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Livingstone College Music Department striving to become a Steinway Institution

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By Kimberly Harrington Livingstone College News Service SALISBURY – What’s in a name? When it comes to Steinway, everything. The name Steinway has become synonymous with high quality and prominence in the piano business and Livingstone College’s Music Department is striving to be one and the same. Livingstone’s Music Department has replaced two of its 11 pianos with Steinways and is endeavoring to become a Steinway Institution, which means all of its pianos will eventually be in the Steinway and Sons family. The first Steinways were delivered last winter, thanks to a $17,500 donation from the Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society (WHOMS) of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. “It’s a forward-thinking idea to become a Steinway Institution. It is noble for us to be pursuing this considering our size,” said Dr. DaVaughn L. Miller, chairman of the Music and Theater Arts Department at Livingstone for 11 years. He is also director of college choirs. This project is a step toward quality in our music department, echoed Lawrence Quinnett, assistant professor of music at Livingstone College since 2016. “Steinway pianos last longer than other brands and students get to practice on quality instruments.” All music majors are expected to be proficient in piano. In addition to practice, the pianos are used for performances, concerts and private lessons. Steinway pianos mature over time, Miller said. Their value will be greater 10 years from now than today. Livingstone has to purchase a minimum of 10 Steinway pianos to be considered a …

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Livingstone College to hold children’s book festival April 28 on the lawn

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SALISBURY – Livingstone College will hold its annual Children’s Book Festival on Saturday, April 28. The festival will be held on the front lawn of the campus from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and is for children ages preschool through 12 years. Each child will receive new books, food and enjoy fun on the lawn, said Deborah Johnson, book festival organizer and UNCF director of the college. “The purpose of the book festival is to create a love and appreciation for books in children,” Johnson said. The book festival was first held at Livingstone College in 1991 under then President Dr. Bernard Franklin with Wilson Cherry as organizer. According to the Education Testing Services, the more reading materials in a home, the higher students are in reading proficiency. Children who do more reading at home are also better readers and have higher math scores. “Our book festival is a tradition that we intend to uphold because it helps to instill a love for reading in children that will benefit them as scholars,” said Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. “Today, young people are easily distracted by video games and cell phones. It is our responsibility as an educational institution to help them rediscover the fun and adventure of books,” he said. The festival is open to the public. For more information, call Deborah Johnson at (704) 216-6118 or Marsha Mitchell at (704) 216-6120.   About Livingstone College Livingstone College, founded and supported by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion …

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Livingstone College Gospel Choir to sing backup at Festival of Praise Tour

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Performing with Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin and more By Kimberly Harrington/Livingstone College News Service Livingstone College Gospel Choir members are going to have to cut their Easter holiday short – but you won’t hear them complaining about it. They are rehearsing every day next week to prepare for a very big performance. An opportunity of a lifetime. The highlight of their college singing career. Livingstone College Gospel Choir will be the only choir accompanying each gospel recording artists in the Festival of Praise “Texture of a Man” Concert Tour on Friday, April 6, at 7 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum. Performing are Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, James Fortune, Erica Campbell and Pastor Charles Jenkins. The Livingstone Gospel Choir will sing backup for each performer and have had to learn 35 songs in just a little over two weeks. “It’s been very exciting to the students because they know who these artists are,” said Pastor Christopher Gray, professor of the Gospel Choir at Livingstone College and campus pastor. “It’s an opportunity that a lot of people really don’t’ get. These are Grammy-Award winning artists.” So how did Livingstone College get this opportunity? Gray said a representative from Fred Hammond’s office contacted him about the Festival of Praise Tour and wanted to know if he could pull a choir together. Gray is familiar with a lot of gospel recording executives in the industry. “I’ve got a choir for you and it’s a college choir,” Gray told the rep.  And the rest is …

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Women in History Brunch full of laughs, empowerment, hats and hashtags

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From left are winners of the hat contest: Corine Parks, church hat; Ella Woods, the fascinator; Catherine Rivens, most unique; and Yolanda Woods, sassy. By KIMBERLY HARRINGTON                                                                                     Gwendolyn Baines lives by her book title, “Sassy, Secure and Over Sixty.” Sharing with the audience at the Katherine W. Osborne Women in History Brunch, she said after having both hips replaced, she is simply glad to see yet another day. “One thing I’ve learned to do is to make myself happy,” she said. The brunch was held at the Livingstone College School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts at 530 Jake Alexander Blvd. South. Through humorous and witty remarks, Baines offered advice to women: ‘Stop being jealous of other women; don’t brag about your husband to single women or widows; and don’t refer to your children as your buddies.” Baines is also the author of “Black Man – Black Woman,” which explores the dynamics of the relationships between the two. She gained universal attention when the National Newspaper Publishers Association of Washington, D.C, selected her as their official advice columnist. “Ask Gwendolyn Baines” had more than 15 million readers per week as it was featured in more than 200 newspapers. It is now produced on the internet as “Ask Gwendolyn Baines …

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A taste of college life

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By: For The Record Contributed photos Vincia Miller, left, director of Alumni Affairs at Livingstone College, recruits two Anson High students for a “Name That Tune” activity during the Livingstone College motivational tour kickoff at Anson High School. Anson High School students tour the Livingstone College School of Culinary Arts’ 50-foot mobile food unit during the college’s visit to Wadesboro March 22. A culinary arts student served cookies and punch from the unit. Livingstone College is the only N.C. Historically Black College and University with a culinary arts and hospitality management program.   The Livingstone College Mighty Blue Bears rolled into Anson County recently and left an indelible impression on what college life is like. Anson High School hosted an assembly for juniors and seniors March 19 that was a part of the college’s motivational tour, dubbed #ExperienceLC, in conjunction with HOLLA! (Helping our Loved Ones Learn and Achieve), the high school and with support by the YCC program. The Blue Thunder Pep Band, led by band director Anthony Jones, rallied the crowd as student activities director Anthony Brown taught the high-schoolers the college’s chant: “Who ya wit?” To which the crowd responds, “LC!” (Repeat three times), concluding with “LC too hype!” And hype it was. “You all can’t begin to believe how good I feel today,” said Leon Gatewood, HOLLA! founder and CEO and a 1981 graduate of Livingstone. “Today, I’m here with my alma mater. Do you know how good it feels to say y’all come see me …

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Livingstone launches radio station, new website, app

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  Livingstone College is on the air. Tune in to WLJZ 107.1 FM, the heart and soul of Blue Bear nation, for music, campus news and updates on the happenings of Livingstone College. WLJZ 107.1 FM is a low-powered FM radio station, which was deemed operational on Dec. 7, 2017. The official launch was in February during the winter meeting of the college’s Board of Trustees that coincided with Founder’s Day. The purpose of the station is to serve as a bridge between the campus and the local community of Salisbury and surrounding areas, said Justin Walker, Livingstone’s communications project and technical specialist, who spearheaded the project. The student-operated radio station will feature programming that highlights campus information; student/faculty-led discussions on local, national and international news; community event spotlights and announcements; and music from various genres including jazz, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, R&B fusion, gospel and more. The station’s current wattage is 70, but it is licensed for 100 watts. The college plans to install a 100-foot tower to expand the reach of the station beyond the city limits and cover all of Rowan County, Walker said. Currently, the station’s local coverage area includes Salisbury, East Spencer and Spencer. Distant coverage consists of Granite Quarry and Faith. Woodleaf, China Grove, Rockwell, Churchland and Linwood are on the edge of the coverage area. The station is located on the first floor of the W.J. Walls Center in the former music studio. “The possibilities for this station are exciting, including using students to help with production, programming and …

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Livingstone mourns passing of Irwin Belk, supporter and donor of the college

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Irwin “Ike” Belk SALISBURY – Livingstone College mourns the loss of Irwin “Ike” Belk, who was laid to rest on Monday, March 5, 2018. Belk, a philanthropist, businessman and public servant, died on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. He was 95. Belk was passionate about education and athletics, and took on the cause of helping educational institutions create tracks and procure sculptures of their mascots – often the largest of their kind in the world. Livingstone College’s track is named after Belk, and the menacing Blue Bear that adorns the front lawn of campus was made possible by Belk’s generosity, said Dr. State Alexander, Livingstone College executive assistant to the president and vice president of communications and public relations. “Our mascot is the featured attraction on the front lawn. It is where alumni, students, future Blue Bears and their parents gather for photo opportunities when visiting our campus. Belk created an indelible footprint at Livingstone by helping us secure this monumental sculpture of our mascot,” Alexander said. Belk served more than 50 years as an executive with Belk Stores, his family’s namesake department store; four terms in the N.C. House and Senate; two terms as a United Nations delegate; and served on numerous boards. As a state senator, he introduced the legislation creating UNC-Charlotte as the fourth member of the University of North Carolina system. He later served on the UNC System Board of Governors and the UNCC Board of Trustees. Belk was born on April 4, 1922, in Charlotte, the …