Recent McCallie School graduate Thomas West will be heading off to the Juilliard School to study classical voice in the coming weeks, and before that he will head to Washington to perform at the Kennedy Center as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
Before either of those happen, he will perform two shows of musical favorites accompanied by local composer/musician/performance artist Tim Hinck.
The two met through Let Beauty Awaken, a student-led organization now called ReGenerate, created by West to raise funds for arts supplies for Hamilton County schools. Hinck has produced several shows over the years, and for the past four years he has organized a local multidisciplinary arts festival called New Dischord.
IF YOU GO
■ What: Thomas West and Tim Hinck in concert.
■ When and where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 30, at McCallie School, 500 Dodds Ave.; and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 31, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 848 Ashland Terrace.
■ Admission: Free, but donation accepted.
"Tim called me last fall and just said, 'Hey, let's meet,'" West says. "He's probably the best accompanist in Chattanooga. Music just drips from his fingers."
The first half of the all-classical music shows will feature songs sung in Russian, German, French and Italian. The second half will features English numbers and the premiere of "The Great My Darling," a Hinck original.
"It's based on text from E.E. Cummings," West says.
"All of the songs are ones I personally selected and ones I really love. I'm doing songs of travel by Ralph Vaughan Williams, for example. It's among the first I started singing in eighth grade at McCallie. It talks about a boy going on a journey to become a man."
The other pieces, including works by Schubert and Tchaikovsky, represent similar significant moments in West's own journey, he says.
"They are snippets of my life since I started studying music."
Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6354.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...