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Greenwood Lander Performing Arts Welcomes New Executive Director

Cecily MorrisThe new executive director of Greenwood-Lander Performing Arts has come to her job with performing arts experience both on stage and behind the scenes.

Cecily Bradford Morris of Abbeville began her new job on May 16. She succeeds Myra Greene Shaffer who resigned as executive director at the end of 2010 to become Lander University's director of Alumni Affairs.

Morris is past president and board member of the Abbeville Opera House where her credits also include acting, stage and house manager, set designer, box office volunteer and usher. "I have a passion for the arts," she said.

She received a bachelor's degree in studio art and a master's in education from Furman University. It was while she was a student at Furman that Morris became heavily involved in theatre, negotiating contracts with nationally known performers. She also has grant writing, public relations and promotion experience in both the arts and education.

A graphic artist, Morris has worked as an art teacher in the Greenville and Abbeville county school districts. She was assistant principal and on-site supervisor for the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice middle and high school programs at the juvenile facility in Greenwood.

For five years, she was the principal of McCormick Middle School in McCormick County. She retired from that position in 2009 and returned to the Abbeville school district where she has been an art teacher at Wright Middle School.

Morris said, "It is an honor to be part of GLPA to serve the Greenwood community and surrounding areas."

Jon Scott, president of the GLPA board of directors said, "We are excited to have somebody with Cecily's background, experience and enthusiasm to become executive director. We expect the organization will continue to thrive under her leadership."

As executive director, Morris will be responsible for all aspects of GLPA, including arranging the annual performance schedule and the organization's Outreach program for schoolchildren, and soliciting financial support. Jackie Counts, the Outreach coordinator, is a former music teacher and she and Morris worked together in the Abbeville school district for 13 years.

For 64 seasons, Greenwood-Lander Performing Arts has brought some of the world's most talented musicians, dancers and actors to the stage of the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium at Lander University.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra will open the 65th season with a concert on Tuesday, Sept. 27. That will be followed by "90 Minutes Around the World," featuring the Karkowska Sisters on Nov. 21; The American Spiritual Ensemble, Jan. 12, 2012; Aquila Theatre's "The Importance of Being Earnest" on Feb. 20; and the Moscow Festival Ballet performing "Sleeping Beauty" on March 13.

Tickets for individual performances and season tickets may be obtained by calling the GLPA office at 864-388-8326.