The second day of our five day stretch in early July was back home, in Nolensville, for their annual Star Spangled Celebration.
This was a big event, attracting a thousand visitors to Nolensville Park, with food trucks, activities for kids, other musical acts, and fireworks to conclude the evening.
Nolensville is home of WannaBeatle David, so he only had a few blocks to drive. He also brought his daughters, Gabrielle and Shaina, who worked at our merch table.
The stage was a large covered platform with a fine crew attending to the sound, which turned out to be MTSU grad students, under the energetic direction of Frank Baird.
We were impressed with Frank, who knew everything there is to know about checking microphones, running a board, and communicating with band members, and was busy passing along the knowledge to his students, while simultaneously getting the system ready for our show.
Nathan arriving backstage at Nolensville Park
David exultant, over having such a short distance to drive
MTSU's secret weapon Frank Baird, working the mics
Miking the kick drum
Rear view of stage
Sound crew onstage with Dennis
Nathan, Dennis & David setting up merch table
Shaina and Gabrielle Toldedo helping out at merch table
In addition to their knowledge and helpful attitudes, the sound crew also demonstrated the diversity of the MTSU music program. The students came from as far away as Brazil and Russia.
David enjoyed the chance to meet Tevin, an especially friendly student from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
David and Tevin onstage
David and Tevin confer
David and Tevin delight
We were happy to meet and pose for a photo with Katya, the audio student from Russia.
WannaBeatles with Katya
We were also delighted to discover that an opening act had been booked, a guitar duo composed of Mike Bauer and Jackson Thatcher, a Jam Camp student. Mike is an excellent guitarist, a graduate of University of Miami, a neighbor and friend of David’s. He started and runs the Nolensville Guitar Academy.
Mike Bauer and Jackson Thatcher opening the show
Another view of opening act
We had a good time playing for the Nolensville crowd. We really enjoyed meeting Frank Baird and all his audio students.
Our show was followed by fireworks display, preceded by a fine a cappella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
Singer doing fine solo version of national anthem
The fireworks were accompanied by a long medley of patriotic tunes, ranging from "Born in the USA" to "Stars and Stripes Forever." It was especially poignant for us to wonder what was going through Katya's mind, the young lady from Russia. We learned that she had been in this country for two years, and could barely speak English, but her presence here made a grand statement about this country we celebrate so loudly every Fourth of July.
WannaBeatle David, who was born in Cuba, has given us a heightened sensitivity to the experience of American immigrants. We are glad - and we share David’s gratitude - to live in such a fine country, and happy to see people from other parts of the world choose to come here, reminding us how precious our freedom is.
The MTSU students were very helpful in getting our gear back into our vehicles. Soon after the fireworks were over, we were driving back to our homes, to get some rest. We would be meeting the next day to drive up to Virginia, to continue our adventure.
Stay tuned for the rest of the adventure.
-Bloggin’ Bryan 8September2016