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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.

 

Fletcher D. Thompson headshot 2013

Fletcher Thompson to present “Reflections on My FBI Career and My Role in the Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy” at SMC

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to welcome Fletcher D. Thompson to the college’s Davis Mission Chapel on Friday, November 22nd at 11 a.m. to present “Reflections on my FBI Career and my Role in the Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.”  The public is welcome to attend, and admission is free of charge.

Thompson, a 1941 graduate of SMC’s predecessor, Textile Industrial Institute, had a 33-year career with the FBI that covered a period of active service in the U.S. Marine Corps.  He served three tours of duty at the FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where he was assigned to the General Investigation Division.  In addition to investigating kidnappings and other Federal violations, Thompson was the agent in charge of the Bank Robbery Unit. In November 1963, he was assigned to Dallas, Texas where he prepared the first investigation report of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Thompson also served as an Inspector and, at the time of his retirement in 1975, was Assistant Director of the FBI, in charge of the Bureau’s largest division.

A native of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, Thompson graduated from TII, and continued his education at the University of Toledo, earning a Juries Doctorate Degree from their Law School in 1951.  He is a member of the Virginia, District of Columbia and South Carolina Bar Associations and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

Thompson and his family returned to Spartanburg following his FBI retirement and practiced in the legal fields of Probate and Adoption.  In 1999, he was recognized with the “Angel in Adoption” award from the United States Congressional Coalition on Adoption.  That same year, the American Academy of Adoption attorneys recognized Thompson as an “Honorary Member,” a distinction shared only by three other attorneys nationally and reserved for members whose “individual accomplishments bring distinction to the Academy.” In 2003, Fletcher received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the South Carolina Council on Adoptable Children.

In 2008, Thompson and his bride, Ruth DeLoache Thompson (a 1942 Spartanburg Junior College graduate), were recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Award from their alma mater, Spartanburg Methodist College.  Thompson served on the SMC Board of Directors for 12 years, and together he and Ruth established two endowed scholarship funds, one, established in 2007, is specifically designated for students pursuing a certificate in the SMC Paralegal Evening Program.  Thompson continues to practice law with his son, James (Jim) Fletcher Thompson, concentrating in the field of adoption and assisted reproductive technologies.

Greenville Chamber Singers

Greenville Chamber Singers to perform at Spartanburg Methodist College

Spartanburg, SC – Spartanburg Methodist College welcomes the Greenville Chamber Singers to the Gibbs Auditorium in Ellis Hall on Monday November 25th at 7:00 p.m.  “O Great Mystery” is the theme for the Christmas concert. Admission is free of charge and the public is invited.

Familiar favorites (with some fun twists!) as well as new music will be performed by the women’s chorus to put everyone in the Christmas mood.  The Greenville Chamber Singers, an auditioned women’s ensemble formed in 1996, share an exuberant love for choral music and a strong commitment to ongoing growth as performers. Members’ previous experiences include high school and college choruses, church choirs, and other community musical groups. Traveling and performing in the Southeast, The Greenville Chamber Singers is a musically versatile ensemble that focuses on community service.  The group is under the direction of Angela Lemere who also serves as district choral coordinator at Dorman High School.

 

Liz Patterson

SMC’s Liz Patterson recognized for Advocacy and Service Award

Spartanburg, SC – Liz Patterson, a Spartanburg Methodist College Board of Trustee member, was awarded the Lee S. Poole Advocacy and Service Award by the Charles Lea Center on Thursday morning, October 31st, at the Annual Meeting of the Charles Lea Center.

Lee Sterling Poole, son of Lynne and John Poole, was born prematurely and was not expected to survive. However, Lee did live and grew into a wonderful young man before passing away at the age of 27 in 2009.  His cheerful spirit conveyed an energy that was contagious and Lee represented all that is good and caring about our community.  His life was not only a testimonial, but a reminder, that regardless of your situation in life, everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their potential and enjoy life to the fullest.

The Lee S. Poole Advocacy and Service Award was established in 2010 by the Charles Lea Center to honor and recognize the commitment of an individual who has worked to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities in Spartanburg County.  Patterson was honored to receive such a recognition and accepted it on behalf of and in memory of her brother “Bubba.”

The first and only woman to represent the 4th Congressional District, Elizabeth Johnston “Liz” Patterson’s career personifies service: from her early work as a recruiting officer for the Peace Corps and VISTA, as the SC Director of Head Start, to serving as staff assistant for Representative James R. Mann to her elected offices of Spartanburg County Council, the S.C. Senate and the House of Representatives.

While in office, she served on the House Committees on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, Veterans Affairs and the Select Committee on Hunger.  After leaving office, Patterson oversaw the creation of the Professional Legal Assistant (PLA) Program at Converse College in 1997 and served as Director of the program until her retirement.

Her father, Olin D. Johnston, a member of the very first SMC graduating class, served as Governor of South Carolina and as U.S. Senator from South Carolina.  Patterson was voted onto the SMC Board of Trustees and has served consecutively since 2004.  She was instrumental in moving Converse College’s PLA program to SMC, where it was been housed since August of 2004 and rebranded as SMC’s Paralegal Certificate Program.

In addition to serving on the SMC Board of Trustees, Patterson serves on the SMC Paralegal Advisory Committee and is an active member of the Central United Methodist Church, Business & Professional Women (BPW), League of Women Voters, Rotary Club, the Church Council, Charles Lea Center & Charles Lea Center Foundation, and is an Independent College & University Life Member.  Patterson holds honorary degrees from Wofford, Converse, and Columbia College and has been awarded various awards such as Kiwanis Citizen of the Year and Citizen of the Year – Spartanburg Board of Realtors.

Patterson, born in Columbia, SC, holds a B.A. from Columbia College of South Carolina and a M.A. from the University of South Carolina. Patterson is married to Dwight Patterson, and they have three children, Dwight III, Olin and Catherine Gramling.