Matt Menefee and Bryan Simpson got an early 9 am start at St. Andrews School in Oregon Hill where they played a 30 minute set to the appreciative students, teachers and school administrators. They then hustled across town to enchant about 300 more students at Mary Munford Elementary. During both shows the band made real connections with the students while sneaking in a bit of music theory such as how dynamics within a song make all the difference.
Bryan summed up their experience in a Facebook posting.
“Last night we got to play a sold out show in front of a brilliant audience at JAMinc in Richmond Va – big love to everybody that came and got deep into it with us. As part of the show, they ask that you perform for one or two of their local schools to encourage kids to care about the arts, etc. Anyway, we performed at two different elementary schools – St. Andrew’s School and Mary Munford Elementary School – and it was toooooo much fun. The kids sang, stomped, clapped and did some incredible call and response shouting. Well let’s call it what it was – screaming – and we were blown away by their spirits. We were severely upstaged by a stuffed snowman (found backstage at Mary Munford) we brought out onstage with us in order to beef up the sound and the stage presence. It was an impressive time! Oh, and Matt’s gold shoes continually requested (demanded) their own green room and probably deserved it. Thanks to Tim Timberlake and all the staff at JAMinc and the school leadership that let us go for it.”
Echoing Bryan’s assessment, JAMinc’s president Tim Timberlake observed, “The Golden Age dawned on the beautiful kids at St. Andrews and Mary Munford this morning. Nashville’s Matt Menefee and Bryan Simpson helping fulfill JAMinc’s mission to bring the experience of world-class music into our schools. Music fills hearts.”
After the Mary Munford performance Matt and Bryan got back in their Prius and started their long drive back to Nashville, no doubt energized by the students at both schools with their own hearts appropriately filled.
Photos by Tim Timberlake