Category Archives: Music

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.

Jazz and bluegrass featured at free Pellissippi State concert

Longer days and buds on dogwood trees are not the only signs of spring in East Tennessee. The Jazz Band and Bluegrass Concert at Pellissippi State Community College, hosted every spring, is a perennial favorite in the school’s free Music Concert Series.

This year’s performance, scheduled for March 29, brings accomplished musicians to the stage for an evening dedicated to traditional and modern selections from two very different genres.

The concert gets under way with Pellissippi State’s bluegrass ensemble, Hardin Valley Thunder. The group draws its repertoire from both the traditional and the contemporary, with selections ranging from old-time songs by the Stanley Brothers to the newer sounds of bands such as the SteelDrivers and Cadillac Sky.

Following Hardin Valley Thunder is the Pellissippi State Jazz Band, which will perform traditional jazz classics. Selections will showcase the musicians’ talents at improvisation and ensemble performance.

Last year, Pellissippi State became an All Steinway School. The achievement was reached as the result of a fundraising campaign begun in 2010 by the Pellissippi State Foundation in order to elevate the college’s Music program to world-class status. Pellissippi State now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues.

Not only is Pellissippi State the premier All Steinway community college in Tennessee, but it is also the fourth All Steinway community college in the nation and one of only about 135 All Steinway schools in the world.

Only two performances remain in this season’s Music Concert Series at Pellissippi State: the Instrumental Ensemble Concert on April 12 and the Spring Choral Concert on April 26.

Like all events in Pellissippi State’s music series, admission to the Jazz Band and Bluegrass 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 palce in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Parking is convenient and free.

For information on the Steinway Maintenance Society, call the Pellissippi State Foundation at (865) 694-6529 or visit www.pstcc.edu/steinway.

For additional information about the performance, 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.

Top Pellissippi State student musicians perform in March 1 recital

Slated for March 1, the annual Student Showcase Honors Recital at Pellissippi State Community College features only the best student performers taking private instruction in voice or instrument.

Each of 16 selected musicians will perform one piece, with musical styles ranging from bluegrass to classical. Selection by a panel of Pellissippi State faculty members is based on the talent and skill level of the students, as well as their academic achievements in traditional courses.

“Our goal is to showcase students who are excelling in every aspect of their educational experience,” said Bill Brewer, Pellissippi State’s Music program coordinator.

Singers will be accompanied by pianists performing on Steinway pianos, thanks to Pellissippi State’s status as an All Steinway School. The achievement of becoming an All Steinway School was reached last year as the result of a fundraising campaign begun in 2010 by the Pellissippi State Foundation in order to elevate the college’s Music program to world-class status. Pellissippi State now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues.

Not only is Pellissippi State the premier All Steinway community college in Tennessee, but it is also the fourth All Steinway community college in the nation and one of only about 135 All Steinway schools in the world.

Like all events in Pellissippi State’s music series, admission to the Student Showcase Honors Recital 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 Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Parking is convenient and free.

For information on the Steinway Maintenance Society, call the Pellissippi State Foundation at (865) 694-6529 or visit www.pstcc.edu/steinway.

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.