Phillips named ORHS orchestra director

Doug Phillips

Doug Phillips has been named orchestra director at Oak Ridge High School. He replaces Jennifer Van Tol, who has retired. (Submitted photo)

James “Doug” Phillips has been named orchestra director at Oak Ridge High School, Principal David Bryant said Wednesday. Phillips will replace Jennifer Van Tol, who retired at the end of the school year.

Bryant said Phillips has 12 years of experience in music instruction, with the last 11 being in a public school setting. His most recent assignment was with Shelby County Schools in Memphis, where he directed an award-winning strings music program.

Phillips earned his bachelor’s degree in music at Mississippi Valley State University and his master’s degree in music education at Jackson State University, and he is currently working on his doctorate in musical education through Boston University.

Video: ‘The Secret City Ditty’

A song about Oak Ridge’s role in the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II. It was written by Alison Beatty and Christina May on June 13, 2014, and performed at the Secret City Festival in Oak Ridge.

Secret City Festival started Friday morning, continues through Saturday evening

Secret City Festival Opening Ceremony

B&W Y-12, which will no longer manage the Y-12 National Security Complex after June 30, has been a major sponsor of the Secret City Festival for 10 years and has contributed more than $250,000 total in the past decade. The federal contractor was recognized for its community contributions during the opening ceremony at the Secret City Festival on Friday morning. From left to right are Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan; Dave Richardson, B&W Y-12 president and general manager; Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller; and Bill Reis, B&W Y-12 vice president of public and governmental affairs.


The annual Secret City Festival, Oak Ridge’s largest festival, kicked off Friday morning and continues through Saturday evening.

Highlights of the two-day festival include concerts—Eddie Money and Kix Brooks are this year’s headliners—children’s activities, Manhattan Project site tours, arts, antiques, crafts, food, and fun. There are also World War II Living History activities and demonstrations, Oak Ridge history exhibits, and regional exhibitors and vendors.

Oak Ridge was a “secret city” during World War II, when it was part of the top-secret Manhattan Project, a federal program to build the world’s first atomic weapons. The festival helps honor that heritage and also includes a range of entertainment, community information, and family fun, among other things.

You can check updates on this year’s Secret City Festival on Twitter here.

See the Secret City Festival website for more information, including on how to purchase concert tickets for Eddie Money and Kix Brooks. [Read more...]

Community Orchestra performs at Secret City Festival on Saturday

Oak Ridge Community Orchestra at the Secret City Festival

The Oak Ridge Community Orchestra performs at the 2013 Secret City Festival. (Submitted photo)



While you attend the Secret City Festival in Oak Ridge on Saturday morning, stop by the pavilion and listen to the Oak Ridge Community Orchestra from 11:15 to 11:45 am. It’s free entertainment.

You will enjoy the program of popular renditions: music from the movies with highlights from “Jurassic Park” and “The Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Rings),” jazz from the big band era in A Salute to the Big Bands, and favorite Broadway hits in Curtain Up!

A Salute to the Big Bands includes memorable melodies such as “April in Paris,” “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You,” “Pennsylvania Six-Five-Thousand,” “Serenade in Blue,” and “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

Curtain Up features the famous Broadway tunes “Don’t Rain On My Parade,” “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “If He Walked Into My Life,” “One,” “The Phantom Of The Opera,” and that rousing chorus, “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” [Read more...]

Spotlight: Textile display at Oak Ridge Public Library

Linda Cloutier Textile Display



The art display at Oak Ridge Public Library for the month of June consists of exquisite appliqué pieces from the collection of Linda Cloutier.

The appliqué pieces are called molas, traditionally made by the Cuna Indians of the San Blas Islands of Panama. They feature an intricate form of reverse appliqué created in vivid colors, often on a red background. Stylized animal and plant forms are often used as subject matter. Molas are generally made in a rectangular shape, then framed and used as wall hangings here in the United States. However, the Cuna Indian people incorporate molas into women’s clothing, often using them as the fronts and backs of blouses.

In Linda Cloutier’s collection, molas can be seen added as decorative elements to three cotton shirts. These designs require a high degree of skill, because the amount of detail is quite extensive, and the process requires working with several layers of cloth. [Read more...]

Secret City Festival features something for everyone

Secret City Festival Crowd June 2012

A large crowd waits to hear music during the June 2012 festival.


Make plans to attend the 12th Annual Secret City Festival on Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 14, in historic Oak Ridge. Join more than 20,000 visitors and residents to celebrate the end of World War II and the heritage of Oak Ridge from 1945 to the present.

Here’s an overview of some of the many activities and events taking place at this year’s festival: [Read more...]

Secret City Festival reminds concert attendees of security procedures

Secret City Festival Logo

Visitors to the Secret City Festival next weekend can expect tighter security measures and maybe a few delays when entering the concerts this year, all in the name of safety.

“In light of recent events, we’re being extra vigilant in our protection of our attendees, staff, and the community during the festival concerts,” said Oak Ridge Police Chief Jim Akagi.

No backpacks or coolers will be allowed into the concert site and all bags will be subject to search.  This includes bags used to store chairs. Visitors should expect delays if carrying in anything that needs to be searched. Organizers suggest festival attendees only bring their concert tickets, money for food, an ID to buy or consume beer, and a chair for the concerts. Once inside the concert site, festival seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The concert site opens at 5:30 p.m. [Read more...]

Nikon Small World opens at AMSE June 13

AMSE Nikon Small World Marine Worm

Third place: Alvaro Esteves Migotto, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Centro de Biologia Marinha, Sao Paulo, Brazil. “Marine worm,” (Stereomicroscopy, darkfield, 20X) (Submitted photo)



Glimpse into a remarkable world that most have never seen. It is a window into the universe that can only be seen through the lens of a microscope, when Nikon Small World’s award winning photomicrographs exhibition opens June 13 at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge.

Combining the skills in microscopy and photography, a photomicrograph is able to capture an image of the world that the naked eye cannot see. A freelance photographer and artist with a passion for aquatic microorganisms, Wim van Egmond of The Netherlands, sought to blend art and science to capture the complexity and stunning detail of this fragile helical chain.

“I approach micrographs as if they are portraits. The same way you look at a person and try to capture their personality, I observe an organism and try to capture it as honestly and realistically as possible,” said Egmond of his winning image of a marine diatom, a colonial plankton organism. “At the same time, this image is about form, rhythm and composition. The positioning of the helix, the directions of the bristles, the subdued colors, and contrast all bring together a balance that is both dynamic and tranquil.” [Read more...]

Spotlight: Banners showcase art of the late Peggy Heddleson

Peggy Heddleson

Peggy Heddleson


“Peggy Heddleson Banners: A Celebration of Poetry in Felt,” a special proclaiming event honoring the memory of the late Margaret “Peggy” Thompson Heddleson, will be held from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, June 8, in the fellowship hall at Grace Lutheran Church at 131 W. Gettysburg Ave. in Oak Ridge.

Heddleson, who died in 2009, achieved acclaim as an artist in ceramics, painting, and basket weaving, but her banners, made of felt cloth with words, were her crowning artistic achievement.

Many of her banners were gifted to Grace Church, where she was a longtime member. On display in the sanctuary and the fellowship hall, they carry a message of faith and healing. Also on display for this event will be additional banners loaned by Peg’s daughter, Tina Armstrong. Many of the loaned banners deal with domestic violence and rape, topics with which Heddleson had some familiarity both from her own life and the stories many women shared with her as she traveled, giving “banner talks” advocating for battered women to church and civic groups. [Read more...]