For almost 10 years faculty, staff and students of the Health Sciences campus gathered on their lunch break, twice a semester, to listen to their peers perform at Lee Auditorium. These series of performances became known as the Noon Arts Concert, and on Tuesday, Nov. 3, the concert series will begin again.
According to Bill Andrews, professor and former president of the Arts Council, the Noon Arts Concert began around 2001, prior to the consolidation, and was the brainchild of Dr. Kathy McKie, associate dean of student affairs. The idea behind the concert series came about from a need for an infusion of humanities into the Health Sciences Campus.
“Our idea was that we’re here in this high-tech, focused on-a-goal campus and the one thing that we didn’t have that other larger comprehensive universities had was a humanities program,” Andrews said. “The Arts Council tried to fill that need.”
Originally there were two concerts per school year, but as popularity grew two additional shows were added to the calendar.
“The acts were really good,” Andrews recalled. “Nothing you would be embarrassed about. People would practice and give it all they had. It was truly wonderful to see.”
Melissa Johnson-Bates, marketing and multicultural affairs coordinator for the College of Nursing, was a frequent performer at the Noon Arts Concert. Johnson-Bates initially got involved with the concert series after being prodded by her colleagues.
“A few people in the College of Nursing knew that I sang and encouraged me to sign up,” said Johnson-Bates. “I sang ‘My Funny Valentine’, the Anita Baker rendition, at the first concert.”
As years passed Johnson-Bates continued to represent the College of Nursing at the Noon Arts Concert.
After a brief hiatus, the Noon Arts Concert will return in November, and will feature performers from both the university and the health system.
Johnson-Bates is excited that the concert series is returning and is currently planning a voice performance for the upcoming concert. She will be singing jazz.
“I’m happy that it’s back,” she said. “The most memorable performances for me were student performances. It really did make my day. It is a good diversion from sitting in front of the computer, working.”
Dr. Kevin Frazier, vice dean and professor at the Dental College of Georgia, is excited to represent both the Arts Council and the dental college as the master of ceremonies. He enjoys being a part of the concerts as well as the cultural experience they provide.
“It’s a nice break in the middle of the day,” said Frazier. “It’s fun seeing your peers up there performing, sharing their talents.”
Celeste Ray, senior physical therapist at GRHealth, will be playing the clarinet. Ray regularly performs with both the Savannah River Winds and her church. For her, the concert is not just a chance to perform for others, but also a time to break away from her usual repertoire and perform a different genre of music. Ray is also looking forward to the deviation in her daily schedule that the concert will provide.
“We spend so much time focusing on science and the physical part of the body, but we treat people and there’s more to being a person than the physical,” Ray said. “It’s a chance to address that other part of being human.”
Tricia Perea, Department of Communications and Marketing, used to perform at the Noon Arts Concert as a member of the Medical College of Georgia chorus. She is now organizing the concert and believes it is an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to not only come together to enjoy the music but also to be a part of it.
Attendees can expect to enjoy voice, instrumental and spoken word performances. There will also be an opportunity to win a pair of tickets to see The Peking Acrobats at the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre on March 4, 2016.
The Noon Arts Concert will be held Tuesday, Nov. 3 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Lee Auditorium. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.
Contact Tricia Perea at (706) 721-8800 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.