Berryville residents who found themselves within earshot of the Barns of Rose Hill’s outdoor stage on Saturday around noon may have gotten an unexpected musical sampling of the First Teen Music Fest at the Barns. The open air show on Saturday, September 10th will feature seven young teen talents, many playing and singing their own musical creations.
“With all of festivities surrounding the dedication of the Barns of Rose Hill we wanted to make sure that there was something in it for the young people of our area” explained Maureen Adamski. Adamaski and Trish Alizade are the team behind Teen Music Fest, an idea that grew out of a series of talent shows the duo orchestrated while working together as instructional assistants at D.G Cooley Elementary School.
Saturday’s rehearsal hosted the finalists from performance auditions that took place back in June. Each act differs in style and content but all of the performers delivered a contagious level of energy and accomplishment that will surely increase when the crowd is in place next Saturday.
At 17-years-old Corey Bailey of Inwood, West Virginia has already graduated from high school and hopes to return to New York City where he was born to attend one of the city’s renowned performing arts high schools.
“I want to go to any school in New York that I’m not in now” joked the sweet-spirited young man.
At Saturday’s rehearsal Bailey performed an original song that he composed call “Alone”. Bailey also plans to perform Chris Brown’s “Crawl” a capella next Saturday.
Bailey’s mother, Tywana Blum, said that she was very proud of her son’s vocal talent but also has some trepidation about him pursuing a performance career.
“I really feel like singing is Corey’s destiny” Blum said. “Ever since he was five or six-years-old people would ask me if I would let him sing at weddings of funerals. He has always loved to sing.”
Blum said that as a mother, though, she is also mindful of the effects of celebrity on a young people.
“When people are young they can be very impressionable so I have my concerns” Blum said. “But I believe that Corey will go far in life.”
Another mother offering parental support to a young performer was LeJuan Curry, mother of Amanda Spain.
“It’s wonderful to see this hidden talent in Amanda” Curry said standing nearby as her daughter tuned an acoustic guitar. “She’s only been playing the guitar for one year and now she plays by ear.”
Amanda Spain has selected Lil’ Wayne’s “Had a Love” and Taylor Swift’s “Teardrops on My Guitar” for her performance. The soft-spoken high school junior mostly demurs when asked about why she has decided to perform in the teen talent show.
“I just like to share my music with others” says Amanda.
Tyler Adams is at the rehearsal with only his mother. Tyler’s father passed away after an illness earlier this year.
“My dad gave me this guitar and a book about the Beatles before he passed away” Tyler says with a proud smile. “He taught me the three basic cords and I took it from there.”
The Johnson Williams eighth grader has “taken it from there” in a way that surely would have made his father proud. Not only does Tyler fearlessly strum out infectiously good Beatles music, he also opens with a number that he composed before his father’s death called “Trustworthy Man”.
“My dad liked the son” Tyler says with a smile. “When I play the guitar that he gave me I feel like I can still connect with him.”
Clarke County High School junior Rae Kidrick is just sixteen-years-old but she has been singing in her church choir at St. Lukes Baptist Church in Berryville for thirteen years.
“Singing is a passion of mine” Kidrick said while waiting to practice the Star Spangled Banner. “It doesn’t matter if I’m said or happy, I just love to sing.”
Before the practice commences Kidrick jokingly asks another performer if she will mouth the words to the Star Spangled Banner just in case Kidirck forgets the song’s lyrics.
“Every time I get nervous before a performance I’m always afraid that I’ll forget the words” Kidrick says.
“That’s happened to me before” says Corey Bailey standing nearby. “It’s not fun.”
“We’ll, if that happens, just fake it!” laughs Trish Alizade.
“You can’t fake the National Anthem” Kidrick replies.
“When you’re on stage there are no mistakes” says the mother of another performer who overhears Kidrick’s faux-concerns. “It’s just artistic license.”
Nic Reynolds is a 13-year-old home-schooler who plans to introduce a Ragtime flavor into the performance. Reynolds’s selection of favorites include “I’ve Got Rhythm”, “Maple Leaf Rag”, “St. Louis Blues” and “New Orleans Blues”.
As Reynolds fingers race across his electronic keyboard listeners are transported back to the time of the Great Gatsby and the speak-easy.
Reynolds is direct in answering why he has chosen to perform at the Teen Fest; “Playing the piano makes me feel happy” he says.
Together, Clarke County High School juniors Khalil Nasar and Zach Bartosiewicz form the musical duo known as Mevlana. Nasar’s smooth voice and guitar combined with Bartosiewicz’s steady rhythm drew a small audience on Saturday even though the pair only played for a brief time.
“You’ve got a great voice, I’m lovin’ this music” one passerby shouted to the stage at the end of Mevlana’s rendition of the R&B favorite “Wagon Wheel”.
“Thank you” Nasar shouted back. “But I’m nothing without this wonderful drummer” he said in a nod to Bartosiewicz.
The pair also performed a captivating song that they composed called “No More Love Songs” that includes a combination of minor harmonies moving lyrics that is sure to remain with audiences long after Saturday’s performance is over.
For Trish Alizade and Maureen Adamski, Music Fest is a chance to extend a musical partnership that commenced when the pair worked together as instructional assistants as D. G. Cooley Elementary.
“Trish and I did a talent show together at Cooley for a couple of years and this is a way to take it a step further from the elementary school level to the teen level” said Adamski. “I’ve really admired the dedication, love of music and talent that I’ve seen here. All of these kids have great spirits.”
“I used to be a performer in New York City” said Trish Alizade. “But I don’t do that anymore so I guess that this is a venue to release that creative energy. We’d like to do a Music Fest every year and once everyone sees this performance I think that others are going to want to be involved too. But in the end this is really just for the kids.”
The Teen Music Fest is part of the Barns of Rose Hill’s week-long grand opening celebration. For a full schedule of the week’s events please visit http://www.clarkedailynews.com/barns-of-rose-hill-grand-opening-schedule/24263
Watch excerpts from the Clarke County MusicFest 2011 rehearsals here:
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