By: Barbara Harmon, Assistant Editor
Volunteer State Community College will be hosting its annual Spring Concert April 29-30, 7:30 p.m., in the Wemyss Auditorium in the Caudill building.
The first half of the show will include the Commercial Music Ensemble, Commercial Jazz Ensemble, and Bluegrass Ablaze.
The second half of the concert will include twelve original songs that will be featured on this year’s CD.
“What you will hear is a culmination of an entire year of studying for all these kids,” said Lynn Peterson, Director of the Commercial Music Ensemble and professor at Vol State.
“It gives us an opportunity to display their creativity because the original songs were 100 percent done here—they write the songs here, we record the songs here, we use our musicians to do them, we use our engineers, and then we even have our own equipment to make the albums.
“When it’s done, there is no one involved except Vol State,” added Peterson.
He said a lot of people have contributed to this year’s show.
“The Live Sound Class, under the recording group, will be doing sound,” said Peterson.
The concert is free to students who have a current student identification with them and everyone else can give a $5 donation at the door.
Peterson added that the show is paid for by other departments or other donations.
“But not one penny of that money [collected at the concert] goes to anything except music scholarships, so you’re not just giving your money away—you’re giving it to help a kid go to college,” said Peterson.
This concert has been an annual charitable event to raise money for the music scholarships since the early 90s.
“We don’t have the means to broadcast what we need—what we need is an audience,” added Peterson.
Students who are taking Music Appreciation or have a concert requirement can fulfill that by coming to this show.
There will also be an opportunity to purchase the album in the lobby on the nights of the concert.
Liz Hengber is the Advanced Songwriting Class’s teacher at Vol State, and some of her students will be performing in the show.
“I feel so proud. I know they are gonna shine at the show,” said Hengber.
She said she was surprised, when she came to Vol State, by the level of talent that her students had.
“They are so hungry to learn and that’s so incredibly inspiring,” added Hengber.
“I hope I’ve encouraged them to be the best they can be and to be open-minded to all kinds of music,” said Hengber.
Victoria Watson is in the Commercial Music Ensemble, Bluegrass Ablaze and the Advanced Songwriting Class.
Watson said that the ensembles have been practicing for this show since the beginning of the semester.
Students in the Commercial Music Ensemble suggested a variety of songs that the group would play, and they all narrowed it down together, she added.
“We all get along well. It is real fun to just walk in and just start doing random songs,” said Watson.
She said that she also enjoyed being in this group because everyone in it has the same admiration for music that she does.
Watson encourages everyone to come to the concert.
“It is going to be a lot of fun. Come out for not just the ensembles, but also to hear the songwriters because they have written some amazing songs,” added Watson.
“It kind of just shows what Vol State has to offer, as far as being in the music industry and being close to Nashville,” said Watson. “I’m looking forward to it.”