Lee College making 190 recorded oral histories digitally accessible via the Internet

BAYTOWN, TX — Lee College is bringing the voices and stories of Texas veterans to new life as part of a special project to digitize and securely archive 120 oral histories of former military service members, as well as approximately 70 oral histories that cover the history of Baytown.

Developed by the Lee College Library, the Baytown Veteran/Local Oral History Project is being funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services through a grant to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The TexTreasures Grant aims to increase accessibility to library treasures by helping member libraries make their special collections more accessible to researchers in Texas and beyond. Lee College is one of 13 libraries, colleges and universities across the state awarded a TexTreasures Grant for fiscal year 2017.

As part of its digitization project, the Lee College Library will make about 96 hours of recorded veteran oral histories available for listening online. Once converted, the files will be sent to the Portal to Texas History at the University of North Texas for preservation storage, metadata creation and Internet access.

“This project allowed Lee College to migrate valuable oral information interview from obsolete audio cassette tapes to digital MP3 files. This will help preserve them for a longer period of time,” said Paul Arrigo, library director. “Since they are now in digital format, the library can also share these oral histories to the entire world, whereas previously people had to come to the Lee College Library to listen to them.”

Members of the community can hear the oral histories for themselves – including 35 hours on the history of Baytown – at the fourth annual Veteran’s Appreciation Day to be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, June 10, at VFW Post 912 on North Main Street in Baytown. Attendees can climb aboard the Lee College Mobile Go Center to listen to the stories and learn more about the digitization process from Lee College librarians, and enjoy family activities like helicopter rides and memorabilia displays at the event.

For more information about the Baytown Veteran/Local Oral History Project at Lee College, contact the library at 281.425.6379 or library@lee.edu.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Texas Tenors to return with special sound & cowboy charm

Concert on Sept. 30 will be trio’s third appearance at the Performing Arts Center

The Texas TenorsBAYTOWN, TX — After lighting up the stage on the nationally televised competition show “America’s Got Talent,” winning three Emmy Awards for their PBS concert special and selling out the Lee College Performing Arts Center (PAC) for two different performances, The Texas Tenors are returning to the PAC this month to delight audiences with their incredible vocals and signature cowboy charm.

“The Texas Tenors: Let Freedom Sing!” is set for 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 30, in the PAC Main Hall. Tickets are $45-65 and available for purchase online now at www.lee.edu/pac, or by calling the Box Office at 281.425.6255.

Since their whirlwind television debut and fourth-place finish on “America’s Got Talent” in 2009, The Texas Tenors have performed their unique blend of country, classical, Broadway and pop music in more than 1,000 concerts around the world and on their PBS special, “You Should Dream.” PBS plans to air a second concert special with The Texas Tenors in 2017.

The trio — made up of singers and classically trained musicians Marcus Collins, John Hagen and JC Fisher — cover a diverse repertoire that showcases their individual vocal talents and lush harmonies, while exploring everything from Alabama to Puccini and Bruno Mars. Their 2013 country-themed album, “You Should Dream,” reached the Top 10 and features traditional favorites like “God Bless the USA” and “Unchained Melody,” as well as two original songs and the backing of a 65-piece orchestra.

In 2014, Billboard magazine named The Texas Tenors the No. 10 classical artists in the world, and the group is routinely the premiere attraction in the tourist hub of Branson, Mo., where they perform 60 concerts at the Starlite Theatre each year. Beyond the concert halls and packed arenas, the “three friends with a dream” have made several televised performances and contributed to numerous charitable causes, including The Child Fund International, Homes for Our Troops and The Mission Project. The Texas Tenors pride themselves on remaining self-produced, self-managed and committed to providing quality entertainment for families and fans of all ages.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.