Archive | January, 2016

Tusculum student receives internship opportunity at PriceWaterhouseCoopers

Tusculum student receives internship opportunity at PriceWaterhouseCoopers

Posted on 31 January 2016 by

Michael Fernando, a senior Tusculum College student from Sri Lanka majoring in accounting, general management and economics and international business, has accepted an offer of internship at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Charlotte, N.C.

According to Robin Lay, director of career services at Tusculum, Fernando is the first Tusculum student to obtain an internship with a “Big Four” accounting firm.

Michael Fernando

Fernando has made an impact on the Tusculum campus. He is president of the Student Government Association, chairperson of the Student Philanthropy Council and president of the Pioneer Business Club.  He is an active member of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, the Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, the Study Abroad and Global Awareness organization and the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature.

“I am grateful for the confidence that PwC has placed in me,” said Fernando. “I intend to represent our college well and excel in fulfilling my duties with the company. I owe this great privilege to some very important people, especially Dr. Michelle Freeman, who tirelessly worked hard to ensure that her accounting students had a thorough understanding of the accounting discipline and opportunities within the industry. Her commitment to the professional success of her students is what motivated me to think differently, dream big and achieve what I have achieved today. I must also thank Ms. Robin Lay for her hard work in ensuring that students are career ready; her guidance was instrumental in my receiving this opportunity.”

Fernando added, “I must also thank my colleagues at Unaka Company Inc. who have consistently added value to my experience as an intern with their company. They have always supported my personal and professional growth and are excited about my next steps. I thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to attend Tusculum College and my parents who have worked so hard to ensure that I have the ability to pursue my education.

“I have learned so much from the faculty, staff and students at Tusculum College. As my time here as a student at Tusculum comes to an end, I look forward to my journey ahead. With courage and humility, I will travel to the frontier. I will always be a Pioneer.”

According to their website, PriceWaterhouseCoopers offers more than 700 internships annually across 29 countries and more than 88 percent of those interns accept careers with the company once they graduate.

Fernando plans to graduate in the spring, and either pursue a career with PriceWatehouseCoopers or attend East Tennessee State University for graduate school, also with a focus on accounting.

At Tusculum, Fernando provides mentoring and guidance to his fellow students as a tutor and as a resident assistant in one of the resident halls on campus. He has also been involved in Theatre-at-Tusculum, including a memorable role as “The Ghost of Christmas Past” in the 2013 production of “The Christmas Carol.”
An excellent student, he has been named to the President’s and Dean’s List during his time at Tusculum. His excellence as a freshman in an accounting course typically taken by upperclassmen led to an internship position at Plus Mark. Fernando has also worked internships at the accounting firm of Blackburn Childers and Steagall and Unaka Company Inc., where he currently is employed.


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Valentine’s Dinner and Swing Dance to benefit Tusculum College band program

Valentine’s Dinner and Swing Dance to benefit Tusculum College band program

Posted on 31 January 2016 by

Dinner, dancing and romance are on the agenda for the Valentine’s Day Dinner/Swing Dance, set for Saturday, Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m., at the General Morgan Inn.

The evening event includes a reception, free dance lessons and a steak and shrimp dinner. Following dancing, a special dessert course will be served. Providing the music will be the Tusculum College Pioneer Jazz Band, along with special guests.

“When we decided to do a fundraiser for the band program, we were looking for a way to also provide entertainment to the Greeneville community,” said David Price, director of music at Tusculum College. “Spending a night dancing and eating good food with your sweetheart is what Valentine’s Day is all about.”

For anyone interested in honing skills for the dance floor, basic swing dance instruction will be offered immediately prior to the event from 6-6:45 p.m. by Dr. Bob and Christine Thorpe. The Thorpes have participated and competed in dance events across the southeastern United States for more than 20 years.

The Thorpes have been dancing together for 20 years and seize every opportunity to attend workshops, competitions and dance events from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati
and all over the southeastern US. They have taken private instruction in many styles of dance including Ballroom East and West Coast Swing, Waltz, Foxtrot, Carolina Shag and Latin Rumba, Cha-Cha and Tango.

Ticket prices for the event are $50 per person and include dance tickets, free dance lessons, an opening reception, dinner and a special dessert. Please call in advance to request a vegetarian substitution. A cash bar will be available.

Tickets are available for purchase at the General Morgan Inn or by contacting Price at 423-636-7303 or emailing A hotel package special is also available by contacting the General Morgan Inn at 423-787-1000.

Special table reservations are available for larger group seating by contacting Price.

The Pioneer Band Program at Tusculum College began in 2010, with the creation of the Pioneer Pep Band. The Pep Band became a much-enjoyed feature of the 2010 Pioneer football and basketball seasons, as the band performed at the Pioneer Club tailgate parties before each home football game and during pregame and half-time festivities.

Since that time a concert band, jazz band, marching band, handbell choir and several small ensembles have been added to the program. The groups play several events on campus each year, as well as events in the community.



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Interest being sought for annual Keeneland trip to benefit Women’s Soccer program

Interest being sought for annual Keeneland trip to benefit Women’s Soccer program

Posted on 29 January 2016 by

The annual Keeneland trip is scheduled for April 23 and 24 this year. As in year’s past it will feature a trip to Coolmore Stakes Day, a Kentucky Derby qualifier race, at Keeneland Race Track on Saturday, April 23. The trip is an annual  benefit to support the Pioneer Women’s Soccer Team.

There will be two options available. A day option includes entrance ticket to the races, lunch vouchers at the track, grandstand seating, race program and a tailgate dinner following the races. The overnight option includes all the day option amenities, overnight hotel accommodations at the Clarion Hotel and Sunday, April 24, activities to include breakfast at the hotel, a private horse farm tour (possibly to Coolmore’s Ashford Stud Farm and see Triple Crown winner American Pharoah) and a Kentucky bourbon tour.
Bus transportation will be available from Greeneville in both options.

Please contact Women’s Soccer Coach Mike Joy as soon as possible if you are interested in this trip as he is determining how many tickets to purchase. Please contact him at or 423-636-7321 (ext 5321).  The estimated cost for the trip is $119 for the day option and the overnight option is $189. However, please note the final cost will not be known until after the tickets are purchased.

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Five alumni events planned for February

Five alumni events planned for February

Posted on 29 January 2016 by

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Lesser known Supreme Court cases that have had a significant impact to be focus of lecture Feb. 9

Posted on 29 January 2016 by

Uncovering cases from the annals of the highest court in America that may not have the popular recognition of Brown v. Board of Education or Roe v. Wade but have had as significant impact on the nation will be the focus of a presentation Tuesday, Feb. 9, at Tusculum College.

“American Civil Rights and Liberties: Little Known Supreme Court Cases That Have Made a Big Impact” will be presented by Dr. David Scott at 7 p.m. at the Behan Arena Theatre in the lower level (side entrance) of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on campus. The presentation is part of the Cicero Lecture Series and Tusculum Arts Outreach’s Acts, Arts, Academia 2015-16 performance and lecture series.

Dr. Scott, visiting instructor of political science at Tusculum, will be primarily discussing four cases that have been significant for the country during his lecture, but will also share information about other important Supreme Court decisions.

A licensed attorney, Dr. Scott earned his doctorate in political science with a focus in American politics from the University of Tennessee. He holds Juris Doctorate and Master of Dispute Resolution degrees from Pepperdine University.

His teaching and research interests include American constitutional law, civil rights and liberties, the influence of interest groups on the Supreme Court via the submission of amicus curiae briefs and political philosophy.

In his second year as an instructor at Tusculum, Dr. Scott has also taught at Carson-Newman University and Walters State  Community College, as well as serving as a graduate teaching associate at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He and his family live in Greeneville and he serves as an elder at First Christian Church.

Admission to the lecture is $7 per person.

For more information about the lecture, please contact Tusculum Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or

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Tusculum College to participate in regional career fair

Tusculum College to participate in regional career fair

Posted on 28 January 2016 by

Originally scheduled for Jan. 25, the event will be open to the public.

“The Interstate Career Fair is an opportunity for students to make direct connections with employers,” said Robin Lay, director of career services at Tusculum College. “This is where students learn about professional opportunities and how to talk about themselves professionally.”

With more than 70 employers and graduate schools seeking qualified candidates, there will be opportunities for full-time, part-time, internship and summer positions.

Lay said, “Career fairs are incredibly valuable. When students talk to potential employers and graduate school representatives, it really brings it home what they’ve learned.”

Employers from across the East Tennessee region will be recruiting at the fair, and assistance with resumes, interview preparation and job-databases will be provided at no cost by the Tennessee Career Coach staff, who will also attend the event. For more information about Tennessee Career Coach, visit

Sponsored by the Interstate Career Council, the Interstate Career Fair provides students and alumni the opportunity to network with employers and graduate schools.

The Interstate Career Council consists of 17 colleges and universities, including Tusculum, Bluefield State College, Carson-Newman University, Concord University, East Tennessee State University, Emory & Henry College, King University, Lincoln Memorial University, Milligan College, Northeast State Community College, Old Dominion University, Southwest Community College, Tennessee Wesleyan College, University of Virginia at Wise, Virginia Highlands Community College, Virginia Tech and Wytheville Community College.


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Health Care discussion to take place at Tusculum College on Feb. 11

Posted on 28 January 2016 by

A discussion titled “Health Care: How Can We Reduce Costs and Still Get the Care We Need?” will be hosted by Tusculum College on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Commons on the Greeneville campus and in the large first floor classroom at the Knoxville Regional Center. The joint session will be simulcast.

“Everyone has an interest in affordable, quality health care,” said Dr. Ronda Gentry, director for the Center for Civic Advancement at Tusculum. “By participating in this discussion, every individual has the chance to voice their concerns about the costs and quality of health care.”

As part of a national conversation, health care workers, community members and students are invited to discuss finding a balance between the quality and cost of health care. Participants will explore the advantages and disadvantages of the three options that were proposed through the National Issues Forum.

The results of Tusculum College’s discussion will join the results of other conversations across the country in an effort to direct the national response to the need for affordable health care.

Dr. Gentry said, “As an institution of higher education, Tusculum encourages students, faculty and staff, and community members to take part in this discussion and impact it for the better.”

Sponsored by the Center for Civic Arts and the School of Business, this discussion between the Knoxville and Greeneville campuses will be video linked, increasing the depth of responses and sharing of ideas. No RSVP is required. For more information, contact Dr. Ronda Gentry at



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Keep up with the latest alumni news in this month’s Class Notes

Keep up with the latest alumni news in this month’s Class Notes

Posted on 28 January 2016 by









Stuart Hirsten ’87 of Jackson, TN, was one of 20 heads of school from around the world selected for the Columbia University’s Klingenstein Foundation 2016 Head of School Fellowship. While the two-week intensive program will provide Hirstein with the chance to attend classes and planned activities, including weekend and cultural events, he will also get to present on a topic of his choice. His presentation will focus on the life-long impacts of a strong early childhood education. Hirstein is Head of the School at the University School of Jackson.


Cody Baugh ’07 has realized a childhood dream of being a head football coach. He was recently named the head football coach at Cherokee High School in Rogersville, TN. Baugh has been serving as offensive coordinator for the Greeneville High School football team. He was named the GHS head baseball coach last summer after leading the Greeneville Middle School baseball team since 2009. He began teaching weight lifting at Cherokee as the spring semester began in January. Baugh was starting quarterback for the Tusculum football team.



Justin Harvey ’12 ’15 will lead the revitalized men’s golf team at Emory & Henry College when competition begins in the fall of 2016. Harvey, a Kingsport, TN, native, played golf while at Tusculum. He won the Link Hills Invitational title in 2011, finished third that year in the Tri-Cities Men’s Amateur Tour and was the 2010 Golf Channel East Tennessee Amateur Tour player of the year. Harvey is a PGA apprentice and a certified TPI professional. Emory & Henry last fielded a men’s golf team in 2007-08.






Elaine Russell Clark ’60 of Greeneville, TN, passed away January 8, 2016, after a lengthy illness. She had been married to Nayland D. Clark ’58 until his passing in 2013. Mrs. Clark worked a short time at Magnavox before starting her career with the National Park Service, serving more than 40 years at the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site and National Cemetery. For several years, she served as curator at Andrew Johnson’s home and expressed her appreciation of having the opportunity to work in that capacity and become friends with Margaret Johnson Patterson Bartlett, the great-granddaughter of President Andrew Johnson. In 2005, she was presented a certificate of appreciation for her 43 years of continuous service at the historic site by National Park Service Director Fran Mainella who was visiting the site at the time. Active in the Greeneville community, Mrs. Clark served as a member of Little Theatre and sat on its board of directors. She worked on several musicals and was in charge of costumes for children’s plays. Mrs. Clark was a member of Youth Builders and secretary of the Greeneville Arts Guild for many years. She was a member of Asbury United Methodist Church, where she enjoyed singing in the choir and taught children’s Sunday school.


Barbara Ann Fillers Morelock ’69 of Greeneville, TN, passed away January 21, 2016. Mrs. Morelock devoted her career to education, teaching in the Greene County School System, mostly at Mosheim Elementary School. She was a member of the Greeneville-Greene County Retired Teachers Association. Mrs. Morelock was a devoted attendee of Caney Creek Baptist Church. Her survivors include her husband and Tusculum alumnus Lloyd Morelock ’66.



Jonathan Arnold Fitts ’79 of Cleveland, TN, passed away on December 25, 2015. Mr. Fitts was a native of Maryland, where he was a high school All-American basketball player and Eagle Scout. He received a scholarship to Tusculum, where he played both basketball and soccer while earning a Bachelor’s degree in special education. After graduating, he spent 30 years in teaching.



Ronald Thomas Grant ’86 of Knoxville, TN, passed away February 15, 2013. Mr. Grant was the retired director of personnel at the Tennessee School of the Deaf. He was a member and deacon of Central Baptist Church of Bearden.

Aud Murray Ray ’86 of Spring City, TN, passed away January 1, 2016.  A veteran, Mr.Ray served in the U. S. Army. During his career he worked for Memphis Stone and Gravel, E.I. DuPont Company and the Tennessee Valley Authority. At TVA, he was a manager during the construction of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit I and later served as a manager in maintenance at Sequoyah Nuclear Plant. Mr. Ray’s faith and family were his priorities. Over the years, he served in a number of capacities in the United Methodist Church. As a longtime member of Spring City United Methodist Church, Mr. Ray enjoyed being part of the ministries within the community and district. He prayed often, offering thanks and asking blessings for others. Mr. Ray loved family gatherings, boating on Watts Bar Lake, traveling in the United States and Europe and his regular vacations to the Florida coast.



Susan Febuary ’96 of Elizabethton, TN, passed away July 14, 2015, following a brief illness. Mrs. Febuary was a retired teacher from the Carter County School System and had also taught the pre-school class at First United Methodist Church in Elizabethton. She was a member of Southside Christian Church and served on the Food Committee.


Joseph Stanley “Stan” Grimm ’06 of Cleveland, TN, passed away  October 4, 2014. A veteran, Mr. Grimm had served in the U.S. Navy. He was retired from the Whirlpool Corporation, where he served in the engineering department. Mr. Grimm was gifted in working with computers and used that talent to serve his church, Big Springs Baptist Church, on a regular basis.

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Performances of Cinderella rescheduled for Jan. 29-31

Posted on 26 January 2016 by

Winter’s first big snowstorm caused changes of plans for many and Central Ballet Theatre of Greeneville was no exception. However, the show will go on as “Cinderella” takes the stage a week later than originally planned.

Performances are now scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29; 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 31. All performances will be in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus. Tickets for last week’s performances will be honored for the corresponding shows this weekend.

A cast of 110 local and professional dancers will present the original ballet for all ages. Adapted and choreographed by Central Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director Lori Ann Sparks, this unique ballet is based on the familiar children’s story of a virtuous young woman who suffers hardships and injustice but endures and is miraculously rewarded for her courage and kindness. “Cinderella” includes something for everyone: from cute little butterflies and military mice to dancers welding swords in a wolf attack, from a fire-breathing dragon to a manly but kind prince, as well as modest yet beautiful costuming, intricate choreography, inspiring music, creative sets and lighting.

Tickets are still available. General admission is $10. Tickets for students and seniors 60 and over are $5. Tickets are available for purchase at Three Blind Mice, the General Morgan Inn, Richland Creek Gifts, and Tusculum Arts Outreach. Tickets can also be reserved by calling (423) 724-7014 or (423) 798-1620.

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Dead Sea Scrolls to be focus of 2016 Theologian-in-Residence series

Dead Sea Scrolls to be focus of 2016 Theologian-in-Residence series

Posted on 15 January 2016 by

Dr. Travis Williams

The nature of scripture at the time of Jesus, as revealed in the Dead Sea Scrolls will be explored in February during Tusculum College’s annual Theologian-in-Residence lecture series.

Dr. Travis Williams, assistant professor of religion at Tusculum College, will be presenting the series of lectures, “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible: Identifying, Altering and Preserving Scripture in Antiquity.”  Lectures will take place each Tuesday of the month – Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23 – in the series, sponsored by Tusculum College and partially funded by Ron Smith. Each lecture session will begin at 10 a.m. in the Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Commons. The sessions typically end around 2 p.m., and lunch in the college’s cafeteria is included. There is no admission fee to attend the lectures.

Dr. Williams is the first return speaker of the series, now in its 25th year. He previously served as Theologian-in-Residence in 2014, lecturing on the formation of early Christian identity in response to persecution. As a New Testament scholar, Dr. Williams has published extensively in the area of I Peter. More recently, the Dead Sea Scrolls have come to hold an important place in his research. He has written on the interpretive commentaries on scripture found within the scrolls, particularly as they relate to the phenomenon of inspired exegesis, and he is currently exploring the traditions surrounding the Teacher of Righteousness within the Dead Sea communities.

Although a native of East Tennessee, Dr. Williams received his doctorate in New Testament from the University of Exeter in England. After moving back to the U.S., he began his career at Tusculum in 2010. His teaching duties at the college focus primarily on the Jewish and Christian traditions; however, he regularly leads courses that fall within the broader sphere of religious studies.

During the first session on Feb. 2, “What are the Dead Sea Scrolls?,” Dr. Williams will introduce the Dead Sea Scrolls, explaining what they are and what they are not, as well as detailing the history of their discovery.

“Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls,” the second session on Feb. 9, will focus on identifying the group associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls, considering various Jewish movements from the Second Temple period.

The third session on Feb. 16, “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Transmission of Scripture,” will examine the fluidity of the scriptural text as revealed in the biblical manuscripts found at Qumran and review the phenomenon of “Rewritten Bible.”

In the concluding lecture on Feb. 23, Dr. Williams will discuss the view of continuing revelation which was held by the authors of the scrolls and its impact for understanding the nature of authoritative scripture.

Although the series has no admission fee, reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation for the series, please call 423-636-7304 or email eestes@tusculum.ed

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Tusculum students welcome Bill Darden

Posted on 14 January 2016 by

Tusculum College was pleased to host Mr. Bill Darden, field representative for Congressman Phil Roe, as a speaker at a student luncheon today. Mr. Darden spoke to the students about work as a "political staffer" and gave them tips for being successful post-graduation. Top of the list were honing time management and conversational skills. The event was co-hosted by Career Services and the Department of Political Science.

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Central Ballet Theatre of Greeneville to bring “Cinderella” to the stage Jan. 22-24

Central Ballet Theatre of Greeneville to bring “Cinderella” to the stage Jan. 22-24

Posted on 13 January 2016 by

Sarah Bosse and Dillon Davis portray Cinderella and the Prince in Central Ballet Theatre's upcoming performance of the classic tale.

Central Ballet Theatre of Greeneville will bring the beloved story of “Cinderella” to the stage Jan. 22-24 with some novel and interesting twists to the classic tale.

A cast of 110 local and professional dancers will present the original ballet for all ages in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus. Four performances are scheduled: 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22; 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 24.

NOTICE: The Friday and Saturday performances of the Cinderella ballet have been postponed until next week due to weather. The Sunday, January 24 performance of Cinderella will take place at 2 pm at Annie Hogan Byrd Auditorium.

Adapted and choreographed by Central Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director Lori Ann Sparks, this unique ballet is based on the familiar children’s story of a virtuous young woman who suffers hardships and injustice but endures and is miraculously rewarded for her courage and kindness. While she was writing the storyline of Cinderella, Sparks said she read every version of the fairy tale she could, including versions from foreign countries that helped her create a the title character as a young lady with great depth and generosity.

“Cinderella” includes something for everyone: from cute little butterflies and military mice to dancers welding swords in a wolf attack, from a fire-breathing dragon to a manly but kind prince, as well as modest yet beautiful costuming, intricate choreography, inspiring music, creative sets and lighting.

The ballet will feature three guest professional dancers, Dillon Davis, Joshua Krutzberg and Nanako Yamamoto.

Davis, a dancer and teacher at Chattanooga Ballet, portrays the Prince. Davis started his professional career as a trainee at Alabama Ballet under the direction of Wes Chapman. After completing his training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Davis performed professionally with Nashville Ballet and Dance Theater of Tennessee.

Audiences may recognize Kurtzberg who has danced roles in previous Central Ballet productions including “Rapunzel” and “Caspian: Return to Narnia.” In “Cinderella” he will appear as the lead character’s father. Kurtzberg began his training on full scholarship with Atlanta Ballet. After four years, he was offered a company position but pursued his training with the Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy on full scholarship. Kurtzberg danced with American Repertory Ballet (ARB) for six years and now resides in Atlanta

Yamamoto, a principal with ARB, appears as the Coral Fairy in “Cinderella.” A native of Japan, she attended the prestigious Royal Ballet Summer School, then auditioned for and was accepted to the Elmhurst School for Dance in association with the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Yamamoto has performed for his Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and for the grand re-opening of Birmingham’s town hall. She has danced with ballet companies in Florida and is in her fourth season with ARB.

Sparks, the company’s resident professional dancer, returns to the stage in the role of Cinderella’s mother. In addition to serving as artistic director, storywriter and choreographer, Sparks is the founder of Central Ballet School and Central Ballet Theatre and is ballet mistress for both.

Company dancer Parke Brumit plays the role of Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s wicked stepmother. Brumit majored in business administration and trained in ballet technique under Sydney Warren at Virginia Intermont College. As well as dancing with the ballet, she serves as Central Ballet Theatre’s board president and has garnered financial support from the generous donors in the community.

The title role of Cinderella will be danced by Dandridge Sarah Bosse. Greenevillian Hannah Randles will portray the Fairy Godmother.

Every part of the ballet has been designed, created and built by local community members. Helping lead a host of volunteers are Courtney Beddingfield, who oversees social media; Sara Aiken, who coordinates the children’s backstage; Cindy Kricko, who manages the box office; Kimberly Boschee and Jody Johnson, who have designed costumes and coordinated the sewing process, and Dave Johnson, who had edited music and is responsible for the sound during the productions. Parents became involved by assisting in set production and working in every facet of the backstage world of a production.

Talented local artists have added their touch to the production. “We are so blessed to work with Nan Anderson and Sherry Peters who paint the huge sets,” says Blair Berry, production manager for Central Ballet. “Brian Sparks, along with master builder, Scott Gailey, do a fantastic job of building several complicated sets, and we are always thankful for Frank Mengel’s (technical director for Tusculum College Arts Outreach) technical oversight and brilliant lighting design.” Central Ballet Theatre also appreciates the corporations, local business and individuals who financially support the organization to make productions such as “Cinderella” possible.

The thirteenth production for Central Ballet, “Cinderella” continues a tradition for the company in performing story ballets. Sparks said she enjoys the story ballets “because the pieces are highly educational and fulfilling in the sense that they encompass every part of a dancer’s being – physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. The most exciting part of my job is taking an empty stage, then placing dancers on it. From there, they learn ballet movement that displays what I want them to ‘say.’ Using music that sets the tone of the scene, we add costuming, sets and props, and Frank adds lighting. Viola! We have an entire scene. The scenes add up to a ballet that tells an amazing life story.

“A nice addition to any ballet is a variation of choreography. In this ballet, four of the dances are choreographed by other professionals, Marilyn duBrisk, Jen Kintner, Joshua Kurtzberg and Elizabeth Sparks, adding different styles of dancing. Central Ballet Theatre strives for excellence in all we do so as to honor the One who gives us this beautiful art of dance and to share this gift with the community. My goal is to see the audience, and dancers alike, leaving the theater uplifted and joyful from watching and participating in the ballet.”

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors 60 and over. Tickets are available for purchase at Three Blind Mice, the General Morgan Inn, Richland Creek Gifts, and Tusculum Arts Outreach. Tickets can also be reserved by calling (423) 724-7014 or (423) 798-1620.


Portraying the main characters of "Cinderella" are, from left, Parke Brumit as Lady Tremaine, Elizabeth Sparks as Anatasia Tremain, Sophia Sparks as Styles Tremaine, Hannah Randles as the Fairy Godmother, Emma Beddingfield as Bluebird, Dillon Davis as The Prince and Sarah Bosse as Cinderella. (Photos accompanying this article and the front teaser by Hiliary Bowman, courtesy of PicsByHil Photography)

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