Chamber Choir visits metro Atlanta on mini-tour

Choir goes on the road with service, music

The college’s Chamber Choir combined music and service as it embarked on a mini-tour of the metro Atlanta area in mid-March.

“I’ve been working with Joseph (Miller, Dean of Enrollment Management) and Adam (Roberts, Chaplain and Director of Spiritual Life) to increase contact with churches,” said Dr. Beth Everett, Director of Choral Activities. “One of our ideas was to take the choir on a three-day weekend tour.”

The choir visited Collins Hill High School in Suwannee and Mountain View High School in Lawrenceville on Friday. They performed five times that day in different classes.

“We were able to sing with one group of students, and that is always fun,” Everett said. “We sang for them, and they sang for us. The students were very receptive and I think we met a number of students who now have LaGrange on their college list.”

Choir goes on the road with service, musicThe singers visited Annandale Village in Suwanee on Saturday morning. Annandale is a residential facility that works with adults with intellectual disabilities and traumatic brain injuries.

Dr. Everett said this stop was a service project for the students.

“I always want to include a service project in our choir tours,” she said. “It’s important.”

The students played Wii-bowling, corn hole and bocce ball with the residents, and they joined for some spirited karaoke performances.

Music instructor and choir accompanist Ken Passmore has a special connection to Annandale, Dr. Everett said.

“When Ken was a graduate student at Georgia State, he had the opportunity to work with an Annandale resident who has Down Syndrome. Ken taught him how to play marimba, and they’ve been friends for 25 years.”

“Then Ken and Daniel performed three songs on piano and marimba,” she said. “The students were just in awe.”

Choir goes on the road with service, musicThe group also was surprised when they were greeted by Annandale’s program center manager.

“He told us that he has a special-needs son who participated in Special Olympics,” Dr. Everett said. “They were housed on our campus for one of their competitions. He said LaGrange College will always hold a very special place in his heart because of that.”

But there was one thing that Dr. Everett said touched her most.

“The students knew I was taking them to Six Flags that afternoon,” she said. “The cynical me kept waiting for a student to ask when we would be leaving for Six Flags. I wouldn’t have thought any less of anyone who asked, but no one did.”

But the visit to the theme park wasn’t their focus, she said.

“They cared more about when they could return to Annandale – some even wanted to come back the next day. I was so proud of them – they cared more about serving those residents. That was so meaningful to me, and it made me a very proud educator.”

The choir concluded its tour on Sunday with a performance at First United Methodist Church in downtown Atlanta.

“We had a wonderful time and the students made a great impression,” Dr. Everett said.

She didn’t know how much of an impression until she received a note from a member of the church.

“He and his wife are alumni, and he said our visit brought back so many great memories of their years in LaGrange,” she said. “You never know where our people are out there in the world. We saw LaGrange connections pretty much everywhere we went.”

Dr. Toni Anderson, head of the music program, said she was thrilled with the tour.

“The students’ enthusiastic response was very gratifying,” she said. “Uplifting music and service to others were the themes of the tour. Not only did the students sing their hearts out for appreciative audiences, they also spent meaningful time with residents at Annandale Village. I am grateful to Dr. Everett for her leadership in providing these experiences for our students.”

Meanwhile, the choral director is already thinking ahead. Her goal is to have the choir perform in churches at least a couple of times a semester, and go out on tour at least once a year.

“But you don’t have to wait for that,” she said with a laugh. “We will be presenting our spring concert at 7 p.m. April 11 in Callaway Auditorium, followed by a performance at First United Methodist Church of LaGrange the next day.”

In the Headlines

Leadership Council presents new award during 25-year celebration – LaGrange Daily News, March 25, 2015

Coach notches 300th career win – LaGrange Daily News, March 23, 2015

All about the pitching for Panthers – LaGrange Daily News, March 23, 2015

This week’s profile

Larry Murdock – Mentor to a new generation
According to early childhood education major Larry Murdock, there’s an acute demand for male educators who are willing to act as mentors, advocates and role models for Troup County youth. And it begins in their kindergarten reading groups.

Subscribe to the LaGrange College YouTube channel.

April birthdays

6 – Tracy Riggs
7 – Dawn Coker
7 – John Hughes
16 – Marty Pirrman
19 – Dottie Joiner
20 – David Wiggins
21 – Sandra Blair
24 – Marissa Caldwell
25 – Chip Aplin
30 – Mary Beth Skandalakis



The third-ranked Panthers finished second at the Bermuda Collegiate Invitational on Tuesday. Sophomore Logan Lanier tied for fourth and earned a spot on the All-Tournament team. LaGrange plays in the Wynlakes Intercollegiate Invitational in Montgomery, Ala., on March 30-31.

Jennifer Claybrook

Athletic Director and Softball Coach Jennifer Claybrook ’99, M’01 recorded her 300th career win last Saturday when the Panthers beat Covenant 2-0.

The Panthers (12-8, 7-5 USA South) lost 3-1 and 3-2 at Birmingham-Southern on Wednesday. Christy Flick had two hits and two RBIs in the second game. The team hosts No. 21 Averett and Greensboro in USA South doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.


LaGrange (9-14, 9-9 USA South) lost 10-5 to visiting Hendrix on Wednesday. Chad Pigg and Cain Sauls each had two hits for the Panthers. The team hosts the University of Chicago on Friday at 7 p.m. and plays at No. 19 Emory on Sunday.

The men’s and women’s tennis teams will host Averett and Greensboro in USA South matches Saturday and Sunday starting at noon. The men will also face Gadsden State in a home match today at 1 p.m.


Piedmont pulled away in the second half for a 20-4 win over the Panthers (1-8, 0-5 USA South) on Wednesday. Madeline LaCavara had three goals for LaGrange, who hosts Methodist in a USA South game Sunday at noon.

LaGrange College Leadership Council
The LaGrange College Leadership Council
recognized outgoing president Mitch Key ’04 and welcomed a new president, Greg Wright ’88, at its March meeting. Key is a LaGrange attorney, and Wright is president of the Coweta County Development Authority. With a mission to advance the college, the council selects three annual priorities on which to focus its attention. This year, it will research the most effective ways to involve the college in the Troup County Strategic Planning Board’s efforts to address poverty in the local community; lead a study on how the college can best recruit Troup County high school students; and create a leadership development program for Presidential Scholarship award winners. Above, Key, left, passes the president’s gavel to Wright as LaGrange College President Dan McAlexander looks on. The council also celebrated its 25th anniversary at its March meeting.

Checking in with Martha Pirkle
Martha Pirkle,
Director of Alumni and Community Relations, recently was featured in the magazine Select Traveler. The article spotlighted the college’s 3D Journeys program.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams will continue their support of autism awareness by working with the college to participate in the “Light It Up Blue” global event.  As part of Autism Awareness Month, the college will be lighting the clock tower blue Thursday.  The basketball teams partnered with Autism Speaks on Feb. 7 to help raise awareness.

Don’t forget that April 17 is the deadline for the 2015 LaGrange College Film Festival. Entries must be turned in to Dr. Mitch Turner in the Music Department by that date. The festival itself will be presented at 1 p.m. May 1. There is still time, though, for those who’d still like to shoot a film or submit it. For more information, contact Dr. John Williams at or (706) 880-8305.

The college will be closed for Good Friday – @lagrange will resume publication April 10.