Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stamps-Baxter - Bluegrass Night

We're getting close to the end of the school. Unbelievable how quickly it's going! A lot of my day was filled with small little office things to help us prepare for the end of the week - organizing scholarship students, making sure everyone has a ride to the airport, making plans for our post mortem and follow up time...

Miss Rosa Nell came to the school today. She's in her 80's, and she still sings and teaches piano. Yes, please, give me some of that! I think I wrote about this my first year at school, but this is one of the things I love about Southern Gospel. There is no age limit on your life in music or ministry! People recognize that your music and your message are only enriched by your life and your experiences, and that includes the experience brought on by a few wrinkles. It's comforting to know that I'm not in a race against time to 'hit big' while I'm young.

The highlight of today was definitely tonight's concert. Tonight, we celebrated the music of bluegrass with Little Roy Lewis, Lizzy Long, Al McCall, and our very own Rebekah Long (yay, Rebekah!). The band took the stage at 7:30 to a somewhat hesitant crowd. I don't think we've ever had an all-bluegrass show before, and I think some people were a little hesitant about what was about to happen. Well, within a few songs, the crowd was clapping along and giving standing ovation after standing ovation. One of the biggest standing O's went to Rebekah on her version of "Wildflowers". Even though she started at the school as a student before working for Ben, this was the first time she had actually sung a solo on the school stage. She totally knocked it out of the park, so it was worth the wait.

Partway through the set, the band brought out a very special guest - Earl Scruggs! He's become an annual visitor to the school's nightly jam session, but I think this was the first time he was a mainstage guest. As expected, he just brought the house down. Even kids who've never watched The Beverley Hillbillies were on their feet clapping and cheering. How do you deny talent like that?

I haven't known how to write about this all week, cause I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, but we've been getting tonnes of great feedback all week on the new changes we've made this year. New students are grateful for the new student support, and returning students and faculty appreciate the new approach to organization. It's just so satisfying to see all our hard work paying off in these two weeks.

Going to come in a little late tomorrow, with permission - I need the sleep!

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