UT choral department welcomes high school choirs

The University of Tennessee choral department continued its 2017-2018 season Feb. 13 showcasing talents to attract prospective students. Four university choirs and three local high school choirs took the Cox Auditorium stage in Alumni Memorial Building for the Choral Arts concert.

“The thought process behind this is to have different high schools from different areas of East Tennessee come together,” Dr. Angela Batey, director of choral activities, said.

Through a wide-range of pieces from various centuries, the UT choirs demonstrated collegiate musicianship. UT Concert Choir and Men’s Chorale performed more traditional choral works under the direction of Dr. Jaclyn Johnson.

L&N Stem Academy, Powell High School and Gibbs High School choirs demonstrated their skills in preparation for a competition later this month.

UT invites anyone, regardless of major, to sing. Some individuals perform in multiple choirs.

“I am also in the Concert Choir so for that just remembering all the pieces and the vowels and mouth shapes you have to make is the hardest part. While for UT Singers combining the music with choreography and timing is challenging,” Katey Hawkins, lead female in UT Singers, said.

UT Singers performed an electric mashup of “Rumor Has It” by Adele and “Natalie” by Bruno Mars. The set became an audience favorite.

The Choral Arts concert also featured the debuts of the first-year choral conducting graduate students.

During the UT Chamber Singers performance, Hannah Berkley, Andrea Markowitz, Jordan Sera, Brett Hopper and David Buchanan took the audience through musical history with pieces ranging from 1539-1978 in their conducting debuts.

Visit  http://www.music.utk.edu/events/  for upcoming UT School of Music events.

Featured photo: TNJN

Edited by Lexie Little

Sanger expresses national security, foreign policy concerns

Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner David E. Sanger expressed concerns about national security, foreign policy and the presidency during a lecture hosted by the University of Tennessee Campus Events Board’s Issues Committee in Alumni Memorial Building Thursday, Jan. 25.

Sanger, a veteran correspondent for The New York Times, divided his lecture into three topics: Trump’s rhetoric and foreign policy, North Korea and cyber security.

Sanger discussed issues surrounding President Trump’s controversial rhetoric. He noted the president’s resistance to respond to foreign policy questions with an example from an early interview.

Sanger questioned foreign policy in the American nuclear umbrella asking, “will you pull American troops out of the Pacific?” Trump ignored Sanger’s question twice during the interview. Finally, the president answered Sanger’s third attempt saying, “they can do what they want.”

Sanger likened Trump’s campaign to Charles Lindbergh’s 1940 “America First” campaign. Trump responded, “America First….I like the sound of that.”

Trump’s response troubled Sanger because global perspective is increasingly important, especially given recent threats from North Korea.

Issues Committee member Avery Arons said, “My biggest takeaway from Sanger’s lecture was his point on North Korea. Our issues with North Korea are a clear problem, and they could be coming to a head very soon.”

Sanger said Trump faces one of the most unlucky presidential positions since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. For the past 25 years, sitting presidents have given little attention to North Korea’s Nuclear Missile program. North Korea did not successfully launch a missile until 2017.

Now, North Korea possesses nuclear weapons capable of destruction. Trump remains skeptical of North Korea using a nuclear missile on an American city, but Trump must decide to what degree he will attempt to prevent a nuclear strike.

Sanger said Trump has two options: speak with North Korea and contain their nuclear capabilities or take military action. Sanger also said if talks with North Korea are to happen, Trump needs to avoid Twitter. Trump has tweeted about the North Korean crisis, and such tweets have only created bigger barriers between the United States and North Korea.

Sanger finished his lecture with cyber security analysis. U.S. intelligence tied Russian hackers to the Democratic National Convention and 2016 election. Sanger compared the incidents to the Watergate scandal. Then, Sanger discussed potential impacts on democracy and other global threats from cyber-attacks. He listed examples of cyber hacking and manipulation in companies and foreign powers.

For example, Sanger mentioned the 2014 Sony Pictures hack. North Korea sponsored a hacker group to destroy Sony’s internet servers after the film company released “The Interview,” a comedy poking fun at North Korea.

“I think Sanger’s discussion on cyber-attacks was incredibly interesting, and I was happy that he gave a realistic portrait of what the rest of the world thinks of President Trump’s foreign policies,” Issues Committee Chairman Dylan Douglas said.

In addition to his national security reporting, Sanger authored two best-sellers: “Confront and Conceal” and “The Inheritance.”

Featured Image from TNJN

Edited by Lexie Little and Taylor Owens

UT alumnus talks experience aboard International Space Station

UT graduate, Navy pilot and astronaut, Barry Wilmore spoke to students and faculty on Sept. 11 about his recent stint aboard the International Space Station.

In the presentation, Wilmore’s most recent stay on the International Space Station ran from September of 2014 to March of 2015. The main focus of his lecture was to show what astronauts have to do aboard the International Space Station in regards to training, physical wellness, how gravity affects the body. Wilmore talked about what types of scientific experiments he performed and explained how people adjust to zero-gravity before and after space flight.

“You know, there are many people that… try to just shove a pencil across the room at their wife,” Wilmore said in response to a question about how people adjust to being back on Earth after being in space. “I never did that for whatever reason, I didn’t!”

“The first three days, I mean… it took a little bit of time [for me] to readjust to gravity,” Wilmore went on to add. “Some people, it takes weeks.”

Wilmore presented a video about his stay after his lecture. The video, which was mostly shot with a GoPro camera, included the preparation for the launch, interviews aboard the station, documentations of the experiments he did aboard the station and the crew returning to Earth.

During the video, Wilmore narrated some of the key aspects, such as flying close to Aurora Borealis, doing experiments in zero-gravity and the reentry process. He said one of the most noticeable difference after being aboard the station for a couple of months was how his feet lacked calluses.

There were other noticeable differences about his body.

“Some of the great things [about space]; you go to space, your internal organs kind of adjust up into your chest, so your chest looks bigger. So your waist gets smaller… metabolism for almost everybody is completely different. I had to eat more than I wanted to to maintain my weight,” Wilmore said.

At the end of Wilmore’s presentation, Chancellor Jimmy Cheek announced that Wilmore would be included in the university’s Accomplished Alumni Program and said that Wilmore would be honored once again at the football game on Sept. 12.

Featured image by Benjamin Webb

Edited by Courtney Anderson

Medal of honor recipients speak at UT

Medal of Honor recipients, from left to right, Doc Ballard and Romesha, are asked questions by moderators at The University of Tennessee, Alumni Memorial Auditorium.
Medal of Honor recipients, from left to right, Doc Ballard and Romesha, are asked questions by moderators at The University of Tennessee, Alumni Memorial Auditorium.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society hosted a Town Hall Forum in the Alumni Memorial Building Auditorium September 12, 2014, and invited the community to meet and listen to Medal of Honor recipients Donald “Doc” Ballard and Clinton Romesha.

The conversation was moderated by Dr. Nick Geidner, journalism professor and creator of the Medal of Honor project at UT and Taylor Hathorn, UT alumnus who now works with the Medal of Honor Foundation in Washington, D.C., while

Donald "Doc" Ballard is welcomed to the stage.
Donald “Doc” Ballard is welcomed to the stage.

the Q&A session was moderated by UT students Hayley Brundige and Paxton Elrod.Ballard, a Vietnam veteran, and Romesha, an Afghanistan veteran, talked about their experiences both at war and coming home, showing the differences between soldiers returning home from Vietnam and Afghanistan.

While Romesha received higher praises from Americans after returning home, Ballard said Americans treated Vietnam veterans poorly upon returning home and told a story of a veteran who was stabbed to death by an American just after getting off the plane in San Francisco.

Bill Woodrick, a former professor at UT and attendee of the forum, said that he could remember

Clinton Romesha is welcomed to the stage.
Clinton Romesha is welcomed to the stage.

graduating classes booing students with ambitions to join the military. “It was embarrassing,” he said.

However, Ballard said that the love the soldiers had for each other is what got them out of Vietnam. “There is no greater love than combat buddies,” he said.

Romesha and Ballard also agree that military support and the meaning of freedom is dying in this country, and that the only way to get it back is through education.

“We want you to understand our core values.” said Ballard, “We want you to understand why we would give up our life for you.”

Edited by Ryan McGill