of Hope, new CD help put music in kids' hands
By JON YARIAN
Writer and media consultant
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
7, 2009 -- For many Charleston-area students, music class begins
with an inspection of a battered old instrument well past its prime.
Broken pieces are adjusted or reattached, keys and strings are tested,
and a hand-me-down trumpet or trombone is warmed up for one more
performance. Sadly, it's a ritual that takes place every day in
schools that lack the funding or opportunity to replace old and
broken instruments; a significant challenge for school bands and
the musical education of young people.
the release of a new CD and a special benefit concert in December,
a musician-driven initiative is seeking to change that tune. Instruments
of Hope is a nonprofit program dedicated to collecting, repairing
and donating musical instruments for students in school music programs
who otherwise might have difficulty in obtaining them. Saxophonist
Robert Williams and the Worship Arts Department at Seacoast Church
in Mount Pleasant created the program.
serving as worship director for Seacoast's Asheville, N.C., campus,
Williams works with Martin Chalk and the Worship Arts Department
to direct and manage the initiative. A former public school band
director and accomplished performer, Williams has experienced the
challenges of teaching music to students who did not have access
to quality instruments (or to any instruments at all).
remember what it was like to teach kids who couldn't really practice
or get comfortable with their instrument," Williams says. "It
was frustrating to see them struggle and have their creativity held
Whitfield and Robert Williams from Instruments of Hope delivered
nine new musical instruments to members of the Stall High
School band last month. (Photo provided)
to providing instruments at no charge, the program has donated saxophones,
trumpets, trombones, clarinets and more to classrooms throughout
the Charleston and Asheville areas. When funds are raised, Williams
and others find used or discount instruments to meet the specific
needs of local band directors and teachers. Charleston's Money Man
Pawn has helped by selling blocks of multiple instruments at reduced
rates. The instruments are then taken to Fred Sheetz at Pecknell
Music Company, who repairs and restores them for use.
the instruments are obtained and restored, local teachers choose
how they will distribute them. They can allow students to have access
to an instrument for an entire school year, or an instrument can
be given permanently to deserving students who cannot afford to
During this Christmas season, Instruments of Hope will receive funds
from a benefit concert and the release of a new CD featuring local
musicians. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Seacoast
Church in Mount Pleasant. An ensemble led by Williams will perform
jazz versions of favorite Christmas songs and hymns. The group also
features artists Jeanne Radekopf, Bill Whitfield, Martin Chalk,
Tommy Gill, Wayne Mitchum and more. Tickets can be purchased online
on the Long Point campus page.
here to see local jazz artists as they record a song for the
CD "Christmas Time," which will benefit Instruments
companion CD is also available, with a portion of the proceeds from
sales going to purchase instruments. Titled "Christmas Time,"
the release is a live recording of the Christmas concert featuring
hits including "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "O
Christmas Tree," "Noel" and more. The CD is available
through independent local retailers and online via iTunes.
it weren't for Instruments of Hope, we would still be playing on
instruments with duct tape and zip ties," says Bria, an R.B
Stall High School student. The North Charleston high school received
a delivery of nine much-needed instruments in November for the school
a gift to see young people get excited about music," says musician
and Instruments of Hope supporter Bill Whitfield. "All they
ask is a chance to play and we're thrilled to be able to give it
instruments can be dropped off at Seacoast Church, 750 Long Point
Road in Mount Pleasant. To learn more about how to receive instruments
for your class or learn more, contact Robert Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Instruments of Hope, go to http://instrumentsofhope.info.
off a little, would ya?
ANDY BRACK, publisher
7, 2009 -- So
what is it with you folks who can't get enough of tailgating?
like just about everybody these days must think that the only way
they can exist on the road is to be only one car length away whether
it's on Savannah Highway, the Cooper River Bridge or while zipping
down the Interstate (slightly) above the posted limit.
you realize that if you're that close to the back end of another
car that you will be toast if the car in front has to hit the brakes
up. Slow down. Back off a bit. Don't prove to the world that South
Carolina has the world's worst drivers.
I feel like an old guy writing that. But with changes in driving
habits over the last 25 years - more congestion, people talking
on cell phones and (God forbid) people texting on the road - it
seems more dangerous than ever on the road.
it is. Six years ago, South Carolina had 7,274 traffic collisions
in which the primary cause was following too closely. In those,
2,946 were injured and four people died, according to the S.C. Department
of Public Safety. In 2007, there were 8,476 tailgating collisions
in which 2,842 people were injured. No people died.
in just five years, collisions caused by following too closely went
up almost 17 percent.
Police Lt. Chip Searson said local officers are more strictly enforcing
traffic laws to make the roads safer. They're writing more tickets
and stopping more vehicles. And traffic stops aren't just left to
the 21-member police traffic enforcement division, he said. Most
patrol officers write tickets these days, which creates an environment
in which drivers tend to be more cautious
look at some numbers. In 2005, for example, Charleston police had
25 traffic checkpoints - those stops in which police block off an
area and check people's licenses to find possible violations. Already
this year, they've had 288 traffic checks, said Searson.
metric: Charleston police made about 125 driving under the influence
arrests four years ago. In 2008, they cited 662 people for the offense.
attention to making our streets safer for driving seems to be working.
In 2007, there were 5,539 traffic collisions in Charleston. Last
year, the number went down to 5,159 collisions -- an 8 percent drop.
is a very serious quality of life issue for many people - just as
much as somebody breaking into someone's house," Searson said,
adding that traffic officers work to try to control driver behavior.
"The only way I know to do that is to give somebody a ticket"
if they're breaking the law.
back to tailgaters. What do you do if somebody seems to want to
drive through your trunk?
advises that you should slow down and pull to the right to let them
get past you, if you can do so safely.
all have a good -- and safe -- holiday season by slowing down a
little and paying attention to traffic safety.
Brack is publisher of CharlestonCurrents.com. You
can reach him by email
a comment? Send it.
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today, good barbecue or something about your community's government,
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public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents
to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is the Charleston
RiverDogs. The Lowcountrys leader in sports entertainment,
Charleston RiverDogs baseball is an attractive, affordable medium
for your group or business. The RiverDogs develop the next major
league stars for the 26-time World Champion New York Yankees at
one of the finest ballparks in Minor League Baseball -- Joseph P.
Riley, Jr. Park. Three short words sum up the every day approach
taken by the Charleston RiverDogs front office. The brainchild of
club President Mike Veeck, the nine-letter phrase Fun Is Good
is meant to be a guideline and daily reminder of how employees should
approach their jobs and in turn capture the imagination of the fans
to turn them into repeat customers. Call them today at (843) 723-7241
or visit online at: www.RiverDogs.com.
Health System offering free H1N1 flu vaccines
Health System will offer free H1N1 flu shots this week to those
ages 13 and over. Shots will be given in the cafeteria classroom
at the Summerville Medical Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 7;
and in the cafeteria at Trident Medical Center from 9 a.m. to 3
p.m. Dec. 8 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 10; and in the MCMC classroom
at Moncks Corner Medical Center from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 11.
supplies are limited. For more information, please contact 797-FIND
Gibbes offers free
admission, holiday activities on Dec. 12
Gibbes Museum of Art will offer free admission and holiday-related
family activities from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 12 as part of Community
Day, which is sponsored by the Junior League of Charleston. Community
Days are held quarterly to offer visitors a chance to experience
the museum free of charge.
Celebrations Community Day will include holiday art-making activities
for children as well as holiday performances by the Mount Pleasant
Presbyterian Church Children's Choir, Ashley Hall's Caroline's Carolers
and Ashley Hall's Lower School Strings. Beverages will be provided
by Rising High Café. Visitors can also take advantage of
the time to see the special exhibitions "Brian Rutenberg: Tidesong"
and "Daufuskie Island: Photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe."
Gibbes Museum of Art, which has been open since 1905, houses more
than 10,000 works, principally American with a Charleston or Southern
connection, and presents special exhibitions throughout the year.
For more information, go to http://www.gibbesmuseum.org.
Young Professionals group looking for mentors
Charleston Young Professionals (CYP), an initiative of the Charleston
Metro Chamber of Commerce, is looking for experienced business professionals
to be mentors in its fourth mentor program, which begins in January.
With close to 100 mentee participants so far, the CYP mentor program
has helped foster meaningful relationships between members of CYP
and business leaders in the region. The year-long program gives
mentees the opportunity to learn from business leaders and gain
support and guidance, while offering mentors an opportunity to strengthen
ties with the young professional community.
the program, mentors are paired with young professionals who have
similar professional interests. Mentors are required to meet once
a month with their mentee and to take part in CYP events. To fill
out an application, visit http://www.charleston-yp.com.
The application deadline is Dec. 11. For more information, contact
Lindsey Pakkala at 805-3102.
of film based on Sparks novel to be held at Terrace
The premiere of "Dear John," a film based on a Nicholas
Sparks romantic drama about a soldier who falls in love with a conservative
college student, will be held in Charleston in January. Portions
of "Dear John" were filmed around Charleston in late 2008;
an earlier Sparks novel, "The Notebook," was also filmed
in the Lowcountry and earned great reviews across the country.
"Dear John" premiere will take place at the Terrace Hippodrome
at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 24, and the movie's stars are expected to attend.
Tickets are $250 (a portion is tax-deductible) and include the movie
screening and an after-party at the South Carolina Aquarium. Seating
is limited to the first 400 guests. Tickets can be purchased online
7-year-old Daniel Island resident named Braeden Reed has a significant
role in the film. Braeden, who has autism, works with Carolina Autism,
a locally based group that was approached by the movie's producers
for help understanding autism for a role in the film. Carolina Autism's
executive director, Phil Blevins, referred producers to several
boys with autism for auditions, and Reed ultimately won the role.
Autism is a 501-c(3) nonprofit organization that provides early
intervention services to children with autism and housing for adults
with autism. For more information, visit http://www.carolinaautism.org
or call 573-1905.
challenges readers to ask, 'What is my legacy?'
Minute" is a novel by well-known Christian author Joyce Meyers
and is co-authored by Deborah Bedford. Sarah Harper, the main character
in the book, does whatever it takes to get ahead, even at the expense
of those around her. A tragic accident gives Sarah a chance to see
things on the "other side" and provides her the opportunity
to view how her actions impact others. Through this story, Meyers
and Bedford encourage the reader to take a look at the impact their
lives have today. It leaves the reader to ask, "What kind of
influence am I having? What is my legacy?"
Tina Arnoldi, Mount Pleasant, SC
If you have a review of a book, movie, restaurant or local arts
endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to editor Ann
Thrash. Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
described as the most unusual plant on earth, the Venus flytrap
(Dionaea muscipula Ellis) is a terrestrial insectivorous (bug-eating)
plant native to a small section of South Carolina and North Carolina
within an approximately one-hundred-mile radius of Wilmington, North
plant produces highly modified leaves that act as active trapping
mechanisms, snapping shut when small insects crawl across the leaf.
The surfaces of the leaves contain nectar glands along the margins
that produce a sweet substance to attract insects. Small hairs on
the leaf surfaces act as triggering mechanisms. A prey must touch
more than one hair or a single hair twice within a twenty-second
interval for the trap to close. This adaptation allows the plant
to differentiate between a meal and a raindrop or other object dropping
on the leaf. Once the trap is triggered, it closes within a half-second,
trapping the insect inside. Special glands on the leaf surface "digest"
the insect and then the leaf may open again. Each leaf can close
approximately three times before dying or becoming inactive.
unusual plant is found in longleaf pine savannas and on margins
of pocosins (shrub bogs), where light is abundant and soils are
sandy and acidic. These areas are kept open by frequent low-intensity
ground fires that have traditionally burned through the area in
intervals from two to seven years. In South Carolina this species
is currently found only in Horry and Georgetown counties and is
threatened by development, overcollection, and lack of fire. Large
populations occur in the Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve and Cartwheel
Bay Heritage Preserve, both in Horry County.
Excerpted from the entry by Patrick McMillan. To
read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina,
check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information
used by permission.) To
read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina,
check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
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the only time you can get locally grown produce in the Lowcountry.
Here are eight items you'll find fresh from the farm at the Mount
Pleasant Holiday Farmers Market and Craft Show, which will be held
from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Moultrie Middle School. Thanks
to Ashley McKenzie, the town's community development and tourism
officer, for sharing the list. For more on the market - including
the town's plans to give away trees at the event -- see the calendar
hard to beat somebody when they don't give up."
Ruth, baseball legend (1895 - 1948)
Lending: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Dec. 9, Charleston Metro
Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speisseger Drive, Suite 100, North Charleston.
The chamber's Charleston Area Business Council will discuss small-business
lending and how to obtain financing in today's current lending climate.
Cost: $15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. More
American Business Expo: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 10, 10
Storehouse Row, Noisette, North Charleston. The Charleston Metro
Chamber of Commerce's Latin American Business Council (LABC) will
host a seminar and expo to educate attendees on the economic impact
that Latin Americans and their businesses have on our region, and
to offer local businesses an opportunity to exhibit to this community.
The event will also provide Latin American and traditional business
owners with an opportunity to network with industry experts. Cost:
$15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. More info: Email
of Wreaths: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 10, Palmetto Café,
Charleston Place Hotel. Fourth annual festival will feature champagne,
hors d'oeuvres, live music from Silver Lining and wreaths from local
interior designers being auctioned with all proceeds going to the
MUSC Children's Hospital. In addition to the wreaths provided by
members of the American Society of Interior Designers, kids from
the Youth Center at the Charleston Air Force Base will provide several
wreaths as well. Tickets: $10 in advance at the Orient-Express Boutique
at Charleston Place or by calling 937-9142; $15 at the door. Guests
can get parking-ticket validation for the Charleston Place garage
on Hasell Street.
Bliss and Scrooges": 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 10, Omar
Shrine Temple, 176 Patriots Point Blvd., Mount Pleasant. Family-oriented
event to benefit Windwood Farm features Santa, snow, live performances,
the Grinch, Scrooge, shopping from local retailers, carolers, cocktails
and more. Tickets: $5; free for kids age 12 and younger. More info:
Silks Exhibition: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 10, 214 King
Street Gallery, 214 King St. Kimono Silks features new works by
batik master Mary Edna Fraser. Fraser discovered the vintage narrow
silks on a recent Australia trip and has blogged about the experience
A master dyer, Fraser came home with aerial landscapes featuring
batiks, monotypes, oils and archival prints. Exhibition on display
through Jan. 24; gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Monday
through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. More info: 762-2594
or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Messiah": 8 p.m. Dec. 10, Summerall Chapel,
The Citadel. Celebrate the season at the Charleston Symphony Orchestra's
performance of Handel's "Messiah" under the leadership
of conductor Dr. Robert Taylor. Tickets: $15 adults; $5 children.
More info: 723-7528 or visit
Search Workshop: 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 11, Center for Women,
129 Cannon St. Experienced job coaches will offer advice to women
on resumes, cover letters, developing a job-hunting strategy, preparing
for interviews and dealing with changes and transitions. Cost: $20.
Holiday Farmers & Craft Market:
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 12, Mount Pleasant Farmers Market,
Moultrie Middle School, Coleman Boulevard. Annual holiday market
offers locally grown fresh produce, baked goods, hot food, homemade
preserves, hand-crafted gifts by more than 100 local artisans, live
music, and children's activities. Santa will visit the market, listen
to Christmas wishes and hand out candy canes. To honor Arbor Day,
the town will give out free trees to the public at the Arbor Day
tent. Varieties to be offered this year are red bud, native osmanthus
and cherrybark oak.
Conroy Book Signing: 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Blue
Bicycle Books, 420 King St. Conroy will sign copies of his latest
novel, "South of Broad". To secure a place in line, customers
can get tickets for the signing starting Dec. 11. Tickets are free
to customers who purchase a Pat Conroy hardback or have already
purchased "South of Broad" from Blue Bicycle Books (please
bring your receipt). For a full explanation of the guidelines for
the signing or to order a signed copy, go
here online or call 722-2666.
ONGOING AND SOON
"Messiah" Sing-A-Long: 6 p.m. Dec. 20, Citadel
Square Baptist Church, 328 Meeting St., downtown. Sing along with
the Charleston Symphony Orchestra as the musicians perform all the
favorite "Messiah" songs. Admission: $15 adults; $5 children.
More info: 723-7528 or visit
Polar Plunge prep
Homes for Christmas
Enjoy holidays sans lbs.
Instruments of Hope
Armas: Latin biz expo
Be a principal
Women at Gibbes
new food show
on car tags
way of tithing?
over on Sanford
off a little
is time for courage
place for prejudice
fun at Halloween
to old clunker
to squeeze in
on holiday lights
a tourist here
lists of year