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Catawba College Vernaculars to Perform Music of Michael Jackson

September 25, 2008

Category: Events, Music

Back to JackIt's Back to Jack for the Catawba College Vernaculars when they present their first concert of the new school year. The outdoor event will feature eleven songs made famous by Michael Jackson done up in the Vernaculars' own way — heavy on the rock, hold the disco. Free and open to the public, the concert will be held on the lawn outside the Catawba Student Center on Sunday, October 5th, starting at 3:00 p.m.

Rare among college and university ensembles, the Vernaculars dedicates its performances to contemporary popular (aka vernacular) music. It's become a favorite among both Catawba students and area residents over the past several years. The group's basic instrumentation includes lead and background vocals, electric guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums. Catawba College associate professor of music Dr. David Lee Fish and adjunct instructor Jimm Mosher direct the band.

In Tune Best Music Schools of 2008The Vernaculars serves as the flagship ensemble of the college's degree concentration in Music Business, one of the fastest growing programs of its kind in the country. A recent article by In Tune Monthly noted Catawba's emphasis on popular music in listing the college as one of the "Best Music Schools for 2009" alongside such other institutions as the Eastman School of Music and the Cleveland Institute.

The Back to Jack concert grows out of the Vernaculars' primary mission, to help its student members gain artistic depth and breadth in popular music. This comes in part through performance of legacy works that have formed the basis of today's music and still have an influence upon it. "Certainly, the songs of Michael Jackson loom large in this regard," notes Fish.

The October 5th performance will include such well-known Jackson hits as "Thriller," "Smooth Criminal," "Billie Jean," "Beat It," and "Dirty Diana." Emphasizing Jackson's legacy, the Vernaculars will perform several of his songs as they have been covered by other artists, including David Cook, Alien Ant Farm, and even Weird Al Yanokvic.

To open the show, the Vernaculars will feature original songs by several student members of the ensemble. The featured songwriters will include senior music business major Derek Daisey, who placed second out of some 1300 college students from across the country in the competition for the 2007 BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship.

All Vernaculars performances, including Back to Jack, are open to the general public free of charge. "But this time it's BYOLC," observes Fish. "Bring your own lawn chair." In case of rain, the concert will take place in Catawba's Florence Busby Corriher Theatre. For more information about the Back to Jack concert or about how an organization can host its own Vernaculars performance, contact Dr. David Lee Fish at (704) 637-4280 or


PHOTOS: Catawba Vernaculars Perform the Music of Michael Jackson



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