SCC Names Artist in Residence, Hosts Benefit Show October 1


Music is in Lori Wilson’s genes.

“I sat at my grandfather’s piano singing before my feet even touched the floor.”

Wilson says her grandfather, Tom Hull, passed down his love of harmony to his entire family.

“It wasn’t until I learned ‘This Little Light of Mine’ from my mother that I began to appreciate how wonderful the talent was that God gave me,” explains Wilson. “From then on, I wanted to share it with the world.”

And share, she did. Now after 30 years studying, performing, teaching and traveling, she is shining that light a little closer to home as SCC’s Artist in Residence.

Wilson is saddened to see how most area schools have had to make cuts to their performing arts programming due to tight budgets and competing priorities. Through her Music Matters Movement, she hopes to change that.

The Music Matters Movement aims to increase awareness and support for music education through direct contact with music educators, students and the public.

SCC Director of Institutional Advancement Becky Rump says Music Matters is a natural fit for the College.

“I had the opportunity to get to know Lori through our work on the SCC Foundation’s Great Tastes fundraiser and a few other community events. She is amazingly talented and is very passionate about music education,” says Rump.

Rump explains that Wilson’s vision paired nicely with some of SCC’s outreach objectives to expand arts programming for credit and transfer, so college officials contracted with Wilson to offer some youth music workshops over the summer. Soon after, Wilson was brought onboard as SCC’s Artist in Residence.

SCC has had an Artist in Residence program on the books for some time. However Rump says it had laid dormant in recent years. “It just needed the right person to pick up the mantle. Lori is definitely that person.”

Wilson’s credentials are indeed impressive. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Music from UNI, she packed her bags and headed to the Big Apple.

While in New York, Wilson earned her Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

During her career, Wilson has taught vocal music, held significant vocal roles in operas, and even performed for the legendary Luciano Pavarotti. Additionally, she had the opportunity to meet and work with a variety of talented performers across musical genres, including Renee Fleming, Shakira, and Queen Latifah.

Music has been the one constant throughout her life. “It feeds my soul,” Wilson explains. “Music really helped build my self-esteem as a child. It fostered my creativity and opened my eyes to possibilities.”

Rump continues that developing performing arts programming has been on the shortlist at SCC for some time.

“There are a lot of musically gifted students in the area,” says Rump. “Right now SCC has limited offerings in music theory and vocal performance, so if they want to pursue a full-fledged music education after high school, students have to go off to another college. We want to change that so they have the option to do so right here at SCC.”

In addition to serving SCC students, as Artist in Residence, Wilson will perform outreach activities in area K12 schools and coordinate community events and workshops.

“My overarching goal is to bring the musical community together so we can re-energize music education and create opportunities for young people to experience the same joy of music that I have,” says Wilson.

Wilson is also working on a program that can leverage SCC’s resources to develop a community-based partnership among area artists and music educators, and to provide mentorship opportunities for young teachers and aspiring artists.

“Music is a collaborative discipline, and so the more we can bring people together to share ideas and resources, the better we all will be.”

To publicly kick off the program, Wilson is coordinating “Make the Music Last,” a benefit concert on October 1 at the Capitol Theater.

The event aims to honor the many civic organizations and music educators who work to keep music alive and thriving in the area. It is also intended to raise awareness of the need to increase resources for them to continue their mission.

Featured performers include Tim Ahern, Gloria DeVilbiss, Rebecca Evans, Ruth Francis, Roger Hatteberg, the Hull Family Singers, Christopher Kurt, Derrick Murphy, Jeffrey Phillips, Leigh Pirtle, Terry Strother, and Lori Wilson.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m.. A reception will follow at the Burlington Art Center.

Proceeds benefit SCC’s music outreach program for area K12 students and the newly-established Thomas & Evelyn Hull Family Endowment for Music Education.

It is sponsored by the SCC Foundation, the Capitol Theater, and the Burlington Art Center.

Admission is $10. Advanced tickets are available at the Burlington Art Center or by contacting Lori Wilson at or (319) 601-0733. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Persons interested in donating to the event or to the Endowment should call Lori Wilson.

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