Midway College Series Engages Audiences

A new program at Midway College has performances bringing students, staff and community members to their feet with excitement.

The Midway College Artist, Lecture & Convocation Series hosts a variety of guests – photographers, musicians, comedians and athletes.

Ellen Gregory, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, works with a 14-member committee of staff, alumni, students and community members to choose the performers.

“The ultimate goal is for students to enjoy a program they are not otherwise exposed to and to engage the community as well,” she said.

So far the series has included a discussion of Mexican culture and art with photographer Denis Defibaugh and a crowd-pleasing performance by comedian and magician Michael Kent.

A popular attraction was a panel discussion on women in sports with former UK volleyball coach Kathy DeBoer, Olympic diver Micki King, former professional golfer Myra Blackwelder and former UK basketball player Stacey Reed Sheppard.

A notable performance came in November from the acclaimed singing group, American Spiritual Ensemble.

Dr. Johnie Dean, Vice President and Dean of Enrollment Management, works with UK Opera Director Dr. Everett McCorvey, who leads the Ensemble.

“It was quite a milestone for Midway College, for a group of this caliber to come to campus,” said Dean, who has orchestrated and arranged music for the Ensemble.

With the Midway College Board of Trustees in attendance at Duthie Auditorium, the Ensemble wowed the crowd.

“They were so dynamic and exciting,” Dean said. “Our chorale members were sitting beside me, but not so near the end,” he said.

They were out of their chairs cheering for the performers. “There was a lot of hooting and bravo-ing,” Dean said.

Next in the series is Irish folk musician Steafán Hanvey, who will host the multi-media piece, “Look Behind You! A Father & Son’s Impressions of ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland,” on

March 26 at 3 p.m. At 7 p.m., Hanvey will present his new album, “Nuclear Family,” at a performance at Duthie Auditorium.

This year all events have been free, thanks to the sponsorship of the City of Midway, Midway Merchants Association, Midway Fall Festival Committee, Codell Construction, Murphy Graves Architects and The Learning House.