The College Papers: Pop Concert Report

For my final paper in Enjoyment of Music, I was required to watch Beyonce’s 2013 Chime for Change concert, filmed live in London, England, and evaluate the performance. As with the Classical Concert Report, I have removed the in-text citations and placed links to the sources used in the paper at the end of the report. Also as with the Classical Report, I was required to deliver an objective, academic, “blow-by-blow” description of the performance and not allowed to give my opinion of the music itself. I will say in this introduction, however, that I am not a huge fan of 2000s/2010s pop and R&B.


 


School: University of Southern Mississippi

Course: MUS 165

Instructor: Professor Reyelt

Date: April 3, 2021

Score: 100

Pop Concert Report

Filmed live on June 1, 2013, at Twickenham outdoor stadium in London, England, pop star Beyonce’s headlining performance at the Chime for Change charity concert opened with an eight-piece string section, seated stage left, playing a brief introduction and backed by cymbals. A center-stage screen rose, revealing Beyonce, who soon began singing a cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” while moving forward toward the audience. In response, the audience stood, cheered, applauded, and raised phones. The arrangement was supported by simple instrumentation with light percussion and bass joining the strings.

At time stamp 02:07, Beyonce formally introduced herself and the event, as strings played the intro to jazz standard “At Last,” which Beyonce had previously covered as a studio release. Like the preceding cover, “At Last” also sported sparse instrumentation, but with a driving piano. Both “A Change Is Gonna Come” and “At Last” were performed reverently, with little stylistic update to the Sam Cooke and Etta James versions respectively. 

After “At Last” ended at 05:02, the string players exited, and Beyonce took a moment to promote the Chime for Change charity, which she-cofounded, before launching into her 2011 Top 30 Billboard hit “Run the World (Girls),” with a call-and-response between herself and the audience. The band executed an accelerando at 07:01, keeping the energy level high and the audience on their feet. 

After “Run the World” ended, Beyonce asked the audience if there were any “survivors” in attendance, with emphasis on the word as a cue to her next song, the #2 Billboard hit “Survivor” from her time with R&B girl group Destiny’s Child. Picking up on the cue, the audience cheered. “Survivor” officially began at 09:45. Of note in this song was the loud and fluid drum work. Beyonce seemed to be struggling on the higher notes on this piece and was reportedly battling a sore throat. Around the 11-minute mark, the pop icon prompted the audience to join in, with pumping fists and another call-and-response. She also informed the audience of a tempo increase ahead of its 11:20 execution. The tempo increased even faster to its finish at 11:30, all to audience cheers.

At 11:45; Beyonce’s #1 hit “Irreplaceable” began with an acoustic guitar solo intro, joined by percussion two measures in. At 13:42, the bass guitar joined on the chorus, while a full drum kit arrived at 14:09. Backing vocalists joined with harmony in verse 2 at 14:11. The band executed a crescendo going into the bridge around 15:00, with a three-piece brass section spotlighted at 16:20 near the song’s finale.

After “Irreplaceable,” Beyonce exited while a video interlude with music and voiceover played. A heavy kick drum began at 18:42 while all other instrumentation dropped out at 18:48.

Beyonce soon returned and began singing her #3 hit “If I Were a Boy,” backed solely by bass drum. A heavily distorted electric guitar joined at 19:05, with more instruments joining at 19:23, and a synthesizer sounding prominently. At 20:43, instruments rose from a brief piano segment, and a crescendo followed, then a decrescendo to cessation. The audience cheered for several seconds, before Beyonce returned with vocals, accompanied by piano, at 21:32. Soon, the synthesizer, bass, and strings returned, followed by the entire band with heavy drum work. Following a powerhouse vocal variation of the chorus, the musicians performed another crescendo, then ended abruptly. Beyonce returned leading another audience call-and-response of a refrain of the song, before singing the final line a cappella. The band struck four chords in quick succession to end.

The band then launched into “Crazy in Love,” another #1 hit, prompting the audience to “go wild.” On this particular song, Beyonce sounded strained on her lower register, presumably due to her reported sore throat. At 24:50, Beyonce’s husband and original featured artist Jay-Z entered to thunderous applause.

At 26:48, the band rolled straight into yet another #1 hit “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” The performance was the most energetic of the night from both Beyonce and the band, with the performers seeming to keep the audience engaged more than any other song. Following the song’s end at 30:30, Beyonce once again exited for another brief interlude featuring heavy percussive elements and back-up vocalists singing the refrain “I’m a grown woman / I can do whatever I want.”

Beyonce returned at 31:58 for “Grown Woman,” a performance that, at times, engendered the feel of an improvised “jam.” At 36:13, Beyonce covered “I Will Always Love You” a cappella for the verse, while the audience sang along. An atmospheric synth joined her on the chorus. Beyonce’s version here was stylistically close to the rendition by Whitney Houston, to whom Beyonce dedicated the song at the end of its performance.

From the dedication, Beyonce rolled straight into her #5 hit “Halo” at 37:50, with full drums, bass, and heavy electric guitar joining the atmospheric synth with stabs. During this song, Beyonce walked downstage for a close interaction with the audience and led the crowd in an arm waving sing-a-long. Despite struggling with tone and pitch at various points throughout the night, Beyonce closed the concert with a near pristine vocal performance and inarguably the best vocal of the night, ending at 42:50 to wildly positive reception from the audience.

Overall, the set provided hard-hitting, rhythm-driven original hits, with a few covers of popular ballads sprinkled in, all designed to keep the audience engaged and showcase the vocal prowess of the show’s star. While, as previously mentioned, string and brass sections accompanied certain pieces, the core of the band comprised the standard pop music instruments of electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, keyboards/synthesizers, and drums/percussion. The band was positioned on a split raised platform at the back of the main stage, and while it was often difficult to see the area, it appeared two keyboardists, three backing vocalists, and one guitarist were positioned left to right on the left platform, and the bassist, brass section, and drummer/percussionist (also from left to right) shared the right platform. Much like the construction of the setlist, the band’s position was designed to keep the spotlight on the main attraction, and based on the audience’s reaction, I would say both the set and staging achieved their purposes.

In fact, the difference between the audience’s reaction to this concert and the classical audience’s reaction during the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra performance of Beethoven’s 7th is striking. While the audience at Concertgebouw remained practically stoic throughout the performance, saving a standing ovation for the post-finale, the audience at Twickenham was loud and mobile from start to finish—and I don’t believe the artist would prefer it any other way. 

Sources:

Beyonce Battled Sore Throat During Sound of Change Charity Show

Beyonce headlines ‘Chime for Change’ charity concert for women in London

The Unlikely Story of ‘A Change Is Gonna Come

Chart History Beyonce

Chart History Destiny’s Child


 

 

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The College Papers: Classical Concert Report

For Enjoyment of Music class, I was required to watch the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and evaluate the performance. As I am not classically trained, I was a bit shaky on the terminology, so if I got anything wrong…well, the instructor didn’t count off for it! Also note, that, for this post, I have removed the in-text citations and placed links to the sources used in the paper at the end of the report. I was not allowed to opine on the music itself but was tasked with delivering an objective description and analysis of the execution. Here, I am under no such restrictions and, therefore, say, without hesitation, that the piece is exquisite.


 

 


 

School: University of Southern Mississippi

Course: MUS 165

Instructor: Professor Reyelt

Date: March 16, 2021

Score: 100

Classical Concert Report

In January 2014, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Netherlands, renowned conductor Ivan Fischer lead the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. The first level of the stage contained the majority of the string section. Level two featured a percussionist on timpani plus four players from both the string and woodwinds sections, including two cellists, two flautists, and a clarinet player. The third level rounded out the woodwinds and also boasted the entire brass section, with two trumpeters and two French horn players. The fourth and final level housed four double bassists. 

The orchestra opened the piece’s first movement (Poco sostenuto – Vivace) with a burst of music in major mode, played forte, at a moderate tempo, in 6/8 time, with the string section and timpani sounding prominently. The burst was followed by a flute solo played pianissimo and backed by rising strings. At 00:13, another burst—I believe what would be appropriately called a sforzando—sounded, followed by more activity from the woodwinds and rising from the brass section, adding to the overall volume of the quiet segments. Following another sforzando at 00:19, the French horns sounded prominently. The alternating loud bursts and quiet melodies effectively created an oscillating emotional effect of invigoration and relaxation in the space of mere seconds.

The musicians executed a shift in both melody and dynamics around 00:28, with something of a short “call-and-response” between the strings and woodwinds. The former played arpeggios up the scale while the latter sounded brief, gentle, three-note statements. With each statement, both sections grew louder, with the segment culminating in an epic crescendo at 00:54. A string-dominant passage ensued, segueing with a decrescendo at 01:22 into a woodwind-heavy segment, featuring a prominent showcase from the clarinet. 

Another crescendo from the full orchestra began around 1:58 and ushered in a minor mode shift at 02:17. Although the orchestra returned to the major mode at 02:30, the brief shift seemed to serve as a bit of foreshadowing for the second movement.

Around the 03:50 mark, a flute rose from a near-silent passage with a melody seeming to act as a harbinger of an important event. Over the next twenty seconds or so, the strings and woodwinds, with the flute remaining as lead instrument, oscillated in volume, with a tune denoting quick motion. Around 04:17, the orchestra ascended the scale with a heroic crescendo, building anticipation for the entire orchestra to pick up the “motion” theme initially heralded by the flute. The passage was played lively and brought to mind the idea of “racing” or “adventure.” 

For the next six and a half minutes, the orchestra played variations of the theme with alternating changes in dynamics, culminating around the 11:00 mark with an accelerando followed by a ritardando and a brief stop. At this point, the clarinet rose as the lead instrument, continuing the theme softly, then switching to minor mode. A crescendo ensued as the entire orchestra played the theme in minor mode. The ensemble eventually returned to the major mode and at last concluded in rousing fashion at 14:15.

Under the masterful direction of Fischer, the orchestra successfully delivered the first movement with regularly shifting dynamics and heavy interplay between the strings and woodwinds, with the brass shoring up the melody and the timpani adding depth to the affair.

The orchestra began the second movement (Allegreto) at 14:45, immediately noticeable as a marked departure from its predecessor. The movement is in a minor mode, and the low strings at 14:50 produced the sombre feeling of a funeral procession. The orchestra occasionally struck a major chord, but overall, the piece remained melancholy. The high strings rose at 16:34, adding to the haunting atmosphere. A slow crescendo began around 17:05, and the rest of the orchestra burst forth at 17:23, to chill-inducing effect. 

18:17 saw a shift to a major mode, producing a much happier sound that seemed more compatible with the first movement. Around 19:40, however, the strings descended the scale, signalling another shift which began properly around 19:50. The new theme returned to the darkness of the piece’s beginning, but the rapidity of the melody hearkened back to “quick motion” feel of the first movement. 

At 23:08, the woodwinds took center stage as the orchestra repeated the main theme piano. During this portion, at least two violinists used a pizzicato technique, adding another dimension to the segment. Around the 24:00 mark, the orchestra played a brief crescendo, before all music ceased, signalling the end of the movement—an abrupt and unexpected finale conducted to perfection by Fischer. Once again, the orchestra delivered a performance of great feeling, conveying a dark and chilling piece.

In stark contrast to the morosity of the preceding movement, the orchestra began the third movement (Scherzo. Presto) with a lively performance, which, as with Movement I, brought to mind imagery of rapid movement—the chase, the hunt—in other words, exciting action. Elements of note in the performance, included a chromatic shift around 28:00, a ritardando at 30:46, with the woodwinds once taking a starring role, and finally, a race to the finish beginning at 32:29 and ending the shortest and briskest movement yet at 33:52. 

The orchestra then began the fourth movement (Allegro con brio), determined to continue the musical race from the previous movement at a gallop. Performing the swift piece at the direction of Fischer, the group turned toward “darkness” with minor shift around 36:05, modulated upward around 37:00, and finally ended in grandiose fashion at 40:50, giving the trumpets a moment to shine toward the piece’s conclusion. Following the conclusion of the fourth movement, Fischer and crew were met with thunderous applause and a standing ovation from their audience—a clear testament to the masterful craftsmanship of the night’s performers and their conductor.

Sources:

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major


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The College Papers: Impressions on “History of Computers & User Interface Images & Symbols”

For my second assignment in Human-Computer Interaction, I was tasked with watching computer scientist Alan Kay’s 1987 presentation “History of Computers & User Interface Images & Symbols” and reacting to it. Warning: Nerdy computer stuff ahead.


School: University of Southern Mississippi

Course: ITC 361 Human-Computer Interaction

Instructor: Professor Gudla

Date: February 5, 2021

Score: 100

Assignment 2

While watching the video of Alan Kay’s 1987 lecture “History of Computers & User Interface Images & Symbols,” I was absolutely stunned at the hardware and software capabilities of early computing technology of the 1960s and ’70s.

The fact that most of the first biomedical “PCs” from the 1960s were still in use over twenty years later was astounding. Despite the machines’ bulkiness, their hardware and software were clearly stable enough to sustain long-term utilization.

Ivan Sutherland’s 1962 Sketch Pad was perhaps even more incredible. The ability to so easily render and manipulate design sketches in digital form seems decades ahead of its time, and the program itself seemed, in many ways, more intuitive than many of the programs we use today.

But for me, perhaps the pièce de résistance of the lecture was the 1968 footage of Douglas Engelbart’s massive computing demonstration. Engelbart’s mouse-plus-five-pad keyboard rig, designed for easy, bi-dexterity editing and command operation and centered by a full keyboard for typing, is a striking design that, again, seems a more efficient setup than most of us run today.

Even more fantastic was Engelbart’s incorporation of real-time collaborative elements, that allowed not only written exchanges between station displays but audio and video feeds as well, decades before such features were readily used in work environments. As Kay observed, the system that Engelbart envisioned and almost completely realized in these demonstrations, was continuing to stump the industry nearly two decades later. 

Two more philosophical elements in Kay’s lecture also stood out to me. First, in conducting a post-mortem on his failed 1967 Flex Machine design, Kay realized that instead of thinking of older computers as “trains” and his efforts to develop a personal computer as “building a car,” he needed to start thinking of computers as media, something which even a child could use. This epiphany changed Kay’s entire thought process and greatly aided his research and development models moving forward.

The second item that the piqued my interest was a quote by Marshall McLuhan: “We don’t know who discovered water, but we know it wasn’t the fish.” Meaning, experts are often so immersed in their field, that they lose objectivity and can’t see opportunities, solutions, or problems. Having been both the oblivious expert, lost in the work, and the objective outsider who could see the things that the experts missed, the quote resonated with me on multiple levels.

*Note: Unfortunately, Disqus comments have stopped loading on new blog posts, and I have yet to resolve the issue. If you’d like to reach out for any reason, please feel free to drop me a note via the Contact Form! – Cole

The College Papers: Music Critical Thinking Essay

For my second paper in Enjoyment of Music, I was commissioned to summarize and opine on Leonard Bernstein’s remarks on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. 

It’s a bit outside my normal music industry posts, but I did enjoy delving into a few of my other interests of politics, history, and philosophy. 


Course: MUS 165 Enjoyment of Music.

Instructor: Professor Reyelt

Date: April 2, 2021

Score: 100

Critical Thinking Essay

At the outset of remarks on the Kennedy assassination, composer Leonard Bernstein recaps a recent performance and the public’s reaction to it:

Days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra performed Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony. The performance apparently raised eyebrows, however, due to the piece’s association with themes of hope and triumph, with some believing that a requiem would have been a more appropriate choice for honoring the fallen president. 

Bernstein then responds to his critics by asserting that the piece represents not just hope for the resurrection of the recently deceased leader, but the resurrection of hope for the nation as a whole. Bernstein explains that every musician he knew loved Kennedy because Kennedy held art and creativity in high regard. This regard for mental ability would have been represented in the last speech that Kennedy was scheduled to deliver before his death. “America’s leadership must be guided by learning and reason,” read a line from Kennedy’s intended remarks. Bernstein declares that those two items—learning and reason—were clearly absent from the mind of Kennedy’s assassin, and is a motto by which we, as a nation, should live moving forward. 

After postulating that America’s feelings of remorse and revulsion are magnified by the violent nature of Kennedy’s death, Bernstein poses this question: Whence comes this violence? “Ignorance and hatred,” Bernstein answers—the antitheses of learning and reason. Although Kennedy was never able to deliver these words, Bernstein encourages us all to embrace them, using rational intellect (the power of the mind) to achieve victory over violence.

Bernstein concludes his speech by speaking on behalf of musicians, declaring that, while musicians are as incensed over the event as all others, they will refuse to retaliate in kind, and instead will respond with music. Music will never be the same, for in response to Kennedy’s death, musicians will strive to create superior compositions.

Mr. Bernstein’s sentiment is nice, to be sure, and undoubtedly sincere. But there is a central problem with the extracted line from President Kennedy’s speech. While “America’s leadership must be guided by learning and reason” makes for a fine surface-level pull quote, the statement ignores the danger of education and rationality when lacking certain supporting elements.

Acquiring knowledge (learning) but being devoid of wisdom, which I would define as “the ability to use knowledge correctly,” can be at best an empty exercise and, at worst, a global detriment. Whence comes wisdom? Is it a natural ability? A gift of Divinity? The result of experience? Or does its origin fluctuate on an individual basis, sometimes one, sometimes two, yet other times all, of the above? Whatever its genesis, individuals who have gained information but are deficient in the ability to correctly use that information may have very well wasted their time. Yet others armed with information but lacking wisdom, may be able to leverage their education (“wisdom on paper,” if you will) to achieve positions of power. So, what happens to a society when those in power are knowledgeable but not truly wise? A similar analysis can be applied to reason, for reason un-tempered by empathy can lead to rigidity and callousness. 

Bernstein’s further assertion that Kennedy’s murderer was devoid of learning and reason simply based on the perpetrator’s act of murder is also fundamentally flawed. A heinous act in and of itself does not necessarily indicate a lack of education or reasoning, for if a person’s goal is to perpetrate evil, the goal itself may be born of a reasonable thought and enacted through a logical plan of achievement, no matter how morally reprehensible the act may be.

One needs only glance at some of the greatest villains of history to see that learning and reason alone do not necessarily coincide with peace and pacifism. Genocidal dictators Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong, for instance, were intellectually inclined and received quite a bit of education. No doubt the pair also possessed a strong ability to reason, otherwise, neither would have been able to accomplish their political goals and remain in power. The same can be said of Zimbabwean Robert Mugabe, a school teacher-turned-violent guerrilla revolutionary-turned-life-long dictator.

Simply put, presuming that hatred cannot live in the hearts of rational and educated people is itself unreasonable and smacks of ignorance. I think the larger issue here is a question of morality. But to answer that question, we would be required to enter a philosophical debate of moral relativism vs. moral absolutism, and that would be too great a digression from the topic at hand.

I also take issue with Bernstein’s statement that every musician he knew loved Kennedy. While this may be true, it is an anecdotal account which implies that Kennedy had the support of all musicians, and possibly the arts and entertainment community at large. Although it’s true Democrat Kennedy enjoyed support from quite number of entertainers, in the 1960s, the celebrity world was not quite as politically one-sided as it is today, with many actors, singers, and musicians actively supporting Republican candidates. For example, within five years of Kennedy’s death, African-American jazz singer and former Kennedy supporter Sammy Davis, Jr. would throw his weight behind Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon—the man Kennedy beat in 1960.

Despite my quibbles with Mr. Bernstein’s remarks, however, I do believe in the ability of music to soothe in times of sorrow, for I have experienced this power personally. Music possesses the singular ability to affect human emotional states with a simple series of sounds. A heroic score can raise the listener from the depths of despair to the grandiose heights of elation, and a fast-paced piece in major mode can invigorate and exhilarate even the most downtrodden of spirit. That isn’t to say a slow, minor piece can’t be a healing balm as well, serving as a release mechanism for the listener’s grief. But under the circumstances in November 1963, while I dispute some of Mr. Bernstein’s assertions, I can’t say I disagree with his choice of music.


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The College Papers: Using Apple TV Desktop App Version 1.0.6.8 for Mac OS

As I mentioned in my inaugural “College Papers” post, I wrote several super-nerdy tech papers for Human-Computer Interaction in my first semester, and I’ve decided to include them in this series. The first assignment involved choosing a product, observing users’ interaction with that product, and noting any problems that arise during use. I chose Apple TV’s desktop app for Mac.

It’s a brisk read, but, once again, super nerdy. You’ve been warned.


School: University of Southern Mississippi

Course: ITC 361 Human-Computer Interaction

Instructor: Professor Gudla

Date: February 1, 2021

Score: 100

Using Apple TV Desktop App Version 1.0.6.8 for Mac OS‌

Product description and user interaction:

Apple TV desktop app is the native app which individuals can use to stream, purchase, and download videos on a Mac. The app also allows users to add and view local videos files (downloaded purchases, DVR content, home movies, etc.) to the TV library, a feature previously handled by the discontinued iTunes desktop app. 

Utility problems:

Regular use reveals two major problems for users with a large local library. First, unlike Apple TV’s counterpart app (Apple Music desktop), Apple TV’s search feature does not allow for local library searching, instead, pulling only from the Apple TV store when users click the search bar. This forces users to either scroll through the library, genres, categories, or playlists to locate a particular video whether local or in cloud. 

Second, there also appears to be a major bug in loading the video library. If the app is closed while open to the TV Shows library category, the next time the app is launched, the library takes an inordinate amount of time (sometimes upwards of an hour) to load, and the app is locked until the TV Shows category loads. 

Results and cues:

These inconveniences sometimes lead to users abandoning the app, opting instead to play local files via QuickTime, load physical media, or stream content via web browser. Cues left from previous users indicative of utility issues include browser windows left open to streaming services, DVD/Blu-ray cases lying on computer desk, and a locked TV app still attempting to load the library.

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The College Papers: Musical Experience Essay

It’s hard to fathom five months have passed since I published my last post on this site. In some ways, it feels like five days; in other ways…well, as I told a friend recently, “It’s been a long year this week.”

The past few months have been filled with many personal changes, some fantastic, others gut-wrenchingly awful. In the “fantastic” category, I count my return to the realm of higher education. After a 10.5 year college hiatus, I am officially a college junior at the University of Southern Mississippi, pursuing a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies with a combined concentration in religion and philosophy. The first semester is in the can, and I am ecstatic to announce I finished with a 4.0 GPA and a 99.89 average score. 

Since I spent much time these past months writing papers for school, I’ve decided to slay two avians with one small, dense, portable geological formation and publish my college writings on this site. Not all of the works lend themselves to general reading (for instance, I’ll spare you the Legal Drafting binder full of mock case documents based on the Jack and Jill nursery rhyme, although I found them a blast to write), but other writings, such as those I completed for The Enjoyment of Music, will fit nicely here. I may also pull a few projects from Human-Computer Interaction, as I’m a bit of tech nerd at heart (and actually hold an associate’s in computer technology).  

Without further ceremony….


 

Course: MUS 165 Enjoyment of Music.

Instructor: Professor Reyelt

Date: January 20, 2021

Score: 100

Music Experience Short Essay.

Some of my earliest memories involve listening to music. Between the ages three and five, I spent many hours per week riding in the back seat of our giant family van listening to the likes of Elvis, Roy Orbison, and The Everly Brothers. I knew if someone would “just give me a guitar,” I could play like Chuck Berry. It took another nine years to convince my parents of that, but they eventually made the right call, buying me my first six-string. 

As a child, I was also exposed to a plethora of classical, jazz, folk, and show tunes through classic television and film. As a young teen, I took a deep dive into rock, exploring the genre from the late ’60s through then-current 2000s. My favorite artist became John Fogerty, and my favorite song “Long As I Can See the Light.” Armed with this musically diverse upbringing, I started making a serious effort at songwriting at age seventeen and began building a catalog of original material.

Although my desire was to make a living in the entertainment industry, ultimately, I opted to pursue a non-art degree and career. Five years and multiple health issues later, I decided to quit the day job and “chase the dream” of being a singer/songwriter.

Over the next five years, I was able to cross a few things off my musician bucket list. My sophomore record charted in the Top 100 of an iTunes chart. My music received press coverage in three countries and two continents. I had the privilege of opening for two top Nashville acts and appearing on television, radio, and web. I performed from the Alabama line to the Delta and became a voting member of The Recording Academy. I also garnered airplay on commercial terrestrial radio, the indie artist “Holy Grail.” 

But continuing health issues and the rise of other personal opportunities prompted me to take an extended hiatus from “the biz” in 2016. Since semi-retiring, however, I’ve continued to find musical success. One of my 2019 releases of remixed songs won EP of the Year at the 2020 Josie Music Awards, and I was also asked to provide a new original song for an upcoming independent film—a tune I recently previewed live on statewide radio network Supertalk Mississippi. I also have fun blogging about music on my artist website.

Today, I listen to music (usually my “All-time Favorite Oldies” playlist) whenever I have a chance, and I enjoy introducing songs to my children. Although I have yet to (and may never) achieve fame and fortune in the music industry, I continue to write songs, and at this point, I am simply grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and look forward to music, in one form or another, being a part of my life for many years to come.


 

*Note: Unfortunately, Disqus comments have stopped loading on new blog posts, and I have yet to resolve the issue. If you’d like to reach out for any reason, please feel free to drop me a note via the Contact Form! – Cole