October 3, 2009 7:36:00 PM
The 18th annual Hazard Lecture Series returns to Columbus on two consecutive upcoming Mondays, Oct. 19 and Oct. 26. Featuring noted author George Thatcher of Gulfport and composer K. Lee Scott of Birmingham, Ala., the free public events designed to stimulate thought and broaden horizons will celebrate the "Voyage of the Artist."
Thatcher, who is the father of Walter Thatcher of Columbus, will be the guest lecturer Oct. 19. Scott will speak Oct. 26. The composer''s appearance will be complemented by the Mississippi University for Women Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Debra Atkinson, performing two of his works.
Both events take place at Heritage Academy, 625 Magnolia Lane, in Columbus, and begin at 7 p.m. The informative and entertaining series was established by George S. Hazard Jr. and Eulalie Hazard Davis in honor of their late father, George S. Hazard Sr.
''The Writer and his Muse''
Thatcher, a past president of the Mississippi Arts Commission, is a former newspaper columnist an author of five books.
The University of Mississippi alumnus and World War II and Korean war veteran was a longtime fixture in Biloxi''s Sun Herald with his daily column titled "Scenes from the Beach."
The theme permeated his published books: "Beach Walks," "Beach Walks II," "Scenes from the Beach," "A Decade of Beach Walks" (Quail Ridge Press) and "Misrepresentation in Mississippi" (The Dixie Press). The former president of Coast Federal Savings and Loan Association also edited "Prayer in Sickness" (Morehouse-Barlow, NY).
Gulfport''s Outstanding Citizen of 1953 and 1993 was named a Mississippi Ageless Hero in 1999. An avid tennis player, he represented the state in the National Senior Olympics in August.
Thatcher, who was appointed a trustee to the United States Senate Art Preservation Board in 2005 has offered this straightforward advice to aspiring authors: "If a student is interested in writing, he should major in English courses and should read insatiably. Read, read, read!"
''The Composer and his Work''
K. Lee Scott has emerged as one of the country''s noted composers of music for the church. His hymns are found in eight hymnals, and his more than 300 published compositions encompass anthems, hymns and works for solo voice, organ and brass.
The composer holds two degrees in choral music from the University of Alabama and has served as adjunct faculty for the University of Alabama School of Music, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Music and Samford University School of Music.
In 1995, he was commissioned jointly by The Hymn Society (of the United States and Canada) and the Choristers Guild to compose a hymn for their convocation in San Diego. Lee has also traveled extensively as a guest conductor and clinician in the U.S., Canada and Africa.
The MUW Chorale will perform his "Magnificat" and "To Everything a Season" on Oct. 26.
All students and members of the public are encouraged to attend the Hazard Lecture Series events free-of-charge. For additional information, contact Brenda Caradine at 662-328-5413, or Beth Lucas at 662-327-5272
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.