Ferrum College senior Darrian Marshall’s The Empowerment Concert: Trilogy will occur this Friday and Saturday, October 4 and 5, 2019. Both performances will begin at 8 p.m. at Hart International Plaza on Ferrum College’s campus. The events are free and open to the public. Please note that performances contain content that is not suitable for children.
More about The Empowerment Concert: Trilogy Producer and Co-Creator Darrian Marshall ’20:
Senior Darrian Marshall ’20 from Gloucester, VA, enrolled at Ferrum College with a goal to impact his college community and he hasn’t disappointed. As a musical theatre major, Marshall developed The Empowerment Concert, a live performance that debuted in January 2018, filled with music, dance, energy, emotion, and hope. A second concert was performed in January 2019. In April 2019, Marshall’s co-creation production team persuaded him to put on one last big concert for his senior year, and The Empowerment Concert: Trilogy was born. “Looking back at the very first concert, I really enjoyed myself because it was when I became myself,” said Marshall. “I loved the feeling of embracing who I was so much I wanted to do another show, which I did the very next year. I have moved mountains and learned lessons, and I own one of the most respected performances on campus. This is the significance of my last farewell to Ferrum College.”
Meet some of the Ferrum College students that make The Empowerment Concert: Trilogy possible, below.
Natasha Shelton ’20, Master of Operations
First-generation college student Natasha Shelton ’20 from Richmond, VA, is master of operations for the concert. She is set to graduate this May with a degree in health science and health and human performance. She plans to become a physician assistant and personal trainer. This is Shelton’s first show. “This show has impacted me in such a positive way,” Shelton said. “Working with this group of people showed me that people come from all walks of life; there are beautiful and talented individuals everywhere. And together, we shine brighter than ever.”
Mia Brower ’21, Dance Captain
Mia Brower ’21, a junior from Kernersville, NC, is serving as dance captain. She is majoring in social work and plans to become a Hospice service provider. When Marshall approached Brower to dance for his first concert, she instantly felt such an experience would be necessary. “I’ve been dancing with Darrian and Autum for three years now and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This show has impacted me in indescribable ways: my confidence level has increased and I’ve learned the true meaning of hard work, commitment, and sacrifice,” said Brower. “Performing in these concerts has been the highlight of my time here at Ferrum College.”
Autum Murray-Burns ’20, Dance Captain
Autum Murray-Burns ’20 is a Ferrum College senior majoring in computer information systems and minoring in business. After she graduates in May 2020, she will begin working in programming. Murray-Burns has performed in the previous two concerts and is serving as dance captain for the third. “I never thought of myself as a dancer,” said Murray-Burns. “But this is my third year dancing with Darrian and Mia. This show has impacted my life: it’s brought me confidence. I am no longer afraid to be me. I express my feelings and encourage others to do the same. This show is more than just a concert; it’s a movement, a way for people to express themselves and stand up for what they want.”
Chenell Rogers ’21, Opening Performer
Chenell Rogers ’21 from Richmond, VA, is a junior and an opening performer for the concert. She is majoring in business administration with a focus on management. She plans to be a dance coordinator and own a dance studio. Rogers performed in the second concert and loved every second. “I will never forget my first solo performance on stage,” said Rogers. “I learned from Darrian: don’t expect people to understand your grind when God didn’t give them your vision. Darrian’s vision helped encourage me to believe in mine.”
Jonathan Taylor ’21, Opening Guitarist
Jonathan Taylor ’21 is the opening guitarist for the concert. He is a junior majoring in health and human performance at Ferrum College and plans to become a physical education teacher and a team chaplain.
Lechelle Smith ’20, Production Manager
Lechelle Smith ’20 is a Ferrum College senior majoring in musical theatre. She is the production manager for the concert. “I am so grateful for this opportunity,” said Smith. “I have been blessed to watch and work beside Darrian for three years now. I’ve seen his image come to life. He lets nothing stop him and that inspires me daily.”
Mel Ballard ’22, Lighting Director
Mel Ballard ’22 is a sophomore from Prince George’s County, MD. Ballard is majoring in cybersecurity and minoring in psychology, with a career goal to work in the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit. He is serving as the concert’s lighting director. “Recently meeting and working with Darrian and the crew enlightened me on what it truly means to be yourself. Different people coming from different backgrounds made my experience worthwhile,” said Ballard.
Ivori Bradley ’20, Host
Ivori Bradley ’20, a first generation college student from Lynchburg, VA, is one of the concert’s hosts. Bradley will earn her degree in social work in May 2020 and plans to be a social worker in a children’s hospital following graduation. “This concert is an inspiration because everyone is allowed to be themselves while adding their own flavor,” said Bradley. “Darrian is a great motivational leader. He has taught me to always believe in myself, no matter what.”
Tazz Rodgers ’21, Master of Technology
Tazz Rodgers ’21 is a junior majoring in business management and minoring in ecotourism. He is the master of technology for the concert. “This show has impacted me in so many ways. Among many other things, this show has taught me patience. The atmosphere created by this team is simply amazing,” said Rodgers.
Kintwon Pettiford ’22, Photographer
Kintwon Pettiford ’22, a sophomore from Hillsborough, NC, is majoring in elementary education at Ferrum College. He is the concert’s photographer. “This concert had empowered me in many ways. It’s allowed me to know that it is okay with being yourself and do what you love best,” said Pettiford.
Camille Mangum ’21, Master of Tech
Camille Mangum ’21, a junior from Danville, VA, is a pre-med major with a career goal of becoming a pediatrician. She is the concert’s master of technology. “This show has impacted me since I first saw it my freshman year,” said Mangum. “I’ve meet lifelong friends as well as learned some lifelong lessons and my confidence level has grown. Let’s make our mark at Ferrum College last a lifetime!”
Lia White ’20, Host
Lia White ’20, of Baltimore, MD, is a senior majoring in criminal justice and psychology. After graduation in May 2020, she will go on to law school for business law. Her career goal is to work for the FBI one day. White is serving as the concert’s host. “This concert has inspired me because I have grown in the past few years just like my classmates. We’ve all gained confidence.”