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Zeitoun exceeds expectations

September 6, 2011 Comments off

By Hailey Silvey, Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: “Zeitoun” was chosen as this year’s book for Young Harris College’s “Ship of Thought” program, which requires all incoming first-year students to read and discuss a common book as part of their introduction to the academic community at YHC.

When I was assigned to read Zeitoun as part of my job as a START orientation leader, I was not very thrilled. As a matter of fact, I was dreading it.  I started reading the book so I could get the assignment over with, but, upon beginning the book, Zeitoun began to pleasantly surprise me.

Zeitoun is set in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina. The book is written in a way that goes day by day, which engages the reader and draws you into the story.

The book is about Abdulrahman Zeitoun, an immigrant from Syria who worked as a painter in New Orleans. Upon hearing the announcement that everybody in the city needs to evacuate, Zeitoun chooses to stay. He chooses to ride out the hurricane in order to make sure that his property is safe.

After the hurricane, Zeitoun paddles around flooded New Orleans with his canoe. The book follows him as he rescues people from their homes and takes care of various things.

Despite his efforts, Zeitoun is arrested with very little grounds and is held in a prison with very poor conditions. The book describes the horror that prisoners during Hurricane Katrina faced. The book details events that were not spoken about in the news media, and gives the reader an insight into things that were kept from the general public.

Zeitoun is a very powerful book. Throughout the book, I felt a wide range of emotions, from incredibly happy to pure rage. Zeitoun will open your eyes to events that you never knew occurred. This book has the power to make you feel completely sick about how people were treated in such terrible ways. However, if you would like to experience exactly what I’m talking about, you’ll have to go read the book for yourself.

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Laser show shines

April 15, 2011 Comments off

By Annie Hunter, Campus Life Editor

The Rollins Planetarium is showing two shows that are, pardon my pun, a bit out of this world until April 15. “Laser Beatles” and “Laser Pop,” certainly know how to make an impression.

“Laser Beatles,” like the real Beatles, just got trippier as it progressed. There were dancing fish, spinning images of John, Paul, George and Ringo and characters from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band popping up over the screen. It didn’t help that all the images were either red or green, like some kind of raver’s Christmas.

When Beatles’ characters weren’t on the screen, there were these squiggly lines shimmying and shaking to the beat.

All of this, however, is very fitting of The Beatles. While the rest of the audience seemed to enjoy the show, the little boy in front of me was a pretty tough critic.  He screamed and cried for a good portion of the program, but I guess if I was four years old and saw John Lennon’s giant head bobbing up and down on the ceiling, I would cry too.

“Laser Pop” opened with ‘N Sync’s “Pop” and followed it up with P!nk’s “Get the Party Started.”

Naturally, I assumed this evening would be a walk down memory lane to the soundtrack of the early 2000’s.  That thought didn’t last long as the show launched into a medley of Beatles’ songs, the exact same ones I just heard an hour ago.

Most of the graphics were the same from “Laser Beatles” so it’s not like the creators didn’t know they were scaring small children with images of 60s superstars twice. Randomly tossed into the mix were Sting’s “Desert Rose” and “Cosmic Thing” by the B-52s.  It all ended with “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down.

I’m still trying to figure out the logic behind the music. Maybe the creator just hit shuffle on his iTunes. Is it a Tony-award-winning show?  Absolutely not, but for a planetarium program, it beats listening to a monotone voice explain the moon’s surface.
This post copyedited on April 18, 2011.

Remember V for Vendetta

April 5, 2011 Comments off

By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer

A copy of V for Vendetta can be found in YHC's Duckworth library.

V for Vendetta is a film released in 2006 based on the original graphic novel written by Alan Moore. The storyline of the film follows the suave, sophisticated vigilante known only as V, played by Hugo Weaving. The movie surrounds V as he carries out his plan of destroying the fascist government of a dystopian Britain in order to bring about a free society. Along the way, he adopts a protégé, Evey, played by Natalie Portman, whom he helps morph into a powerful and confident figure.

This film is fantastic to watch. It is directed by James McTeigue, known for directing the Matrix trilogy. The film adaptation is written by the Wachkowski brothers, who are responsible for writing the trilogy as well. The group teamed up again, and the result is a riveting ride that keeps you interested the whole way through.

V for Vendetta never ceased to excite me throughout. As the film progressed, I was eager to see how V would topple the government he despised, how or even if Evey would transform, and if the leader of the government would be dealt rightful punishment.

My favorite part of the whole film is the character V himself.  While you never actually see Weaving’s face, he is completely alive behind the famous grinning mask he dons.  His chivalrous mannerisms, taste for the arts and highly impressive vocabulary make him appear as more than a vigilante longing to eradicate the institution of government. Another great talent in the film is Natalie Portman.  She recently won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Black Swan, and it is evident her greatness has not only been recent.  She truly shines through as a conflicted young woman caught in the moment of the chaotic state of the country.  Her confused and doubtful emotions both fill her face and are shown in her behavior. Portman went as far as to shave her head in the film, while maintaining a tearful performance as her locks are removed.

Anyone who is looking for a magnificent film to watch should look no further. Those who are especially interested in those about revolutions and uprisings, this is a no brainer.  Also, those who are fans of the graphic novel should certainly watch. V for Vendetta has great performances, an intriguing story and, most importantly, is not a bore to watch.  The film is a success in all aspects. I give it an A.

Armadillo Grill will satisfy appetite

April 5, 2011 Comments off

By Kyle Huneycutt, A&E Editor

The Armadillo Grill is located on the Murphy Highway on the west side of the road just north of the 515/129 intersection. Photo by Ashton Jones

When I first heard that there was a new Restaurant opening called “The Armadillo Grill,” I will admit that I was having doubts. I suppose the reasoning behind that is because I have been hoping that since Blairsville is now able to serve alcohol, that we would get some popular food chains’ restaurants, but instead we get another locally owned place with a name that makes you suspicious of what they serve. However, I stand corrected. Eating at “The Armadillo Grill” was actually a very satisfying dining experience.

When I first pulled up to the restaurant, I was not extremely impressed due to the lack of parking options and landscaping; although I am willing to forgive that, acknowledging that they are brand new and are no doubt still making important decisions. It should be noted that the place was packed, cars parked in the adjacent field, and many groups of people waiting to be seated.

Upon entering the establishment I thought it had an altogether pleasant atmosphere. Multiple pieces of local art adorned the walls, which are painted a dark red contrasted with natural wood trim, and dim lights hover over the well-spaced tables and booths that are all centered around a rustic fireplace.

About 25 minutes passed before I was seated, and I thought the service was great. Our waitress was polite and well-spoken and ensured that our glasses remained full and our table clear of dirty dishes. The food came out surprisingly fast considering how they busy they were at the time.

The menu consisted of a large variety of items including seafood, pastas, burgers, steaks and an assortment of selections with a southern flare, and some that were refreshingly unique.

I indulged in the “Pecos chicken Parm” which consisted of a large flour tortilla shell full of penne pasta with Alfredo sauce topped with three large portions of fried chicken and provolone cheese, served with an assortment of other spices that made for a delicious and filling meal at a decent price of $11.99.

Altogether, I had a very enjoyable experience and left full and content. The “Armadillo Grill” appears to have a bright future ahead of itself, and based on my personal dining experience I give it an A and look forward to going again soon.

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Spring concert adds European flavor

March 4, 2011 Comments off

By Lauren Robinson, Opinions Editor

On the evening of Tuesday, March 1st, the Young Harris Choir held their Spring Concert in the Clegg Auditorium. With the attention of peers, alumni and community members alike, they were directed by Jeffrey Bauman, associate professor of music, and accompanied by Anita Guss.

Upon entering the Clegg Auditorium, the choir members took their places as the program began. The choir formed a semi-circle around the audience and began to sing “Heilig” to welcome the audience. Once the choir had welcomed everyone in song, they took their places on stage and continued with the program.

Throughout the night the choir would sing, Ave Maria arranged by Franz Beibl, Cry Out and Shout arranged by Knut Nystedt, Blagoslovi, dushe moya Ghspoda arranged by Ippolitof-Ivanof  Ave Maris Stella arranged by Edvard Grieg, Dixie arranged by Norman Luboff, The Last Words of David arranged by Randall Thompson, Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal arranged by Alice Parker, With a Voice of Singing arranged by Martin Shaw, Battle Hymn of the Republic arranged by Peter Wilhousky, Shenandoah arranged by James Erb, Great Day arranged by Moses Hogan, Benediction arranged by John Ness Beck, Ezekiel Saw the Wheel arranged by William Dawson, Dziedot Dzimu, Dziedot Augu arranged by Alfred Kalnins, He Never Failed Me Yet arranged by Robert Ray and The Awakening arranged by Joseph Martin.

There were two soloists that performed that evening. A  song entitled Great Day written by Moses Hogan, a famous American composer, was accompanied by soloist JeRee Dukes, a sophomore, music major with a concentration in vocal performance from Lincolnton. The second piece, He Never Failed Me Yet, written by American composer, Robert Ray was accompanied by soloist Lateefah Dooling, a freshman musical theatre major from Fort Lauderdale.

“I thought the choir concert was really wonderful. It was beautifully organized. My favorite part was when Lateefah did her solo,” said Nadia Dean, a freshman history major from Lithia Springs.

Dooling, a member of the choir, also believed that the concert when well when she said, “I think we rocked the house. Many of the audience members have told me that we have really improved this year; and Mr. Bauman is doing a great job as director.”

Nearly one-half of the selection of music was native to European countries and the other half being American composed pieces. Many of these musical selections will be sang during the choir’s European tour this May.

The music department will have several upcoming performances including, Acapalooza on March 25 and 26 at 7:00 p.m. and YHC’s Guitar Ensemble on March 21 at 7:00 p.m.

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YHC performs with Robert Sheldon

March 2, 2011 Comments off

By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer

YHC's Wind Ensemble warms up before their performance last Tuesday. Photo by Nadia Dean

This past Tuesday, the Young Harris College Wind Ensemble performed with renowned composer Robert Sheldon at the Glenn Auditorium.  Sheldon, internationally known for his work, came to guest compose, playing many of his own pieces, and provided insight to YHC’s students.

Sheldon is the recipient of a plethora of awards.  Some of the awards include the Volkwein Award, International Outstanding Bandmaster Award and the American Society of Composers.  Sheldon has also been given the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publisher’s Standards Award 24 times.

Along with his many awards and recognition, Sheldon has taught almost three decades in Florida and Illinois public schools as well as the University of Florida, Florida State University, Illinois Central College and Bradley University.

“This was our first time having [Robert Sheldon] come to campus,” said Mary Land, senior instructor of music and director of bands. “We wanted him, because he is an expert in the field. He came and spent the day with our students and showed them how he created his music.  It was very insightful.”

With these credentials, many students and locals came to see him.  All in attendance seemed to enjoy themselves and were impressed by the show.

“It was fantastic,” said a resident from Hayesville. “It was a good performance.  I am amazed by all the talent in this small town.  Robert Sheldon’s music was great.”

Sheldon brought much life to the show causing everyone to laugh.  The YHC Wind Ensemble offered him gifts to express gratitude for his time which he humbly accepted.  One of the gifts was a giant origami crane brought out as Sheldon explained how that was his inspiration for one of his songs.

The performance featured many of Sheldon’s own pieces that the YHC Wind Ensemble played.  Some of his works showcased were Visions of Flight, In the Center Ring and One Thousand Cranes.

The students seemed to like Sheldon, his work, and also the fact that he worked with them.

“[Sheldon] is amazing.  It was really great having him work with us.  He’s really inspiring,” said Jeff Stewart, a freshman music education major from the city of Young Harris.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs successfully

March 2, 2011 Comments off

By Christelle Vereb, Staff Writer

Cast members Michelle Honaker and Sarin Rossi put on the finishing touches to their costumes for one of the final performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photo by Emily Hadden

The Young Harris College Theater department performed Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on February 17-26 at Dobbs Theatre. The show sold out all 100 seats every night of showing.

In order to sell out each night, Director Rachel Chaves enlisted the performances of YHC theater students. The cast included Austin Freeman as Theseus, Ashley ware as Hippolyta, Josiah Bridges as Egeus, Sarin Rossi as Hermia, Ryan Bender as Lysander, Sam Walker played Demetrius, Michelle Honaker played Helena, and Nancy Soule played Petra Quince. While Brandon Engelskirchen played Nick Bottom, Tyler Ogburn played Francis flute, Hayley Hoopingarner played Snout and Chase Alford played Starveling.

The cast continues with Hannah Guest as Snug, Matt Jones as Puck, Tory Gravitt as Peaseblossom, Eddie Collins theater teacher played Oberon. To finalize the cast Misty Barber as Titania, Stephanie Sexton played Cobweb, Alyssa Lowery played Mustardseed, while Nicole Conrad played Moth, and Jordan Fleming played Philostrate and Seth Peters played the musician.

As the show was to be put on, the performers had to learn the lines Shakespeare, Nicole Conrad the character of Moth said, “I didn’t have many lines to learn, but I think the toughest part about putting on the show was learning the lines. Shakespeare writes with a rhythm, with an iambic meter, if a person messes up on one word, then that throws off the rest of the sentence. Therefore, we had to work really hard on that.”

Others contributing to the show includes scene and sound designer, Rob Sturgess, costume designer Kari Beth Rust and lightning designer Robert B. Fulton.

The production staff included Rob Sturgess as technical director, custom shop supervisor Kari Beth Russ, stage manager Riley Noble, assistant director, and fight director Josiah Bridges, composer Seth Peters, choreographer Misty Barber, movement consultants Ki Curtis and George Koller. Assistant costume designer Tyler Ogburn, assistant lighting designer Becca Armstrong,  assistant sound designer and sound board operator Evan McLean, assistant stage manager Ashley Loyd,  properties artisans Marvin Hemphill, Brittany Hester and Laurie Tossing.

Production staff continues with scenic artists Michael Brown and Liz McEntyre, light board operator Paige Crawford, scenic construction crew included Josh Gentry, Brittany Hester, Haley Hoopingarner, Ashley Loyd and Riley Noble. The electric crew included Rebecca Armstrong, Emily Espy, Austin Freeman, Josh Gentry, Brittany Hester, Hayley Hoopingarner and Riley Noble. The wardrobe crew included Rebecca Fordyce, Katie Marlowe, Megan Ray, Dontay Scott and Sierra Vennes.

Scenic artist Liz McEntyre said, “I was really worried about the art in the show, but everything turned out really good. The actors did a really great job, and the scenes looked really good.”

With sold out shows every night, audience responses have been positive thus far.

Freshman Kelly Dessomes, a native of Statesboro and undecided major, was in attendance. Dessomes said, “It was really funny. I had a great time. The actors and actresses were excellent. The atmosphere was great, and the singing at the end made my night.”

While YHC students enjoyed the show, perspective students from other schools also came to enjoy the show.

Visiting student Annie Lavvorn a freshman of Jacksonville State University said, “The show is really good. Most of the actors are really good. The way they get into their characters is great, and because of that the show is made into a really fun experience.”

Lavvorn is planning on transferring to YHC next semester to major in music.

The show has received raving reviews, setting up big expectations for YHC’s production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Carousel.

The theater will host Delta Gamma’s The Actor’s Nightmare on March 2-3, Rogers and Hammerstein’s Carousel on April 15-17, and Delta Gamma’s Doubt in April. All these performances will be held in Dobbs Theatre.