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/.


2200 Block Of Hickory Valley Road Closed Thursday And Friday For Construction

The 2200 block of Hickory Valley Road, between Shallowford Road and Conner Lane, will be closed beginning Thursday, for storm sewer relocation and paving.   The closure is scheduled for two days and will reopen by Friday, at 4 p.m. Detours will be posted using Conner Lane, Lee Highway and Shallowford Road. In order to view a map of this closure, visit: http://www.chattanooga.gov/ ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Artist Wins Best In Show At Monteagle Mountain Market For Arts And Crafts

A Chattanooga artist was awarded best in show at the Monteagle Mountain Market for Arts and Crafts on Sunday, out of over 100 other artisans and crafters. Hannah Foster Pino was surprised and delighted to receive the honor. "This is the first time I've been a vendor at a market," she said. She is finishing her last year as a painting and drawing major at the University of Tennessee ... (click for more)

House Approves Expansion Of Chattanooga Veterans Affairs Clinic

The House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday to authorize funding for a new lease and expanded Veterans Affairs clinic in Chattanooga. This veterans’ package has been approved by the House and Senate Conference Committee.  Rep. Chuck Fleischmann said, “I am proud to announce the legislation passed this afternoon will fund a new lease for a multi-specialty ... (click for more)

KFC Manager Arrested After Staging Fake Robbery

Police were called Sunday night after a manager of the KFC on 3rd Street staged a fake robbery in order to take money. Fellen Hayes, 24, was arrested after police say she conspired with a man named "Ira" to make her theft look like a robbery. These events occurred shortly after noon.  She initially called police saying that a tall black male had approached her and taken ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mark’s 50th Anniversary Toast

In the new book that celebrates the first 50 years of baseball’s Southern League, its splendid author Mark McCarter recalls that very early in his career as a sports writer, he was riding with his boss somewhere and mentioned that if the legendary Allan Morris ever needed help covering the Chattanooga Lookouts that he’d love to help. Today, as he looks back, he ruefully adds, “I ... (click for more)