NC Central hosts annual jazz benefit
N.C. Central University jazz students will perform alongside Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo — renowned jazz musicians — in its annual fall jazz benefit concert Nov. 22.
Concert proceeds will go towards scholarships and recruitment efforts for students studying jazz.
Lenora Hammonds, an NCCU music professor, said the “Keep the Vision Alive” theme demonstrates the program’s vitality — in spite of the misreporting of its closure over the summer by local news outlets.
Ira Wiggins, director of jazz studies at NCCU, said he hopes the program’s presence will be felt regionally and nationwide.
“Our presence is hopefully felt not only regionally and statewide, but also nationally and internationally,” he said.
“I want to make sure that we perpetuate and carry (jazz) forward so that future generations can experience the artistry and the love that’s in this music we call jazz.”
One man takes on health care at WCU
“Mercy Killers,” a one-man show, comes to Western Carolina University Nov. 12 — thanks to nursing student Joshua Pickett.
The play chronicles the life of blue-collar worker Joe, who struggles with the complexities of the health care system when his wife is diagnosed with cancer.
“There is a lot of talk about health care in this country these days, and unfortunately it’s become more of a political issue as opposed to a what’s needed issue in this country,” said Scott Eldredge, a WCU communications professor.
“As (students) move into jobs and careers, they should be informed about the system that’s out there … and work through the system to make sure that we’re getting the care that we need.”
Eldredge supervises the supply drive for the Good Samaritan Clinic, a nonprofit health care clinic in Jackson County. Since the play is free for students, on-campus organizations will host a supply drive for basic necessities like paper towels and water bottles in hopes of increasing attendance.
Appalachian State farms with veterans
Local and federal agencies have joined forces to help returning veterans ease their way into civilian life by working in sustainable agriculture — funding the work of Appalachian State University professor Anne Fanatico.
Fanatico said she collaborates with the University of Arkansas to create internships, modules and conferences to offer farm trainings to veterans.
“I think sustainable agriculture offers entrepreneurial opportunities for them, and we also just need a lot of new beginning farmers in sustainable agriculture,” she said. “They’ve done a lot for our country, and I do think it’s a good way to work with returning veterans.” With an aging population of farmers, Fanatico said the program provides opportunities for young additions to the field.
“I think we need lots of young folks getting involved in agriculture because so many of the farmers right now are aging,” Fanatico said.
“We don’t really have a new generation coming into place, and we really need that.”