Shaking Up a Musical Tradition - 5:10
with Eric Wickens, Creator at Back Home Indiana Project
Posted Jul 21, 2017 Expires May 31, 2019
One of the greatest musical traditions in the Hoosier state is the song "Back Home Again in Indiana". The song was composed by James F. Hanley and written by Ballard MacDonald before being published in January 1917. While it is not considered the state song of Indiana, it is, perhaps, the most well known. Since 1946, "Back Home Again in Indiana" has been sung during the Indianpolis 500 Opening Ceremonies event by Jim Nabors. Nabors performed the song, most often, between 1972 to 2014. Classically-trained singer and local, anthem performer, Eric Wickens, details his plans for a new rendition of the jazz standard. Interview recorded on July 12, 2017. Hosted by Taylor Bennett. Part 1 of 1. Read a partial transcript of the interview here: Bennett: Why music Wickens: Why music I don't know if I ever had a choice, really. I grew up in the '70's and '80's. My mom was a big fan of Elvis, the Beatles, '60's music; that's what I grew up on. I never felt the strong need to move away; which if you are going to be successful in Classical music, that's what you should probably do, move out east to New York, the Met, that kinda thing. By age 30, I was comfortable and more interested in a social life and a family. Bennett: Why did you want to make changes to a popular song; something in tradition here, well known. Wickens: It wasn't my first choice. About a year and a half ago, it was suggested to me to just do a video of it with the Purdue band and put it on YouTube and call it done, but why would people watch that About 5 years ago I recorded a classical, sacred work called Comfort and the video for Be Still My Soul used stories to help propel the song along. We thought, why don't we give a similar idea to Back Home Again in Indiana. Get people who moved away from Indiana for whatever reason and then came back to make Indiana home. Use those stories and then build a new arrangement and video around those stories; rejuvinate the song, if you will. Bennett: How do you feel about it so far Wickens: We're still in the very beginning process of it. We're funding it with a Kickstarter project; get the stories and we're really in the beginning stages. *If you would like to give to Eric's Kickstarter Fund or learn more about the project, please visit Back Home Indiana Project on Facebook.
Hosted by: Taylor Bennett Produced by: Heartland Newsmakers Team

Other videos hosted By Taylor Bennett

What Indianapolis Needs to Better Fight Food Insecurity

Indianapolis has been ranked the worst city in the nation for access to fresh food. The Patachou Foundation is aware of that fact and is "working hard to change this by providing real food and hands-on education to kids living in these areas." Offering a hands-on approach to fight food insecurity. The foundation send out educated representatives into the community; into school cafeterias and into classrooms. The kids are exposed to nutritional demonstrations and given a wholesome meal, similar to what you eat at the cafe or other Patachou-owned restaurants, like Napolese. Click here for more on The Patachou Foundation. Interview recorded on August 23, 2017. Hosted by Taylor Bennett. Part 1 of 1. Read a partial transcript of the interview here: Bennett: We've highlighted some organizations that are fighting against hunger, is it making a difference so far Feltrop: Absolutely. Those statistics show that, across the nation, food insecurity and access to food is on the minds of policy makers. Bennett: What is the issue in Indiana Feltrop: Well specifically in Central Indiana you have a combination of issues. The reality is that hunger includes access to food. Indianapolis has a huge problem with the layout of the neighborhoods and just the economics of running grocery retail makes it difficult to place, locally, accessible, fresh food options in neighborhoods. Bennett: Does it also mean healthy food Feltrop: Fresh options are more healthy. Statistics do show that when there is a close proximity to a grocery store, the health outcomes of the community members tend to get better. Bennett: What would you like to see as far as making this problem go away What would be the ideal Feltrop: The reason why we are still grappling with this is that there are so many facets to the issue. It's an economic issue; poverty has continued to worsen. The polarizing economy really makes it difficult for families to get out of the cycle of poverty. When you include the health piece high food insecurity lead to negative health outcomes among youth. Indianapolis is ranked poorly when it comes to health in youth. Issues like diabetes and obesity are linked to food insecurity. Then there is a social piece about access to food; it's a neighborhood problem. Policy makers need to get fresh, healthy foods to neighborhoods based on their individual needs. Bennett: A lot of components. Feltrop: What we do at The Patachou Foundation is specifically address childhood hunger and their access to fresh foods. We work with local schools and deliver healthy meals to students facing food insecurity and poverty.
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