Kellogg Community College will celebrate 60 years of academic excellence with a Community Gala Celebration event Saturday, June 3, on the College’s North Avenue campus in Battle Creek. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., attendees will experience a strolling dinner, beer, wine, casino-type games, diamond raffles and a silent auction.
One of the main attractions will be live music performances by musicians connected to KCC. The first to perform at the gala will be members of the legendary KCC Jazz Band, including Sharalyn Davis on keyboard, Lonnie McLothan on bass, Don Noga on drums and George Pendill on sax and clarinet. Started more than 30 years ago, the band was directed for many years by retired KCC music man Ed Zentera. Today the band is under the direction of Tom Lockwood.
On the Binda Theatre stage from 7 to 8 p.m. will be Robert McFletcher-Jones and the Soul Music Experience. Robert is honored to be back home in Battle Creek. He is currently a guest entertainer on Celebrity Cruise Lines under the Don Casino Agency. In 2016 he was a member of the original and second cast of “Broadways After Midnight on Norwegian Cruise Lines,” starring Tony nominee Brenda Braxton and Sharon Wilkins. His previous credits have included Tom Collins (“Rent”), Belize (“Angels in America”) and Dave(“Jump Cut”) and he was a soloist for the national tours of Dr. Bruce Vantine’s Cornerstone Chorale & Brass.
McFletcher-Jones’ love and understanding of music started when he was a toddler. Those skills were cultivated by many heroes of Battle Creek. In 2011, he received his Bachelor’s of Public Administration and in 2013 his Master’s in Higher Education Administration from Grand Valley State University. He is currently at KCC studying voice with KCC music professor Dr. Gerald Blanchard. His audiences at the gala Saturday will be entertained with jazz, gospel, Broadway and soul music.
Minor Element will be performing in the Kellogg Room from 7:45 to 9 p.m. during the gala Saturday. Minor Element is a jazz fusion band out of West Michigan. They have been playing jazz together since November 2012, when they originally started as a jazz trio. The group connected through their college music classes, and as they grew in their musicality, so did their band, their musical taste and distinct sound. Now Minor Element consists of seven members. They have a very diverse group of musicians that come from all sorts of musical backgrounds and experiences, which is part of what makes their sound so unique. They are the perfect balance between old and new school to create a distinct sound that never leaves you unsatisfied.
On the reflecting pool stage during the gala Saturday will be the Bobby Holley Band, performing from 7:45 to 9:30 p.m. Former Stax Recording artist Bobby Holley graduated from KCC in 1974 before going on to Western Michigan University to complete a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communication with a minor in music. While attending KCC he was a member of the cross-country team, placing seventh in the state. During this time he also performed across the nation and recorded hit records that can still be heard on YouTube. Holley has entertained with artists including The Temptations, Junior Walker and the All Stars, Al Green, The Beach Boys, Martha Reeves and many more. Holley has been honored with many awards for his entertainment and community activism. At the gala he will be joined by another KCC alumni and drummer, Bruce Richardson.
Click here for more information about KCC’s Community Gala Celebration. Tickets are $60 each for the general public and $20 each for KCC alumni, and can be purchased at the event or in advance by calling 269-965-4161.