Annual Jan Pennington Gray Harp Camp Finishes Successfully

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - by Harmon Jolley

Summer camps are usually limited to children and teens, and typically include physical activities such as archery, canoeing, and horseback riding.   A group gathered in Chattanooga last week for a different type of camp in which there are no age boundaries, and no ropes courses.  From Tuesday afternoon through Sunday morning, students and instructors from Tennessee and surrounding states participated in the annual Jan Pennington Gray Harp Camp.

The camp is hosted each year by Jim and Jo Pennington, who started the annual event in memory of their daughter, Jan Pennington Gray, who was an accomplished harpist.  Each day except Sunday began with a reveille on bag pipes played by Jim.  Delicious meals were provided by camp chef, Maigualida Rowe  

Instructors were Angi Bemiss and Lorinda Jones.   Each led sessions ranging from tips to improve playing skills to amplifying the harp.  Campers were also given helpful information on playing in health care settings, church and community events.  There was even a workshop on using the harp as part of storytelling.  

Angi Bemiss lives in Atlanta, and is a Certified Music Practioner (CMP).  Since 1998, she has played the harp at Northside Hospital in Atlanta.  She plays in all the medical departments including pre-op and recovery, oncology, and infusion, and the neo-natal intensive care (NICU) / special care nurseries.  In addition, she plays for Alzheimer’s facilities, church services, hospices, and weddings.  Ms. Bemiss is a popular harp workshop presenter, and she has published eleven books and about ninety pieces of sheet music arrangements for harp.  She has also recorded four CD’s.

Lorinda Jones is from Elizabethton, KY, and is a performing artist and board-certified music therapist.  She made a return appearance at the JPG Harp Camp for the second year.  Lorinda performs solo and with a Celtic duo, The Chattering Magpies.  She has published several books and made CD recordings of American and Celtic folk music.

Each instructor gave a concert for the group.   The campers also had an opportunity to do skits, story-telling, and music for each other.   On Sunday morning, the students played music as part of the services at First-Centenary United Methodist Church. 

Since the camp is at the Penningtons’ farm, there were opportunities for nature walks and fellowship.  Campers form strong friendships, and often return year after year.

For more information on the Jan Pennington Gray Harp Camp and scholarship fund, visit http://harpscholar.org/.


Wilson Road Neighborhood Group Has Town Hall Meeting On March 2

The first town hall meeting of 2017 for the Wilson Road Neighborhood Group will be Thursday, March 2, at 6:30 p.m.  at New Covenant Baptist Church, 105 Spruce St. in Rossville.   Over the past year many advances toward a better Walker County have been made and the citizens have came together to make a change, Jim Hill said. Walker County Commissioner ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Hamilton County NAACP Offers Mayoral And City Councilman Candidate Table Exhibits

The Chattanooga Hamilton County Branch of  the NAACP invites the public to visit its Mayoral and City Councilman Candidate Table Exhibits. The grand opening is on Saturday, from 1-3 p.m.  The Purpose of the Table Exhibit:  • To give the public an opportunity to learn more about the candidate platform.  • To give the voter an opportunity to meet the ... (click for more)

Man, Child Killed In Crash On Highway 136 In Walker County; 2nd Child Seriously Injured

  A man and an unrestrained five-year-old child were killed when a vehicle went out of control on Highway 136 in Walker County on Saturday. A 10-year-old in the car was seriously injured. The driver was thrown from the van and was dead at the scene. The four-year-old was trapped in the vehicle and also died at the wreck site at Ponder Creek Road. The Georgia State ... (click for more)

2 People Shot After Domestic Dispute In Brainerd; Corey Moon Taken Into Custody On Saturday Night

Two people were shot during a domestic dispute in Brainerd late Friday night.   Chattanooga Police responded at 11:17 p.m. to the 4700 block of Rogers Road on a shooting. The following are the preliminary facts of that investigation.   Officers were able to locate two victims, Cortez Moon, 23, and Terri Dossett, 45, suffering from non-life threatening gunshot ... (click for more)

Rhonda Thurman: Speaking The Truth About CSLA - And Response

One parent called me a “Liar” during Thursday’s Facilities meeting. Others from CSLA have been a bit more creative saying that I spread “misinformation”, “falsehoods” and “spread inaccurate statements”. Then there were more descriptive terms- “arrogant”, “uninformed”, “unprofessional”- if these CSLA parents don’t stop, they are going to hurt my feelings. In this letter, I will attempt ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It Ain’t Gonna Work

In the last seven days, there have been seven different people who have been shot in separate incidents in Chattanooga. On Tuesday, the City Council approved a total $223,656 in street cameras and accessories to take pictures of our gangstas when the cops already know them by first names. Late last month it was announced the Chattanooga Police Department would double our gang violence ... (click for more)