Band joins with Ugandan choir

first_imgWhen 2012 graduates Brian Powers and Nick Gunty traveled to Kkindu, Uganda, last summer, the pair gained much more than expected from their experience. Powers and Gunty, who comprise the band Frances Luke Accord, spent 18 days recording an album with the community’s Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir to raise money for members of the group. “During our stay, we were touched by the many people we met living in rural poverty, who at the same time abound in human potential and an unparalleled spiritual wealth,” Powers said. “Through our interaction with the children and with village leaders, it became apparent that many of these children face hardships that none of us would ever encounter in our lives.” Powers said one of the hardships for the 28 children in the choir is the lack of access to free, public education. “They are not prevented from attending school, but they cannot sit for the necessary exams unless they pay their school fees,” Powers said. “The costs associated with these school fees, including a school lunch and uniform, totals only 70 dollars a year.  But with an average annual income in Uganda of only 511 dollars per capita, many cannot afford even this modest amount.” To raise funds for the children to advance grade levels, the choir and Frances Luke Accord collaborated to record an album entitled “Kandote,” a Lugandan word meaning “I dream.” “All money from the sale of this CD is going directly towards paying these school fees,” Powers said. Kevin Dugan, an operations assistant for Notre Dame men’s lacrosse and the former manager of Youth and Community Programs for Notre Dame Athletics, developed the idea for the project. Dugan is also the founder and director of Fields of Growth International, an organization that uses athletics as a community and human development tool in rural villages in Uganda. “The project was also funded in large part through grants from Notre Dame’s Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts and the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement as well as some private donations,” Powers said. “Thanks to these generous grants, we had the unique opportunity to spend 18 days in the wonderful country of Uganda doing what we love: listening to, writing, performing and recording music -and bridging a wide cultural divide along the way.” Powers said the band sent the choir a CD before the trip so the children could learn the songs. Approximately 40 takes of each song were recorded before Frances Luke Accord selected the best one for the album. Kandote can be purchased at any online music store or at the band’s website, For fans to gain further access into the production of the album, the band uploaded a YouTube video entitled “Kandote” that details the group’s trip to Kkindu and its interaction with the Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir.last_img read more

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Visiting poet kicks off series at Saint Mary’s

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Poetry Club hosted Austin Segrest, poetry editor of “The Missouri Review” and the club’s first poet of its inaugural poet speaker series Wednesday. Senior Susan Head, a member of the Poetry Club, introduced Segrest, who was chosen to speak in the series under the guidance of English professor Dionne Bremyer, one of Segrest’s friends who has encouraged students in the Saint Mary’s community to attend literary events and bring more speakers to campus. Segrest, born in Birmingham, Alabama, said he studied classics at Emory University. Head said his poetry is influenced by many of the classical poets, such as Ovid and Virgil, and their use and creation of myth. Segrest said he was also influenced by his study of language, his time studying abroad in Rome, his love of music and dance, and his mother, the subject of most of his elegies. “I’m fascinated by the challenge of how we can approximate what music can do in words while still using sound,” Segrest said. “That whole adventure is endlessly fascinating to me.” Segrest said he felt excited to be at Saint Mary’s, detailing how he believes he is “traveling east to west through his life,” a metaphor coined by poet John Donne. “It is really great to be in a place where I can tell there is such a love and care for the written word, and it’s a real honor for my poetry and my writing to be a part of this.  It really means the world,” Segrest said. Segrest said he has used psychoanalysis to revisit his personal and family past and to investigate the roots from which he sprung and the steps he has taken thus far in life. “My mother died when I was first coming into my own as a writer, so it was very influential on me, and it’s no surprise that it’s something I explored a lot in psychoanalysis,” Segrest said.   “There were just a few confluences that came together in my life, like I had just graduated from Emory University, I was working a research job, and actually living with my mother; I had moved in back home and so I think there were a lot of intersections coming together that then came up in the therapy that followed.” Junior Elizabeth Kenney said she enjoyed Segrest’s reading and liked learning his background. “As a writer, I thought it was really interesting to hear about his techniques and the subjects he chooses to use in his writing,” Kenney said. “I liked the rhythm in his poetry and the honesty and how it sounded just like a conversation.  I think he made an impression on many of the students in attendance, because he was so casual about his poetry but it reached very deep and touched on many topics people could relate to. “I thought his use of classical references were breathtaking, and having studied abroad in Rome, also, I liked making these connections and thinking of what the allusions mean for myself and then within his poems.” Founder of the poetry club, junior Claire Bleecker, said she began the club this year in order to learn more about poetry and to expose herself and other students to more types of this art. “We were excited to have Segrest come to Saint Mary’s, because I think it’s so important for young writers to know that becoming a poet is a plausible thing,” Bleecker said. “Poets aren’t just these mythological creatures but very genuine and kind people.” Contact Kelly Konya at kkonya01@saintmarys.edulast_img read more

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Kickstarter Aside, Spring Awakening Would Have Performed at Tonys

first_imgSandra Mae Frank & Austin McKenzie in ‘Spring Awakening'(Photo: Joan Marcus) Related Shows View Comments Spring Awakening center_img The cast of Deaf West’s Spring Awakening will officially perform on Broadway’s biggest night—a decision made before the Tony-nominated revival’s Kickstarter campaign reached its goal. The Tony Awards made the announcement three days before the June 11 deadline for fans to donate to (and effectively alleviate the cost of) the performance; within hours of the confirmation, the Kickstarter received a $35,000 spike and surpassed its $200,000 target.The Kickstarter campaign launched on May 24. At that time, the production tweeted, “Spring Awakening has a chance to perform on the Tony Awards, but we need your help!” Incentives to donate included signed merchandise, private meet-and-greets with cast members and original compositions.Producer Ken Davenport confirmed to that the crowd-sourced $200,000—which the show would only receive once the goal had been met in its entirety—”covers the cost of everything.” This includes travels expenses for members of the cast, rehearsals and recovering design elements from storage. A Tony Awards spokesperson said a small stipend is offered to each nominated show to assist with the expenses involved with the telecast. The spokesperson did not specify the amount of the stipend.Spring Awakening producers had to decide if they wanted to accept their performance slot before the Kickstarter’s June 11 deadline, though neither Davenport nor representatives for the Tony Awards would comment on the exact date required by the broadcast.Shortly after the launch of the campaign, Deaf West Artistic Director DJ Kurs stated to, “We will proceed on the assumption that our Kickstarter will be successful.” On June 6, Kurs released a video on Spring Awakening’s YouTube channel in which he explained that the cast would reassemble in New York this week. “We’ll have rehearsals and get ready for the big night.”At noon on June 8, the Kickstarter campaign had raised just over $165,000. Whether or not the goal had been met, fans would have been able to tune in on June 12 to watch the acclaimed production, which included a cast of both deaf and hearing performers. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 24, 2016last_img read more

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‘Get Into Your Sanctuary Day’ Approaching Saturday: Learn How You Can Get Involved

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisIt’s National “Get Into Your Sanctuary” Day, Saturday, August 12, modeled after “National Kids to Park” Day, which encourages everyone to explore the nation’s 14 amazing national marine sanctuaries. Stephanie Gandulla shares different ways everyone can come out and explore the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary here in Alpena.Glass-Botton BoatGreat Lakes Martime Heritage CenterCycling or hiking along the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage TrailDiving, Snorkeling and/or Paddling the ShipwrecksSwimmingFishingCollecting Fossils and Rocks along the ShorelinePicnic at the BeachBeach Clean UpAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: get into your sanctuary, NOAA, Thunder Bay National Marine SanctuaryContinue ReadingPrevious Weather & Thunder Bay ShipwrecksNext Local Food Pantry Temporarily Closedlast_img read more

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first_imgBILL NEAL:10—DO – NOT – BE – CONCERNED dear ones about the Pirates getting slapped around by the Milwaukee Brewers.They’ve been slapping everybody around, including Boston and Philadelphia, on what has become a seven game winning streak.  And this early in the season.  That’s impressive.  That, plus the Brewers always give us trouble.:09—Okay, as you know, I am not that smart when it comes to numbers, but here’s this, the Browns signed their two time Pro-Bowl center, Alex Mack, to a league high $42 million.  The Steelers’ Maukice Pouncey made his first three Pro Bowls…alright then, you do the math!:08—Man, this is sad news.  Former Atlanta Hawk shooting star Lou “Sweet Lou” Hudson died at age 69 in Atlanta where he was hospitalized following a stroke.  Hudson averaged 20 points a game in 13 NBA seasons.  I had the great pleasure of meeting and sharing a few meals with Mr. Hudson during the shooting of the legendary film “The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh.”  Yeah, I was in the movie, now shut up!last_img read more

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