Friday, October 30, 2015

[191] MTSU conference focuses on music’s role in political dissent through history

MURFREESBORO — Music has been one of man’s favorite ways to resist or support powerful leaders throughout history, and it’s the timely topic of an international conference hosted by MTSU’s School of Music Nov. 21-22.

“Tyranny and Music,” which is free and open to the public, will feature speakers on topics ranging from heavy metal in Egypt before and after the Arab Spring to the Irish harp and cultural genocide going back to the 15th century.

“2015 marks the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat by the allied forces at Waterloo, the 150th year since John Wilkes Booth shouted ‘Sic semper tyrannis!’ after assassinating President Abraham Lincoln, and the 800th year since the creation of the Magna Carta, perhaps the first English resistance to tyranny,” said Dr. Joseph Morgan, professor of musicology at MTSU.

“In recognition of this important date, we are hosting this conference dealing with the complicated relationship between powerful rulers and the music created to resist, support or just react to a real or perceived oppression.”

Much of the “Tyranny and Music” conference will take place in Room 104 of the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building on the east side of the MTSU campus beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.

Dr. Mei Han, director of MTSU’s new Center for Chinese Music and Culture and an ethnomusicologist specializing in Chinese music, will deliver the keynote address, “Battling the Typhoon – Weathering Political Storms in Maoist China” at 11:15 a.m. Nov. 21 in the Bragg Building.

The contemporary music ensemble aTonalHits will perform “Music Under the Soviet Regime” during a free lecture/concert at 5:45 p.m. that day in Hinton Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building.

Scholars from across the nation and from as far afield as France and England will share their expertise on topics ranging from contemporary music to historical contexts and genres during the two-day event.

A searchable campus map with parking details is available at Off-campus visitors attending the event should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at

The complete conference program is available at

For details on this and more events in the MTSU School of Music, call 615-898-2493 or visit

[190] ‘MTSU On the Record’ is ‘Strong Inside’ with author Andrew Maraniss

MURFREESBORO — The next edition of the ‘MTSU On the Record’ radio program will examine how the racial barrier in Southeastern Conference sports was broken.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with writer Andrew Maraniss will air from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, and from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 8, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and

Maraniss is the author of “Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South.” The biography of former Vanderbilt University basketball star Perry Wallace chronicles Wallace’s 1967-1970 breakthrough as the first varsity African-American scholarship athlete in any sport in the SEC.

Maraniss will speak at MTSU at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, in the State Farm Lecture Hall in the Business and Aerospace Building. The event, which is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, is free and open to the public. A searchable campus parking map is available at

“(Wallace) told me that he would look at the Vanderbilt schedule before each season and look at the road trips he was about to take with the deepest sense of dread,” said Maraniss. “In his mind, he would imagine …the worst thing that could happen on one of these trips. In his mind, it was to get shot and killed out on the court during a game or around town before or after a game.”

The author was a recipient of the Fred Russell-Grantland Rice sportswriting scholarship at Vanderbilt. After graduating in 1992, he worked for five years as his alma mater’s associate director of media relations for athletics.

Following a stint as media relations manager for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays of Major League Baseball in 1998, he returned to Nashville to join the public relations firm of McNeely Pigott & Fox, where he still works today.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to and click the “more” link under “Audio Clips.”

For more information, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

[189] Lafayette, voting rights panel highlight MTSU undergrad symposium Oct. 28-29

With a theme of “Voting Rights 1965-2015: Commemorating 50 Years,” this year’s symposium will celebrate the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act while looking at the work that still needs to be done, organizers said.

A voting rights panel discussion will be held from 12:40-2 p.m. Wednesday in the Tennessee Room in the James Union Building. Lafayette, co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and a veteran of the Freedom Rides and Selma movement, will speak from 1-2:35 p.m. Thursday in the Tennessee Room.

All events are free and open to the public. A searchable campus parking map is available at Off-campus visitors attending events should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at

The symposium has been held every year since 1991 as a way to provide MTSU students a forum for presenting their research. Student paper sessions will be held from 8 a.m. until noon both days in the Hazlewood Room and Dining Room C.

Wednesday’s panel discussion will be moderated by Dr. Sekou Franklin, associate professor of political science, and includes Dr. Ernest “Rip” Patton, civil rights activist with the Nashville sit-in movement, Freedom Rides and the Operation W.A.V.E. initiative; Joshua Crutchfield, Black Lives Matter of Nashville; attorney Elizabeth McClellan, O’Neal v. Goins case (voter rights for former felons); Justin Jones, founder of the Nashville Student Organizing Committee, and the Nashville Student Organizing Committee v. Hargett case (challenging the state voter ID law).

Following the panel, the movie “Selma” will be shown, followed by a Q&A session moderated by Dr. Louis Woods, associate professor of African-American history at MTSU.

Lafayette, 75, has been a civil rights movement activist, minister, educator, lecturer and is an authority on the strategy on nonviolent social change. You can listen to his recent interview on the “MTSU on the Record” radio program at

Among the many leadership positions held during more than a half-century of service, Lafayette is former president of the American Baptist College of ABT Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee and former Scholar in Residence at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta.

In receiving the National Civil Rights Museum’s National Freedom Award for 2012, the following statement was made about Lafayette: “He never stopped believing in the future even when he was arrested with other riders in Jackson, Mississippi, and jailed in Parchman State Prison Farm in 1961.”

Lafayette is author of the newly published “In Peace and Freedom:  My Journey in Selma.” Georgia Congressman and fellow civil rights legend John Lewis, in his foreword to the book, states, “A powerful history of struggle, commitment, and hope. No one, but no one, who lived through the creation and development of the movement for voting rights in Selma is better prepared to tell this story than Bernard Lafayette himself.”

Since 2006, Lafayette has served as Distinguished Senior Scholar in Residence at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. He is chairman of the board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, founded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

His visit follows the September visit by fellow civil rights icons and Freedom Rides veterans James Lawson and C.T. Vivian for MTSU’s Constitution Day activities that also commemorated the Voting Rights Act anniversary.

The symposium is funded and sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Department of History, Department of Political Science, Distinguished Lecture Series, Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies, Middle Tennessee Anthropology Society and the Sociology Club.

For more information about the symposium, contact Dr. Andrew Wyatt at 615-904-8487 or or Connie Huddleston at 615-494-7914 or or visit

[188] Volunteers needed for Oct. 30 tree planting along Garrison Creek Part of ongoing effort to protect water supply, stop erosion

The MTSU Stormwater Program is coordinating the event, which will last from 9 a.m. to noon Friday. Volunteers should meet in the Kroger parking lot at 2050 Lascassas Pike at North Rutherford Boulevard.

Organizers are asking volunteers to devote one, two or three hours to planting seedlings along the creek. Volunteers should bring sturdy boots or closed-toed shoes along with gloves, warm clothing and water.

The goal of the project is to develop a stream protection zone to improve local water quality. Trees along the stream filter out pollutants such as yard chemicals, oils that leak onto pavement and loose dirt that flow into the stream when it rains. The trees also cool the water and provide a canopy that improves the habitat for fish and other aquatic wildlife.

For more information, contact Cynthia Allen with the MTSU Stormwater Program at 615-898-2660 or via email at

[187] MTSU screens ‘Wrecking Crew’ documentary with director, musician Q&A Wednesday night

MURFREESBORO — MTSU's Department of Recording Industry is bringing the West Coast sound to campus Wednesday, Oct. 28, with a free public screening of the documentary "The Wrecking Crew" and a question-and-answer session with its director and a member of the Grammy-winning crew of studio musicians.

The event is set for 6:30 p.m. in the State Farm Lecture Hall in MTSU's Business and Aerospace Building, Room BAS S-102. A searchable campus parking map is available at

“The Wrecking Crew” was the nickname coined by drummer Hal Blaine for the Los Angeles studio and session musicians behind some of the biggest hits of the 1960s and '70s, including "Be My Baby," "California Girls," "Strangers in the Night," "Mrs. Robinson," "Up, Up and Away," "Viva Las Vegas" and "Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man."

The players were key in creating producer Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” and became one of the most successful groups of studio musicians in history.

Denny Tedesco, son of the late Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco, directed the documentary and will be on hand to discuss it Wednesday, along with keyboard player Don Randi. Randi also is the author of a memoir, “You’ve Heard These Hands: From the Wall of Sound to the Wrecking Crew and Other Incredible Stories.”

The younger Tedesco began working on the documentary in 1998, spending several years interviewing producers, engineers and the musicians, and first released it in 2008, garnering awards at several film festivals.

Its distribution costs proved prohibitive, however, because of more than $700,000 in licensing fees required to include more than 100 hit songs by artists including Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, The Monkees, The Byrds, the Mamas and Papas, Sonny and Cher, the Carpenters, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Beach Boys.

Denny Tedesco finally took his film funding needs public in 2013, turning to Kickstarter to generate enough revenue to pay record labels, music publishing companies and the musicians who created the unmistakable sounds on vinyl.

“The Wrecking Crew” is now being readied for national release in November, first in theaters across the country and then in DVD release. It’s already been screened at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and at Nashville’s Belcourt Theatre.

The film includes interviews with Brian Wilson, Cher, Nancy Sinatra, Herb Alpert, Glen Campbell, Micky Dolenz, Roger McGuinn and Gary Lewis as well as Wrecking Crew members.

Among the most famous of the Wrecking Crew musicians, along with drummer Blaine and guitarist Campbell, are pianists Leon Russell and Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack, saxophonist Plas Johnson, and bassist Carol Kane, the group’s only female member. You can watch the trailer for the documentary at

Recording industry professor Jeff Izzo helped arrange the special event, which is being presented by the department and co-sponsored by the MTSU School of Music and the Student Enrichment Grant Program of the Nashville-based Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association.

You can learn more about the documentary at More information on the Department of Recording Industry in MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment is available at