PREVIEW: 2023 Country/Americana Showcase
If you’re in the mood to boot, scoot and boogie after getting off your 9 to 5, then you’re in luck.
Belmont University is all set to bring its annual Country/Americana Showcase to the Curb Event Center stage on Saturday night.
Belmont artists Maxwell & The Shakes, Maura Streppa, Chloe Crowder and Miles Conner prepare to bring the honky-tonk over to Belmont. Maxwell & The Shakes
As the big night approaches, senior commercial guitar major Maxwell Sadler said he’s grateful for the opportunity Belmont has given him.
“I was doing the same thing but in a garage with some friends,” he said. “Now I’m on a professional stage in front of industry professionals.”
Hailing from Spokane, Washington, he said he’s thankful for the opportunity to perform at showcase, but he’s also thankful for his support system.
The moment he learned he would be performing, he had to tell his biggest supporters, he said.
“I immediately called my parents to tell them. I’m just grateful that I have all the people surrounding me and supporting me.”
Sadler also expressed his excitement for how the performance could catapult his career upon graduation in May.
“For me, it kind of represents the culmination of all the work that I’ve done,” Sadler said. “I think it’s going to be a really great transition point.”
Sadler intends to leave a lasting impression with two songs off his first EP called “Mountain Men and “Wild Horses” and a brand-new single titled “Old Friend.” He plans to end the set with “Arizona Red” an upbeat, Americana style tune. Maura Streppa
Maura Streppa, a senior songwriting major, said she feels pumped and honored in light of being chosen to perform at showcase this year.
While in class, Streppa was caught off guard when receiving a text from her friend congratulating her.
“Then I realized. I was pretty excited, but I was in class, so I had to focus,” she said.
The excitement continued to brew.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to play for some people who may have not heard me before and to be able to do it with supportive fellow students,” Streppa said. “I don’t know if it’s really settled yet.”
Along with the heightened emotions, Streppa notes there’s also a sense of gratefulness surrounding her.
“During high school I saw the Best of the Best Showcase, and I was just so blown away,” Streppa said. “It’s really like a full circle moment.”
Starting the set with some fun, Streppa will perform an upbeat tune titled “Honky Talk,” followed by the 2022 Tennessee Songwriters Week winner “Singer and the Song.” She will end her performance with her single “Line Dance.” Chloe Crowder
Music business senior Chloe Crowder says she’s more than ready for this opportunity to show Belmont and Nashville the artistry she has conjured up behind the scenes.
“Any chance I get to perform and showcase what I’ve been working on really means a lot to me,” she said.
The Tennessee native says she’s filled with satisfaction and contentment as she reflects on her time at Belmont.
“Ever since freshman year I have dreamed about doing showcase. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come.”
Now, Crowder anxiously awaits the fun atmosphere and looks forward to being able to display herself through her songs and performance.
“I’m more so excited because my songs are really vulnerable and real,” she said.
Crowder says she hopes to empower the audience through her songs and hopes they can relate to the lyrics.
“I just want people to really connect to them and feel like they can achieve whatever they set their mind to and that they are not alone.”
Crowder will perform “Bet She Can’t” a breakup anthem inspired by Morgan Wallen, “Never Said” and her only released song “Us.” Miles Conner
Freshman songwriting major Miles Conner is prepared to share an amazing experience with the Belmont community.
“I think it’ll just be really awesome to play for everyone at Belmont.” Conner said. “I think everyone should come out.”
Aside from this, Conner said he’s also excited for what this opportunity could mean for his future career.
“Given the fact that we just got here, I think it’ll kickstart us into getting to do a lot more,” Conner said. “I think there will be a lot of opportunity getting myself out there like this.”
For Conner, getting the chance to perform at showcase, especially as a freshman, is a satisfying accomplishment in its own right, he said.
“No matter what the outcome is we still made it and are getting to play,” Conner said.
“Whatever happens, happens.”
Conner will perform “Something New,” “Don’t Let Me Go” and “Gone.” Each song was written in the past few months, Conner said. The showcase will kick off on Saturday at the Curb Event Center at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.
— This article was written by Karlie Souder