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‘An Evening of Intimate Jazz’ at Plymouth State University on February 19

PLYMOUTH — The Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Plymouth State University will host An Evening of Intimate Jazz with Professor Rik Pfenninger on woodwinds and guest artist David Lockwood on piano on Thursday, February 19 at 7 p.m. in the Smith Recital Hall.

Pfenninger and Lockwood will play tunes from The Great American Songbook, including favorites like "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Blue Bossa" and "Summertime." Pfenninger says the Silver Center's Smith Recital Hall is the perfect venue for enjoying an acoustic set of songs from Duke Ellington, to modern day jazz composers.

After high school and "knocking around in New York City and DC in the 1970's," Dave Lockwood enrolled at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, graduating in 1980. He joined the New Hampshire band Straight No Chaser in the late 80's and wrote most of the material for their well-received debut album, "Raccoon Beach." Since then, Lockwood has continued to write, record and perform in and around New England while also serving as music director and baseball coach at Holderness School. He says that as a young child, "picking out tunes on various instruments seemed like magic. And even after all these years of playing, writing, and recording, the creation of music still seems like magic."

Professor of Music Rik Pfenninger is coordinator of jazz studies and music technology at Plymouth State and holds degrees from Eastman School of Music, The University of Michigan and Temple University. His music can be heard on Hollywood releases including "Bad Milo" and "Regarding Henry," the Weather Channel, the Warner Bros. Network's "Survival of the Rich and Famous," Moby Games "Sniper, the Art of Victory," The TLC Network, PBS Network's "The Difference Between Right and Wrong," and commercials for Xerox, Ski New Hampshire and WMUR TV's "New Hampshire Chronicle," and numerous Indie films. Pfenninger's jazz recordings and film soundtracks can be heard on Apple i-tunes, MusicMine Records and "The Best of Smooth Jazz Christmas" by the Universal Music Group.
Free tickets for the evening of jazz are available at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800 779-3869.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 February 2015 10:46

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PSU recognized for commitment to community services

PLYMOUTH — Community service has long been a mainstay of the Plymouth State University experience. It is that commitment to service that has earned PSU a 2015 Community Engagement Classification from The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The prestigious ranking is based on PSU's focus on community engagement, which Carnegie defines as, "the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities local, regional/state, national, global for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity." PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said the Carnegie recognition underscores PSU's longtime emphasis on volunteerism and commitment to community support.

"We are part of this region, and the region should be stronger because of our presence," said Steen. "Our staff and students serve, and they also benefit from the many opportunities provided by our wonderful partners."

PSU was originally named to the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification in 2010, and was re-listed after applying last year. According to Carnegie, PSU was honored for "excellent alignment of mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement."

"The importance of this elective classification is borne out by the response of so many campuses that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national and global communities," said John Saltmarsh, Director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education. "These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities and revitalizing their civic and academic missions."

"This is the first time that there has been a re-classification process," noted Amy Driscoll, Consulting Scholar for the Community Engagement Classification. "We are seeing renewed institutional commitment, advanced curricular and assessment practices and deeper community partnerships, all sustained through changes in campus leadership, and within the context of a devastating economic recession."

PSU's engagement with the region and the local community is varied and deep: PSU students annually provide volunteer and service hours to the Plymouth area through internships, practica, student teaching and the Community Service Learning Center. Other examples of student service are represented in the thousands of volunteer hours students contribute to Plymouth area initiatives such as the Circle Program; Habitat for Humanity; the Pemi-Baker Literacy Task Force; the Pemi Bridge House; the Pemi Youth Center; the Plymouth Area Community Closet; the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce; and Plymouth Elementary School's America Reads A+ Program. PSU's Service Learning Coordinator and Pemi Youth Center Executive Director Jessica Dutille '03, '04G said PSU student volunteers provide an invaluable service to local organizations.

"PSU students play an important role in increasing capacity for the many local agencies that do incredible work in our communities," said Dutille. " Students also gain a great deal from these high impact experiences of applying coursework in a practical setting. It is all about community building, and I am privileged to be a part of it."

Last Updated on Friday, 13 February 2015 10:16

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Belmont Parks & Rec plans trip to Boston Flower Show

BELMONT — Belmont Parks & Recreation is organizing a trip to the Boston Flower Show on Wednesday, March 11.

The trip will depart the Belmont Park & Ride on Route 106 at 8:30 a.m., and travel by motor coach to the Seaport Trade Center, arriving there at 10:30 a.m.

Boston's biggest horticultural happening provides the tools and inspiration to kick off the season in style. The show, themed "Season of Enchantment" is designed to delight their senses and whet their appetites with thousands of ideas, tips and recipes to try in this year's garden.

The bus will depart the exposition center at 2:30 p.m. There will be a stop at the Cracker Barrel in Londonderry where those who wish to have dinner can do so, with diners picking up their own tabs.

Seats are limited and pre-registration, with payment, is required. Registration forms are available on the Town website at www.belmontnh.org or by contacting the recreation department at 267-1865.


Last Updated on Friday, 13 February 2015 10:05

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Poet Ellen Bryant Voigt to read in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH — The Eagle Pond Authors' Series at Plymouth State University will host a reading by award-winning American poet Ellen Bryant Voigt on Thursday, February 26 at 7 p.m. in the Smith Recital Hall at the Silver Center for the Arts.

Among her many honors, Voigt served as the Vermont State Poet from 1999-2003 and in 2003 was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She has published eight volumes of poetry and a collection of craft essays. Her poetry collection, Shadow of Heaven was a finalist for the National Book Award, and another, Kyrie: Poems, a book-length sonnet sequence, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. As a poet and teacher Voigt is known for clarity and rhetorical authority.

Raised on a farm in Virginia, as a child Voigt showed an aptitude for music. She began a degree in music at Converse College, but changed her studies to literature and poetry after a friend introduced her to poems by e.e.cummings and Rilke. Even so, she says that music influences her writing. In an interview for Vermont Public Radio Voigt said, "I primarily write by my ear. I write by sound first, and then I have to go back and ... press on every word and figure out the structure of what is being said rather than how it's being said, but there's no question to me that sound is the generative force..."

Voigt alluded to that theme in an interview by Maria Hummel about her book, Headwaters, when she said, "What I have always loved about poetry is its two rhythmic systems—­the rhythm of the sentence, which is the given, how we think, how me make meaning; and the rhythm of the poetic line, which is wholly artifice, made by the poet every time, in every poem, in every line­—and the relationship between them."

In 1976 Voigt developed and directed the nation's first low-residency writing program at Goddard College in Vermont—a design for graduate MFA study that has since been emulated by many other colleges and universities. Since 1981 she has taught in the MFA program for writers at Warren Wilson College.

Free tickets for the Eagle Pond Authors Series are available at the Silver Center Box Office (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869, and are highly recommended. The series is presented with generous support from the Follett Higher Education Group (PSU Bookstore).

Last Updated on Friday, 13 February 2015 10:01

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