Thursday, November 12, 2009

SecDef Robert Gates To Address UGA Commencement

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates will address the University of Georgia’s fall undergraduate commencement ceremony, which takes place at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, 18 December, at Stegeman Coliseum. See the UGA announcement and the Banner-Herald article.

Note this from UGA:

Gates' talk is not open to the general public and, for the first time in years, UGA is requiring family members and friends to present tickets to get into the ceremony. The university is allotting six tickets to each eligible student. . . . The commencement speech will be broadcast live on Charter cable channel 15 and will be streamed live at

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Athens Symphony 2009-2010 Season

Season Opens November 15

The Athens Symphony will open its 32nd season with its Winter Concert, November 15, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. at the Classic Center in Athens. As a special twist to the annual concert, Conductor Albert F. Ligotti has put together an all-orchestral program featuring Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Ballet Suite.

In addition, the concert will include Alexander Borodin’s Overture to Prince Igor; Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 4 in C minor; and the Funeral March of a Marionette by Charles Gounod.

“It is a treat to present the music of the most famous ballet ever written to the Athens community,” said Ligotti. “It’s exciting to think of the possibility of potentially acquainting children and adults with this iconic masterpiece for the first time.”

Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, commissioned in 1875 by Moscow Imperial Theatre director Vladimir Petrovich Begichev, was the first ballet ever set to the score of a symphonic composer. Based loosely on Johann Karl August Musäus’ “Der geraubte Schleier” (The Stolen Veil) and the Russian folktale “The White Duck,” Swan Lake is the tale of the beautiful Odette, cursed by the villain Von Rothbart to appear in the form of a swan during daylight hours, and her love Prince Siegfried, who is tricked into declaring Von Rothbart’s daughter Odile as his bride.

Ligotti has included a nod to fall in this season’s Winter Concert, with a piece by romantic composer Charles Gounod that’s perfectly suited for Halloween.

“Everyone knows the Funeral March of a Marionette as the theme song to Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” said Ligotti. “As soon as you hear it, you can just see Hitchcock’s shadow stepping into that drawing of his profile--it’s a really fun piece for the orchestra to play.”

Admission to the Winter concert is free but tickets are required for entry, and are currently available for pick up at the Classic Center Theatre Box Office. Tickets are provided on a first come, first served basis, so patrons are encouraged to secure theirs as early as possible.

Chorus looks to hit a High Note

This season, the Athens Symphony Chorus will again join the Athens Symphony Orchestra in presenting their annual Christmas and Pops concerts. The chorus is seeking singers of every voice type to join this November, as they begin preparing carols and selections from Handel’s Messiah for the Christmas concerts.

The symphony’s Christmas concerts have become a staple of holiday celebration in the Athens area,” says Ligotti. “The Athens Symphony Chorus offers the opportunity for many people to get involved in this community tradition.”

Sopranos, altos, tenors and basses of any level are invited to join the chorus with no audition required. Singers need only be over the age of 18 and able to read music.

More information regarding this Sunday’s concert and a full schedule of chorus rehearsals may be found on the Athens Symphony Orchestra’s web site and Facebook page. Those interested may also contact the Athens Symphony Orchestra by email or by calling (706) 425-4205.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

SCHS Pigskin Finalé

My alma mater Indians Indians dropped a 23-26 decision to the Jackson County Panthers last Friday evening, thereby finishing the season at a disappointing 3-7 overall and 2-5 in Region 8AAA. After beginning the 2009 season with a 30-point loss to Flowery Branch, the Indians’ other six losses came by a combined 36 points, showing that, win or lose, the team was competitive in the remainder of its games.

Just how disappointing the season was may be gleaned by reviewing the past few seasons: in 2006, the Indians finished the campaign at 10-2 overall, 6-0 in Region 8AAA, losing to Carrollton in the second round of the state playoffs; in 2007, the Indians posted a record of 11-1 overall, 6-0 in Region 8AAA, losing in the second round of the state playoffs to Chamblee; last year, the Indians completed the season at 8-3 overall, 6-1 in Region 8AAA, losing to Flowery Branch in the first round of the state playoffs.

Oh well, as is said by sports fans the world over – “Wait till next year.”

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Georgia Republican Gubernatorial Debate

The Clarke County Republican Party is sponsoring a debate featuring GOP candidates for the governorship of Georgia. The debate will take place at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism auditorium at 7:00 p.m. on the evening of Tuesday, 19 January 2010.

Invited Republican candidates for the office of Governor include:
• Georgia State SenatorJeff Chapman of Brunswick
• United States Representative Nathan Deal of Gainesville
• Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel of Atlanta
• Georgia State Senator Eric Johnson of Savannah
• Businessman Ray McBerry of Cumming
• Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine of Lawrenceville
• Georgia State Representative Austin Scott of Tifton

Moderating the debate will be WNEG-TV news anchor Ray Metoyer. Panelists include WALB-TV news anchor Dawn Hobby, WGCL-TV news co-anchor Stephanie Fisher, and WGAU radio news director Tim Bryant.

Radio and television broadcasts will cover the entire state. WNEG of Toccoa, WALB of Albany, WGCL of Atlanta, and WMAZ of Macon will televise the debate live. Several other TV stations around the state will have access to the feed for later broadcast. Also, the debate will be broadcast live on WGAU radio in the Athens area and will be available across the state on many of the 114 radio stations affiliated with the Georgia News Network.

Mark your calendars now.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

SCHS Pigskin Update

Since last I posted, my alma mater Indians have split two games, dropping a 14-16 road decision to the Franklin County Lions two weeks ago and posting a surprising 23-17 home win over Elbert County last Friday (the Blue Devils had only a single loss to Eastside prior to losing to the Indians). This week, the Indians (3-6, 2-4) play host to the Jackson County Panthers (3-6, 0-6) at The Reservation in Toccoa in the finale to a disappointing season.

Regular readers, such as you are, may notice that I have posted very little of late. It is not that I lack interest in the ongoing shenanigans of the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County and the Clarke County School District. That is hardly the case, but life is such that I do the time right now to do any such posts justice.

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