#FBF - Dallas Baptist University's GRAMMY U Kick-Off!
When life gives you riffs and lyrics, make a song, and oh how beautiful this song was. The 2016 GRAMMY U® Kick-Off presented us with many challenges. We had to change the event time a week before the event, a band lost their electric guitar player, a Shane and Shane concert was scheduled for the same time on campus, a choir rehearsal conflicted last minute, and our media techs could no longer run sound or provide us with equipment. However, we were blessed, because despite all of these problems, the event turned out better than if all those things would have gone right.
Candlelight, singer-songwriter tunes, and the buzz of music-minded college students filled the air. As freshman and non-GRAMMY U members bustled through the door, we directed them to a table of computers, where they could sign up for GRAMMY U right then and there. At one point, the membership sign-up line was so long we had to set out a sixth computer just to keep up with prospective student members signing up for GRAMMY U. Current members helped themselves to pizza, from a local pizza joint, and slices of pie, that the sweet ladies from my church made for us.
This hubbub was pleasantly interrupted when widely popular contemporary Christian band Shane and Shane walked through the door. Prior to the Kick-Off, we decided that instead of trying to compete with their concert happening that night on campus, we would invite them to speak to our GRAMMY U students. This was an excellent surprise advertising point for us and added a lot of value to our event.
As the event went on, students had the unique opportunity to connect with Texas Chapter Board members SaulPaul, Mark Lettieri of Snarky Puppy, David Messier, Tre Nagella and Paul “Pappy” Middleton. It was so special to have their support, as well as give students a chance to mingle with them. I wanted to show our students what GRAMMY U was all about, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of so many esteemed Board members in attendance. GRAMMY U is an organization where successful musicians are eager to pour into the lives of college students by doing Master Classes, Q and A’s, and attending to events like these. It was evident that the Board members truly care about these students, and wanted to help us succeed however possible.
So much hard work and planning went into this event. While there was beauty in the details, the secret to the night was the people that came to support it. Dr. Terry Fansler, an amazing teacher and supporter of GRAMMY U, offered us the advice we needed to host a stellar event. The College of Fine Arts staff helped us with everything from reserving the space to getting Shane and Shane’s number. Randy Adams, a recording professor and award winning recording engineer, loaned us the equipment we needed, so we could feature the musicians from our school that played throughout the night. Two students, Jordan Green and Josh Maple, saved the day by running sound, and the mixing was better than it would have been if the usual media people ran it. Brittany Hoover, Texas Chapter Membership Coordinator, flew up from Austin, encouraged the Board members to attend, and the student body came out to support the program. Thank you, we couldn’t have done it without you.
We had 25 students join our DBU GRAMMY U family at the Kick-Off, whereas just a week before, I thought about canceling it, or rescheduling it due to the conflicts going around the campus. Yet, with all of these trials, it was one of our best events. I have to believe this as a miracle, and a blessing of all the efforts and hard work that went into it.
In conclusion, GRAMMY U inspired us. It inspired us to create more music, and to build more community. It taught us that we are all in this together, and we can’t do anything alone. I am so blessed to be one small cog in this amazing organization, where we can learn from those who have gone before us, and create a place where we have freedom to dream big, and learn how to get there.
Written By - DBU GRAMMY U Ambassador, Kenady Shope