Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 11, 2010

LOOOONG day! More fun four-parting writing in theory class followed by a great group singing session. After lunch we finished up some four-part writing and then spent our sight-singing and ear-training time listening to some early southern gospel recordings from the Speer Family, Rebels Quartet, Rangers Quartet, Statesmen, Happy Goodmans, LeFevres and the Rambos...all great musicians and pioneers in what we do.

Allison held her final performance training this afternoon and worked with some exceptional soloists and groups. She has such a heart for teaching young people how to be effective ministers of the gospel!

Following dinner at the Mexican restaurant (tired of cafeteria food!) was one of our last group singing sessions...these are my favorite parts of the school and I always miss them when I'm home. I think we sang about 5 choruses of some of the songs because we just didn't want to stop.

Auditions for the closing program were held after group singing. This year (it usually changes from year to year) to qualify for closing program auditions, you had to have performed during the 'performance opportunities' time at least once during the past two weeks. A secret judge had been appointed to pick out those that should be allowed to audition. For the third of fourth year in a row I was asked (roped into) being one of the five judges. I hate judging! You have so much talent and so little time in the closing program, it's hard to make those decisions. We had 32 groups/soloists perform and the evening lasted about 2.5 seems all the slow songs were at the end... it got pretty long. The five judges met for about half an hour to tally up our scores and discuss which groups and soloists should be featured on tomorrow night's program. Actually, looking at the clock, it's tonight's program!

My first year as a student at Stamps-Baxter in 1998, I was chosen to perform a piano solo which opened the closing program. It was a neat arrangement of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," arranged by James D. Walbert (grandson of James D. Vaughan). That's a wonderful memory I'll always remember and it's amazing to think how God has opened doors for me in southern gospel music since then... amazing...


Anonymous said...

What is the time/location of the closing program?

Shawn Degenhart said...

The program starts at 6:30pm (CDT) at the Wright Music Building on the campus of MTSU.