“Soundings Series” concert returns to OU

Jessica Leydet, Staff Intern

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The mission of the Soundings Series is to educate faculty about the various ways they can bring research out of the lab, by connecting it to wider audiences, and communities in effort to support positive change in the world.

On Wednesday, Jan. 10, another “Soundings Series” will take place from 3–4:30 p.m. in the Oakland Room in the Oakland Center.

Dr. David Stone, chief research officer at Oakland University, and Leanne DeVreugd, program assistant for WISER (Women in Science, Engineering, and Research), organize the Soundings Series.

“Over time, these sessions will have focused on a range of such strategies, for example, getting your work on television, on radio, in the popular press, in popular books, through blog posts and twitter feeds, and through direct work with community agencies, non-profit groups, hospitals and other community based organizations,” Stone said.

The speakers at this event are Mark Stone, associate professor of music at Oakland, and Dwayne Anthony, community relations specialist and arts commissioner for the city of Pontiac. They will share how they put together their concert series, “Soul Food,” and how they used music to unite the people of Oakland County.

“I look forward to Mark sharing his passion about bringing diverse communities together and how he incorporates his performative research into exciting and successful community events,” DeVreugd said.

About a year ago, Mark Stone and Anthony started Soul Food to settle tensions after the election.

“It was such a divisive year, especially coming off of the political cycle,” Mark Stone said. “We wanted to promote unity through music because there was so much negativity streaming through the media and the community, so we wanted to promote something positive.”

Mark Stone started Soul Food during a conversation on the phone with Marvin Holladay, the founder of OU’s World Music program, who now resides in Ecuador.

“I called him one day and mentioned that I wanted to do something to promote peace in the community and he told me they have celebrations in his town that bring people together through music, so we ended up doing our own version of that in Pontiac,” he said.

At Sounding Series, Mark Stone said he and his partner will discuss how Soul Food brought together people in the county, and how his own research and experience as a performing artist has given him something to offer the community.

“I think that with both the Soul Food event and the Sounding Series, there is a common theme,” he said. “At our university, there are many different silos, like the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, for instance, and we all can exist separately in our own separate corners, but I think the Soundings Series and our creation, Soul Food, both aim to break down those barriers to bring all of us together.”