The “Best Semester” program has been exactly that for me – the best semester ever. This has been a great adventure from the moment we rolled out of Arizona and headed for Tennessee for the greatest field trip any music student could ever go on. We stopped in Memphis to celebrate Elvis’ enormous contribution to music. It happened to be his birthday, so there was quite a celebration. We stayed at Heartbreak Hotel, and yes, it is “down at the end of Lonely Street.” I got to sing at the historical Sun Records, where some of the greatest musicians of our time have sung. I used the very microphone that Elvis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins used. I love studying music history, and there is something very special about experiencing it firsthand. As we headed to Nashville, I could hardly believe it was real. It has been a dream of mine to live and learn in Nashville since I was very young, and here I am!

From the moment we started school at the Contemporary Music Center, it has been like riding an exciting Tennessee tornado, trying to hang on and enjoy the journey. The writing, recording and performance schedule has been rigorous and challenging, but worth every moment. We have learned so much about teamwork and community living, where everyone works together to make all of our goals a reality. We have a business track, a technical track and an artist track, so each artist works with his or her own manager, producer and sound crew.

During the first few weeks, we went to studios, record companies and musicians’ homes to see how they live and work. Since then, we’ve spent time in classes, writing rooms, rehearsal rooms, studios and on stage. We have been writing, rehearsing and working hard, hoping to get to perform our best songs on tour. We are preparing now for tour in just a few weeks, where we will be performing at numerous Christian colleges in various states. I am excited and honored to have been chosen to perform my latest song “Gotta’ Catch A Train” on tour, along with my very talented band!

Because of this semester, I have discovered who I am as a musician, songwriter and artist. I have gained so much writing and performing experience, and so much more confidence on stage. I have worked with some of the greatest musicians and songwriting coaches who have stretched and challenged me. I have been taken out of my comfort zone and into a new and exciting place in my life. I will come home with a much better understanding of where I am headed after graduation. I now know how I need to apply myself more effectively as I finish my final stretch at ACU.