Students confer with Nashville songwriter
April 16, 2013

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Two Bryan students recently had the opportunity for a personal session with a top Nashville songwriter and came away with renewed zeal to pursue their musical dreams.
 
From left are Chelsea Zimmerman, Brenna Lucero, Kelley Lovelace,
and T.K. King at Mr. Lovelace's home.
T.K. King and Brenna Lucero spent several hours with Kelley Lovelace, an award-winning songwriter for country artists including Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. Their visit was made possible through a gift from a fund-raiser for Bethel Bible Village. Mr. Lovelace represents Bethel in its annual Country Connection gala.
 
Dr. Mel Wilhoit head of the Bryan music department, recommended the students take advantage of the opportunity.
 
“I didn’t realize who we would be seeing,” Brenna recalled.
 
T.K. was equally in the dark. “I had never heard of him, so I looked him up and said, ‘Whoa. I’m not going to miss this!’”
 
Brenna and T.K., accompanied by Associate Director of Career Services Bob Jensen and Chelsea Zimmerman, career services assistant, talked with Mr. Lovelace about their experience studying at the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities’ Contemporary Music Center before he invited them to perform some of their music.
 
“He gave us some pointers on structure and content, how we could make the songs better,” Brenna said. “He said we are in the right profession. That was great!”
 
T.K. added, “I was amazed at how down-to-earth he is. He was willing not just to listen to our songs but to criticize our songs to make them better. I played one of my songs, and he took one line and said, ‘No radio station is going to play that because that line could be misunderstood.’ I never would have thought of that.”
 
In addition to his encouragement to continue pursuing their musical dreams, his words spurred some immediate action. “I’ve already started to go back and rework some of my music,” T.K. said.
 
While it was a business meeting, the students still had time to be a little star-struck. “Brad Paisley probably had been in that room,” Brenna said. “There were all sorts of country songs on the wall; I could have sung 80 percent of them.”
 
Mr. Lovelace seemed to enjoy himself as well, Mrs. Zimmerman said. “I received an email from him, and he said he was impressed with the talent level of Brenna and T.K.”