Glee Club Takes to Nashville and Memphis!

In the early morning hours of March 18, four members of RL’s faculty and 56 members of the Glee Club boarded a plane to head to two of America’s most iconic music destinations. First the group spent three days in Nashville, Tennessee—Music City! On Saturday, they spent some time getting to know downtown Nashville before heading to the legendary Grand Ole Opry. On Sunday, RL’s singers provided music for the service at Belmont United Methodist Church; performed at and visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum; and enjoyed a private concert by the versatile artist Ajaye at Ole Red. On Monday, the group worked with two choirs at Montgomery Bell Academy and performed at the all-school assembly that kicked off MBA’s Field Day. RL’s boys and faculty visited Vanderbilt University and enjoyed a wonderful dinner and musical exchange with our friends, the French Family Band. (Camille, Stuie, and Sonny French—along with their bassist Joe Reed—were last year’s Berman Visiting Artists in Residence, performing two concerts at RL and working with student musicians in master classes and jam sessions throughout the school day.) RL’s students and adults were also honored to meet, hear, and perform with Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers. Highlights of that evening included Tait Oberg (I) and John Austin (I) trading solos with Sonny and Joe, and Glee Club singers singing “My Girl” with five professional musicians as their backing band!

From Nashville, the group departed for Memphis, where they spent three days performing and hearing some great music, as well as learning about the history and culture of our country and the Mississippi Delta region. On Tuesday, the group visited the battlefield where Union forces held off a Confederate charge at the Battle of Franklin. They then arrived in Memphis, where they performed at the Central Atrium of Crosstown Arts and heard a tremendous jazz concert presented by the students of Stax Music Academy. On Wednesday, the group headed downstream: First stop was Helena, Arkansas, where they performed at the Helena Country Club for the local Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs. They then went on to Clarksdale, Mississippi, where Tait and John once again got to jam with a pro: blues artist, Super Chikan. The day ended with a fun change of pace, as the group took in an exciting NBA game (with the hometown Grizzlies prevailing!). The trip’s concluding days began with a tour of the legendary Sun Studio, followed by time to explore Beale Street (which included some Latonics busking in the Land of the Delta Blues!), followed by a moving visit to the National Civil Rights Museum.

The weeklong trip was memorable, and included not only performing, hearing, and learning about music, but also taking in the sites, sounds, and tastes of another area of our country, rich in history and culture. Thank you to Mr. Opdycke, Mr. Pojman, Mr. Beam, and Mr. Pellegrini for chaperoning this year’s spring break Glee Club trip.

View photos from the Glee Club trip to Nashville and Memphis, taken by Mike Pojman.