Live music returns to Motlow on April 28

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — After a two-year hiatus, the Motlow State Community College Vocal Ensemble and Community Band will perform at the annual Spring Concert on April 28 at 7 p.m. on the Moore County Campus, Eoff Hall, Powers Auditorium, the college announced this week.

“The last time we had a concert at Motlow was in December 2019,” explained Dr. David Bethea, associate professor of Music at Motlow. “Until this semester, we haven’t even been able to play instruments or sing indoors due to COVID.”

The concert will feature a wide array of musical genres from a variety of time periods. The event is free to attend. Donations are welcome and will help support Motlow’s Music Department.

“I am excited for music to come back to Motlow. The students and community members have been working hard all semester to prepare for our first Spring Concert in three years,” said Bethea. “We hope to have a big Motlow and community turnout,” stated Bethea.

The Vocal Ensemble, comprised of students, includes: Mason Buck, Violet Hendricks, Jaden Massengale, J. Poe, Charlotte Simmons, Jessica Stites, and Sylas Zimmerman. The Community Band is comprised of both students and local musicians. Students include: Keegan Kane (guitar), Patrick Lazarus (clarinet), and Jaden Massengale (guitar), J. Poe (trombone), and Billy Powel (oboe) as well as local musicians Paul Bischoff (trombone), Paul Bischoff, Jr. (trumpet), Jason Gospodarek (tuba/bass trombone, Vickie Collingsworth (piano), John Cook (guitar), Kyle Copeland (drums), Noela Suarez (trumpet), and Charlie Vining (bass).

COVID significantly impacted Motlow’s music program. Those majoring in music had to transition to general studies majors because Motlow wasn’t able to offer music courses. With mask mandates and required social distancing restrictions in place, music students were left unable to learn and perform.

“As great as technology is, zoom doesn’t work for live music,” Bethea added. Restrictions were finally lifted at the start of the Spring 2022 semester. Motlow students can once again major in music. Currently, Motlow has seven music majors according to Bethea. Pre-COVID there were about 20.

Students majoring in music at Motlow get to study with professional musicians and singers with master’s degrees. With smaller class sizes than traditional four-year institutions, students get more focused learning opportunities.

“I would love to see the music program back to its pre-COVID state, if not even bigger than it was before,” explained Bethea. “There is no audition process and all students are accepted; even those with no prior music experience.”

Whether interested in performing on stage or working behind the scenes in the music industry, there are many career options available to graduates with an associate degree in music. Pursue your passion for musical excellence. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}