10/21/07 — Classical concert Monday

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Classical concert Monday

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 21, 2007 2:02 AM

The Foundation of Wayne Community College is spreading its cultural wings.

On Monday evening, the foundation, in collaboration with First Presbyterian Church, will present a program of classical music at 7 p.m. in Moffatt Auditorium.

The free event is open to the public, and foundation Director Jack Kannan, hopes it will be the first of an array of offerings in the future.

"This is our first outreach to add to the arts and humanities program," he said. "We have a varied community (and) I wanted to bring together different types of things."

The foundation has long realized the importance of catering to the surrounding community, Kannan said. And with more and more people retiring in proximity to colleges and universities, it just makes sense to provide cultural outlets to draw them in.

"We should be what people in the community look to for cultural enrichment," he said. "If we can offer this to people in our community, and also the big benefit is that we have people support us through sponsorship of these events."

His aim is to "keep it fresh," he says.

In addition to the traditional fare of plays, lectures and trips, this year the schedule included a literary trip. The first one was held in conjunction with this fall's play, "Look Homeward, Angel," based on the original book by native author Thomas Wolfe. The literary trip featured a visit to Wolfe's home near Asheville as well as the home of author Carl Sandburg.

"It was a super hit," Kannan said.

In fact, as the offerings expand, so do the waiting lists of people expressing an interest in attending, he said.

The beauty of providing the arts and humanities programs, the foundation director said, is that it allows for an integrated audience -- students, faculty and staff, and the community.

"It's a holistic approach," he said.

Monday night's concert will feature three musicians -- Jeremy Thompson, director of music at First Presbyterian, on piano; Dovid Friedlander, associate concertmaster of the N.C. Symphony on violin; and Jonathan Kramer, professor of music at N.C. State and Duke universities on cello. They will perform selected works by Mozart, Beethoven and Smetana.

Another event that has grown increasingly popular is the annual "gala," and this year should be no different, Kannan said.

But he's not tipping his hand just yet, except to reveal the date -- April 12.

"I have been working on this for the last couple of months," he said. "I'm not ready to announce it yet. We'll try to get more details out but I can say, we will be presenting a very successful hometown individual, as we have done in the past."