Roane Choral Society to celebrate women’s suffrage

On Sunday, March 8, 2020, RCS will present A Celebration of Women’s Suffrage at 3:00 p.m. in Harriman’s historic Princess Theatre. The epic struggle for voting rights for women culminated in Tennessee with the vote of Harry T. Burn, a young man who would later reside in Rockwood. We mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment with the debut of a commissioned work by Kingston native Rachel DeVore Fogarty.

Author Tyler L. Boyd honors us with a 2:40 p.m. pre-concert lecture on Harry T. Burn and his role in the vote for women’s suffrage. Mr. Boyd will be available for a book signing after the concert. A voter registration drive will be held in the lobby courtesy of the Rockwood Business and Professional Women’s Organization. Come early and enjoy the Avery Trace Dessert Fest from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., a fund-raiser by this chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Limited Dessert Fest tickets are $10 each, pre-sale and at the door. Dessert donations are being made by Bette Rose Bakery, Bojangles, Cracker Barrel, Don Edwardo’s, Dunkin Donuts, Food City Harriman, Food City Kingston, Los Primos, Penelope Pearl’s Tea Room and Parlor, Regina Headden, Roane Medical Center, Roane Street Grill, Ruby Tuesday, Walmart, and Yum Yum.

Don’t miss this momentous event! This concert is partially funded by grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the East Tennessee Foundation.

On Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. in Immaculate Conception Church in downtown Knoxville, RCS combines with Marble City Opera soloists in an encore presentation of Root ye the living tree (DeVore Fogarty) with several additional songs by female composers. Admission to all RCS concerts is open to the public with a suggested donation of $15 at the door.

Brenda Luggie takes the podium for the third year as the director of RCS. Ms. Luggie is the Choral Director and an award-winning Professor of Music at Roane State Community College. She has taken choirs to Carnegie Hall, Italy, London, Spain, and Sweden. She also founded and directs the Roane Choral Society Children’s Choir now in its eighth year. An accomplished singer and experienced performer, Ms. Luggie earned a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Ohio University. Having been both a singer with and member of the Board of Directors of Roane Choral Society, Ms. Luggie approaches her role as director with a unique and varied perspective. “Roane Choral Society is a wonderful community group that offers all participants a chance to stretch their musical experiences and abilities, as well as foster community involvement and lasting relationships. I am honored to work with the ensemble and am very excited about our second ‘History Through Music’ season”.

Slade Trammell begins his eighth year with RCS as an accomplished and talented pianist with a love for accompanying singers. He holds a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and has been heard in concerts across the U.S., in Europe, and Canada. He has studied under Grammy-winning pianist Earl Wild, as well as Ruth Slenczynska, a pupil of Sergei Rachmaninoff. Mr. Trammell is also the Director of Music at Grace Lutheran Church in Oak Ridge and a member of the faculty at Roane State Community College.

In a continuing effort to support music education, each year the Roane Choral Society awards Music in Education Grants to selected school music programs in Roane and surrounding counties. This grant is based on the impressiveness of the application and presentation of work accomplished by each choral group. Each of the following programs received a grant for the 2019-2020 concert season: Harriman High School and Rockwood High School ($700 total), both directed by Beth Trescher; Midtown Elementary School ($300), directed by Nicole Witt; and Rhea Central Elementary School ($300), directed by Charity Westervelt.

The Society encourages the community to support the Arts Council of Roane County. This organization promotes arts and artists in the community. (

Our Women’s Suffrage concert is partially funded under a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee as facilitated by the Tennessee Arts Commission. Roane Choral Society encourages public support of the arts in Tennessee. As a nonprofit organization, grants and contributions are crucial to Roane Choral Society’s ability to produce quality performances for the community. For more information, see

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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