​Operation Noel


In just a few weeks, it will be Christmas. While many are already planning ahead about gifts to buy and food to eat, there are those not so fortunate. In our area, there are children who may not get presents and families that may not have an abundant holiday meal.
Each year the Sewanee Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD), in conjunction with FROST (the department’s Fund Raising Operational Support Team), organize the purchasing and distribution of food and toys for these families. All items will be delivered the morning of Dec. 23 by the SVFD and FROST.
But this important program cannot happen without help from the community. Please consider making a donation of money, nonperishable food items or new toys to Operation Noel this year and give back to your community this Christmas season.
Families eligible for Operation Noel must live in the following communities: Sewanee, Midway, Jump Off and Sherwood Road to the top of Sherwood Mountain (but not into Sherwood).
Every family needs to fill out a new application, even if they have received from Operation Noel before. An application ensures that organizers have all the pertinent information so they can provide for everyone in need. The application is on page 15 of this week’s issue. The deadline for returning applications is Monday, Dec. 10.
If you would like to make a donation of money, nonperishable food items or new unwrapped toys, please take items to the Sewanee Fire Hall or the Sewanee Police Department, both located behind duPont Library, or University Print Services, located in the old Beta House. For more information call 598-3400 and leave a message.

​Middle School Design Highlights School Board Meeting


by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the Nov. 12 Franklin County School Board meeting, Binkley Garcia Architecture (BGA) provided an overview of the floor plan and external characteristics of the two new middle schools. The board also addressed the need for Extended School Program personnel at Sewanee Elementary.
BGA principal Joseph Binkley praised the insight and smart advice offered by teachers and staff. The floor plan for both schools is nearly identical, Binkley said, except for incorporation of the extant eighth grade wing into the North Middle School design. At both schools, the classroom corridor is at a right angle to the front of the building, which will house a 400-seat auditorium, cafeteria, kitchen, offices, library, computer lab, and chorale and band practice rooms. At North, the eighth grade wing will be directly in line with and connected to the sixth and seventh grade classroom corridor.
The schools’ exterior brick surface will feature two colors, white-stone colored brick contrasted with red at North and brown at South. Interior design will draw on school colors for inspiration, deep red and charcoal at North, and green and yellow at South.
Both schools will face Hwy. 41A and feature 60-75 parking slots in front as well as a canopy to facilitate student drop off and pickup for those transported by cars. Bus drop off and pickup will happen in the rear at the gym.
At both schools, the present gyms will be connected to the new construction and undergo extensive renovation. Plans call for locker rooms where the stage is now, coaches offices, new flooring and bleachers, upgraded plumbing, air conditioning, and new membrane roofs.
The new construction at both schools will also have low-slope membrane roofs with a 15-20 year life expectancy.
Board member Gary Hanger asked why longer lasting metal roofing wouldn’t be used.
Project construction manager Gary Clardy, who has been advising the board since May, explained a metal roof would require a steeper pitch and significantly increase the cost of construction. “You can replace a membrane roof three times for the cost of a metal roof,” Clardy said.
Giving a timeline for the $46.2 million project, Clardy projected requesting funding from the County Commission at the Jan. 21 meeting, receiving fire marshal approval by mid-March then putting the project out for bid, and beginning construction in mid-May. The unretained structure will be demolished during the summer of 2020, with the schools expected to be ready for students that August.
Turning to operations, Director of Schools Stanley Bean said two ESP staff personnel at SES had resigned effective Jan. 1. Bean said he favored “hiring school system staff who had experience working with students for ESP positions, but most teachers were reluctant to put in an additional three hours.”
Bean said he had not been successful in recruiting University students for the positions.
Pointing to the low wage for ESP personnel, $15 per hour for the director and $8 per hour for support staff, board member Adam Tucker said, “If we’re not finding people, we’re not paying enough.” Tucker proposed a $2 per hour wage increase.
Bean said the program was designed to “break even.” “We may have a little money we could supplement wages with this year, and then consider increasing the cost to parents next year. I’ll check what’s available.” Bean expressed reservations about increasing the cost. “It may be more of a problem at some schools than others.”
Revisiting the Mentor Program proposed by Franklin County High School teacher Anna Mullin, the board requested a detailed plan defining goals and objectives. School attorney Chuck Cagel said more information was needed before he could advise the board on liability concerns related to transportation and non-group interaction of mentors and mentees.
The board approved an amended Facilities User agreement stipulating for-profit users of school facilities will be charged $200 or 10 percent of earnings, whichever is greater.
Taking up the need for a policy to codify the facilities naming proposal presented at the October meeting, the board considered the Tennessee School Board Association naming policy.
Board member Lance Williams recommended a waiting period of two or three years after a prospective honoree had retired before naming a facility after the person. “Naming needs to be done based on logic and merit, not emotion,” Williams noted. Williams cited displeasure when the middle schools were named without consulting stakeholders. The names were subsequently “changed back.”
Assistant Superintendent Linda Foster will research other schools’ policies and report to the board at the next meeting, Dec. 10.

​Lessons and Carols Information


The 59th annual Festival of Lessons and Carols at the University of the South will be celebrated at three services, two on Dec. 8 (4 p.m. and 7 p.m.), and one on Dec. 9 (4 p.m.). Please note the new service times for this year.
As part of the University mission and the program of education and formation of All Saints’ Chapel, the Festival Service of Lessons and Carols offers students, faculty, and staff in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Theology the opportunity to experience one of the oldest traditions of Anglican music and Advent expectation. As part of the University’s outreach to others, the Chapel is pleased to welcome the public by offering any available places in the service for reservation. Based on last year’s experience, however, the University expects that after accommodating students, faculty, staff, and their families, the number of places available to the public for reservation may be severely limited.
In our continuing effort to ensure open communication, below are our plans for the reservation system this year. Some highlights:
The University will determine by Nov. 15, whether there will be places available to the general public for reservation. If so, online reservations for the public will be available on Nov. 21. Guests will be able to reserve a specific seat, limit two per order. Go to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSclHw2trs...
All tickets will be available for pick-up at Convocation Hall prior to the service.
Unused tickets, if any, will be made available to walk-up guests (guests without a reservation) before each service. Walk-up guests must check in at Convocation Hall on the day of the event to be placed on a waiting list.

Go to http://www.sewanee.edu/student-life/spiritual-life...

for more information.

Holiday Happenings

Cowan Holiday Events

Celebrate Small Business Saturday in downtown Cowan on Nov. 24. Steer clear of Black Friday madness, take a break from big city traffic, and enjoy small town shopping in true holiday spirit. Cowan businesses will have special sale items, refreshments and door prizes.
The Cowan Christmas Market at Monterey Station will be Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Browse and buy from more than 40 crafters and specialty vendors. The marketplace is open on Friday from 3:30 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information go to www.cowanparade.org


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The 54th annual Cowan Christmas Parade will be at 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1. Share in the fun of an exciting small town event with floats, bands, tin lizzies, tumbling teams and thousands of smiles. The parade goes down Cumberland Street beginning at Cookies Corner on the west side and ending at Cowan Elementary School. For more information, including entry forms, log on to www.cowanparade.org


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Tree Lightings Kick Off Sewanee Holidays
The University of the South will join with the community for two holiday tree lightings on Friday, Nov. 30. Students and community members will gather at 4 p.m. at the University Quad for music and snacks. The campus tree lighting will be at 4:30 p.m.
Music will begin in Angel Park in downtown Sewanee at 5 p.m. The Sewanee Chorale will lead Christmas caroling. Santa Claus and friends will come to downtown via a Sewanee Volunteer Fire Department truck.
The tree lighting at Angel Park will be at 5:30 p.m. Cookies and hot beverages will be available afterward, and Santa and friends will be posing for photos.
University Avenue will be closed, 4–7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30, from Regions Bank to State Highway 41A for the event.
Please bring unwrapped toys and monetary donations for Operation Noel. Gifts of money and nonperishable food will be collected for the Community Action Committee.
In case of inclement weather, the downtown post-tree-lighting activities will move inside to the Blue Chair Bakery and Tavern.
These events are co-sponsored by the University of the South and the Sewanee Business Alliance.

Monteagle Holiday Events
The Town of Monteagle will host its annual Christmas Parade at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1. The theme this year is A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Line up is at 3:45 p.m. at the old VFW. Walkers will meet at The Depot.
Awards will be given for the best decorated float and the float best representing the theme. The city will also give awards for the best decorated business and home. Citizen’s Tri-County Bank will donate the trophies and plaques. Tower Community Bank will provide refreshments during Santa’s visit at Harton Park following the parade.
The Town of Monteagle will have an Open House, 9 a.m.–3 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7, at City Hall. All are invited to attend.
There will be a Mountain Christmas Bazaar, 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8, at DuBose Conference Center, 635 College St., Monteagle.

‘The Nutcracker’
The Alabama Youth Ballet Theatre in partnership with The Sewanee Dance Conservatory returns to Guerry Auditorium, on Georgia Avenue in Sewanee, to present “The Nutcracker: A Yuletide Ballet.” Performances are on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets will be on sale at the door: $5 students/children and $10 adults. Tickets are also available from cast members and at the Rock Climbing Room at Fowler on Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
The production combines the Alabama Youth Ballet Theater dancers with more than 40 local dancers of all ages, from 6 to 50. Come experience a magical production with music, dance, costumes and a colorful cast of familiar faces.
For more information, please contact David Herriott at <deherriott@gmail.com>.

Senior Center Christmas Bazaar
The annual Christmas Bazaar will be 9 a.m.–2 p.m., Monday–Friday, and 9 a.m.–1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3–8 at the Center. There will be daily door prizes. A sewing machine, $250 in cash, and beautiful Batik handprinted textile will be given away. Tickets to enter the drawing are $2 each.
Donations for the bazaar are welcome and greatly appreciated. Please bring any white elephant items, needlework or other nonperishable items any day before the bazaar begins. Baked items, home-canned foods, preserves, jellies and jams should be brought the week of the bazaar.

2018 Holiday Studio Tour
Tennessee Craft–South invites the public to the 23rd annual Holiday Studio Tour on the Mountain, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8 and 11 a.m.–4 p.m, Sunday, Dec. 9. Tennessee Craft–South is the regional branch of Tennessee Craft, the state-wide organization which supports and promotes all handmade crafts in Tennessee.

Bright yellow signs will mark the tour route, and maps will be available at all locations on the tour as well as at all sponsors’ locations, in the Sewanee Mountain Messenger, and on the Tennessee Craft–South website https://tennesseecraft.org/members/chapters/south/


​Armistice Day Service at Memorial Cross, Nov. 11

Rob Lamborn, rector of Otey Parish, and University Chaplain Tom Macfie will lead a brief service at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Memorial Cross on Tennessee Avenue in Sewanee. All members of the community are invited to attend. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918.

Sewanee’s Memorial Cross was completed in 1923 to commemorate those from Sewanee who were killed in World War I; the memorial has since been expanded to include all those from Franklin County who have served in all wars since WWI. The foundation for the Cross was laid on Nov. 11, 1922; all members of the university and the larger community had been invited to participate in the work of clearing underbrush and digging the foundation. Its completion was celebrated on June 18, 1923.
The white cross, 53 feet tall, can be seen for many miles across the valley. It was renovated and restored in 1983 with new landscaping and lighting, and was rededicated on May 8 of that year.
Armistice Day background: On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as “the Great War.” Though the treaty to mark the official end of the war was signed in June 1919, Nov. 11 was still viewed as the date that marked the end of WWI. The following year, President Woodrow Wilson commemorated Nov. 11 as Armistice Day. In 1954, Congress amended the 1938 act that had made Armistice Day a holiday, and created Veterans Day to honor American veterans of all wars.

​Chocolate Bells to Ring at SAS


This Sunday, Nov. 11, at 11:11 a.m., St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School will celebrate Armistice Day with an 11-minute ringing of the St. Andrew’s Chapel “Chocolate Bells.” The annual ritual commemorates the sacrifices of our veterans, is a celebration of peace, and serves as a token of thanks to those who provided the bells for the school’s bell tower. Community members are invited to join SAS students, faculty, and staff in ringing the bells but should be aware that the Tennessee Interscholastic Cycling League Championships held on the school’s campus that day may make campus access difficult. You are advised to approach the school through the side entrance off Fire Tower Road.
The ritual of ringing the “Chocolate Bells” began in 1918. Before World War I ended, the women in a small Episcopal church in Morristown, N.J., began collecting money to send chocolates to American soldiers overseas. When the war ended, they decided to allocate the balance of their “War Time Chocolate Fund” to some other worthy cause. Through one of their parishioners, they heard about St. Andrew’s School, an Episcopal boarding school in Sewanee, Tenn., which had recently completed building a chapel but lacked money for bells in the bell tower.
The churchwomen sent the money for three bells as an Armistice Thanksgiving and asked that the bells be dedicated to three archangels—Uriel, Raphael and Michael. In return, the school agreed to ring the bells for 11 minutes on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11:11 a.m. every year in memory of those who died in World War I and as a prayer for peace. It is an especially poignant event because SAS welcomes students from around the world, including Germany and Japan, who participate in the event.

​Veteran Working with Other Veterans


by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
Jerry Stewart comes from a military family. His father was in the military, and so was his before him. When it came time for Stewart to decide what he wanted to do, the path seemed clear—so he decided to join the Air Force. The service is where he met his wife, Jackie, who served in the Navy.
For Stewart, those who serve have always been close to his heart. After years of service, he decided on a new path of service—now, Stewart works with Avalon Hospice and uses his experience in the Air Force to guide his work with the veterans in hospice.
The Hospice for Heroes program was developed specifically to address the unique needs of veterans and works to care for some of the nation’s 21 million veterans.
This year, the team at Avalon Hospice will branch out to host a Veterans Day event as another way to care for and honor their patients. The event will include patriotic readings done by local students and a colors ceremony by a local scout troop.
Stewart said the aim of the event is to honor local veterans and to educate about the veteran experience.
“Some of the hospice offices around will do coffee and donuts —we wanted to take it a step further. I’m one of those who believes that we should be taking care of our vets from the moment they sign and the moment they pass on,” he said. “This is one way we’re able to do it. It’s a thank you and a moment to remember those who have passed.”
The majority of the nation’s veterans served in the Vietnam War, and Stewart said his hope for the Veterans Day event is to bring the community together to thank those who served.
“It gives us as a community an opportunity to give them that thank you, and from me personally being from a military family, it’s essentially just taking care of my own,” Stewart said. “These are the people that I work with and counsel every day. We don’t know that there will be another Veterans’ Day for a lot of our patients, and we just want to take this opportunity to thank them.”
The event is open to the public and will be at 11 a.m., Monday, Nov. 12, at Winchester First Baptist Church.

​Village Planning Design Review Process


by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the Nov. 6 Sewanee Village update meeting Frank Gladu, who oversees the initiative, discussed the Design Review process all new Village construction must undergo. Gladu also commented on two projects in the Design Review pipeline, the soon to be constructed bookstore and the proposed three-story mixed-use building with apartments on the top two levels and a specialty food market on the ground floor.
Charged with implementing the Sewanee Village vision, Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative (TPUDC) developed a Pattern Book setting architectural standards for Village construction, Gladu said. “The 68-page document informs how buildings should look and how they should be built.”
All proposed construction must undergo Design Review to ensure it conforms to the Pattern Book. Step 1 is a workshop where the builder and their architect or designer meet with the Village Planner to clarify expectations and enter into a collaborative discussion about the project’s schematic design. In Step 2, the builder submits the schematic design for review by the Village Planner. In Step 3, the schematic design and design development information detailing building materials, colors, and landscaping is presented to the Lease Committee for approval. Step 4 is review of the full set of construction documents. Construction is inspected at the foundation stakeout phase to verify the proposed building is situated on the leasehold as approved. Any changes during construction must be submitted for review.
The Lease Committee approved the Pattern Book, Gladu noted. The Pattern Book primarily addresses external circumstances. “The only reason the inside matters is how it impacts the outside,” Gladu said. “The planner does the reviews and has recommendation power to the Lease Committee. Step 3, the Design Development stage, has always been the point where the Lease Committee granted approval of proposed construction.”
Construction will begin soon on a new bookstore between Tower Community Bank and the post office. The design has been approved, contractors have submitted bids, and construction will begin as soon as a contractor is selected. Gladu estimated construction would take 12 months. Half the size of the former bookstore, the 6,000 square foot building will house general interest books in the left wing, Sewanee spirit items in the right wing, and textbooks in the basement. The University bookstore is currently housed in the Bishop’s Common to accommodate construction of a Wellness Center in its former location.
The proposed mixed-use grocery and apartment building has progressed through the workshop phase of design review. Discussion continues.
The developer who builds the structure will continue to own the building and lease the grocery and apartments, Gladu explained. For non-apartment new housing in the Village, the developer will sell the completed housing units.
“We’ve done a request for qualifications from developers,” Gladu said. “We have a half dozen developers we’ll invite to submit proposals for 10 sites identified for housing.” The sites were selected because multiple housing units could be built at the location, either single family detached homes, multi-family homes like duplexes and townhouse, or clusters of small homes.
“I don’t anticipate awarding all 10 sites,” Gladu stressed. Full build out would be as many as 90 units. “We’re testing the waters to see which sites and housing styles are attractive to developers.”
Asked who would be eligible to buy the newly constructed Village homes, Gladu said, “The University hasn’t decided yet. My preference is to sell to full-time residents.”
Speaking to the need for increased University employee housing along with pressure on the housing market from alums and parents of alums who want to retire in Sewanee, Gladu said, “We have an opportunity to increase the inventory to satisfy both demands.” Gladu serves as Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor.

​SCA Speaker Demystifies Allergies


by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
A fascinating presentation on allergies and asthma followed a brief business meeting at the Nov. 1 Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) dinner.
SCA Vice President Brandon Barry announced a community workday at 1–3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, to spread mulch at Elliott Park. The new Parks Committee and the SCA are coordinating the resurfacing/freshening of the Elliott Park (off of University Avenue). The SCA spearheaded the Elliott Park renovation three years ago. Volunteers should bring “shovels, rakes, a strong back and good will.”
The Sewanee Community Chest has committed to raising $110,000 this year, and to date has raised $16,000. The Community Chest supports programs and organizations that make the quality of life richer in Sewanee and the surrounding vicinity. These 25 programs and organizations provide for food, books, child care, animal welfare and so much more in the community. To contribute, mail a check to P.O. Box 99, Sewanee, TN 37375 or donate online by visiting www.sewaneecivic.org.
Featured speaker Dr. Russell Walker from the Chattanooga area Allergy Asthma Group of Galen provided insight into the causes, treatment, and myths about allergies.
Defining food allergy as a “repeatedly” occurring adverse immune system response to a specific food, Walker stressed that whether a reaction occurs can depend on whether the food is cooked or raw, how much the person eats, and recent exercise. Likewise, symptoms vary from a rash in the mouth to full body itching and respiratory impairment. Gastronomic symptoms and inflammation of the esophagus can be allergy caused or wholly unrelated.
Food poisoning and lactose intolerance are not allergic reactions and the smell of a food cannot trigger an allergic reaction, Walker said debunking two myths.
Although 20-25 percent of adults believe they have food allergies, only 2 to 3 percent actually do, Walker insisted, and only 6 percent of children have food allergies. Physicians use to recommend not feeding peanuts to children until the age of three, Walker said, a practice now believed to have caused the increase in peanut allergy. Physicians have now learned the longer introducing a food is delayed, the more likely the child will develop an allergy to it. Similarly, children raised in highly sterile environments were more likely to develop food allergies than children raised in rural environments with high exposure to animals.
Walker recommended avoidance of trigger foods and epinephrine for treating severe symptoms. Children often outgrow food allergies, Walker noted. He expressed skepticism about blood test diagnosis of allergies for typically showing overly sensitive positive reactions. He reported seeing children nearly anorectic due to the list of foods they weren’t allowed to eat.
Walker praised the benefits of organic food and honey, but said neither had allergy preventing properties. Proteins trigger allergic reactions, he said, and organic and non-organic foods have the same proteins. As to honey, a person won’t be desensitized to pollen by eating honey, because bees make honey from nectar, not pollen.
Citing the high level of seasonal tree pollen in the area, Walker said a pollen count over 110 was considered high, and here the pollen count can reach 10,000. But even given the potentially high exposure, among adults reporting rhinitis, or runny nose symptoms, only half had allergies.
For people with pollen allergies, Walker advocated allergy shots as a “natural treatment” introducing the allergy sufferer to the trigger allergen a small amount at a time. Children treated early were 50 percent less likely to develop asthma, Walker said.
As with other symptoms, asthma—breathing difficulty due to narrowing of the airways passages—can be either an allergic response or a non-allergic response triggered by exercise, dust, smoke, or stress. Is sneezing an allergic reaction? “Maybe,” Walker said, “but it’s often just a defense mechanism to blow out stuff the nose doesn’t want up there.”
At the Dec. 6 SCA meeting, financial advisor Michael Forster will talk about financial planning as a road to improving quality of life.

​Chorale to Open 54th Season


The Sewanee Chorale opens their 54th season at 7:30 p.m., today (Friday), Nov. 9, in All Saints’ Chapel. Their fall concert will be a blend of Broadway melodies, popular tunes, American folk music and classical repertoire. The selections range from Copland’s “Ching-a-Ring-Chaw” to a setting of “For the Beauty of the Earth” by the British composer Philip Stopford. Stopford began his life-long work in music as a chorister at Westminster Abbey, London, and went on to earn degrees at Cambridge prior to his appointment as organ scholar at Canterbury Cathedral.
The vocal and instrumental musicians of the Sewanee Student Chamber Music Society will also perform on the program. The singers will present Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo’s setting of “Ubi Caritas et Amor, (Where charity and love prevail).” A student string quartet will accompany the choir in an anonymous setting of a motet based on the chorale tune “Nun danket alle Gott (Now Thank we all our God).” Zachary Zwahlein, assistant university organist will perform a setting of the chorale by J.S. Bach from the Leipzig Chorales, completing the trio of pieces based on the seasonal tune.
To commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day, “In Flander’s Fields” will be read by Marcia Mary Cook prior to the Chorale singing an arrangement of the poem. “The Road Home” by Stephen Paulus is sung in memory of Chorale member Christian Doak, who died unexpectedly in September. Doak was a long-time member of the chorale and is remembered for his tireless contributions, quick wit, and endless cheer.
A set of American folk tunes will include “O Shenando’” sung by the gentlemen of the Chorale, directed by Trent Whisenant, C’21. Sheri Kling, executive director of the Beecken Center, who in her spare time sings and writes folk songs, will lead the women of the Chorale in Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.” Caroline Todd, Anna Burklin, and Lisa Perry, and students Christian Braden, C’21 and Andrew Yow, C’22 also have featured solos.
The Sewanee Chorale brings together approximately 35 people who love to sing, including students, staff and faculty of the University. If you are interested in singing in the Chorale, contact Ruth S. Cobb, <rscobb@sewanee.edu>.
The program is free and parking will be available on University Avenue.


​SSO Celebrates 32nd Season


by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
The 32nd season of the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra (SSO) will begin on at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6, at Guerry Auditorium on Georgia Avenue. The concert is free and open to the public.
The first event of the season will feature Kaitlyn Vest, visiting instructor of cello at the University, performing the Cello Concerto No.1 in C major by Haydn.
“This year, we focus on bringing artistic collaborations to the forefront of our artistry. Each concert experience of the season will feature guest artists from the national and international music scene,” said César Leal, artistic director and assistant professor of music history. Leal has been with the orchestra for 6 years, and he said planning for the next season starts about a year in advance. “Dr. Vest is a cello teacher and a wonderful first-class cellist. The orchestra has never sounded better.”
“We select the music, audition the musicians and choose the music based on the students’ technical level and musicianship. We design a program that challenges their artistic techniques and enables them to play music successfully,” he said. “We schedule all the production dates, spaces, collaborations, contracts with guest artists, and a group of students from the Artistic Leadership Program manages the orchestra.”
In February, the Chattanooga Symphony will join the orchestra for a special collaborative concert.
“The entire symphony will play alongside the students, and the students are going to be in the leadership roles. I will conduct and share the podium with Kayoko Dan, musical director of the Chattanooga Symphony,” Leal said. “The students will get to experience someone else at the podium and having a guest conductor who is a recognized female conductor. That is especially important—so they can see women in positions of leadership and see themselves represented.”
For the final concert of the season, Reggie Smith, a Grand Finals winner of the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions will join the orchestra.
“Reggie has one of those voices that just gives you the chills when you hear it. He’s a wonderful, charismatic, beautiful singer,” he said. “We have been friends for a long time, and to book these people, it takes more than a year in advance because they’re so busy performing all over the world.”
Leal said in addition to collaborations, the program this season will include performances of the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky and Peress’ arrangement of Bernstein’s Overture to West Side Story.
“The orchestra is always a collective effort. There is a reflection of what Sewanee is. There is a whole department and a whole group of people behind what we do. I just wave my hands. I’m very proud to see the department continue to grow and solidify,” Leal said.

​Monteagle Approves Codes Officer, Changes Tree Management


by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the Oct. 29 meeting, the Monteagle City Council voted to hire John Knost to serve as Codes Enforcement Officer. The Council also decided to adopt new tree management practices for the 2018 Christmas lighting display.
John Knost will handle enforcing property maintenance violations, previously the charge of building inspector Earl Geary who issues building permits.
Addressing Knost’s need for a vehicle, Police Chief Virgil McNeese proposed he be given use of the Police Department’s Crown Victoria. The department recently purchased a new Ford Explorer and has three backup vehicles, the Crown Victoria, a Tahoe, and a non-working Explorer.
“The old Explorer needs a starter and has nearly 200,000 miles,” McNeese said. The council approved McNeese’s recommendation to declare the old Explore surplus and sell it on GovDeals. The police department firearms instructor and fire investigator needed to haul apparatus and used the Tahoe, McNeese explained.
The council also approved allocating $5,000 for Christmas lights and not trimming the Main Street trees before installing the lights.
Monteagle resident Nate Wilson who oversees Domain management for the University said the annual trimming was causing the oaks to develop a fungus infection at the wound where the trimming was done.
In the past, the trees were trimmed to facilitate decorating. Vice Mayor Jessica Blalock who oversees Parks and Recreation will look into net type lighting as a possibly less harmful alternative.
Wilson suggested the council also consider fiber optic displays that mount to the bottom of the trees.
Acknowledging the tight schedule, with the Christmas parade planned for Dec. 1, decorating priority will be given to the park. The parade theme is “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Blalock said. Awards will go to the best themed float and the best decorated float. Awards will also go to the best decorated residence and business. Blalock is looking for judges for both categories. Citizen’s Tri-County Bank will donate the trophies and plaques. Tower Bank will donate the hot chocolate and cookies for the Harton Park meet and greet with Santa after the parade.
The parade starts at 4:30 p.m., with lineup at 3:45 p.m. at the old VFW for vehicles and at the Depot for walkers and bicycles.
Revisiting the Seventh Day Adventist Church’s request to put a sign in the median, Alderman Ron Terrill pointed out that unlike the other churches, the Seventh Day Adventist Church was located on Main Street and their sign was visible. Terrill none the less recommended allowing the signage since all the other downtown area churches had median signs.
The council approved the Seventh Day Adventist Church’s request, but Terrill said, “I hope we can protect the area from additional signs in the future.”
Reporting on operations, Fire Chief Mike Holmes said the department received a $1,500 traffic safety grant, which would be used for the purchase of traffic safety vests and a portable radio. The department has applied for a $99,000 FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant to purchase 14 air packs. If received, the grant will require a 5 percent match ($4,700). Holmes said the department’s $19,000 budget for air packs could be used to cover the match.
The council meets next Nov. 26.

​Sewanee Summer Music Festival Revamps Management


by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer
The recent chilly temperatures testify that summer is gone, but Sewanee Summer Music Festival leaders are looking forward to the sunscreen and sonatas of 2019.
Organizers have restructured the administration for next summer’s festival, including adding staff positions.
“Our festival leadership has contributed to some of the new vision and efforts towards hopefully growing the festival,” said Hilary Dow Ward, the event’s managing director. “I think that energy and vision is really an important part to running any business, any festival, any program of our nature.”
One of the changes include Dow Ward’s position change/renaming from assistant director to managing director. John Kilkenny, who took the helm of the festival in 2018 as artistic director, said the change refines leadership duties.
“It’s a reflection of her work with the festival so far and basically it clarifies what the position is and allows for us to all have more understanding of what our roles are,” he said. “Hilary will be managing a lot of day to day operations of the festival during the summer, coordinating community engagement work and outreach in the community, and managing our work study students and the office staff in the summer. My role can then be focused on development and artistic work,” he said.
The administration also tabbed Anna Burklin, a 2018 Sewanee graduate, as office assistant and front of the house manager. Burklin previously performed work-study duties for the festival. Dow Ward said festival leaders are excited to develop the new staff position and potentially partner with the University of the South to give recent graduates an opportunity to learn about the behind-the-scenes work.
“This position focuses a lot on the business of the festival and how the festival is run, the planning, the organizing and some of the budgetary types of things,” Dow Ward said. “So, they’re getting a good introduction into the world of arts management and that is definitely a very dominant field these days for our business, the music industry.”
Dow Ward, an assistant professor in Sewanee’s Department of Music and the School of Theology, said the 2019 event will also boast co-directors of residential life, who will organize the outdoor and other recreation activities when participants aren’t playing music.
“In the more than 60 years of the festival there has not been a focused director of student life,” Dow Ward noted.
Seth Shaffer, an alum of the festival and professional tuba player in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is one co-director, and Natalia Agredo, a bi-lingual school teacher from New York City, is the other co-director.
Being bi-lingual is an important asset for communicating with international parents and students, Dow Ward said.
This past summer’s festival featured 187 participants selected from approximately 400 students who submitted applications, she said, including participants from Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, the Czech Republic and Canada.
Both Kilkenny and Dow Ward noted that their first season leading the festival was a great experience.
“I think there was a tremendous amount of energy this summer. We had excellent conductors, a lot of new conductors, new faculty members, and some faculty who returned to the festival that had not been here for a few years,” Dow Ward said. “This new combination of professional musicians really provided a fresh breath of air in the life of the festival and also gave students an opportunity to have some new faculty to study with, which was really energizing for many students.”
Kilkenny, director of percussion studies and an associate professor at George Mason University, said the 2018 festival exceeded expectations and he praised the community and University for their support.
He added that the festival hired a record number of Sewanee students to work for the festival this year.
The community will get an early taste of the music ahead with the Sewanee Summer Music Festival faculty concert on April 26, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. A reception prior to the concert, sponsored by the Friends of Sewanee Summer Music Festival, will welcome SSMF faculty to campus and provide the repertoire list and performance calendar for the 2019 festival, Dow Ward said.

​Student Mentoring Program Coming to FCHS


by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
Franklin County High School (FCHS) will soon launch a new program pairing students and adult mentors. There are a lot of students with limited experiences, said FCHS teacher Anna Mullin who designed the program, “students who have never left Franklin County.”
The program will match students and mentors with shared interests in the hope of broadening students’ horizons and offering them a nontraditional source of adult support. Mullin wants students to have the opportunity to connect to adults outside the typical parent-teacher dynamic.
Mullin also started the Transition from School to Work program at FCHS. “We engaged with students over several years. It took a while to get to the point where students would communicate, but eventually they began to reach out to us.”
Mullin served as a mentor in the Tennessee Promise college scholarship program, and while acknowledging the benefits, she regretted “there was no time for developing a relationship. I really served no purpose other than to send out reminders. My mentees didn’t stay in touch with me after they left the program.”
Mullin plans for mentors and mentees to have once a month contact through group activities such as hiking and going out to eat, “fun stuff,” she said. Mullin referenced a mentor-style program her son participated in at Sewanee Elementary School where University students were paired with SES students. “My son loved it.”
Those interested in serving as mentors should contact Mullin at <anna.mullin@fcstn.net> or by phoning FCHS, (931) 967-2821.
Potential mentors will participate in an orientation and those who decide to continue in the program will undergo a background check followed by mentor training.
“We’ll need to pay for the background checks,” Mullin said. Several area churches are considering funding the program. Mullin also plans to reach out to area businesses for financial support as well as for potential mentors.
“The mentor program is not a religious initiative,” Mullin stressed.
Mullin emphasized in the planning stages a program “needs to be reflective of many groups.”
The working committee assisting with developing the program includes FCHS Principal Roger Alsup as well as Chelle Daniels (STEM teacher); Angelia Hannah (resources English teacher); B. J. Mathis (youth pastor at Winchester Cumberland Presbyterian Church); Eric Vanzant (director of the Campora Family Resource Center); Brenda Welch (FCHS guidance counselor); and Urla Wolkonowsky (current director of the FCHS Transition from School to Work program).
Alsup signed on as supervisor of the project in its incipient stages. “The project never would have gotten off the ground without his help,” Mullin said. The committee both provides feedback and engages in planning, taking on tasks that range from identifying curriculum resources to funding.
Mullin has appealed to the Franklin County School Board for assistance in addressing legalities such as transportation and mentors engaging with students in non-group settings.
Students will be invited to apply for the program based on referrals from guidance counselors, teachers, and school administrators. “They have a good handle on who will benefit,” Mullin said.
Mullin plans for the first mentor orientation to take place in November with the first mentor-mentee activity occurring before the Christmas break.
Mullin came to education after several other careers and acknowledges in the past “I felt like I was only working to make money.”
“The over arching goal of the program is for mentors and mentees to develop a long term relationship that extends beyond high school. I want to make a difference.”

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