Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Lifestyles

May 24, 2013

PLEASANT HILL RAMBLINGS: Neilson in concert May 31

CROSSVILLE — The award-winning folk singer Tom Neilson will be bringing his message of “Music for Social Change” to Pleasant Hill, on Friday, May 31, at 7 p.m. in the Pleasant Hill Community Church, UCC. The Shalom Center for Continuing Education, a non-profit educational center is sponsoring this appearance of the nationally well-known artist. Through conferences, workshops, forums, retreats and artistic performances, the Shalom Center seeks to engage those in the area in a learning process that is lifelong, inclusive, imaginative and celebrative. Although based in Pleasant Hill, Shalom Center has brought speakers and artists of international fame, which attracts participants from Cumberland, White and Putnam Counties or farther.  Neilson is a veteran of stage and street theater with his writing, acting and directing. His music reflects his involvement with heroin addicts, the poor, human rights, safe energy and liberation movements from Nicaragua to Eritrea. His original works are parodies of popular tunes, well-known freedom songs and poetry draw the listener into his musical response to social change.

Neilson has been singing since he soloed in the Methodist Church under his choir director and church organist mother. Graduating with a degree in education, Neilson, among other things, was an athletic director of Special Olympics in Idaho, worked in public health in West Africa, taught English in Portugal, was a tri-lingual counselor in a hospital alcoholism unit and received his M.Ed. in counseling psychology from Northeastern University. During these travels he honed his voice as a classical/contemporary vocalist. He has performed at the Washington Cathedral, New York City’s town hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall and the New England Conservatory of Music.

Continuing his interest in international affairs, Neilson accepted a position in Kenya, where he worked as a rural development consultant and training director for the Peace Corps. From there it was a short hop to Somalia with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Neilson integrated his experiences into a doctoral dissertation examining U.S. political/economic hegemony in the Horn of Africa, as well as in the rest of the world. The traveling was interrupted when his son was born in 1991 and he "settled" into day jobs working with people with addictions and HIV, teaching physical education and coaching.

Neilson provides a voice for all those who believe in the power of folk music to affect change. His award-winning songs of humor and compassion on 12 CDs have been performed in 20 countries on five continents. His lyrics are celebrated for their sophistication, political astuteness and wit. His travels are reflected in his songs, intertwined with his farm roots and a fervent commitment to social justice, as he writes about historical and current events that are often ignored in the media. He has been at the forefront in helping communities organize against war, water privatization, mountain top removal, nuclear energy, incinerators, GMOs, fracking and toxic waste. He has received 20 awards and nominations, and at Kerrville, was referred to as the Jon Stewart of folk music.

Neilson particularly enjoys the personal connections provided by concerts and has performed for countless benefits and causes. His music has been used in six documentaries, as he tells the stories of people’s struggles against greed and violence, interjecting a good deal of levity along the way. If you ask him, he will tell you he is just a farm boy with a guitar who loves a good ball game and human rights. Neilson lives with his son in Greenfield, MA.

The Pleasant Hill Community Church is on Church St. off of Main St. across from the Pleasant Hill Elementary School. The sanctuary has been acoustically improved, making it an excellent venue for music. The concert is free and open to the public. There will be a reception afterwards to meet the artist and an opportunity to purchase CDs of his songs.

1
Text Only
Lifestyles
  • colorful kayaks.jpg Enjoying a day on the water

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Around the Town: There's plenty to look forward to this month

    Ready or not, here it comes! It is August, and that means an onslaught of activities, such as tax free weekend, back to school, election day, the 127 Yard Sale, football and the fair, are all rolling into Cumberland County over the next few weeks.

    July 31, 2014

  • Single-stream recycling tour planned

    A single-stream recycling tour will be Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 9 a.m. at the Solid Waste and Recycling Center Office at 20 Maryetta St. (in the old hardware store building).

    July 31, 2014

  • Gun and Knife Show to feature birds of prey

    The Cumberland County Community Complex will be the site of an educational and informative birds of prey program provided free of charge complements of the Cumberland Mountain State Park Rangers.

    July 31, 2014

  • FFG Resident Services Painting.jpg FFG Resident Services presents painting to the Pat Summitt Foundation

    A dramatic portrait of Pat Summitt, painted by Chuck Jensen, was presented to the Pat Summitt Foundation by Fairfield Glade Resident Services at its Community Information Event on memory care.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 127 seniors JosephZarolla-W6.jpg Zarola entertains 127 Seniors

    The members of the 127 South Senior Center met Friday, July 25, for bingo and Mexican Train domino game. Conversation, along with coffee and sweets, was enjoyed by all. Helen Lord called the bingo numbers, and the prizes were furnished by Eye Centers of Tennessee. Life Care Center checked everyone's blood pressures.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marriage licenses (Published July 30, 2014)

    July 29, 2014

  • Habitat-Group photo-Crisp Dedication .jpg Habitat celebrates 55th home dedication

    Anne Crisp is excited that she and her two daughters have a home to call their own. Cumberland County Habitat for Humanity (CCHFH) dedicated the 55th home to be built in partnership with low-income families. Crisp put more than 500 hours of "sweat equity" into her home and has completed 50 hours of self-improvement, where she attended classes on budgeting, home maintenance and good neighbor among others.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Gypsy Rose to visit Fair Park

    The Cumberland County Playhouse is currently performing the award-winning Broadway play “Gypsy.” A great American story set during the 1920s fading vaudeville circuit, "Gypsy" portrays the rise of famed burlesque performer and stage mother Gypsy Rose Lee as she journeys across the country with her mother and sister during a time when Vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. The complex character of Rose could be described as bold and brassy, as she steamrolls everyone in her way to turn her daughters June and Louise into child stars.

    July 28, 2014

  • plateau gardening-springBlooms4361.jpg Match August garden tasks to plant biology

    During all seasons in temperate climates like ours the greenery around us is changing. New shoots appear and leaves pop out of swollen buds after spring rains.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo