Troy University brings educational blues to Dothan

Hundreds of children will attend the shows at the Dothan Opera House on Feb. 2.

Hundreds of children will attend the shows at the Dothan Opera House on Feb. 2.

Troy University, in partnership with the Wiregrass Blues Society, will present the educational components of the seventh annual Wiregrass Blues Fest on Friday, Feb. 2.

Through a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, TROY will present two “Blues in Schools” programs that will feature saxophonist/vocalist Vanessa Collier, this year’s festival main headliner, who is also an award-winning music educator.

The two events will introduce blues music to hundreds of children from various Dothan City Schools. The programs take place at 10:30 a.m. and at 1 p.m. at the Dothan Opera House.

These events are open to members of the media, and an official press conference to outline the plans for the Wiregrass Blues Fest is scheduled for noon.

Vanessa Collier is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. She was nominated for 2017 and 2018 Blues Music Awards by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. She also serves as an adjudicating judge at solo and ensemble festivals, and offers blues clinics throughout the U.S.

In addition, Dr. Jeneve Brooks, associate professor of sociology at TROY’s Dothan Campus and co-founder of the Wiregrass Blues Fest, is producing a mini-documentary on this year’s Wiregrass Blues Fest living honoree, Mike McCarty, with funding from the Alabama Humanities Foundation. The film will be posted on the Wiregrass Blues Society’s website shortly after the festival.