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2006 Community and Campus Days to focus on music of Underground Railroad

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 5, 2006) -- Ohio University will host its fifth annual Community and Campus Days, Oct. 12 through 17, with the theme "Music of the Underground Railroad."

The series of events, which was created to forge connections between the university and the multicultural people of the region, will highlight the music of the Ohio River Valley, including Appalachia, with a special focus on music from the Underground Railroad.

"I am very excited about all the developments of Community and Campus Days 2006 because it is a series of programs that I believe has something for everyone and should not be missed," said coordinator of the African American Research and Service Institute Deanda Johnson. "This event brings awareness to communities that few realize exist. The communities surrounding Ohio University have histories that are not only important to the experience of this region and people of color, but the American experience -- and what better way to explore them than through music."

The first event is the second annual Alvin Adams Memorial Lecture given by Ohio University Associate Professor of Telecommunications Arthur Cromwell titled "Transbluency: Black Musical Expression Along the River Valley." It will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Walter Hall Rotunda. Cromwell will discuss the history of black musical expression and how it relates to music production in the Ohio River Valley, with an emphasis on African-American jazz.

Adams, who became the first African-American to earn a journalism degree from Ohio University in 1959, died in 2004. The lecture was created in honor of his accomplishments and contributions to the region.

An Athens area native, Adams was a co-founder of the Multicultural Genealogical Center and Community and Campus Days. The MGC was established in 2000 to document the contributions of multicultural and multiracial families to the social, cultural, political, religious, educational and economic development of the Ohio River Valley.

On Friday, Oct. 13, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., there will be a symposium titled "The Music of the Ohio River Valley." The event, which takes place in the Walter Hall Rotunda, will feature three panels that allow researchers and performers to share their thoughts on the music of the Ohio River Valley. The first panel, "From the Underground to Center Stage," will take a look at the role of African-American music in the region. The second panel, "And All that Jazz," will take a closer look at the role jazz played in the coal mining regions of the Ohio River Valley. The third panel, "Musical Meetings and Unities in the River Valley," will explore how musical culture serves as a unifying force in multiracial and multiethnic locales.

To register, visit www.ohiou.edu/aas/happenings/cc2006.htmlx

Community and Campus Days shifts to the Union Hall Theater in Chesterhill, Ohio, on Friday evening at 7 p.m. The Heritage Chorale from Cleveland will perform Negro spirituals, which are inspirational songs sung by blacks during and after slavery. General admission is $15 for the public and $10 for students. For more information, contact Robert Daugherty at 740-593-1294 or daugherr@ohio.edu

The Community and Campus Days exhibition takes place on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Old Nelson Hall. It is a collection of activities and booths that celebrate the history and accomplishments of people of color in Appalachia, with a focus on music. Exhibits from artists, historians, photographers and painters will be on display. Musical and dance performances from students and community members will serve as entertainment.

The final scheduled event will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 17, when the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs at 7:30 p.m. at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. The ensemble band is celebrating its 45th anniversary with "The New Orleans Revue." The band's home, Preservation Hall, was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina but reopened eight months later. It is a landmark that was created in 1961 to honor and preserve original New Orleans jazz.

The band has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Boston Symphony Hall, the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Israel and has nine members between 29 and 88 years old. For tickets or more information, call 740-593-1780. A portion of the ticket income will benefit the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund.

Sponsors of Community and Campus Days include the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of African American Studies, the Department of Social Work, the Multicultural Genealogical Center, the Office of the Provost and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Forests Division/Wayne National Forest.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, (740) 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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