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Audience May Recognize Sicilian Composer’s Works

Dr. Beth Everett, associate professor of music at La-Grange College, understands that listeners at her 3D Journeys lecture Monday may not be familiar with her topic: “Vincent Bellini, Sicily’s Son of Musical Drama.”

“But,” Everett said with a twinkle in her eye, “many people have heard his music and don’t realize it.”

One of Bellini’s most famous arias figures prominently in recent pop culture, she said. Not to tip off the lecture, but the phrase “The Incredible Hulk” is involved.

The fact that Bellini is not a name on the tip of most tongues is kind of the point, Everett said, now completing her third year as the college’s director of choral activities. The 3D Journeys travel/ lecture series is all about lifelong learning. Sicily is this year’s topic, and lecture goers will learn about a native of Sicily who became a famous composer and made, Everett said, “an incredible impact” on the world of music.

“Here is this man from little old Sicily, who lived a very short life, just 34 years, and died nearly 200 years ago, in 1835, yet we are still talking about him and hearing his music today.”

A native of North Carolina, Everett brings a wealth of experience to her role at the college, where she conducts the Chamber Choir and teaches courses in conducting, vocal music and music history. She has studied, performed, conducted and taught around the country and even abroad, as a faculty member of the National Music Conservatory in Amman, Jordan, from 1996-1998.

Her Doctor of Musical Arts degree is from the University of Southern Mississippi, and she holds a master’s degree in choral conducting from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree in church music from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Prior to returning to school for her doctorate, she taught for three years at Landmark Christian School in Fairburn.

“From that experience, I was familiar with LaGrange College and this area and knew it would be a good place to live and work,” she said.

She had little idea, however, just how “good a place” the college’s music department would become. The recently completed renovation of the former West Side Magnet School into a spacious, stateof- the-art music school was barely on the radar when she accepted the opportunity here.

“It’s an awesome facility,” she said. “Students and faculty are just loving it.”

For her lecture (10 a.m., Monday in Dickson Assembly Room), Everett plans to follow a style she uses with her music history students and as a pre-concert lecturer for the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra.

“I aim to keep it interesting. I like to share little nuggets that offer insight into a composer’s life as well as his work.”

Monday’s presentation will include excerpts from Bellini’s most famous pieces, done in the Bel Canto (“beautiful singing”) style favored by fabled performers like Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland and Pavarotti.

Dr. Everett will come to Monday’s lecture fresh off a performance of her own, as soloist with the LaGrange Symphony at its well-received “Water” concert Tuesday. She also is conductor for the Sons of Lafayette male chorus and is hoping to lead LC students on a January 2018 Interim trip to musical sites in Europe, including Milan, Italy, where Bellini did much of his best work.

If you go: All 3D Journeys lectures are free and open to the community. They are held at 10 a.m. on the fourth Mondays of January, February, March and April in Turner Hall at LaGrange College, and each lecture stands on its own. Attendance at the previous Sicily lectures is not necessary to attend Monday’s lecture. Park in the lot behind Sunny Gables Alumni House, 910 Broad Street. A shuttle service to the door will begin at 9:30 a.m. An optional Dutch-treat lunch, featuring a Sicilian entrée, will be available in Pitts Dining Hall following the lecture. For information call (706) 880-8244 or email 3DJourneys@ lagrange.edu.