Music department goes country


The stage is set for students to take on the dance floor and line-dance their way through the afternoon

Jordyn Wilcox, Staff Writer

Not every day can you record at the famous RCA studio, tour the Country Music Hall of Fame, and attend a show at the Grand Ole Opry. The music department did just that.

Every two years, the music department takes a trip to a certain city known for it’s music. Past excursions include Chicago and Montreal, but this year was the first time the department traveled to Nashville.

Angel Gippert, choir teacher, could not wait to direct her students in the recording studio at RCA records. Her students recorded the national anthem and “Why We Sing,” a song about the unifying and healing effects of music. Michael Steele, band teacher, and Ted McDonald, orchestra teacher, combined forces to record two songs, with one of those songs being a crowd favorite, “Don’t Stop Believing.”

“Before the trip, I had a large appreciation for music and learning the history of it helped me appreciate it even more,” gushed Mackenzie Stark, a senior orchestra and choir member.

This is a statement her fellow travelers could relate to as they wandered the halls of the Country Music Hall of Fame in awe of the history that resided in glass casings. This included past costumes of famous country singers, guitars of the greatest hit makers, and other musical artifacts. Aside from the historical aspect of the museum, the visual aspect was enough to amaze some. Freshman choir student Lydia Grinage was amazed by one thing in particular: “a really cool glitter guitar!”

Students also learned about the history and culture of the city. They explored Centennial Park, line danced, toured the Ryman auditorium, partied at a “honky tonk,”enjoyed a boat show, and drove through Nashville with an on-bus tour guide. Some students have been to Nashville in the past but still enjoyed it with a new perspective.

“I’ve been there before so I know the history but you learn something new everywhere you go,” said Stark.

The trip concluded with the students attending a show at the Grand Ole Opry and experiencing a live recording of the world’s longest running radio show with Nashville’s most talented country singers. Sophomore choir member Zach Gaines was lucky enough to get an autograph from Mike Williams, a well-known country performer.

These trips are known for creating and strengthening the relationships between musicians and providing the students with a hands-on approach to music history. Grinage was grateful for the opportunity.

“We were able to be with everyone in the program all the time and I met cool people,” Grinage said.