Dr. Hugh McCampbell is a retired large animal veterinarian from Sweetwater. He is a native of Knox County, having grown up on a farm in the Ritta Community.
On Saturday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m., McCampbell will present his 13th annual Benefit Veterinary Piano Concert, in cooperation with the Sweetwater Valley Citizens for the Arts, in the auditorium at the Sweetwater Elementary School, located at 301 Broad St.
He will be performing on the piano and banjo and telling tales of veterinary practice and of growing up on the family dairy farm in rural Knox County. This year’s concert will include new songs and tales.
McCampbell has performed for many years at livestock conventions, veterinary meetings and the similar events at many locations across the country.
He is a former faculty member at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, where he was also the head extension veterinarian, serving farmers and veterinarians across the state.
McCampbell has practiced in Texas and two locations in Oklahoma and he is also a veteran of the Army Veterinary Corps. He is a founding sponsor of the Museum of the United States Army and a member of the American Legion.
Since he was raised on a farm and has worked with horses all his life, it was natural for him to pursue a career in veterinary medicine and surgery.
He earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from Maryville College and a master’s degree in biochemistry and entomology from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, before taking his doctor of veterinary medicine at Auburn University.
McCampbell’s tales and stories of life come from his broad background of activities over the years. These include being an Eagle Scout and a long-time Scoutmaster, running marathons and triathlons, riding bareback broncs and team roping, flying airplanes, braiding, rodeo bull riding, ropes and horse tack and working with leather to make roping saddles.
His farming childhood and many years of veterinary practice have made for many interesting situations.
McCampbell has been compared to being a cross between Victor Borge and Will Rogers. Music has also always been a big part of his life, he has always worked with livestock and even been known to cowboy.
His musical background started with his family, and he took piano and trumpet lessons at an early age. Both his brothers and his parents are accomplished musicians. Opportunities on the ukulele, banjo and guitar came along for them before high school.
At Maryville College, after football practice and supper on Monday nights, McCampbell would go to orchestra rehearsal, where he played the French horn.
In addition to piano and voice lessons, he was a regular member of the annual college presentations of Handel’s Messiah.
Playing in the “Blue Shades” rock ’n’ roll band at Maryville and a dance band at Iowa State broadened his musical repertoire, as did being a member of the Iowa State University Choir and a pop group called the “Cardinal Keynotes.”
He also plays the piano, and his wife, Marty, plays the organ at Christ Presbyterian Church PCA, where she is the choir director. McCampbell is also a choir member and a ruling elder. For several years, Dr. Hugh and Marty have gone as missionaries with the Christian Veterinary Mission organization to the Lakota Sioux Indians in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and have gone with their church on mission trips to Cherokee, North Carolina.
Tales from football, as well as earning letters in wrestling and track, add to his list of stories.
Full-time veterinary practice provided a constant source of interesting tales.
All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the same beneficiaries as before: the Prostate Cancer Foundation, local Boy Scout Troops and the Sweetwater Valley Citizens for the Arts.
Adult tickets are $15, student tickets are $10 and pre-schoolers will be admitted for free.
Tickets will be available for purchase at the door. Tickets can also be purchased at Salt & Light Studios, The Lily Pad Boutique, Little Drugs, Fairweather Financial, Valley Building Supply, and Sweetwater Flower Shop.
The tickets have Dinner Bell coupons on them good through June.