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CCC&TI Announces Spring Performing Artist Series

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Associate of Fine Arts – Music Program has announced the schedule for the Spring Semester Performing Artist Series on the Caldwell Campus. It will feature six free performances, including local artists and a variety of musical genres.

The Spring 2018 series will kick off with The Mercury Dames, a Boone-area trio who combine eclectic whimsy with jazz, blues and country standards to create a sassy, Vaudeville-inspired, vocally-driven offering. The Mercury Dames are Kim France, Lauren Hayworth and Kathryn Chaffin.

The Mercury Dames

France (vocals, bass) got her musical start on Ocracoke Island in the late ‘90s playing bluegrass guitar, and later discovered that upright bass was a natural fit. In her 14 years as a bassist, Kim has lent the “low end” and her vocal soundings to projects like the hip-hop fusion group Turbo Pro Project, rock band The Erasers, big band Swing Set, West African drum and dance ensemble EYA!, bluegrass bands Boss Hawg and Lost Ridge Band, vibraphone jazz combo The Good Vibes Jazz Trio, and folk band Molasses Creek. Kim is also classically trained and performs regularly with the Johnson City Orchestra and various chamber ensembles.

Chaffin (vocals and guitar) has been performing in the High Country since 2005 as a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Her style spans multiple genres, including classical, funk, blues and jazz. Current and past projects include Band of Gypsies, Kattagast and the Atlanta-based alt-country ensemble, Hot House Peaches. Chaffin complements her deep, bluesy voice and sophisticated songwriting with her skills on guitar, mandolin and ukulele. 

Hayworth (vocals, accordion and ukulele) began her musical journey as an oboe player in middle school and high school, but learned in college that her true passion was her voice. She received a bachelor’s degree in choral music education from Florida State University in 2005, and a master’s in voice performance from Appalachian State in 2010. She has served as the Executive Assistant to the Dean of the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State since February 2014. In addition to her work with the Mercury Dames, Hayworth performs regularly in the Boone area with jazz ensembles Swing Set and The Good Vibes Jazz Trio.

The Mercury Dames will perform “Women in Jazz and Blues” at 1 p.m., Monday, Jan. 22 in Room B-100 on the Caldwell Campus of CCC&TI in Hudson. Admission is free and open to the public.

The schedule for the remainder of the series is as follows:

  • The UNC-Charlotte Jazz Ensemble – Feb. 20, 1 p.m., B-100, Caldwell Campus in Hudson: The UNC-Charlotte Jazz Ensemble is directed by Dr. Will Campbell and is the lead ensemble for Jazz Studies program at UNC-Charlotte.
  • Dr. Shawn Roberts with WorldWeyed and members of the Appalachian State University African Dance Ensemble – March 20, 1 p.m., B-100: Shawn Roberts has been an adjunct instructor in the Hayes School of Music since 2005, currently serving as lecturer of Analyzing Style and Form in the General Humanities/Education area. He received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from West Virginia University where he focused on non-Western percussion while maintaining performance in Western traditions. He holds an MM in Percussion Performance and a BM in Music Education, both from Appalachian State University.

Dr. Roberts is an active and eclectic performer, serving as Principal Percussionist with the American Prize winning Western Piedmont Symphony, providing accompaniment for the Appalachian State Dance Department, and percussionist with da Capo Brass. Notable performances include the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Lotus Blossom World Music and Arts Festival in Bloomington, Ind., and Director of the West Virginia University Steel Band during the induction of Ellie Mannette into the Percussive Arts Hall of Fame. Dr. Roberts founded World Wide Productions in 2005, overseeing various musical and artistic endeavors, including Eya! Afrolachian Drum and Dance Troupe performing and teaching traditional music and dance from a variety of countries across the African continent, the Caribbean and Middle East.

In addition to performance, Dr. Roberts is passionate about community programs. He conducts numerous workshops in schools both public and private, has served as a scholar and coordinator for Mapping the Beat, a program under the aegis of Arts Bridge America and funded by National Geographic, partnered with the Western Youth Network in creating music programs for underprivileged youth, and is a regular instructor for the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP) serving academically gifted children across North Carolina.

  • The Warren Wilson College Old-Time and Bluegrass Bands – April 17, 1 p.m., B-100, Caldwell Campus in Hudson: In Fall of 2018 Warren Wilson College is relaunching its music degree program and highlighting regional and cultural musical contexts along with traditional Art Music and Ethnomusicolgy. Already well known for their summer Swannanoa Gathering, the Warren Wilson music degree program will place a new emphasis on Appalachian Music alongside traditional studies in Music Theory, Performance and Appalachian studies. Warren Wilson’s Old Time and Bluegrass bands are ensembles within the Warren Wilson music program.
  • The CCC&TI Chorus – May 1, 12:15 p.m., B-100, Hudson Campus and May 3, 12:15 p.m. St. James Episcopal Church in downtown Lenoir: The CCC&TI Chorus is directed by Dr. Vince Crist and features Fine Arts Music degree students as well as students from other degree areas and community members. The Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) Music degree program at CCC&TI started in 1983 to serve Caldwell County and surrounding areas. The AFA Music program awards graduates of the program with an Associate degree in Music. CCC&TI’s Music Program was established in 1983 by Bill Jones and directed by Kay Crouch from 1985 to 2013. Justin Butler is the current director of the AFA Music program. From 1984-88, CCC&TI housed and sponsored The Unifour Jazz Ensemble, 1987 Community College Jazz Ensemble National Champions. In 1990, UJE was named Community Jazz Ensemble of the 1980s by the International Association for Jazz Education and in 2013 its director Tom Smith was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Education Hall of Fame.