Troy Arts Council honors local leaders in the arts
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2016
For 15 years, the Troy Arts Council has held with the tradition of bringing the Southeast Alabama Community Band to the stage each spring and offering the concert to the community admission free.
Monday night, the Southeast Alabama Community Band presented the “best of the best concerts” at the Claudia Crosby Theater on the campus of Troy University.
Although every concert has been “the best,” TAC President Joel Williams said Monday night’s concert was the most enjoyable of them all.
“I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a concert as much,” Williams said. “It was just the best. The audience response was such that I’m sure everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.”
Williams expressed appreciation to James Smith, conductor, and all the members of the band for their dedication to the arts and for sharing their talents with the Troy and Pike County communities.
Prior to the concert, the TAC recognized Pike County leaders in the visual arts, music and volunteerism. Dan Fraley of Troy was the recipient of the Professional Arts Award and Lenny Trawick of Brundidge received the Professional Music Award. The Presidential Volunteer Award was presented to Ann Williams of Troy.
“These three people are pillars in the arts community,” Williams said. “They are the kind of people that keep the arts alive by their contributions. The Troy Arts Council recognizes them as a way of thanking them for all they have done over the years and all they continue to do in support of the arts.”
Williams presented the arts award to Fraley, whose idea it was to honor the memory of Troy folk artist Jean Lake with an annual art show.
“Dan was good friends with Jake Lake and her husband, Trigger Lake,” Williams said. “After her death, while in the Troy Arts Council, Dan presented a proposal to honor her memory with the Jean Lake Memorial Art Show. This effort has evolved into the major event, TroyFest that is celebrated the last weekend in April.”
Williams said Fraley participated in a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to present art in the Troy City Schools’ Impact Project from 1973-1975. He won another grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts for an Arts in Prison program from 1975-78.
“Dan has participated in many art shows throughout the South and has won several awards for watercolor art,” Williams said. “He also enjoys playing the mountain dulcimer and teaching he Hebraic roots of Christianity. “
Mary Ida Williams, TAC board member, presented the TAC award for Musical Leadership to Trawick, who is well known for songwriting and guitar performance.
“Lenny began his musical career with an FFA band in high school,” Williams said. “He has performed with gospel, rock, country, blues and jazz bands, including the Street Feet Blues Band, which he formed in 1990.”
In 2001, Trawick began playing guitar and writing songs for the Brundidge folklife play, “Come Home, It’s Suppertime.” Many of the songs are still featured in Alabama’s Official Folklife Play.
“Lenny’s blues songs have received awards in Guntersville’s NOVA Festival competition,” Williams said. “He is a member of the Roots Music Society, the Wiregrass Blues Society and the Magic City Blue Society. Lenny also teaches guitar to young students and always encourages them to develop a love for music. His guitar and vocal performances continue to enrich the cultural life of our community.”
The TAC award for community service was presented to Ann Williams of TAC Board Member Shelia Jackson.
“‘Miss Ann’ has been an active member of the Troy Arts Council for many years and she has been involved many community activities,” Jackson said. “She is active with First Baptist Church Sunday school and youth suppers, the Troy Rotary Club where she is a Paul Harris Fellow.
“She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and has served as regent and the chair of committees. She is a booster of several sports programs including Charles Henderson High School girls’ basketball and Troy University sports, especially football.
“‘Miss Ann’ has been a booster for the Southeast Alabama Community Band for 15 years. She is an honorary board chairman and a strong liaison between the band and the community.”
Williams has served on the Troy Arts Council for many years and has chaired many projects.
She is a board member for the Johnson Center for the Arts and has shared her personal collection of European bronze rubbings in the art center’s galleries.
“Ann Williams has been a tireless community-minded citizen and the Troy Arts Council salutes her this evening along with Dan Fraley and Lenny Trawick.”