Wingate University concert features Wingate's own Wes Little and The Nashville Beat

Contact: Jennifer Gaskins
Director of Marketing and Communication
704-233-8117; 704-507-9101

Concert to debut original songs and poetry by Dr. Sylvia Little-Sweat

WINGATE, NC, -- "Close to the Heart," a free concert featuring country, jazz, blues and rock & roll music from the 50s to the present, will be presented at Wingate University's George A. Batte, Jr. Fine Arts Center on Tuesday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature Wingate University English professor Dr. Sylvia Little-Sweat, her son Wes Little and The Nashville Beat.

The event includes original songs and poetry written by Little-Sweat. Drummer Wes Little is a native of Wingate and graduate of Forest Hills High School. He has toured with musicians Joe Nichols, Jo Dee Messina and Billy Dean. He has played for nationally televised events such as the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball with Stevie Wonder, Sting, Beyonce and Alicia Keys, the Democratic National Convention, the ESPY Awards, the Save the World Awards 2009 in Austria and the NASCAR Awards. He appeared in the film Lightning in a Bottle. He has also played for Broadway and Off Broadway shows and toured with The Rat Pack and BKLYN shows. A CD of poetry and music by Little-Sweat and The Nashville Beat entitled "The Way Home" will be on sale at the event.

The concert is the culmination of a unique project and labor of love between Little-Sweat, a poet and her son, a musician. A graduate of Wingate University, Little-Sweat has been interested for a number of years in the topic of poetry as performance. Last summer she attended a writers' conference with Pulitzer Prize winning poet Claudia Emerson. "I wanted to learn the difference between writing poetry and writing songs - the relationship between music and poetry," she said. In addition to familiar favorites, the concert will feature some of her original songs and poetry set to music.

For more information about the event call 704-233- 8300.

About Wingate University
Founded in 1896, Wingate University is a private four-year co-educational institution of 2,159 students offering active learning opportunities through personalized instruction, world travel, career discovery and community service.

Wingate offers 34 undergraduate majors in arts and sciences, business, communication, education, fine arts, music and sport sciences. It also offers graduate degrees in business, accounting, education, physician assistant studies and sport administration. In addition, the school awards the Doctor of Pharmacy and the Doctor of Education degrees.