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Media Contact: Maddy Elledge
(706) 379-5319, [email protected]

Glenn-McGinnis Hall Opens During Grand Celebration

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga.—On Sept. 14, Young Harris College celebrated the grand re-opening of Glenn-McGinnis Hall with a special concert featuring the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra. More than 1,000 members of the Young Harris community and beyond gathered to honor YHC Trustee Richard McGinnis and his wife, Shirley, during the concert held in the newly renovated performing arts center.

“Our new performing arts hall is the perfect ‘cherry on top’ for Richard and Shirley McGinnis’ lifetime of philanthropy and generosity in support of the Young Harris fine arts experience,” said Dean of the Division of Fine Arts and Assistant Professor of Theatre Chris Crawford. “It was an honor to celebrate the grand re-opening of Glenn-McGinnis Hall and two very special people who made the elegant, state-of-the art environment a reality.”

The McGinnises, who currently reside in Blairsville, Ga., have supported Young Harris College for more than a decade. The couple generously contributes to many causes including the Mountain Lions Booster Club, Clay Dotson Open, Young Harris Annual Fund, and Friends of the Arts. They also regularly attend fine arts performances on campus to support the endeavors of current YHC students.

In 2012, Richard and Shirley further expressed their enthusiasm for the fine arts with a generous gift to the Investing in the Future Capital Campaign, a gift that ultimately benefitted the renovation of Glenn-McGinnis Hall.  

“The community, faculty and staff of YHC appreciate the generosity of Shirley and Richard McGinnis,” said Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands Dr. Mary Land, who invited Richard to guest conduct YHC’s Concert Band in 2015. “They have improved our performance facilities and have made a lasting impact on all of us.”

In addition to celebrating the McGinnises, the evening also afforded the opportunity for students in the YHC Jazz Band to open for a world-renowned orchestra.

“Growing up, my grandparents would always have a Glenn Miller record playing, no matter what was going on—it could be Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even a Sunday after church,” said sophomore music education major Christian Dasher, of Ludowici, Ga., who was featured as a soloist during the performance. “I will always remember this opportunity to play with the group that I grew up listening to.”

The Jazz Band was also invited to close the evening with an encore performance alongside the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

“Whenever we have a good performance, we have fun—and we had a blast that night,” said Adjunct Instructor of Music Dr. Mike Campbell, who directs the Jazz Band. “This is my seventh year directing the band and I believe it was our best performance. I’m sure my students will, for the rest of their lives, remember the experience of performing side-by-side with the members of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. I am extremely proud of them.”

Students also had the chance to observe a professional rehearsal prior to the concert and mingle with members of the Glenn Miller Orchestra before, during, and after their performance.

“From sitting beside the members of the orchestra as they performed, to talking with the musicians during breaks, our students gained priceless knowledge that they now take into their individual practice as well as their ensemble rehearsals,” said Dr. Land. “Connecting with the professional musicians definitely energized our students and further motivated them to focus on the skills our faculty present to them daily.”

The positive comments were reciprocal. “I was quite pleased to receive two tidbits of feedback from the Glenn Miller Orchestra,” said Crawford. “One was that the venue was one of the nicest they have played in recent memory and that the acoustics were top shelf. They also had nothing but rave reviews for our Jazz Band who performed admirably alongside these world-class musicians.”

The celebration of the grand re-opening of Glenn-McGinnis Hall will continue with the YHC Concert Band and Concert Choir’s “New Beginnings,” a concert featuring a world-premiere composition by Christopher Tucker on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. Admission to “New Beginnings” is $5 for the public and free with YHC ID.

For more information, contact the Division of Fine Arts at (706) 379-5182.

About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,100 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., has completed major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth. Recent LEED-certified campus improvements include the 121,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center, new residence facilities, and a 57,000-square-foot recreation and fitness center. The College is an active member of NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2017-2018 list of Colleges of Distinction and is listed as a “Best National Liberal Arts College” by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit