churches since 1980.

This is Dickens’ story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his encounter with a variety of ghosts who appear to him in hopes of changing him into a nicer, kinder man at Christmas.  Dr. Lanford has lightened the story with whimsical and modern lyrics, bringing the Cratchit family, Scrooge, as well as the entire cast to life with words and music that will enlighten and delight us long after the curtain is closed.

Lanford’s compositions have received world-wide attention, his most notable accolade was winning the International Composition Completion for his piece, Les Chevaliers du Tastevin.  Written in both French and English, this piece is particularly remarkable in that it was completed in just five days.  Another project that garnered major attention for Lanford was his original score for the feature film, More Than Diamonds, which he wrote, performed and recorded.  Released in September of 2010, this film (and CD soundtrack) quickly led to Lanford’s current involvement as a freelance film composer.  Lanford has recently lent his composing talents to the films PREVENT: Standoff Against Time and The Z Line.

Lanford brings over thirty years of experience in conducting and in higher education teaching to his current position of Professor of Music and Director of the Spartanburg Methodist College Music Program.  He holds a B.A. (with a choral emphasis) from the University of South Carolina; a Master of Church Music degree in theory and composition from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY and returned to South Carolina to complete his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition.

In addition to teaching a full course load and directing the SMC Singers, Dr. Lanford has revitalized the SMC Troubadours, a traveling select choral group, that performs a variety of music, primarily in Methodist churches in the Upstate area.