Wind Ensemble

Dr. Hayes Bunch directs the University of South Carolina Aiken Wind Ensemble, which will present French Connections at  7:30 p.m. Nov. 21 in the Etherredge Center for the Fine and Performing Arts.

USC Aiken will join community musical groups for the sixth annual Harvest Home concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at St. John's United Methodist Church, 104 Newberry St.

Admission is free, but attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item in lieu of the admission cost. A goodwill offering to benefit ACTS will be taken during the concert.

"The arts have a responsibility to serve," said Dr. Joel Scraper, the chairman of the visual and performing arts department on campus.

"If we, as artists, can raise awareness of charitable organizations, such as ACTS, and help these organizations provide to those in need, then it is a worthy endeavor."

The Harvest Home concert features a collection of American hymns and folk songs celebrating Thanksgiving. The program features the USC Aiken Concert Choir and community performers, directed by Scraper.

ACTS – or Area Churches Together Serving – is a nonprofit organization made up of churches, organizations and individuals who provide assistance to families in the community. Longstanding services provided to neighbors in need include food, clothing, utility and medical assistance, housewares and furniture. The organization now also offers childcare and transportation programs.

"Many people in our areas are within one paycheck or less of financial trouble. Many need food clothing, warmth, prescription medications, home furnishing or additional assistance," according to the ACTS website.

"ACTS is grateful for Dr. Scraper and Keely Rhodes with the Masterwork Chorale Festival Chorus, Christopher Nash, and Catherine Stapleton Nance with St. John's United Methodist Church Chancel Choir for sharing their extraordinary talents during the Harvest Home concert," said Suzanne Jackson, executive director.

USCA Concert Choir presents fall concert

The USCA Aiken Concert Choir will present its annual fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the sanctuary of St. John's United Methodist Church, 104 Newberry St. S.W.

Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door. All USC Aiken students and faculty members with valid IDs will be admitted free.

The university's concert choir will perform Dan Forrest's "Requiem for the Living." The performance will include a professional chamber orchestra and guest singers as well as USCA students.

"Dan Forrest's Requiem is beloved, despite it being a recent composition," said Scraper.

The composer explains that "a requiem, at its core, is a prayer for rest, traditionally, for the deceased;" however, the five movements of his piece, composed in 2013, form a narrative just as much for the living, and their own struggle with pain and sorrow, as for the dead.

As part of its fall performance, the USC Aiken Concert Choir will also perform a new commission from American composer Elaine Hagenberg, "There Was a Time."

"This work was commissioned two years ago in honor of child who died tragically," Scraper explains.

He adds that the text is from "Ode: Intimations of Immortality" by William Wordsworth.

Musical event spans the globe

The USC Aiken Wind Ensemble will present French Connections at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, in the Etherredge Center for the Fine and Performing Arts on the campus of USC Aiken, 471 University Parkway.

"Our second program of the fall semester embraces the works of French composers along with some American connections to French music," said Dr. Hayes Bunch, conductor of the wind ensemble.

"The program will feature works from the late 18th, late 19th, and early 20th centuries as well as two recent works that hark back to past French influence.

The public is invited. Tickets are $10 for the general public. All students get in free with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased in advance at or by calling 803-641-3305.

Guest artist and flute soloist, Dr. Emily Stumpf, USC Aiken's instructor of flute, will join the USC Aiken Wind Ensemble in a stirring rendition of Cécile Chaminade's Concertino, op. 107.

The program also includes an original composition paying homage to the venerable French composer Darius Milhaud by USC Aiken's Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Dr. Mark Hollingsworth, as well as more traditional works by Claude Debussy, Frank Ticheli, Gabriel Fauré, and Camille Saint-Saëns.