IN OUR COMMUNITY
A Deer Park family will be in the national spotlight when the first run of their appearance on the hit gameshow Family Feud airs. While the Archer family said they had a great time, their results are confidential until the show airs Friday evening at 6 p.m. on My20 in Houston.
IN OUR COMMUNITY
After 12 years in the making and thanks to a $100,000 donation to the San Jacinto College Foundation from Dr. B.J. Westbrook, San Jacinto College has a new instrument to add to its classical music course offerings - a digital church organ.
“I hope this donation will help to continue to bring students to the San Jacinto College music program, especially those who enjoy the iconic sound of pipe organ music,” said Westbook. “I'm happy to be a part of such an endeavor and to be a supporter of this great institution.”
Remaining funds from Westbrook’s donation to purchase the digital organ for the College’s music program will go toward establishing a Westbrook family endowment with the Foundation.
“Dr. Westbrook has taken the initiative to leave the San Jacinto College Foundation in his will,” said Ruth Keenan, SJC foundation executive director. “His planned gift began with this $100,000 donation to provide funding for a family scholarship endowment to purchase a teaching organ, a need that has been pending for the past 12 years. This has been a tremendous boost to both our music and scholarship programs. We are so grateful to Dr. Westbrook and his family for the legacy that this gift will create for generations to come.”
SJC Board of Trustees Chairman Dan Mims also expressed his gratitude to Westbrook. “On behalf of San Jacinto College and its students, I would like to thank Dr. B.J. Westbrook for his generous contribution to the San Jacinto College Foundation,” said Mims. “His donation to the Foundation will allow many students to achieve their educational goals at San Jacinto College, thereby improving their lives. He leads by example in community service as well as other areas of life. Serving with him as a member of the Rotary Club of North Shore has allowed me to witness first hand his generosity and commitment to the community. Dr. Westbrook truly embodies ‘service above self.’”
The digital organ, which is now on display at the San Jacinto College Central Campus Monte Blue Music Building concert hall, is a Johannus Ecclesia D-570 digital church organ. Along with traditional church hymns, the organ also lends itself to iconic musical compositions echoing Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin. Probably one of the more infamous organ compositions heard throughout Hollywood and Broadway is Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor,” heard in countless renditions of The Phantom of the Opera.
SJC music professor Dr. Martha Braswell said that organ music is still enjoyed today, more than people think. “There is a great demand not only in the Pasadena area, but around the nation as well, for trained organists to provide service music for traditional church services and to provide great performances of compositions by historical composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Caesar Franck and Marcel Dupre,” said Braswell. “The San Jacinto College music department continues to have one of the most successful community college music transfer student programs in the state. Our students are sought after by major university music education programs in Texas. This is one area that we have been unable to provide education in, and now a dream has come true.”
As a result of this donation and organ purchase, an exciting event awaits music lovers when a world-renowned composer and musician collaborate for a dedicatory concert specifically for the new digital church organ. Internationally acclaimed composer and San Jacinto College alumnus Dr. Wayne Oquin is being commissioned to compose a piece specifically for the opening digital organ concert. Set to perform the composition is the first and only Grammy-winning organist, Paul Jacobs, who has performed concerts across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Both Oquin and Jacobs serve as department chairs at The Julliard School in New York, for ear training and the organ department, respectively. The San Jacinto College concert will be announced at a later date.
For more information on the San Jacinto College music department, visit sanjac.edu/career/music.
For more information on the San Jacinto College Foundation, planned giving, or how to donate, visit sanjac.edu/foundation.
IN OUR COMMUNITY
Brendan West, known to his teammates, family and community as Bebo, was named the Texas Special Olympics Athlete of the Year for ages 15-21. Born with a rare syndrome that causes limbs not to form, Bebo wows spectators with his dribbling, shooting and other skills.
IN OUR COMMUNITY
Concerts in the Park continues Thursday night as Deer Park Parks and Recreation presents Benastar. From Pat Benatar hits to Michael Jackson the rock tribute band has put their stamp on hits from the 1980s.
IN OUR COMMUNITY
The Deer Park Police Department has a program in place that helps residents keep their homes safe while they are away for extended periods of time. The program is offered year-round.
A former Deer Park citizen was among 18 World War II veterans honored with the Medal of the Knight in the French Order of the Legion of Honor. The late Jack Thomas, father of Terry Thomas-Smith was among those to receive the highest recognition bestowed by France.
The Deer Park Historical Committee recently placed plaques at four buildings in the city. The plaques recognize the oldest business, gas station, a previous city hall building and the oldest home. The historical committee used information from the Harris County Apprasial District to confirm the locations
From mourning the death of a friend to becoming a Deer Park concert favorite, Almost Endless Summer has become a staple of the Concerts in the Park series. The local band which covers iconic favorites will play their fourth Deer Park concert Thursday night.
On Friday, July 22, Mark Lardas will speak about the leadership of George Washington from the perspective of military history. The program will begin at 11 a.m. in the library's meeting room.
George Washington's military career began during the French and Indian War when he was in his early 20s. While his actions in that conflict were not entirely successful, he learned a lot from this experience. Washington had no formal military training and still was able to lead the Continental Army to victory. What kind of commander was George Washington? What were his strengths and weaknesses and how did his decisions affect the Revolution?
Lardas is the author of 17 books on maritime, military and naval history. Before working as a technical writer, he worked as a software engineer and a space navigator for the Space Shuttle program.
This presentation is the latest installment in the library's Featured Friday series. These monthly programs offer a variety of lectures, movies and special programs of cultural, historical and local interest.
Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Deer Park Public Library. No registration is required and all are welcome to attend. There is no admission fee. The library is located at 3009 Center St.