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Cabaret performs with all corsets off

October 2, 2010 Comments off

By Ellen Mayfield, Staff Writer

Ashley Ware from Dacula plays one of the Kit Kat girls in Young Harris College's production of Cabaret. Photo by Jacob Stone

Kicking off the first theatrical performance of the Young Harris College 2010 fall semester is “Cabaret,” a dark comedy following two improbable love stories. Based on a play by John Van Druten, “Cabaret” is a “story set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, focusing on the fantasy-like world of the Kit Kat Klub where English performer Sally Bowles has a relationship with Clifford Bradshaw.”

Set to be held in Dobbs Theater from September 23 through October 2, tickets are $5 for students and faculty, and $15 for adults. Tickets can be bought online from the Young Harris box office website, or you can call 706-379-4307.

“This show is different from a lot of the musicals we do.  It has fabulous music and can be very funny, but can be pretty dark too,” says Eddie Collins, assistant professor of theater and department chair. “It deals with some very mature subject matter, as you would imagine from a play set in a nightclub in Berlin during the rise of the Nazi party.”

Cheyenne Teeple, a sophomore theater major says “many people will come to ‘Cabaret’ not knowing what it is really about. They will come thinking it is just a collaboration of upbeat dance numbers and suggestive choreography. But it is so much more than that, it is a tribute to a horrific time in history.”

Collins says the play can be described by the last two lines of the play: “There was a Cabaret and there was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany, and it was the end of the world and I was dancing with Sally Bowles– and we were both fast asleep.”

Opening night was Thursday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m. and closing night tonight, October 2 at 10:00 p.m.

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Poverty an issue we can all solve

September 17, 2010 Comments off

By Ellen Mayfield, Staff Writer

EllenA few months ago I read an article in a magazine about a man who bought a yacht for $1.2 billion dollars. The luxurious yacht came complete with a swimming pool, a helicopter and its own submarine. My heart sank when I read the article.

Somewhere in the world there is a man who owns a billion dollar yacht, and at the same time there is a child who has no family, no food and no home. The idea that there is such an enormous “rich-poor” gap breaks my heart. Sure, if you earn your money, you can do whatever the heck you want to do with it. But with money comes responsibility- a lot of responsibility.

Think of how much food $1.2 billion dollars would buy. Think of how many homes, schools, orphanages and care centers you could build with so much money. And one man spends it on a single yacht, for one single family, for one single reason: greed.

Poverty is perhaps the greatest issue of our generation, if not every generation. We hear so much about it, see so many ads on TV, see so much publicity and some of us wear TOMS (a shoe company who’s One for One program donates a new pair of shoes to a needy child for each pair of shoes sold). But do we actually do anything?

One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing how much money celebrities spend on humanity and charity. So Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt donated $10,000 to a charity, but what about the other millions and millions of dollars they spend on homes and cars and clothing they don’t even need? If the world actually, seriously and truly cared about the state of those at the bottom, I’m convinced there might not be any poverty. I understand that government and law enforcement and wars have a lot to do with this issue, but so does our apathy and greed.

Most of us have nothing close to $10,000 dollars to give to charity, but we do have an abundance of other riches. Instead of taking your old clothes to a consignment shop to get money, try taking them to goodwill instead. Instead of leaving extra food at a restaurant, ask for a to-go box and give it to a homeless person or someone in need. As citizens of this planet and as children of God, it is our job to take care of one another. Compassion and love should always dominate our judgment and greed.

I encourage all of you to get involved in something greater than yourself. Volunteer somewhere, give your time, give your love, teach or build things. Do something. Remember that there will always be someone worse off than you, and when you think you have nothing to give, think again.

Categories: Opinions Tags: , ,

Bringing the funk to YHC

September 12, 2010 3 comments

By Ellen Mayfield, Staff Writer

The Visualizers outside of the Annex. Photo by Cassidy Jordan

Jam session: a sacred word used by musicians that encompasses the meaning of life. For The Visualizers, a native band of Young Harris College, jamming is an every night, rain or shine, feel-good necessity.

Playing mostly funk music in their dorm rooms, YHC students Leon Payne, Adam Higgins, CJ Cypress and Sean Dorough have started branching out to bigger things.

While the band has played four public shows, they jam almost every night in their dorm rooms. According to Higgins, “what we play in our rooms is pretty much show-quality stuff because we just improvise anyways. It’s not hard for us to throw a show together.”

Improvisation is a major component of jam bands. It simply means that as one person leads with a beat or tune, the others soon follow with the rest of the sound. Often times for the listener, the assumption can be made that the band has rehearsed the song many times because it flows so well. Some famous bands that are well known and loved for this style are Dave Matthews Band, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.

“With most of our music, we don’t even know what it’s gonna sound like until we start playing,” Cypress said. “Sometimes things will take a weird turn, and it ends up sounding great.”

So what exactly is funk music? Funk is a music genre originating in the ’60s that blends soul, jazz and rhythm, and blues. Perhaps the most definable funk instrument is the Hammond organ. The most common Hammond is the Hammond B-3 organ which is known for its distinct electric sound often found in progressive rock and blues-rock bands.  For The Visualizers, Adam Higgins is the master of the Hammond B-3 as well as the other keyboard instruments. Leon Payne and Sean Dorough play guitar, while CJ Cypress takes drums. Together, these instruments create the glory that is funk.

With influences such as Parliament Funkadelic, affectionately known as P-Funk, and Rage Against the Machine, The Visualizers know how to bring justice to the term “jam session.” Their favorite place to jam is in the old elementary school across the road, which they like to call “the cave.”

The Visualizers found their start at the YHC summer school program last year. Payne, an RA at the time, decided to get some musicians together to jam in the chapel as a part of a hall program for summer school students. Higgins, Cypress and Dorough were the only ones who came that day.

“All the people were shy; we were the only people who weren’t shy. We’ve been playing together ever since,” says Payne.

Recently, the band played in a battle of the bands contest at Georgia Highlands College in Cartersville. After their performance in the contest, The Visualizers have won another paid gig there in the spring. They played against two other bands who Leon Payne describes as “good artists for their age.” All the proceeds from the contest went to the Relay For Life organization that hosted the event.

You can hear The Visualizers on their MySpace page or playing most any night in the Enotah Hall. Simply follow the funk and you’ll find them.

Check them out here!

Categories: A&E Tags: , ,