Wednesday, August 8, 2007

GMA Festival - Wednesday, Day Four, Part One

This ended up being my favorite day of the whole week! Yay Wednesday!

It was also the most eventful day of the week, so for ease of reading, I am divding the day into two separate posts. Perhaps I should be merciful to you all and do the same thing with my Christmas Letter. Ya know, send it in like, twelve separate parts? Oh wait, that'll never work. I'm a starving artist and could never afford the postage... ;-)

Ok, I intended on starting the day with a class called "Writing A Song Based On A Scripture or Storyline". Now, try not to be shocked, but I was a little late to the class. I know that is astounding, but, well...sometimes I am late. Anyway, the class had ended up getting cancelled for reasons I am still not sure of. So I decided instead to go to the Women's Retreat, which was being led by Sandi Patty, arguably the greatest vocalist in the history of Christian music. With her four-octave voice, she had completely blown the roof off at her concert the night before, and I was thrilled at the prospect of getting to spend some time with her at this retreat.

She spoke for about 45 minutes, then did a Q&A with us for about an hour. "Let's just sit around and have some girl-talk for a while," she said. Ok by me! Nothing I love more. After the Q&A, she sat at a piano in the corner of our small room and sang an exquisite version of "Amazing Grace".

At this point, I simply couldn't quite believe it was all happening. Here I was with Sandi Patty, one of the greatest voices in the known world - someone who has performed for kings and presidents, and someone whose music had ministered so powerfully to me, especially during my critical teenage years. And here I was having "girl-talk" with her and sitting ten feet from her as she raised her voice in song (see Picture just below). It was an absolute thrill.

At the end of the two-hour retreat, we had the opportunity to meet and visit with Sandi (we're on a first-name basis now). Even though I am really a very giant dork, I manage to keep things really appropriate when I meet artists whose works have impacted my life. I try to make it a point to 1) express my tremendous thanks to them for sharing their extraordinary gifts and 2) encourage them to continue their good works. And rather than pour out my life story to them, I simply encapsulate that by saying, "Your music has ministered so much to me." I had the opportunity to share all of the above with Sandi, and she was incredibly gracious. (See us togeth in Picture just below). Me and Sandi! Sandi and Me! This was a highlight of my year for sure!

That afternoon, I attended a class called "Getting Gigs", which was led by a VP of the William Morris Agency. It was a supremely valuable class, and one in which I learned a ton. One of the coolest things I kept seeing throughout the week was a great generosity of spirit between all of the musicians, and the Getting Gigs class was no exception. Many artists who are already doing regular gigs were freely sharing advice and ideas, and I found that to be so useful. These are the folks who are in the trenches and really doing it!

I would like to add that I love the word "gig" and that I can't wait to someday say things like, "Oh, I would love to go to dinner with you, but I have a gig tonight." LOL!

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