Category Archives: Music

Powell, Seymour high-schoolers to sing at Pellissippi State’s winter concert

For the fourth consecutive year, singers from two area high schools will be featured as guest performers during the Winter Choral Concert staged by Pellissippi State Community College. This year’s guests represent high schools in Powell and Seymour, and they will be joined by Pellissippi State’s two student choral groups, the Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble.

Scheduled for Feb. 26, the Winter Choral Concert continues a tradition started during the 2009-10 academic year by Bill Brewer, the college’s Music program coordinator. Brewer began at that time inviting choral groups from two area high schools, and new ones are invited each academic year.

During the hourlong concert, each of the younger groups will perform a 15-minute set of selections. Also presenting 15-minute sets are Pellissippi State’s Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble. The evening’s finale brings the high school performers onstage to join Pellissippi State’s musical groups.

The choral groups will be accompanied by pianists performing on Steinway pianos, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All Steinway School. The Pellissippi State Foundation conducted the All Steinway School fundraising campaign in order to elevate the college’s Music program to world-class status. The community college now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues.

Many of Pellissippi State’s performers are pursuing the college’s new two-year Associate of Fine Arts degree, concentrating in Music. All credits will transfer to other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions—Pellissippi State is a member of the TBR system—and the University of Tennessee as part of the statewide Tennessee Transfer Pathways program.

Students who are interested in performing in choral or instrumental groups and who plan to be enrolled at Pellissippi State during the fall 2013 semester may wish to attend upcoming scholarship auditions. Set to take place on March 28 and April 4, the auditions are for Music scholarships provided by the Pellissippi State Foundation.

The Foundation awarded 136 music-related scholarships to 57 Pellissippi State students this academic year. Scholarships are open to both Music and non-Music students. Audition times can be scheduled by calling (865) 539-7178.

The Winter Choral Concert begins at 7 p.m. and takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus. Ample free parking is available, and admission is free. Donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series is one component of Pellissippi State’s new arts series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State.” The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

For additional information about the Pellissippi State Music Concert Series or the arts series, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu. Requests should be made at least two weeks in advance.

Pellissippi State continues free concert series

The popular and free music concert series hosted by Pellissippi State Community College throughout the academic year presents five more performances for the 2012-13 season. Concerts in the series include offerings ranging from instrumental ensembles to choral performances to jazz/bluegrass “jams.”

All performances in the series are offered at no charge. However, donations are welcome at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series is one component of The Arts at Pellissippi State. The new arts series offers opportunities for the community to enjoy events presenting everything from music and theatre to cultural celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

The series showcases the talents of Pellissippi State students and faculty, as well as those of guest performers. The Arts at Pellissippi State offers special sponsorship opportunities and benefits for the Music Concert Series and other arts-related events, including invitations to receptions and preferred seating at concerts.

Pellissippi State’s Music program presents concerts as an All Steinway School. The Pellissippi State Foundation successfully conducted the All Steinway School fundraising campaign in order to elevate the program to world-class status. The community college boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues.

Concerts take place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus in Knoxville. Plenty of free parking is available. Early arrival at the performances is suggested for the best seating.

The remaining performances in the 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series are:

Feb. 26, 7 p.m.—Winter Choral Concert

March 5, 7 p.m.—Student Showcase Honors Recital

March 28, 7 p.m.—Jazz Band and Bluegrass Concert

April 18, 7 p.m.—Instrumental Concert

May 2, 7 p.m.—Spring Choral Concert

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu. Requests should be made at least two weeks in advance.

For additional information about the Music Concert Series or The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call (865) 694-6400. For information about sponsorship opportunities and benefits available for the arts series, contact the Pellissippi State Foundation at (865) 694-6525.

Pellissippi State begins offering Associate of Fine Arts degree with Music concentration

Thanks to a new program at Pellissippi State Community College, students interested in pursuing a career or four-year degree in music can now earn a two-year Associate of Fine Arts that concentrates in that area.

All credits will transfer to other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions—Pellissippi State is a member of the TBR system—and the University of Tennessee as part of the statewide Tennessee Transfer Pathways program.

Long regarded as providing one of the area’s top Music programs, the community college boasts an extensive and diverse group of faculty. Among the course areas they teach are conducting, ear training, piano, vocal and instrumental ensembles, and theory. Applied instruction is available in piano, voice, and guitar, brass, percussion, string, and woodwind instruments.

For students who choose not to pursue an A.F.A., Pellissippi State offers a variety of general music classes, including piano, both vocal and instrumental ensembles, music appreciation, and private instruction. The community college is known for having small classes and affordable tuition.

Many of Pellissippi State’s Music students take advantage of the college’s status as an All Steinway School. The Pellissippi State Foundation conducted the All Steinway School fundraising campaign in 2010 with the goal of elevating the Music program to world-class status. The college now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues.

Scholarships are available for students pursuing the A.F.A. with a Music concentration. They are awarded annually to recognize excellence in musical performance and academic achievement. Auditions for scholarships are scheduled each spring, and recipients are required to perform in one or more of Pellissippi State’s ensembles.

Two ensembles, Concert Chorale and Variations, focus on vocal performances. Six are instrument-based performing groups: Bluegrass Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble and Studio Orchestra. can choose from among more than 30 majors, complete the required courses, earn an associate’s degree and transfer as a junior to a Tennessee public university. Some specific academic programs may have competitive admissions, but students are advised about requirements upon enrollment at Pellissippi State.

Students attending Pellissippi State in the TTP program can major in such subjects as accounting, art, biology, history, information systems, math, psychology and sociology. In addition to the new A.F.A., students also may graduate and transfer with an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree.

The spring 2013 application deadline is Jan. 7. Classes begin Jan. 17.

For information regarding Music scholarships, call the Pellissippi State Foundation at (865) 694-6528 or visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation.

To learn more about the A.F.A. degree, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State offers two free Holiday Spectacular concerts

The traditional Holiday Spectacular concert staged annually at Pellissippi State Community College is so popular that two performances will be presented again this year. Audience members are encouraged to arrive early for the event, which features all of the student ensembles in a fast-paced, high-energy show.

Part of the 2012-13 music series, the Holiday Spectacular takes place on Dec. 6 at 6 and 8 p.m. The theme for this year’s performances is “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Included in the program are seasonal favorites in traditional and contemporary styles.

The concerts’ pianists will perform on Steinway pianos, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All Steinway School. The Pellissippi State Foundation conducted the All Steinway School fundraising campaign year before last to elevate the college’s Music program to world-class status.

The community college now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues. This is the second season that Pellissippi State’s Music program presents concerts as an All Steinway School.

Many of the student performers are pursuing the college’s new Associate of Fine Arts degree, concentrating in Music. Through the Tennessee Transfer Pathways, all credits from the degree transfer to other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions—Pellissippi State is a TBR college—and the University of Tennessee.

Both Holiday Spectacular performances take place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus. Plenty of free parking is available. Admission is free; however, donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series is one component of Pellissippi State’s new arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

For additional information about the Pellissippi State Music Concert Series or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State highlights instrumental music in Nov. 15 free concert

The free 2012-13 Music Concert Series at Pellissippi State Community College continues on Nov. 15 with a performance focused exclusively on instrumental music. The event promises to offer a wide variety of selections and musical styles.

Music at the Instrumental Concert will include separate ensembles of brass, guitar and percussion. A mixed small instrumental ensemble and a bluegrass ensemble perform as well. The groups are set to present a variety of musical genres, including classical, blues, jazz and folk.

Pianists will perform on Steinway pianos, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All Steinway School. The Pellissippi State Foundation conducted the All Steinway School fundraising campaign in 2010 in order to elevate the college’s Music program to world-class status. The community college now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues.

Many of the student performers are pursuing the college’s new Associate of Fine Arts degree, concentrating in Music. Through the Tennessee Transfer Pathways, all credits from the degree transfer to other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and the University of Tennessee.

The Instrumental Concert begins at 7 p.m. and takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus. Ample free parking is available, and admission is free. Donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series is one component of Pellissippi State’s new arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

For additional information about the arts series, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.

Pellissippi State hosts annual Fall Choral Concert Oct. 25

Pellissippi State Community College presents the second performance in its 2012-13 free music series with the Oct. 25 staging of the Fall Choral Concert.

The annual event features a variety of music styles and includes compositions from the Baroque and Classical periods and the 20th century.

The 60-voice Concert Chorale and the 40-voice Variations Ensemble, both student vocal groups, perform, in addition to selected student soloists. The concert offers piano accompaniment highlighting works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as well as contemporary pieces by Moses Hogan and Eric Whitacre.

The Variations Ensemble premieres much of the concert literature the group will be performing on tour in Barcelona, Madrid and Segovia, Spain, during Spring Break in March 2013.

Many of the student performers are pursuing the college’s new Associate of Fine Arts degree, concentrating in Music. Through the Tennessee Transfer Pathways, all credits from the degree transfer to other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and the University of Tennessee.

This is the second season that Pellissippi State’s Music program presents concerts as an All Steinway School. The Pellissippi State Foundation conducted the All Steinway School fundraising campaign in 2010 in order to elevate the college’s Music program to world-class status. The community college now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues.

The Fall Choral Concert begins at 7 p.m. and takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus. Ample free parking is available, and admission is free. Donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series is one component of Pellissippi State’s new arts series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State.” The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

For additional information about the Pellissippi State Music Concert Series or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

The Arts at Pellissippi State: 2012-13 free concert series begins on Oct. 2

The popular free concert series hosted by Pellissippi State Community College throughout each academic year begins its new season on Tuesday, Oct. 2, with the Faculty Recital Showcase. The theme for this year’s performance is “Music Faculty Favorites.”

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series is one component of the college’s new arts series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State.” The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

This will be the second season that Pellissippi State’s Music program presents concerts as an All Steinway School.

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series includes the following performances:

FALL 2012

Oct. 25, 7 p.m.—Fall Choral Concert

Nov. 15, 7 p.m.—Instrumental Concert (Studio Orchestra and Percussion, Brass, Bluegrass, and Guitar ensembles)

Dec. 6, 6 and 8 p.m.—Holiday Spectacular

SPRING 2013

Feb. 26, 7 p.m.—Winter Choral Concert

March 5, 7 p.m.—Student Honors Recital

March 28, 7 p.m.—Jazz Band/Bluegrass Concert

April 18, 7 p.m.— Instrumental Concert (Studio Orchestra and Brass, Guitar, and Percussion ensembles)

May 2, 7 p.m.—Spring Choral Concert

The Oct. 2 showcase begins at 7 p.m. and takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus. Ample free parking is available. Admission is free, but donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

For additional information about “The Arts at Pellissippi State,” call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Professional bluegrass musician gains focus, friendships as Pellissippi State student

Samuel Damewood, former Pellissippi State Music student, performs with Drake White and the Big Fire. The band opened for Eric Church this spring.

Samuel Damewood is right at home in Nashville’s limelight. Damewood helped open for country music star Eric Church this spring and describes performing for a large audience as “exhilarating.”

But Damewood says he’ll never forget the friends he made when he took a hiatus from the stage and enrolled in the Music program at Pellissippi State Community College.

In 2009, the Knoxville native had already toured the country as a professional musician for four years, playing his fiddle for thousands of people. As a member of the bluegrass band Pine Mountain Railroad, he was living the life—touring 300 days a year, playing in glitzy places, recording and hanging out with bluegrass greats Ricky Skaggs and Alison Krauss.

But it was at Pellissippi State that he says he finally “found himself.”

“I had hit a rough patch in my life,” said Damewood. “I decided to make a change, quit playing professionally for a while and go back to school.

“I had played with Larry Vincent [a Pellissippi State Music assistant professor] before, and he knew about my bluegrass background and wanted me to help with the college’s bluegrass ensemble, Hardin Valley Thunder. It was something I could really give to.”

For the next two years, Pellissippi State’s Music faculty became family for the now 29-year-old. As a college student, Damewood rediscovered his love for bluegrass and also found a couple of new passions: jazz and classical music.

“Two big things that Pellissippi reinvigorated: my love for life and my love for music,” he said. “I also learned who I was and what I wanted in the future.”

Damewood used his time at the college to grow both personally and technically.

“Bill Brewer became a great friend and ally and huge inspiration.” Brewer is an associate professor and program coordinator of Music. “Larry Vincent told me not to lose myself and who I am. It took me a while to figure out what he meant, but now I understand. I have this energy and this drive and almost a childlike view of music.

“Robin James was my violin teacher at Pellissippi State,” Damewood said. “Her drive for me to practice classically and work on my technique has been a super foundation for what I do in Nashville, because Nashville really isn’t the ‘country music capital of the world.’ It’s the ‘music capital of the world.’ There are so many more things going on than country.”

Damewood says the people in the Music program became his family during a hard time in his life.

“All of the teachers were such a great help. They were all very nurturing, and they listened a lot. I talked to them a lot about the classes and how they pertained to what I wanted to do in the future.”

The summer before he transferred to Belmont University in Nashville last year, he put together Heyday Revival, a progressive bluegrass band composed entirely of former and current Pellissippi State students.

“We still play gigs in Knoxville, when I’m not on the road,” he said. “We’ve got a few performances lined up for this summer.”

Damewood is now a commercial violin major with an emphasis in music technology at Belmont.

“This degree teaches you how to be a music supervisor for film and TV,” he said.  “I plan on getting my degree and then have a lot of big plans for the future. I want to eventually start my own entertainment company and use that to help people to achieve their dreams in the music industry.

“Someday down the road from that I’d like to start my own record label to help people with their dreams—just like Pellissippi State helps people.”

Meanwhile, Damewood is playing with a new group, Drake White and the Big Fire. The band signed with Universal last year and opened for country musician Eric Church’s Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour this spring. The musicians also have opened for Willie Nelson and will open for the Allman Brothers in August.

The first gig with Church was in Portland, Maine, before a 9,000-member audience—the largest Damewood had ever played for. He says he felt a surge of nervous energy and, despite his previous experience, took a sneak peek through the curtain before he went on stage.

“I’d never played on such a big stage before,” he said. “I just kind of stayed in one place for the first song and then realized the other four band members were moving around. I thought, ‘Oh, I can move.’

“After it was over the guys in the band said they were proud of me for owning the stage and not being afraid. It’s very intoxicating in a way that just by moving around and doing things, you can have 9,000 people watch you. It’s crazy.”

These days, Damewood is back and riding high. “My life is full steam ahead forward. I couldn’t be any happier. A lot of that stems from my time at Pellissippi State.”

To learn more about Music and other offerings at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State concludes season of free music concerts on April 26

The musical selections have ranged from choral to instrumental, from bluegrass to holiday fare. As the 2011-12 season of Pellissippi State Community College’s annual Music Concert Series concludes on April 26, the focus will again be on choral music.

Featured during the season-ending Spring Choral Concert are performances by the student groups Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble. The highlight of the concert is a multimedia presentation of the Variations Ensemble’s Spring Break 2012 tour in Germany. As the choir sings, the audience will experience the tour through video and still photography.

The nine-day tour included six full concerts and four abbreviated singing experiences in Berlin, Munich, Regensburg, Weimar and Wittenberg. A highlight of the tour for the Pellissippi State students was the opportunity to sing in Wittenberg’s Castle Church. The historic church is the site made famous in 1517 by Martin Luther. The German monk became a key figure in the Protestant Reformation when he nailed to the church’s doors his “Ninety-Five Theses” protesting clerical abuses.

Like all events in Pellissippi State’s music series, admission to the Spring Choral Concert is free. However, donations will be accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund. For the 2010-11 academic year, the Foundation awarded more than 100 music-related scholarships to more than 80 Pellissippi State students.

The 7 p.m. performance takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus in Knoxville. Parking is convenient and free.

For additional information, call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Two performances remain in Pellissippi State’s 2011-12 free concert series

With only two concerts remaining, the season is wrapping up for Pellissippi State Community College’s 2011-12 Music Concert Series.

The upcoming performance focuses solely on instrumental music. Scheduled for April 12, the Small Instrumental Ensembles Concert includes selections from a variety of musical styles, among them, classical, blues, jazz and folk.

Featured in the concert are ensembles of brass, guitar and percussion. A small instrumental mixed ensemble also will perform.

As with all performances in the series, admission is free. However, donations will be accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship fund. During the 2010-11 academic year, the Foundation awarded more than 100 music-related scholarships to more than 80 Pellissippi State students.

The ensembles concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus in Knoxville. Free, convenient parking is available.

The remaining performance of the 2011-12 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series is the April 26 Spring Choral Concert.

For additional information, call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.