If you didn't know, I attend Belmont University and will graduate in May 2013 (shameless plug: My degree will be in music business and I am on the job hunt. That means if you know anyone in the industry...). Belmont does a fantastic job providing students with opportunities to gain experience and reveal their talent through showcase series. Every year the Belmont showcase series hosts 6 or 7 shows on the campus with an attendance of 2,000+. Each show is all student run from the planning to the production of the event. It is quite amazing what these students can create.
This Saturday happens to be one of those special events. At 7 p.m. in the Curb Event Center the Belmont showcase team will unleash this years Christian Showcase. Through a very selective application and audition process, four artists are chosen to perform for this event. This year the artists are Meg Mischler, Sam Pinkerton, Judah & The Lion, and Sarah Eslick. I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with them about this years show.
Through out all of my interviews there was one common theme among every artist; Jesus should be at the center of it all. Travis Ball the guitarist for Meg Mischler put it this way, "It is a really cool thing to get on this large stage in front of a lot of people with lights and big sounds, but we want to make it something more than a big show. We want to make it an opportunity to worship God and lead the audience into a time of worship themselves".
What really struck me is that every artist in this showcase is concerned about the whole picture rather then focusing on themselves and their music. In every other showcase I have been a part of at Belmont, the bands are just worried about their set, their music, and ultimately if they will be the winner of the showcase. Judah Akers from Judah and the Lion described it to me as, "For this showcase I really want to build a sense of community among all the artists. I feel in other showcases you never get to know the other performers but kind of have this 'oh they are the competition' attitude".
In my interview with Sam Pinkerton, she told me, "The other bands are all going to come over to my house to get to know each other and pray about it. We are really hoping for something bigger than just the Christian Showcase. I want to tear down the walls of the Christian showcase and just make it about a bunch of people who love Jesus and gather in a room to express that". Last night,(9.18), that happened. All of the bands met up at Sam's house to hang out, enjoy some cookies, and pray with each other. I actually had the pleasure of attending and I can personally say it was a really refreshing experience. It was interesting to me that even though Belmont is such a small community most of the band members didn't know each other. Yet, they all gathered in the same place for the same purpose, to put the showcase in God's hands.
For most of these artists, the Christian showcase is just the beginning. It is a chance to perform the art they have worked so hard to put together. For one night these artists will share the stage, and you should be on the lookout for each of them in the future.
Make sure to go and download the Christian Showcase noise-trade sampler to hear a song each artist will be performing on Saturday.
For more information about the showcase series visit belmontshowcaseseries.com