All-star lineup of CCU professors gather for concert to benefit scholarship fund

02/21/2014 9:37 AM

02/21/2014 9:38 AM

Located in the state known for the need of preparedness, Coastal Carolina University’s readiness stockpile comes complete with a benefit band: The Musky Dimes.

Borrowed from a headline past – but sans Springsteen or a trek to Los Angeles – the title touts the celebration of a professor by a renowned group of guys (and a gal) rocking and raising money for a cause.

Southbound but not all the way to Georgia, “Songs of South Carolina,” all written and inspired by the state of South Carolina, will be performed by The Musky Dimes Feb. 21 at 7:30 in Edwards Black Box Theater located on CCU’s campus.

Dan Ennis, who put the band together, said the audience can expect to hear “blues, Southern rock, some country, a little bit of funk and even a dash of beach music.”

The event is hosted by poet in-residence Dan Albergotti and featuring vocalist Diane Fabiano, a CCU alumna who starred in the student ensemble of Pop 101. Pop 101was led by Dan O’Reilly, who is also performing with the group.

All proceeds of the event will go to The Sara Sanders Humanitarian Scholarship fund, which will be awarded to a student majoring in the humanities.

Ennis said “this is the band’s second fundraiser, and it honors Sara Sanders. Sara was a professor of linguistics at CCU for 26 years and made a big impact beyond CCU for her work in Conway Hospital and with the South Carolina Humanities Council. Since she made her special study Southern English, and she’s an S.C. native, we wanted to focus on southern music, thus ‘Songs of South Carolina.’ ”

Sanders, distinguished professor emeritus of English, received a Ph.D. in linguistics in 1981 from the University of South Carolina and joined the English faculty at CCU in 1987.

Fans of old-time (southern) rock ‘n’ roll bands the former Virtue Trap and Dyno-Daddy can look forward to seeing those familiar faces, friends, or their favorite former and current professors performing as part of The Musky Dimes.

Joining Ennis, dean of Humanities and Fine Arts onstage and bass player, is Steve Nagle (guitar), retired professor of English and French; Steve Hamelman (drums), professor of English; Scott Pleasant (keyboards), director of The Writing Center; Joe Ostreich (guitar), professor of creative writing; along with Fabiano (vocals), director of alumni giving, and O’Reilly, a lecturer in the music department.

Special guest Sam Hannaford, president of South by Southeast, will join in on percussion.

Ennis explained “the band name comes from yet another CCU connection. Paul Rice, poet, musician and professor at CCU, died in 2004. Many of us knew Paul and played with him onstage. We played a fundraising concert in the fall of 2013 to raise money for the Paul Rice Poetry Series, and I had read in one of Paul’s poems, a reference to “muscadine” wine, as ‘Musky Dime Wine.’ So I named the band The Musky Dimes in Paul’s honor. The muscadine is a grape that grows in the south and produces cheap, sweet wine.”

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