Artists in Action: New South novelist at JSU
by Hervey Folsom
Special to The Star
Oct 21, 2012 | 1472 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To read a novel about women in the New South and to revisit issues of class, gender and the dark side of family life — all told with both truth and humor — get a copy of “Bound South” by Susan Rebecca White. Better still, come and meet this writer from Atlanta at the Friends of Houston Cole Library’s Fall Speaker event Tuesday, at 7 p.m. in Room 1103B in the library.

Besides “Bound South” (published in 2009), White, who teaches in the creative writing program at Emory University, wrote and published her second novel, “A Soft Place to Land,” in 2010. A third book will be released next year.

“We were interested in inviting White because she was scheduled to appear at the On The Brink Conference of 2010, but snow canceled her appearance,” said Joanne Gates, chair of the board of Friends of the Library. “We are happy that she is now our featured speaker. We believe her works demand attention. Not only does Atlanta play a major role in her two stories; her residency in San Francisco figures prominently in some of her own character’s identities.”

Both novels have been praised by writers such as Kathryn Stockett, author of “The Help.” White has been noted for taking Southern stereotypes and turning them inside out, Gates said, and her fiction contains crisp and specific references to real world events. In addition, her characters are realistically drawn.

Everyone is invited. Refreshments will be served after the presentation.

Hometown Classics Sunday, Oct.28

Kathy Murphy goes to church every day. She drives at least 35 miles both ways from her home to reach First United Methodist Church in Anniston. But since she loves the people she serves in her position there, and because of her love for music, it’s well worth the trip, she says.

Murphy, who is director of music ministries at the church, has been blessed with the best of two worlds: an abundance of musically accomplished members at FUMC, and a congregation that loves performances.

She coordinated Hometown Classics, a concert for the public, five years ago.

“A few of us realized that our personal performance skills [beyond the worship services] needed a challenge,” she said. “As a result, we decided to choose an annual date to perform classical works.”

This year the concert is Sunday, Oct. 28 at 2:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. This year’s concert will be in memory of Sara Collins. “She was our oldest and most distinguished musician and active in the Wesley Bells and The Chancel Choir throughout her years here,” Murphy said. The concert will open with John Ratter’s “The Lord is My Shepherd” by the Chancel Choir with accompaniment by organist James Roberts, and Ethan Owens, oboe.

Instrumental selections will include solos on flute, bassoon, guitar, organ, percussion and piano. Vocalists’ repertoire will cover the gamut of Handel to Puccini. The concert usually ends with a novelty “surprise” piece, Murphy said, and this year will be no exception.

Musicians besides Murphy and Roberts preparing for the program are Louise Ballenger, Teddy Caldwell, Michael Ervin, Laura Fuller and Paige Jones. Also performing will be Tom Smith, Donald Turner, Jennie Wall, Wendy Snelling and Jason Wright. Everyone is invited.

Local movie audition

Open auditions for “Survive The Innocent,” a locally produced full-length feature film, will be today at 1 p.m. at the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts at 501 Broad St. in Gadsden.

Thirty to 50 extras will be cast for this film. Callbacks will be Oct. 28. Those selected as extras must be available to work Nov. 10. All work is on a volunteer basis.

Additional roles to be filled: one male Caucasian, 30-45 years old; one female Caucasian, 30-40 years old; one female Caucasian, 55-70 years old; one female Caucasian, 3-7 years old; five children, 9-13 years old. The film is also looking for volunteer crew workers.

For information, contact director Steven Satterwhite at 256-438-8267.

A Pink Floyd ballet

An original ballet performance under the stars is on the calendar for northeast Alabama this week, complete with an eerie mood in time for Halloween. Termed as a neo-classical ballet set to the entirety of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” (a progressive rock composition released in 1970), the performance is scheduled to premiere in Gadsden’s Moss Glosser Amphitheatre for two evening performances, Thursday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

“Echoes at the Amphitheatre” is a 24-minute composition. It is choreographed to symbolically represent Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” according to Linze McRae, artistic director of the Dance Conservatory in Gadsden. Narrated from the memory of an old mariner, the story tells a supernatural tale of a strange sea voyage, McRae said.

McRae choreographed and developed the concept after discussing the idea with her dancers for many years. “The concept started in my high school English class,” she said. “I could not keep my eyes off of the words, everything about the poem flowed. . . . I began to connect it to Pink Floyd’s ‘Echoes’ around that time.”

Krystin Baird of Alexandria is designing the costumes for the production. Baird, who is also one of the Conservatory instructors and soloists, will be graduating with a degree in Drama Arts from Jacksonville State University.

“This ballet is for all ages,” Baird said. “It’s eerie, but not too scary for children. But it’s not what you usually expect in a ballet. Be ready for some surprising elements.”

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students, available at, at the front desk of the Hardin Center for Cultural Arts or via phone at 256 543-2787, ext.10. Doors open at 6 p.m. Guests may bring dinner and drinks for the show.
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Artists in Action: New South novelist at JSU by Hervey Folsom
Special to The Star

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