Richland College men’s and women’s soccer teams won their respective National Junior College Athletic Association Division III National Championships last weekend, marking only the third time in NJCAA Division III history that a school has won the men’s and women’s national titles in the same year–records also held by Richland College in 2004 and 2006.
The men’s team traveled to Herkimer, NY, where they defeated Sussex 4-0 on Nov. 8, Genesee 7-3 on Nov. 9 and Nassau 6-1 on Nov. 11. This final win gave the men’s team their seventh national title. Their final 6-1 score against Nassau was also the largest margin of victory in a Division III championship match in NJCAA history.
The women’s team traveled to Rockford, Ill., where they defeated Holyoke 9-0 on Nov. 8, Brookdale 5-1 on Nov. 9 and Delta 1-0 on Nov. 11. This is the women’s team’s fourth national title.
Mohamed Essay, men’s forward, was named the Tournament MVP after scoring five goals and recording an assist during the span of three games. Essay and Mariano Fazio, defender, and Lucio Martinez, midfielder, earned spots on the All-Tournament Team. In addition, Coach Sean Worley was named Coach of the Tournament.
Miranda Ibarra, women’s defender, was named Tournament MVP, Eva Mulligan was named Offensive MVP and Dynastee Cain was named Defensive MVP. Additionally, forward Asia Revelry was named to the All-Tournament Team and Coach Scott Toups was named Coach of the Tournament.
Both Richland College men’s and women’s soccer teams have winning reputations and have traveled across the country to play in exhibition and postseason games in places like California, Kansas, New York, Chicago, New Jersey and Missouri. The men’s team has seven national championships from 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2016 and 2018. For more information, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/sliferlc/athletics/mensoccer/pages/default.aspx. The women’s team has four national championships from 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2018. For more information, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/sliferlc/athletics/womensoccer/pages/default.aspx.
For several weeks in November 2015, Richland College was home to a sea of red ceramic poppies—5,171 to be exact—one poppy for every Texas soldier killed in World War I. A lone white poppy represented the single Texas nurse who also perished. This year, Richland College is honoring Veterans Day with a rededication of its poppy exhibit, “The Blood of Heroes Never Dies,” at noon Nov. 12 on the east side of Lake Thunderduck near Fannin Hall.
The original exhibit was dedicated during Richland College’s 2015 Veterans Day ceremony. After being on display on campus, some of the ceramic poppies traveled to Georgetown, Tex., where they were installed as part of the city’s annual Red Poppy Festival. The poppies were offered for sale in both Dallas and Georgetown for $10 each, with proceeds donated to Puppies Behind Bars, a nonprofit group that trains inmates to raise service dogs for wounded veterans. The organization received more than $25,000 from the poppy sales.
Since 2015, a small collection of the original poppies has been on permanent exhibit at Richland College. This year, students created 100 new poppies to replace those that have broken, and veterans will symbolically plant these fresh poppies in the display during this year’s Veterans Day event.
The permanent display, a striking patch of red along the lake that flows through campus with a recently installed plaque explaining its significance, has elicited both curiosity and pride when students, campus visitors and community members discover the meaning behind it. It is pride and the belief in the importance of this display that have inspired the volunteers who helped create the new poppies and who will be giving their time at the rededication event.
“In 2015, ‘The Blood of Heroes Never Dies’ challenged the Richland community to create a memorial honoring Texas soldiers killed in World War I,” said ceramics faculty member Jen Rose. “This educated the participants about the historical importance of the war and allowed people of different backgrounds, ethnicities and ages to share an experience together. In the process of uniting to honor veterans, we discovered our humanity and remembered their sacrifice.”
“I wanted to volunteer in the ‘Blood of Heroes Never Dies’ event because I wanted to help everyone understand the things we take for granted each day,” said Jesus Porras, Richland College graduate and administrative clerk for Richland College Veterans Services. “We wouldn’t be here if it was not for the brave women and men that take an oath to serve the country in protecting us from threats to our union. These poppies that we plant here are a sign of remembrance and hope.”
“The Blood of Heroes Never Dies” was a collaboration between Rose and history professor Clive Siegle. The original exhibit was the only one of its kind in the U.S. and was modeled after the iconic “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” poppies exhibit at the Tower of London in 2014, during which 888,246 ceramic red poppies were on display in the tower’s moat to commemorate the British and colonial servicemen killed in World War I.
“The genesis of the symbolic connection of the poppy with commemorating veterans arose from a 1915 World War I poem, ‘In Flanders Fields,’ which emphasized poppies in its theme, and has become one of the most well-known war poems to emerge from any modern conflict,” said Siegle. “The 2015 ‘Blood of Heroes’ project was meant not only to honor veterans of all wars, but to coincide with a centenary anniversary year of both World War I, and the year the Flanders Fields poem with its iconic poppy references was written. This year has particular significance for revisiting and reaffirming the ongoing vision of the ‘Blood of Heroes’ project because this Veterans Day marks the one hundredth anniversary of the end of that war, which cost this nation more than 323,000 casualties, and this state 5,171 of its heroes.”
Remembrances or memorial poppies have been used since 1921 to commemorate soldiers who have died in wars. “In Flanders Fields” was penned by Lt. Col. John McCrae. Regretfully, McCrae did not survive the war and perished in January 1918. However, his poem lived on and inspired YMCA volunteer and teacher Moina Belle Michael always to remember those who died in the war and to write her pledge in the form of a poem, “We Shall Keep the Faith.” Rose and Siegle chose the passage from the ninth line of Michael’s poem, “The blood of heroes never dies,” as the theme for this memorial art installation project.
In addition to the rededication of “The Blood of Heroes Never Dies,” Richland College will be honoring Veterans Day with several other events. These include: a Richland Wind Symphony Tribute Concert, 11 a.m. Nov. 9 in El Paso Hall on the cafeteria stage; “Thank-A-Vet” card party, during which participants create thank you cards for veterans, 2 p.m. Nov. 12 in El Paso Hall student lounge area; and a benefits chat hosted by Richland College Veterans Services, 2 p.m. Nov. 14 in El Paso Hall, room E081. All events are free and open to the public.
Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd. For more information about Richland College Veterans Services, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/services/veterans.
By day, Konley Kelley is the director of corporate and community relations at Richland College Garland Campus, overseeing contract training in the north Dallas area and assisting with the development of grant projects for the local business community. But when it’s time for the suit and tie to come off, Kelley hits the skies. A long-time volunteer with the Commemorative Air Force B-29/B-24 Squadron, Kelley has served as the editor of “The Flyer” newsletter since 2012 and has been the squadron’s education officer since the title’s creation in late 2017.
Recently, work and play collided when Konley gave a presentation on the CAF as part of the Emeritus program’s Enrichment lecture series. Richland College’s Emeritus program offers a variety of affordable classes and programs to individuals over 50 who enjoy continued learning.
“Many of the Emeritus program members lived through World War II or have clear memories of their parents in the 1940s and ‘50s, who grew up as part of the Greatest Generation,” explained Kelley. “Many Emeritus participants are veterans and history buffs. I think my presentation helps them remember a time that seems distant for people my age—52—and younger, and it encompasses many of their cherished memories. With 18,000 B-24 Liberators built during World War II, some attendees had relatives who flew aboard these aircraft, while many others have fond memories of seeing the aircraft at airshows throughout the years.”
The CAF B-29/B-24 squadron is under the charter of the Commemorative Air Force, an organization dedicated to acquiring, restoring and preserving a complete collection of combat aircraft flown by all military services of the U.S., along with selected aircraft of other nations, for the education and enjoyment of present and future American generations, while also paying tribute to the thousands of men and women who built, serviced and flew them in defense of the U.S.
Kelley’s Emeritus presentation on Sept. 24 included an explanation of the CAF and upcoming plans for a CAF national airbase in Dallas, which will include an aviation museum and regularly hosted air shows. He also described his personal experiences with the organization, shared videos and told stories about veterans who have been able to ride in the B-29/B-24 squadron’s legendary planes for the first time since serving in World War II.
“I personally really enjoy being around these beautiful warbirds and learning the history of World War II,” said Kelley. “Through projects in the CAF and the newsletter, I am able to share the stories of the Greatest Generation and these remarkable aircraft with others and promote the mission of the Commemorative Air Force.”
This presentation was Kelley’s fifth Emeritus presentation. In addition to several general CAF presentations similar to this one, Kelley has also previously presented on the B-29 Superfortress “FIFI,” the B-24 Liberator “Diamond Lil” and American women in World War II. He has also participated in events for Richland College Veterans Services.
The CAF gives Kelley an outlet to explore another passion of his, scale and 3-D modeling. “I love the detail and craftsmanship involved in the modeling,” he explained. “Each model also represents the story of a person, moment or machine and most of my projects are associated with military history. Now with the CAF, I get to play with the 1:1 scale models!”
Kelley isn’t the only Richland College employee with eyes to the skies. Two other Richland College employees also volunteer for the CAF. Angie Whitney, leadership trainer, is one of the few qualified female loadmasters on a B-24. Lisa Foster, adjunct faculty member, is a living history representation of “Rosie the Riveter,” a World War II icon who symbolized women’s “We Can Do It” attitude by stepping up to work in factories and shipyards. Foster is also the executive officer of the Women Airforce Service Pilots Squadron.
Kelley has been working for Richland College since May 1997. Since then, he has been an Administrator of the Year nominee in 2005 and 2007. His current position is focused on community outreach for corporate services, which provides training to companies at their worksites to provide a more skilled workforce. In turn, this training gives employees the opportunity to earn higher wages and become more promotable through their learned skills.
The Richland College Emeritus plus 50 program provides affordable classes to people ages 50 and older to help them stay intellectually challenged, physically fit and socially connected. Dallas County residents 65 years old and older who have lived in Texas for at least one year may receive free tuition for up to six college credit hours per semester. For more information, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/emeritus.
The CAF B-29/B-24 Squadron maintains, preserves and operates the world’s only operational B-29A, “FIFI,” and B-24A, “Diamond Lil.” The squadron regularly brings together the aircraft, pilots and crews from over 70 CAF units across the country to create the AirPower Squadron, an assortment of military aircraft touring across the U.S. The tour will always include at least one of the squadron’s rare, premiere bombers: “FIFI” or “Diamond Lil.” For more information, visit www.cafb29b24.org.
The CAF is the largest flying museum in the world. It is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to honoring American military aviation history through flight, exhibition and remembrance. The CAF has approximately 12,000 members and a fleet of more than 160 aircraft assigned to 63 units across the country. These units are comprised of CAF volunteer members who restore and operate the planes that are viewed by more than 10 million spectators annually. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.
The Richland College dancers may not have moves like Jagger, but they will have moves like jaguars! The fur will be flying at the upcoming fall dance concert, “DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!,” at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2.
Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!” will involve both students and faculty in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop.
“DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!” is a creative endeavor to bring awareness and to inspire a passion for nature and wildlife with a zoological theme, and audiences are invited to attend and engage in a “zoo-rific” opportunity to appreciate dance.
Choreography will include original pieces by Cheryl Callon, Cooper Delgado, Kaley Jensen and Lauren Schieffer-Holley. Repertoire will include a tap piece from Dallas legend Buster Cooper, recreated by his granddaughter, guest artist Keira Leverton and performance by her company Choreo Records. Guest artists include Kaley Jensen and Dallas Black Dance Theater’s Encore!
Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.
Jensen was born and raised in Atlanta and graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in dance and minor in business. While at BYU, Jensen performed and toured with the Theatre Ballet Company all four years. Jensen has trained on multiple scholarship programs, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and Ballet West, as well as achieving academic and international talent awards at the World Dance Movement in Italy. Last May, Jensen completed her M.F.A. in dance at the University of Arizona, where she also deepened her passion for performing, educating and choreographing. Currently, Jensen dances professionally as a company member with Ballet North Texas.
Dallas Black Dance Theater’s Encore!, under the direction of Nycole Ray, is a professional company that consists of eight aspiring artists from around the nation. Since its inception, Encore! has grown in popularity and thrilled audiences with its fresh allure. Encore! provides an opportunity for young artists to develop their dance skills while serving the Dallas/Ft. Worth community and touring around the world with dance performances of the highest artistic quality.
The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students who value diversity. The program develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.
“DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road.
Richland College is hosting an inaugural homecoming celebration, which will offer events from Oct. 27-Nov. 9 for current students and employees, alumni and the community. The various events will include live music, a dance performance, an alumni workshop, basketball games and more.
“Richland College Homecoming Week is a wonderful opportunity for more than 45,000 alumni to come back to our beautiful campus and see their old friends and favorite professors,” said Garth Clayton, Richland College dean of resource development. “We’re also offering some terrific events at no cost to our alumni. On Nov. 1, we will host leaders from local companies coming to help Richland College alumni learn the best strategies for resumes and interviews. These are experts who know how getting a job—or a better job—really works. And on Nov. 2, it’s ‘Let’s Dance!’—a brilliant performance by our current dance students.”
Richland College’s Homecoming 2018 is part of the Dallas County Community College District’s first district-wide Homecoming. To launch the festivities, DCCCD is hosting a Homecoming Kick-Off Celebration/Block-Party from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 27 at Eddie Deen’s Ranch, located at 944 S. Lamar St. in Dallas. This free event is open to the community and will include music, games, food trucks, door prizes and more.
The two alumni-specific events at Richland College are “Creating Your New Career: Richland College Alumni Workshop” from 5-8 p.m. Nov. 1 in El Paso Hall, and “Let’s Dance Alumni ‘Night Out’ Engagement Event” from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 2 in Fannin Performance Hall.
The alumni workshop will feature industry executives who will show attendees how to make a best impression on paper through resumes, cover letters and in-person interviews. Attendees will also learn about Richland’s free job resources.
The dance event will be a chance for alumni and Richland College professors to connect and engage. The night will start with a reception and meet and greet from 6-7:15 p.m., which will include a light meal. Afterward, everyone is invited to the “Take a Walk on the Wild Side!” dance performance, starting at 7:30 p.m. An R.S.V.P. for both events is required to Regina Harris, development assistant at Richland College, at ReginaHarris@dcccd.edu.
Other Homecoming 2018 events include: Richland Steel Sound Steel Band, from 11 a.m.-noon Oct. 31 on the cafeteria stage; Richland Jazz Combos, from noon-1 p.m. Nov. 1 on the cafeteria stage; men’s basketball: Thunderducks vs. IQ Hoops, at 6 p.m. Nov. 5 in the gymnasium; men’s basketball: Thunderducks vs. Texas Wesleyan JV, at 6 p.m. Nov. 6 in the gymnasium; Richland Fusion Band and Jazz Improv Ensemble, from noon-1 p.m. Nov. 8 on the cafeteria stage; Richland Wind Symphony Veterans Day Tribute Concert, from 11 a.m.-noon Nov. 9 on the cafeteria stage; and the DCCCD Sustainability Summit, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 9 in locations throughout campus.
Click here for additional information on all homecoming events.
Security BSides Dallas – Fort Worth, an information security and technology unconference, will take place at Richland College from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 3 in Sabine Hall. This free event is organized through the cooperation of BSidesDFW, corporate sponsorships and volunteers from the hacker/maker communities.
BSides DFW fosters communication and collaboration while increasing the level of involvement and investment in the information security field. This unconference explores the fringe of information security conversations and highlights the next big thing. This event will include two speaker tracks covering various security and technology related topics. Activities include instructional workshops, a Capture-the-Flag competition and a hacker scavenger hunt.
BSidesDFW is a nonprofit organization that prepares professionals and the public with applicable data to mitigate the ever-increasing number of information security threats that permeate our modern lives. BSidesDFW’s participants are comprised of current and budding information security professionals, business executives, industry thought leaders, hobbyists and those simply curious about the hacker community. For more information, visit bsidesdfw.com.
The Richland College cyber security program brings the latest technology and a vendor-neutral education where instructors break away from traditional information technology training methods. For more information, click here.
Partnerships help cement relationships and cooperative efforts to reach sustainability goals in schools, businesses and communities. Those partnerships will be the focus of the 2018 Dallas County Community College District Sustainability Summit.
The free event, which is open to the public, will be held on Fri., Nov. 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Richland College, 12800 Abrams Rd. in Dallas. Interested participants must register by Mon., Nov. 5, to receive lunch during the event at no charge. To register, visit www.dcccd.edu/SustainabilitySummit.
“As DCCCD moves forward with its goals for sustainability – inspired by 17 guidelines suggested by the United Nations – we want to focus on goal #17, partnerships,” said Georgeann Moss, the district’s executive director of sustainability and outreach initiatives. “One person can’t do it all, but one person – or one organization – can pick one sustainability project or goal and make it their call to action.”
Moss added, “Every person in every community can get involved in activities or sustainable practices, even at home, in partnership with others. Our keynote presentations and breakout sessions during the summit will offer ideas that can help us achieve sustainable goals which benefit everyone.”
Two keynote speakers headline the day’s activities: Marianella Franklin, chief sustainability officer for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, will be the first featured morning speaker; and Kevin Wilhelm, CEO of Sustainable Business Consulting, will address the group at 10 a.m.
Check-in will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., followed by the general session at 8:30 a.m. Dr. Joe May, DCCCD’s chancellor, will welcome participants, along with Dr. Kay Eggleston, president of Richland College, and Ken Dunson, Richland’s director of facilities. Franklin then will deliver the first keynote address.
Morning activities also include two sets of breakout sessions and lunch (at noon). Three sets of breakout sessions are scheduled for the afternoon before the summit adjourns at 4 p.m.
Franklin, who joined UT in 2003, started managing projects for facilities, planning and operations; she then transitioned to the role of director of the office for sustainability shortly after she earned her certification as a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional). In 2008, Franklin founded one of the first sustainability offices in the UT system. She earned her bachelor’s degree in architecture from Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Monterrey N.L., Mexico, and a certificate in global sustainability from the University of Vermont.
Wilhelm, a sustainability thought leader, has taught at seven universities and is the author of four books, including: “Return on Sustainability: How Business Can Increase Profitability and Address Climate Change in an Uncertain Economy”; “Making Sustainability Stick”; and “An Introduction to Sustainable Business.” He teaches online and has developed online multimedia materials and videos that make learning more student-friendly. He has more than 20 years of experience working with at least 120 businesses; some of his clients are Amazon, Nordstrom and Expedia.
A total of five breakout sessions are scheduled. Some of the topics include: Climate Leadership in Higher Education; The Impact of Our Food; Why an Energy Master Plan?; Sustainability in Dallas: What Is the City Doing?; Wildlife in DFW; State of the State: Aquatic Invasive Vegetation; U.S. Water Services; 21st-Century Policing: Building Communities of Trust; Richland College Sustainability Program Model; Lake Clean-Up; Recycle/Waste; Texas Trees Foundation Campus Tree Farm Education Center Tour; and many others.
Sponsors include: Trane (platinum); Enviromatic Systems (gold); Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas-ERS, ELS Light and Double M Plumbing (silver); and U.S. Water Systems, Dallas Water Utilities, GreenSource DFW, Sierra Club, Natural Awakenings Dallas, Women in the Environment and Greater Dallas Planning Council (green), as of this date.
For a complete schedule of sessions/topics and other information, please visit www.dcccd.edu/SustainabilitySummit.
(Article courtesy of Ann Hatch, Dallas County Community College District)
Richland College is working hard to impress upon students to get out the vote for the midterm elections, and America Ferrera (actress, “Ugly Betty”), Alicia Keys (musician, “Fallin’”, “Girl on Fire”) and Zoe Kravitz (actress, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, “Big Little Lies”) are joining the effort!
The Richland College Student Government Association, along with the Student Voter Initiative and Voto Latino, is hosting “RLC Votes with America,” a youth voter rally featuring Ferrera, Keys and Kravitz, 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23.
Leading up to this event, the SGA, with assistance from local nonpartisan groups, has been leading voter registration and education campaigns to encourage civic responsibility and get first-time voters excited about the midterm elections. Prior to the voter registration deadline, nearly 1,000 new voters were registered on campus.
“RLC Votes with America” festivities will begin at 11:45 a.m., including a brass ensemble and dance performance. The event will culminate with featured speakers Ferrera at 12:50 p.m., Keys at 1 p.m. and Kravitz at 1:10 p.m., to be immediately followed by Ferrera, Keys and Kravitz leading students on a “parade to the polls” to Richland College’s early voting location in Guadalupe Hall.
The Student Voter Initiative, part of Texas Student Civic Engagement and an initiative of Texas State Board of Education District 1, aims to engage students in civic participation and remind youths that their voices matter, their votes matter and that voting and jury duty are social obligations. Providing students the opportunity to voice their opinions in their society is a milestone that must be recognized. For more information, visit https://www.txstudentcivics.org/student-voter-initiative.html.
Voto Latino is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a primary aim of encouraging young Hispanic and Latino voters to register to vote and become more politically involved. Through innovative digital campaigns, pop culture and grassroots voices, the organization provides culturally relevant programs that engage, educate and empower Latinos to be agents of change and build a stronger and more inclusive democracy. For more information, visit http://votolatino.org.
(update from a previous version to add additional headliners)
The Richland Student Media team is partnering with the League of Women Voters, the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce and the Greater East Dallas Chamber to live stream and record their upcoming candidate forums in October.
- Oct. 19, 7:30-8:30 a.m. – Dallas County Commissioner – Wini Cannon and J.J. Koch, moderated by Lee Kleinman, Dallas City Council Member, District 11
- Oct. 19, 8:15-9:15 a.m. – Dallas County District Attorney – John Creuzot and Faith Johnson, moderated by Lee Kleinman
- Oct. 25, 7:30-8:30 a.m. – U.S. Congress District 32 – Colin Allred and Pete Sessions, moderated by Scott Orr, Chairman Elect, North Texas Commission
The live streams can be viewed at www.RichlandStudentMedia.com.
For more information, contact Meg Fullwood at MFullwood@dcccd.edu.
Former Richland College student Paige Lehmann has always loved making heartfelt music and helping her local community. Recently, she had an idea to combine these two passions, and the resulting project will be her first music album, “Restore the Joy!”, a project that will include the help and work of Mesquite-area high school students to give them real-world experience and a scholarship for future academic endeavors.
“I hope to give the students opportunities they can’t even imagine,” said Lehmann. “I hope they walk away from ‘Restore the Joy!’ with new friends, opportunities and a sense of joyful accomplishment in their lives. I hope the music itself opens them up to new possibilities.”
To make her idea a reality, Lehmann launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise necessary funds. Kickstarter is an online platform that helps artists, musicians and other creators find resources and support necessary to make their ideas a reality by allowing donors to provide financial backing to projects such as Lehmann’s album.
This timed Kickstarter campaign has a goal of raising $7,040 by 5:57 a.m. Oct. 13. The money raised will go to producing, recording, mixing, mastering, packaging and printing the album, as well as copywriting each song, renting the Mesquite Arts Center for a show, marketing and photography. There will also be incentives given out for different pledge amounts, including digital downloads of the completed album, tickets to a planned performance of “Restore the Joy!” at the Mesquite Arts Center next March, one-hour virtual songwriting sessions and more. If the campaign does not reach its financial goal, the funds will be returned to the original donors.
“Restore the Joy!” will be a collection of instrumental and lyrical songs written in honor of Lehmann’s childhood. The concept for the album came from Lehmann’s memories of spending time with her grandfather, Thomas “Papaw” Lehmann. After he passed away, Lehmann discovered that he wrote hymns during his life. One of these was called “Restore the Joy,” which inspired Lehmann to create an entire album about joy as a tribute to him.
“I always describe the sound as Winnie the Pooh-meets-Mozart,” said Lehmann. “I use real memories from my childhood, like when I saved a Skittle in my hand all day in Kindergarten because I knew Papaw was coming to pick me up. I ended up with a sweaty green Skittle in my left hand and a new one in my right. I was surprised to find out Papaw wanted the non-sweaty red Skittle even though his favorite flavor was lime. Some of my sweetest memories are shared with him, and it is my greatest pleasure to turn those memories into stories and sound.”
Lehmann is working with Mitch Mitchell, local producer and owner of Piano Note 1 Productions in Mesquite, to create this album. The duo chose three students to help with the album: Haniston Halloway and Lilia Mease from Dr. John Horn High School in Mesquite, and Jonvieve Pelino from North Mesquite High School, who will be playing violin and cello for the album. In addition to giving these students experience producing an album, each one will also receive a $1,000 scholarship for future academic endeavors. The scholarship money was donated by Mesquite Chiropractic and Injury, the Mesquite Arts Council, Lehmann, Mitchell and individuals in the community in support of the project.
“During our first rehearsal, I knew this album would be unforgettable,” said Lehmann. “It’s a beautiful tribute to childhood, and these young ladies are already doing an incredible job bringing the sound to life. Everyone is excited about seeing the show and music come together. And, of course, these ladies are very excited for their well-deserved scholarships. Showing these young ladies that anything, literally anything, is possible is the best lesson I can give. Being featured on a full album before leaving high school is a pretty phenomenal item on your portfolio. One student has mentioned that this project will change her life for the better. I know it will for Mitch and me too; it already has!”
Lehmann is a composer who makes music inspired from the spirit of childhood joy. Her musical themes were developed while working as an au pair in Paris, France, and she wants to bring the joy she felt abroad to everyone around her. She attended Richland College in 2011 and transferred to Texas Tech University a year later. “Dr. Sherry Dean-Rovelo from Richland College was a huge influence in my life,” said Lehmann. “She exposed me to French culture and the possibility of working abroad. I always had an admiration for her humanitarian drive and ability to see a project through to fruition. She helped me see big picture ideas. I don’t know if I would have discovered my personal idea palette as quickly as I did without her signature ‘Keep Thinking and Probing’ line when signing off an email. I believed her and did it!”
Lehmann currently works as a marketing coordinator for her parents’ chiropractic business, Mesquite Chiropractic and Injury, and runs her own radio show, “Millennials in the Know,” on local radio station 88.5 KEOM. Lehmann paid 50 percent of the recording bill to help fund the project. For more information about Lehmann, visit paigesongs.com.
In addition to owning Piano Note 1 Productions, Mitchell is involved with the Mesquite community through serving as the head sound technician at the Mesquite Arts Center and being an active member of the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce. He has 10 years of production experience and has recorded musical styles from hip-hop to Cumbia. Mitchell purchased new recording equipment and software to help bring this project to a professional level. “I don’t know if there is another producer on this planet who has taken on a project like this one,” said Lehmann. “His dedication to integrity, transparency and connection is unlike anyone I’ve met.”
“I hope to give honor to my Papaw and give people a taste of what I experienced as a child with him,” said Lehmann. “He loved me very much and showed me the extraordinary within the ordinary daily items and tasks. This project feels exactly, 100 percent, authentically Paige. Being able to share music about someone I love and opening opportunities for others is my life dream.”
For more information and to donate to the Kickstarter campaign, visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/87451242/restore-the-joy?ref=project_link.