Behind the twangy melodies and folksy guitar rhythms at Belmont’s Country Showcase is an entire team of people working hard to bring students a show they’ll never forget.
“We’re kind of going for something a little different this time around,” said the show’s producer, sophomore audio engineering major Preston Gray. “We’re spending a lot of time on giving students an opportunity to learn, so that goes from the very beginning of the show.”
Gray said the production team is “taking two days instead of one to set everything up, so we’re moving at a slower pace. There’s a lot of work that students put into it.”
That work includes calling in guest judges, designing graphics, and creating a memorable set design. “We just really want the showcase to have a really fun, country vibe, so we’ve got all kinds of set pieces on stage, everything from a camper to a mechanical bull and whatnot,” Gray said.
At the time of his interview, Gray said he had only received a few submissions so far from Belmont’s pool of student artists, but he wasn’t worried. As with previous showcases, he expected 75 percent of the audition tracks to be submitted on the night before the deadline, which was Jan. 20.
A panel of industry professionals from the Society of Leaders in Development (SOLID) selected the semi-finalists who would move on to Jan. 29’s live auditions. “We’re looking for an artist that’s just looking to have a good time on stage, real genuine,” Gray said. Beyond that, he just wants to have the most talented mix of artists possible in the show.
And one thing’s for sure—there’s nobody who does country better than Belmont, so come to the Curb Event Center arena on Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. to cheer on your peers. With Gray calling the shots, he said, “It’s going to be a fun show.”