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/.


$40 Million Traffic Improvement Set To Connect Hamilton Place More Directly With I-75 And Ease Congestion On Shallowford Road

The city, state and CBL & Associates are cooperating on a $40 million plan to make the Hamilton Place section more accessible to Interstate 75. The upcoming project will provide a direct connection for southbound I-75 traffic with Hamilton Place Boulevard. The project will also provide a new connection for those on Hamilton Place Boulevard to enter I-75 northbound. ... (click for more)

Owners Of Trucking Firm Involved In Tragic Wreck At Ooltewah Exit Ask That Cases Be Moved To Federal Court

The owners of a Kentucky trucking firm involved in a wreck in which six people were killed at the Ooltewah exit of I-75 on June 25 are asking that lawsuits in the matter be handled in Federal Court. Cool Runnings Express owners Billy and Cretty Sizemore are asking that the initial suit brought by Ryan Humphries of Cleveland, Tn., be moved from Hamilton County Circuit Court. ... (click for more)

How To Be #ChattanoogaStrong

Chattanooga is my home; I was born here 35 years ago. Without a doubt, this has been one of the most challenging times in our city's history. The #ChattanoogaStrong hashtag will remain for quite some time, but it means so much more than 18 characters on social media. It represents the sorrow and mourning, as well as the resilience and compassion, of our exceptional community.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Hero Is Coming Home

In late September, a very special funeral will be held in Bearden, Tenn., when 1 st Lt. Alexander “Sandy” Bonnyman Jr., will finally come home to lie in peace with his family. Sandy’s been dead for 72 years now, ever since he was killed in combat on the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands on Nov. 22, 1943. He and a number of other Marine heroes were buried back then in a shallow ... (click for more)