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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Community Voices: Control your anger before it controls you

Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

By Mary-Catherine McClain Riner, Ph.D., Ed.S., M.S., www.rinercounseling.com

Anger is a valid emotion signaling that something is wrong — such as feeling like you were being treated unfairly or experiencing goal interference. While anger is not a bad or wrong feeling, too much anger leads to negative consequences at work, within your family, and in personal relationships. It can also impair your physical health. It is important to use anger constructively and to express it in healthier, more adaptive ways. Equally important is achieving a sense of resolution and/or acceptance.

Ineffective Anger Management — The Don’ts 

  1. Stuffing and Bottling Emotions Inside: Individuals commonly attempt to hide anger, avoid expressing feelings, and sweep conflict under the rug. The problem with this strategy is that conflict only temporarily goes away, people walk away angry, and over time anger turns into resentment.
  2. Becoming Defensive: Reacting to anger too quickly can lead to defensiveness and hostile responses. Similarly, it can impede the development of relationships, result in a loss of opportunities, and prevent you from being able to learn and develop more appropriate forms of communication. It leads to feeling more anxious, sad, fearful, and/or regretful.
  3. Using Physical or Verbal Aggression: Research shows that lashing out leads to more negative outcomes. Compliance may be achieved in the short-term due to fear, but lasting change is extremely unlikely. This behavior may also teach violence to observers and does not target the root of the problem.

Effective Anger Management — The Do’s 

  1. Slow Down: Check in with yourself in the morning, afternoon, and evening to assess your level of anger. For example, create an anger meter with “0” being no anger and “10” representing explosive and out-of-control anger. Self-monitoring can reduce the tendency to operate on autopilot and make you more aware of your true feelings before they get out of hand. If your meter becomes a “4” or “5,” consider how you might resolve this feeling or what you need to do to express and ultimately release it. Draw out an umbrella and visualize the feelings that your anger covers (e.g., rejection, hurt). Imagine holding the umbrella and asking yourself how you can handle the emotion or feeling appropriately without getting rained on.
  2. Express and Release It: If and when anger reaches a “6” or “7,” it is important to have a toolbox ready to extinguish your fire. Take control and responsibility of your emotions and don’t blame or attack someone else. Use “I” statements to convey your feelings, choose a time to talk with the person who is upsetting you, and maintain a calm voice while talking. Use deep breathing, count to 10, engage in exercise, write in a journal, visualize your anger leaving your body and floating down a stream, and use positive self-talk (e.g., This too shall pass; I can handle this without losing my temper). Consider using a timer in which you give yourself 20 minutes to be fully angry, and then practice letting the anger roll off your body. Another option is writing a letter but refrain from delivering it until you have had a few hours to calm down and review it. Laugh off frustration, stretch away tension, talk anger out, and shed tears of irritation. The goal is not to suppress but rather express anger appropriately.
  3. Practice Conflict Resolution: If problems continue to reappear, consider deliberate communication and give yourself permission to be heard. Schedule a time to talk to the individual(s) involved, acknowledge the conflict, model using “I” statements, ask for questions/feedback, confirm and reassess each person’s understanding, consider a compromise, and follow-up after the conversation. Reflect back on what this process was like, what you learned, what was difficult, and what you would change in the future.

As the saying goes, “When angry, count to 10 before you speak. If very angry, count to 100.” Anger can lead to serious consequences and have significant repercussions. When anger leaves you feeling out of control or is interfering with your ability to work or complete daily life functions, consider contacting a professional.

Mary-Catherine Riner, Ph.D., Ed.S, M.S., is a licensed psychologist serving South Carolina and Georgia. She earned her doctorate in counseling psychology and school psychology at Florida State University in 2014, following her pre-doctoral internship at Johns Hopkins University, where she specialized in eating disorders and suicide risk assessment. Presently, she specializes in treating eating disorders, OCD, self-harm, and marital discord. 


Community Voices: BMW Charity Pro-Am Presented by SYNNEX Corporation offers chance to make positive impact

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

By David Sawyer, president and managing partner, Cliffs Clubs & Bob Stegner, senior vice president, marketing, North America, SYNNEX Corporation

Once again, the 2018 BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation welcomes players, celebrities, and spectators to Greenville and offers an opportunity to show off the place we call home. From our thriving downtown to the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains, the tournament introduces visitors to the Upstate while reminding the rest of us that we live in a special place.

Most importantly, tournament week represents a chance to make a positive impact in our community through several extraordinary nonprofits. For 2018, this includes helping children with life-debilitating conditions, providing homebound citizens with nutritious meals, and delivering opportunities to students around STEM.

SYNNEX is humbled to have played a part in the $12.7 million dollars raised since the tournament’s inception. And The Cliffs is not only thrilled to have the tournament back at The Cliffs Valley but also to have The Cliffs Residents Outreach (CRO) as one of the beneficiaries.

Members of The Cliffs’ six South Carolina communities have come together through CRO to help children succeed in Greenville, Pickens, and Oconee counties. CRO volunteers logged 18,000 hours last year and contributed $700,000 to help break the cycle of poverty by supporting students’ success in the classroom.

Their efforts helped one Pickens County elementary school rise from the bottom 10 percent in South Carolina school performance to the top 10 percent. In Greenville County, they have provided academic enrichment opportunities for students, programs for at-risk youth, necessities for families in crisis, and tutoring and pantry items for students in poverty.

For The Cliffs, the tournament also demonstrates that their communities are about more than golf. Cliffs members and residents come from all walks of life with passions for golf, wellness, cycling, and more, but one interest that unites them above all is their passion for giving back.

Likewise, SYNNEX Corporation is about more than IT distribution. Its story is largely about getting involved in the communities its associates call home. And the tournament is just one of the many ways the more than 1,700 SYNNEX associates in Greenville and 125,000 worldwide can give back.

Since 2011, SYNNEX has raised more than $8.5 million for Upstate children through its year-long charity initiative, SYNNEX Share the Magic. In addition, SYNNEX’s Community Involvement Committee organizes ways for associates to give back during the year through local food drives, silent auctions, and more. At SYNNEX, giving comes from the top down, and it’s contagious.

The Cliffs, SYNNEX, and BMW share similar philosophies when it comes to the community. We know, like many other companies here, that helping others is also good for business. It builds camaraderie by challenging employees to see the bigger picture. It brings companies together despite competitive marketplaces. And it challenges leaders to share their resources and talents.

We believe that together, everyone can make a difference. In addition to having a great time at this year’s tournament, we invite you to learn more about its philanthropic impact. Remember, it’s never too late to find a small way you can give back to Greenville or whatever community you call home.

Bob Stegner for Synnex Corp. ©Todd Rosenberg Photography 2008
David Sawyer

David Sawyer is the president and managing partner of the Cliffs Clubs. Bob Stegner is senior vice president, marketing, North America, of SYNNEX Corporation. 

In Our Community: YMCA of Greenville, Loaves & Fishes, and more


Second GCCA studio artist receives prestigious international art grant
Danielle Fontaine has been awarded an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant for emerging artists. Fontaine is the second studio artist from the Greenville Center for Creative Arts to receive this prestigious international grant. The first was Naomi Nakazato, an inaugural Brandon Fellow at GCCA and two-time recipient of the grant. The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation is one of the longest-standing grant providers for emerging artists all over the world. It has provided financial assistance to more than 1,800 students and artists across 40 countries. The award is geared to students and artists in the early to developmental stages of their careers who work in a representational style of painting.

Fontaine is originally from Quebec and has lived in Greenville for the past 19 years. In her artist statement, Fontaine says her encaustic work “considers the enduring question of what we elect to keep or preserve and the reasons why, and invites reflection on what, or whom, we discard along the way.” Fontaine is also a member of the urban panel of Greenville’s Design Review Board. 

General Federated Women’s Club gives to Camperdown Academy
The General Federated Women’s Club of Greenville President Alecia Elrod presented Camperdown Academy Headmaster Dan Blanch and Director of Development Allison Rogers with a check for $1,400 to fund a new program for their school called Read Naturally.

Junior League raises $15K for programs
The Junior League of Greenville recently held its inaugural Shop for Greenville fundraiser, a 10-day discount shopping event in March featuring 78 retailers. The Junior League sold 325 Shop for Greenville discount cards that raised more than $15,000. All proceeds will support the JLG’s programs and partnering community agencies who work to improve the lives of women and children. Shoppers who purchased a discount card and guide book earned deals at local businesses during the event.

Partners in Agriculture to celebrate Greenville-Haiti partnership
Greenville-based nonprofit Partners in Agriculture (PIA) is working to end malnutrition and hunger in Haiti’s central plateau through sustainable agriculture and education. Its school gardening program, Family Food Security program, and peanut production for Nourimanba (a highly nutritious food made from peanuts) have helped PIA treat more than 35,000 children.

PIA also started The Haiti Project, an outreach program that has connected young Haitian musicians and students to professional musicians in Greenville. The program was founded by South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts teacher Katy Dev and organist David Turner. The program includes intensive summer music camps along with the donation of hundreds of gently used musical instruments. The Greenville Symphony has donated instruments, and students at Greenville’s Augusta Circle Elementary School donate their used recorders.

PIA will be holding an event on June 1 called In Harmony With Haiti to celebrate the partnership between Greenville and Haiti. The event will be at Wyche Pavilion with a farm-to-table dinner at 6:30 p.m., and music at the TD Stage from 7-10 p.m. by Donna Kay and the Carousers, S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts Jazz Ensemble, and Augusta Circle Parents/Pupils Recorder Ensemble.

Greenville Women Giving announces 2018 grant recipients 
Greenville Women Giving, a local nonprofit philanthropic organization that has more than 500 members, announced its 2018 grant recipients at its annual meeting this week. Since its founding in 2006, the organization has granted more than $5.4 million to 80 nonprofits in Greenville County in five categories: arts and culture, education, environment, health, and human services. This year, GWG awarded a total of $601,745 to the following grant awardees: FAVOR ($100,000 over two years), Gateway House ($100,000 over two years), Girl Scouts of SC – Mountains to Midlands ($88,540 over two years), Homes of Hope ($50,000 over two years), Jasmine Road ($100,000), Loaves & Fishes ($50,000), Mill Community Ministries ($37,976), and the Warehouse Theatre ($75,259).

YMCA of Greenville raises record-breaking $1.2M for annual scholarship campaign
YMCA of Greenville announced that it has raised a record-breaking $1,205,982 for its annual scholarship campaign. This is the largest annual campaign to date of any YMCA in South Carolina. Over the past 10 years, the YMCA of Greenville has raised $8,864,239 for the annual campaign, putting 100 percent of those funds back into the community through scholarships so that anyone who wants to participate in the Y’s programs or services is able to, regardless of ability to pay. “We are so thankful for each and every donor,” said Scot Baddley, Greenville YMCA president and CEO. “Now, we are able to offer more children a safe and nurturing environment in after-school, day camp, and summer resident camps where they can learn skills and make new friends. More people suffering from Parkinson’s and hypertension can participate in our evidence-based wellness programs to gain health and quality of life back. And, more teens can participate in our statewide Youth in Government program to learn more about democracy, leadership, and civil discourse.”

Loaves & Fishes holds Taste of the Upstate event
Eight local chefs came together at Zen and faced off in a friendly competition at Loaves & Fishes’ 2018 Taste of the Upstate jazz and gospel brunch. Featured restaurants were Biscuit Head, Good Life Catering, Local Cue Game and Sports Bar, Moe’s Original Bar B Que, Roost, Smoke on the Water, Table 301 Catering & Kitchen, and Wild Ace Pizza & Pub. Roost took home awards for best presentation and best overall. Biscuit Head won the award for best New Orleans theme. Table 301 won for originality, and Moe’s Original Bar B Que won the people’s choice award.

Greenville Jazz Collective and the St. Anthony of Padua Male Chorus provided live music, and local artist Dumah Morgan provided live painting. The $33,000 raised from ticket sales, a silent auction, raffle tickets, and donations will fund the local mission of Loaves & Fishes, which is to “rescue” surplus food and use it to feed the hungry in Greenville County.

Augustine Literacy Project seeks tutors
The Augustine Literacy Project of the Upstate (ALP), a nonprofit organization, will host their annual training session July 9–18, 2018 (weekend excluded), 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. This training will teach volunteer tutors a specialized approach to help at-risk children struggling with words to read.

ALP volunteer tutors teach one-on-one with a child at his or her school twice a week during the school year at no charge to the child or the school. No previous teaching experience is required. ALP is dedicated to training and supporting volunteer literacy tutors for disadvantaged children and has already trained more than 100 tutors who have provided more than 6,000 hours of specialized literacy training in the Upstate. For more information, visit augustineproject-upstatesc.org or call 864-680-1533. The application deadline is June 15.

A Q&A with Greenville FC head coach Lee Squires

Greenville FC head coach Lee Squires. Photo by Will Crooks.

Lee Squires has spent more than a decade on the soccer field as a player and coach, leading numerous teams across the Southeast to winning seasons.

Now the England native is bringing his love of the game to Greenville.

Last month, Greenville FC named Squires as its inaugural head coach. The team launched in November as an affiliate of the National Premier Soccer League, which has nearly 100 teams that compete in four regions and 14 conferences.

“I’m very excited in being named the first head coach and being involved with the club in its first season,” Squires said. “It’s an exciting project that has a lot of potential. Greenville is a thriving city that loves its soccer, so it’s great to be able to bring high-level soccer to the area. I have no doubt we can attract fans’ support and put out a great product on the field.”

Growing up in Sheffield, England, Squires discovered his love for soccer at an early age and later moved to the United States to play for Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, N.C., where he had a standout career as a striker.

After graduation, Squires was asked to return to Lees-McCrae and lead the school’s soccer team as head coach. Over the course of four seasons, Squires accomplished an impressive .578 winning percentage with an overall record of 40-29-7. Squires also previously served as the assistant coach for the North Carolina Olympic Development Program and was the head coach for the 2011 HSA Force ’98 in Premier UK Soccer.

In 2015, Squires was named head coach of the men’s soccer team at Lander University in Greenwood. The Bearcats have since accumulated a 41-11-6 overall record and made three appearances in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship and NCAA Division II national tournament.

Squires will continue to coach the men’s soccer team at Lander. The collegiate season runs from August to November. The Greenville FC season runs from May to July. The team’s home games will be played at Eugene Stone Soccer Stadium at Furman University.

The Greenville Journal recently sat down with Squires to discuss the upcoming season and his passion for soccer.

(The following transcription has been edited for clarity and brevity.)

Why do you love soccer?

Every game is different and exciting. You go into it and even if you’re a strong favorite, it doesn’t mean you’re going to win. It can literally go either way during that 90 minutes of play. And it’s not an individual sport. You rely on 10 other guys and the spirit you create as a team as your support system. It’s just a beautiful game.

How were you introduced to the game of soccer?

I was introduced to soccer at an early age through school and friends and started to take it seriously when I was 10 years old. When I was done with my schooling back home, I was trying to figure out how to continue playing at a higher level while getting an education, and the U.S. college system gave me that opportunity.

You received your first coaching job at the age of 23 with your alma mater, Lees-McCrae College. What was that transition from player to coach like?

I learned a lot quickly through mistakes and experience. It helped that I knew a lot of the coaches and players. And I feel like I had a good understanding of the game. I just had to learn communication and how to get the best out of players. I’m still working to tune my craft and will continue to do that going forward.

Why did you decide to join Greenville FC?

I think Greenville, first and foremost, is a fantastic city. My wife and I enjoy making the trip from Greenwood to be in town and take advantage of downtown. But this is a new team in a competitive league. It’s a great opportunity for me to continue coaching through the summer because the college season is so short. Sometimes I go into the season with my college guys feeling a little rusty. Now I get to coach 15 to 16 competitive games with good players. And it’s a new challenge to put together a team in such a short space of time and formulate those guys into some sort of cohesive unit. I love the challenge.

You had to build the Greenville FC team from scratch. What was that process like?

It was interesting, to say the least. We actually started recruiting just as everyone else was finishing, so we weren’t able to be as selective as we wanted to be. But we feel like we were able to secure a good team by utilizing the local guys and connections we have.

Your team lost its first game to the Georgia Revolution earlier this month. How are you feeling about how your team has performed so far?

We’re coming together day by day. I told the guys early on that performance doesn’t matter too much. That will come with time. But we’ve got to start putting some points on the board. We made some errors early on during our first game that put us behind. It was just a tough start for us. But we were able to get a goal before the end of the game, which made the final score a little more respectable. We’ve just got to start the game on a better note, so that we can work our way in and get a better result.

What has community support been like for the team so far?

To sell the amount of tickets we have before even kicking the ball at home has been unbelievable. The merchandise has been flying off the shelves, so people are really buying in. We’re the first summer team in town, and people want to support it. I’m excited to see what it’ll look like once we start playing more games and word starts to spread. It should be a pretty special experience for everyone.

What role does Greenville FC play in the growth of soccer here in the Southeast?

It’s huge in promoting the grass-roots soccer movement and getting kids out at camps in the summer. This club is in a privileged position where people want to support it, so we’re going to throw support behind people who support us.

For more information, visit gvlfc.com.

2018 Greenville FC Schedule: 

May 16 vs. Savannah Clovers

May 19 at New Orleans Jesters

May 24 vs. Emerald Force FC

May 26 vs. Georgia Revolution

June 2 vs. Atlanta Silverbacks FC

June 9 vs. Chattanooga FC

June 16 at Atlanta Silverbacks FC

June 20 at Emerald Force FC

June 23 at Asheville City SC

June 27 vs. New Orleans Jesters

June 30 at Chattanooga FC

July 4 vs. Asheville City SC

July 7 at Inter Nashville FC

Note: All home games start at 7 p.m.

Small Plates with Ariel Turner

Mercado Cantina, which is planned for Gather GVL, will serve on a rotating basis mole as a sauce for enchiladas or chilaquiles, tacos, elotes, house-made chips, guacamole, salsas, seafood, ceviche, and aguachile.

Caterers are da real MVP

Events season is in full swing, and that means many catering companies are booked solid every weekend for the next three to four months. Serving 40-200-plus people at a time is no small feat. Imagine the stress of making that much food taste exactly right, at the exact desired temperature, all at the exact same moment. You get the idea. It’s a tough job, and one that doesn’t get the same recognition chefs at higher-profile restaurants often do. For instance, last weekend Uptown Company, who catered the Artisphere VIP tent experience, had to plan for roughly 250 guests, which translated to approximately 8,000 individual dishes for the weekend since 90 percent of the food was plated in individual portions. That’s extreme. So at the next gala or wedding you hit, give some props, or even better, slip some cash to those working behind the scenes. They deserve it.

Crazy for Cocobowlz

Food trucks are all the rage right now, and I don’t know anyone who’s mad about it, especially with the variety we have in Greenville. One of the newest, Cocobowlz, serving up healthy food-truck fare, has been hot on social media for the last few weeks, and it’s no wonder since the smoothies and bowls they make are total eye candy. If you haven’t seen a photo of a purple acai bowl or hot pink pitaya bowl with the Liberty Bridge and falls as the backdrop, then you must be one of the few people who’s managed to limit your social media intake. Acai and pitaya (dragon fruit) have become increasingly popular as superfoods, packed with antioxidants and vitamins, and Cocobowlz makes them even tastier topped with granola, coconut milk whip, almond butter, all the seeds you could want, and loads of fresh fruit. They also serve smoothies, fresh-pressed juices, and nitro-brewed coffee. So basically, they got you for breakfast, lunch, and midday snack. Check them out on Instagram to see where they’re parking next.


The proposed shipping container food hall Gather GVL is getting closer and closer to being fully leased. The developer hopes to break ground in July and be open by late fall. So far, they’re up to eight out of 13 signed tenants, and there isn’t a miss in the mix. The next concepts that are enticing for so many reasons were just announced by the owners of Hendersonville, N.C.’s HenDough.

First, an authentic-style Mexican restaurant called Mercado Cantina that will serve on a rotating basis mole as a sauce for enchiladas or chilaquiles, tacos, elotes, house-made chips, guacamole, salsas, seafood, ceviche, and aguachile. If that’s not enough, the full-service bar will have a wide selection of mezcal and tequila.

Next up is KO Burger, which will be serving burgers styled after Shake Shack’s thin, crispy, griddled patties. If you’ve never had a Shake Shack burger, just wait. (And FYI, Husk’s burger is very similar, so if waiting isn’t your thing, you can snag one of those for lunch or brunch now in the West End).

The third is a Roman-style pizza kitchen named Al Taglio. Get ready for focaccia-style pizza by the slice. And good news for those of us with food allergies or limitations: Each of the concepts will have a selection of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Also, Murasaki owner Cheng Yap has signed on for a poke bowl concept called Saki Saki, and Rocky Moo from Spartanburg will be keeping it cool with its second location of the new ice cream sandwich concept.

The Pasta Addict wants to bring fresh pasta served in a casual atmosphere to Greenville

Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino. Will Crooks/Greenville Journal

Sunday suppers with his Italian-American family in New York City were an important tradition for Anthony Pepe.

His paternal grandmother, Rosie, would host until she passed away, and for her, the more mouths to feed, the better.

“Come over with your friends,” Pepe recalls she would say. “Before you know it, in 20 minutes you have a spread out, like literally the last supper. The sauce, and the meatballs, and the red sauce, pastas.”

Pepe took that culinary influence, and, through working with and studying a series of well-known Italian chefs while he worked as a bartender and beverage director in New York, he’s developed his own style under the name The Pasta Addict that if all goes well will have a brick-and-mortar location in the Greenville area within the year.

His concept is to serve approachable, quick, fresh pasta in a casual, trendy environment. He’ll make all of his pasta by hand, and all sauces will be made in-house.

“Those Sunday mornings, you smell meat frying in the red sauce. I love that, but I also love that true Italian, real-deal Italian,” he says.

Pepe and his wife, Jennifer, and their two young children, Anthony, 7, and Adrienne, 4, moved to Simpsonville in August 2017 from Long Island. Jennifer Pepe’s parents had moved to the area 12 years ago, and when her mother died suddenly a year ago, the Pepes decided to move closer to her father.

The timing worked out with Anthony’s job with a restaurant group ending, and he and Jennifer were looking for a change of pace.

“We were busting our butts up there,” Jennifer says, explaining that they both took different trains into the city for work and rarely spent time together with their children.

After moving, Anthony landed a job bartending at Jianna, and Jennifer does in-home child care, allowing her to stay home. But on Monday nights — Anthony’s night off — when the two would want to go out for dinner and get some good Italian, they discovered most of the local options were closed.

He had started perfecting his own classic Italian dishes at home for the last few years, so instead of eating out, he ramped up his in-home cooking, getting the kids involved in rolling out the pasta dough, and Jennifer started photographing the finished products and posting them on Instagram under the handle @ThePastaAddict. After enough positive feedback and serious discussion, they decided to start looking at bringing the concept to the general public.

Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino. Will Crooks/Greenville Journal

Sweet Sippin’ in Simpsonville recently hosted The Pasta Addict pop-up, which was the Pepes’ first foray into cooking for a crowd. They’re also tweaking a business plan and looking for a permanent location near downtown Greenville.

“There’s a void here for fresh pasta,” he says, adding that a casual and accessible atmosphere are key differences from most Italian restaurants that serve fresh pasta locally.

Anthony Pepe’s inspiration to rethink the version of Italian cooking he grew up with came from first tasting the veal ragu served at Bar Italia, which was run by Denis Franceschini, the former executive corporate chef for the Cipriani Group in New York.

“When I first had his ragu, I was mind blown,” he says. “What is this? What am I eating right now? That’s where I always say the addiction started.”

Other inspiration came from chefs Scott Conant, seen on the TV show “Chopped,” and Mark Ladner, Mario Batali’s executive chef.

What Anthony learned through trial and error at home was the “montecare” method, which Italian cooks use to emulsify the fat in starchy dishes.

“Starch in the pasta water is the most important thing. It’s liquid gold,” he says.

Paccheri with fresh pomodoro. Will Crooks/Greenville Journal

And to counter a popular misunderstanding about Italian cooking, Anthony says true Italian cooking is simple and fresh, and it doesn’t have to be smothered and overwhelmingly heavy.

He uses an Italian cocktail to make his point.

“Let’s take the negroni for example. The cocktail. Three ingredients: gin, Campari, sweet vermouth,” he says.

He compares that to traditional spaghetti pomodoro, which is garlic, basil, tomato, and olive oil. The trick, he says, is allowing the pasta water to reduce and emulsify with the fat to create that addictive creaminess.

“That’s the whole thing. It’s really the technique,” Anthony says.

Follow @ThePastaAddict to view their tasty dishes, progress, and for future pop-up information.

Greenville Chorale announces 2018-19 season

The Greenville Chorale | photo provided

The Greenville Chorale has announced its 58th concert season for 2018-2019, which includes a wide variety of genres and styles to appeal to a broad base of musical tastes.

Bingham Vick Jr., the Chorale’s artistic director and conductor, says he selected programming that the Chorale will enjoy performing as much as he hopes the audience will enjoy listening. For him, that means choosing material that is accessible for the entire choir and then narrowing down the hundreds of options for the five concerts throughout the season.

“Picking repertoire for the Chorale is on one level very difficult and on the other hand, is very easy,” Vick says.

“Chorale Sings Bluegrass and Big Band Music

The fall concert on Oct. 20, 8 p.m., at the Peace Center will feature two diverse selections in collaboration with two instrumental ensembles.

First, the Chorale will perform “Come Away to the Skies – a high, lonesome mass,” a bluegrass mass, accompanied by the Chuck Nation Bluegrass Band from Gainesville, Ga.

The bluegrass mass is based on old, Southern hymn tunes “Do Lord,” “Brethren We Have Met To Worship,” and “What Wondrous Love Is This.” Vick says that these standard tunes in the hymnody are woven into movements in a remarkable way.

The second half of the program will feature three “Sacred Concerts” by Duke Ellington, combining big-band jazz sounds with sacred texts. The Chorale will be joined by the Greenville Jazz Collective Big Band.

“If you like bluegrass, you’re going to love this. If you like big band, you’re going to love it. If you like good choral music, you’re going love it,” Vick says.

The Chuck Nation Band will perform with the chorale during the fall concert. | photo provided

“Chorale Sings Messiah”

The Chorale’s 35th annual family Christmas concert on Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m., at McAlister Auditorium will feature a performance of G.F.Handel’s well-known “Messiah.”

The Chorale will be joined by the Chorale Orchestra, area professionals who also perform regularly with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra. The Chorale most recently performed “Messiah” in 2008.

Members of the Chorale will perform as the soloists.

“The Nature of Things”

The Herring Chamber Ensemble, composed of 24 professional vocalists who are also members of the Chorale, will perform its 22nd annual winter concert on Feb. 17, 2019, 2 p.m., at Charles E. Daniel Chapel, Furman University, and again on Feb. 24, 2019, 4 p.m., at Church of Our Saviour, Johns Island, S.C.

Selections include composers Jake Runestad, Kim André Arnesen, Dan Forrest, Alf Houkom, Eric Whitacre, and Paul Hindemith.

Especially entertaining selections include “Animal Crackers,” a set of poems by Ogden Nash, set to music by Eric Whitacre; “Three riddles,” a Swingle Singers arrangement of Bach; and a version of “William Tell Overture” for voices.

Vick says he tries to choose a wide range of repertoire for the chamber ensemble that includes tight jazz harmonies and pieces that are fun and challenging.

“I ask a lot of the chamber ensemble,” he says.

“The Chorale Sings What Orchestras Play”

The Chorale’s spring concert on April 12, 2019, 8 p.m., at First Baptist Church, will feature the Chorale singing music composed originally for instrumental ensembles. These include well-known works “Largo” from Dvorak’s “New World Symphony,” “Nimrod” from Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations,” and “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber.

Patricia Hunt Fisher, who outbid many others for the chance to guest conduct the Chorale at their annual fundraiser auction, will lead the Chorale for one number. She is a longtime choral singer and was the choral director at Travelers Rest High School for more than 30 years.

The program will also include some “choral humor” by various composers, including Franz Josef Haydn and P.D.Q. Bach, the fictitious “son” of J.S. Bach.

Continuing the Greenville Chorale’s tradition of recognizing one of the area’s premier high school choirs, the program will include a set of selections performed by a choir that will be selected over the summer.

15th Annual Lakeside Patriotic Concert

Rounding out the season, the Chorale joins the Furman Lakeside Band on June 27, 2019, for the annual free concert in the Furman Amphitheater.

The concert, which always opens with “America the Beautiful,” will feature light classics, traditional standards, and Broadway show tunes.

“It’s fun for the crowd to let their hair down and relax,” Vick says.

Tickets for shows are available through the Peace Center Box Office (300 S. Main St.), by phone (864-467-3000), or at the door.

Greenville’s newest park, once a place of division, will be a place of unity

Unity Park is expected to span 60 acres and cost up to $40 million. Rendering provided by City of Greenville / MKSK

The land where Greenville will build its newest signature park was once was a place of division. Now, it will be a place to unite.

The new multimillion-dollar park west of downtown will be called Unity Park, a name that pays homage to the past when the area was home to two parks, one for blacks and the other for whites, and emphasizes the land is now for a place for everyone.

“The name says inclusiveness,” said Mary Duckett, a longtime resident of the Southernside neighborhood and president of its neighborhood association, Southernside Neighborhoods in Action. “We were separate then, but we’ve united it now.”

The park is also the final piece in the city’s reclamation of the Reedy River, which has played a critical role in the resurrection of Greenville’s downtown.

In a hurry? Watch the video below to learn more about Unity Park: 

At one time, the river’s most visible section — the part that runs through Falls Park and behind the Peace Center — was virtually forgotten. The river was treated like the city’s sewer and changed colors based on the dye the textile plants were using that day. Now, improving the river’s health is one of the city’s top priorities in Unity Park, which Greenville officials say could be as transformative to that area as Falls Park was to the West End.

“That will be one of the most dramatic aspects of the park,” Mayor Knox White said.

That, along with features such as a tower, pedestrian bridge, destination playground, and sprayground water feature, will turn an area that has historically been treated as Greenville’s backyard into its front door, White said.

“Unity Park will turn this part of Greenville into a gateway instead of a throwaway section,” he said. “It is Greenville’s next big thing.”

Part of history

The site of Unity Park, which straddles some of Greenville’s traditional African-American neighborhoods and downtown, wasn’t always a place the city wanted to show off.

After Greenville voters approved a $110,000 bond for park improvements, then-Park and Tree Commission head James McPherson urged the city to purchase 15 acres of marshy meadowland prone to flooding west of Hudson Street from Edwin Mayberry to create a park for “negro children.”

“I grew up in a time when that was the only park we could go into,” Duckett said.

In 1938, the City Council decided to give almost half of Mayberry Park’s land to Joseph Cambria in exchange for Cambria building a baseball park with bleachers and lights to be home for a minor league baseball stadium. When black residents protested, the mayor told them the city wasn’t taking anything away from them; they were giving them a baseball stadium. A black minister then pointed out that it was a stadium in which they could not sit in the stands.

Duckett remembers Mamie Norris working the ticket window at the baseball stadium during minor league games. If a child retrieved a home-run ball that was hit out of the park, Norris would let them into the stadium. During the seventh-inning stretch of each game, they’d open the gates and let people in, she said. “That gave us a sense of self-worth,” she said.

Nearby the stadium, at the intersection of Mayberry and Hudson streets, was a women’s stockade. Neighborhood children found it funny when the women housed there would hang their long johns out on Mondays, Duckett said.

Later, the area became home to the city’s public works department, a department that was composed of mostly African-American workers.

While Meadowbrook Park is gone, Mayberry Park still exists — and it will be incorporated into Unity Park.

“One thing we said as a people, call the new park whatever you want, but do not destroy the identity of Mayberry Park, because it is an icon for us,” Duckett said. “Even though some of the history may not be the best of memories, it is still history.”

Gone, too, is the public works department, which was relocated to make way for Unity Park.

A metamorphosis

The site of the new park has a history that is near and dear to various populations of the city, and people are naturally inclined to protect the part important to them, said the Rev. Stacey Mills, pastor of Mountain View Baptist Church, which overlooks the parkland, and a member of the park’s citizen advisory committee.

But when Unity Park was suggested, the group was unified, he said.

“What a message it sends to the rest of the country,” Mills said, “that we’re uniting diverse perspectives and cultures, and that’s the key to turning the pages of history and moving forward.”

Rendering provided by City of Greenville / MKSK

“We’re not denying history. We’re acknowledging what happened, and this is our answer to what happened in the past,” he said. “This is our future. It almost HAS to be named Unity Park for healing to take place and for everyone to have ownership in the park.”

Mills said the park speaks to a generation of people who thought about what exercise, recreation, and gathering spaces would look like and that it would be OK to share that space.

“I can’t wait for the first jazz concert at the gathering hall and to get a hot dog,” he said.


The 60-acre park is a public-private partnership and estimated to cost $40 million, with half coming from the city and half coming from private and corporate fundraising. The first phase of the park is expected to open in 2020, White said.

“One of the most important things you can do in a growing community is to provide green space,” White said. “This is our response to growth.”

The park’s great lawn will offer 6 acres of relatively flat land, something that is missing from Falls Park because it is too narrow and is full of undulations.

Click below to explore Unity Park:

The park will also have an observation tower, which White said would be Greenville’s next tourist attraction. The 120-foot tower will be illuminated at night.

Other features include a gathering hall and visitors center, a destination playground, a public square, a pedestrian bridge, boardwalks, and a veterans memorial.

The order in which the various parts will be built has not yet been determined.

Hudson Street will become a tree-line boulevard leading into the park, one of several connections to downtown, White said. Parking will be at the edges of the park, and the city will have a mobility plan so people can get to various parts of the park.

Not a new idea

Restoration of the Reedy River is a key aspect to the park. The plan is to create a more natural course for the river, which was straightened in the 1930s, by sculpting the bank. By doing so, floodwater will spread out and slow down. Riparian vegetation would serve as a natural filter, improving the quality of the water of the Reedy.

“It’s the next step in reclaiming the river,” White said.

The idea of focusing on the river and creating parks and green spaces along it is nothing new. In a 1907 master plan created for the Municipal League of Greenville, Boston’s Kelsey & Associates, one of America’s preeminent architectural firms at the time, recommended Greenville restore the river and develop several parks along it.

“The Reedy River with its falls and gorge constitutes the most distinctive feature of the topography and landscape of Greenville. It is without doubt the most important single feature to be considered in the development and beatifying of the city,” the report said. “The splendid view of the gorge and falls below is an object of scenic beauty the likes of which few cities can boast.”

One of the areas the architects suggested for a park became Cleveland Park. They also suggested a park further upstream on the area where Unity Park will go.

“It took us 100 years to implement the plan,” White said.

And it’s a park that can be enjoyed by everybody.

“There’s something about parks that put everybody on an equal playing field,” Duckett said.

Click on the image below to read more: 

BJU to move Museum & Gallery off campus

Bob Jones University's Museum & Gallery's 16th Century gallery.

Bob Jones University plans to move its Museum & Gallery off campus.

The museum, which is widely recognized as one of the finest collections of religious art in the Southeast and perhaps the nation, has been closed since February 2017 after the university determined the exterior and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system of the building that houses it needed significant work.

Since the closure was announced, the community urged M&G to consider relocating the museum to provide broader access, said Randy Page, BJU chief of staff. The M&G voted to begin a $20 million capital campaign for the new museum. At its May meeting, BJU trustees voted to authorize the quiet phase of a capital campaign to repurpose the campus M&G building and the school’s Mack Library.

The current M&G building, which was constructed in 1947 as the school’s dining commons, and the school’s Mack Library will be repurposed, Page said. The M&G building was refurbished in 1965 for use as a museum for expanding the Old Master collection. Last year, it was determined the building required work to provide better care of the collection of centuries-old paintings, furniture, art, and antiquities. Water had penetrated its walls and damaged some of the interior walls. None of the paintings were damaged.

It is not yet known where the museum will locate off campus or when an off-campus facility would open, Page said.

Since the museum’s closure, some of its paintings have been loaned out to museums, corporation headquarters, and private homes of art enthusiasts. Selected portions of the collection are on display in campus locations for public view and tours, and an exhibition sampling some of the Old Masters will open at the Greenville County Museum of Art in mid-June.

M&G has one of the largest collections of European Old Master paintings in America. While it is internationally known for Baroque art, the collection includes furniture, antiquities, Russian icons, textiles, and objects of art. The collection represents 45 centuries.

Band Spotlight: Apricot Blush

Jackson Wise of Apricot Blush. Will Crooks/Greenville Journal

Band Name: Apricot Blush

Formed: 2016

From: Greenville

Members: Jackson Wise (vocals, guitar, multiple other instruments) and a shifting collective that often includes Jonah Terry (bass, banjo), Sydnee Albertson (singing saw), Brandon Gallagher (drums), Dan Fetterolf (violin), and Wesley Heaton and Marissa Splendore (trumpets)

What they sound like: Emotional but immaculately played folk-pop with near-orchestral arrangements; think The Decemberists or Microphones’ Phil Elvrum

Who They Like: Hugger Mugger, Wallpaper

Apricot Blush wasn’t actually a band until after their first self-titled album. Jackson Wise essentially wrote and recorded all 10 songs himself. The follow-up, “Where Blew A Flower, May A Flower No More,” expands the lineup to 10 players, and it’s in every sense a step forward for Wise.

The music is more cinematic and dynamic, moving from spare, acoustic-guitar interludes to haunting full-ensemble moments that weave acoustic instruments and vocal harmonies around one another, with Albertson’s haunting, fluttering singing saw hovering over the songs like a ghost.

This new, bigger version of Apricot Blush came from the unexpected strong response Wise got to his first collection of songs, which then created a need to play them live.

“The response blew out what I expected it to be,” Wise says. “I expected like 10 of my friends to listen to it and say, ‘Good job, buddy.’ But that wasn’t the case, which was great. But I still didn’t feel comfortable playing live; I didn’t know how I could do that. I recorded it largely by myself, so I didn’t know how we could transpose it, but Jonah [Terry] inspired me to start doing that. And now I love it. I love the theatrical aspect that we can provide live.”

Both of Wise’s albums as Apricot Blush have revolved around concepts that might seem odd for a 21-year-old to be concerning himself with. The first album was a painful attempt by Wise to deal with recovery from abuse and addiction. The new album blends two themes: The Inuit legend of Sedna, the vengeful goddess of the sea who must be worshipped in exchange for releasing sea animals for hunters to capture, and Wise’s own urge to placate the demons in his life before moving onward.

Deep ideas, to be sure, and Wise says that those concepts come from his time in recovery.

“I got sober at age 16, and that’s a big part of my life,” he says. “I learned introspection early on because of that process. I started thinking more analytically, and college really pushed the limits of my thinking. I learned about Sedna in a Native American Religion and Culture class, and the more I learned about it, the more interesting it was. I didn’t expect it to resonate, but it was a beautiful story and I really liked it.”

Whatever resonance Wise felt with that legend was intertwined with an urge to go further creatively on Apricot Blush’s second album.

“I wanted to push myself,” he says. “This one isn’t as precise or intense as the last one; it’s very wide-ranging. The last album was made to help me cope; this one was to push myself as far as being a writer.”

Having recently graduated college, Wise is preparing for grad school and hoping to become a counselor for those in recovery from their own addictions. That means that, after their upcoming album-release show at The Ninjaplex in Greenville on Saturday and a brief East Coast tour, there might not be many more Apricot Blush shows in the near future.

“I’m not really sure what the future holds,” he says, “I don’t really have a choice but to write, but the shows might simmer down a little bit. We’ll put a question mark on that one.”

Dylan Scott’s style of country music reflects multiple influences

Dylan Scott. Photo by Joseph Llanes

In the “About” section of country singer Dylan Scott’s website, after a brief biography, he speaks of the aspirations he has for his 2016 self-titled debut album.

“It would be nice to have a No. 1 come out of this,” he says. “But I’d love to make some noise and build the fan base level by level, just like we made this album.”

Well, there’s nothing like achieving your goal. Last year, a single off of the album, “My Girl,” took it’s mix of rock guitars, country twang, and pop hooks to the top of the Billboard Country Airplay charts, and it was actually the third Top 40 hit Scott had off the album.

“It’s crazy, to be honest with you,” Scott says. “It’s what I dreamed about. It’s what I always wanted to do. We’ve had a lot of work to get where we’re at, and it feels rewarding to be able to do it. But it’s still a little crazy to know that we’re able to do this for a living, people are coming out to see us, and they’re singing our songs back to us. It’s fun.”

Scott has the music business, and particularly Music City, in his blood. His father was a Nashville guitar ace who toured with old-school country acts like Freddie Fender, which began Scott’s lifelong love affair with classic and contemporary country.

“I heard a lot of old-school country music, and I loved guys like Keith Whitley, George Strait, and Tim McGraw,” he says. “That’s what I listened to as a kid.”

But country wasn’t the only thing Scott was into, as a quick spin through his album will illustrate. He has a good ear for polished, pop-friendly choruses, and he even slips an occasional rap into his verses.

“As I got older, I started listening to a little hip-hop, like Lil Wayne, and a little pop,” he says, “and guys like Maroon 5 and Kings of Leon. Even today, I listen to everything and try to take a little bit from it all and put it into my own music.”

And as it happens, Scott thinks that wide-ranging musical curiosity is what’s attracting fans, who have put his album into the top five on the Billboard chart and streamed his songs a stunning 330 million times.

“I just think that’s where music is these days,” he says. “My crowd is basically my age demographic, and we kind of grew up the same way. We’d listen to a country station and then flip it over to a pop station. So, I kind of know my crowd. I know what they like, which is the same thing I like.”

Scott split the songs on his album between tunes he wrote himself and songs by outside writers, but he says his goal is the same for both.

“Whether I’m writing a song or looking at someone else’s, the main question is, ‘Can I see myself performing this song onstage?’” he says. “That’s the biggest thing; can I see people relating to it as I sing it? That’s what I look for the most. It’s about a good song and how it translates to people.”

In fact, Scott, who will perform at the Blind Horse Saloon in Greenville on Friday, had so many good songs stocked up for his debut album that he had to leave some off, including a sweeping, emotional ballad called “Sleeping Beauty.” Luckily, he was able to revisit the album last year and issue a 16-track deluxe version.

“That was really cool because there were songs that didn’t make it onto the album, songs like ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Can’t Take Her Anywhere,’” he says. “They didn’t quite fit, so when we got the chance to do a deluxe version, it was perfect. It worked because I got the music out there that I wanted to put out there, and the fans loved it.”

Dylan Scott w/ John Mirenda
When: May 188 p.m.
Where: Blind Horse Saloon, 1035 Lowndes Hill Road
Tickets: $17 adv, $20 door
Info: 864-233-1381, http://www.blind-horse.com/index.html

Backstage: A Q&A with production manager Jessica Eckenrod

Jessica Eckenrod. Photo by Will Crooks/Greenville Journal

Jessica Eckenrod has had a love for theater and the arts since a young age and knew in college that she wanted to pursue it as her full-time career. Eckenrod puts emphasis on learning as she encounters new roles and challenges. She initially started in the arts as a young singer/songwriter then took on acting along with production management. She is in her second season of being production manager for Centre Stage and is currently working on “Red Herring,” which opened May 10. The play is her directorial debut with a mainstage production at Centre Stage.

When did you first become involved in production management and directing, and when did you know this is something you wanted to do long-term?

At 15, I began working on stage crews in a small community theater in my hometown of Morristown, Tenn. I was always ready to learn anything and everything, so I kept “graduating” into the next level of crew life and given more responsibilities. College came, and when I wasn’t able to do theater full time with my current major, I just switched. Scenic design, lighting design, script analysis, and character work were a part of my everyday life, and I’d be fine if the remainder of my days were like this. I started writing and directing original works in college, alongside some classics here and there. Whenever I began composing, the game changed once again to musicals all day every day. My focus shifted to directing song cycles and original works. And thus, musical theater won me over completely.

Production management didn’t quite fall into my life, but it wasn’t something I’d “considered” heavily. I’d done all of the aspects but never managed them all. I’m heading into my second full season as PM with Centre Stage, and once again, it’s been a journey that has helped me grow, learn, and improve myself as both a performer and a professional in the business of theater. 

What has been your most challenging play to direct and why?

I have a deep, deep love for musical theater. Classics, modern, abstract — it doesn’t matter. There’s something about the process of creating a musical that fascinates me. That’s why directing “Red Herring” at Centre Stage was such a challenge for me. A nonmusical on a very large scale with over a dozen locations and a script that mirrors a screenplay was incredibly intimidating. An ensemble of six actors took on 18 different roles, and each had character work to undergo, costumes to quickly change into, and about a billion props to carry on and off. There were zero lyrics to hide the quiet moments, no choreography to fill in the breaks. There was just — the stage. Hardest show to date and I can’t wait for the next one.

What has been your most enjoyable play to direct and why?

Eesh! That’s a toss-up. First place is [a] tie between two original works: “Story” and “Letters from the Public.” My first crack at directing a full-scale musical, “Story” was an incredibly lengthy process that taught me a lot about theatrical aspects that I never considered as an actor. As an original musical, it was my first opportunity (and a very rewarding one) to hear things that had been living in my brain for years finally take the stage.

I co-produced “Letters from the Public” two years ago in downtown Greenville alongside my wonderful boyfriend, partner, choreographer — the talented Michael Cherry. This was an unforgettable experience due to us working with an ENTIRE “community” to bring it to life. We collected letters from around the Upstate, and some from states away, that touched on personal moments or memories. Anonymous or not, the letters were adapted into their own respective song and performed by local Upstate vocalists and musicians. Many authors of the letters were in attendance, and to see the effect on them, as well as the audience, was MIND-BLOWING.

What’s your favorite play?

I have to say it. “The Crucible.” I’ll shout it from the rooftops. “THE CRUCIBLE”. It needs to be done, so I can play John Proctor. Bottom line.

I read “The Crucible” initially while a high schooler and have continued to read it for leisure when there’s a moment to spare. The message of how far faith in the unseen can go and what belief in ourselves can accomplish — or not accomplish — resonates all day, every day.

Which actors/directors/designers inspire you?

Actor(s) – Is it appropriate to say Meryl [Streep]? Because… it’s Meryl. Among a LONG list of others.
Director — Rachel Chavkin and Christopher Rose (local)
Designers – Ming Cho Lee (set design) and Miranda DeBusk (lighting/local)

What do you most enjoy about Greenville’s theater scene?

Top two: the talent and the people! When I first moved to South Carolina, I was incredibly impressed with the actor/actress scene. Singers and dancers alike on a Broadway level, and some of them having even been on Broadway! There is a wide range of talent in this ever-growing city, and I feel that theatergoers have truly only seen the tip of the iceberg.

Now that I’ve been a part of the production world a bit longer, I have seen the work and creativity it takes to put up these amazing productions the Upstate theater community continues to offer. I have formed friendships with hardworking artists who inspire me to improve myself and who continue to great meaningful work with a full-time job. Greenville is incredibly lucky to have so many brilliant minds operating in the creative department!

How has Greenville’s theater scene changed since you first became involved?

So much growth. When I first moved to Greenville five years ago, I knew of a few staple theaters in the area that had been established for at least 15 years or more. By year two, a new theater was over here. Year three, two more theaters had risen up, each location holding a different niche than the other! With more opportunity to perform came larger pools of PHENOMENAL actors/dancers/singers. I’ve had the opportunity to see more modern works in the area and still have a place to go see my favorite classics!

What is your hope for the future of theater in Greenville?


Sound Bites: James Taylor, Paleface, and more

James Taylor. Photo provided

Saturday, May 19
The Velo Fellow,
1 Augusta St.
9:30 p.m.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been about seven years since Paleface, a sort of anti-folk singer who mixes his tuneful acoustic musings with psychedelic production flourishes and a deliberately lo-fi aesthetic, has put out an album. After all, between 1991 and 2011, he put out 15 releases, and that’s not counting his numerous guest spots and collaborations. And during that seven years, he’s made some changes to his music, though one is more of a formality: His longtime girlfriend and drummer Mo Samalot is officially part of the band now, and he’s experimenting with loops and effects pedals for the first time. “Mo and I have played together for so long that everyone referred to us and ‘PF and Mo,’” he says. “But the looping and pedals have changed our sound quite a bit. All we had before was an acoustic guitar and a drum, but I heard so much more in the music and had so many musical ideas.” –Vincent Harris

Friday, May 18
A Tribute to Sharon Jones, featuring Shannon Hoover, Darby Wilcox, Monte Butler, Kelly Jo, Audrey Hamilton, Evan Jacobi, Peter Dimery, Troy House, Matt Dingledine, Jeff Holland, and Tez Sherard
Gottrocks, 200 Eisenhower Drive
9:30 p.m.

Last year, bassist Shannon Hoover from the Greenville Jazz Collective organized a large ensemble to pay tribute to the late soul singer Sharon Jones, who took the country by storm earlier in the decade with her band, The Dap-Kings. A fan for years, Hoover discovered just how tight the group was while he was arranging the charts for his tribute band. “I really loved her music because it had a lot of the same sensibilities as James Brown,” Hoover says. “Her horns followed that pattern of old soul stuff. But as I started putting everything together, I learned about the way they presented her music and how all the parts worked together. It was cool to hear how intricate the background singers, guitar, percussion, drums, and guitar parts could be, even on funk or soul tunes.” As for the musicians Hoover selected, including four vocalists who will each get four-song solo spots, Hoover says it was an easy process. “I knew they were fans, and I love all the things the four vocalists do with their own groups,” he says. “I just picked out tunes they could shine on.” –Vincent Harris

Saturday, May 19
James Taylor & His All-Star Band
Bon Secours Wellness Arena,
650 N. Academy St.
7:30 p.m.
$75, $111

It’s hard to overestimate the effect that James Taylor’s nakedly vulnerable confessional folk songs had on the music scene of the early 1970s. His delivery and instrumentation were so placid and understated that it was sometimes easy to miss the disturbing tales of drug abuse, mental instability, and self-doubt within immortal songs like “Something in the Way She Moves” and “Fire & Rain.” As Taylor matured (and became healthier), he continued to score multiplatinum hits like “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You),” “Shower the People,” “Her Town, Too,” and “Copperline,” and he’s one of the few artists who’s been able to continually sell albums into the 21st century. In a sense, Taylor’s audience has grown up with him, and they’ve shared the experience of becoming parents and moving through middle age through his personal, often autobiographical songs. There will no doubt be a lot of nostalgic classics in his set at Bon Secours, along with a sprinkling of songs from his most recent album, “Before This World,” which topped the Billboard charts in 2015. –Vincent Harris

SCCT’s 2018-19 season lineup appeals to a broad audience, from toddlers to retirees

Provided by the South Carolina Children's Theatre

When it’s time to put together a new season lineup, each year the South Carolina Children’s Theatre faces a familiar challenge: selecting an array of shows that appeal to a broad demographic. With audiences that range from toddlers to retirees, to everyone else in between, SCCT hopes each season to offer shows that are accessible and enjoyable for all, says Artistic/Education Director Betsy Bisson.

The 2018-2019 Mainstage season’s offerings include old favorites and new delights, from a heartwarming tale about friendship between a frog and a toad to a laugh-out-loud musical based on a popular animated film.

“Shrek The Musical” Sept. 8-23

New to SCCT

What it’s about: Based on the hit 2001 animated movie “Shrek,” this musical follows an alienated ogre, Shrek, who must reluctantly travel to the Kingdom of Duloc when a group of fairytale creatures descends on his isolated swamp property after being banished from the kingdom by the wicked Lord Farquaad. Along the way, Shrek is accompanied by a gregarious donkey named Donkey. Upon his arrival, Lord Farquuad tells Shrek that he can have his swampland back — if he rescues Princess Fiona, who is trapped in a castle guarded by a fire-breathing dragon, for him.

Why it was chosen: “It’s a fun show. We haven’t done it before, and we like to pick something big-ish for our season opener, and this one seems to fit that bill,” Bisson says. “It’s Oscar-winning and Tony Award-winning, so it has that cred behind it. The characters are entertaining, and it runs the broad spectrum of the audience. Little kids will enjoy it, and so will adults because there’s jokes for them as well.”

Manny Houston, a former SCCT student and recent College of Charleston graduate, will be playing the talkative, happy-go-lucky Donkey. “We’re excited to have him back with us,” Bisson says.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” Dec. 1-9

Last produced in 2014

What it’s about: The six Herdman children — Imogen, Claude, Ralph, Leroy, Ollie, and Gladys — are not well behaved. In fact, some may call them “the worst kids in the history of the world.” The kids’ offenses range from cursing, smoking, and bullying to setting an abandoned toolshed on fire. When the kids decide to attend Sunday school one week (only because they hear about the free snacks), they become participants in the church’s annual Christmas pageant, taking the roles of Mary, Joseph, the three Wise Men, and the Angel of the Lord. The children, who have never before heard the birth story of Jesus, soon add their own interpretations and spin to the pageant, resulting in chaos and hilarity.

Why it was chosen: “This is my seventh or eighth time directing it, and I’m super excited about it,” Bisson says. “It’s a great redemption story. The Herdmans tug at my heart.”

“Mr. Popper’s Penguins” Jan. 26-Feb. 3, 2019

New to SCCT

What it’s about: Mr. Popper, a poor house painter living in Minnesota, enjoys daydreaming of faraway places and reading about famous explorers. Mr. Popper had previously sent fan mail to an admiral, who is now exploring the polar regions. As a thank you, the admiral sends Mr. Popper a present — an adult male penguin. The penguin lives in Mr. Popper’s icebox, but when he becomes unhappy, Mr. Popper asks the local aquarium for guidance. The aquarium sends over a female penguin, and soon the pair has several babies. Now living in a house full of penguins, Mr. Popper decides to make the best of a hectic situation and train them to form a traveling circus act.

Why it was chosen: “It’s based on the book, not the Jim Carrey movie,” Bisson says. “The 1930 version of the book is quite charming. … Dancing penguins is hard to beat, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

“A Year With Frog & Toad” March 30-April 7, 2019

Last produced in 2006

What it’s about: Based on the classic “Frog and Toad” illustrated children’s series, this musical adaptation chronicles the friendship of the happy and relaxed Frog and his more serious counterpart, Toad, and the fun adventures they have with each other and their fellow woodland creatures over the course of a year.

Why it was chosen: “It’s been nominated for Tony awards. This is a reduced version of it, so it’s about an hour-long show. It has a sort of jazzy score. … It’s very popular with the kids,” Bisson says. “Matt Giles from Seattle Rep is going to direct that show, so it should be a big romp, a lot of fun.”

“Elephant & Piggie’s We Are In a Play” June 15-22, 2019

New to SCCT

What it’s about: “Elephant & Piggie’s We Are In a Play” is based on the popular “Elephant and Piggie” early reader series by Mo Willems. The comic-book-style books follow Gerald, an elephant, and Piggie, a pig, and the lessons they learn about being good friends to each other and others. The musical adaptation of this series follows Gerald and Piggie on an exciting day as they use their imagination and get ready to attend a party hosted by the fun-loving singing squirrel trio, the Squirrelles.

Why it was chosen: “People that don’t have children may not be familiar with Mo Willems, rock star of the Pre-K crowd,” Bisson says. “He has a series of ‘Elephant and Piggie’ books, so this is a compilation of them. And we have The Squirrelles — like The Shirelles — singing narrative behind.”

2nd Stage Shows

This year, SCCT is partnering with the Kroc Center, which will host three of the four 2nd Stage productions.

“2nd Stage is a great way to test a child that hasn’t been to theater,” Bisson says. For example, “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” encourages audience movement and participation, which is helpful for young children. “It’s a great way to introduce kids to theater,” Bisson says.

“The Teddy Bears’ Picnic: A Play With Me Play”

Aug. 25-Nov. 20, 2018

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“The Littlest Angel”

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On heels of McPherson controversy, changes coming to Greenville’s traffic-calming process

A barricade on McPherson Lane has forced some neighborhood residents to navigate the busy intersection of Augusta Street and Faris Road. Photo by Will Crooks.

On the heels of a contentious battle over whether a barricade that turned one block of McPherson Lane into a one-way street should be made permanent, the City of Greenville is changing its traffic-calming process.

The Greenville City Council voted on Monday night to keep the barricade that prevents motorists from using McPherson, a small residential street, to escape from or avoid the traffic gridlock on Augusta Street.

Councilwoman Amy Ryberg Doyle said traffic is increasing throughout the city and it’s time to take another look at a process that has been in place since 1999. Scores of other neighborhoods have undergone the traffic-calming efforts, but none has been as controversial as this one.

“We’ll just try to do better the next time,” she said.

The McPherson barricade has been in place for a year, prior to the ongoing renovation of the strip shopping center on Augusta Street that houses Verizon and Moe’s Southwest Grill.

Residents of McPherson and four other nearby streets — McPherson, Warner Street, McDaniel Court, Camille Avenue, and Cothran Street — said they were promised the barricade as an answer to their concerns over increased traffic because of the redeveloped shopping center. McPherson residents said they did not contest the rezoning necessary for the shopping center’s redevelopment because they thought the one-way was permanent.

But residents of other streets in the neighborhood objected to the one-way, saying they weren’t notified the barricade would be erected and their streets were being adversely affected by increased traffic.

The city later called the barricade temporary and required the neighborhood to go through its traffic-calming process that allows residents to vote on items such as speed humps, traffic circles, landscape medians, curb extensions, and roundabouts.

The residents of McPherson, Warner, McDaniel Court, Camille, and Cothran voted for the installation of three speed humps in addition to making the one-way permanent. Residents of the other streets said the boundaries of the traffic-calming voting district were not broad enough and if they would have had a vote, the one-way would have failed.

Before their vote to make the barricade permanent, several council members, including the area’s representative on Council, Wil Brasington, said it was important to stand by the traffic-calming process, no matter if they personally agreed with the one-way or not.

“As flawed as this process might have been, I think as a Council we need to respect the process,” Councilman Russell Stall said.

Doyle, who chairs the Council’s Planning and Neighborhood Committee, said the city’s “traffic calming 2.0” will better define how the study area will be determined, likely with the city Planning Commission having input. It will also address how members of traffic calming study committees are chosen, she said.

The city will also likely eliminate one-ways from the list of traffic calming methods on which neighborhood can vote, Doyle said.

“We’re hearing from neighborhoods all across the city about traffic. But we need to look at neighborhoods as part of a larger system,” she said.

Traffic volumes across the city are increasing. Doyle said average daily traffic counts have increased 30 percent on Church Street and between 8 percent and 10 percent in some neighborhoods. But while traffic counts are up, collision rates are down, Doyle said.

The city is also looking at traffic signal improvements, road design and striping, and intersection improvements as ways to ease traffic congestion and concerns, she said.

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