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Georgetown College Department of Music
January 2006

A Word from the Chair

Things have certainly changed around Nunnelley Music Hall this year! With the recent gift from the Littrell estate and other sources, a number of improvements have been made. Our primary classroom, NMB 21, has a completely new look!  Room 21 now has a new tile floor & drop ceiling, new professor and student desks, as well as white boards.  The transformation has been much appreciated by students, who have expressed their satisfaction regarding the improved learning environment.  There is also new hallway seating throughout the building, and new carpeting in the bandroom.  And for the first time, Nunnelley actually has instrument storage lockers in the downstairs hallway!  But perhaps the most noticeable change is to the exterior of our beloved building.  Nunnelley is now sporting all new, energy-efficient windows—75 of them!  Photos will be available on the web version of the newsletter.  I hope you will have time to check them out. Click here

The department faculty is excited about hiring a new voice professor for Fall 2006.  We are examining applications even now, and the pool of candidates looks very promising.

Brand new for Fall 2006 students is the Music Audition Grant!  By scheduling an audition on one of three specific dates, students will automatically receive $250 per year in addition to other awards for which they may be eligible.  Please see Auditions on our music web page, or call the Music Office, for details.

Our annual Faculty Showcase Recital will be held in Hill Chapel on Sunday, January 29 at 3:00 p.m.  We hope to see many of you there!

Please be reminded that we are now publishing only a single newsletter each year, but you may stay in touch with current departmental happenings via our website, which is updated regularly:

Dr. Sonny Burnette

Click here to view Fall 2005 improvements to Nunnelley Music Hall! 

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Please refer to the "Calendar of Events" option on the main menu.

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Audition Dates

Please click here for information regarding our new Music Audition Grant (February 1, 2006 deadline)!!

Music scholarship audition dates for Fall 2006 entry are right around the corner:

Saturday, February 11, 9a-1p
Saturday, February 18, 9a-1p
Monday, February 20, 10a-noon

Individual arrangements may also be made if the above dates are inconvenient.

Music scholarships are potentially available to all GC students, regardless of major.  

For more information, or to schedule an audition, please call Mrs. Betty Barkley in the Music Office at 502-863-8100.

To facilitate the awarding process, students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible. For information, please call our Office of Student Financial Planning at 1-800-788-9985.

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... Your Assistance Please

If you are aware of a high school student who may wish to receive information about the music program at Georgetown College, we would appreciate your providing us with contact information. Thank you!

Music Department Chair
Georgetown College
400 East College Street
Georgetown, Kentucky  40324-1696
Admissions: 1-800-788-9985

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Curry Award for Faculty Excellence

On Tuesday, January 24th at the annual Founder’s Day Convocation, Dr. Sonny Burnette, Chair of the Music Department, received the inaugural “Curry Award for Faculty Excellence.” As the first-ever recipient of this honor, the contributions of Dr. Burnette to the college, the students and the profession were acknowledged.

The Curry Award is named for Ralph and Gwen Curry, long-time and cherished faculty members at Georgetown College and ...“is intended to recognize the elements of faculty life that were important to the Currys:  service to faculty, excellence in scholarship, and dedication to students.  The winner is a faculty member who best emulates the qualities demonstrated by Dr. Ralph Curry and Dr. Gwen Curry.”

Cited at the presentation of the award, was the work and effort Dr. Burnette has given to Georgetown College including many years as Department Chair, as well as Division Chair and Chair of the Faculty; his commitment to excellence in teaching as expressed by his innovative class design; and his well-known work as a performing artist and widely-acclaimed composer.

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GC Ensembles

"Blow It & Bang It" News of the Band Scholars and our Georgetown College Tiger Bands

2005 has been a banner year for our Tiger Bands, filled with a veritable plethora of experiences which we shall always cherish. During the Spring Semester the Band Scholars were very busy with many performance obligations – but the highlights surely included the continuation of our “Tiger Bands on the Road Series” with Grrr… Excursion KC II [aka Kansas City, Take Two] during which time the members of our much-beloved FTGPB gave what we now call the “Hall of Fame” performance at Municipal Auditorium at the NAIA National Basketball Tournament. In addition to several other great performances, the Grrr… Excursionnaires toured the Truman Presidential Library, the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, The American Jazz & Negro League Baseball Museums and the Jesse James Farm [to name but a few of our educational/historic sites]. It was a great time. We concluded the Spring Semester with a landmark performance of our Tiger Symphonic Band as we featured Student Conductor, Adam Nance on the “Gold Rush Rag” and Darron McNutt, Piano Soloist on the incomparable “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin.

We began the Fall Semester, “Grrr… Op. 13”, with our now standard Band Leadership Event & Barbecue. The Band Scholars have worked with great diligence to ensure that the standards which have been set for our Tiger Bands are maintained. In addition to performances supporting community events [Festival of the Horse Parade] and special campus events [Lady Tiger Habitat for Humanity Classic & the Jim Reid Classic Tournament], the Band Scholars conducted their annual Fall Food Drive [admission to the fall concert] as we celebrated 161 years of Bands at Georgetown College. A special highlight of the Fall Anniversary Concert was as we featured Michelle Ginn, junior bassoon soloist, on the “Rondo” from the Mozart Bassoon Concerto. Very special events of the Fall Semester also included a performance of the FTGPB for the President’s Dinner [prior to our GC Tigers taking on the UK Wildcats at Rupp Arena] and our newest project, our discussion/reading groups of the incredible book, “Certain Trumpets” by Garry Wills.

As we look towards the Spring 2006 Semester we are delighted and honored that five Band Scholars have been chosen to participate in the prestigious Kentucky Intercollegiate Band. Michelle Ginn – bassoon, Ken Marotte – mallets, Jon Myers – trombone, Shana Noe-bass clarinet and Nora Whitehead – bass clarinet shall represent our Tiger Bands and Georgetown College in this 105-member honor ensemble, representative of the finest collegiate band members from across the Commonwealth. The KIB shall rehearse and perform at the 2006 KMEA In-Service Convention in Louisville, and this year shall be under the baton of the renowned, Dr. Ronnie Wooten, Director of Bands at NIU. We will have the privilege and pleasure of supporting our Tigers and Lady Tigers in conference and post-season play – plus performances at many other special events. We shall round out the spring semester with our annual concert of the Tiger Symphonic Band which shall take place on Thursday, April 27th at 8:00 PM in the John L. Hill Chapel featuring the incomparable artistry of senior Ken Marotte on mallets and our Woodwind Choir. Special features shall also include the Alchettes and Bahb’s Family with a special musical dedication to the memory of Rosa Parks, as we perform “A Movement for Rosa” by Camphouse. This is a concert you shan’t want to miss. 

We of the Tiger Bands remain committed to our 5FBT [aka Five-Fold Band Tenets] …..

 Academic Excellence     Music Achievement     Spiritual Values
Leadership Skills     Commitment to Georgetown College

 ….. and are always on the lookout for extraordinary prospective “Fledglings” who might be a great addition to our Tiger Band Family. If you know of any – never hesitate to get in touch with us.

On behalf of the Tiger Bands collectively and myself personally – I would like to thank all of our many Band Friends for your continued support for the Band Scholars and Bands at Georgetown College. To keep up with our performances, events and activities – please go to our Tiger Band Web at…..

Dr. Peter J. LaRue

"Get Your Grrr...On" Recording Project

The GYGO CD has brought unparalleled excitement to our Tiger Bands, and countless hundreds are now listening to thirty-one Grrr...classics in their offices, in their cars, in their homes - or wherever they may find themselves. Distribution at the Book Store, the East Campus Spirit Shop and On-Line has been great - and we would like to thank everyone who has purchased a copy of GYGO, and encourage those who have not - to please do so. All proceeds directly and materially benefit the Band Scholars and our Tiger Bands. Order information may be found at ...

Georgetown College Choral Ensembles

Chorale has had a terrific year, with numerous opportunities to perform in various venues.  A tour of western Kentucky in Spring 2005 included concerts at churches and high schools in Madisonville, Paducah, Henderson, Hopkinsville, and Bowling Green.  They also sang for a community concert series in Glasgow.  Less than two weeks later they left on a tour of sites of the Underground Railroad. This second tour was sponsored by the Underground Railroad Research Institute (Alicestyne Turley-Adams, director), and included concerts in Auburn and Elmira, New York, and Buxton, Ontario. The tour personnel included a videographer who created a 30-minute documentary of the tour, titled Steal Away: Music of the Underground Railroad, that was broadcast on Kentucky Educational Television on September 8 and 11, and will be seen again from time to time on KET.  The documentary will be broadcast in Rochester, NY, in February, and is also being promoted in Indianapolis and other cities. For a change of pace, on April 21 Chorale gave a concert of mostly light music, including a staged medley from Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore.

Chorale performed at Georgetown Baptist Church and Midway Baptist Church in the spring, and gave a mini-tour in November to First Baptist Church, Owenton, and Graefenburg Baptist Church.  The tour followed close on the November 3 Fall Concert. The Chorale and Concert Choir joined together to host a Messiah Sing on December 4, and for the annual Lessons and Carols Chapel on December 6.  Other opportunities have included singing the National Anthem for the first exhibition game of the Cincinnati Bengals, against the New England Patriots on August 12, representing Georgetown College in front of some 50,000 fans.  A week and a half into the semester Chorale performed several songs at the Kentucky Theatre in Lexington for the celebration of the premiere of the Underground Railroad documentary.  With Dr. Campbell serving as coordinator, Chorale was joined by choirs from Campbellsville University, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and the University of the Cumberlands for a joint performance of four anthems at the Kentucky Baptist Convention in Frankfort.  Altogether, Chorale performed five different sets of music in the fall semester!

The Concert Choir performed Duruflé’s Requiem on May 1 at First Christian Church, Georgetown.  On November 17 they presented selections from Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and Bach’s Magnificat, accompanied by alumnae Rozanna Dalton Thompson on harp for the Britten, and Glenna Armstrong Metcalfe on organ for the Bach.  They closed out the semester by co-hosting the Messiah Sing and performing in the Lessons and Carols Chapel.

What lies ahead?  The Chorale and Concert Choir will present a concert called “Spring Fling” on February 21 at 8:00 p.m. in Hill Chapel.  Come hear some madrigals, ballads, and other songs of spring.  The Chorale will tour North and South Carolina on its Spring Tour, March 29-April 2, before giving a Home Concert on April 4 at 8:00 p.m.  Appearances in Kentucky on tour include First Baptist Church of Middlesboro on Sunday, April 2 at 11:00 a.m., and First Baptist Church of Mt. Vernon on Sunday evening, April 2 at 7:00 p.m.  They will also sing in chapel at the Duke University Divinity School in Durham, NC.  Regional appearances include Central Baptist Church, Lexington, on February 5 at 11:00 a.m.; Faith Baptist Church, Georgetown, on March 5 at 11:00 a.m.; and First Baptist Church of Mt. Healthy, OH on March 5 at 6:00 p.m.

The Concert Choir will be joined by the Chorale and orchestra on April 30 at 3:00 p.m. in Hill Chapel to perform Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams.  This wonderful work includes Civil War poetry by Walt Whitman and biblical texts from the minor prophets about war and the eventual triumph of peace.  It will involve more musicians in one performance than has happened on campus in several years.  Please come to any and all these events that you can, and hear what is happening in the choral program at Georgetown College!

Dr. John W. Campbell

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Chapel Brass

This fall Chapel Brass explored the literature for brass quartet on its annual fall concert, but this time the group appeared with the Concert Choir, rather than with the Handbells Ensemble, as has been the case in the past.  The group also appeared with the Chorale, and Concert Choir, on the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols, in December, assisting in this effective campus worship service, which has become a Christmas tradition at Georgetown College.

GC Music Students


The Collegiate chapter of the Music Educators National Conference (C-MENC) is going well, with 9 members plus Dr. Campbell as advisor.  Sophomore music education major Tom Steuart has assumed duties as President, and attended the state C-MENC officers retreat this fall.  Chapter activities included a report from the officers retreat, attending a performance of 42nd Street in Cincinnati, and assembling and distributing Survival Kits at the start of final exams.  Plans for the spring include sponsoring C-MENC members in the All-Collegiate Choir, or who are attending KMEA; and again doing Survival Kits.

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Student Focus

Darron McNutt

Darron McNutt, a senior at Georgetown College, is the son of Darlene and Ron McNutt of Louisville, KY. After noticing his tendency to listen to pipe organ music and “play along” on the footrests of reclining chairs in the living room (in lieu of playing kickball with the “normal” kids in the neighborhood), Darron’s parents quickly sent him to study piano with Marian Young (the organist at Valley Station Baptist Church in Louisville) at the age of seven. Darron won first place in the Kentucky State Invitational Academic Competition for Christian Schools in both 1994 and 1995 while under her tutelage.

While attending DuPont Manual High School, Darron studied with local musician Tim Harper, Dr. Denine LeBlanc of the University of Louisville School of Music, and took basic classes in music theory at U of L. During this time Darron became active on the music and multimedia teams at Valley Station Baptist, playing piano, guitar, and drums while helping out with sound, recording, lighting, PowerPoint presentations, and occasionally leading rehearsals. Darron achieved “Excellent” and “Superior” ratings in the 2001 and 2002 Kentucky Music Teachers Association Regional Keyboard Festivals respectively.

Darron studied piano under Dr. Stephen Tilford at Georgetown College, becoming the first recipient of the Samuel Hodges Music Scholarship (2004). Darron performed George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Georgetown College Tiger Symphonic Band in 2005 and completed his senior recital in the fall, featuring works by Bach, Liszt, Debussy, and Prokofiev.

Darron will be studying religion at Oxford University in the spring of 2006 through the Georgetown/Regent’s Park program and plans on returning to Georgetown in the fall to earn a religion degree in addition to the Bachelor of Arts in Music. Over the next several years Darron plans on getting married and attending graduate school in religious studies in hopes of one day earning his doctorate and becoming a professor.

Faculty Focus

H. M. Lewis (1989) had eye surgery in September of this year which has curtailed his musical activities during the Fall semester.  He continues to be active with the orchestra at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, which he has directed for many years.  During the Christmas season, he also performed as a trumpeter for several church Christmas services.  His activities as head of the “Answerman” project for the International Trumpet Guild continues unabated. 

Sonny Burnette (1990) performed Gary Schocker's Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano with New York composer Gary Schocker at the piano.  The April “Weekend with Gary Schocker” Music Festival was hosted by the Music Department at Campbellsville University.  Also in April, Burnette was featured on alto saxophone performing the jazzy Shaker Song with the GC Symphonic Band.  In May, he played reeds for the Paragon Music Theatre production of The World Goes Round; in July for the Lexington Shakespeare Festival production of Fiddler on the Roof; in October for the national touring production of Chicago at the Lexington Opera House; again in October for the Woodford County Theatrical Arts Association production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; and in November for the Paragon production of Anything Goes.  Burnette compositions have been performed recently at Bowling Green State Univ., Central Michigan Univ., West Virginia Univ., Univ. of Windsor, Emporia State Univ., Brandon Univ. (Manitoba), and by the Western Australian Youth Music Association Flute Choir in Perth Concert Hall, Australia.  This past summer, Burnette completed a commissioned composition for the WyndSong Flute Quartet, a professional group based in the Washington, D.C. area.  Burnette regularly performs with the Pendulum Orchestra in the Louisville area, and he also continues to serve as organist and choir director for Hope Lutheran Church in Frankfort, KY.

Peter LaRue (1993).  2005 was an exceptional year for Dr. LaRue as he continued his work and efforts in several assorted venues and areas. A particular highlight was the 2005 Commencement, at which time he was awarded the “Cawthorne Excellence in Teaching Award” – the highest honor Georgetown College can bestow upon a faculty member.  He has continued as the Music Director & Conductor of the Central Kentucky Concert Band – and in 2005 conducted the ensemble’s “Celts & Kilts” and “Be Well, Be Flat” concerts at Transylvania University; the “Gershwin Gala” at the Lexington Opera House – and five “Pops” concerts including venues in Georgetown, Paris, Winchester & Lexington. Last spring LaRue served as the Guest Conductor for the Gainesville HS/GA Honor Band and through the year has performed numerous times with the Bluegrass Brass Trio on his beloved trombone at elementary schools, retirement centers, churches and other local colleges. In 2005 he made three appearances on the weekly arts program “Curtains at Eight” on WUKY-FM and also appeared as a guest on WKYT-TV’s “Afternoons.”  Additionally, LaRue again coordinated Summer Programs & Camps for Georgetown College, during which time slightly over 8000 guests stayed on campus. Other fall highlights have included being the Guest Speaker for the Georgetown Rotary Club, and playing in the Kentucky Ballet Theater Orchestra at the Lexington Opera House for a recently finished run of the Nutcracker.  Dr. LaRue looks forward to an exciting 2006,  spending quality time with the Band Scholars, the 8:00 Scholars – conducting a bit, playing a bit, reading a bit, spending time with cherished friends and savoring assorted opportunities as they present themselves.

Stephen Tilford (1999) In the spring of 2005, Stephen Tilford performed piano recital for Sigma Alpha Iota in Lexington, KY, and for the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce spring banquet.  He also performed for Anchor Baptist church in Lexington and served as adjudicator for the first annual Memorial Scholarship, Classical Piano Competition for the Ashland Area Music Teachers’ Association.  In 2005, Tilford accompanied two concerts for the Scott County Children’s Chorus, a recently formed organization in Georgetown.  After a year of dealing with colon cancer and months of radiation and chemotherapy, Tilford looks forward to the spring of 2006, when he will be on sabbatical researching a program suitable for children and performing in Lexington, Grayson, Louisville, Atlanta, and St. Louis.  As an active member of the Music Teacher’s National Association and the National Federation of Music Clubs, Tilford is frequently invited to adjudicate piano festivals and to perform recitals for various organizations.  Currently, Tilford serves as the Organist/Choir Director for First Presbyterian Church in Georgetown.

Director of Choral Activities John W. Campbell  (2001) has stayed very busy with the Chorale and Concert Choir (see their article), as well as voice, conducting and church music classes.  For the third year he coordinated the All-Collegiate Choir that performed at KMEA in February.  He has since been voted president-elect of the Kentucky chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.  He rehearsed the District 7-11 TTBB All-State Choir this January, also in preparation for KMEA.  He was tapped to coordinate the college choirs that performed for the presentation by Baptist colleges at the November annual meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.  This past summer he resigned his church choir in Lexington in favor of family and sanity, and now happily sings in the choir at Faith Baptist Church, Georgetown, under the direction of alumna Glenna Armstrong Metcalfe.  Dr. Campbell arranged for the singing of the National Anthem at all the home football games, and at the men’s and women’s basketball home games.  If you’d like to sing, please contact him!

Daniel Tilford (Faculty Emeritus) While Dr. Stephen Tilford is on sabbatical leave this semester his father, Daniel Tilford will be teaching in the Department of Music. As you may know Daniel Tilford retired from teaching at Georgetown College after forty years (1959-1999). In addition to his part-time teaching at the college he is organist/choral director for Anchor Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. Since his retirement he has maintained a private teaching studio in Georgetown. Free time is spent with his family, especially the grandchildren.

Rebecca Miller is adjunct Instructor in Voice, is in her twelfth year of part-time teaching in the Georgetown College Music Department.  In addition to applied voice, she has taught Music Appreciation classes, Vocal Pedagogy and Vocal Diction.  As an A.B.D. doctoral student in Music at the University of Kentucky, she is researching the vocal works of French composer, Jacques Ibert.  From time to time she performs as soprano soloist, adjudicates choral festivals, and solo and ensemble contests around the state.  Each week she commutes 170 miles from Harlan County, Kentucky, where she and her husband make their permanent residence.

Georgetown College Ministry Reunion

Musicians Dick Ham ’58, Pat Kinman Avery ’72, Rod Ellis ’88, Carl Peters ’88, David Bishop ’85, Glenna Metcalf ‘85, Maria Lester ’89, Nina Bell Durr ’77, and Mary Ellen Kerrick ’64 are among the many music people giving leadership to one of the most historic events in the history of Georgetown College.

The Ministry Reunion is scheduled for April 24-26, 2006. More than 500 people are expected to this once-in-a-history event. Ham, Lester, Durr, Metcalf, Kinman and Ellis have served on the planning teams. Peters will lead the reunion choir, Bishop will accompany the choir, and Kerrick has composed the anthem and hymn which was commissioned for the occasion. The Reunion Choir will rehearse at two o’clock on Tuesday afternoon, April 25 and sing during the Worship Celebration on Wednesday morning.

Full details are on the web at Included is a current list of those who have registered. Names are being added every day. All friends and alumni of Georgetown College are encouraged to attend some or all of the reunion.

Staying in Touch

Lori Browder Padgett '97 and husband are excited to share the news of the birth of their daughter, Courtney Elizabeth (see photo below), on October 26.  Lori will be a stay-at-home mom for the remainder of this school year and all of next year before returning to teaching.  Lori says she loves every minute of being a mom.

Leah V. Inger '99  performed in Gilbert and Sullivan's "Mikado" with the Young Victorian Theater Company in Maryland this past summer.  For more information, visit  Also, Fox 45 Morning News did a spot on the show and Leah sang for it.


Alums, send us your news (and photos)!

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If you would like to be added to our Nunnelley Notes newsletter mailing list, please contact the Music Office via e-mail or telephone:  502-863-8100.

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