The Lee University Symphonic Band recently returned from a 15-day trip to China. The chairman of Sias International University, Shawn Chen, invited the group to share American band traditions with band and orchestra students in China's Henan Province.
While in China, Lee students performed concerts with the Sias International University Military Band and the Sias University Professional Orchestra. In addition, the local band performed two concerts of its own music. Five rehearsals were conducted with Sias University ensembles.
The band also performed for the Sias International Women's Conference, the Sias Homecoming Parade and private schools in Xi'an and Beijing.
"Though we often could not communicate verbally, every one of us shared an understanding of music and its significance," says sophomore music major Mia Campbell. "I had the opportunity to give one of the flute players from Sias my flute from high school because she couldn't afford her own. I was certainly blessed by the love and acceptance shown to us by the students at Sias University."
In addition to rehearsing and performing, Lee students visited the Oriental Pearl Tower and Yuyan Gardens in Shanghai, the birthplace of the first Chinese emperor in Zhengzhou, the Shaolin Temple, the market in Xi'an, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Silk Market in Beijing.
Heidi Popham, vice president of Institutional Effectiveness at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, is one of 34 graduates of the Technical College System of Georgia's Executive Leadership Academy.
Participation in the academy is by invitation only. Popham was nominated to attend by Craig McDaniel, former president of Georgia Northwestern and approved by the Executive Leadership Academy's board of directors.
The academy teaches leadership and managerial responsibilities to the college system's executives. While the program is specifically geared to the policies and procedures of the Georgia system, the curriculum is broad enough to apply to public two-year colleges in any state and includes topics ranging from ethics and operations to institutional effectiveness, accreditation, strategic planning, legal issues and more.
Popham also currently serves as president of Technical College System's Accountability and Institutional Effectiveness Peer Group.
Rachel Davis, a recent graduate of Girls Preparatory School, is the first recipient of the $2,000 S. Leary Jones Scholarship from the Kentucky, Tennessee Water Environment Association. She will attend Quinnipiac University this fall.
Davis received the scholarship at the Water Professionals Conference in Louisville, Ky. The award is named for the founder of Tennessee's Clean Water programs, whose research was instrumental in the Tennessee General Assembly's passage of the nation's first water pollution law.
John Burton, who will enter his freshman year at Baylor University this fall, was selected principal trumpet of the National Youth Symphony from brass instrumentalists across the country.
In July, about 70 students ranging in age from 15 to 20, met in Washington, D.C., to attend the National Symphony Orchestra's Summer Music Institute. Students are selected through an application process that includes performance pieces and recommendations.
The institute offers four weeks of private lessons, rehearsals, coaching by National Symphony Orchestra members and classes. The institute is coordinated by the National Symphony Orchestra Education Program, which is a component of the Kennedy Center Education Department.
Burton is the son of Fredda and Mike Burton of Cleveland, Tenn., and a graduate of Walker Valley High School. At Baylor University, he will major in trumpet performance. The musician has received the President's Gold Scholarship for Academics, Baylor School of Music Talent Scholarship and E.P. Scott Golden Wave Band Scholarship, for a total of $102,000 in scholarship money over four years.
Air Force Airman 1st Class Justin Paulo Jarata Pascual has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. He is now receiving technical school training to become a medical specialist at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. At Lackland, he completed 8-1/2 weeks of training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness and basic warfare principles and skills.
Pascual is the son of Peter Pascual and Olivia Jarata-Pascual of Ringgold and is a 2012 graduate of Ringgold High School.