Columbia State To Host Core Ensemble

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Feb. 14, 2017) - - - Columbia State Community College will host Core Ensemble March 17 at 6 p.m. in the Ledbetter Auditorium.

Core Ensemble will perform the chamber music theatre work “Ain’t I a Woman!” in honor of Black History and Women’s History month. Chamber music theatre is a unique performance format developed by Core Ensemble that combines a theatrical narrative and chamber music.

Shayla Simmons will portray Zora Neale Hurston, Clementine Hunter, Fannie Lou Hamer and Sojourner Truth – four powerful, African-American women in history. Simmons will be accompanied by pianist, Byron Sean, whose music score was inspired by the heartfelt spirituals and blues of the Deep South, the urban influence of the jazz age and various African-American composers. A question and answer discussion will be held following the show.

“Ain’t I a Woman” is a joyful exploration of the trials and triumphs of African-American women in history.

“This is an event for any student or community member who has an interest in music, theater, history, cultural studies or wants to expand their perspectives through heartfelt individual triumphs of character over adversity,” said Dr. Erin Kealey, Columbia State assistant professor of philosophy.

Since 1993, the Core Ensemble has toured in every region of the United States and internationally to Australia, England, Russia, Ukraine and the British Virgin Islands. The Core Ensemble has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the state of Florida Department of State and Division of Cultural Affairs, The Palm Beach County Cultural Council and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

The event is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by the Columbia State Lyceum Committee, Department of Philosophy and the offices of Student Affairs and Access and Diversity. The Ledbetter Auditorium is in the Frank G. Clement Building on the Columbia Campus, located at 1665 Hampshire Pike.

For more information about this event, contact Dr. Erin Kealey, Columbia State assistant professor of Philosophy at 615.540.2760 or For more information on other Lyceum events, contact the Lyceum Committee by emailing, or visit the Lyceum calendar on the Columbia State website at

For more information about the Core Ensemble group, visit

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at

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