03/02/08 — WCC Gala to feature Emmy winning composer

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WCC Gala to feature Emmy winning composer

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 2, 2008 2:00 AM

From a baseball standout at Goldsboro High School to an Emmy award-winning composer in Hollywood, Ray Bunch will be the centerpiece for Wayne Community College Foundation's annual gala next month.

Several events are planned for the weekend of April 11 and 12, with the theme "Ray Bunch Scores," referring to his accomplishments in both arenas, said Jack Kannan, Foundation director.

Bunch, who graduated from GHS in 1966, has worked steadily in the music industry, composing scores for such movies as Flight 93 and Faith of My Fathers, and episodes of such TV shows as JAG, Xena: Warrior Princess, Hill Street Blues and Magnum P.I. He was previously nominated for three Emmys, winning his first in 2004 for outstanding music composition for a series for "Enterprise."

Ever since he performed at a tribute for his high school music teacher, George Trautwein, Bunch's name has been bandied about as the likely choice for a gala of his own, Kannan said.

"It just sort of blew a lot of people out of the seats," he said of Bunch's performance at the Trautwein tribute. "That showed people what he could do ... and triggered some of this. For the last five years, I have been told I needed to get Ray Bunch to come.

"Obviously now with him the winner of an Emmy it's just his time."

Bunch has already been very generous to the Foundation, Kannan said, and agreed to create a program to perform for this year's gala. The fundraiser will be used to establish an endowment in Bunch's name, benefiting the arts and humanities program.

"We have over $110,000 in our arts and humanities endowment from past galas," Kannan explained. "(Bunch) will be added to that distinguished list."

Proceeds from the gala will help not only fund scholarships, but also future arts and humanities events for the community.

Kannan said a "lot of surprises" are being planned for the upcoming event.

On Friday night, April 11, a cocktail reception is planned at the former Goldsboro Hotel for Bunch and his new bride Tina. Cost is $15 per person.

"It will be like a mini-class reunion, but not exclusive to the members of that class. It'll be open to the public," Kannan said.

Saturday, Bunch's former baseball coach George Whitfield will bring together the championship baseball team Ray played on, and they will have lunch at Wilber's, something the team did often back in the day.

That evening will be the culmination of the weekend, an evening of entertainment by and about the guest of honor in Moffatt Auditorium at WCC.

The first half of the program will feature Hardy Sullivan interviewing Ray about his journey from Goldsboro to Hollywood, with some "secret, exciting tributes" to be revealed that night, Kannan said.

Following that, Bunch will provide a 90-minute musical program with his own band.

"He has been working for the past three months on the gala," Kannan said, noting that it promises to be good. Local talent will also be performing, he added.

Cost for that event is $50 a ticket.

Seating is limited and tickets are currently on sale.

For more information, call Kannan at 735-5152, ext. 246.