The Lifetime Learning Center announces this year’s line-up for Explorations in The ARTS 2017-18. This series of three performances brings diverse musical and dance traditions to Orringer Auditorium on the New Bern Campus of Craven Community College.
The series opens Friday, Nov. 10 with The Gospel Jubilators, an all-male vocal group from the Raleigh-Durham area that performs a cappella gospel music with rare purity and soul, highlighting vocal traditions of the golden age of ‘30s and ‘40s gospel. The Gospel Jubilators have kept the Jubilee tradition alive and well in North Carolina for over 40 years..
Feeding off the energy of Holiness congregations, historically these groups worked
to turn out performances that were powerful, swinging and divinely inspired, and by the 1930s and ‘40s, jubilee quartet singing was arguably the most popular form of black gospel music in America. Many gospel devotees, including the members of the Jubilators, consider the jubilee years to be a golden era of gospel music.
The Gospel Jubilators consist of the second generation of performers faithful to the Jubilee tradition set by William P. Conner, who founded the group in 1972. Group members are Don Adair, Daniel Massenburg, Frederick Tyson, Fulton Waddell, Robert Sherrill and Harry Leak.
The Craven Community College Gospel Choir will perform as an opening act. This newly formed student music club is under the direction of Chancy Stephenson, Craven CC music faculty.
The series continues Jan. 27, 2018, when Ocracoke Island’s own Molasses Creek returns by popular demand. As phenomenal songwriters and interpreters of song, Molasses Creek concerts run the gamut from traditional to contemporary acoustic folk, from sweet ballads with ensnaring vocal harmonies to truly hot instrumentals.
The final production in the Explorations in the ARTS series will spotlight the young dance artists of the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble (NCYTE) on Friday, March 9, 2018. One of the best youth tap ensembles in the world, NCYTE features 40 dancers, ages 8 to 18, who hail from throughout North Carolina. Don’t let the word “youth” fool you. These dancers tear up the floor with poise, passion and professionalism. NCYTE honors the traditions of this unique American form while infusing it with youthful energy, contemporary music and innovative dances from some of the world’s most talented choreographers.
The Explorations in the ARTS series can best be described as “informances,” a unique recipe of two parts live performance, one part artist interview, stirred together with a pinch of Q&A and a dash of audience participation.
Putting the series all together is Master of Ceremonies Finley Woolston, who will serve as host. Woolston’s voice is familiar across Eastern North Carolina to listeners of WTEB 89.3 FM, Public Radio East’s (PRE) classical music station. For over 20 years Finley has hosted a variety of classical programs and is currently the producer and host of The Choral Tradition, a program dedicated exclusively to choral music, heard each Sunday at 3 p.m. on PRE.
All Explorations in The ARTS events take place at 7:30 p.m. in Orringer Auditorium. Tickets for the three-event series are priced at $50 for adults and $30 for students. Tickets for the individual events are also available and range in price from $18 to $22 for adults and $12 for students. More information, videos, and tickets are available online at www.CravenCC/LLC /performing-arts-series/ or by telephone at (252) 638-7351.