Lipscomb’s new Contemporary Music program doesn’t just get students working in the classroom but also advances their skills on stage.
The program hosted its first concert with original and cover song performances from around 20 students. Guest artist singer-songwriter Scott Mulvahill, the bassist for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, also performed.
The evening’s event was directed by Artist-In-Residence Charlie Peacock, Grammy Award-winning record producer and songwriter.
Peacock has been a pioneer in developing the contemporary music program along with Dean Mike Fernandez and faculty member Steve Taylor.
“This Contemporary music program was really a dream that was born about 14 months ago now,” Peacock said. “Dean Fernandez and my good friend Steve Taylor met with me and said ‘Hey, would you be interested in helping us develop a contemporary music program?’ And it just wasn’t on my mind at all. In fact, I was right in the middle of trying to get Joy Williams’ most recent album finished, and I was deep in the record business.
“It was an idea whose time had come. Lipscomb University was ready to add a contemporary pop music component to what they do here, and I was ready to take it on.”
And with the start of the program, the concert was born as well.
Daves Highway, a sibling group formed of Delaney, Erika and Zachary Daves, was one of the featured performers. They knew Peacock long before they joined Lipscomb’s program, though.
“I knew them from actually producing some of their music,” Peacock said. “So it was a wonderful, full-circle moment to have them come and actually be my students, too. [They were] first my recording artists and then my students.”
Other performances featured covers of songs from All Sons & Daughters, alt-J, Avicii, The Beatles, Ellie Goulding, Tobias Jesso Jr. and more.
Before he took the stage, contemporary music student Grant Parker said that it takes some sort of special chemistry for the students to make music together on stage.
“We’ve all become best friends since we started,” Parker said. “We get to meet every Thursday night, and it’s our favorite class. It’s weird that I met these people three months ago.”
The show ended as students joined guest performer Mulvahill on stage for a cover of “Wake Me Up” by the band Avicii.
Peacock said that his vision for the program and concert is even better than what it is now.
“I’m really happy with where we’re at and the trajectory of the program, but I do envision the program having multiple degrees — everything from a bachelor’s of song writing all the way to music business degrees,” he said.
“I envision it as a very robust, imaginative, creative program that reaches a wide variety of students for a diversity of reasons.”
Photo gallery by Ben Davis