Doyle Lawson plays Northeast State Feb. 27

Northeast State welcomes back beloved music legend Doyle Lawson and his band Quicksilver to campus for a performance on Friday, Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Lawson and Quicksilver will perform at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the College’s main campus at Blountville, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. Advance tickets are $20 and can be purchased online now at http://www.northeaststate.edu/RCPA.

Called a “mandolin virtuoso” with “perfectly silken harmony” by The New York Times, Lawson and Quicksilver have nearly 40 albums to their credit, are seven-time International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Vocal Group of the Year winners, and have multiple Grammy, Dove, Inspirational Country Music Association (ICMA), and other IBMA award nominations. The band also earned four previous Dove Award nominations for the Best Bluegrass Gospel Album and Best Bluegrass Gospel Song awards for their 2008 release, Help Is on the Way.

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

DLQ burst onto the national spotlight in 1996 when their album, There’s a Light Guiding Me earned a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. They went on to receive three more Grammy nominations in the Best Bluegrass Album category. Lawson was named Mandolin Player of the Year for 2012 by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA). He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2012 at the Ryman Auditorium.

Lawson has served as the feature instructor and performer at the College’s summer music workshops held at the Northeast State at Bristol for two years. He shared his knowledge and expertise with students about recording tips and techniques as well as live performances.

Lawson broke new ground in 2011 with a Children’s Hospital and Arena Tour, the first tour of its kind in any genre, combining National Anthem performances at major sporting arenas with performances for boys and girls at Children’s Hospitals in the same cities or regions.

The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America has honored the group with numerous awards for albums and recorded gospel songs. The Gospel Music Association honored DLQ in 2011 with a Dove Award nomination for Bluegrass Album of the Year. In 2012, Lawson was inducted into the IBMHF at the Ryman Auditorium. That same year the band was named ICMA Vocal Group of the Year.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information call the Northeast State Box Office at 423.354.5173.

Workforce Solutions to offer 9-week ECG technician course

Northeast State’s Workforce Solutions will offer a nine-week ECG technician course at the Regional Center for Health Professions (RCHP) in downtown Kingsport starting Feb. 23.

ECG Technicians perform electrocardiograms and are one of the first providers to assist patients experiencing cardiac symptoms. ECG Technicians are critical members of the patient care team and may be employed in physician offices, emergency rooms, and hospital-baApple heartbeat red ECGsed cardiology clinics across the country. The course includes theory and hands-on instruction during the nine-week program.

Individuals interested in starting a career in the medical field, prospective patient care technicians, current nurses, or those looking to develop skills may benefit from this program. The program includes the National Health Career Association Certified ECG Technician exam.

The course will be taught from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the RCHP, 300 W. Main St. in Kingsport. Fee for the course is $475 and the deadline to register is Feb. 18.

For more information and how to register for this class, contact Diana Harrison with Workforce Solutions at 423.354.5520 or dlharrison@northeaststate.edu.

Theatre faculty selected to judge regional competition

An award-winning Northeast State alumnus and Theatre faculty member was invited to join a judging panel at a regional theatrical design competition in January.

Instructor Brad McKenzie was invited by the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) to adjudicate technical competitors at the institute’s Southwest Regional Conference held at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

The conference included a competition for design and technical artists from the region’s member institutions. Judges reviewed technical categories including lighting and sound design as well as costuming and make-up done by competitors.

“This was my first foray into adjudicating a competition,” said McKenzie. “It was certainly a great opportunity to network with theatre professionals and talk to them about our program and Northeast State.”

McKenzie served as one of six adjudicators for the competition. His own work has won several awards in the annual Region IV Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. His reputation for excellence in technical design and teaching the process of modeling design concepts piqued the interest of conference organizers.

McKenzie described modeling as sketching design ideas on paper with pencil to better understand light and setting for a scene. A three-dimensional model drawing demonstrates how light and shadow should frame a production.

“It is not used often, but I like it because you get a better sense of how light renders and moves,” he said.

Judges for USITT critique a nominee’s process from initial idea to realization on the stage. McKenzie also taught a workshop about lighting design to a class of 25 students and theatre professionals. As with his Northeast State students, McKenzie said he emphasized the art of technical theatre trade as a marketable skill for the industry.

“When you are a designer, you have experience operating a piece of theatre equipment or possess a skill set that people need in live performances,” said McKenzie. “Those are very specialized skills that are needed in performance areas. The job market for technical theatre professionals is way better than that for performance.”

McKenzie was among the College’s first theatre majors when the program was established. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree at East Tennessee State University and his master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. McKenzie was named a full-time instructor at Northeast State last year. He worked as technical director and lighting designer for several Northeast State Theatre productions before becoming a full-time faculty member last year. He has also written original stage adaptations for I,Ebenezer, and The Odyssey Abridged: A Puppet Journey of Epic Proportions both performed by Northeast State Theatre.

McKenzie noted that the top-tier technical effects for theatre were becoming more available as equipment became more refined and affordable. He added that Northeast State’s decision to build a top quality venue in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts raised the bar for students’ training and live performance innovation by the department.

“At Northeast State, we are fortunate to have fantastic technical capabilities and tremendous facilities available with the RCPA Theatre to train students, showcase their work, and stage shows with high production value,” said McKenzie. “I want to share our students’ abilities and skills with as many people in the theatre industry as possible.”

Northeast State hosts Financial Literacy Day Feb. 18

Freaky financial times require smart budgeting, saving, and avoiding debt to stay solvent. Northeast State students, faculty and staff will learn methods to secure a financial future at Financial Literacy Day scheduled for Feb. 18 at the College’s Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

Financial Literacy Day Poster finalFinancial institution representatives will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the 1st floor Student Services Building in the upper Courtyard area and individual presentations will be in the Auditorium (A202). The community is invited to attend. No appointment is necessary. There is no charge to attend the event.

Participating institutions and their presentation times are scheduled as:

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union, “Financial Cents – College & Youth-Based Program”
9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. TriSummit Investment Services, “The Psychology of Spending”
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Mortgage Investors Group, “Financial Peace University”
11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Citizens Bank, “Credit – The Good and The Bad”
12 noon – 12:30 p.m. Eastman Credit Union, Money Management Basics

Event is hosted by Northeast State’s TRiO Student Support Services and Student Life Office. For more information about Financial Literacy Day, contact TRiO Student Support Services at 423.354.2540.

Ebenezer, Lion shows earn award nominations

The land of Narnia and the streets of jolly old England came alive on stage last year as Northeast State Theatre continued staging classic productions with creative new twists.

Once again the work of Northeast State Theatre students was recognized by proctors from Region IV of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). The student nominees have been invited to submit their work to the Festival’s Region IV competition held Feb. 3-8 at Darton State College in Albany, Ga. The adjudicated competition recognizes the best theatre work of two- and four-year colleges across the Southeast.

“Our students have been nominated for and won KCACTF awards every year we’ve entered as participants,” said Brad McKenzie, instructor and technical director of Northeast State Theatre. “So we are doing something right here.”

A scene from I, Ebenezer with Marlene (Heather Christian, left) Marley-bot (Austin Sparks, center) and Ebenezer (Richard Jackson). (Photo by David Grace)
A scene from I, Ebenezer with Marlene (Heather Christian, left) Marley-bot (Austin Sparks, center) and Ebenezer (Richard Jackson). (Photo by David Grace)

Marty France received a nomination for Costume Design with his lyrical and dreamlike work on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Dustin Lawson earned a nomination for Make-up Design in Lion and Ebenezer. Eli Kistner received a nomination for his work as Technical Director for Lion. Ashley Guy picked up the Costume Design nomination for the multiple period-piece design of Ebenezer. The managing of Narnia was pulled off by Hannah Duncan who picked up her third KCACTF nomination for her Stage Management work of Lion.

“Our students are so dedicated. Every semester they rise to the challenge,” said Elizabeth M. Sloan, professor and director of Northeast State Theatre. “It is rewarding and inspiring to work with so many incredible students.”

Lucy (Lorrie Anderson) and Mr. Tumnus (Tyler Bishop) in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. (Photo by David Grace)
Lucy (Lorrie Anderson) and Mr. Tumnus (Tyler Bishop) in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. (Photo by David Grace)

Lorrie Anderson earned an Irene Ryan acting nomination for her role as the curious and courageous Lucy in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Austin Sparks received an Irene Ryan Acting nomination for his role of young Edmund in Lion. He nabbed a second Irene Ryan Acting nod for his work as Marley-bot, Scrooge’s mechanical creation in Ebenezer. Richard Jackson won his fourth Ryan acting nomination for playing the titular role in Ebenezer.

Grace Arrowood was selected as a Weiss Design participant for scenic design. Arrowood will present her own original concept of a set design for competitive review. The Weiss competition requires entrants to create a technical design for a hypothetical show.