PRCC offers entertainment opportunities

Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 6, 2014

By Melinda Bowman

Guest Columnist 

Last week, Pearl River Community College hosted its annual Women’s Health Symposium with a record-breaking crowd of more than 500 women… and the unfortunate task of having had to turn away another 100 or more women requesting tickets. In its seventh year, PRCC’s staff seemed to out-do themselves once again as they endeavor to promote wellness and good health among South Mississippi women.

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The symposium gives participants a smorgasbord of offerings from a scrumptious luncheon, a great motivational speaker, advice by a panel of medical professionals, an art walk, and musical entertainment by the PRCC Voices to a chance to receive a number of free medical screenings from bone density tests to cholesterol and glucose level screens.

Any woman who goes to the annual January event knows they have a chance to win one of more than a hundred door prizes including the beautiful fresh flowers that grace every table in the house. In fact, this year businesses and individuals donated some 175 prizes…including a Renaldo bracelet by Apple’s, Adirondack chairs built by the carpentry department at PRCC and a concrete patio table and benches donated by the college’s masonry department, to name a few.

No one leaves empty-handed…which is something those of us regular attendees have grown to love. This year, the symposium completed a trio of gifts given over a three-year period. Two years ago, we received a pearl cluster ball on a sterling necklace chain. Last year, we received the matching earrings. This year our ensemble was made complete with a beautiful bracelet to match. And to boot, this year each woman walked away with a lovely travel jewelry bag to house her jewels on the go.

You have to have been present to know that it feels like Oprah’s “My Favorite Things” show with Janie Walters of Madison, Mississippi, leading the gals “whooping and hollering” as they receive gifts and prizes.

If you’ve never been, make sure you get your tickets early for next year.

Another thing to put on your calendar for this week, beginning Friday, February 7, is PRCC’s annual two-day “Show Choir Competition.” This year, eight middle school and 17 high school show choirs from Central and South Mississippi and as far away as Alabama and Florida will return to Pearl River’s campus to compete Friday from 4 to 10 p.m. and all day Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Ethel Brownstone Center for Performing Arts. Middle schools will perform Friday with the high school show choirs performing on Saturday. Awards will be announced at 10:15 p.m.

LaDona Tyson is PRCC’s choir director who has done incredible things with the college’s vocal performance groups. In fact, Tyson took the helm of the vocal program right after Hurricane Katrina left its mark on campus in 2005 and damaged Moody Hall so extensively that the show choir competitions have had to be held on the William Carey University campus in Hattiesburg. Now with the opening of the Brownstone Center, the choir director is thrilled to bring the competition back to campus.

River Road is PRCC’s show choir and host for its 27th annual show choir competition. Tyson encourages anyone who loves vocal and choreographed performance to purchase a $10 ticket at the door and receive an armband that will allow you to come and go for various events. Even if you don’t know anyone in the competition, it will be well worth attending. Plus, it helps support our college vocalists who use this as a means to raise funds for future musical endeavors. Local show choirs from Picayune and Pearl River Central will be among those competing. And River Road will make an exhibition performance Saturday evening before awards are announced.

Tyson said this is also a way to show off PRCC’s music programs and the Brownstone Center to hopefully entice some of these high school students to set their sights on a truly outstanding college experience in Poplarville.

(Melinda is a deputy clerk at the Pearl River County Circuit Court)